Questions by Rick Charbs, Onrpg Journalist
Answered by Jamie Suk, PR Representative (on behalf of Mr. Sung Jin Kim, Director at NEXON Europe)
MapleStory Europe is quickly catching up to Maple Global. Here's what Jamie Suk, Pr Representative of NEXON Europe had to say during our exclusive interview: "As for MapleStory Europe, we can definitely expect far more contents and updates in the coming months - we have a very tight schedule with lots of new, large updates lined up, and are constantly planning on new events and features to bring more dynamic and fun to our players.:" Read on for some interesting MapleStory Europe information!
Onrpg: What were your ambitions for the European release of MapleStory? Have they been achieved?
With more than 1million users, we are certainly delightful with the result we have achieved until now. But we can't really put our initial ambitions into words as the more successful MapleStory Europe gets, the higher rises our ambition. We have many more plans with MapleStory Europe, but our ultimate goal is of course to position MapleStory Europe as the top-runner of its kind in Europe and to invite as many players as possible to our game and community.
Onrpg: MapleStory updates quite frequently. What has been recently added into the game?
The most remarkable update is the new job class, "Knights of Cygnus" (KOC), which has been added to MapleStory Europe in July. KOC offers easier yet detailed entry tutorial and speedy level-up for newcomers to MapleStory, while our advanced players can upgrade their gaming experience with a totally new, additional character and set of skills. And we're just about to bring another big update in September, and there are many more in queue.
Onrpg: What ongoing events are you hosting (forum or in-game)?
Currently, we have one of our annual European events going on, the Spanish "La Tomatina". During the event period, giant tomato mobs appear in several towns of Maple World and players receive special items for conquering them. We have also many events running in our new world "Demethos". To name a few, we have the "2x EXP & Drop rate" event which literally increases the rates of EXP and drop for players hunting in Demethos. Next, we have a special quest "Teo's Reminiscence" where all players who do their first and second job advancements in Demethos receive extra Mesos. Also, couples who use our in-game wedding system in Demethos are eligible to receive a set of couple rings in celebration of their wedding. Special events celebrating the launch of "Knights of Cygnus" are also still running, like the special event quests "Remnants of Black Wizard" and "Spirit Pendant". We have also an event that rewards players who reach certain levels with a Knights of Cygnus character. So as you can see, we have LOTS of fun and special things going on right now!
Onrpg: What is Pigmy? Could you offer a little insight on the 10th Pigmy update?
Pigmy is the equivalent to "gachapon" in the Global version of MapleStory, a lottery-like mini-game that awards MapleStory players with random items. Players can obtain pigmy-eggs by feeding the pigmies with dry treats from the potion shops using Mesos. The pigmy-eggs then need to be 'hatched' using an incubator that can be purchased from the Cash Shop using NX Cash. The content of the pigmy-eggs vary depending on the location of the pigmies, and players can also trade their pigmy eggs with ones from other towns. Most recently, we had our 13th Pigmy update including the 'Dragon Chair' which is only available through Pigmy for a limited time.
Onrpg: How do you think MapleStory gains its success?
There may be various reasons, but our biggest drive is the continuous support of our players. Without their reports, suggestions, advices and of course passionate engagement in the game, we never could have come this far. We try to meet their loyal enthusiasm with frequent updates of new contents and non-stop delivery of special, exclusive events in and around the game. MapleStory offers many unique features that make it stand out of the crowd like the bright, cheerful graphics, easy interface, endless customization options and various social functions.
Onrpg: What is your absolute favourite aspect in the game? Why is that so?
It's difficult to cut it down to one single aspect, as MapleStory is a great game BECAUSE it combines so many great attributes at once. Especially the community aspects in and around the game make it very easy and inviting for players to enjoy the game with existing friends and to make new ones at the same time.
Onrpg: For players new to the concept of 2D side-scrollers, what would you say to encourage people to try out your game?
The 2D side-scroll system is a completely different experience for users who are used to the standard 3D or quarter-view look and at the same time is easily approachable for players who are quite new to online RPGs. The nostalgic jumping up-and-down and clear steering mechanism along with the 2D side-scrolling viewpoint set a fresh spin to traditional MMOs, worth a try for both experienced and new players.
Onrpg: What makes the European version of MapleStory so dazzling? Why should a European play it over the global version?
From scratch, MapleStory Europe was designed to fit the wants and needs of our players in Europe. With our servers located in Europe and offering numerous Europe-based payment options, our infrastructure itself is fine-tuned for easy access and use of players residing in Europe. From the contents point of view, we are quickly catching up with the Global version and are even accelerating the process now to offer our European players an equal playground, but above all we have many contents that can only be enjoyed in the European version such as the traditional series of events reflecting the European national holidays. These days, we don't really want the European version to be too dependent on the Global service or vice versa as we have different targeting groups in terms of their geographical location, and both NEXON America and NEXON Europe try their best to bring the best suitable content and service for their users.
Onrpg: What would you assume the players find the most interesting about the game?
MapleStory is refreshingly unique among the traditional heavy and dark 'hack-and-slash' type of MMOs. Its cheerful graphics combined with simple, yet deep game-play mechanics, challenging quests, unique in-game events and extensive social community functions can be enjoyed by and appeal to players of all gender and age.
Onrpg: How strong is the community value of the game? What do you do to keep the community happy?
The community value is very important, as it is for most MMOs. We try to keep the forums active and have recently hired some of our players as our forum moderators who are doing a great job in administrating and helping out fellow players on the forums. We also encourage in-game events that are based on guild and/or party quests and conduct various web-based events that require the support and vote of fellow players.
Onrpg: What inspired you to offer the silly mini flash game of MapleStory on the website?
Since MapleStory is a client-based game, we wanted to offer our players some fun activity while they complete the download and installation process and give them a (very simplified) first hands-on experience in what they are just about to enter. Utilizing the characteristics of flash games, it can also be enjoyed as a little fun between breaks.
Onrpg: Will you be getting the pirate class, hosted in many other MapleStory versions, soon?
Players of MapleStory Europe will definitely receive all major classes and content updates that are released elsewhere, including the pirate class. It's just a matter of the right timing which is quite complex to decide. But as you may have noticed, we are really speeding up the update cycle and pirate class is also on our list.
Onrpg: What are your intentions for the future of the title?
As for MapleStory Europe, we can definitely expect far more contents and updates in the coming months - we have a very tight schedule with lots of new, large updates lined up, and are constantly planning on new events and features to bring more dynamic and fun to our players. Our next big update will be on July 1st, including new maps within the Aqua dungeon, addition of mini dungeons and a massive improvement of the current game system. And to reveal a bit more, MapleStory Europe will have yet another enormous update this summer, and our players can look forward to a complete new experience with the introduction of "Knights of Cygnus", which could be described as the "Season 2" of MapleStory.