It's hard to believe, but it has been five years since MapleStory first hit the MMORPG world. When this "little" game started back in 2005 with one zone and four classes, the MMO game world didn't realize what disruptions it brought. MapleStory revolutionized games by introducing the Free-to-Play game.
Over the last five years, Nexon didn't just sit on its hands. It released 50 (yes, 50) free content updates over that time, including turning the original four classes into 13 classes and 32 unique subclasses and creating 40,000 quests.
But now, at the players' request, Nexon announced at GDC Online 2010 they are shaking things up. The Black Mage focused his immense evilness and unleashed it against Maple World and nothing will be the same again. The heroes of Maple World must fight against the Black Mage's evil, and who knows... maybe the Black Mage himself! Without offering any spoilers, Producer Crystin Cox, said that MapleStory players will be experiencing the apocalyptic transformation over the winter.
The Big Bang is not just another content update. It is a complete overhaul of the core of MapleStory, so big it will be released in three updates. The graphics are all redesigned and brought up to modern standards. Gone is the tiny 800x600 screen size. Players will be able to experience the game in much higher resolutions. The graphics are a bit brighter and much more finely detailed, bringing the gaming experience to a new level.
MapleStory was known for having a long grind. Normally, games use grind to space out content so players don't go through it too quickly. Since MapleStory has such a long history of frequent content updates and an enormous amount of content (40,000 quests, for example), the grind is no longer needed. When the Big Bang comes out, everyone will automatically get double the experience as before, so players can get to the upper levels much faster. The real fun gets going at about level 30, when subclasses really take shape.
Many players complained about troubles getting groups for dungeon crawls because of the limited level range each dungeon allowed. With the Big Bang, that level range will be much wider, so you can easily get a group together.
The maps have been completely redesigned to be more clear and to give tons of extra information, such as NPC locations, quest locations, etc. It is also easier to see the relationships between different zones. Additionally, questing paths were made clearer so it's easier to keep track of what is needed next to move forward in the quest. No more do you need to wander around hoping to find the next quest location.
Since Nexon can't go for long without adding new content, 3 new classes were added and 1 new zone. The new zone is called Edelstein and it is the home town of the Black Mage. It is completely overrun with his minions, but it is also populated with native citizens who are placid by day, but become anti-Black Mage rebels at night.
The new classes make up The Resistance against the Black Mage and are the Battle Mage, Mech and Wild Hunter. The Battle Mage is primarily a defensive class. He gets a pet to call for assistance, which makes him very soloable--a requirement in MapleStory classes.
The Wild Hunter is a range class that gets the cool ability to fight while being mounted. He can use the abilities of his mount to his aid, along with getting aid from other animal companions.
The coolest new class (in the opinion of the media present) is the Mech, who is a dude who is outfitted with awesome mech weaponry, such as a flame thrower that just mows down the Black Mage's minions.
Classes will get their class-defining attributes much earlier than before. For example, the Mech gets his mech devices immediately, rather than having to wait until a higher level.
Tons and tons of changes and enhancements are included in the Big Bang, too many to list everything here. Skills were revamped, UI was cleaned up considerably, and much more. One thing that isn't changing is the level cap will remain at 200.
From what we heard, veteran MapleStory players will definitely want to be around during the transition, as the 3 updates are unleashed.