[GMS Dev] MapleStory Then and Now
Hello again Maplers!
Eurydice here. Our office is a flurry of activity. We’ve been putting Global MapleStory Big Bang now through its paces for a couple of weeks now. We’re testing for bugs and making tweaks to the balance and content. More than that though, there’s a genuine sense of excitement as we finally get a chance to experience what you will in just a few short weeks. The new feel of the game is just amazing and the team here is almost totally focused on the future, as I know many of you are! As for me, I’m as excited as anyone, but while thinking about this week’s blog, I decided I wanted to talk about all the changes we’ve seen in the past five years. Take a walk with me down memory lane.
When Global MapleStory launched over five years ago, it looked a lot different than the MapleStory we know now. There were only four classes, Victoria Island was pretty much the only place to go, and you couldn’t take a third job. Now there’s so much to do in Maple World we need to speed up the leveling just so you can see it all! Here are some interesting statistics comparing Global MapleStory when it launched to today:
|Global MapleStory at Launch
|| Global MapleStory Now!
|4 Classes||13 Classes|
|3 Worlds||10 Worlds|
|1 Zone||10 Main Zones|
|~450 Quests||Over 4,000 Quests|
Big changes, huh?
The team here was much smaller back then too, as were the resources we had to work with. In just one example, when the game first launched, the team didn’t have the tools to create new events for the game. That’s how GM events got started. It began over lunch when the team was discussing ways to do something fun for the players. The problem was, the only thing they had to work with were monster sacks which allowed them to drop a monster anywhere. Someone jokingly suggested that they just drop a bunch of them in town and let them eat the players. After they laughed about it, someone said “Why not?” So they did. Some years later the event was foprmalized as “Day of Darkness.”
I suppose the team might have been really nervous the first time they put on a Day of Darkness. What if players hated it? What if they didn’t like the disruption to their play time in the town? In truth though, they just dropped the bags to see what would happen. the result was that the event was a screaming success. Players had to come together to defeat high level mobs and the event gave the highest level players the chance to show off their stuff for the noobs. The event was so popular and fun that even now, when we have tons of more complicated events, we still sometimes get the GMs together and have a Day of Darkness. In fact, participating in the event has become a sort of a rite of passage for new GMs. A running joke in the department is that every time a tombstone falls in town, a GM gets his wings!
As time went on, both game and team got bigger. With more resources available, we were able to add tons of new content and features. Not all of it has been easy. It might surprise newer players, but the addition of new classes beyond the original four Explorer classes was very controversial at the time. Not everyone agreed that the game could support more classes or that players would even want them and discussion about them got pretty heated. Eventually we did add the new classes and many more besides (some more successfully than others), but the constant in every situation has been the intense discussions we always have over the best ways to improve the game. These days the topics are more related to game balance and the in-game economy, but the entire team is very passionate and very protective of MapleStory, so anything that might affect it are hotly debated.
Looking back at the additions to MapleStory can be dizzying. Just off the top of my head I can think of Gachapon, New Leaf City, the Maple Trading System, Pink Bean, weddings, Cygnus Knights, the Monster Carnival, the Family System, thousands of quests and hundreds of maps. Each of them is a treasure trove of stories and memories. There are the late nights I’ve spent with the team during a version upgrade. I think about Chinese-and-junk-food fueled crisis moments we’ve had when we realized something had broken down and we’d all be pulling ‘round-the-clock shifts until it was fixed. Our stories are nothing compared with the stories of our players. There are stories of friendship, rivalry, love and marriage that run through the whole history of the game.
In the end, all the late nights and hard work were worth it. We’re very proud of Global MapleStory – where it’s been, where it is, and most of all where it’s going.
Before the end of this year, we’ll be making changes that are bigger than all the changes and additions made in the last five years combined. We’re a bit nostalgic not just because the old Maple World is going away, but because we’ve relived these past five years as we’ve reviewed all the updates we’ve made before and ask if those changes still hold up. We need to decide what will be carried over into this new Maple World? Some of the decisions have been hard, but we’re confident that when all is said and done, we’ll have brought the best of the old MapleStory into the new.
We can’t wait to share with it with you!
Until next time Maplers,
The MapleStory Team