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Notice Another year, another thread. The end of 2022!

Discussion in 'MapleLegends Announcements' started by Kimberly, Dec 31, 2022.

  1. Kimberly
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    Kimberly Administrator Staff Member Administrator Game Moderator

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    Every year I think and wonder if we will last more. But here we are again, another end-of-the-year thread. Another year later and still alive and kicking while hundreds of servers come and go.

    This year was mostly an idle year for me. I've been working on new projects and new interests. After all, you can only last so long doing the same thing over and over before you need breaks.

    MapleLegends at this point is the second longest-running server, together with the lovely folks above us who equally stay tight and do their own thing. 8 years, August 2014. So much has happened since then, and it's almost impossible to have your life still identical to what it was back then, which as you may expect, is also in my case.

    When it comes to this year we have done a lot of what we mentioned last year: Try to make the game more appealing for upcoming and existing users that were previously discouraged for multiple reasons.

    We definitely want to keep going and continue with this for 2023 and find it extremely important. It's becoming clear that fewer and fewer "fresh" users come into MapleStory. This is generally because this game is getting older and older, and the ageing of a game just happens. People move on to new games, and the reach of the older game becomes less.

    With the general out of the way, here are a few points I want to bring up

    Update regarding last year's end of the year

    Last year's end of the year was quite controversial. In fact, it may have been the most controversial and worrying one yet. Clean slate? Restarting?? Muh progress???

    In last year's thread, I was quite transparent when it comes to my thought and feelings about the server and the game. In my thread, I mentioned how I would do x and y but also feel the server isn't ready for it at least now, etc.

    First of all, let's get something important out of way: We are still actively working on making the current server better, and everything we work on right now is 100% supported and meant for the current database.

    We are also not doing anything related to a clean slate right now, period. These were only my thoughts and are something that would be done ideally if let's say this server didn't exist yet. Basically, what I would do if I were to restart with the current experiences I've obtained over the years.

    Was it bad for PR (Public relations) to be this transparent about my thoughts? Yes. Do I regret being this transparent last year? Absolutely not. When it comes to servers and even real companies I feel nobody really gets to hear or listen to how someone higher up thinks, and my goal was to kind of try to make users imagine how I think through stuff if there's any real passion behind this project, and so on. I believe while it caused (temporary) damage towards the server (people worrying, some even quitting with fear they lose their progress) in long run I like people knowing how I feel, which is essentially why I started these rant topics over the past years, and an "end of the year" thread each year.

    People will always remain to say we have poor communication or transparency. However, at the end of the day, we can't please everyone, and we can only do our best.

    But if you are still worried about the current state of the server and if it will go down anytime soon, unless it is out of my control, no. We have currently no plans to restart, clean slate, or anything like that. We are continuing to work on improving the current server, including tackling the "infamous" issues.

    My involvement with the server and the community

    Something that definitely has decreased this year is my involvement with the server. We have event logs, and the last event I did was in January of this year. In comparison, long ago I was even suggested to stop hosting so many events.

    There are multiple factors to this. Well, firstly, it is mostly due to reasons I specified before; I am currently enjoying other projects right now (not unofficial server-related), and am mostly busy with IRL work as well. Yes, I still work 5 days a week!

    Another factor is a disconnection issue I started facing this year which is very likely related to my net: I cannot stay logged in for long periods anymore without mysteriously freezing in-game and getting kicked to the login once I return.

    I've tried this week once again to log in, but I still face the very same problem, which is a bummer.

    This mostly discouraged me from logging in.

    While I am barely in-game, I am still quite involved behind the scene, entering discussions or sometimes coming up with ideas or opinions on upcoming changes. However, the staff themselves are the brains regarding most of the changes where it's mostly just me giving a final "OK".

    I am also still very motivated in getting improvements pushed out. For example, upcoming patch we'll have another experiment that hopefully heavily improves memory leak-related crashes (ex: crash while bossing), and over the past month, we have already had multiple people test it with very positive results.

    No hackers? Now also no RWT (Real World Trading) also known as RMT (Real Money Trading)

    While playing, you may have seen massive combat in the Real World Trading community this year.

    Real World Trading has been and will always be strictly forbidden on our server. This year we went entirely in and terminated almost all sellers, buyers, and services (ex: middlemen), causing almost all of them to move to different servers.

    Here are some examples that were provided to us:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Real World Traders are very rare to admit getting banned. Why? Let's say they ban evade and sell more in future, they would lose trust in the customer if they were to admit it. Usually, they will say they "sold" everything. By mentioning they "sold" everything the customer thinks they are popular and that nothing bad happened. This includes the person that claims to have done 1000 transactions with a 0% ban ratio and recently announced he "sold" and has now closed down his stores focused on our server completely. :) We have banned many more that left without notice or with similar excuses. Also, once again, there's no such thing as "undetectable methods". All these things are said so YOU feel comfortable buying off them and giving them your income, which is also why very often methods are used that you can't refund. It doesn't matter to them what will happen to you, as long they received your payments.

    Unfortunately, with this combat, we have also had to get rid of a lot of our members, which indirectly caused an effect on our average user count. However, we were very committed to this, because it's more important to us our server is cheater free.

    We are extremely proud to be the cleanest server not only when it comes to hackers, but also now to Real World Traders. When playing in our server we want YOU to feel comfortable that your efforts cannot be easily wasted by some rich person buying out mountains of mesos or equips. This is unfortunately the reputation that a lot of competitor servers have received in the past years. If we had a similar reputation before, we hope to have at least reduced it now, or in future. We will NOT let it happen to us as well.

    In 2023 we will continue on this heavy investment and commitment to combat the Real World Trading community and hopefully keep the server clean and away from it. We do not care if they move to different servers and continue their "work" there, or make those servers grow more. To us, that's a huge win.

    If you suspect a user to be committing Real World Trading, even if you just suspect it's extremely useful if you let us know and explain to us what makes you suspect the user. DO NOT attack the seller yourself; that will only get them defensive and attempt to remove evidence. We will do the rest. As usual, we want to thank every member who has anonymously helped us with this so far and will in future.

    * The following part is written by our wonderful magician, PastaPasta

    2022 has been a year of many achievements for us, and also of transformation and experimentation.

    Progress Achievements

    A lot of work has been devolved into client feature progression. Piece by piece, we managed to implement complex structures and functions to either emulate features from future versions (more and more advanced Chair properties: from simply position altering, to sprite randomization, to additional layers, including support for a mix of those; and we're not done yet - aren't all those Cube chairs looking cute?), or to introduce fully custom ones (the ability to scan for "All Prestigious Coins and Pouches" via Owl of Minerva, dark-mode Quest Alarm, two-lined buffs based on type, and so on).

    But, while those parts of the work are easily noticeable and give an immediate visual impact, the biggest effort and investment (both in time and energy) has been on the "hidden backbone" of the game.
    • Our now-ever-present Raffle system, which allows you to see a randomized-monster counter in the Quest Alert, is only possible because we managed to study and restructure parts of the Quest requirements objects in a client which is normally unable to process random values for a single quest.
      This restructuring will allow us, whenever we'll have the chance to address it, to change how the quest requirements work even further, for potentially more alternative modes to the current raffles.
    • A lot of game elements have been recoded or tweaked to either become expandable or to automate tasks that we would otherwise need to manually perform every time. We're talking about the internal rework of game fonts, the full recode of friendship/couple effects, and the expansion of available data for item tooltips (those spikes on shoes have been in the backburner for a while - although they usually come in handy during the snowy season, don't they), full recode of various damage calculation algorithms (which came in really handy for the Shadower and for the upcoming Dark Knight reworks, as well as for our undodgeable monster skills system), more expansions for Haircut and Face available IDs, and the recode of certain face expression handling routines to allow for special expressions, that will be common to every face.
      All these are features that, while they don't have a direct impact on gameplay or game quality, allow us to implement more and more new items without needing to resort to workarounds.
    • Even more hidden is our work to restructure old parts of our client code, including entire systems rewritten from scratch. This includes, for example, our ongoing efforts put into easing the game disconnection issues, in the form of the recoding of a few client object types and redesigning of our crash logs system (which not only allowed us to identify and fix certain problems much faster - like the Banish crash issues or the longstanding Item Exp gaining crash - but also gives us detailed and satisfying feedback during patch coding), and also includes often-unspoken performance improvements related to the constant maintenance of some of our most intensive custom algorithms (the Chair functions are probably at their 8th iteration by now).

    From a server-side and gameplay perspective, this past year has seen a few "old" Maple features brought back to life. The study and research put into those have been massive, and it's been truly a great team effort.
    • Neo Tokyo part 2: because Neo Tokyo was not originally in GMS (their version of Neo City was a different and smaller area), all our footage and material had to come from either EMS or JMS/KMS.
      Collecting, often translating, and putting together the whole story piece by piece has been no easy feature. Almost all the dialogues are authentic; also, we put the utmost attention to all details, including the most obscure ones, like the Operational Unit Particle coming from a blinking item on the floor, or the way the Royal Guard interacts with the computer unit activating its lock-up system.
      Some elements of NT2 are however altered, to better fit our gameplay vision. For example, while the original version would allow players to only reach one of the three-story endings, we slightly expanded the story to justify a "rollback" system, which enables players to complete the storyline in its entirety. This comes with a few more tweaks to accommodate the questline flow, such as the sparkle showing up in Dunas2 only after the first ending has been completed, and the Operational Unit Particle getting lost at Core Blaze during the second ending.
    • Haunted Mansion event (Halloween): the story of the Masked Gentleman and Sophelia was an old event from MSEA (2008), with little available footage, and only a couple of English-written notes on it (thus requiring lots of translation and interpretation work).
      Despite being a "minor" event, it's arguably one of the most code-intensive ones we have had so far. It forced us to fully implement the item raise system (for Jonas doll), rewrite parts of the quest requirements system (for the majority of the event quest links), and introduce a new buff type (for the entrance Ghost).
    Transformation and experimentation

    Starting from our Summer patch, you may have noticed a shift in the frequency and size of our patches.

    This change was prompted by internal discussions, and initially was just an experiment: rather than one big seasonal patch with the respective event, we aimed to work on smaller updates, but much more frequent and predictable.
    The first test has been with the October patch, which brought to light the HP challenge system, and has been our first non-event patch in a while. Despite still bringing a good amount of content, it was soon followed by the November patch, which included the Halloween event and various game changes, although no bigger balance updates.

    While not exactly in time for Christmas, our next patch (with the event) is getting ready for release. We'd like to take this chance to apologize for the delay; unfortunately, this time we did not manage to stay true to our decision to condense less content at a time, thus requiring much more work during an already busy enough time.
    On the bright side, our beloved Rosa is currently busy studying some paperwork we handed her, in order to be ready for patch time.

    Although Halloween and now Christmas still missed the correct time frame, our aim for 2023 is to keep this new frequent and smaller update schedule up, while finally shifting event patches back to their correct dates, and no longer requiring multiple days of downtime for implementation.

    * Part written by PastaPasta ends here

    Conclusions

    While I am personally less around, it really means nothing to MapleLegends itself. Updates are still being worked on full-time, ideas still get tossed left and right, and we are also still discussing feedback threads we see on the forums.

    MapleLegends have been around for many years, and I think even as you, the player, have not played a single game for over 7 years straight, and that's also how it is for me. I love this server, I love the friends I made thanks to the server, and I love the connections I created for everyone thanks to the server. I just need a break from the actual game, and I am still doing that, while still doing all the other things as well.

    I have said it many times and I am going say it again: Unless something happens out of my control, there's no reason for me to go anytime soon. I will always say "anytime soon" because things can happen that can suddenly change this. However, as of right now, there's no reason for that.

    In no time we are getting to 10 years, and I am very committed to making that happen.

    Thank you very much for being here for yet another year, and we hope you'll be here in 2023 as well, advancing the server even further, and pushing this ancient silly game to its limits, as much as time allows us.

    You are all Legends!

    Happy new year!
     
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  2. Dimez
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    Dimez Pink Teddy

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  3. fael
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    fael Windraider

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    YO
     
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  4. LeonardoJF
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    LeonardoJF Headless Horseman

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    <3
     
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  5. LeonardoJF
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    LeonardoJF Headless Horseman

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    you come first and stole my joke
     
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  6. creative
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    creative Stone Golem

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    Enjoyed reading this as always! Excited for the future of the server. Great work and hopefully next year will be even better!
     
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  7. fruit258
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    fruit258 Master Chronos

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    Happy new year smilemush
     
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  8. Motto
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    Motto Skelegon

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    [​IMG]

    >me throwing close to 5 years of my life onto a private server 2003 pixel game
    >finds most likely lifetime friends
    >[​IMG]

    Thanks for everything, light speed ahead staff
     
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  9. Fishy
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    Fishy Skelegon Retired Staff

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    thanks again kimmy and staff.
    happy new years~
     
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  10. Jean
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    Jean Dark Stone Golem

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    i read everything even though i not good at saying things i can only can says i hope good thing happened to the server and happy new year to you too kimmy and the staff.
     
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  11. Eighty
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    Eighty Windraider

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    Happy New Year everyone~
     
  12. soulreload
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    soulreload Red Snail

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    Seiyaru: Even tho you said its getting hard for new people to come, i just wanted to tell you i've been playing for 3 months only and im very thankful for the server you created and all the work i can see you put on trying to make this old game better for everyone. Keep up the good work and cant wait for next patch, please bring up some AP resets, heheh!
     
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  13. Ferluci
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    Ferluci Skelosaurus Retired Staff

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    I love MapleLegends. I have found many of my girlfriends here I love them all
     
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  14. Oolong
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    Oolong Game Moderator Staff Member Game Moderator

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    Despite the bits of heartache I’ve experienced in this server, it makes me appreciate the friends and closer friends I’ve gotten to know and hang out with over the last 3.5 years I’ve been here SlimeGrin

    This server feels like home and a place where i can really let go and have fun :pinkbean:
     
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  15. fael
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    fael Windraider

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    LFGGGGG, this is thread I waited the whole year to [email protected]#$%@#$%#

    Lately I've been talking with my guildies about Brazilian Maple Story, the official brazilian server that was launched many years ago. I didn't play much, but I was shocked when I discovered it lasted 2~3 years, and on top of that it was completely full of hackers, Real World Traders, people duping items and other stuff. It's just unbelievable that an official server like BMS had all of these issues. And then, I took a look at MapleLegends. There's just no comparison. Our server's longevity (being around almost 8 years now) is maybe the thing I love the most about this server, but besides that, the way the staff carefully balances things. With addition of constant events, new content being added, and the ability to swiftly handle things that break the TOS, MapleLegends is just so much better than official servers we had in the past.

    The latest balance changes (including changes to address the economic issues and all changes on DrKs, Shads and Heroes) and the challenges proposed system that is now being added to handle probably the longest lasting issue MapleLegends has face for years are the evidence that this server got a great team. Will we continue to see those huge threads complaining about washing/leeching/PQs/job balancing after everything is done? I actually think so, because there's no way to please everyone, but I'm sure there won't be many.

    I just want to say thank you all the Staff for providing this experience <3
     
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  16. Naveh
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    Naveh Slime

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    I don't play so much but I still lurk around every once in a while.

    You're giving us the option to actually play otantic old school MapleStory for years.
    Just want to say can't thank you enough and really appreciate it for what you're doing all this years for MapleLegends, maple community and dev wise.
     
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  17. Tommygunner
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    Tommygunner Orange Mushroom

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    There was a time when I thought to myself that I'd pay everything I own to play old maplestory again. But now I get to do it fro FREE. And to top it off I like maplelegends more than old maple!

    I like more accessible scrolls and shops, free cosmetics, seasonal events, friendlier people, a bit faster leveling, better PQ rewards, more balanced classes, NO HACKING, no RWT, responsive staffs, being able to discuss game balances in forums, CHAIRS, meeting famous maplelegends popstars like Kimmy EIJI Fael and whatnot, GM events, RANDOM PEOPLE ARGUING ON SMEGA, I love it all.
     
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  18. Slime
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    Slime Pixel Artist Retired Staff

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    Thank you for 8 lovely years of mapling! Happy new year Kim, staff, and everyone else!
     
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  19. WarFang01
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    WarFang01 Snail

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    Happy New Year! Thank you for your efforts and hard work!
     
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  20. randomhs
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    randomhs Chronos

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    Thank you to all the staff, past and present, for all their hard work throughout the year! As someone who takes frequent breaks when interest wanes, I love how legends is always available for me to jump back into.

    eventge HYPE !!!
     
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