Improvements are necessary for the longevity of any MMORPG and MapleStorySEA is no different. Changes to the game to enhance playability have progressively been made since launch.
In the 14-odd years that MapleStorySEA has been operating in Singapore, thousands of such updates – small and large – have been implemented into the 2D MMORPG.
Discussing all of them here would be a task even the Black Mage would balk at, so we’ll look at just 14 improvements that have come to MapleStorySEA:
1. Meso Market
Implementing the Meso Market turned the in-game economy from game driven to player driven. Following the ebb and flow of real world market supply and demand levels allowed currency rates to be player determined instead.
2. Auction House
Originally, the Free Market was the de facto way in which players bought and traded with each other. Its removal and subsequent replacement with the Auction House eased the process by standardizing the tax structure of buying and selling items. It also removed players’ need to spend cash to purchase cash stall items.
3. Cash Trade
The Cash Trade feature allowed diversification in the game economy through Cash Decorative items trading. This in turn reduced attempts for Real Monetary Transactions (RMT).
4. Meso limit
Increasing the Meso limit per character allowed trading of higher value items. This had the added consequence of reducing RMT.
5. Inventory slot upgrade
Inventory management become troublesome as the game grew. Players often had to return to town to offload their items.
When the inventory slot limit was increased to a whopping 128, players could remain in the world longer and hold more loot before needing to return to a safe place. While a small change, it was nevertheless a meaningful one.
6. Maple Union
Overhauling the Part-Time job system into the new Maple Union enabled players to have faster character growth across the same MapleID.
While relatively small and innocuous, the note feature allowed players to write and send a short message to another player when they’re not online.
Back before chat and messenger apps, players could use the note feature to easily maintain contact with one another. Nowadays with WhatsApp, this feature is more of a novelty but it’s there if you need it.
8. Event list
The event list allowed players to keep track and stay updated with ongoing and upcoming events within the patch cycle. As there’s always something to do in MapleStorySEA, the event list is a useful feature for players who’d rather receive information within the game rather than from the website or social media.
As technology improves, it’s extremely important for older games to stay updated. The increased screen resolution allows for better visuals and accessibility to game content.
Now, certain boss fights that involve large image sprites and animation present a clearer image for players, enabling them to see more on a larger, modern monitor.
Cutscenes are a fantastic and effective way to deliver story-driven narratives. Plus, the allure of seeing the characters engage in some high fantasy combat sets the mood better than text ever could.
Previously the videos were stored and played on the local video file, which made the game client unwieldy. Utilizing YouTube as host for cutscenes allowed the game client size to be optimized and reduced.
11. Link Skill
Previously, players had to log into their various characters to link their skills. With the link skill update, this has all been consolidated into a single Link Skill management system which allows players to link and unlink their skills without needing to login to the specific character with the required skills.
12. Mileage Shop
Players averse to spending real money in the cash shop now have a way of acquiring currency in-game through the Mileage Shop.
By participating in daily boss events, players will earn mileage which they can accumulate and then spend on items in the cash shop without resorting to actual money.
While this is a slower way all around, its’ implementation was designed to ensure that free-to-play players can still purchase cash shop items provided they spend time in-game to accrue said mileage.
13. Offline login
It’s a curious thing for an MMO to have an invisible mode or offline login for the player to log in anonymously. But the merits of having one cannot be overstated so MapleStorySEA introduced the offline login for players who may wish at any point, to remain invisible in-game while they play without distractions.
14. Maple Guide
Gone are the days where the promise of exploring a new world was a USP. In a game’s maturity, it’s all about the endgame. The destination, rather than the journey is the allure.
Even new players, starved for time, want to indulge in all the game has to offer as quickly as possible to determine whether it’s a game worth sticking with.
The Maple Guide system was introduced to show new players where to go next and what to do without getting lost. This helps to prevent new players from quitting prematurely as they level up. The feature is also useful for returning players who need a little help to get their bearings.
Over its long and illustrious 13, coming to 14-years in Singapore, MapleStorySEA has had many quality of life improvements. More undoubtedly, will come in the following weeks, months and years.
New jobs, new skills, new areas, the game continues to grow in various ways. Content is king, MapleStorySEA has no lack of it.
2019 marks its 14-years in Southeast Asia so, here’s to 14 more years!