Welcome to the Maple World
The Maple World is a land where adventurers quest and fearsome monsters roam the countryside. Take on the role of one of a variety of classes or legendary characters to defeat the monsters and slay their bosses. Train to defeat the all-powerful Black Mage, ultimate evil of the Maple World.
Trailer video gives you an overview of what the game looks like and some basic gameplay
Maple Lore and History
Long ago, the Black Mage corrupted one of the great gods of the Maple World, imprisoned another and drove the third into hiding. He brought chaos and evil to the world. Only a handful of legendary heroes could stand up to him and seal him away, most giving their lives in the process.
Can you stop the dire evil that threatens the world? Photo courtesy of Wikia
Now the Black Mage has awoken and broken free. He gathers power so that he might one day return, bringing untold chaos and destruction once again. The denizens of the Maple World must unite to bring the fight to him, striking when he is weak. The old legends are reawakening or new fighters are taking up their mantles. Normal folks of the world are taking up arms to become adventurers. The Knights of Cygnus have formed once more to train specifically to fight the Black Mage. In an enemy-controlled town, citizens become the Resistance. You can play any of them, slaying monsters and gaining levels to fight the leaders of the enemy.
How does MapleStory Play?
MapleStory is a two-dimensional action platform RPG. You jump around various platforms, slaying monsters as they spawn. You complete quests as you kill monsters and collect their drops. Each class has a unique play style, a selection of powerful skills at their disposal and -- in the case of newer classes -- a plotline to follow.
Platforms and enemies.
The central focus of the game is training and gaining levels. Quests help, but the majority of your time will be spent killing monsters to gain exp. When you gain certain amounts of levels and power, you can gain a job advancement with a new set of skills to learn. As you level up, you can move on to more powerful monsters and take on special bosses.
MapleStory is mostly casual -- you can log on and play for half an hour at a time if you wish, or you can dedicate ten hours a day to playing. You don't need fast reactions or twitch controls except for using potions to survive. Potions have no cooldown, and many classes can't take more than one or two hits from monsters without needing to use one.
Tons of beautiful locations to visit. Photo courtesy of Wikia.
MapleStory's Class Selection
MapleStory's primary draw is the great variety of characters you can choose from. A new class comes out every few months. Some have very different play styles from the original set of five, while others are simply more powerful versions. Here's a rundown of each type of character.
Explorers are the original classes in MapleStory. They have a maximum level of 200, with job advancements at levels 10, 30, 60 and 100. At level 150, they will eventually be able to learn endgame skills, once they are added to the game.
- Warriors specialize in up close combat with melee weapons, using high HP and defense to survive. They can subclass into Fighter/Crusader/Hero, Page/White Knight/Paladin, or Spearman/Dragon Knight/Dark Knight. Class choice determines the weapon type you will use as you play.
- Archers are ranged physical attackers. They only have two subclasses. Hunter/Ranger/Bowmasters use bows, while Crossbowmen/Snipers/Marksmen use crossbows. Bowmasters excel in fast attacks, while Marksmen are slower but more powerful.
- Thieves have two subclasses. Bandit/Chief Bandit/Shadowers use daggers and fast, close-range attacks. Assassin/Hermit/Night Lords use throwing stars and attack at a range with high mobility.
- Mages have great range and elemental damage, unlike other classes. Specialization chooses the elemental focus. The three specializations are Fire/Poison, Ice/Lightning and Clerics, who use healing and holy elemental skills.
- Pirates act like a cross between thief and bowmen classes. Gunslingers use guns and act much like bowmasters. Brawlers punch enemies and fire energy lasers, much like a bandit class. Cannoneers have massive range but slow attacks using large cannons.
Knights of Cygnus
Knights of Cygnus have a maximum level of 120, and their job advancements come at levels 10, 30, 70 and 120. They are designed as introductory characters, with high power but a low level cap.
- Dawn Warriors are holy elemental warriors who use swords primarily.
- Wind Archers are bowmasters with a wind-elemental transformation skill.
- Thunder Breakers are brawlers with lightning-elemntal shark attacks.
- Blaze Wizards are fire mages with damage over time.
- Night Walkers are assassins with poison and dark elemental attacks.
Resistance characters start to change up the pattern. They have a level 200 cap with advancements at 10, 30, 60 and 100. Each one has a special unique storyline. Their hometown is taken over by the Black Mage directly, and they rebel.
- Wild Hunters are crossbowmen who ride jaguars and have a variety of mounted attacks.
- Mechanics are pirates that ride robots and have attacks like gatling guns, flame throwers and hammer smashing.
- Battlemages are high-HP mages that get up close and personal with their enemies, attacking with close range magic spells.
Heroes are the reborn or reawakened legendary heroes from the ancient battle with the Black Mage. Each one has a unique play style, plot line and game mechanics.
- Mercedes is an elven archer wielding a pair of bowguns. They have insanely high mobility and a special skill that grants then more EXP per kill. She has awakened after being frozen in crystal.
- Arans are polearm-wielding warriors with a special combo system that gives them access to powerful skills the more often they hit. The wielder of the legendary polearm frees it from being frozen in ice.
- Evans are dragon tamers who encounter the offspring of the legendary dragon who was the companion of the original Evan. They attack entirely with their dragon, and have no attacks themselves.
- Phantoms are insanely rich and arrogant thieves with special cane weapons and the ability to steal skills from other classes to use for themselves.
Special Classes are generally time-limited and are not always available for creation. They fill gaps in other class selections, or add more side stories to the Maple world.
- Jetts are a North American exclusive class. They are essentially gunslingers, but with skills themed after future technology rather than pirate-era handguns.
- Dual Blades are thieves that wield a special secondary weapon and have a variety of multi-hit skills with high mobility.
- Demon Slayers are generals of the Black Mage who turn against him. They are warriors with skills that require a special dark charge that they gain by using their normal attacks in place of using MP.
- Mihile is the trainer of the Dawn Warrior. He has a special shield and a max level of 200 instead of 120. He also hints that other Knight trainers will eventually be made as playable characters.
Jett character revealed video with some gameplay clips
Future Classes are classes that are coming to the North American version of MapleStory soon, and have already been released in the Korean version.
- Luminous is another legendary hero, the mage of Light. He was corrupted by the Black Mage and must balance his powers of Light and Darkness with a special casting system.
- Kaiser is a powerful dragon warrior from another world. He introduces an entire new planet to the Maple cosmology, and wields the powers of ancient dragons.
- Angelic Bursters are the female counterparts of Kaisers, and they are pop stars turned magical warriors.
- Automata are another thief legendary warrior and are possibly a robot and not an actual human being.
There are a handful of other classes, but they are exclusive to other versions of the game, most notably the Japanese version. These include a type of dragon warrior and a fan-using thief-mage. As interesting as they are, they will probably never come to the North American MapleStory.
As mentioned above, the majority of your time in MapleStory will be spent killing monsters. When you get quests, they are generally assignments to kill enemies and gather their drops.
To defeat the powerful bosses, you often need to complete a quest line. Some of these quests involve what are called "jump quests." These JQs are difficult timing segments requiring precise platforming and dodging obstacles. However, the bosses yield some of the best items in the game, so it is worth it to complete those JQs.
An example of one of the Jump Quests
Some quests are also known as Party Quests. PQs require a party of more than one player, and are a series of specific objectives ranging from gathering drops to killing monsters or breaking boxes. They generally give decent item rewards.
You are also able to gain two crafting skills. The first is a choice between mining or gathering herbs. The second depends on the first choice. If you choose mining, you can also choose either weapon/armor crafting or accessory crafting. If you opt for herbalism, you can also choose alchemy, which allows you to brew potions or fuse equipment together.
Player created guide showing one way to make money via crafting
Single Player and Multiplayer Gaming
Most of the content in Maplestory can be completed solo. Training, crafting, hunting for drops and fighting most bosses are solo affairs. However, the most powerful bosses require parties. Party quests also require parties. That said, finding a party is beneficial for solo play as well, because you gain some bonus exp when your party members kill monsters. It speeds up training drastically, especially at higher levels.
What is it with pandas and MMOs these days?
There is also a PvP mode, with some excellent and unique rewards, but it is very unbalanced. Some classes have a great advantage over everyone else, so it is hard for everyone to succeed.
Why is MapleStory Popular?
MapleStory is an incredibly popular game, and much of that popularity comes from the variety it offers. There are almost two dozen classes to choose from, and with a general level cap of 200, you can sink hundreds of hours into the game. There are also constantly events running, where you can perform special quests for holidays and get time-limited or unique items.
Another overview video displaying some of the main features of the game
MapleStory also has the distinction of being one of the first major Free to Play MMOs to gain a foothold and reach a high level of success. Many older players still play just because of the friends they have in the game.
MapleStory is a PC game for Windows exclusively. It is also region-locked to North America. Players in Europe must play the European version, Japanese players stick to their version, and there are other versions for South East Asia, China and Korea. The game is Korean in origin, so Korean MapleStory is the most advanced version.
Players who use Macs can run MapleStory through a virtual machine. Players from Europe can play the North American version if they have access to an old enough account from before Europe MapleStory was created, but they cannot create new accounts.
How Free is Free to Play?
MapleStory pioneered the free to play model with a cash shop for game benefits. The game is perfectly playable for free -- mostly. There are a few things that give paying players an extreme benefit, however.
- Cash shop cosmetics allow a much more varied character look.
- Evans and Dual Blades both require master books for some skills that are cash shop only.
- The cash shop sells 2x exp cards that allow much faster training.
- In order to reach the highest power in weapons and armor, you need to give the items special Potential. Potential lines can vary from HP and MP bonuses to bonus percentages of major stats or attack. However, to change a potential line, you must buy Miracle Cubes in the cash shop.
- Cash shop pets give notable bonuses, including automatic item looting and automatic potion usage. There are a few free pets for events, but nothing is permanently available to free users.
MapleStory is an old game with many established players, and help is widely available for new players. As a general tip, the newest class is probably the most powerful, and creating one during an event will generally give special weapons and items for them to help them along their way.
- Money Making Guide - learn the best ways to make the most mesos as quick as possible! This guide will save you a lot of time trying to figure it out on your own.
- Training Guide for All Levels - learn the very best ways to level up your characters as quick as possible!