Mapler 1: Hayyyy guyz I just hit level 200!!!
Mapler 2: OMG u so pro omggggggg
Mapler 3: gratzzzzzz 1337!!11212121211!!!! : )
Maple 1: I been grindin’ for so long and I finally beat the game!
Maple 2: OMGGG sooo prooooo soo proooo
…January 24, 2013…
Maple 1: LEVEL CAP RAISED TO 250 WHAT THE F*@%*?!?!!!!!
I guarantee you that’s how most level 200 players are feeling right now in their dark bedrooms, surrounded by bottles filled with their own urine and left over Doritos bags. All those days and nights you spent grinding; your brow sweaty and bladder full, trying to get just one more level before your 4x EXP ran out. Well, the good news is you get to do that all over again.
As anyone who has stayed remotely connected to what has been going on with MapleStory over the past year or so (to those of you who quit and burned all your Nexon cards and laughed as you dropped untradeable items in front of swarms of begging noobs, I commend you) probably knows, there has been a significant drop in players on the MapleGlobal servers. It seemed much like the fall of formerly booming cities of the Industrial Revolution, the collapse of behemoths like Sleepywood.net and MapleTip.com signified the end of an era. If that isn’t an indication of the decline of a once prosperous community, then I don’t know what is. To make matters worse, you could say the final nail in the coffin was hammered in this past Thursday when Nexon Korea announced that on January 31st they would be raising the level cap from 200 to 250. This announcement came as a major shock throughout the MapleStory community as Nexon officials have repeatedly stated throughout the years that this would not occur. Never say never.
Okay, so it’s 50 levels. What’s the big deal?
Before I continue, I want to state that I myself have never reached level 200. I personally just don’t have the patience, especially in the current state of the game where mindless grinding and power trips are all that matters and the more interactive features of the game are being severely neglected. I do know, and have spoken to recently, several players who have reached 200 who are anything but pleased about the recent announcement. Just take a look at this discussion going on at our sister site Southperry.net. I’m not seeing a lot of happy campers.
I think it is quite irresponsible to raise the level cap of any game (unless of course it’s a new version, like when MapleGlobal went from Beta to the official version, or the rumored MapleStory 2) as many players who may have reached that level when it was extremely difficult (pre-Big Bang) may feel cheated by the fact that their achievement is no longer an achievement at all. Level 200 will become just another level on the way to 250. The security found in an ‘end-game’ character has been lost. What will be the point of racing to level 250 if a year or two down the line, Nexon decides to raise the level cap to 300? When will it end?
The reality is, this is an extremely serious error in judgement. The repercussions of this decision will surely be felt across versions if this comes to pass here at home on MapleGlobal, MapleSEA, or MapleEurope and I don’t think reaching the level cap will hold the same weight as it once did. You could argue that this will drive players away from the ‘grinding mentality’ that we know too well, but I doubt that will be the case.
I believe this decision is more of a last-attempt to revive the game. I’m not extremely familiar with Korean MapleStory, although I have played it sporadically, I do know the gaming culture in South Korea is extremely different than that of North America. So, who knows, maybe Koreans will enjoy the level cap increase. But, if this is to be implemented in North America I think that the remaining hardcore players would start to fade out one by one. If anything, the lack of successful and quality updates for MapleGlobal over the past year is proof that you just can’t copy and paste updates from a completely different version that were created for a completely different culture and expect good results. When Nexon America will get their heads out of the sand…well, I’m convinced they won’t and I’m convinced they’ve never had the autonomy they claim to. Nexon Korea, whom I had originally had high hopes for, seems to be the root of the problem.
At the end of the day, this is what it is. I could go on and on and analyze the misdeeds of Nexon America and Korea, but hey, you can just read my old posts for that shit. I will make a prediction, though. I predict that MapleGlobal will not make it to 2015 in its current incarnation. Whether they decide to completely gut the game and start anew (a gutsy and risky move, but I think it would pay off), then maybe we can see some real staying power over the next half a decade. But, with the way technology is moving at the speed of light these days and there’s a new start up company every week, well, we’ll just have to wait and see. At the end of the day, you have to adapt or die.
ICY is the Senior Editor for Maple-News and doesn’t give an flying stirge what you think.