top of page

Chapter 11: Rectification

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

On the 20th of May, MapleSEA came out with a new patch, Star Force. The Star Force patch was a decent attempt in reducing the polarization between the rich and the poor players. It is basically a patch that is a huge mesos sink for the rich players, and a very good way to become powerful for the weaker players. There is this thing called enhancement system in Maplestory, whereby fully scrolled equipment can be further enhanced to better upgraded, and these enhancements are denoted by stars, the more stars, the better the equipment. Previously before Star Force Patch, it took insane amounts of risk or protection scrolls (36SGD each, 1 use, a terrible way to suck money) in order to enhance weapons to higher levels. After Star Force patch, it has become a piece of cake to enhance equipment up to the 12th star, after which becomes a playing ground for the rich. Listed below are the success rates and prices of each upgrade after the star force patch.

The prices might seem extremely cheap on first glance, but what makes it so expensive at the later stages would be the exponential destruction rate. Not just that, everytime you fail, you downgrade one level, and as can be seen from the 10th star onwards, failure chance is higher than success chance, aka in order to make your equip 16 stars and above, you need a lot of money. I had 30 billion prior to this patch, and of course I was not so insane to go to the 16th star, so I merely stopped at the 13th, spending approximately only 1 billion in the process. However, for the risk taking mapler, in order to achieve such impossible enhancements, they end up destroying many of their own equipment. Not just that, the weapons do not actually turn to dust, but end up becoming weapon traces, which can be infused into junk weapons of the same name to regain back all its original stats and potential, BUT without the enhancements. In other words, it’s back to square one and the player has to spend another fortune enhancing it back up.

On the other hand at the poorer end of the spectrum, it can be seen that an average poor player just needs to spend approximately 10 million to get his equipment up to the 10th star. In the process of sucking money out of the system, coupled with MapleSEA’s crackdown on hackers over the past few months, I would say that they are generally heading in the right direction. Many types of hacks have been disabled, and it is now also harder to auto-bot without getting caught by the system, and auto-banned. This has ended up in training areas free from hackers and irritating botters, though leading to less trade in the market, and the profession system being rendered pretty much quite useless now.

As mentioned previously, there are many ways to curb the inflation that MapleSEA is currently facing, and some of these measures have occurred in real life before. One of the measure would be to remove 2 “zeroes” off everything in Maplestory. With the exceptions of the cheap potions in the game stores, most things cost above 100 mesos. The high end equipment are unable to be sold without using SGD, as the 10 billion max amount of mesos one character can hold causes things that are worth more than 10 billion to be unsellable. In order to increase the worth of mesos, and increase the amount of high end trade (and taxation), removing 2 “zeroes” seems like a likely option. Things that were normally worth 30 billion, and cannot be sold, now can be sold for 300 million. Despite this measure being able to curb temporary inflation, the problem lies in the system itself, whereby no matter how many zeroes you remove, your inflation will still persist in the long run, just like Brazil and Zimbabwe about 20 years ago. Similar to monetary policy, it cannot solely stop inflation without help from fiscal policy (Government policy).

So, what can the government of Maplestory (the GMs) do to reduce inflation. Similar to the real world, one way would be to increase taxes, from 3% to perhaps let’s say 7%. Not just will demand pull inflation be curbed, the GMs would have also created a pretty effective gold sink, coupled with the crackdown on botters and hackers, deflation should be the right direction that Maplestory should be facing.

Side quest that we loved to do last time have become obsolete, as the experience that they give is simply too low. In order to bring back the fun element of doing quests together, what the GMs could probably do would be to create a new currency, let’s call it Mcoins, as well as to vastly increase the experience gained. These Mcoins are not just tradable for mesos (amongst other players), but are also usable at a NPC shop whereby special equipment and cubes can be obtained. This not just gives the players fun through doing quests, it takes away the boredom of just grinding in a single map for 5 hours to get from level 100 to level 150. Not only are these applicable to normal quests, but even more so to party quests (Maybe twice the rewards?) to encourage players to play together.

Another gold sink that can be created by the GMs would be a weekly lottery (Sounds familiar?). Having a lottery that gives an awesome chair (untradeable), or even a bossing session with the GMs themselves. Not just that, display the winners and the top purchasers of these lottery tickets on the front of the free market. This will serve as an incentive for the players to continue buying lottery tickets, this time with mesos and not @-cash. The virtual world of Maplestory is very much like the real world, by taking steps to ensure that inflation is curbed at the expense of short term economic growth (How much money Asiasoft earns), they secure their long term growth as players are kept in a system with a functional economy, as well as fun game play.

Something controversial to talk about would be whether Maplestory should endorse monetary trading, whereby instead of goods being dealt in the black market (Technically illegal in Maplestory to do so), they legalize it and impose fees and taxes, just like Diablo 3 previously. By bringing it away from the black market into a trade system, they will have such things under control, as well as profiting in the process, just like how Amsterdam deals with drugs. One might argue that it would make Maplestory more Pay 2 Win, but the fact is that IT IS already very Pay 2 Win, you are just making it open that “Hey, you got money, come here and spend it, save your time and don’t ruin the game for others”. Why was it shut down in Diablo 3? Diablo 3 firstly was a prepaid game, and secondly, the only thing that makes it “Pay 2 Win” was the auction house, nothing else. The developers didn’t have power-ups that were sold directly, powerful equipment were not obtainable by donating money to them, but only through the auction house. Closing the auction house completely closed all forms of trade and stopped the “Pay 2 Win”. However, they also reduced the interactive capacity, which I feel should be the essence of MMORPGs.

In conclusion, here is a summary of what the GMs can do, be it monetary (Removing money from the system), or fiscal (Mcoins and hacker crackdown). Firstly, remove 1 “Zero” from everything in the whole game (2 might have unexpected consequences on the lower end), ranging from damage, to HP, to mesos, that will give a short term relieve to everything, and allow Fafnir equips to be tradable via mesos. Apart from that, raise taxes and create a new currency (only obtainable through quests and party quests) that allow players to buy things from the “Boost” section of the cash shop (AKA the pay to win part). The GMs should also create a weekly lottery as a form of monetary policy to suck mesos out from the system, selling each ticket at 10-50 million, targeted at the funded and not the poor. Lastly, they should bring back the old trade system, this time revamped, allowing ANYTHING tradable in Maplestory to be traded either via SGD or @-cash, and in the process tax each transaction with mesos, eliminating more money from the system. Maplestory, through Star Force Patch which I felt was a relative success, is currently heading in the right direction, and I hope to see a more vibrant economy emerging in the near future, not just dominated by powerhouses, but also having weaker players join in (like SMEs).

End Of Chapter 11

Click Above for Chapter 12

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page