In the third of a series of insider articles, Dean D. Cho, Development Manager of MapleStory Europe at NEXON, discusses the deep, yet easy to use skill system of the hugely popular free to play MMORPG.
Friday 31st August/... If you want to get anywhere in the world of MapleStory Europe, you’re going to need show off your skills. It’s not enough for a‘Mapler’– that’s somebody who regularly plays MapleStory– to simply tool themselves up with decent weapons and armour in their quest for fame and fortune. To beat the toughest challenges that regularly face every Mapler you’re going to need a broad range of skills and abilities too, and that’s where MapleStory’s impressive skill system comes into practice.
As with everything else in MapleStory, the emphasis has been to create something simple and user-friendly, so those not familiar with the MMORPG genre can pick things up straight away, yet at the same time, still maintain enough depth so that more experienced gamers are kept entertained throughout. The result is a truly amazing skill system that stands out from every other free-to-play MMORPG currently available.
Learning new skills
MapleStory Europe currently boasts over 80 individual skills to choose from, divided into separate categories by character profession. This ensures new Maplers are never overwhelmed by too much choice to begin with, while still allowing plenty of scope for variety. For instance, Beginners– the profession that all new characters start as– have access to just three basic skills to help introduce the concept; one offensive (Three Snails), one defensive (Recovery) and one passive (Nimble Feet). This then increases to a much larger range of skills once players gain some experience and specialise as either Warrior, Bowman, Thief or Magician, and even larger still once they progress to the next level of job specialisation.
Some of the skills are passive and designed to improve your offensive or defensive capabilities, such as the Thief’s‘Keen Eyes’ ability. Others are more proactive and must be physically‘activated’ to be used. The Magician’s‘Energy Bolt’ skill for instance, unleashes powerful magic bolts every time you tap the keyboard (and conveniently, MapleStory lets you map skills to any key of your choosing).
In every case, the effectiveness of your skills is based on how well trained you are in that particular ability. Every time you gain a level in MapleStory you’ll be awarded a handful of Skill Points to spend on your growing range of skills and abilities. The more points you spend on a skill, the more powerful it becomes; simple. There’s even a basic‘skill-tree’ system, with certain more powerful skills only becoming available once a particular level has been reached in a previous skill. For example, Bowmen can only start learning the useful range-increasing‘Eye of Amazon’ skill once they’ve reached level 3 in the previous skill,‘Blessing of Amazon’.
As players only receive a few Skill Points to distribute every time they level up, you’ll need to think carefully about how to spend them when it comes to developing your character. Do you aim to specialise in aggressive, offensive skills– or do you opt to concentrate on more passive, ability buffing skills? Alternatively, you can always try spreading your skill points evenly across a number of different skills. Each method has its own pros and cons, although we find most Maplers tend to concentrate on Mastering each skill in turn– in other words, building each skill up to its maximum possible level before moving on to the next.
While many players have commented to us how much they enjoy MapleStory’s easy and approachable skill system, one of the biggest points of feedback we’ve received is from people who put their experience into one particular skill, only to decide they’d rather be accomplished in a different area instead. That’s why you’ll soon be able to buy Skill Point Reset tokens from the game’s Cash Shop. These let you transfer points that have already been allocated from one skill to another, giving you even more flexibility over how your character develops.
However you want to play MapleStory– whether it’s fast and aggressive, or laid back and friendly– we’ve ensured a range of skills that matches each and every player’s requirement of an entertaining and playable MMORPG. More importantly, we’re constantly adding new skills to the game as we increase the number of jobs available– players can expect another 60 or so skills when the third level of job progression is unveiled in the coming months. And as is always the case with MapleStory, every update, along with the entire game itself is completely free, forever! So why not visit www.mapleeurope.com and start showing off your skills today.