MapleStory Card Game Questions & Answers
Ever heard of MapleStory? It's an online game that mixes anime, quests, cool gear and clobbering monsters, plus a whole lot of gaining levels. Well, now it's expanding into a card game too, and it's a card game that's going to include secret web-codes to unlock bonus online game stuff! The game isn't out yet, but Gary grabbed the people who are making it and had a chat with them. They were kind enough to answer questions and they didn't even press charges when he crawled out of their air vent! Here's what they had to say, plus a pair of preview images you won't find anywhere else.
Gary: The first question is a biggie - how do you play the game?!? Do you play as a single MapleStory adventurer? A team of adventurers? A mushroom? Take a deep breath and spill some details - 67 million MapleStory players want to know! :o)
Brian: The Maple Story iTCG lets you play a character leading a party to duel with your opponent. The object of the game is reduce your opponent's HP to 0 using skills, items, and monsters.
It's a pretty big challenge to create a good card game that closely mirrors the experience of the online game. While we couldn't include every element of the online world, we ended up making some choices that resulted in a fun game to play while still capturing the essence of the Maple Story experience. You start with a single character card. Each turn you can level up your character. Each new level up will give you new character abilities you can use every turn.
The elegant part of the game is that the rules are extremely simple while allowing tons of play variety. The steps of the turn are 1.) Level up, 2.) Do your character abilities, 3.) Fight with monsters. You don't do anything else unless your character abilities tell you to. Compare this to most other TCGs where you have to learn a whole bunch of steps of a turn - untap, draw a card, play cards of various types, attack, etc. In this game each player is building his own steps of the turn as he plays. You can't damage your enemies unless your character skills give you that ability. If you want to attack five times a turn, or play five monsters a turn, you can build your character to do that.
Gary: Do you start the game with a job or do you have to train for one first?
Brian: Sort of both. Your character starts out with a job like Assassin, Cleric, etc. But you don't get all the abilities of that job until your character reaches high enough level. So if you are playing an archer you will get access to your abilities faster than a hunter would. But a hunter's abilities will be more powerful when you reach high enough level.
Gary: How do you level up and what does it give you when you do it?
Brian: Almost every card can be played in one of two ways - its normal form (Monster, Item, or Tactic) - or to level up. To level up you put a card from your hand underneath the character card so only the bottom portion of the card is visible. The visible part of the card lists your new character ability, such as "spawn a monster card" or "bash your opponent for 10 damage." The next level up card goes under that one, also slightly sticking out. This lets you easily see all the new character abilities each new level gives you.
Gary: Mana, HP, Mesos and Gear - how do you gain and lose 'em?
Brian: Each character starts with a set amount of HP. Every time you level up, your HP increase. Gear comes on cards. You play them from your hand and they stay next to your character to boost your abilities in combat. Mana and Mesos aren't a prominent part of the game play right now. A good card game doesn't try to include too many elements at once, plus we need to save some things to introduce in later releases.
Gary: Battling! How do you thump monsters and other players?
Brian: Characters and monsters all thump each other. Bowmen have character abilities that allow them to shoot monsters repeatedly. There's hardly any way to stop them once they get going. Magicians are best at attacking with Tactics cards that represent powerful spells. Warriors are really good at battling with monsters directly and can bring out the most powerful monsters. Rogues have lots of tricky ways to get their damage in.
At the end of every turn, it's the monsters' turn to fight. Each monster you played will attack your opponent or another monster of your choice, dealing damage automatically. When a monster's HP go to 0 that monster dies. When a monster attacks another player and there are other monsters around, that monster has to fight past the enemies so his attack against the enemy player is reduced.
Gary: Can you team up with other players for big games?
Brian: Yes, the game has no problem adapting to multiplayer play.
Gary: How about playing all by yourself?
Brian: There's plenty of strategy in building your deck and finding the best combination of cards to stomp your opponent.
Gary: Quests! How do you go on quests and what do they give you?
Brian: In the interest of keeping the game accessible we decided not to include detailed individual quests. A quest is just an action on your character card that allows you to draw more cards. So questing is how you get new items and levels.
Gary: Ok, now that we know how to play it, how do you win it?
Brian: Smash your opponent with your attacks, Pepes, and Drakes, reduce his HP to 0, then raise your arms and cheer.
Gary: What areas of the MapleStory online game can you explore?
Brian: Each monster card lists the location where that monster is usually found. But there's no big map to wander around. We wanted to keep games fast-paced and focused on fighting. In the future you may see rare and exotic areas of the MapleStory world, and even places and monsters that no one has ever seen before!
Gary: Will there be expansions for the MapleStory iTCG that let you explore more of the MapleStory world?
Brian: Yes. Each new expansion will bring more items, characters, monsters, and other surprises from different parts of the MapleStory world.
Gary: Can you visit famous MapleStory areas like The Ant Tunnel or Pig Beach?
Brian: Yes, you can fight monsters that come from those areas, although your character doesn't wander around a map.
Gary: How about famous MapleStory people, guilds, monsters, virtual pets and stylin' accessories for your character?
Brian: We could only put a limited number of cards in the first set, but the great thing about an iTCG is that you never know what surprises will come along in later sets!
Gary: Here's another big question for you - game codes. There's one to a pack and word is they'll do everything except your math homework. Can you give us the real-deal on what the codes can do and give a few examples? (Pssst... haircuts, right? My poor Magician needs a new one!)
Brian: The codes will give players access to items not available anywhere else. The items have different levels of rarity, so it's possible to randomly get an in-game item that's extremely rare. The codes are guaranteed at one per pack, but it's been rumored that some packs may have two, three, or maybe even more codes! I can't say too much about specific items, but there will be at least one new super cool pet.
Gary: Finally, is there anything you'd like to tell the world about the MapleStory iTCG?
Brian: The Maple Story iTCG is a great way to have a new and different experience with the MapleStory world while still enjoying the elements that make the online game such an amazing adventure. We think players will have an absolute blast.