Published on November 27th, 2011 | by Gerald Chan0
Maple Story Just Got Serious – Chaos PvP Patch
It has been six years since Maple Story first hit the MMO scene. Back then it was pretty much Everquest and Ultima Online and World of Warcraft was pretty much starting to get on its feet. Six years down the road, Maple Story is still going strong in an arena that has seen many subscription based MMOs turn into a freemium model that Maple Story is renowned for. Only recently, Maple Story SEA was able to hit 4 million registrations for Malaysia and Singapore combined. Impressive considering the MMO space these days.
The Maple Story that you would jump right into today is not the same one that I had played back in 2005. Back then it was DOTA and there was Maple Story. The UI largely remains pretty intact but the sheer amount of content to be found in this free-to-play MMO boggles the mind. Nexon had done a fine job packing content after content into the game that when I had down to give it a go, it was quite overwhelming. And it didn’t help with the fact that I was given a level cap character right from the very start.
Maple Story is a very retro 2D affair and the main controls of the game are handled exclusively with the keyboard. Players are able to bind a specific action to a key, which I felt was rather cumbersome as I had to remember which ability was bound to which key. The fact that there were so many skills to choose from compounded the experience. At one point of time, I commented to the player next to me that the best way to execute moves was to roll my face on the keyboard. He laughed in agreement (I think).
The main agenda for the night was to check out the new Chaos Player Versus Player patch for Maple Story. Six years in the making, PvP has always been a much sought after feature in the game and a staple mode in many others. The Chaos patch allows players to trounce each other in a myriad of game modes like free-for-all and capture the flag. Very basic PvP game modes. However, there is a specific game mode that I felt was rather interesting, the Ice Knight PvP mode. Unlike the other modes, in the Ice Knight arena, a player takes on the role of said Knight and attempts to outlast the onslaught by other players. Pity I didn’t get a chance to try it out but I’m pretty sure it would be fun.
With no less then 40 classes to tailor your character to be, Maple Story’s PvP mode may suffer an imbalance between the classes. Looking at how other games struggle to balance with lesser classes, balancing issues would be the biggest challenge that would face the developers of the game. After the night’s festivities, it appears that ranged characters have a clear edge over the melee counterparts. While low in health, it matters little as armed with high damage and burst, most characters would fall enroute trying to land the first blow. However, not all is lost, the mechanics of the PvP arena seems to calculate damage done overall as opposed to landing killing blows to rank characters. Hence, picking your fights wisely and backing away would be the name of the game.
With the new Chaos patch, players would be able to advance their character purely via PvP as well. In fact, I’ve been told that experience gain is even faster this way. Looks like the grind just got less monotonous. In order to hit the level cap of 200, however, it looks like it would require a small investment into the game’s cash shop to expedite the process. Some things just never change.
All in all, Maple Story is still one of the better ways to get one’s feet wet into the genre of MMOs. Grinding being a core experience in almost all games in the genre has been polished and refined in the realm of Maple Story. One would almost forget that apart from your character, MMOs offer a unique way of player interaction in the online space. Good way to learn Internet etiquette kids!
Do check out Maple Story at http://maple.asiasoftsea.com/index/