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Producer Blog - State of the Game Week 5

Dear Maplers,

This week's blog covers a very important aspect of the Chaos Rising update. The team here and the Dev studio were generally surprised at how the Chaos Rising update has impacted the general sentiment in the game. We have been reviewing your feedback and all of the differing opinions and are exploring a few changes.

Before we go into the changes, we would like to clarify the design philosophy behind the Chaos Raids. Chaos Raids are supposed to be high-skill end-game content for MapleStory 2, with a strict time limit that calls for much better execution compared to the current Hard Adventure Dungeons. What we have learned is that many players were expecting another tier of dungeons which could be reliably cleared with players that meet the Gear Score requirements, similar to Hard Adventure Dungeons.

Because of that initial view, and because the Gear Score requirements were set at a level where a team of highly-skilled players could theoretically complete the raids, we saw many players disappointed that they might need to return to Hard Adventure Dungeon runs and not be able to enjoy the new content yet, and also the high skill requirements have created an impression that +13, +14 or even higher enchantments are necessary for raids, putting even more pressure on players. Also, the end of the Dungeon Delight Events has caused progression to feel even slower, and that getting +13 or higher takes too long.

We have been reviewing many different channels to collect feedback, identifying issues you are experiencing and discussing potential improvements. We've learned a lot from your feedback, not only for the Chaos Raid design but also related to other aspects of the current progression system. Please see below for some noted issues we are working on improving:

  1. The gap between Hard Adventure Dungeons and Chaos Raids feels too large, due to high skill requirements
  2. Chaos Raids feel almost impossible at the current Gear Score requirements
  3. With the current end-game structure, there aren't enough things to do to progress, and players are not feeling a sense of progression after daily dungeon runs.
  4. Due to a focus on optimized progression, "The Fire Dragon" is the only dungeon players want to play, which makes progression feel even more repetitive
  5. Players need more things to do besides Dungeon runs, and a lot of content in the game feels underused

We do see many complaints regarding RNG, but we think the core issue may be that players are not seeing enough Return on Investment (ROI), and we will address this feedback in relation to the end-game structure (see #3 above) discussion.

We are still working on solutions, but there will be some detailed info coming soon, and we are planning to make improvements with the upcoming update during December. For now, we'd like to discuss a few high-level directions. What we discuss here is not final and is still work in progress, but we wanted to share and gather feedback on the general direction.

Chaos Raid

Chaos Raids will be unchanged, with high skill and control required to clear the Raid. Also, even after the change, the raids will continue to reward the best items.

That being said, we are trying to find a solution which can fill the gap between Chaos Raids and Hard Adventure Dungeons, so that players who are trying to seek for more content to enjoy, with different rewards than Hard Adventure Dungeons, can experience more intriguing and challenging content with other players.

Gear Progression

The current system will stay similar, but we will create a more fine-tuned way to get the materials needed to gear up for Chaos Raids. For example, this might include a weapon box type of reward from dungeons. A few other things you should expect:

  • December Update
    • With the Sky Fortress update, you will gain access to different ways to gather resources, outside of dungeon runs
    • We're looking into revamping Hard Adventure Dungeons to help players more smoothly progress with an improved reward structure
  • This Week's Maintenance
    • Players who cannot log in 5+ days a week are seeing even slower progress. As such, we will be increasing the daily cap to 15 from 10. This will be applied with this week's maintenance and will let players run up to 30 runs a day when using the Dungeon Limit Reset.

We are looking to create more ways to let players progress in a more entertaining way, without needing alts, and also allow players to enjoy all the different types of dungeons the game currently offers.

Until December

Because we do see players struggling after the Chaos Rising update, and because those who join us with December's update will be experiencing a better and smoother progression system, we are going to take a few small actions to support those trying to get geared up for Chaos Raids now:

  • Daily Cap increase to 15, weekly remains 30 (60 with Dungeon Limit Reset)
  • A login event starting this weekend, with Epic Armor Bonus Value Re-rollers Box, Hard Adventure Weapon Selection Boxes, Exquisite Armor Selection Boxes, Absolute Accessory Selection Boxes. Further details will be announced later this week!

The upcoming changes for the December update require thorough testing and careful balancing, and we are going through detailed discussions now and will provide more information very soon. For players who are already enjoying the current Chaos Raids, I assure you that the content and the achievements you and your guilds have made will stay the same, and for those working towards the raids, you will see good changes that will let you progress smoother, with a improved reward structure and other improvements.

Other Things to Discuss

We are also working on some more quality of life improvements. This includes potential changes related to the Dash skill for the Priest class and a change in default guild size.

  • Priest: The Priest Dash skill has been tuned best to move toward other players for better healing support in parties but we are hearing that with Chaos Raids and control requirement, this feature is making it harder for Priests to avoid damage during high-difficulty situations. We'd like to open this topic up for discussion in our official forum thread.
  • Guild Improvements: We are discussing changing the initial size of the guild from 30 to 50, and we are reviewing additional improvements to the guild leader functions.
  • 10053 Error: We have confirmed there was a significant improvement with this error, and we are still reviewing reports from the players who are still experiencing issues. Please let us know if you are still experiencing problems.
  • Meso Sellers: We have identified characters which seem to be bank accounts for some of the meso sellers, and put a trade-ban on those accounts in case we have false positives. We are also continuing to ban huge numbers of bots on a daily basis. We are adding more features with every update which, while we cannot detail them publicly, hope to increase the number of bans and identify bots before they can get to Adventure Dungeons.
  • New UGC: New UGC weapon templates are in works, and we are aiming to add more during the December update.
  • Housing improvements in review: We are reviewing a few improvements for housing. Once we have more details, will share them with you.
  • Joddy Squad improvements: We are going to make improvements and announce criteria for our official content creator partner program in upcoming weeks.

As always, thank you for being an awesome community and for continuing to provide us with constructive feedback! We believe in the game and the community and hope to make a success together as a team.

Sincerely,
Jungsoo Lee