MapleStory 2 Articles RSS Feed | MapleStory 2 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Skybound Phase Two Launching in MapleStory 2 January 10 Thu, 03 Jan 2019 15:10:02 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Maplers who have run through most of phase one of MapleStory 2's Skybound expansion and newcomers to Maple World have something to look forward to on January 10. Phase Two is on its way, bringing with it new quests in the Sky Fortress area.

Players who have gotten their reputation up to "Trusted" can run the new Fortress Rumble Dungeon after Phase Two launches, and players with a minimum gearscore of 9000 will be able to run the Wrath of Infernog Chaos Raid, which promises to be "incredibly challenging." 

If you're not up to that point in the game yet, though, there will still be plenty of new and shiny additions for you to play with come January 10. The housing interface will get an overhaul with the Skybound update, and there will be three events running from launch day to January 31.

Nexon's been releasing updates for MapleStory 2 fast and furious. In time the Global version may very well catch up to Korea.

Complete MapleStory 2 Soul Binder Build and Play Guide Thu, 20 Dec 2018 14:40:14 -0500 Synzer

Soul Binder is a magic ranged class in MapleStory 2 who uses orbs and energy to fight. Like my Runeblade guide, I have played Soul Binder since it officially released and tested out different builds. This class is a little harder to determine the optimal build for because it is in dire need of skill points. Most of the skills in Soul Binder's tree are great, but you can't get them all.

I'll be going over the play style/tips and suggested skill builds. This will be from a purely damage standpoint and I won't be going over any support builds. From my experience, you are better off picking Priest if you want a full support role. Soul Binder will help the group out more by either picking strictly damage or a damage/debuff hybrid.

Table of Contents

Soul Binder Basics

The most important thing to know about Soul Binders is their Mantra Array skill. Soul Binders can use this skill to create up to 4 orbs that surround them and empower some of their other skills. Each one also restores 12 spirit, so this is also how you will recover spirit.

Soul Binders are ranged magic damage dealers, and have skills that can debuff the enemy. This means they can lower certain stats on the enemy to make them easier to fight.

Most of their important abilities will use their Mantra cores and will generally want to use all 4. This means that you will be using the Mantra Array ability often, usually in between each skill. This can be tedious and requires setup, but gets easier over time and with higher attack speed.

maplestory 2 soul binder mantra array


The main stat for Soul Binder is Intelligence. Crit isn't terrible, but it is distinctly worse than Intelligence, so all your points should be put in Int.

Attack Skills

This section will go over the important attack skills and which ones are affected by your Mantra cores.

Soaring Orb

This is the first attack you get and one you won't use later on. As you level, it will be useful and it doesn't use up spirit, but it also does not recover spirit so it's hard to fit into an effective rotation.

It shoots orbs at a 7.5 m range that hit up to 5 enemies in a 3-hit combo. Once you unlock Radiant Salvo at level 6, you won't be using Soaring Orb.

Radiant Salvo

This is a rapid-fire attack that shoots orbs up to 7.5 m away and hits 4 times. Consumes 3 energy.

They will also ricochet to other enemies 4 times for the same amount of damage, but it can't hit the same target again.

Even though this ability consumes energy, it is so small that you won't run out. This is especially true because you will be using Mantra Array a lot, which will return much more spirit mid-combat.

As you level and unlock more skills, this will be more of a filler spell and not used as much.

Expansion Blast

I'm going to list the damage for this and the following abilities. All values listed will be those for when the skill has the maximum amount of points.

This is the first ability that gets empowered by your Mantra cores.

By default, this skill shoots an orb that travels 7.5 m and hits up to 8 enemies in its path for 1,021% damage.

It also shocks the enemies it hits for an additional 20% electric damage every second over 3 seconds. Consumes 4 spirit and has an 8 second cooldown.

Basically looks like a spirit bomb at max cores.

  • Mantra Effect: Each core increases the damage of the blast.
  • 3-4 Mantra Cores: In addition to the damage increase, it explodes at the end to deal almost the same amount of damage as the initial hit.
    • Max damage: 1,281%+1,184% + 60% after 3 seconds = 2,525% damage.

You always want to shoot for using 4 cores. If for some reason you can't, you want to use at least 3 since that will give you the extra attack.

Flash Strike

This kamehameha-esque ability shoots a beam of light at the enemy. It does damage up to 8 enemies withing 10.5 m in front of you. It also pushes you back 1.5 m. Consumes 6 spirit and has a 15 second cooldown.

This ability does not get empowered by Mantra, but it is still a strong ability. It can also be used at any time since you don't need Mantra cores for it.

Shooting Star

This ability shoots 3 orbs up to 8 m in front you that hits up to 5 enemies within a 2.25 m radius. Consumes 4 spirit and has an 8 second cooldown.

  • Mantra Effect: Each Mantra core adds an additional attack. The damage is not increased but each orb does the same amount of damage.

This means that with max cores, you will shoot 7 orbs out instead of 3. That is a huge damage increase, so you'll want to use this at max cores.

maplestory 2 soul binder shooting star

Energy Surge

This ability sends a blast of energy along the ground up to 8 m in front of you towards the nearest enemy. It hits up to 8 enemies and stuns them for a very short time. Consumes 5 spirit and has a 16 second cooldown.

  • Mantra Effect: Each Mantra core adds an additional attack. The damage is not increased, but each additional attack does the same amount of damage.

Just like Shooting Star, this will be a huge damage increase at max cores. It changes from 1 hit to 5 hits.

Concussion Orb

This is a two-part attack if you hold the skill down that launches an orb to the nearest enemy within 7.5 m in front of you. It deals 275% damage to 5 enemies within a 2.25 m radius.

It has no cooldown or spirit cost. It is not affected by mantra.


There are 2 passive abilities, 1 buff, and 2 debuffs.

Orb Mastery

This is the standard passive skill every class has and increases weapon attack for each point you put into it.

It starts at 1% and increases by 0.6% each level of the skill up to a max of 6.4%.

Animus Focus

This is a passive that improves certain abilities when you use them with max Mantra cores.

Increases the damage of Expansion Blast, Shooting Star, and Energy Surge by 3% at base level and the recovery of Healing Bond by 3%. It goes up by 1% each level of the skill to a max of 12%.

Narubashan Unleashed

This is a psuedo-buff. It doesn't actually increase any stats or damage directly, but it still results in a damage increase if used correctly.

This skill gives you 1 Mantra core automatically every 4 seconds over 20 seconds and has a 60 second cooldown.

At base level, this skill isn't worth it, but at level 8, it gives 1 core every 0.5 seconds. You will want to get it to 8 and stop. Level 9 and 10 only increase the duration by an extra second each level.

Since you don't have enough skill points to increase all your damage increasing skills, the extra 2 seconds are not worth the 2 points.

Raging Tempest

This is an attack that deals low damage, but decreases the target's accuracy and evasion. You need at least level 6 to unlock the other debuff, which is where you should keep it. In general, this debuff isn't worth using and is only there to unlock the other.

Static Flash

This is an attack that deals low damage and also decreases the target's defense and movement speed by 1% at base level. Consumes 15 spirit, lasts for 10 seconds and has a 10 second cooldown.

It decreases their defense and movement speed by an additional 1% each skill level, up to a max of 10%.

  • Mantra Effect - Increases the duration and cooldown for each core, to a max of 30 seconds.

This debuff is a great damage increase for the whole party, though it is a personal damage loss.

The mantra effect is just so you don't have to refresh it as often, so it depends on what other abilities are available at the time as to whether or not to spend cores on it.

In general, you will want to max this skill out when doing hard content, such as chaos raids. The increase it gives to the party's overall damage will be better than your personal damage.

Skill Build and Playstyle

There are 2 builds that I set up. The first is the max damage build that I use for dungeons, and the other is a debuff build that I would use in chaos raids.

Each build uses 67 points, I didn't get the last skill point yet. I'll mention where you should put the last point in each build, but it won't affect the overall effectiveness too much. 

Max Damage Build

There are 4 points in Soaring Orb because it is required to get Raging Tempest, which is required to get Energy Surge.

Only 6 points in Radiant Salvo because that is what's required to eventually unlock Shooting Star. This is a good skill, but there aren't enough points to increase it further.

Max points in Expansion Blast, Energy Surge, and Shooting Star because these are your strongest abilities and also get increased by the Animus Focus Passive.

Only 6 points in Orb Mastery since it is required to unlock Animus Focus. Also, 8 points in Narubashan Unleashed because that gets you the maximum benefit.

I ended up putting 7 points in Flash Strike and 5 in Animus Focus because that was the combination I found did the most damage on the training dummy. I've also tested each build in dungeons and this usually still did the most.

If you ever miss any of the empowered abilities or don't use them on cooldown, then you will get more damage by taking 3 points out of Animus Focus and maxing out Flash Strike instead.

The last point can be put in Animus Focus.

As for using it, you want to always start with 4 Mantra cores ready before combat. Start with Shooting Star or Expansion Blast, depending on your positioning, then use Narubashan Unleashed.

After that, use Flash Strike on cooldown, Energy Surge, Expansion Blast, and Shooting Star on cooldown and with 4 cores active. Radiant Salvo is used in between these abilities if everything is on cooldown.

Debuff Build

This is similar to the max damage build, except you max out the Static Flash debuff.

I took points from Flash Strike and Energy Surge because they deal less damage than Shooting Star and Expansion Blast. There are 6 points in Raging Tempest because you need that to unlock Static Flash. Only 1 point in Animus Focus just to get the initial 3% damage bonus.

For the last point, I would put it in Energy Surge.


I won't say too much here, but it is important to know that Attack Speed is very good for Soul Binders. In terms of weapon, I would still use MSL for the biggest increase, but Ancient Rune is not a bad choice since it gives attack speed.

This means that Varrekant's Wings and Kandura's Pendant are absolutely best in slot because they each give attack speed in addition to their other bonuses.

You will want to aim for having at least 110% attack speed. This will make your Mantra charging less clunky, laggy, and give you an overall smoother game play experience.

Positioning and Movement

As a ranged class, positioning is important, but even more important for Soul Binder.

You will need to test out Expansion Blast yourself to find the optimal range, but make sure you are far enough away so that that you are able to get both hits with it.

Of course, this is not always possible on bosses that move a lot, so just getting the first hit in is good enough if needed.

Shooting Star's animation can be cancelled with a dash after the initial star goes out. This will cause the rest of the stars to continuing hitting the enemy, but now you are free to use other skills and move.

This is useful because it allows you to do more damage since you don't have to wait. It also allows you to get full damage in if you have to suddenly move.


Soul Binder is a good burst damage class that can output high numbers when played correctly. It definitely suffers from not having enough skill points, but a skilled Soul Binder can still do more than enough damage to clear any content currently in the game.

That's it for my MapleStory 2 Soul Binder guide. I hope I helped you understand the intricacies of this class and how you can improve your damage with them.

It takes some getting used to, but I find it to be a very fun class to play when you get the hang of it. Let me know if you have any questions or found other builds that work well for you!

MapleStory 2 Skybound Expansion Phase 1 Patch Launches Thu, 06 Dec 2018 13:00:01 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Editor's Note: GameSkinny is hosting a giveaway right now until 5.p.m. EDT Dec. 7 over on our Twitter page, where we're giving away 30 MapleStory 2 Founder's Pack Explorer codes. A tweet with more information is pinned to the top of our Twitter profile. 

MapleStory 2
's chugging along with updates in its first few months, and I think every Mapler with their ear to the ground is pleasantly surprised by Nexon's communication, particularly Jungsoo Lee's openness on Twitter and the company's overall attention to the community on Reddit and elsewhere.

Today marks the launch of Skybound Expansion Phase 1, the long-awaited patch bringing the Soul Binder class, the new Sky Fortress area with factions to grind up reputation for unique items, Normal Chaos Raids, and finally the PvP Maple Arena.

There is so much to this patch that it's really faster to just read the patch notes. The guild system has been updated, the Maple Arena focuses on 1v1 battles and has a ladder, Fairfight has been adjusted, Daily Missions have been revamped... Really, just read the patch notes. It's worth it.

To celebrate, MapleStory 2 is also having a Skybound Celebration event granting players a slew of useful items including a one-use level-up potion to instantly boost a character to 50 (provided one character has reached 60).

An "Experimental" Event to collect Toad's Toolkits from Hard dungeons will also be running until January 10, which will aid in enchanting gear higher than +10. The enchanting system is currently the community's biggest complaint, so this is more than welcome.

As if this were not enough, there are even more special happenings in Maple World than this. Merry Village and special seasonal events are also going to be going on starting with Skybound Expansion Phase 1.

Head on over and read those patch notes, Maplers! And get ready for a very busy December in MapleStory 2.

Complete MapleStory 2 Runeblade Build & Play Guide Mon, 03 Dec 2018 11:46:30 -0500 Synzer

Runeblade is a magic swordsman class in MapleStory 2 that lets you imbue your weapon with one of three elements -- fire, ice, or electric. I have played Runeblade since it officially launched in Global and have done many different tests of various stat and skill builds.

This guide is a result of my testing and weeks of play. I'm going to go over not only the skill and stat distribution, but also the core of what it means to play Runeblade. My goal is to let other players know of all the options they have and that there is more than one or 2 ways to play this class.

Table of Contents

Runeblade Basics

Let me get this out of the way now. All three elements are viable in end-game content. That's right, you can use more than electric if you want and still do good damage.

Runeblades are melee damage dealers with a few ranged abilities/mechanics, and a party buff that increases Critical Hit Damage. Their abilities work a little differently and deal different amounts of damage depending on which elemental sigil you use on your weapon. I'll go over the detailed numbers later in the skills section.


The main stat for the Runeblade is Strength, but it works differently than other classes. 70% of your Strength stat is added to Intelligence. Some attacks are affected my magic attack, but it is not significant enough to focus on Int.

Crit is also a great stat for Runeblades because of Honing Rune skill that increases crit damage. This means that you can also choose to put the max number of points in Crit if you want.

My testing has shown them to be generally even, with Strength allowing you to deal a bit more damage depending on gear.

Attack Skills

I'm not going to list all of the Runeblade skills, but I am going to give in-depth explanations on the important ones you should be using. I'm also not going to list how the skills are without elements because you should never use them without one.

All skills do physical damage, even if it's elemental damage, unless it specifically states that its based on magic damage. All values listed are assuming the skill is maxed, as well as Rune Focus and the appropriate elemental sigil.

Before I get into let me briefly explain sigils.

You have a Flame, Frost, and Electric skill. Each one requires 10 skill points to max and increases your elemental damage while that sigil is active by 20% when maxed. You can only apply 1 sigil at a time.

For example, if you max out Fire sigil, then use it, you will deal 20% more fire damage.


This is your most basic skill and the one you use to recover SP. It hits up to five enemies and attacks three times.

  • Fire - 72% fire damage per hit plus 54% fire burst damage. Burst is based on magic attack. 270% total fire damage*
  • Frost - 99% ice damage per hit. Has more range than the other 2 elements. 297% total ice damage.
  • Electric - 116% electric damage per hit. 348% total electric damage.

*The damage will be slightly lower for fire since part of it is based on magic attack, which will be lower than your physical attack.

Echoing Blade

This is one choice for your main attacking/spirit draining skill. It launches a series of attacks that hit up to 8 enemies. This move is cancelled if you perform any other action.

maplestory 2 frost echoing blade

  • Fire - 51% fire damage for 14 hits. 714% total fire damage.
  • Frost - 94% ice damage for 7 hits. This has more range than the other 2 elements. 658% total ice damage.
  • Electric - 71% electric damage for 7 hits, plus and additional hit for 31% electric damage. 

Electric here is a little tricky. It is hard to tell how many hits it actually does. It doesn't look to be as many hits as Fire, but it is appears to be more than 8, so the additional hit happens more than once per attack.

Regardless, the overall damage you see from this attack is pretty even across all 3 elements.


This is a slamming area attack that deals a lot of damage to up to 5 enemies within 2.25 meters and is on a cooldown.

  • Fire - 410% instant fire damage, then 359% fire pillar damage every second for 5 seconds if they stay in the area. Pillar damage is based on magic attack.
    • 410% total physical fire damage + 1,795% magical fire damage over 5 seconds. 12 second cooldown.
  • Frost - 1,123% instant physical ice damage to 8 enemies within 2,25 meters, and 408% instant ice magical damage to 8 enemies within 1.5 meters.
    • 12 second cooldown.
  • Electric - 297% instant physical electric damage to 5 enemies within 2.25 meters, additional 4 hit storm for 117% magical electric damage per hit, and a final thunderbolt for 693% magical electric damage.
    • 1,161% magical electric damage + 297% physical electric damage. 7 second cooldown.
Whirling Blades

This is a long range physical attack that hits multiple enemies multiple times.

  • Fire - 70% fire damage for 3 attacks, then 127% fire damage every second for 12 seconds. Hits 5 enemies.
    • 210% total instant damage + 1,524% total damage over 12 seconds.
  • Frost - 58% frost damage for 3 attacks, then an additional 181% frost damage attack. Hits 8 enemies.
    • 355% total damage
  • Electric - 203% electric damage for 3 attacks, then bounces to additional enemies up to 4 times with 203% electric damage per bounce.
    • 609% total damage on initial target

There are 4 passives/buffs that I'm going over in this section. The first 2 you should almost always have, and the last 2 are situational.

  • Rune Focus - Increases fire, ice, or electric damage by 1% at base, then 0.6% each level up to a total of 6.4% at max level when using the appropriate sigil. Also gives another benefit depending on which sigil is active.
    • Fire Sigil - Increases health by 4.6%.
    • Frost Sigil - Increases defense by 4.6%.
    • Storm Sigil - Increases evasion by 4 and movement speed by 10%.
  • Honing Runes - Places runes on the ground that increase critical hit damage to everyone that steps on them by 2% at base level, up 16% at the current max of level 8, for 2 minutes. Cooldown is also 2 minutes.
    • Passively increases the Rune Blader's critical hit damage by an additional 1% per level, up to 8%. This gives a total of 24% additional crit damage at max level.

maplestory 2 rune blader honing runes

  • Elemental Potency - Buff that increases fire, ice, and electric damage by 2% for 10 seconds at base level and and additional 2% damage and extra second duration each level up to a max of 20% damage for 19 seconds.
    • Cooldown is 60 seconds.
  • Blade Mastery - Passive that increases weapon attack by 1%, then an additional 0.6% each level up top a max of 6.4%.

Elemental Potency is an amazing buff, but it's only worth it if you can max it out and take advantage of attacking for the full duration of the buff since it has a minute cooldown. Since you must put 7 points in other skills that you generally don't use, it is hard to justify getting this most of the time since we have limited skill points.

Blade Mastery is a straight passive damage increase. I usually don't max it out because it isn't worth more than the actual damage skills, but I put my extra points in it after I've maxed out all the important skills.

Skill/Stat Build and Play Style

Below is a screenshot of my current skill build. This is with all 68 points unlocked, which requires level 60 and all the skill point trophies.

This can me modified to the other builds easily. If you use the Whirling Blades build, simply take 7 points from Echoing Blade and put them in Whirling Blades instead. Also, just take the 10 points from one sigil in put them in one of your choosing.

I always put 1 point in Blade Chasm no matter the build. This is mostly just used for an extra dash. However, if you use Storm Sigil, Blade Chasm becomes a very strong ability that's great for clearing adds. It also reaches high in the air, so you can hit enemies below you.

A great example of this is for the healing adds in the Chaos Devorak raid. If you position yourself underneath them, then use Blade Chasm with Storm Sigil active, you will kill them all in 1 hit.

Echoing Blade Build

For this one, you will be using Echoing Blade as your main attack. When you get low on spirit, use Flurry to recover, and use Impact on cooldown. That's it.

However, Echoing Blade is a special skill. You have to stand still while doing it and you can't use other skills during it or it will cancel. Luckily, you can spam Echoing Blade and it won't cancel itself. Instead it will go right into another Echoing Blade.

This means that you should never macro Echoing Blade with another skill, only use it by itself.

You also don't want to cancel it by using Flurry or Impact too early. When you get low on spirit, or when Impact is coming off cooldown, just stop using Echoing Blade. After that, wait 1 second, then use Flurry or Impact before continuing Echoing Blade.

It is a little more complicated to use than Whirling Blades, but it is much easier than it sounds. If you practice, it will become second nature in no time.

Whirling Blades Build

This is similar to Echoing Blade, except you will be using Whirling Blades as your main attack instead, but still use Flurry to recover spirit and Impact on cooldown.

One thing to keep in mind is that this build only works well with Storm Sigil. Fire Whirling Blades costs too much spirit and Frost Whirling Blades does significantly less damage than Electric.

Whirling blades will use more spirit than Echoing Blade, so you must use Flurry a lot more. At full spirit you can use Whirling Blades 3 times before running out. I generally use Flurry twice for every Whirling Blades I use.

Elemental Potency

Below is the build I use when picking Elemental Potency.

This causes you to lose 3% elemental damage passively, but you get 20% during the buff's duration. Great for burst damage and works for either Echoing Blade or Whirling Blades. If you use Whirling Blades, you'll have to take a few more points from either Flurry or Honing Runes.

I generally don't use this build because it takes so much to get there and you have to make sure you take full advantage of every second of the buff. It's less overall damage than the other build, but still does a decent amount and is great for any fight that has times when you need to do burst damage.

Stat Allocation

I found that you will get a bit more damage on the training dummy if you put all your points into Strength.

However, putting the max points possible into Crit and putting the leftovers into Strength gives damage that's pretty close, between 500k - 1 million less over 2 minutes. This also depends on how often you crit.

This was also without any additional Crit Rate or Crit Damage on any of my gear. If you get that on some of your gear, it would pull ahead. Plus, if you have an Archer with Sharp eyes in the party, that will help as well.

In general, I use full Crit, even though I have no extra Crit Rate or Crit Damage on my gear currently.

Closing Remarks on Each Element

Fire Sigil

Fire will do the most overall single target damage, but only if the boss stays in Impact/Blade Chasm area for most of the duration. I refer to this is potential damage.

Echoing Blade does more hits and can potentially do the most damage, which is greater the higher your Crit Rate and Damage gets.

In a dungeon or raid Fire will usually do less, what I refer to as, realistic damage.

This is still good to use if you have a good handle on the mechanics of the class and boss and think you can get most of your dot damage during the fight.

Frost Sigil

This is my personal favorite and better than I think people think. The main idea of Frost is to slow enemies down, but it can also do a good amount of damage.

Over the course of a fight Frost Impact my deal less damage than Storm Impact since Storm can be used more, but Ice Impact can deal a lot of damage if you have high Crit Rate and Crit Damage. 

maplestory 2 rune blader frost sigil

If you have high accuracy and depending on the fight, you can get more damage out of Frost Impacts just because of how high it hits.

Frost Echoing Blade has the potential to deal more damage than storm since the individual hits deal more damage. If those also crit and you have high Crit Damage, that overtakes Storm.

Ice Flurry and Echoing Blade also have extra range than the other elements so there are times when you can stay back a bit or hit enemies you wouldn't normally be able to hit.

Storm Sigil

This is the most versatile element and best all-around, I won't deny that. The higher flurry and whirling blades damage plus the shorter cooldown on Impact can make it pull ahead of the other 2.

Mix in the amazing utility and add clearing of Blade Chasm and the passive evasion and movement speed, and you have an element that's hard to beat.


It all comes down to what content you're doing, and the play style or job you want. For hard dungeons, you can use any of the elements and clear in a decent time to get S ranks. For chaos raids, you will usually use Storm, and  Frost in some situations.

The safest bet is to use Storm, or if you need to clear specific adds with Storm Blade Chasm.

Fire is for highest potential single target damage and if you want to be risky.

Frost is great with high Crit Rate and Crit Damage, or if you want that extra range and slows.

That's all I have for my complete Runeblade guide for MapleStory 2. I hope I've cleared up how these elements and the class work so that you can make more informed decisions on how you want to play the class.

I love the versatility that Runeblade has and I plan on showing people just how good each element can be. Let me know if you have any questions, or found any other builds that worked well for you!

MapleStory 2 Update Rings in Chaos Raids, New Events Thu, 08 Nov 2018 17:00:52 -0500 Ashley Shankle

MapleStory 2's going to need a steady stream of events and new content to survive and thrive, and as of today, the game's next event has gone live with the new Chaos Rising update: Turkey Terror and Maple Harvest.

From today until December 6, players will be able to partake in the Turkey Terror and Maple Harvest events. The first requiring players to beat the heck out of a giant turkey for a special mount, and the second featuring a special "Maple Leaf" currency to purchase special items.

You can read more about both events on the official MapleStory 2 website.

Chaos Rising

Events are nice, but most MapleStory 2 players (myself included) are more interested in the new quality of life improvements and the new Chaos Raids, which are an additional challenge for end-game players.

The lowest tier of Chaos Raid, Shadow Altar, will require players have a gear score of at least 4,500 to participate. Moonlight Fortress is also available for characters with 5,900 gear score.

On November 30, the Chaos version of Ludibrium Clock Tower will be available to players with a gear score of 7,800. Be aware you'll only be able to run Chaos Raids six total times a week on a single character.

This patch also implements the dungeon limit reset, which will allow Maplers to reset their dungeon limit on one character once a week for additional runs. Gotta get those epics!

Players will find a lot more to the Chaos Rising update than Chaos Raids and the dungeon limit reset, but the patch notes on the official website do a lot better job of explaining the Chaos Rising patch than I could.

Will Nexon be able to keep up the momentum through December and into 2019? We'll just have to see what events and updates they have in store in for MapleStory 2 over the coming months.

MapleStory 2 Review: MMO or Fast Food? Who Knows, It's Tasty Tue, 30 Oct 2018 16:36:43 -0400 Ashley Shankle

I'm not sure if there's a term for it, but I'm one of those people that bounce from one MMORPG to the next after a month or two. I'm not proud of it, but that's what happens.

For full transparency, I held off on reviewing MapleStory 2 for three reasons:

  1. I wanted to play the game for a prolonged period over several classes to get a real feel for it
  2. I wanted to see how Nexon approached the game post-Founders' head start
  3. I did not want that "new MMO smell" to taint my review

If you've played Korean MMORPGs before, you can probably understand the first two points. Generally, in Korean-developed MMOs, you get to some heavy enchantment grinding at endgame and, regrettably, run out of PvE content fairly quickly unless you are just set on grinding enchants.

As for the third point, well... I've been having a great time with MapleStory 2 and I wanted to make sure I was actually having a great time and not just whiffing on those new game fumes.

What is MapleStory 2?

At first glance, it's an action combat MMORPG. As a dedicated player, it's a social MMO with action combat.

MapleStory 2's primary focus is hanging out with other people, which can be done in any number of ways. You can run dungeons, farm world bosses, or grind a map with friends -- you know, the normal stuff -- but it goes deeper than that.

It's very easy to find yourself spending more time messing around with what would normally be considered "optional" in other MMORPGs.

You may get wrapped up in multiplayer minigames, perhaps even hosting your own to play with friends. You may wander into a lower channel for the performance map Queenstown and end up chatting while other Maplers play music. Heck, you may even decide to play some music on stage yourself.

The amount of activities found in MapleStory 2 is a little staggering, especially if you installed the game to get your regular grind on. There's a big difference between rushing through Epic quests for levels, and running around every map you come across to complete "Exploration Goals", such as hitting enemies with widget trees or finding chests just to get more attribute points.

Since everything you do (just about) grants XP, you don't have to level via Epic quests. Playing music, gathering, playing minigames, crafting -- almost every activity you get yourself into in this game grants XP. This means you never have to level two characters the exact same way, though Epic quests are easily your best source of XP up to level 50.

There are also several PvP maps in the game, though at the time of this writing there isn't much incentive to wail on other players. Some Epic quests near the end of MapleStory 2 send you into a small handful areas, but you can channel hop your way to safety and just get the objectives done without the stress.

Merets and UGC

You can't talk about this game without talking about user-generated content. And you have to bring Merets, the cash shop currency, into the discussion when you get to the nitty-gritty of it.

One natural assumption is that a Nexon game is going to be a little demanding on the wallet if you want to get serious with it; however, that is not the case with MapleStory 2.

I'm not going to lie and say there's nothing to be gained from spending money on the game in a gameplay sense. The in-game cash shop, the Meret Market, has some gameplay-affecting items such as the badge that automatically gathers for you when near nodes or the ability to send messages in the World chat channel, but as it stands, that's about as far as it goes.

You'd be surprised how big you can make your house and how many items are available without spending a cent.

This doesn't mean you're not going to be spending money on MapleStory 2, though. Oh no. Instead, it means you're going to want to throw tons of money at cosmetics, both official and those made by other players.

In Maple World, players are able to create their own cosmetics for use as character clothing and items or blocks used in player housing. There's a whole pile of templates to work with, and skilled UGC creators roll in Blue Merets, one of the two cash shop currencies, as UGC can be sold to other players in the Design Shop.

Creating cosmetic UGC costs Red or Blue Merets when purchasing the template. Red Merets are granted via events, meaning even free players can dive into the UGC pool and make Blue Merets on the Design Shop.

There are other venues for UGC in the game, too, such as scheduling images to display on signboards for Blue Merets or playing your own music via an instrument at only a Meso cost. But these are less notable than the use of the Design Shop or simply making your own clothes.

The Trail to and Making Camp at Endgame

I don't think I mentioned it yet, but leveling in MapleStory 2 is incredibly easy. So easy in fact, that you could hit max level in a single day just by pushing yourself through the game's story via Epic quests, then throwing yourself at level 50 world bosses (Heartless Baphomet keeps dinging me) to hit 60.

If you want to skip the typical MMO progression treadmill, you can do any number of other things to level. The best AFK leveling method is to auto-perform music, and fishing is basically only good for trophies until you max it out.

Everything in MapleStory 2 happens very quickly and simply, sort of like MMORPG fast food.

None of the classes (but thief) are all that hard to play, with most class strats coming down to spamming one or two skills with the others being situational. This doesn't make the game less fun -- dungeons are short and relatively easy, requiring players dodge their way to safety on a regular basis -- but it's notable if you're looking for a more hardcore game.

At the time of writing, endgame boils down to running dungeons to get good enough gear to push your gearscore up to 2100, after which you can run Hard mode dungeons -- and will probably just grind Fire Dragon until Chaos difficulty arrives.

You can only do so many dungeons in a day and in a week, with that limit being raised in November. Currently, players can only run 10 dungeons per day on a single character, and 30 total a week on a character. After the next big update, players will be able to reset the weekly limit on one character per week.

You can get around the dungeon limit by making alts, which is very easy, and grinding out the limits on them as well. If you get serious about the game, you're going to be doing this to try to get Epic-tier equipment. Epic equipment, by the way, has an incredibly low drop rate, so good luck.

Aside from dungeons, you'll also be doing daily quests and fulfilling 18 Daily Missions, which grant a whole host of necessary items and should ideally be completed each day. Daily quests are a separate entity and found in Queenstown.

All this together builds a not-entirely-interesting endgame but MapleStory 2 is more about the journey than stats. You can rush your way to endgame if you want, but you can also take your time and just explore your way to max level if you want.

Like Fast Food, It's Addictive

I said before, MapleStory 2 is sort of like MMORPG fast food, and that's something I've felt since I started playing. It's easy to get into and tasty, but not filling.

The best way to spend your time in MapleStory 2 is to join a guild that you get along with and just have a good time.

Nothing in the game is all that pressing, and it's built with so many ways to just relax and socialize that it almost feels mandatory to spend some time with other players.

Don't believe me? Go hang out in Queenstown on Channel 1 or 2 and start a conversation with others near the stage -- you may be surprised. Or even just go to a relatively populated area and start performing -- if the song is good or familiar, you may get other Maplers commenting on it.

Now, I will say that your time with this game will be short if none of the classes click with you. You have to try them out, maybe read some guides. When you're making characters, the previews don't give a great idea of what they play like, but they play (see: spam) differently enough that it makes a huge difference. I did not enjoy my time with MapleStory 2 as much before Runeblade came out, but after? Yeah, I'll play this for a few hours at a time. Why not?

MapleStory 2 didn't do too hot in South Korea, so only time will tell if the game can survive globally. If Nexon can keep events rolling to keep the game fresh,  global may have a bright future. If not, well...

As it stands, MapleStory 2 the perfect "between" MMO. One you can come to after you're tired of raiding in WoW or getting mad at Black Desert Online and just want a game you can still get that little endorphin and adrenaline rush, without the stress or pressure.

[Note: The developer provided a copy of MapleStory 2 for this review.]

MapleStory 2 Reaches One Million Downloads Thu, 18 Oct 2018 17:20:50 -0400 Ashley Shankle

It is no secret I'm playing lots of MapleStory 2. My review is in progress, but what I can say now is this: It's a wonderfully casual MMORPG that's all too easy to spend four or so hours in at a time.

If you're playing the game, it may come as no surprise that the game has already reached the one million downloads milestone. One trip to Tria or even doing the Halloween event quests will tell you that this game is packed. Absolutely packed.

God help you if you're trying to get to Queenstown Channel 1 at peak times.

If you haven't been playing MapleStory 2, it may come as a total surprise that the game is actually doing well. MapleStory's peak was, what, a decade ago?

Luckily, the sequel has turned out to be a completely different beast from the original game. Leveling is quick and easy, with your primary rewards as a player (outside of Epic Quests) coming from dungeon runs, playing minigames, and socializing in one form or another.

To celebrate the game's success, Nexon is holding an event to help the current playerbase reach new heights. This event entails:

  • Double drops for Normal dungeons, from today (October 18) to October 25
  • 1 Style Crate for players who have reached 60, starting 8 p.m. EDT Friday, October 19 until 8 p. m. EDT Saturday, October 20
  • 500 Red Merets for players who have reached 60, starting 8 p.m. EDT Saturday, October 20 until 8 p.m. EDT Sunday, October 21

If you haven't hit 60, it's time to start exclusively doing Epic Quests. Those 500 Red Merets are too much to deny -- I need them. You need them. We all need them.

I've been writing some guides for MapleStory 2; check out my OX Quiz cheat sheet if you're sick of losing at the game's least active minigame.

MapleStory 2 OX Quiz Answer Cheat Sheet Mon, 15 Oct 2018 13:24:48 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Each of MapleStory 2's minigames has its own set of challenges to deal with, but none are as utterly baffling as OX Quiz.

The OX Quiz returns from the original MapleStory and its questions are just as varied and obtuse in the sequel. It has questions about games, movies, classical music, sporting events, South Korea, and MapleStory 2 itself.

Despite the huge range of questions, it's really not all that frustrating. It's hard to get mad when there are no consequences and you get to watch others fail, too.

Many of the questions you'll run into for the OX Quiz are plainly localized questions on very specific South Korean topics, such as the island known for squid or the country's dialing code. It even has a question about Princess Maker 4, a Japanese raising sim game that never released in North America but sold wildly in South Korea. I love that game, but the question even being in the English version is confusing.

How to use the cheat sheet

You don't have a lot of time to answer OX Quiz questions, so I've laid out the answers in a more convenient manner.

True questions are on the left, while false questions are on the right and are bolded. This means you can search for a term, see whether it's bolded or not, and answer quickly in-game.

I recommend having this cheat sheet up in a separate window or on your phone. Once you get a question, search for the most important noun in the question here in this sheet. Just scrolling through is too slow, especially considering the number of answers.

Some of the questions are not phrased exactly as they are in-game, especially in the first few dozen. I'll get these ironed out over time, but for now there are two different ways to search through the cheat sheet:

  1. Search for the primary noun - This can be fine to do, but be aware some topics are featured in multiple questions and some questions are exact opposites.
  2. Search for the start of a question - This will usually lead you to the right answer, but some of the first couple dozen or so questions are not all worded exactly right; this is being ironed out as the sheet is updated.

More OX Quiz answers will be added as I do more quizzes! I've been doing the quiz every time it comes up for several days but there seem to be hundreds of questions -- these answers only scratch the surface, but don't worry: I'll definitely be adding more, as I myself would like an easy OX cheat sheet as well.

Last updated: Sun., Oct. 21 (5:00PM EDT)

True False
Harry Potter went to the magic school Hogwarts The lion is a herbivore
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style characterized by horizontal lines and Roman architecture types Beauty Street's BGM has 120 BPM
Buzz Lightyear is a character from Toy Story Snails have 2 genders
Tear concentrations show whether someone is sad or full of joy The Maori people stick out their tongues to meet strangers
Greenpeace is an environmental organization Caused by algal blooms, red ocean refers to a phenomenon during which overt population of algae discolors coastal waters
According to ABO blood group system, type-A mother and type-B father can bear a type-O offspring Mario's pet dinosaur is named Bowser
Greece won the Trojan War Captain Jack Sparrow is played by Robert Downey Jr.
 Superman's alter ego is Clark Kent  Co2 is lighter than O2
Spinach came to be known as the king of iron thanks to a chemist's blunder  Dry ice is hotter than regular ice
Metal balls, if heated, expand in volume A prosecutor can issue an arrest warrant
TCP/IP is a protocol related to the internet Eating dark chocolate is health for dogs
Renaissance means "revival and rebirth of the classical art and intellect" South Korea's country dialing code is 81
A perfect game of baseball is when the opposing team runs no bases "Madama Fly" is by Puccini
Go (weiqi) is an official event of the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou Violin is composed of four notes: C (Do), G (Sol(, D (Re), and A (La)
Captain Moc holds a cannon with one hand  Nelph has a total of 3 documents stuck in his waistband
Frankenette can be found in the Neuron DNA Basement Known for its local squids, Ulleung-do is an island in Korea and is part of Gyongsangnam-do district
Metal Balls, if heated, expand in volume In volleyball, the position specialized in defensive plays is called the sweeper
Cats dream when they sleep Japan won the second spot in World Baseball
The Priest can use a skill to restore the spirit of their allies Items cannot be hidden from display
Mountain berries belong to the rose family Christmas is the day of Jesus' marriage
Spinach retains its color when cooked in an open pot The Molten Knight appears in Fort Macaroon
"The ugly Ducking" is a story included in Andersen's fairy tales The War of the Roses were a series of wars fought in France for control of the throne
Cellphones can explode Princess Maker 4 is an online game
In Thailand, soldiers are drafted using the luck of the draw Caricature exaggerates a remarkable trait of a person
Tigers, kings of predators, also eat fruit Ppang is the Korean word for bread and (something about it being a loanword)
A cracking sound occurs when bubbles inside the cavitation of the joint pop In Maplestory 2 you can mail Mesos to a friend
Pressing X while riding a Plucky Ducky makes it sing The Capital of Switzerland is Zurich
Baseball was dropped from the Olympics after the 2008 Beijing Olympics Summer solstice refers to the day when daytime and nighttime are equal in length
"Erlkonig" is a poem by Wolfgang Goethe The strongest enemy in the Cusp of Life is Einos
Lame duck refers to the diminishing power of an elected official who is reaching the end of their term Monkeys have the second highest IQ next to humans
There is a utility pole that can be uprooted and swung around Devlin Warriors appear on South Royal Road
There's a pair of binoculars on Skyreach Pass "War and Peace" is Fyodor Dostoyevsky's work
In the west, the West End along with New York's Broadway is known for top-notch theater Of the five oceans, the largest is the Atlantic Ocean
Toothpaste kills cockroaches You can use pictures of your face to create UGC items
Toh and Googoo are field boss monsters of Whistler Cliffs A squid has 9 tentacles
Spider-man is related to spiders Computers only have two input devices
Thanos is a major villain in the Avengers The Lost Vayar Guardian is a Divine monster
Rice, when cooked at high altitude, tends to get half-cooked because water boils at a lower temperature in higher altitudes The lunar calendar was first developed in Egypt
X-rays can penetrate muscles and tissues, but not bones and metals The Persistence of Memory is a painting of Rene Magritte
 4 + 6 x 2 = 16  3 + 5 x 18 = 144
A person with Type-O blood can donate to someone with Type-A blood 194 nations participated in the 2008 Beijing Olympics
The xylophone is a percussion instrument Too much vitamin C causes skurvy
The name of the tribe concerned about the princess abducted from Cherry Blossom Hill is Boroboro  The Prism Falls are 12 meters tall
Jekyll & Hide is a musical whose plot is set in London CTRL + G is the default hotkey to copy text
Moses Mendelssohn worked as a painter  Jean Sibelius is a Russian composer
Just like humans, monkeys have blood types Australopithecus's scientific name is Austriapithecus afarensis
Heath Ledger played the role of Joker in the movie The Dark Knight The Australian Open, of the international tennis tournaments, has the longest history
Uruguay was the first country to host and win the FIFA World Cup  Sunflowers do not have pollen
MK 53 Alpha appears ate Neuron DNA Research Site The Hollywood movie "Godzilla" is the original film
Claude Debussy is a composer from Paris, France Claude Money painted "The Luncheon on the Grass"
The default hotkey to maximize the Minimap is the Tab key "Die Forelle" is a work of Mozart
There is a broadcasting station in MapleStory 2 Niccolo Panganini is a famous cell virtuoso
The United Kingdom and the Qing Dynasty agreed on the Treaty of Nanjing right after the Opium wars The three primary colors are red, green, and white
In India's caste system, Kshatriya is the warrior class The United Kingdom is a fully independent sovereign state made up of the 3 countries in Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) plus Ireland
According to ABO blood group system, type-O mother and type-AB father can bear a type-B offspring Sonic bomb refers to the phenomenon that occurs when a flying object exceeds the speed of sound
Francisco Goya was a Spanish court painter Pyramids can only be found in Egypt
Low-calorie ramen exists Twingos swing shovels
 C-3PO is fluent in over six million forms of communication A VISA is a conditional sanction placed by a country on a foreigner, banning them from entering
In 1948, at the third United Nations General Assembly, the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" was chosen as the human rights declaration The name of the city where Empress Ereve resides is Travia
 The part of a potato most commonly eaten is its stem. Jabulani was the official ball for the 2014 Olympics
A soprano's vocal range is high, while an alto's vocal range is low Dogs have 6 legs
A polar bear's skin color is black Tango is a French dance
In space, a feather and a cannon ball have the same weight Alikar Prison's male uniforms can be washed once a year
Strawberries belong to the rose family "Thumbelina" isn't a story by Hans Christian Andersen
 Antonin Dvorak, the composer of "New World Symphony," is from the Czech Republic A typical symphony includes piano
Rabindranath Tagore is the first Asian person to win a Nobel Prize According to Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, and Liu Bei made their pact under a mulberry tree
Rue is a currency obtainable from Daily quests Hans Christian Andersen was a prominent French entomologist who wrote Souvenirs Entomologiques
Zeus, the supreme god in Greek and Roman mythology, is a womanizer Frederic Chopin had participated in the International Chopin Piano Competition, a competition that is held in Warsaw, Poland
In music, a repeat sign indicates a section should be repeated Lack of calcium causes anemia
The name of the merchant that sells items for Valor Tokens is Beautiful Arc There's a torch in Rose Castle that can be picked up and swung
A carrot's root is the part of a carrot popularly consumed Elizabeth I of England was a married woman
Spain win the 2010 World Cup in South Africa The word "audition," in broadcasting, refers to the third parties' tipping of sensitive information, under the agreement of confidentiality
Jeremy Bentham is the philosopher who suggested utilitarianism, which upholds maximization of overall happiness as value The first country to ever win a World Cup was Brazil
In music, the cadenza is a tricky solo part of a classical music piece that is usually improvised  The "Divine Comedy" is a trilogy. The three books are "Hell," Purgatory," and "Paradise."
Emperor Napoleon I ordered the construction of the Triumphal Arch Light travels 1km/sec in vacuum
Nigeria's capital is Abuja David Livingston set out to Africa to provide medical services
There are 5 black piano keys in each octave Zebras have black lines on white fur
Gregor Mendel, in his 1866 paper on pea plant experimentation, discovered the dominance and recessivity in genes In the United States, soldiers are drafted using luck of the draw
The griffins can be found in Horus's Nest The superstring theory describes how the universe expanded from a single point
 Fidelio is the only opera Beethoven ever composed Gustav Klimt, an Austrian painter, was born in 1863
The practice of enclosure, a cause of the industrial revolution, was an economic trend. Wealthy farmers brought land from small farmers to realize economies of scale The name of the buff awarded to the winners of the mini-game events is Ereve's Happiness
Separation of Powers is a recent political concept that prevents one group from gaining excessive power and promotes civil rights and freedom Black is a color that reflects sunlight well
A mandarin fish eats fish its size Prince, a famous American musician, is regarded as the "King of Pop"
Before playing a piece, orchestras use the obo's sound to tune their instruments Petroleum us made from the energy that was stored in giant ancient planets
"Macbeth" is an opera written by Giuseppe Verdi Milk Road is the road that connects the ancient civilizations of the East and the West
"Gujiga" whose lyrics contain "Turtle, turtle push our your head" is a shamanic song A4 paper is bigger than A3
Arabesque means "Arabic" and is used as the title for the compositions with fanciful ornamentation of the melody The caste system is a judicial system in in India
Chickens can be left-footed or right-footed The experts rated the cucumber as the healthiest food in the 21st century
24 x 4 = 96 Moses Mendelssohn worked as a cartoonist as well
The title creature in the movie Jaws is a shark Penguin's teeth grow up to 5 mm
IC is shorthand for Integrated Circuit There are no speed limits for airplanes
 Mosquito bites itch because of the mosquito's saliva The Elite monster appearing in Torhara Spring is Dark Girant
Violin was first invented in the 16th century Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Mozart are not contemporaries
In Greek and Roman mythology, Zeus wedded Hara A guitar is a percussion instrument
Stone is lighter to lift underwater than out in the air Dietary fiber is the primary nutrition meat, eggs, fish, and beans provide
The term bluebird syndrome refers to a state in which a person puts the yearning for an ideal world over happiness in reality Urpanda in Rainbow Mountain carries pine trees on its shoulders
A wart is a group of skin cells that have grown rapidly due to human papillomavirius (HPV) infection The IDC is an organization that decides where to hold the Olympics
Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Mozart are contemporaries Guatemala City is not the capital of Guatemala
Mambrina in Katramus steals HP from her targets Dry ice is hotter than regular ice
The name of the Elite monster quatting in a Stranger's House is Mushmom The leader of the Barrota Trading Company is Solvay
Emperor Napoleon I ordered the construction of the Triumphal Arch A squid has 9 tentacles
The Weimar Constitution is the first constitution to state fundamental human rights In a modern set of golf clubs, the number 1 wood is called a spoon
42 x 2 = 84 Fish breathe through their mouths
A shrimp's heart is at the tip of its head Horticulture refers to the farming of crops such as cabbage and bracken in a high-altitude environment
Christopher Nolan is the director of the 2008 film The Dark Knight Crabs have 8 legs
Luwak coffee is made out of a cat's feces The Palace of Versailles is a prime example of Rococo Style architecture
Michael Jordan is usually associated with basketball Drama refers to films or shows that are meant to document phenomena
Items stored with Goldus Bank are shared among your characters on the same account Gaboshi heels are shoes with a wedge-shaped sole
Benelux refers to the three neighboring monarchies: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg The portrait of Queen Elizabeth in British currency is still young and beautiful
Madonette appears in Flora Avenue Dark Wind HQ is located in Henesys
The word "Eskimo," which refers to a member of an indigenous people inhabiting norther Alaska, means "eater of raw meat." Marathon is the name of the runner who won an endurance running in ancient Olympics
  Taliskar was built before Kerning City
  South Royal Road only spawns monsters at Level 9 and below
  The language most used in terms of population is English
  The Transparency Badge makes your weapon invisible
  Mozart didn't compose a single opera
  Shih Tzu is a Korean dog breed
  The Statue of Liberty holds a torch in her left hand and the Declaration of Independence in her right
  Mechanical is one of the three forms of power as described in Alvin Toffler's Powershift
  The creature featured in the movie Jaws is a rabbit
  In "The Lion King," Simba's uncle is the older brother named Mufasa
  Spain's capital is Madrid, and Canada's capital is Toronto
  Decibel is a unit to measure the intensity of pollution
  You can create UGC items that look just like the costumes of your favorite animated characters


This is certainly not the end for this cheat sheet! More questions and their answers will be logged as I keep getting tossed into rounds. It's just one of the many small things that make MapleStory 2 so fun.

MapleStory 2: How to Perform on The Street Thu, 11 Oct 2018 13:33:10 -0400 Ashley Shankle

By the time you're done with it, you are going to complete a lot of Exploration Goals in MapleStory 2. But right at the start, they can be confusing. You end up having to wander into houses and talk to specific unmarked NPCs, look through binoculars, fish, and a whole host of other tasks.

Once you hit Lith Harbor at the start of your journey through Maple World, you'll be able to tick off two Exploration Goals for the area. These being talking to Teo and looking through the area's binoculars.

You can't ride a taxi from Lith Harbor until you unlock one elsewhere and come back just to leave again -- but this can be done quickly. The next two take a little more time.

You have to be able to fish to catch an Octopirate. At around Level 13, you'll get a quest under the Maple Guide menu to get your fishing pole and learn how to fish.

And of course, the final Exploration Goal for Lith Harbor that trips everyone up when they first log in: Performing on the street.

How to perform on the street

In order to perform on the street anywhere in Maple World, you need a musical instrument. Musical instruments are a little difficult to come by and, if you're not paying attention, can seem like they are only available for Blue Merets. That is luckily not the case.

If you don't have the Blue Merets to spend on a musical instrument of your choice in the Meret Market, you can choose to take the patient route and wait until around Level 20 or cough up Mesos to a music vendor for one (for 70k to 250k Mesos each).

Maple Guide quest to get an instrument.

At around Level 20, a new Maple Guide quest grants you a free Practice Digital Piano and teaches you how to play music. It also comes with the MapleStory 2 OST #2 music sheet, so you can take a taxi right down to Lith Harbor and get this first set of Exploration Goals taken care of as soon as you're done with the quest.

(I say "around Level 20" because I noticed it at Level 22, but hadn't looked since around Level 17. So I'm really not sure of the exact level, but it's in that range somewhere.)

If you skip the quest and just buy one, double click on the instrument in your inventory to get started playing -- and make sure you have a music sheet on-hand for tunes.

You can get further music sheets from Music Academy Heads (and perhaps vendors with other titles) found in some towns. Look for this icon:

Piano icon in Maple Story 2; a small piano on a pedestal with four white keys and three black keys

And with that, you've learned how to perform on the street and play music in MapleStory 2. Just one of many small and strange things you must learn to do to progress in-game. There are many more surprises to come!

I'm working on a few guides, but my first up is one close to my Maple-soaked heart: an OX Quiz answer guide for MapleStory 2. It's a work in progress, but may be a help next time you choose OX Quiz.

MapleStory 2 Launches with Loads of Events, New Class Wed, 10 Oct 2018 15:11:02 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Whether you've waited to play MapleStory 2 until full release or you nabbed a Founder's Pack last week to get headstart access, today's an exciting day to be playing the successor to Nexon's classic MMORPG.

MapleStory 2's launch day is here, and with it comes a lot more than just pre-registration rewards.

Those who played during the game's betas or during the Founder's-only head start campaign can log in today and start grinding their characters up from Level 50 to the new level cap of 60.

Today also marks the release of the new Runeblade class, a melee spellcaster. The Runeblade is the game's ninth class, and will not be the last.

Along with the raised level cap and shiny new class is the new Karkar Island area consisting of 20 total new maps, several new Normal and Hard mode dungeons, and a whole slew of events to keep any Mapler busy through the next month.

Be sure to read all the patch notes if you've been playing before release, it's a bigger patch than you might imagine.

MapleStory 2 is just different enough from the original game to make it fresh, and all the minigames, housing features, and social aspects certainly make it a strong contender if you're looking for a more casual and social MMORPG.

MapleStory 2 Founder's Rewards Missing? Don't Panic! Mon, 01 Oct 2018 19:23:22 -0400 Ashley Shankle

MapleStory 2's Head Start began today for Founder's Pack holders, but if you're in Head Start for the sweet cosmetics, you may be wondering where your Founder's Pack rewards are.

Skimming the game's subreddit and watching in-game area chats scroll by, some players are not receiving all -- or even any -- of their Founder's Pack items. To confirm this, neither a friend nor I have received ours.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any set way to deal with this issue. Some players report that logging out and logging back in prompts the game to send their items, but this does not work in all instances and did not work for me.

All you can do is be patient and wait for Nexon to sort the issue out. In the meantime, do not delete the first character you logged into on that server. Your Founder's items will be sent to the first character with which you logged into MapleStory 2.

Just a heads up that you are not the only person having this problem: so don't freak out, and just enjoy the game for now. We'll be able to flaunt soon enough.

If you're still on the fence about whether to pick up a pack, you've got just eight more days to figure it out. You can still buy a MapleStory 2 Founder's Pack until October 9. The packs all come with some pretty sweet cosmetics, Blue Merets, and Premium Club membership.

Last but not least, don't forget to pre-register for MapleStory 2 whether you're getting a Founder's Pack or not for a special mount, hat, and name tag. You also have until October 9 to pre-register.

There are sure to be lots of surprises in store for players after the game hits full launch on October 10, but until then make sure you're pre-registered and don't be impatient if your Founder's Pack items are late!

MapleStory 2 to Launch Oct. 10, Pre-registration Rewards Abound Mon, 24 Sep 2018 14:37:51 -0400 Ashley Shankle

After a few closed betas, MapleStory 2 is ready for a full launch next month. New and returning Maplers have an opportunity to get some rewards for pre-registering for the game.

Starting today, you can head over to the MapleStory 2 website and pre-register for rewards.

Anytime between now and 10:00 a.m. PDT/1:00 p.m. EDT on October 8, you can pre-register for the game to receive three free and downright adorable in-game items: the Rustic Mushcabin name tag, the Ducky Rickshaw mount, and the Roosting Seagull hat.

These items will be sent to players on October 10, which just so happens to be full launch day. However, Maplers more eager to get into game are able to purchase one of three Founder's Packs to get in early on October 1.

Founder's Packs grant a number of exclusive cosmetic items, cash shop currency, and Premium Club membership. The prices range from $24.99 to $99.99 -- the outfits in the higher tier packages are just too cute.

This isn't all, though. Maplers can also retweet or Like the new trailer on Facebook featuring the brand new Runeblade class and receive an in-game body pillow featuring fan-favorite character Mint. Only 40 players will receive this special item, so read the rules and Like or retweet when you can!

MapleStory 2 Head Start for Founder's Pack holders starts in a mere six days on October 1, but even non-Founders should be sure to pre-register between now and October 8 to get their hands on the three in-game items that come with a successful pre-register. Full launch is coming on October 10, whether you're ready or not!

League of Legends Generates $624 Million in Revenue for 2013 Sun, 19 Jan 2014 20:35:12 -0500 Amanda Wallace

League of Legends places second in a list of the top 10 online free-to-play games as far as earnings for the year of 2013. With revenues of $624 million, League is only behind Korean military shooter CrossFire, which made $957 million last year. 

The real winner in the free-to-play market is publisher Tencent, who is behind both CrossFire and League of Legends. Between the two games, Tencent pulled in a total of $1,581 million in revenue for 2013. According to Super Data, which put the information together: 

The US digital games market grew 11% in 2013, reaching $11,766 million in sales across all segments, up from $10,582 million a year earlier.

Other big winners in the free-to-play market are publisher Nexon, which has three of the top 10 games including Dungeon Fighter OnlineMaplestory, and a part stake in Counter-Strike Online and a total of $800 million in 2013 revenue. 

Overall, the free-to-play MMO market seems to be dominating, going up from $1,991 million to $2,893 million in 2013, while the Pay-to-Play market experienced a loss of 19% from 2012 to just $1,126 million in revenue. The trend seems to be moving more towards games like League of Legends, as well as PlanetSide 2 and Dota 2

What do you think of those free-to-play numbers

Nexon Korea Releases New MapleStory 2 Trailer Mon, 16 Dec 2013 11:09:56 -0500 Ashley Shankle

MapleStory 2 seems to be chugging along development nicely. Nexon has released a new cinematic trailer on the game's official Korean website, featuring a battle between two of the game's story characters, mushrooms, a mech, and dubstep. Wubwubwub.

The character designs are certainly very MapleStory-esque and the change from 2D to 3D is a mighty step up for the series. The sequel is reportedly going to be in isometric view, as opposed to the original's 2D visuals or a more updated 3D engine.

The game's official website has a few images to peruse by clicking the black squares at the bottom of the page. Highlighted are some new enemy faces to the series, including some seriously angry-looking sheep and a mushroom with a shield.

Nothing else about MapleStory 2 has been revealed just yet. The game's South Korean release will be coming sometime in 2014, though an international release has yet to be announced. Keep an eye out for more news on MapleStory 2 into 2014!

MapleStory 2 Launching in South Korea in 2014 Wed, 06 Nov 2013 19:46:19 -0500 Ashley Shankle

MapleStory has been live in South Korea since 2003, isn't it about time it got a sequel? Nexon and developer Wizet seem to agree: MapleStory 2 is reportedly scheduled to be released in 2014.

MMO Culture reports MapleStory 2 to be a 'full 3D (quarter view)' game, which perhaps points to a similar camera style we see in games like Ragnarok Online. Considering MapleStory's 2D engine and visuals, this would be a not-very-surprising step up.

The game's official Korean website is up, but sorely lacking in information. There is a tiny teaser trailer to be seen in the clouds, if you can find it.

Whether or not MapleStory 2 will make a welcome addition to the modern MMO space is a big question mark for the time being, but it's been a long time coming with the original game having reached 10 years in service this year.

Are you excited to see a new MapleStory game? Let us know in the comments below!