MapleStory Gameplay

MapleStory is a free-of-charge, 2D, side-scrolling massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by the South Korean company Wizet. Several versions of the game are available for specific countries or regions, and each is published by various companies such as Wizet and Nexon. Although playing the game is free, character appearances and gameplay enhancements can be purchased from the "Cash Shop" using real money. MapleStory has a combined total of over 50 million subscriber accounts in all of its versions.[3][4] MapleStory North America (Global), for players mainly in North America and outside of East Asia, Southeast Asia and Europe, has over three million players.[3]

In the game, players travel the "Maple World", defeating monsters and developing their character is skills and abilities as is typical in role-playing games. Players can interact with others in many ways, such as through chatting, trading, and playing minigames. Groups of players can band together in parties to hunt monsters and share the rewards. Players can also join a guild to interact more easily with each other.

Gameplay
Like most MMORPGs, gameplay centers on venturing into dungeons and combatting monsters in real-time. The players combat monsters and complete quests, in the process acquiring in-game currency called "Mesos", experience points (EXP), and various items. Players can kill monsters alone, or they can form a party with up to six total characters. Loot is shared based on relative damage and level of characters in the party, more being awarded to the higher-level members.

Maplestory is 2D scrolling viewpoint more closely resembles a platform game rather than the typical 3D environment or top-down perspective of other games, such as Guild Wars or Mu Online. The controls for the game are executed using the keyboard and mouse. The keyboard is used for many game functions, and much of it can be rearranged to suit user is needs. The mouse is mainly used to trigger non-player characters (NPCs) and manipulate items.

MapleStory characters exist in "worlds" or "servers." Players are allowed to create multiple characters in each world. Each world, similar in content between each other in the same version, is split into at most twenty channels, among which characters are allowed to freely switch.[5] The ability to transfer entire characters between worlds was added in December 2007 to GlobalMS. However, this feature has restrictions — transfer of mesos is limited to 1 million, and players cannot transfer to the newest world.


Characters
New players are sent to Maple Island, a floating island specifically designed to be beginner-friendly. Unlike in many other MMORPGs, players in MapleStory cannot choose a job when they create a character. Rather, every character starts with the "Beginner" job. When characters meet certain requirements, they can complete the first job advancement and become a Warrior, Magician, Bowman, Pirate, or a Thief. Further class progression is only allowed within the scope of the first class advancement chosen. There are four class advancements available progressingly through out the game.

In addition to combat statistics, characters have "Fame". Although publicized by the game is creators, fame serves little practical purpose besides fulfilling some quest and equipment requirements. Once characters reach level 15, they are able to raise or drop the fame of any other character once per day. A character cannot raise or drop the same character is fame more than once per month. The maximum amount of fame a character may receive is 30,000. A ranking feature, available in certain versions of MapleStory, keeps track of players that are performing well in total ranking, job ranking, world ranking and fame ranking. Rank information is available from the region website of the player and can also be found in-game.


Guilds
Players can form Guilds[6] with other players. Guild creation costs a certain amount of Mesos, depending on the version being played. Guild extensions and emblems, which have separate costs, are also available. The purpose of a guild is to be able to find and chat with others more easily, bond with other players, promote cooperation, and battle using teamwork. Members have their guild is name listed under their character name along with the guild is emblem, if applicable.


Quests
There are over a hundred available quests,[7] each with varying prerequisites; most quests may require the player to have attained a certain level or to have completed another certain quest.[7] Most available quests require the player to retrieve a certain amount of spoils attained from monsters or to traverse an obstacle course. Some quests can be repeated, although the reward(s) and given EXP may be different from those attained during their first completion.

Jump quests are a unique type of quest in which a character starts at one area of a map and uses timed jumps to get from one to another specific platform. Players attempt to avoid enemies and obstacles that can knock them off of the platforms. Skills and abilities that increase jumping distance or speed do not have any effect during these quests.


Economy
Items can be acquired from monster drops, purchased from other characters or shops, or obtained as rewards for completing a quest. These items are used for various purposes. Players are also able to trade items, but higher value transactions attract a virtual tax.

Since MapleStory is free, the developers introduced the Cash Shop to generate revenue. This is a virtual shop where players can buy items using real money, so called microtransactions.[8] Most Cash Shop items expire after a certain period of time. Pets, modeled after animals such as monkeys, dogs, cats, bunnies, pandas, and pigs, follow the owner around and can be equipped to pick up spoils dropped by enemies.[9]

The Free Market is a place set aside for people who wish to sell their items amongst other players. Miniature shops can be set up in this area, allowing people to browse their stock. Store permits, which are required to set up a shop, are only available through the Cash Shop. There are two types of store permits: a standard store, which requires the presence of the player, and the hired merchant which does not require the presence of the player but requires additional cash shop money to use this feature. The hired merchant store is only available in time periods of 24 hours, one week, or two weeks. Conversely, the standard store lasts ninety days but only works with the presence of the user. One can meet with players located in other towns, provided the town contains a Free Market entrance. However, one cannot use the Free Market to travel between towns.

Real money trading between players is prohibited in MapleStory, and results in a ban. This includes trading mesos (ingame currency) with NX Cash Items (items bought with real money).


World
There are four main continents common to all versions in the MapleStory world: Maple Island, Victoria Island, Ossyria and Masteria. Maple Island is where every new player begins the game. The beginner-friendly island features low leveled monsters and short tutorial quests to introduce players to different aspects of gameplay. Once a player leaves the island, they are unable to return to it. Victoria Island is where players arrive after leaving Maple Island. The island has eight cities, and is where Beginners will upgrade to their first class. Ossyria is currently divided into seven distinct regions with varying environments: El Nath Mountains, Ludus Lake, Aqua Road, Minar Forest, Mu Lung Garden, Nihal Desert, Temple of Time and Ereb. Masteria is a new continent that is believed to be off the coast of Victoria Island. There are only three towns on this continent: New Leaf City, the Prendergast Mansion and Crimsonwood Keep.[10]

 
The overall map of the Maple WorldWorld Tour regions can be reached by talking to Spinel the World Tour Guide, located in almost every town in Victoria and Ossyria. The World Tour consists of additional continents that are based on real life countries. There are currently four world tour continents: Zipangu, China, Formosa, and Siam.[11] The newest area is Singapore and Malaysia.[12]Currently, there are no regional maps for any of the world tour continents.


Minigames
Players can play various minigames, both solo and multi-player.

Omok is the Korean cognate of the Japanese game "Gomoku," akin to tic-tac-toe. To win, a player needs to place five pieces in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line.
Match Cards, also known as "Concentration," can be played with grids of 3x4, 4x5, and 5x6 cards. The facedown side of the cards contains images of various monsters, which players take turns matching.
 
A 5x6 Match Cards game.Pachinko is exclusive to the JapanMS and TaiwanMS versions. In order to play, the player must be in a Pachinko House and have pachinko balls purchased in the Cash Shop. Players try to get the pachinko balls into a mushroom hole below a slot. If the player obtains a certain amount of balls, he or she may win in-game prizes.
Gachapon is a vending machine, in which the player inserts a ticket bought from the Cash Shop and a random prize comes out.
Rock, Paper, Scissors is based on the actual game, in which one plays against an NPC.
Fishing King is currently available in TaiwanMS[13] and ThailandMS.[14] After the player completes a quest to obtain a diving suit, he or she is sent to a map to catch fish. The player may return to catch fish as many times as desired.
The Fishing System is currently available in all versions except KoreaMS, GlobalMS and EuropeMS. Players can buy fishing equipment from the Cash Shop and talk to an NPC in various towns to go fishing.

Marriage
Players may participate in in-game marriages at the town of Amoria (or Peach Blossom Island in the Chinese version of MapleStory). Guests may be invited to the wedding, and the marrying couple will receive wedding ring items. The wedding "ceremony" requires the completion of various quests. If a premium wedding ticket from the Cash Shop was purchased, the player is entitled to have a party after the ceremony. In Amoria Dungeon, players can fight exclusive monsters. The KoreaMS version of Amoria has been altered to remove the training grounds and the Chapel area, leaving only the Cathedral. MapleStory does not currently allow same-sex marriage.


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