MapleStory M released a year ago and just celebrated its 1-year anniversary, with its celebration kicked off releasing a most anticipated class, Phantom. MMORPG had a chance to sit down and talk about what this milestone means for the team and MapleStory M in the future.
I was able to talk to HyunSeung Kim, Service Strategy Team Lead for MapleStory M talking about the year its had, the new Phantom class, as well possible hints at the future of MapleStory M.
MMORPG: How have the players been taking to MapleStory M over the year it’s been out?
HK: MapleStory M has achieved great success across the world since its global launch on July 2018. Available in 140 countries, it quickly reached 10 million downloads within 100 days and exceeded 16 million downloads in a year after global launch. MapleStory M quickly became a global craze as we focused on bringing as much of the MapleStory experience as possible in a mobile friendly way picking up a great player base among fans of the franchise.
MMORPG: With this anniversary you released a much-anticipated class, Phantom. How would you say the players have received the class?
HK: The addition of the Phantom class has been one of the most anticipated updates to date. Since its introduction, many players have created new Phantom characters and enjoying the various features the new class has to offer. Our development team worked very hard to provide the best content update possible and we are sincerely thankful to all of our global fans who continue to support MapleStory M.
MMORPG: I know when a class releases in MapleStory on PC, everyone creates a character instantly. Would you say it’s the same for MapleStory M?
HK: Similar to PC, there is high interest in new characters, especially among popular characters such as Phantom. After the update, there was a spike in Phantom character creation data and we also read various comments and feedback from the MapleStory M community expressing how much they loved the new Phantom class.
MMORPG: How does the Phantom class on mobile differ from its PC counterpart?
HK: Our top priority is delivering an experience that is familiar to all fans, thus Phantom in the mobile version is very similar to its PC counterpart. In both instances, Phantom uses a cane as a primary weapon and a card as a secondary weapon. Phantom also has the unique ability to copy skills from Explorers.
Going further, when planning on bringing Phantom to the mobile platform, our goal was making the character more convenient and easy to use on mobile devices. We were concerned that Phantom’s abilities to steal skills would be a bit restricted in a mobile environment, therefore created a separate menu that allows players to manage stealing skills from various Explorer classes more easily.
MMORPG: I know this update brings more than just the Phantom class. Can you share with us some of the other features players can expect from the Anniversary update?
HK: To celebrate MapleStory M’s 1st year anniversary, we tried our best to integrate as much player feedback as possible into the content update by including features such as the Emote Wheel, the Claim All button and many other big and small improvements. We were very attentive to review all feedback with the goal of delivering all changes together to best serve all global fans.
We also introduced a wedding system to allow more players to build up various social activities and relationships in game. We hope players enjoy this new feature.
Additionally, we prepared a huge celebration event that rewarded all players with massive rewards. We also hosted a 1st year anniversary attendance event that granted Mythic/Legendary gears, Monster Park event with showers of gifts and EXPs along with many other events.
MMORPG: With one year under your belt for the mobile game, what has been the most rewarding thing for you as the developers?
HK: The most rewarding moment was the first day of launch. For several years, the development team worked hard, obsessed with building the best game possible for our global players. On the first day, we were overwhelmed by the immense amount of participation from global players as it completely exceeded our expectations.
To show our gratitude to our players for their support, we continued to prepare the best content possible for every new update and I sincerely continue to feel the same amount of emotion through each update, even after a year of service. But, the first day of launch was definitely the most rewarding and exciting moment that I have experienced.
MMORPG: How has it been different adapting MapleStory for mobile?
HK: The core of adapting MapleStory for mobile when developing it was to make it “similar, but unique.” Our main goal when starting development for MapleStory M was to avoid hurting the unique features, content and world-view available on the original PC version, while also creating new unique features and fun factors that are not available on the PC. We also tried our best to deliver the same experience from the original, while changing the platform - particularly in the controls.
We have designed the game content while considering the difference between platforms to adapt the original for a more suitable experience in a mobile environment.
MMORPG: Speaking of a difference, I have been able to play MapleStory M. What brought along the idea to add an autoplay option?
HK: Including autoplay stemmed from the desire to give players flexibility and the option to multitask. Our thought was how to make surfing the internet possible, while having your in-game avatar continuing on an adventure.
Autoplay allows for faster progression, eliminating some of the more tedious portions of gameplay required to advance. We think this has been generally well-received by players and we feel it’s an asset to the game now.
MMORPG: As a player of all the MapleStorys, my favorite class is the Kaiser. What is your favorite class from original MapleStory that you would like to see brought to MapleStory M?
HK: Evan has been my favorite character ever since the PC version. I love his background story of how an ordinary farm boy becomes a hero. The controls to this class are a bit tricky, but using Fusion Skill with Mir the Dragon is something that makes the game play much more interesting!
MMORPG: Can you give us any hints at what the next class you might bring over is? Or has it yet to be determined?
HK: Since we just added the Phantom class along with one year anniversary events a short while ago, we are primarily focused on this update and will share more details on upcoming updates at a later time frame.
MMORPG: What goes into determining what features you are going to add?
HK: More than anything else, we like to listen to player feedback to determine what the community would most like to see. We appreciate that our fans have been enjoying our updates and are working hard to bring many exciting new content updates to the game in the next year, which includes many classes that fans already recognize and love. Check out MapleStory M’s page to learn more.