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Dear Maplers,

As we head into the Skybound Expansion this week, this week’s blog will go into further detail about the Maple Arena and cover an overall summary of the update.

It has already been two months since we kicked off our journey, and it has been a fantastic experience to work with the community and the development studio. We hope that the Skybound Expansion and other adjustments we are putting into the game can make a difference in your experience, and we look forward to your feedback as we continue to make necessary changes and improvements to the game.

The Skybound Expansion Phase 1 comes with major content including a new hub, new epic quest, new missions, Maple Arena and the new Soul Binder job. Also, tons of adjustments to existing content including a Hard Adventure Dungeon structure revamp, the addition of Normal Chaos Raids and Daily Mission revamp.

First, let’s look a bit more closely at Maple Arena!

Maple Arena

We have more details on the Maple Arena - the new, purely skill based PvP - and would like to share some of the more intricate details here. It is quite a lot of content and if you are interested in showing off your skill, prepare yourself for the battle!

Content Outline

  • Maple Arena is a 1-vs-1 PvP game mode where players compete against other Maplers.

  • All Lv. 50 and above characters can enter the arena.

  • Best two rounds out of three wins the match.

  • Various stats are scaled and powerful Arena-Exclusive equipment can be purchased for mesos to maintainan even playing field.

  • Potions and consumables can't be used.

  • Valor Tokens are given as a reward based on your performance in Maple Arena, and the tokens don’t reset. These can be used to purchase outfits and a unique mount in the Arena Shop.

How to Participate

  • Adventurers Lv. 50 and above can queue for a match in the Maple Arena menu. The match-making system gathers all queued adventurers in 4-minute intervals and pairings will be determined by your Match-making Rating.

  • If you are matched and decline to enter, a penalty will be applied and you will be unable to queue for 30 minutes.

  • If you check the “Spectator Notifications” box queuing, you will instead be invited to  spectate the match between the two highest rated players queued.

Match Rules

  • Best two rounds of three, with each round lasting 120 seconds.

  • You win the round when the opponent's health reaches 0, or by having the most health when the round ends.

  • All buffs will be removed and only your character’s skills can be used during the match.

  • Skill cooldowns reset at the start of each round.

  • There are 10 arena maps and the arena will be selected randomly.

Rules for Scaled Stats

  • The health of players are adjusted in Maple Arena to better fit the 120 round duration.

  • Increased attack from enchantment on regular equipment will be scaled down significantly, making increased Gear Score from the enchantments meaningless in Maple Arena. This is to ensure that PvP is about players’ ability, not what equipment they’ve earned from other game modes.

  • Pets can't be summoned, and attribute increases from gemstones and most gear effects won't apply in Maple Arena.

Ladder Score

  • After a Maple Arena match, your Ladder Score (scores players can view) increase or decrease based on your performance. Ladder Score can't go below 1,000.

  • The following ranks are given to characters based on the Maple Ladder Score. You get more Valor Tokens the higher your rank!

  • 3,700 points: Grand Champion

  • 2,800 points: Champion

  • 2,200 points: Diamond

  • 1,800 points: Platinum

  • 1,300 points: Gold

  • 1,060 points: Silver

  • 1,000 points: Bronze

  • The max Valor Tokens you can obtain resets every week, and that limit is increased when your rank increases:

  • You can have up to 30,000 tokens in your wallet

Shop and Seasonal Ranking Rewards

  • With Valor Tokens, you will be able to purchase unique items from the Arena Shop.

  • PvP equipment will be purchasable via mesos, and due to the PvP-specific bonus stats, it will be the best equipment to use in the Arena.

  • PvP gears cannot be dismantled nor enchanted, nor gain sockets for gemstones.

  • Each season is 4 weeks long. Players will be getting mesos and the top 10 players will be getting a 4-week duration mount - a gigantic Victorious Pyrros Fard ground mount. Also, Rank 1 - 100 players get an exclusive name tag created for the global service.

  • First place gets 10,000,000 mesos, second place gets 5,000,000 mesos, and third place gets 3,000,000 mesos. More details will be shared soon with the full patch notes.

Let’s also briefly go over each new content and adjustments.

Sky Fortress

The addition of the Sky Fortress will feature new epic quests, a variety of weekly missions and the coin shop. This content is designed to leverage the large variety of content that MapleStory 2 offers, and will let players who like to explore and do things other than dungeon runs work on their overall progression

Please check the details of the faction shops and mission structure in the State of the Game Week 7 - Part 2 blog.

Soul Binder

We are already bringing in another new job - the Soul Binder. This unique class will add more variety to the gameplay, with a powerful magical assault and flexible support to keep the team going. To let players make faster progress with the new class, we are giving out a Level 60 Achievement package!

Lv. 60 Achievement Package:

  • Everyone will receive this package once you reach Lv. 10 or have any Lv. 10 character in your account during the first month of the Skybound Expansion

  • You will need to reach Lv. 60 with any of your characters  to open the package. If you already have a Lv. 60 character, you will be able to open the package and use it immediately

  • This package includes a Lv. 50 Level-up Potion - which boosts your character’s level to 50 and automatically completes the epic quest line

  • You won’t be getting any of the rewards from the epic quest, thus we are giving out 2x Absolute Accessory Selection Box, Epic Accessory Bonus Value Re-Roller, Tier 1 Gemstone Box with the package

  • Everything is bound to account, meaning you can transfer these to your other characters via the in-game bank

On top of this, you will be getting an Advanced Training Bundle, with a level-up booster ticket and White Elixirs and Master Potions to help you get to Lv. 60.

Make sure to log in after the update, and also don’t forget to invite your friends to the game, since this would be the perfect time to start playing with your friends!

Content Adjustments

As we have discussed in previous blogs, we are rolling out major changes to the overall gear progression system:

  • Hard Adventure Dungeons will now have different Gear Score requirements and will be dropping different parts of gears. Learn more in the Week 6 and Week 7 Part 1 State of the Game blogs.

  • To experiment with progression for epic gears, we are running a month-long event with Toad’s Toolkit fragments dropping from Hard Adventure Dungeons. Learn more in the Week 7 Part 2 State of the Game blog.

  • Note: For jobs with two weapons that can be enchanted instead of one, Toad's Toolkits counts as two weapons, to ensure that all jobs benefit equally from the toolkits.

  • Normal Chaos Raids will be added to the game to provide a stepping stone for the players at Gear Score 4,500. Learn more in the Week 6 State of the Game blog.

  • Normal Chaos Raids will have a 6-player requirement and will provide Legendary equipment, but at a lower amount compared to Hard Chaos Raids. Also, please note that Normal and Hard Chaos Raids share the same weekly/daily raids counts.

  • Daily Mission has been revamped to give weekly Mission Points, where you earn larger and more consistent items by completing daily quests over a week of work.

Holiday Event

We haven’t disclosed the details of the events yet, but be prepared for a variety of events for players to participate in and earn exclusive seasonal ground mounts, name tag, chat bubbles, decorations, a title, music score and more!

Please make sure to check out the patch notes and visit the amazing looking Merry Village to participate in the events!

Other Cool Changes

  • New weapon UGC templates will be added!

  • New drum-type instruments are coming to the game!

  • Note: This previously said that drum-type weapons were coming. We apologize for the error, and apologize further that you will not be able to smash slimes with a steel drum.

  • We are updating the voice recording for Joddy. Please enjoy the current voice acting before we update with the new one. @Lilypichudid a fantastic job with the new VO and we think it fits very well with everyone’s favorite cadet.

  • The guild size is getting bigger! You can now have up to 100 guild members.

Other Important Changes

  • Crystal Fragments will be now account-binding.

  • Onyx Crystals and Chaos Onyx Crystals from dismantling enchanted equipment will now become bound to your character. Also, when you dismantle +10 and above gears, you will get more resources from dismantling.

  • Additional rulesets to catch meso sellers have been deployed and we are seeing a huge number of automated bans. We are reviewing more systems which can help us track them faster.

  • We are definitely reviewing more ways to handle other activities disrupting the in-game meso economy. We are sorry for adding more restrictions but also want to let you know that we are working on a system that will address these disruptive activities better, and allow us to eventually remove some of the restrictions. We also collect logs any time  you buy mesos from meso sellers through the Black Market, and those players that purchase mesos from them will get a 30-day suspension, plus lose all the mesos and items obtained by RMT. This is against the Terms of Service, so please stay away from buying mesos from these sellers.

We are already working on Phase 2 of the Skybound Expansion, and the game will get better every month with the new contents and adjustments. We hear other feedback regarding various different topics and want to share that most of the hot topics are already in review. We are only staying away from publicly discussing things until we have better defined what’s to come.

Please continue to share your constructive feedback!

Sincerely, Jungsoo Lee

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