Wednesday 8th August/... The biggest decision any avid MapleStory player must face - or 'Mapler', as we prefer to be called! - beyond deciding on what pair of sunglasses to buy in the Cash shop, is which of the four profession paths is right for their character. And the truth is, it's not an easy choice to make!
There are four main character classes in MapleStory - Warrior, Magician, Thief and Bowman - all familiar and instantly recognisable archetypes. While this helps to ease less experienced players into the game, each profession has several different paths of progression to explore, many we've still yet to reveal, thereby ensuring plenty of choice for the committed player. It's another example of how we designed MapleStory to be instantly playable, and yet still maintain the depth expected from today's best MMORPG's
We've worked hard to make every profession as balanced and as entertaining to play as possible; ultimately it's a matter of personal preference. Swords or wits, accuracy or stealth: which job will you choose?
Begin as the Beginner
Rather than forcing players to choose their character class from the start, every new player in MapleStory starts as a Beginner. A sort of 'Jack of NO trades', Beginners have access to a limited number of weapons, armour set-ups and skills, but there's good reason for this. With only a few options to worry about from the outset, players can concentrate on picking up and enjoying MapleStory straight away. Only when players have moved on from the initial training island and reached a suitable level do they need to worry about which career path to progress down.
Of course, you don't have to choose a job class for your Beginner - some people even relish the challenge of staying as a Beginner - but it's not something we'd advise. With many of the game's quests and more powerful items requiring one of the more advanced professions, you might be considered a glutton for punishment if you stay in your training pants for life.
Warriors are the archetypal tanks. Big, strong, monster-bashing machines, Warriors are the preferred class for those who enjoy conversing with their enemies, fist-first. Not surprisingly, Strength is the prime-requisite for Warriors.
There are currently two levels of Warrior progression available in MapleStory. Beginners that reach level 10 are able to become Swordsmen in the mountain town of Perion. At level 30, they have the choice of upgrading to either Spearman, Fighter or Page. Naturally, Warriors have access to the strongest weapons and armour in the game, along with powerful skills such as improved recovery and the devastating Final Attack, but this is offset by a lack of natural accuracy.
Because of the sheer amount of damage Warriors can do at early levels they accumulate experience points much more quickly than other classes, making them an ideal choice for players who want to progress as swiftly as possible.
Masters of the arcane, what Magicians lack in might they make up for in supernatural firepower. This is definitely the class for those who are into blowing things up or showering people with ice shards!
Beginners get to upgrade to Magicians at level 8, earlier than any other class, which makes them very powerful at early levels. At level 30, they get to specialise: Fire/Poison Wizards and Ice/Lightning Wizards both focus on damaging elemental attacks, while Clerics specialise in powerful restorative spells and destroying undead monsters.
While it's tempting for players to automatically opt for the fire and lightning throwers, it shouldn't be forgotten that no party is complete without the healing powers of a Cleric. They might not appear to be the most dynamic of classes, but everybody wants a cleric on the party, and parties mean one thing: shared experience!
Contrary to popular belief, Thieves in MapleStory don't do a lot of stealing (although they can grab items and money from monster at higher levels). Instead, they use their high dexterity and luck to become lightning fast attackers who, while not as powerful as Warriors, can certainly hold their own in a scrap.
The first step on the Thief path is the Rogue, which Beginners can take on once they reach level 10. As their second progression, Rogues can then specialise as either Bandits or Assassins, the former focusing on close up dagger attacks, and the latter concentrating on longer ranged, throwing star attacks.
Thieves specialise in accumulating cash quickly. That, and the fact that their equipment makes them look like hardened ninjas, makes them an extremely popular profession with new MapleStory players.
The final character class, the bowman, concentrates on long-range attacks that are both swift and accurate. Although not seen to be as popular as the other classes, Bowmen that stick it out can look forward to plenty of powerful abilities at higher levels.
Bowmen start their career at level 10 as an Archer. How they proceed depends on whether they decide to specialise in bows (fast, but less-powerful) or crossbows (more powerful, but slower), the next job step being Hunter and Crossbowman respectively. While both have similar powers, their differences require players to approach combat differently, once again demonstrating the subtle depth that runs through MapleStory's gameplay.
Of course, we don't expect the bowman's tendency to stay out of a fight to be everybody's cup of tea, but there's nothing like being able to take a monster out from a distance, right before the warrior next to it can deliver the killing blow!
We hope this gives you a quick introduction to the job paths available in MapleStory. And don't forget this is just for starters! We're looking forward to revealing new levels of progression for every available job soon! Happy Mapling!