MapleStory is a side scrolling 2D MMORPG that is free to play. It has over 100 million players worldwide, with 10 million being in North America. It follows the typical format of an MMORPG: the player starts by choosing a server, then creates a character and chooses his or her stats and then goes into the world and battles monsters to level up and develop their abilities and skills.
The game is exclusively played on a 2D plane. Players start on "Maple Island" which serves as a tutorial, where they learn the basics of the game mechanics. Players accrue experience points by defeating monsters, which serves to achieve new levels and, in turn, gain new abilities and skills chosen through a menu or a skill tree. Players can have up to 6 characters in any of server, with a maximum of 3 per server. There are a variety of environments, all with different and unique monsters to defeat.
Killing monsters, most often than not, awards the player with "Mesos", the in-game currency, and a variety of different loot. Monsters have different attributes and weaknesses, along with different methods of attack. There are also "boss" monsters, which are often found in "party quests", where a group of players attempt to go through a timed dungeon that holds a variety of team-based puzzles. In the end, the team usually faces a powerful enemy that requires teamwork to defeat. The reward is an augmented amount of EXP points and loot. When a player attacks a monster, a bar appears above the creature's head, indicating how much HP it has remaining. The amount of damage a player is doing is shown as numbers above the foe.
Along with battling, the game also has a lot of platforming aspects to it, which is unconventional to an MMORPG.
There are three factions in the game that players must choose from at the beginning of their journey. These factions work in collaboration together, meaning that they do not war against each other. The only difference between them are the available classes, storyline quests, level caps, faction-specific equipment, and faction-specific titles.
In the beginning of the game, if a player chooses to become an Explorer, they start off as "Beginners" a class that holds no particularly special abilities or skills. When characters reach level 10 (8 for Magicians), they can choose a class to progress in: Warrior, Magician, Pirate, Bowman or Thief. Each of the classes have 4 advancements of class progression relative to their previous class (a Magician can become an Ice/Lightning Wizard, Fire/Poison Wizard or Cleric at level 30, and so on for 3 further advancements). The level cap for any character is 200.
"Beginner" is the first class that all Players start off as. When MapleStory was first created, this class and had no skills whatsoever. Ever since, Skills have been progressively added to Beginners. It is from this class that players progress into the more advanced jobs, such as Magicians, Warriors, Archers, Thieves, or Pirates. Certain players choose to remain in this class and not advancing, effectively becoming a powerful "Beginner".
You start off with these basic abilities.
- Three Snails : Throws a snail shell to inflict a set amount of damage.
- Recovery : Uses MP to recover HP over a certain period of time.
- Nimble Feet : Uses MP to provide a very short burst of speed.
Magicians focus on a Luck and Intelligence stats. They have low HP, physical defense and physical attack, but they have high
MP magic attack and magic defense. Obviously, they use magic to inflict damage.
Second Job advancement, Level 30
- Ice/Lightning Wizard
- Fire/Poison Wizard
Third Job Advancement, Level 70
- Ice/Lightning Mage
- Fire/Poison Mage
Fourth Job Advancement, Level 120
- Ice/Lightning Arch Mage
- Fire/Poison Arch Mage
Warriors focus on melee attacks and brute force. Comparing to the other Explorer classes, they have the strongest melee attacks. They have the highest HP and defense. The most basic of classes to use.
Second Job Advancement, Level 30
Third Job Advancement, Level 70
- White Knight
- Dragon Knight
Fourth Job Advancement, Level 120
Archers use a bow and a variety of different arrows to take down their foes. They attack from long range and have moderate HP. Archers are able to melee monsters that get too close to them, with the chance of sweeping the monster away to a more archery-efficient distance. Archers can either be crossbowmen, or bowmen and they either use bolts or arrows respectively.
Second Job Advancement, Level 30
Third Job Advancement, Level 70
Fourth Job Advancement, Level 120
The thief can use ranged attacks (throwing stars) or melee attacks (dagger). There are not enough skill points to max out both ranged and melee skills, so the player must initially consider whether they want to be a Bandit (melee) or an Assassin (ranged). They will then officially gain these titles at the second job advancement.
Second Job Advancement, Level 30
Third Job Advancement, Level 70
Fourth Job Advancement, Level 120
Dual blades are a third job for the thief. It uses a new weapon type called Dual Blades, and are based around a "glass cannon" type build, being really powerful, but also carrying low health. Additionally, despite being thieves and also adventurers, they will have to be created as a completely different character, similar to Legends and Cygnus Knights. They also carry a unique story, following the origins of the thief lord, Jin, and will have their own exclusive missions. Additionally, they will have six job advancements, instead of four, they are as follows.
Second Job Advancement, Level 20
Third Job Advancement, Level 30
Fourth Job Advancement, Level 55
The newest available adventurer job class available to MapleGlobal users is the Pirate. Depending upon which skill path/weapon path the player chooses, the player can go to become either a Gunslinger (ranged/pistols) or a Brawler (melee/gloves).
Second Job Advancement, Level 30
Third Job Advancement, Level 70
Fourth Job Advancement, Level 120
The Cygnus knights are an order created by an Empress by the name of Cygnus to defeat the Black Mage. These characters start off as "Noblesse", an equivalent to the "Beginner" class. A Cygnus knight only have 3 job advancements, compared to the Adventurer's (Magician, Warrior...) 4. Therefore, the Cygnus Kinghts maximum level is 120 instead of 200. The second job advancement for any Cygnus knight is at level 30, while the second is at level 70.
A Noblesse is more or less the same as a beginner. It has all of the same basic skills and they gain a job advancement at level 10.
The Dawn Warrior is fairly similar to the usual Warrior class. However, like all Cygnus Knights, they have more powerful skills, along with the ability to summon a fairy to fight beside them. They use melee attacks and high HP in order to engage monsters in combat.
A Night Walker uses much the same skills as a Bandit. They use high Luck, along with poison skills in order to quickly kill their prey. Their primary weapons are claws, which they use in melee, relying on fast attacks.
The Wind Archer is fairly similar to the usual Bowman class. However, like all Cygnus Knights, they have more powerful skills, along with the ability to summon a fairy to fight beside them. They use ranged attacks and high DEX in order to engage monsters in combat. Wind Archers are able to use both bows and crossbows, depending on the preference.
The Blaze Wizard is fairly similar to the usual Fire Wizardclass. However, like all Cygnus Knights, they have more powerful skills, along with the ability to summon a fairy to fight beside them. They use m agic attacks and high MP in order to engage monsters in combat. They get their skills much earlier than the Explorer class, giving them a distinct advantage. The Blaze Wizard class master is named Oz, who is found with the rest of the class masters.
The Thunder Breaker is fairly similar to the usual Brawler (pirate) class. However, like all Cygnus Knights, they have more powerful skills, along with the ability to summon a fairy to fight beside them. They use melee attacks and electric attacks in order to engage monsters in combat. The Thunder Breaker class master is named Hawkeye, who is found with the rest of the class masters.
When a Cygnus Knight reaches level 120 and finishes the main story missions of the game, they are given the option of creating a new Ultimate Adventurer. These are special explorer classes who start at level 50 and get special "Empress" equipment and the unique title of <Player Name's Successor>. These Explorers, unlike their Cygnus counterparts, can reach level 200. Their special skills are class specific, as well as one skill which all Ultimate Adventurers receive which allows them to wear equipment with a requirement of up to 10 levels above them.
There are two hero classes in MapleStory. They are the Aran and Evan. They both have a maximum level of 200, they do not have any job changes like Adventurers or Cygnus Knights, and they are generally more powerful than their non-hero counterparts. However, they can be more difficult to play and some players find that they require more in-game money for potions and the like.
Aran is an ancient warrior that had fought the Black Mage a long long time ago. The Black Mage had frozen Aran into a block of ice and taken his memory. The player starts off with a short tutorial where their character is already level 200 with full gear. After this, Aran wakes upon an island where he is dug out of the ice, and as the Aran levels, he regains his memory and abilities. The Aran solely uses polearms and combos to fight. As his combo increases, his attacks gain more power, and he can use more devastating abilities. Though polearms are usually slow, Arans can use them quicker than other classes through a consecutive chain of attacks.
Evan is a pig farmer who stumbles across a dragon egg. The dragon inside bonds to him for life and they embark to do good in the world of MapleStory. Story-wise, all of the skills of the Evan act through the dragon, though it is only the character that takes damage. As the player reaches every ten levels, the dragon increases in size, and its attacks get stronger. The Evan is a magic class. It can use a number of elemental spells, including fire, ice, and lightening. As a magic class, Evans equip wands or staffs, and use high INT and LUK.
The Resistence is a fourth "set" of classes, comprised of the Wild Hunter, Battle Mage, and Mechanic, making the total amount of sets to four (Explorers, Cygnus Knights, Legends, and now Resistance,) and the total amount of classes to 15. They function like Cygnus and Explorers, in which everyone begins in Edelstein, their main city, and can select three class options from there. They, however, take from Cygnus and Legends in the fact that they do have story specific missions.
Their tale follows the city of Edelstein. Once a great city of splendor, it profited off its massive Leben mine which housed a massive supply of rare jewels. However, when the Black Wing movement began, they realized they needed a city to be their base of operations and to fun them with the money needed to conduct their operations. And so, they attacked Edelstein, and so, the era of the black wing occupation began. During this time, the great town of Edelstein lost touch with the greater Maple World and was forgotten by all but a few. However, Edelstein's fate is not sealed, for as the Maple World fights the Black Wings in Victoria Island and Ossyria, a Resistance is growing. This Resistance has made it's own weaponry, has learned its own skills, and will not stop until Edelstein is liberated.
Wild Hunters file under Archers, however, are completely unique in their own right. They have a panther mount which the begin starting from the first job advancement, a lot earlier then any of the other classes. They also are the only class that can fire from their mount, making them even more unique. They use a combination of crossbows and hit and run to inflict tons of damage. The Wild Archer literally has no support powers whatsoever, it's all focused on pure attack power.
The Battle Mage follows the opposite role of the Wild Hunter. As his name suggests, he files under Wizards. He is best described as a support class, much like the priest, but without the heal ability. This is due to the fact that almost all of his powers are buffs, such as Dark Aura, which increases damage dealt for the entire party, and blue aura, which distributes the damage received among the party members. He also has his own attacks, which are a strange mix of melee and magic, attacking with a staff, but only at close range.
Mechanics file under pirates and are possibly the most interesting class to ever come to Maplestory. Like Wild Hunters, they can fire while on a mount, but that's where the similarities end. They control a massive steam-punk enspired "prototype" battle suit, armed with a built-in machine gun, flamethrower, and multiple other weapons. Their attacks are mostly for mobbing, and are actually very good at it. The Machine gun fires multiple rounds (but remarkably, actually doesn't require any bullets like the gunner does) and the flamethrower toasts anyone caught in it's short range fire, they can also release mini-bots. Their disadvantages come at their fragility, they don't have too much HP, and they are also pretty slow to move.
Professions are a replacement for the maker skill, and offer more in-depth equipment and item customization and refinement. There are three crafting jobs: Jeweler, Alchemist, and Smith, as well as two collection professions: Herb Collector
and Miner. Professions can be leveled up by crafting, mining, or herb collecting. The later two gain fatigue, which, if maxed out, will prevent a Mapler from mining or herb collection. Additionally, you must learn a collection profession before a crafting
profession, for both are necessary for their respective jobs. You must learn mining before Blacksmithing and Jeweling, for they require ores that only Miners can obtain, and you must learn Herb Collecting before Alchemy, which requires herbs only Herb Collector's can acquire. One character can learn only one crafting and one collecting profession.
Jewelers are the masters of making accessories, this includes simple things such as rings and necklaces, as well as more intricite accessories such as shoulder pads. Jewelers' equips can become very powerful, with some even giving 6 all stat boosts, a rarity before their introduction, and will certainly make them powerful marketplace contenders. Jewelers use ores, which can only be collected by Miners, thus mining is a prerequisite for Jeweling.
Blacksmiths can create armor, pants, and weapons. Their equipment is unmatched and revered throughout the Maple World, creating weapons that most Maplers only dream of. They have the potential of being some of the most directly powerful Maplers, using complex weapons with higher then average damage rates. They can also create androids, who look like real players and have a real voice. Smiths use ores, which can only be collected by miners, thus mining is a prerequisite for Smithing.
Alchemists can create powerful pots and charms to give temporary but powerful boosts to their user. They create strange pots that range from simple buffs to Giant Potions, which make your Mapler grow huge and give them the ability to literally stomp on their enemies. Alchemists can also disassemble items. Alchemists use herbs, which can only be collected by Herb Collectors, thus herb collecting is a prerequisite for Alchemy.
There are a large variety of unique monsters in MapleStory. As a rule, the more harmless monsters reside nearer to the towns, whereas the more lethal foes lurk deep in dungeons. They tend to vary greatly: some are huge, some are small; some are cutesy and some are ugly or fearsome. New high level monsters are being introduced constantly, due to players becoming higher and higher in level.
Quests can be started by talking to various NPCs. Most quests have certain level and fame requirements, and some require a prerequisite quest to be completed. There are over 600 available quests in MapleStory. The majority of quests require you to defeat certain foes and collect the things that they drop, though some are more like puzzles.
There are also "Jump quests", where the player starts at one end of a map and need to time their jumps and avoid obstacles and enemies that can throw them off of a platform to reach an end point. Some Jump Quests have time limits, so you will have to hurry.
Not to be excluded are various "Party Quests" which require you to find or form a party with the specified members. After attaining the members (Most require a minimum of 3 in each party) you go to the designated NPC to begin the party quest. Only one PQ of each type may be going on for one channel. So players are encouraged to rush because they have a time limit. Or they can bypass the wait in line by seeking out another channel on which to play. Special gear and equipment is awarded to those who complete these PQs numerous times.
The World, or the Maple World as its commonly referred to, houses two large continents, Ossyria and Masteria, and four known islands, Maple Island, Victoria Island, Ereve, and Rien. Each continent/island has towns or cities in them that vary greatly from each other.
This is where players start playing. It serves as a tutorial and features very low level monsters and short tutorial quests to teach players the basics of the game. Once a player leaves the island, they can never return to it.
Amherst: Amherst is the first town new players encounter in Maple Island if they choose to play as adventurers. Amherst features a basic shop and a few quests.
South Perry: South Perry is primarily the gateway to the rest of the Maple World. For the relatively low fee of 500 mesos, a beginner can advance onwards to Victoria Island. This is considered a big point in an adventure, because as soon as you get to Victoria, you can never return to Maple Island, and it also signifies the time to make a new job advancement and no longer be a beginner.
This is where players will go when they leave Maple Island. This is also where Adventurers pick a job to follow through with. It features 8 main locations: Lith Harbor, Henesys, Ellinia, Perion, Kerning City, Nautilus Harbor, Sleepywood and Florina Beach. All of these locations have their own quests, shops and monsters.
Lith Harbor: Lith Harbor is where beginners first arive in from Maple Island. It's a harbor with shops and many sailors. Additionally, it has a special significance for Arans, as it houses a boat to Rien and the information shop, where Arans will get most of their missions until level 60. It is also houses a connection to Florina Beach.
Henesys: Henesys is the friendly mushroom themed town for Archers to make a job advancement. However, it is commonly found as an area for most Maplers to hang out, and, aside from the Free Market, has the thickest population density. It also houses the portal to the Mushroom Castle, a themed dungeon.
Ellinia: Ellinia is a town found deep in the forest, built on the tree tops and housed mostly by fairies and wizards. This is where Wizards make their job advancement. It's also the location of the boats to Ereve and Orbis, and so, is the only actual permanent route between Victoria Island and Ossyria.
Perion: Perion is a high, dry, mountain with ancient tribal significance. There is a native tribe here, as well as a large excavation site to the west which houses the only Guild Party Quest and the ruins of the Sherenian Civlization. It is also where Warriors make their job advancement.
Kerning City: Kerning City is a very urban, modern day, city full of thieves and underground societies. It houses a very large subway system that is the only connection between anywhere in the Maple World and Masteria (through a subway that goes to New Leaf City,) and a route to Kerning Square Mall, a popular shopping center.
Nautilus Harbor: On the opposite side of the island that Lith Harbor is on, is Nautilus Harbor. This is where Pirates make their job advancement. This harbor houses the massive submarine, the Nautilus. The ship houses many pirates that have a deep history with battling the Black Mage. Additionally, it has a portal directly leading to the Omega Sector, however, it is difficult to get the teleport cards needed to use it.
Sleepywood: The "heart" of Victoria Island, it is also the most dangerous part of it. Most of all towns/cities in Victoria have some sort of link to Sleepywood. It's a town of people trying to achieve spiritual harmony. It's also the entrance to the Sleepywood dungeon, home of the undead, dragons, and the Jr. Balrog, the toughest boss on Victoria, and certain death until you reach level 80 or higher. It is also where Francis the puppeteer houses his hideout.
Florina Beach: A relaxing vacation area off the shore of Victoria Island, it's an Island all of its own. The locals like to hula dance and there is a local crab infestation lately. Other than that, it's a very nice place for Maplers who just want to get away from it all.
Composed of seven different regions: El Nath Mountains, Ludus Lake, Aqua Road, Minar Forest, Mu Lung Garden, Nihal Desert, and the Temple of Time.
Orbis: The first taste of Ossyria new Maplers will get, and the hub of all of Ossyria. It’s a town built on the clouds, inhabited by fairies and some humans. It’s main attraction is Orbis station, the largest station in the Maple World, carrying ships from everywhere one can think of. It also houses the Guild HQ, and the top of Orbis Tower.
El Nath: A tough, cold, town established at the bottom of Orbis tower. It's an outpost surrounded by the harsh creatures of the tough tundra that surrounds it. Yeti's are a common sight, as well as wolves. Also, if you head deep into the tundran wilderness, you will encounter the dead mine, home of the well feared Zakum, a being who has killed many and always receives challenges from brave adventurers.
Aquarium: An underwater city populated by those who love the sea. It's surrounded by many fish, and you may even find the entrance to the deep, one of the toughest areas in the game, and the residence of Pianus, a giant fish that's both lonely, hungry, and hostile. Aquarium also houses the dolphin taxi, and their famous underwater zoo.
Ludibrium Castle: Possibly the largest town in the game, it's a massive land made out of and for toys. It's suspended over Ludus Lake, being held up by the massive Eos and Helios Towers. The government is apparently a monarchy, but the king is never seen. Additionally, it houses the world's largest toy factory, which as you go down, goes from happy toys to twisted monsters. Recently, there has been a crack of dimensions, which has caused Ludibrium to change for the worse, this can be attributed to Papaltus, a time traveller from another dimension that's destroying the world which has driven him insane. Helios Tower also houses a time machine.
Omega Sector: A military base designed to protect the Maple World from the incoming alien invasion, it's strategically placed at the bottom of Eos tower. It's mostly populated by scientists, soldiers, agents, and other government workers. It features state of the art equipment, a research station, and military stockpile of weapons. To the right of the land is Boswell field and Kulan field, both inhabited by different aliens. Boswell field houses the Mateons, octopus aliens which use lasers, and Kulan field houses the Greys, big eyed aliens that use their mind to attack. Both want to take down the Omega sector and eventually, the human race.
Korean Folk Town: A land behind the times, for better or worse. It's the heart of Korean culture, located at the bottom of Helios Tower, it hosts many characters from Korean Folk Tales, such as the brothers who became the moon and the sun, and Mr. Shim, the blind man who would do anything for his daughter. To the left of this town is Black mountain, which houses the moon bunnies, foxes, and other Korean mythological creatures.
Ariant: A desert town located in the middle of the Nihal Desert, it's built around the majestic palace. The area surrounding it, however, is quite poor. This is because of the harassment of a mineral known as Lidium, which is very common in the desert. The economy is built around this, with traders buying and selling the Lidium, which is quite rare elsewhere, for a profit. However, recently, the Sultan has fell sick and his wife, the Queen, has started hording the money for herself, imposing harsh taxes and using the money for her luxuries. This hasn't went unnoticed, for an underground society, known as the Sand Bandits, has formed to oppose the queen and bring freedom to all.
Magatia: A medieval town that seems as if it was taken right out of the darkest periods of the dark ages. Magatia is the world's center for research on Alchemy, and is the base of a scientific revolution. However, because of that, there has been a great fissure between the people, creating two societies with different philosophies. The Alcadno are a group of progressive thinkers who want to embrace new technologies and combine it with alchemy to achieve what wasn't possible before, however, this has come with some horrific consequences to some, but great progress in other areas. The Zenumists, on the other hand, want nothing to do with new technologies, and want Alchemy to remain at its purest form, without modern day intervention. This has caused great hostility between the two, which is a shame, because two lovers, Romeo and Juliet, are from the different societies. However, they are forbidden to even look at each other, and there is a Party Quest revolving around such.
Mu Lung: A cultural Asian area based on the splendor of old China and Japan. It's mainly inhabited by Panda's, who are all constantly training to become the best fighters around, as well as practising calligraphy and finding their inner spiritual selves. This area features a stork which can lead you directly to Herb Town, and a training area to hone your skills, additionally, it houses the Mu Long dojo, a boss run for those who want a real challenge.
Herb Town: Herb Town is the other side of Asian culture, the simple life. It also is populated by Panda's, who specialize in gardening and planting/harvesting their famous Bellflower. However, recently, there has been a string of pirate attacks on the land, and the people have been waiting for someone who can stop the pirates once and for all. There is a party quest where you board Lord Pirate's ship and personally take care of him.
Leafre: The second toughest are in this game, if you're not level 70, you have no business here. It's got an egg theme, with a tribe of strange creatures ruled by Cheif Tatamo. It's based right in the middle of the Minar Forrest, which contains the highest density of Dragons in any single area in the game, as well as other powerful monsters. Deep in the Minar Forrest you'll reach Dragon Cannion, and after that, the Cave of Life, which houses the infamous Horn Tail, a three headed dragon monstrosity who must be destroyed at all costs, but is also one of the hardest bosses in the game.
Neo City: Accessible from a portal in the Tera Forrest, this is an area based on what all futures dread to be. Robots have turned hostile towards the futuristic Neo City, and are terrorizing the people, making them suffer. It's the most difficult themed dungeon aside from the Temple of Time, which most don't consider a dungeon anyways. In JapanMS, it's known as Neo Tokyo, and is significantly tougher in almost all aspects, but is also more rewarding.
Temple of Time: The single most difficult area in the game, this is the endgame for all Maplers. Accessible by transformation into a draco, this place is as tough as it gets. It's inhabited by strange monks who don't show their face, and are hostile. This temple is dedicated to the Goddess of Time, and houses the past, present, and future. To get to the end, you must go through three paths, the path of remembrance, the path of regret, and the path to Oblivion. The boss at the end of this dungeon is none other then the furious Pink Bean, a being from another dimension who is powerful enough to resurrect dead gods, and is the by product of a failed attempt to resurrect the Black Mage.
Masteria is a new continent that's arisen from the sea. It's history seems to have been wiped out, with all traces of the people who lived there before none existent. Instead, we have a new city, a mansions, and a mysterious castle. Masteria takes its name from the warriors who come there to master their abilities.There are only three regions in this new continent: New Leaf City, the Prendergast Mansion and Crimsonwood Keep.
New Leaf City: A town that takes it's name as the basis of its reasoning, this is where anyone who wants to start a new life comes. There is much to do here, as mayor Icebyrd Slim explains, and much to see. Here you'll encounter people from all over the maple world, including a scientist from the future, a former Amorian prince, and a trans-dimensional traveler from the world of Versal. This place has giant structures such as a Statue of Liberty with a mushroom head, Mount Rushmore with character classes as the heads instead of the presidents, Big Ben, an Eiffel tower type structure, and a yeti sphinx. It's bordered by the Krakian jungle, which is rumored to harbor the lost city of Krakia.The creepiest and most confusing area in Maplestory, located in the phantom forest. This place is the former residence of the Prendergast family, and the base of the Prendergast toy company. However, all went to ruin when the boss's father, Sophilia, died. This drove him mad, and he made hundreds of dolls that are based off of her. However, his pain brought them to life, and now they terrorize whoever that dares enter the mansion. An old fortress in the Phantom forest, it was once ruled by the four Grandmasters, who represented the archers, warriors, wizards, and theives. However, it has since become the residence of the Twisted Masters, and an important base of operations for Narcain, the Black Mage's disciple, and the Black Wings. It's also the house of the Party Quest which deals with this story.
The Prendregest Mansions:
There is only one current time period, The Elin forrest, accessable from the time machine at the top of Helios tower. It is unknown whether new areas are coming or not.
This is the origins of settled life on Victoria Island, the Ellin Forrest, the location of modern day Ellinia. Right now, it's just a bunch of settlers that have fled the Black Mage's rule over Ossyria, trying to make a life among a new world with great prehistoric beasts. In here, Maplers will find giant snails and mushrooms, a product of uninterrupted life for ages. You can also find a Party Quest here dealing with a mysterious figure poisoning the forest.
These are special areas, as of right now, two islands, made for Arans and Cygnus Knights, Ereve for Cygnus Knights, Rien for Arans.
Ereb: A floating kingdom that's constantly moving around the Maple World historically, but has kept in place recently. It's ruled by the Empress Cygnus, and protected by her magestic horse, Shinzoo.
Recently, with reports of the Black Mage coming around, the young Empress, Cygnus, has requested the formation of the Cygnus Knights to stop the Black Wings before they can successfully resurrect the Black Mage. This area has a ship to Ellinia and Ossyria.
Rien: Once the battleground of the final battle between the five heroes and the Black Mage, this land became ice when the Black Mage froze the heroes. This is the starting area for Arans, and features the cave of Mirrors and other attractions. It has a ship to Lith Harbor.
Players can purchase items that have a limited in-game use or that serve solely for an aesthetic purpose with real money in the Cash shop. These items are mostly temporary. Nexon gains approximately 30 million dollars in revenue, each year, via the sales of these virtual goods. According to Nexon, only 20% of players actually use the cash shop, but that gives them 80% of their revenue.
This is arguably the area in which Maplestory pioneered the most. It is the basis of Nexon's business model with Maplestory, and when it originally came out, was the first of its kind. Before Maplestory and its Cash Shop model, the idea of a free to play game was virtually unheard of, due to the fact that there wouldn't be a way to make money. However, Nexon changed this, and now, Free 2 Play is a common business model around the internet, especially with smaller, less known, games or games that are built towards a more casual audience.
Although most Maplers will play Maplestory and find themselves not in need of extra clothes, although many do, the main draw of the cash shop comes from the game changing things that the Cash Shop sells. Most high level players lose their care for appearance, but they still can't resist the 2x exp cards, which double the speed of Maplestory's awefully slow leveling system. Additionally, players can buy Gachapon tickets which more often then not provide items that are very hard or impossible to get regularly, and sell for very high prices. And so, most players aren't forced to buy Cash Shop items physically, but passively.
In almost every town there is a portal to the single most important area for Maplestory's economy, the Free Market. Free Market is typically the most densely populated area in any server. It's main use is buying and selling items, either manually or by setting up shop. Manual selling is usually done infront of the gates to the shop area, and is for person to person selling of goods through the built in trade system. Typically, goods are sold for very high prices, for example, a Glove Attack Scroll with a 60% success rate will sell for 6 million mesos. Compared to the NPC shops in the game, 6 million is a lot, however, because 6 million is common among players, you'll find mass inflation.
Inflation is actually a set system built into each server. As the number of mesos collected increases, of which there is an infinite amount due to monsters dropping them, the server actually adjusts NPC shop prices accordingly. And so, a potion in Kradia, a less populated server, will be more expensive in an NPC shop in Bera, one of the more populated servers. This is also to pair up with the fact that prices are almost never staying the same. Because so many mesos are being accumulated so quickly, the prices of in game items increases dramatically over the years, and the value of rare items becomes very expensive, but at the same time, the value of less rare items becomes less expensive. For example, Zakum helmets, which are acquired after killing Zakum, were a lot more expensive when they were first released and only a few Maplers were high enough leveled to aquire and sell them. However, as time went on, and more Maplers came, and more Maplers reached higher levels, Zakum helmets became more common, and were no longer oh so highly expensive, because people begin to try to compete with each other, because the number of potential buyers decrease.
An example of this can be observed if two Maplers stand near each other selling the same thing, in this case, an Attack Scroll for 60%. Both Maplers sell it for 7 million, however, as they become conscious of each other, one of them lowers it to 6.5 million. The other person replies by lowering it to 6 million, and on and on they go until the price is 5 million. And so, what we find is that a 7 million meso item has become a 5 million meso item. However, if it was just one Mapler selling it without competition, the item would seem more rare, and the Mapler wouldn't sense competition. Basically, the more options of sellers, the less expensive an item will be.
The Maplestory lore wasn't originally always as in depth as it is right now. Only recently with the Cygnus Knights did the Wizet team actually deeply consider and start writing the lore of Maplestory. Even now, data is scarce, because collecting the full stories of every character and all they have to say involves leveling up to level 200, in order to complete every quest, and that's just simply a difficult task to do, and not many are willing to do it. Additionally, Nexon itself doesn't often help with this, often taking up contradictory claims in earlier stories. However, there is still a stable lore that newer characters all tend to follow, and it involves many characters and stories.
Pre-Maple: The Black Mage
Ages before the events of Maplestory, the Black Mage had lead a brutal conquest of the lands. The once peaceful lands of Ossyria had been ravaged, with not many areas left that they could run to. It's not known exactly where the last humans were, it's probably around the Dragon Canyon as that's the music that plays during the Aran intro. Either way, the people of Ossyria took a boat to Victoria Island, at a desperate bid to escape. However, five heroes stood and fought the Black Mage. They were the masters of their class, and all were legendary in ability, and all stood together to fight him. Among them were Aran, warrior of the pole arm, Freed, the mage dragonmaster who fought with his dragon, Afrien, and three other heroes representing the bowman, theif, and pirate (they are possibly upcoming classes.) They fought hard, but the Black Mage fought harder, and managed to kill Afrien. Afrien, in his dying breathes, lay an egg, and Freed took the egg and hid it in an unknown location, as the four remaining heroes fought the Black Mage. They were successfull, but as a last act of vengeance, the Black Mage cast a spell and froze the four heroes. Freed eventually returned, finding the Black Mage killed and his friends frozen.
The human settlers eventually found Victoria Island, and began a settlement in the Ellin forest. Eventually, the original humans founded towns, started by the representatives of their classes that had come to make sure their arts are not forgotten. The thief representative founded Kerning City, Athena Pierce, which, as an elf, has lived for hundreds of years, founded Henysys, the warrior representative founded Perion, Grendal, the leader of the mages, stayed in the Ellin Forrest and founded Ellinia. Eventually, pirates aboard the Nautilus eventually also docked in Nautilus Harbor. The remaining humans in Ossyria, however, seeing as the Black Mage had been killed, began re-building their lives. The heroes became legends, and time continued as it always had.
Current Maple: The Black Mage Returns
This actually will have to be explained through the different characters/societies in the story.
The Cygnus Knights
For ages the land of Ereb was charged with providing the defense force for the Maple World, especially against the Black Mage. For years, they have been stagnant, waiting for any news. And one day, it finally came, when the Empress Cygnus sensed the Black Mage's presence and announced it to the people. She ordered a new army to be created of the most elite people in the Maple World, she called them the Cygnus Knights. The Cygnus Knights were trained hard to become the masters of their arts, among them were the Thunder Breakers, Dawn Warriors, Blaze Wizards, Wind Archers, and Night Walkers. They used their skills to detect the Black Wings, and with the empress's orders, to attack and destroy them, one by one.
The Black Wings
The Black Wings are a society of people that are aimed with ressurecting the Black Mage so they can once again destroy the Maple World. They use the dark arts of the world to covertly and not so covertly wreak havoc among the people. They are the ones to blame for the recent agressiveness of monsters around the Maple World, and they maintain many secret hideouts for their members in the world. They have many members, all with special skills, such as Francis the Puppeteer, who casts black magic on dolls and puppets to make monsters more agressive, and more powerful. Arans, Evans, and Cygnus knights are all about taking these guys out.
Aran was one of the brave heroes who stood behind and fought the Black Mage. Once a really powerful warrior, he was frozen by the Black Mage before his defeat. Years later, on the island of Rien, he has been discovered. Apparently, for ages a tribe of people have waited for the Legends to return when the time is right, a girl, Lilin, was the biggest believer of such, and when her tribe finally left Rien, she remained. Now that Aran has finally come, she has become his guide to all that has happened since he was iced. To make matters worse, Aran has forgotten who exactly he is, and it's through Lilin that he remembers the hero he once was, and the skills he once knew. He also has help from the Info Shop in Lith Harbor, where he works as an informant, and looks for the Black Wings so he can take them out.
Evan was once an honest farm boy who one day had a strange dream in which he met a dragon, and unknowingly created a spirit pact with it. When he woke up, he found a young piglet running into the woods, and his dad asked him to chase it. When he followed it, he found himself face to face with an egg, and after hatching it, found a dragon named Mir. It turned out, Mir was Afrien's son, and since he had made a spirit pact with Evan, Evan was now the new Dragon Master. Evan used this new knowledge to become the best he can be so he can be legendary in his own right.
Years ago in Kerning City, before current Dark Lord (leader of the thieves) became who he was, his name was Jin. Back then, the Dark Lord had two great disciples, Jin, and his own daughter, Syl. Both trained hard, and eventually fell in love with each other. However, only one of them could become the next Dark Lord. And tensions grew as they began to fully realize this. At this time, Balrog had arisen and began terrorizing Victoria Island. The Dark Lord was asked by his friend, Tristan, to help him fight Balrog. However, when The Dark Lord arrived, Tristan wasn't anywhere to be found, and when he tracked down Balrog, he fought him with all his heart. However, he lost his guard for one split second, and Balrog hit him, possessing him with his dark spirit, and The Dark Lord became a monster, and began attacking Kerning City. Jin tried to talk to the monster, but it refused to listen to him, it had forgotten who it once was, and Jin was left with no choice but to kill The Dark Lord, knowing full well that it was the right thing to do, and it's what the Dark Lord would've wanted him to do. And he carried his dead master back to Kerning for a proper burial. However, when Syl saw this, she became enraged at Jin, for it was his duty to protect her father, not kill him. And over time, she began to think that Jin had purposely orchrestrated her father's death so he can become the new Dark Lord.
Knowing nothing but hatred, she began the society of the Duel Blades. Jin knew that Syl wasn't going to accept his explanation, and it was true, Syl didn't. The society of the Duel Blades grew stronger, and fought the Dark Lord Jin to avenge the former Dark Lord. Kerning City became a battleground between two secret forces, between the Dark Lord and the Duel Blades. Lady Syl was intent on killing the new Dark Lord, no matter how many times Jin pleaded to her that she was just wasting blood on what shouldn't be. As the society of Duel Blades grows larger, Jin knows that they're about to make their move. And one thing is for sure, if the two forces finally clash, despite Jin's efforts, only one of the Old Dark Lord's disciples will walk out alive.
Back in the old days, Edenstein was a peaceful society based off of a mine nearby and a thriving economy. The people were happy, and the people didn't expect that their entire lives were about to change. However, as the story goes, the Black Wings needed a new base of operations, and in one sweep, they invaded Edenstein and took it over. Edenstein became shadowed, only a few people now know its actual location, as the Black Wings rule the land with an iron fist. But the people of Edenstein won't just let the Black Wings rule them, and eventually, the world. Instead, they formed an underground resistance. Now they're citizens in the morning, but fighters in the night, as they try to take back what is rightfully theirs.