My Games Zone

Computer game cheats, frozen throne, starcraft, and more - maplestory, frozen throne information and more! Check out this World of Warcraft Ultimate Guide

Monday, January 15, 2007

World of Warcraft Ultimate Guide Review

I just found this awesome guide at a discounted price of $19.95 which previously was going for $34.95. Find out more about this Super Guide

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

PC game - Civilization IV:Warlords

Warlords adds six new civilizations and other enhancements to Civilization IV, but the cool new scenarios are the real treat in this expansion.

Civilization has a long history of expansions. The second and third games in the series each had two expansion packs released for them. Warlords continues the tradition by introducing both improvements and additions to the regular campaign game, as well as introducing a slew of new scenarios that offer a completely different style of play from the epic game. The expansion adds six new civilizations, and while they're introduced to flesh out the individual scenarios, they're all available in the regular campaign game, as well. You can now play as the Carthaginians, the Celts, the Koreans, the Ottomans, the Vikings, and the Zulus. Just like the civilizations in the core game, each of these civilizations has its own unique units, famous leaders from history, and snazzy musical theme.

Warlords takes its name from the new warlord unit in the game, which is sort of like the old great-general unit from previous Civ games. Indeed, in the regular campaign game, warlords appear as great generals, sort of like how the great artists, great engineers, and other great-people units would pop up from time to time in Civ IV. Armed with a variety of powers, great generals can lead your armies in war, and they can bestow experience points on regular units under their command. Or, great generals can speed up your military-unit production in a certain city or make it so that new units start out with extra experience.

There's a lot of really cool content to go through in Warlords, and you can easily find yourself lost in any one of the scenarios. They'll most likely appeal to Civ veterans looking for a new challenge or a new gameplay experience, though. Even at their easier difficulty levels, the scenarios might be a bit too much for newcomers, who should stick to the regular campaign game for now. We did notice a few bugs, such as great-wonder movies that didn't play, but overall, this expansion is a lot more polished than Civilization IV was at its launch. Of course, it has the benefit of incorporating all the patches that have been made to the core game over the past year, and it also packages the pit-boss multiplayer client that was released separately, as well. Still, if you liked Civ 4, Warlords is a must-have expansion.

This picture (below) is an example of Civilization IV:Warlord's cover.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Games - Top five Games

What are the Must-Have-PC games?

The top five games are as follows:

  • Company of heroes
  • Civilisation IV: Warlords
  • Rome: Total War Alexander
  • The Ship
  • DarkStar One
  • In my next few posts, I will post more information about them.

    PC game - Company of heroes

    Company of Heroes is a visually stunning real-time strategy game that depicts all the violent chaos of World War II with uncommon intensity. Set during the invasion of Normandy toward the end of the war, Company of Heroes takes its cues from Saving Private Ryan, by portraying both the sheer brutality of the war as well as the humanity of its combatants. Many other recent WWII games have also drawn influence from Steven Spielberg's landmark film, but Company of Heroes is even more graphic. This and the game's highly authentic-looking presentation are its distinguishing features, and it boasts some frantic, well-designed strategic and tactical combat to match. Company of Heroes trades a wide breadth of content for an extremely detailed look at WWII-era ground combat, and its action is so fast paced that it's best suited for the reflexes of an experienced RTS player.

    This game is realistic as the vehicle in comparison to the people in the game, are proportionate and are shown to scale. In the game, it shows realistic images of people running and screaming and it also show that infantry are practically useless against the tanks. The shells of tanks send bodies flying, while lucky survivors dive out of the way. Yet by attacking a tank's vulnerable sides and rear armor with explosives, it's possible to turn the tables on these lumbering threats ... turning one of the most basic confrontations in Company of Heroes into a thrilling cat-and-mouse game, much more than a typical clash between a couple of RTS units.

    This image is from the game Company of Heroes.

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    MapleSEA - Everything you need to know for the basics - Part 7

    Fame

    Fame is the designation for one of the statistics on a character's character sheet. Although publicized by the game's creators, fame is rarely claimed to be an indicator of a player's popularity among others in the game. Once characters are at the minimum requirement of level fifteen, they are able to raise or lower the fame of any character, excluding themselves, once per day. A character cannot raise or lower the same character's fame more than once every thirty days (1 month). Some quests may award a player fame points, or even take some away. Fame has no significant effect in the game, except for certain quest pre-requisites and a selected number of high level pieces of equipment, usually 'dark' armour type such as the "Dark Anakamoon" for mages. Though some players suggested that fame increases ones chances of gaining rare items from monster drops, it is only a rumor.

    Minigames

    There are two minigames that 2 players may play together called Omok and Match Cards, both of which require a certain amount of Mesos to play. There are also three solo minigames called Pachinko, Ga-cha-pon, and Rock Paper Scissors, the first two requiring the purchase of certain Cash Shop items to be able to play them.

    • Omok is the Korean cognate of a Japanese game named "Gomoku". Omok and Gomuku are akin to tic-tac-toe. To win, a player needs to place 5 of his/her pieces in horizontal, vertical or diagonal line.
    • Match Cards is also known as the game "Concentration". Match cards games can be opened in grids of 3x4, 4x5, and 5x6 cards. The other side of the cards contains images of MapleStory monsters, which players take turn matching.
    • Pachinko is a mini-game exclusive to JapanMS. Pachinko balls (coins) may be purchased in the Cash Shop and are required in order to play. The player must be in a Pachinko store (located in certain towns) to play the game. In order to win, one needs to try to get the Pachinko balls in a mushroom hole below a slot; they are sometimes aided by NPCs. Once it is in, the slot will start. If the player obtains a certain amount of balls, he or she may win in-game prizes.
    • Ga-cha-pon (also known as Ga-ca-pon) is a mini-game available in JapanMS, MapleSEA, MapleGlobal, and ThailandMS. To play Ga-cha-pon, one must first purchase a Ga-cha-pon Ticket from the Cash Shop. The game is basically a slot game where the player inserts one ticket and a random, rare prize comes out. The ticket prices vary depending on the amount one purchases. The Ga-cha-pon Slot Machines are located in Ellinia, Henesys, Perion, Kerning City, Sleepywood, Jipang, Aquarium and Ludibrium.
    • Rock Paper Scissors is the newest minigame released. While KoreaMS has this minigame, it's uncertain if other versions will receive this minigame. Similar to Pachinko, it is a one-player minigame, as one plays against the Maple Administrator NPC. Since this minigame is new, it's uncertain if this minigame will become a human-versus-human minigame.

    Events

    During certain days, the GMs (Game Masters) host special events in which any user is capable of participating, given they are online and at a certain map at a certain time. All participants are rewarded with an "Event Trophy". In addition, those who win the event receive a "Scroll of Secrets", which can be used to obtain a random prize from an NPC.

    Users are notified of an upcoming event by a scrolling box at the top of the game screen. Events are known to bring an influx of players to the event's respective locations, which generally causes massive connection lag and, possibly, disconnections from the game.

    Select events include:

    • Coconut Harvest, in which the player works with others in a team competing against another team to gather coconuts from coconut trees on a beach.
    • Snowball, in which the player works with others in a team to roll their snowball to the finish line, and prevent the opposing team from getting their snowball to the finish line.
    • Find the Jewel, in which the player must search for specific maps.
    • MapleStory Physical Fitness Challenge (a.k.a. Hyperdash) and Ola Ola have the player attempt to reach a set location in a set amount of time. It is similar to a jump quest.
    • OX Quiz and Minigame Challenge, which consists of correctly answering questions asked by a GM. Once players answer them correctly, they are teleported to the Minigame Challenge room, where they compete in minigames. The winner goes on to the next level of the tournament, competing against players with (presumably) steadily increasing skill.

    Special events include Christmas tree events, wedding events, drawing events and quest events; for example, players might be required to find an item and return it to the event quest NPC or GM.

    Occasionally, certain versions of the game hold events that celebrate a certain event in real-life or an event specific to that version, such as a holiday or new server release. During these events, certain aspects of the game are modified in celebration; for example, the experience rate or drop rate may be increased, or special items may be released. GlobalMS has been known to celebrate numerous holidays, their first "birthday", and seasons: it has celebrated (in 2005) Halloween and Thanksgiving, (in 2006) Valentine's Day, Easter, their first birthday, Independence Day, and summer.

    Versions and registration

    The Korean version was the first to be created, ergo it has the most features as of yet; other versions are at different stages of development and most are not as advanced in content as Korea's. With this advantage comes the problem of players from mainly the Global version, and some from other versions trying to play KoreaMS. The players are often referred to as ???, or "Immigrants" by a majority of the Korean MapleStory players. These "Immigrants" are the reason why a Korean Social Security Number is required to play. IP blocking is used between some of the other versions of the game, mostly for the same reason. Some attempt to bypass this by using Proxies, which spoof and IP address to make it seem like a player is playing from a different country - however in Europe MapleStory a GameGuard proxy check has been implemented. However, this is also because foreign text in the Latin Character-Based Global version causes glitches to occur. This is the same for Koreans in the Chinese version, and so on.

    Though some versions share the same world names, they are different and independent of each other. They are defined by their language used, publisher, server location and specialized worlds (see main article: MapleStory world)

    The Europe version of MapleStory is under closed beta testing as of 28 July 2006.

    Criticism

    Some people believe MapleStory's level system is too heavily based on grinding (ex. higher levels (level 70+) may have to kill several thousands of monsters, so they can earn the several million exp points needed to level up). Most of the game can be summed up as "kill monsters to level up, get money, buy better equipment, kill monsters", and so on. This causes many gamers to quickly tire of the game and only the hardcore players, or "grinders" as the case may be, make it as far as level 70+.

    On the same note, quests seem to be more of the same, making MapleStory a grind-based game. Most of the quests themselves are standard MMORPG fare where the player looks for a number of objects (Which, more often than not, can only be obtained by killing monsters) to gain a reward.

    Game Master (GM) appearances are rare, and therefore, the number of cheaters and scammers in MapleStory is high. Cheating is common in ChinaMS, it is becoming increasingly common in GlobalMS and is starting to bring many cheaters to MapleSEA, sparking much anger with its players who claim that the Game Masters are not doing enough to stop cheating.

    Although problems were being reported for over a month, on 1 September 2006, MapleGlobal reported that they were having trouble sending verification e-mails for MSN Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail users. Both webmail providers were blocking the e-mails as spam due to the high volume of e-mails sent by Wizet.. New users are recommended to use Gmail or their ISP's e-mail, but people who previously signed up using a Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail address are unable to receive e-mails, especially following a password change. Problems with Hotmail have been fixed.

    There is also no background story to the game and events (double exp, double drop rate of items, ext.) are usually overcrowded making it difficult for most to participate.

    Game issues

    As with most MMORPGs, there are faults in the game and people who exploit them. There are also many third party programs (hacks) created to simplify gameplay for players, making them invincible, increasing their speed or even enabling them to fly. One of the most used hacks is known in-game as "vac hack." This hack will drag monsters toward a specified location, creating a faster training as travel time is reduced to nothing and splash damage is used. This makes the game unfair for other players. Thus, the use of third party programs is forbidden, and users who take advantage of them are usually banned from the game. Another issue is account scamming, when people are phished to give their own personal information, or even keylogging their information. To combat these programs, various security measures have been implemented such as GameGuard and a PIN requirement. The PIN requirement is not as beneficial as Wizet made it to be, as it can be used against the rightful owner and can be logged with complex keyloggers. Cheaters can be banned at any time after proof of their activities is discovered, potentially months after the incident even if they have stopped cheating.

    Scamming is also common. Scammers use a variety of methods to mislead other players into giving them Mesos, items, or NX Cash. Such methods range from using cheating programs to simply preying upon newer users. For example, a common scam is the "item duplication" scam, in which a higher level player requests a trade from a lower level player, telling them that by pressing the keys "Tab, Tab, Spacebar, Enter" in succession they can duplicate the items they have placed in the trade. Doing so causes an immediate trade to the other player, in which case the player that was scammed loses their item. Note that the use, promoting, or selling of cheating programs results in an almost immediate ban in most cases.

    Another issue is the sharing of accounts (account sharing). This means that 2 or more people use the same user ID and password to play on the same account in the game. Doing this usually allows the player to level up faster and appear to always be online. Account sharing is clearly against the rules as stated on Mapleglobal.com, however the game masters (those who are in charge of handling player suspension issues) do not condone this at all. The clear reasons are unknown but one proposition is because they are in fear of enciting the wrath of the higher leveled players (most of which do share accounts.)

    Rarely, one may find a small glitch in the game, such as falling through a normally solid platform caused by the different layers in the game like ladders , platforms and walls or disappearing people/monsters/items. However, most of these glitches are commonly caused by lag or the way the game is designed, and one will not be banned for abusing them as long as the glitch does not affect other users negatively.

    One may also find an occasional misspelled word, as well as various grammatical mistakes, in the game's text, especially when talking to an NPC. Such examples include saying poop in many events. GMs are at a loss of words as to why this happens.

    This source is taken from the following websites : APA: maplestory. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 26, 2006, from Reference.com website: http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/MapleStory MLA: "maplestory." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 26 Oct. 2006. Chicago Style: maplestory. Reference.com. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/MapleStory (accessed: October 26, 2006).

    Monday, November 06, 2006

    MapleSEA - Everything you need to know for the basics - Part 6

    Free Market

    The Free Market is a place set aside for people who wish to sell their items amongst other players. They can either use regular chat to advertise their item, or they can set up their own miniature shop in which a maximum of three people can concurrently browse their stock. In order to set up a Free Market shop, players must purchase a special permit available only through the Cash Shop. The regular store permit can hold 16 different items; Spring Store Permits and Summer Store Permits can hold 24 different items, although they cost twice as much Cash and are only available seasonally. A new permit called the Mushroom House Elf has an NPC run the store for the player, selling items even when the player is not logged on. It can be purchased for either one or seven days.

    A lot of trades occur in the Free Market since one can still meet with players located in other towns or even continents, provided the town contains a Free Market entrance. However, one cannot use the free market to travel between towns. There are entrances to the Free Market in the following towns: Henesys, Perion, El Nath, Aquarium, Ludibrium, Omega Sector, Orbis (KoreaMS), Riprey (KoreaMS), and Shouwa Town (JapanMS).

    Items

    Items can be acquired from monster drops, purchased from other characters or shops, or as rewards for completing a quest. Unnecessary items can be dropped (where they can be picked up by any other character), sold to any shop, or sold/traded to other characters. Generally the stronger the monsters are the better the Items they drop. However, some high level equip can be found from low level monsters. Due to the time required to sell valuable items to other players as well as the quantity of items received, many players create a mule account to store excess items and as a dedicated trading account.

    There are five different item categories in the game: Equipment, Use, Set-Up, Etc., and Cash. In the inventory window, each category has its own section, each of which is only able to contain a limited amount of items; however, extra inventory space can be purchased in the Cash Shop. Extra inventory space is also awarded after each job advancement.

    The various types of equipment are clothing, accessories, and weapons; clothing and accessories adding defense, weapons adding attack. Most have a level, stat, and class requirement to be able to equip it. Additionally a rare few have a fame requirement. This usually only applies to dark armors only. In addition to the basic attack or defense increase, items can also provide stat bonuses such as extra HP, MP, Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Speed, Jump, Accuracy, Avoidability, and/or Luck stats.

    Most equipment have specific "average" stats which the item always has when it is crafted by an NPC or bought from a store. When equipments are dropped by monsters, the stats typically differ from the average. Items with stats closer to the average are more common than ones with much more or less of a certain stat.

    Equipment can be upgraded by using item upgrade scrolls. These scrolls give stat bonuses to equipment. The scrolls have a certain percentage of success, and the lower the success percentage, the higher the stat gains provided by the scrolls are. Each item initially has a number of empty slots which lessens after each attempt to upgrade it, whether it works or not. Most equipment have seven slots. Earrings, most gloves and most shoes have five slots. Overalls outfits have ten slots.

    Use items consist of consumable items, such as potions, pills, food (which serves the same purpose as potions), upgrade scrolls, town scrolls (teleports the user back to the nearest town or a specific town), arrows (only usable with bows/crossbows), and throwing stars (only usable with claws).

    Set-Up items are mainly decorative special items for events such as Christmas or special quests. They usually serve no purpose after the special event is over.

    Etc. items are mainly monster leftovers, ores, materials and quest items. Ores and materials are used for forging items.

    Cash items are the items bought in the Cash Shop. However, some Cash Shop items may appear in other sections of the inventory depending on their function.

    Cash Shop

    Since playing MapleStory is free, the developers of MapleStory introduced the Cash Shop to generate revenue. This is a virtual shop where players can buy items using real money. These items may or may not give actual gameplay bonuses to the character. The items sold in the Cash Shop include clothing items, haircut coupons, pets and much more.

    Other than equipment that players can wear, some other items from the Cash Shop can grant the players special abilities, such as negating the experience points lost from dying and giving players a 2x EXP gain bonus and more recently a 2X meso gain bonus.

    In some versions of the game, Gachapon tickets can be purchased in the Cash Shop. When used at designated Gachapon machines located around the Maple world, players can receive random items. This is a controversial item, since it seems to violate Wizet's philosophy to not allow Cash Shop items to significantly affect the gameplay of players who do not wish to purchase cash shop items. Opponents say this unbalances the game.

    Pets such as monkeys, dogs, cats, bunnies, pandas, huskies, pigs, dinosaurs and Yeti(Korean Version only.). can also be purchased from the Cash Shop. They can be equipped to pick up the Mesos and items that drop from the monsters their owner defeats. They can also level up and learn new tricks. Pets ? like most Cash Shop items ? expire after a period of 90 days. However, once expired, they can be revived while keeping their level (prior to expiring) by using the Water of Life (another Cash Shop item), and finishing a short quest, which is less expensive than buying a new Pet.

    The Global Cash Shop markets items for two virtual currencies: Nexon Cash, or NX Cash, and MapleStory Points. NX Cash is purchased outside of MapleStory through the MapleStory web site. MapleStory Points, however, can be earned through special events. PayPal is the only accepted payment method for MapleStory Global, although Wizet has stated that they will soon implement direct credit card transactions.

    On 23 June 2006, MapleStory Global announced that people had been abusing the NX Cash "gifting" feature, and ultimately decided to disable the feature indefinitely. The reason MapleStory Global has given for this decision is that many people have been fraudulent towards PayPal and Wizet itself. Those who have falsely charged NX Cash will receive a permanent ban unless they "self-report" themselves via the MapleStory Global website. Those who do so will receive a lesser ban of 30 days instead of a permanent ban. If a transaction resulted in a financial penalty for Wizet, users will still be permanently banned regardless of self-reporting.

    In MapleSEA's case, in addition to credit card payment (through PayPal), it has also released Prepaid cards that are sold at a fixed price of SGD $10.50 [Tax inclusive](approximately USD $6.30) per 10,000 A-Cash (which can be used to convert into MapleCash) or RM 24 (approximately USD $6.40) for 24,000 MaplePoints (which can be used to purchase 10,000 A-Cash).

    Sometimes event quest items will appear in random parts of the Cash Shop, which players can buy for 1 Meso (Not NX Cash, Maple Points, etc).

    Guilds

    Players can form Guilds in MapleStory with other players. The purpose of a guild is to be able to find and chat with each other more easily, and to bond with other players. When a guild member logs in, all other guild members are notified, similar to what happens when a "buddy" signs on. Members have their guild's name listed under their character name along with the guild's emblem, if applicable.

    Guilds can be created in the Guild Head Quarters located in Orbis for a large amount of Mesos. Additional upgrades to the guild such as a guild emblem and expanding the maximum amount of guild members (from 10 to a maximum of 30) will carry an additional fee.

    Guilds have a customizable hierarchy. The "Guild Master", who initially created the guild, can invite or expel other players to or from the guild. He can also appoint other guild members to the rank of "Jr. Master" with the same privilege. Other privileges that the Guild Master possess are changing the ranks and rank title of the guild members and the right to disband the guild.

    In the Korean and Japanese versions there is a special quest for guilds called "Sharanian". It is much like a party quest but more difficult. It is mostly designed for high-leveled guild members (level 70+) but there is no levelcap so anyone can enter.

    Guilds may also make it easier for training purposes. For example: a level 80 player may want to create a guild of level 60 and up to train with Maplers of the same strength.

    Unique gameplay features

    Although a purely two-dimensional game lacking certain features found in other MMORPGs, MapleStory does have features that distinguishes it from other standard online games. For example, by pressing certain keys, a player can have their character temporarily display various emotions viewable by other players; some emotions showcase a confused or angry expression, while others show happiness or sadness.

    This source is taken from the following websites : APA: maplestory. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 26, 2006, from Reference.com website: http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/MapleStory MLA: "maplestory." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 26 Oct. 2006. Chicago Style: maplestory. Reference.com. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/MapleStory (accessed: October 26, 2006).

    Saturday, November 04, 2006

    MapleSEA - Everything you need to know for the basics - Part 5

    Quests

    Quests are varying tasks that players may perform for NPCs in return for experience and possible rewards. There are over a hundred possible quests, each with varying prerequisites; most quests require the player to be at or more than a certain level limit and/or the player to have a specific character class, minimum fame data point or to have completed another certain quest. For example, the quest "Building Blackbull's New House" requires the player to have a minimum of level thirty, ten fame and the completion of "Fixing Blackbull's House", an earlier quest. Most available quests require the player to retrieve a certain amount of spoils attained from monsters or they must traverse through obstacle courses. Different rewards, such as experience or unique items, can be received by the player after completing certain quests. Some quests can be repeated, although the reward(s) and given EXP may be different from those attained during their first completion. Unlike some MMORPGs, it's not possible to escape the grind by completing quests. Also unlike some MMORPGs, Maplestory does not follow any quest storyline mainly because MapleStory has no backstory.

    Accompaniments/Party Quests

    Accompaniments are a special type of quest where a party of players work together to beat several challenges. Although officially called "Accompaniments", they are commonly referred to as "Party Quests" and "PQ" interchangeably. Each party quest has its own level limits which every character in the party must be within to enter the party quest.

    The first party quest is in Kerning City. A party of at least four (although parties are limited to a maximun of six people), ranging from levels 21 to 30, progresses through five stages in fewer than thirty minutes by solving puzzles and killing monsters. At the end, a prize is given to each participant; these range from ores, equipment, scrolls, or potions. Only one party can be inside the party quest at any given time on one channel.

    The second party quest is located in Ludibrium. A party of six, ranging from levels 35 to 50, progresses through nine stages (not including the bonus stage) in less than one hour by solving puzzles and killing monsters. The skills specific character classes possess, such as Haste, Heal, Dark Sight, and Teleport, are eminently used to help pass some of the stages. The skills Dark Sight and Teleport are required to complete the accompaniment. Prizes consist of potions, ores, equipment, or scrolls. In some rare cases, some have been known to have been rewarded summoning sacks. After the boss monster (Alishar) is defeated, there is a bonus stage. In this stage players have one minute to break as many boxes as possible which drop a variety of items and equipments.

    Another party quest, the Zakum Party Quest is for characters level fifty and above. Multiple parties can enter this quest at the same time and multiple parties can finish it together. There are three stages that can be completed before playing in a boss battle with Zakum. Overall, more experience is gained from this party quest than others. One known reward from this party quest is the "Zakum Hat" that users can wear on their head to show they have completed the quest.

    A fourth party quest is in Orbis. Details are unknown, however it is only in KoreaMS and JapanMS. Also, there's a Guild Quest in the Perion Castle area, but it's only available in JapanMS and KoreaMS.

    Jump quests

    Jump quests are a unique type of quest in which a character starts at one part of a map and uses timed jumps to get from one to another specific platform. The player attempts to avoid enemies and obstacles that can knock them off of the platform. Jump quests typically require precision timing and steady patience, although the reaped rewards are re-attainable and monetarily valuable. John in Lith Harbor and Shumi in Kerning City each gives three jump quests of increasing difficulty, Sabitrama of Sleepywood gives two quests and assistant Cheng in the Ludibrium Toy Factory also gives one quest. Mobility skills (Teleport, Flash Jump) are disabled in Jump Quests, as with speed and jump boosts (This means while Haste can be cast in the area, it will have no effect). However. The Chief Bandit skill Assaulter still works, allowing them to use it to "Cheat" and teleport through monsters in the Jump Quest.

    World

    There are three main continents (Maple Island, Victoria Island, and Ossyria Island) and two subcontinents (Florina Island and Ludibrium Island) common to all versions in the MapleStory world and two additional subcontinents soon to be common to all versions (Korean Folk Town and Riprey).

    Maple Island is where every new player begins their journey. It has short, tutorial quests and is occupied with monsters whose levels are suited for Beginners. When a player leaves this island, they are not able to return to it later.

    Victoria Island has six towns. Lith Harbor is a port town where one first arrives after leaving Maple Island. Henesys is located in a plain-like area; beginners advancing to archers can do so here. Ellinia is located in a forest; beginners advancing to magicians can do so here. Perion is located in a mountainous region; beginners advancing to warriors can do so here. Kerning City is a run-down, urban area; beginners advancing to rogues can do so here. Lastly, Sleepywood is a town located in the dungeon in the middle of Victoria Island. The passage between Ossyria and Victoria Island is located in Ellinia.

    On Ossyria Island, one can travel among Orbis, El Nath, Ludibrium, Omega Sector, Aqua Road, Korean Folk Town, and Riprey. Orbis is a town whose background art and other features make it seem as though it is floating in the sky. El Nath is an arctic village located at the bottom of Orbis Tower. Below Orbis Tower lies the underwater world of Aqua Road with an aquarium. Ludibrium is a toy village accessible via a flying train from Orbis. At the bottom of Eos Tower, one will come across Omega Sector, an area where players resist an alien invasion and at the bottom of Helios Tower, one will come across Korean Folk Town, an area modeled off Korean fairy tales. Also, at the east end of Aqua Road, there is a portal that also leads to Korean Folk Town. Riprey, an island with an egg theme with strong monsters can be reached by a huge blue bird in Orbis Station.

    JapanMS and Beta KoreaMS versions contain an additional continent called Jipang, based on Japanese culture; similarly, Korean Folk Town (available in KoreaMS, JapanMS, ChinaMS and TaiwanMS) is based on the Korean culture. Formosa was exclusive to TaiwanMS, however it is no longer a TaiwanMS exclusive, Formosa is now also accessible in Beta KoreaMS.

    Dong Fang Shen Zhou was exclusive to ChinaMS,however it is no longer a ChinaMS exclusive, Dong Fang Shen Zhou is now accessible in Beta KoreaMS and TaiwanMS, but it is still unknown if Dong Fang Shen Zhou will be a permanent access or just temporary access for TaiwanMS.

    Peach Blossom Island is available only in ChinaMS, TaiwanMS, and MapleSEA, where couples take part in traditional Chinese marriages (by purchasing an amount of Cash Shop items).

    Night City is a new area in TaiwanMS that is also part of Formosa it is released on August 23, 2006. While China released Yu Yuan Garden also part of Dong Fang Shen Zhou at the same time.

    Premium Road has been made available to KoreaMS, JapanMS, ThailandMS and MapleSEA; it can be accessed only if the player is connected from a real-life Internet Cafe which has previously made contracts with the programming staff of its local MapleStory version. In addition, there is also an event town Happyville which is only available during the Christmas period.

    This source is taken from the following websites : APA: maplestory. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 26, 2006, from Reference.com website: http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/MapleStory MLA: "maplestory." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 26 Oct. 2006. Chicago Style: maplestory. Reference.com. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/MapleStory (accessed: October 26, 2006).

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    MapleSEA - Everything you need to know for the basics - Part 4

    Monsters

    Killing monsters gives a player experience, sometimes mesos, and sometimes items, or all three. Any experience gained is automatically added to the player’s total experience, whereas the Mesos and items are dropped at the location of the monsters' death. Dropped items include monster leftovers (a piece of the monster), ores, equipment, quest items, usable drops, and during certain periods of time, "set-up" items (see the items section). Stronger monsters (those with a higher level than another compared monster), give more experience when killed, drop larger sums of Mesos and tend to drop better items in terms of their use and selling abilities.

    The monsters residing on the beginner island, Maple Island, are known for being suited best to characters below level ten. The second continent, Victoria Island, has monsters suited to much higher levels. The final continent, Ossyria, harbors even stronger monsters in the game, making it a prime location for high leveled characters to train. The release of the new sub-continent, Ludibrium, harbors extremely high leveled monsters in the game, deep in the Clock Tower.

    Some monsters are "super" monsters or "monster from another dimension". These are monsters that cannot be killed or even attack. They usually reside in jump quests. They usually have very high avoidability stats and very low weapon attack stats however some Super/Dark Monster from another Dimension are rigged to do high damage. (They actually can die through a Page's or Fighter's Power guard technique however they need a lot of HP and someone to heal them)

    Strengths and weaknesses

    Each monster has a defense rating against physical attacks and another rating against magical attacks. For example, a "Sentinel" is substantially armored over other monsters in its level range against weapon attacks, making it hard for most characters near its level, minus select mages, to obtain a sufficient attack upon. Magicians, however, are less adept at killing monsters with magic defense including "Luster Pixies", which are less vulnerable to magic attacks. Some monsters have elemental strengths and weaknesses making them more or less susceptible to specific elemental attacks. For example, "Fire Boars" take extra damage against ice-elemental attacks, but take reduced damage against fire-elemental attacks.

    Monster skills

    All monsters can damage the player simply through contact. However, some monsters can use other skills while battling the player. Some can use skills to improve their own, or nearby monsters' attack or defence capabililties. For example, "Fierries" can increase defense of other nearby monsters temporarily. Others can cause status ailments on the character, such as poisoning or stunning, though there are potions available to counter each effect. Many monsters also have attack spells. Similarily to character skills, monster attack skills can be classed into two categories, physical and magical, with characters having different defence capabilities for each attack type. These skills can be melee attacks or ranged attacks. Some target only one character, wheras others can damage all nearby characters. Higher level monsters typically do more damage and have a wider assortment of attacks to use.

    Boss monsters

    There are several boss monsters which can be found throughout the MapleStory world. Each boss is located at their respective map and do not appear at other maps beyond their bounds. One characteristic of bosses are that their spoils are typically dominant over other similar items in the boss' level group; supporting this generality, the Zakum can drop one of three similar "Zakum Helmets" of which one has statistics that are superior to all other level fifty helmets. Having this in mind, the boss monsters also have a much higher health to other monsters of its level range eg. the average health of the monsters in the 31-40 level range is 1500. The "King Slime" (level 40) has 8000 health. Another feature of bosses are that they spawn less frequently than normal monsters; for example, "Mushmom" spawns at its own map every forty minutes to an hour.

    Each accompaniment has a boss at the end, such as the King Slime at the end of the Kerning quest, and Zakum at the end of the Zakum quest. Other bosses include "Chief Gray" and "MT-09", alien bosses found at Omega Sector, and "Crimson Balrog", which appears during a random trip from the Ellinia-Orbis stations, though many other bosses exist.

    Most boss monsters have special privileges such as being unaffected by some spells, higher than normal HP, higher than normal attack, defence and special attack power and summoning powers. They are also generally very large.

    This source is taken from the following websites : APA: maplestory. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 26, 2006, from Reference.com website: http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/MapleStory MLA: "maplestory." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 26 Oct. 2006. Chicago Style: maplestory. Reference.com. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/MapleStory (accessed: October 26, 2006).

    Tuesday, October 31, 2006

    MapleSEA - Everything you need to know for the basics - Part 3

    Character classes

    All characters start the game as a "Beginner". When leveling up, beginners are given 5 AP per level, and from levels 1 to 6 are given 1 SP per level to use on any of their three skills. At either level eight or ten, depending on desired class, the player can willingly choose to acquire a new class as a "Warrior" (level ten), "Magician" (level eight), "Bowman" (level ten) or "Thief" (level ten) and gain the ability to acquire SP and skills. These are only applicable if the character has the minimum amount of AP that the advancement requires. It is not advisable not to acquire one's class when one have reached the minimum level for it and continue to level up, because then they will forever lose the SP that they would have otherwise received if they had acquired their class.

    Once a player reaches level thirty (30), they are able to complete the second job advancement according to their current job. Unlike the first job advancement, a quest is required to be completed prior to advancing. After they make the advancement, they receive a new set of applicable skills according to their respective job advancement.

    At level seventy (70), characters can once again change their job at the Chief's Residence in El Nath of Ossyria. Unlike previous job advancements, the player is not given the option to choose their third job, being only able to progress their current job into a new-named one with new skill sets. 3rd job advancement is currently available in all version except EuropeMS.

    At level one hundred twenty (120), the character can once again change classes. However, fourth job advancements have not yet been implemented in any version of the game, except in the KoreaMS Beta server, which is currently testing the fourth job. However, Wizet has revealed the names of the fourth job classes.

    This source is taken from the following websites : APA: maplestory. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 26, 2006, from Reference.com website: http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/MapleStory MLA: "maplestory." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 26 Oct. 2006. Chicago Style: maplestory. Reference.com. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/MapleStory (accessed: October 26, 2006).

    Sunday, October 29, 2006

    MapleSEA - Everything you need to know for the basics - Part 2

    Leveling up

    Characters begin the game at level 1. To increase in level, the character must kill monsters or complete quests to gain experience (EXP). MapleStory has a progressively, near-exponentially difficult leveling program. During the earlier levels, only a few minutes or hours of gameplay are required to level up. The higher a character's level becomes, the more experience points one needs to level up. This means that the higher a character's level gets the more time it takes to gain a level. When a character is level 70 or higher, it may take days or weeks to level up once. At each level up, a player receives three skill points (SP) and five ability points (AP) to be distributed among the stats of HP (health points), MP (mana points), STR, DEX, INT, and LUK. at their own will.

    Players can kill monsters alone, or they can form a party with up to 5 other characters (6 characters total). One character forms a party as the leader, and invites others to the party. While killing monsters, money and EXP are shared based on damage dealt to the monster as well as each character's relative level. More EXP is given to higher level characters and characters that do more damage. The EXP and money gained is only shared if the party members are in the same map and channel. Joining a party without helping is called leeching and is generally considered rude. Another act which is generally considered rude is the killing of monsters already in combat with another character. This is typically called Kill-Stealing, or KSing for short. Any player Kill-Stealing runs the risk of getting their fame lowered by other players.

    Ranking

    When a player logs on, they can see how their character is ranked among others in the same world and among the other players at the same class as their character; it will also display the character's changes in ranking from the previous day. All characters in the game are ranked based on how much total EXP they have gained, approximately equivalent to the character's level.

    The KoreaMS, JapanMS, and GlobalMS websites have ranking systems that allows anyone to view any character's ranking within the version. Rankings may be viewed in four ways: overall ranking compares all characters across all worlds within the version; world ranking only compares characters on the same world; class ranking compares characters across all worlds based on their class; fame ranking compares characters across all worlds based on the amount of fame they have. This adds a new level of depth to MapleStory as it allows players to compete for higher rankings between friends.

    Abilities

    There are four types of abilities and two sub-types of abilities, with varying degrees of value, depending on character class. General effects of each stat do not depend on a character's class; however, damage will vary based on job, level, and the equipped weapon. Most classes have one main stat which they raise to increase their damage output, as well as one minor stat which is raised to meet the requirements to equip weapons and armor and/or increase the specialties that come with some of the abilities. These are raised using Ability Points. Characters do not have to follow these general beliefs and may choose to raise other abilities at their will. For example, while warriors generally raise their STR and DEX, some may put more emphasis on their HP over the increased damage from STR, better accuracy, and better item-handling from DEX increases. As the player can build their character to their liking, there is no such thing as a "perfect character."

    • Strength (STR) has a major effect on melee attacks, as well as minorly affecting a bowman's ranged attacks and a thief's dagger and throwing star attacks.
    • Dexterity (DEX) increases accuracy and, to a lesser extent, avoidability. It also has a major effect on a bowman's ranged attacks, as well as a thief's dagger and throwing star attacks.
    • Intelligence (INT) increases magic attack, which determines spell accuracy and spell damage. It also increases magic defence.
    • Luck (LUK) increases avoidability and, to a lesser extent, accuracy. It also has a major effect on a thief's dagger and throwing star attacks. Some players believe that LUK increases the drop rate of items, however, this is not true. Also, when one dies, depending on the amount of LUK one has, the extent of EXP loss is lessened.
    • Health Points (HP) - Adding Ability Points into this will increases the maximum HP a character has. As suggested by the title, this is a health stat.
    • Mana Points (MP) - Adding Ability Points into this will increases the maximum MP a character has.

    Skills

    Every character class has specific skills in which to invest Skill Points (SP) into. The effects of these skills vary. A skill becomes increasingly powerful or helpful depending on the amount of SP invested in the skill. There are 3 types of skills: Passive (activated automatically when the moment is right), Supportive (manually activated to help the player) and Active (attack skills).

    • Passive skills such as a bowman's range-increasing "Eye of Amazon", take effect as long as SP has been placed in the skill. The gamut of passive skill effects enhance the character and are not prone to negatively affecting other user specialties. Passive skills do not require any usage of MP or HP.
    • Supportive skills can be used when necessary. They always require MP and, in some cases, HP or even special items. Their effects can range from giving temporary benefits to one's character (such as the "Weapon Booster" skill every class receives), to affecting allied members as well (such as the Assassin/Bandit skill "Haste"), to powering down monsters (such as the Page's "Threaten"). Some Supportive skills are only available depending on the equipped weapon, such as the Hunter's "Bow Booster" skill which cannot be used while another type of weapon is equipped. Certain monsters, such as sharks, can 'dispel' these types of skills, usually resulting in high fatilities or inconveniences. When a player is affected by a Supportive skill, an icon with the skill's image is shown in the top-right corner. The player can deactivate them by right clicking on these icons. Some characters, particularily Wizards (although some warriors also) have supportive skills to alter their weapon defense, magic defense, and damage.
    • Active skills are skills that are used to damage and defeat enemies. Like Supportive skills, they require MP, and sometimes HP. First job active skills usually can be performed with most weapons (an exception can be made for the Thief's "Lucky Seven"/"Double Stab", which is the only Active Skill they'll get). From the second job however, nearly all active skills require a specific weapon. For example, a Dragon Knight's active skills can only be performed with either a Polearm or a Spear. A Magician's active skills can performed with only one-handed weapons. Exceptions are for Arrow-based attacks (such as Holy Arrow) and skills that do not use the normal spell-casting animation.

    Dying

    When a character's HP on the red health bar reaches zero, a character dies. This is depicted by a tombstone falling from the top of the screen, and the character transmuting to a floating, ghost-like body. The character is incapable of moving and going through portals at this stage but they retain the ability to speak. Upon dying, a window appears notifying the character of their death. If the character presses the "OK" button on this window, they are transported to the nearest town and revived with fifty HP. The amount of MP after a character's death does not change.

    Beginners do not lose EXP when they die, which suggests that dying is a quick and free way of getting to the nearest town. However, once a beginner makes their first job advancement, each death will cost them a percentage of EXP (between 5%-10%, although it has been claimed that there was no EXP loss due to high LUK) based upon the amount of LUK they have. Dying in towns or other specific areas (such as Zakum's altar) will always result in an EXP loss of 1% regardless of the character's LUK stat. Unlike other games, if a player dies, they will not lose any items. However, they will lose EXP if they have made (at least) the first job advancement. Also, one cannot kill another character to gain their equipment or Mesos; however, if one has summoning sacks, it is possible to kill another or many characters, but still, one cannot take their items.

    Items such as the Safety Charm (available from the Cash Shop) can prevent EXP loss when the character dies; however, the user loses the item after they die. The Safety Charm is available in all versions of the game and there is no limit to using the charm as long as the user buys more in the Cash Shop. Other variations of the Safety Charm are the Box of Chocolates and Easter Charm, which were both released for GlobalMS events.

    A character cannot fall below zero percent EXP, rendering leveling only ascendable. Upon death the player can remain in ghost-form for an unlimited time (this may vary from version to version, as the Global version will automatically send the player to the nearest town after an allocated time), but instead of the usual speech bubbles, a "thought bubble" is substituted. A character may still use facial expressions when dead.

    This source is taken from the following websites : APA: maplestory. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 26, 2006, from Reference.com website: http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/MapleStory MLA: "maplestory." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 26 Oct. 2006. Chicago Style: maplestory. Reference.com. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/MapleStory (accessed: October 26, 2006).