[GMS Dev] Dev. Blog: Welcome to 2011!
Hello again, Maplers!
Wow. It’s 2011. Can you believe it? 2010 was such a huge year for MapleStory, that sometimes it seemed like the crazy work to prepare for Big Bang would never end. With the launch of the Mechanic though, we’re all breathing a little sigh of relief. It all got finished and it’s good!
This reprieve isn’t lasting too long though. The instant that the Mechanic went live, the Global MapleStory team started working on some big plans for 2011. What a year we have in store for you! We’ve got the usual slate of great additions, of course, but we’re also making a larger change in the way we bring content to you. Read on to find out what’s in store for 2011!
Making Up for Lost Time
Those players who have been with Global MapleStory for the last few years are quite familiar with the basic shape of our development plan. We would usually put out a patch (or a “Version Up,”) about once a month. On paper this always seemed like a good plan. It was supposed to keep the game fresh by bringing out new content frequently and fixing bugs that require a patch quickly.
The problem was that when we evaluated the process against reality, there were a number of glaring weaknesses that outweighed the strengths. The process of implementing that patch itself takes a lot of time. It takes days to prepare the files, test all the auto-patchers, and prepare the servers. Then it takes many hours to perform the maintenance. This was all time we had to budget for in our schedules every month.
The monthly update schedule also prevented us from creating the kind of large-scale content for Global MapleStory we know you enjoy. There was simply never enough development time! Since everything had to fit into that month-long patch cycle, creating exclusive content became prohibitively difficult.
Then there’s the issue of bugs. All those maintenances meant lost time we could have been using to fix bugs before they are released. The result has been some less-than-stable patches and unfortunate game glitches. If we’re really going to take MapleStory into a new era in 2011, we were going to have create a “Big Bang” for our internal processes. The good news is, we did it.
Our New Year’s Resolution – Patch Less!
We’ve decided that in 2011 you’re going to see a lot less Version Ups. In fact, after the Mechanic update, you won’t see another until Spring (unless of course, there is a serious bug that needs to be fixed urgently.) The regular events that you know and love will still happen, but we’ve prepared them ahead of time. Events such as Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, and the return of Golden Temple will all happen in the next few months, but the assets and code to make them happen are already in the game waiting for the right date to start.
Instead, we’re now spending two or three months doing nothing but preparing a lot of content and putting them all together into one, large update. This removes at least two maintenance/patch cycles. That gives us the us the breathing room to create larger pieces of content for you to enjoy.
The big benefit for you is we’ll know a lot sooner what’s coming in the next update. That gives other departments here at Nexon more time to prepare programs and events designed to get the word out to the community. Sometimes we’ll have an idea for an event or a contest or a sale that just can’t be done because we don’t have the time to properly implement it. Expect bigger, better and more community interaction with this new schedule!
Spring 2011 Preview
The Spring 2011 update will be the first created using this new system and we’re very excited about it. It’s going to have something for everyone including enhancements to existing systems, some new zones, and new things to do with your characters. I can’t tell you everything about what’s coming, but as we get closer, you’ll get details on everything!
Guilds are getting some much needed love this year. We know guilds are really important to our players, so we’re making them easier to start, easier to manage, and more beneficial for everyone. We’re drastically reducing the requirements to start a guild as well as all costs associated with them. We’re also introducing a Guild Point system which will allow your guild to earn rewards just by having active members that play MapleStory. We’re also redesigning the guild controls and adding more options just for guild masters!
The Lion King’s Castle
On the highest peak of El Nath sits an ancient castle that has been hidden by snow. This Spring the snow will melt and reveal two new raids! The Von Leon expedition is for players level 120 and above in groups of six to 20 members. Defeating Von Leon will net you medals that can be traded in for a sweet set of gear. There will also be a new type of raid for players level 70 and above that does not require a party to join!
Cygnus Knights and Ultimate Explorers
Cygnus Knights characters will be getting some powerful new skills this spring. Players that have a level 120 Cygnus Knight will also be able to create an “Ultimate Explorer.” These buffed up adventurers will start at a higher level and get many gifts and benefits as they level up. Empress Cygnus will also be offering some new skills to all Explorers not just those of the ultimate variety.
Global MapleStory’s 6th Anniversary
We have something really great planned just for Global MapleStory this May to celebrate our 6th anniversary. It’s a secret, though! Sorry, I can’t spill the beans on this one just yet, but rest assured that you will not want to miss out.
I hope you enjoyed this little peak into our plans for 2011. It’s going to be a great 12 months!
Until next time Maplers,
The MapleStory Team
I don’t know what to say. I don’t mind big updates over 3 months instead of smaller updates every month, but the time between updates also allows hackers to go undisturbed for months until a new patch comes along. Also, the longer patch time along with earlier content previews could put my prediction service out of business.
I say the next update will come on March 15, followed by our 6th anniversary update in May which includes exclusive content, and then Chaos will begin in July and possibly run into August.