[GMS] Big Bang is the Air
Hello again Maplers!
Eurydice here. This week we’re going to talk about the Big Bang. More specifically, we’re going to talk about what it’s going to take to bring this massive update to your MapleStory and when it’s going to get here. We’ll have time to talk in the future about exactly what will be in the Big Bang and how it will be different for Global MapleStory. Today I want to talk about why the Big Bang happened and what it’s taken to bring it about.
The Big Bang is… Big!
The Big Bang is the largest single update to ever come to MapleStory. Once Big Bang is here, you will notice many changes to the gameplay, graphics, and UI. What you may not notice are all the changes we are making to the underlying systems. Its these changes that make Big Bang so huge. It’s not just adding on to existing systems, Big Bang redesigns much of the underlying gameplay of the original MapleStory. In essence, it’s a re-launch of the entire game!
In the past, when we wanted to make changes to the game, we had to work within the system as it was originally designed. If we wanted to allow users to choose one of two factions through a quest, it would be very difficult because our quest system was not originally designed to branch in that way. If we added something completely new to the game, there were often unexpected interactions with other systems. Just recently we had huge problems with the alien mobs in The Visitors event because the alien mobs caused a lot of trouble with our regular mob spawns.
After seven years of growth and development and constant tweaks, fixes and additions, the game has become pretty complicated. Its success means that it’s grown in ways that the original development team never foresaw and didn’t build the infrastructure to support. The Big Bang is a great opportunity to revisit the basic underpinnings of the game and reorganize the inner workings of the game to make it more flexible and modern.
From a developer point of view, that’s what makes Big Bang so exciting. It will make the game run smoother and make it easier to update. It is, of course a huge amount of work and will take us the longest time to finish. In fact, we had to do a fair amount of work on this before we were even able to determine just how long the Big Bang development would take! In the end though, this is by far the most important part of Big Bang for the future development of the game. It will save us a lot of time down the rode because by making the game code more modular, we make it easier to add in new content and make changes on the fly.
Of course this is also the part of Big Bang most likely to cause problems. That’s why we’re taking our time and doing a lot more testing on it than we ever have before to make sure the game works as intended when the Big Bang is launched. Look for us to reopen Tespia this Fall and ask you for lots of basic testing to ensure that no existing systems are broken.
We Can’t Do It Without You!
While the base code changes are a big deal, they’re not something you’ll ever see. From a gamer point of view, Big Bang is exciting for players because it allows us to revisit the basic assumptions of the game. Nothing is safe from the review process. Changes to skills, EXP curves, maps, PQs, UI, and mobs are all under evaluation and are the subject of intense discussion (and occasionally argument) amongst the internal team! We have a bit of a head start in this area thanks to the brilliant work done by the Korean MapleStory team, but Global MapleStory is a completely separate product with its own code base, its own community, and its own needs.
During our discussions we’ve identified balance changes that may need to be adjusted. Some features may not be brought over at all because they’re incompatible with some element of Global MapleStory or don’t work within the North American Market. Now nothing is set in stone yet and we’re still working on finalizing the list of changes for the Big Bang. The exciting news for current Maplers is that you are not being left out of the process! We are looking at a lot of information and taking your feedback in the forums and on fan sites very seriously. The best way for us to know what you want though, is to tell us directly. Please fill out the Big Bang survey currently running on the main website and let us know what you want to see! This is the biggest change in MapleStory’s history and we want to be sure that when it is over all Maplers will be happy.
Education and Promotion
There is more to preparing for a huge update than just programming and bug fixing. Even if we create the greatest version of MapleStory ever (and we think this is going to be it!), it’s all for nothing if no one knows about or knows when it is coming. That’s why we spend time writing web posts (like this!), planning events, talking to the press, and answering your questions. Obviously the people on the team that do these things aren’t the same people that write code, but it still requires a large amount of coordination and planning with everybody to make it happen.
Before Big Bang is launched, we want to be sure that existing players get all the details on what is changing and what is being added. Text, videos, and screenshots will all be provided to help educate all existing Maplers on the Big Bang. We’re also planning on reaching out to the press and new players. We’re planning tons of events to celebrate the update, show the press just how awesome MapleStory is, and encourage more people to give MapleStory a try. The thing is, all of these things need to be planned, designed, and created alongside the in-game changes to be sure it’s all ready for the “Big” day.
Calm Before the Storm
So when will the Big Bang get here? It’s coming this winter before the end of the year. I wish I could give you a date, but until we have a stable version of the update that we can use to estimate needed development time, we don’t want to make any promises. Reading the forums, I know how very excited you are to see all the changes coming. I also know some of you were expecting it even sooner, but rest assured, it’s on its way!
For right now, remember that the MapleStory you know now will be gone forever once Big Bang launches. I encourage all of you to enjoy these last couple months of classic MapleStory! All the changes coming in Big Bang will make the game even better, anyone playing MapleStory now will be able to see and experience things that later Maplers never will! Enjoy the Halloween and Thanksgiving events, take lots of screenshots and video, go to your favorite secluded hunting spot, run classic PQs, and make the most of what MapleStory is right now! When the Big Bang comes, you’re the ones who will have gotten it there!
Until next time Maplers,
The MapleStory Team