This week we are planning to release our Strange Stories update, and in addition to the new and exciting Halloween content like Secret Stories, you’ll notice that this update contains a large amount of changes as part of our A Better Maple initiative. We’re excited to bring these changes to you and hope they make your experience in Maple World more enjoyable.
A Better Maple was started a few years ago as our way to hear directly from you what changes or improvements you’d like to see. We’ve been constantly gathering and analyzing every piece of feedback we get to determine the best way to address them, and the best time to introduce changes. Over the last few years, some of the changes we have made include: introducing the Maple Rewards system, making equipment enhancement with Spell Traces and Star Force easier, increasing the drop rates and rank up rates of cubes, removing gender restrictions when trading cash cover equipment, and adding the Owl of Minerva to in-game shops. This is simply a small handful of the quality-of-life changes we’ve made as part of this initiative and we intend to make more starting with this update.
Among the variety of changes we are introducing with the Strange Stories update, below are some of the ones we hope you’ll be excited about:
- Add the Reboot world Rest EXP system to all worlds
- Open an event to exchange old unused coins for coins that can be used in a future event
- Improve the latency issue when picking up multiple items
- Add Party Play zones to encourage players to group up for more EXP
- Add Class Emblems for additional classes such as Kanna, Hayato, Jett, and Beast Tamer
- Optimize the sound data and add a feature to stream in-game movies to reduce client size
- Introduce an option to adjust transparency of yours and other player’s skill effects
- Add a system to prevent Star Force enhancement destruction at certain Star levels
- Display skill cooldowns using numbers for better clarity
- Add the function to sell items to NPCs by right-clicking
- Display a notification message when the buyback items reset for NPC Shop
- Add a confirmation message when closing the game window or pressing ALT+F4
- Add a hotkey for turning Character Info window on/off
- Allow players to drop items during combat
- Allow players to summon pets while hanging on a rope and ladder
- Revive players to full HP/MP when using a Respawn Token/Pass
- Prevent megaphone and messenger images from appearing in some hunting maps and boss battles.
- Decrease the time it takes to open the Quest log
- Allow the option to keep an ability when using the Miracle Circulator
- Add an option to continue using Bonus Potential Cubes within the same window.
- Remove the need to have a key to open certain boxes like the Andersen’s Box
- Award additional rare rewards for characters that summon and deal the most damage to Elite monsters
- Provide additional Pill rewards to players who don’t make it to the 50th floor in Tower of Oz
- Bring back Wedding Ring effects when standing next to your spouse while wearing a wedding ring
- Remove Arrow and Keys from monster drops
- Add new chat channels to encourage communication for different topics
- Resolve various legacy issues that have persisted in the game
In addition to these system improvements we are making, some content changes are also being implemented to provide additional awards to our loyal players, and to make the content easier for newer players. You can find more information about these in our Patch Notes, however there are two specific ones we’d like to discuss more in-depth.
First, we are simplifying the wedding system by reducing the options down to simply one type. When looking at how to improve the system, the multitude of wedding options we had made it difficult for us to improve the experience equally. We not only wanted to improve the system, but we also wanted to make it easier for players to understand the whole wedding process. We started by removing the additional wedding tickets in September to prevent players from purchasing tickets for a system we were about to remove, and with this upcoming update we are revamping the wedding system entirely. With this change and the reintroduction of wedding ring effects, we hope our players find the wedding process much easier and more enjoyable.
Second, with the Strange Stories update this week we are planning to close down Star Planet. While we were initially excited about the introduction of Star Planet as an additional way for players to play mini-games with each other, the participation was not as high as we had hoped. When looking at the daily number of players who accessed Star Planet, we only saw less than 1% enter Star Planet from all worlds. We also know many of you expressed concern about losing an avenue to obtain reward points, so we looked into those concerns as well. We found that out of all the Maple Reward point rewards, less than 5% of them were obtained in Star Planet. This told us that players weren’t really accessing Star Planet as much as we hoped and that players were finding Maple Reward points from other sources much more efficient to obtain. We understand that closing Star Planet will eliminate an additional source of Maple Reward points, so we plan to increase the amount of Reward points awarded during events in the future.
In closing, we would just like to thank you all for taking the time to let us know your feedback and suggestions to improve the game. We are always listening to our players’ feedback even if we aren’t able to respond to all of it. These improvements are part of our ongoing initiative to improve the game and we intend to continue this for as long as the game is in service and as long as you keep telling us what you’d like to see. Stay tuned this year for even more changes to MapleStory as we continue to provide you with A Better Maple.
Dennis ‘SavageAce’ Bernardo
Production Manager – MapleStory