Producer Blog - New Feedback Initiative and Communication Moving Forward
Now that we’ve finished releasing Skybound Expansion’s Phase 2, it’s time to focus on changes we can make in the new year! I would like to discuss a few important topics, including a new feedback initiative and our communication plan going forward.
It has been about a month and a half since we announced our plan to focus on making improvements to the game’s overall progression. We reviewed (and are still reviewing) community feedback from all channels, and have been discussing many different changes.
Most of these systems are interwoven, and we are continuing to perform an extensive review of how any changes would impact overall gameplay balance. We previously did not disclose details because we wanted to mitigate speculation or potential misunderstanding as a result of sharing only a few high-level concepts. The MapleStory 2 team has agreed to share the general schedule of the plan, along with the systems we are reviewing in order to provide clarity on the kinds of changes you can expect. Once we have more details for each topic, we are going to share in-depth info with you through a new outreach program.
We will soon be kicking off a 3-month project where we actively work with the MapleStory 2 community to gather feedback as we make changes to the major pain points of the game. Below are the phases for feedback gathering:
- We will share with you full details of our proposed solution to an issue and why we believe that solution is the most viable one available.
- At that time, we will gather your feedback regarding the proposed solution to see if there are any further adjustments to include with the update.
- We will share the final decision after all feedback from the community has been reviewed, prior to the changes being released.
- We will update the game with the solution that’s been reviewed by the community.
- Rinse and repeat!
As a part of this initiative, we are planning to open up a dedicated microsite in February where the proposed solutions will be revealed and discussed. Please keep an eye on our social channels for a link once it’s live.
What is Being Reviewed and Discussed
The goal of the project is to improve the overall ecosystem of MapleStory 2, including progression and the in-game economy (both mesos and items). We want to ensure that players are seeing enough progress when investing time into the game, while also ensuring that players are having fun. We hope to achieve both by making a number improvements of varying scope to the game.
The following are some of the bigger topics we will be reviewing. Details for these topics and how they will be adjusted will be shared in the near future:
- Enchanting Improvements
- Gemstone Upgrade Improvements
- Socket Opening System Improvements
- Addressing Meso Economy by
- Adjusting Meso Sinks
- Introducing Meso Market (with adjustments from other services)
- Introducing Gear Trade (with restrictions)
- Epic Pets Improvements
- Gemstone Related Resource Gathering Process Improvements
- And more
We will provide the community with more details regarding these changes soon, so for now we ask that you hang tight and try not to jump to conclusions yet.
We are cautious about sharing some of these early plans as we know that players have many different ideas about how to address each topic. We ask the community to respect the development studio and let the studio lead the discussion for each topic, and we hope that this allows us to reach the best resolution for the game.
We are aware that one of the major topics of player concern regards the addition of more guaranteed methods to obtain bonus stats. However we want to make clear that with the above changes we will be discussing with the community, we strongly believe that the random aspects of bonus stats should stay in the game as part of gear progression. This won’t be discussed or changed in the future.
Please note that just because a topic is not currently on the list to review, does not mean that it may never be reviewed in the future. We know there are a handful of other items not included here that are also important to the community, and we do hear your concerns. The topics we are mentioning here today are those that we can confidently reveal as areas we plan to address.
This is a 3-month project because all of the topics we are going to discuss can significantly impact the game progression. We want to take the time to thoroughly review and QA each system before any changes get applied to the live servers. This ensures that we hit the marks we’re aiming for, as well as preventing multiple changes from interacting with each other in unexpected ways.
Here is how the timeline looks currently:
- Early to Mid February: Detailed discussion begins about a few of the topics from the list.
- End of February or Early March: The first update occurs based on the feedback from February. This update is currently planned to focus on the Gemstone Resource Gathering Process, Meso Economy and more.
- Early March: Discussion starts for the topics which require a more thorough review, including Enchanting, Gemstone Upgrade, Socket Opening, and Epic Pets. These discussions will take more time because of all the system details.
- Mid to End of April: The next update occurs based on the feedback from early March. Players will have time to test out and experiment with the new progression, including all the changes from the feedback initiative before our next major expansion comes out.
- May: Host community events (either online or offline) to discuss the content coming in the next major expansion and the feedback received.
- End of May or Early June: The next update occurs, coinciding with the release of a new major expansion.
Please note that all schedules are subject to change, based on future discussions, development schedules and results.
While we are going through the feedback process, we will continue to run events and release other quality-of-life improvements into the game.
The MapleStory 2 team truly cares about the game and we are moving as fast as we can to make meaningful changes. As we stated last year, we want to take the time to fully review the ecosystem of the game. We are committed to making great changes that affect the entire game, rather than releasing hotfixes to one feature that may negatively impact a different feature.
We have been keeping a weekly cadence of producer blogs to provide regular updates to the community. However, starting with this one, we are going to transition to producer blogs released whenever we have topics to share or discuss in detail with the community. This doesn’t mean we are reducing overall communication, since we will have many topics to discuss moving forward with this project.
We are very excited to initiate this new project with the MapleStory 2 community! Please stay tuned for when we share the first discussion topics soon. Your continued constructive feedback will be instrumental in making this project a success. Together we will review and pursue the best solution for the game.
On behalf of the entire Nexon Team and MapleStory 2 Studio