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ct_news_notice_notice [06.19] GM Blog: June 2021 - Posted by Joong

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Dear adventurers of Maple World!

The sun is out, a new GM Blog is out, and that clearly means it's time to hang out in MapleRoyals! We hope you've been enjoying the ~8thth Anniversary Event, which will conclude on Monday, June, the 21st at 23:59.

For this GM Blog, we want to clear up some common questions and share with you all a little bit about what we are currently working on, and some things we have in store for the near future.


Summer Events!
That's right! With the Anniversary Events wrapping up earlier than last year, a long summer lay ahead, eventless and bare...

Kidding! Of course we have more stuff in store for you! We're working hard to keep you busy and entertained, so in a little less than a month we'll be rolling out some brand-new summer events!
  • The Chair Gachapon will be making a return, restocked and ready to take your mesos! Get ready for a chance to acquire the chair of your dreams!
  • More collectibles! Simply head over to [REDACTED] and help out [REDACTED] to be rewarded with [REDACTED]. [​IMG]
  • Staying cool with hot, cool drops! As for how many icey treats you may eat during summer, there are no rules, that is the only rule. Do you follow? We don't!
  • And last but not least, competitive community events! Gather your friends and partake in activities together! Will you take home the prize(s)?


Clarifying Common Confusion
We often receive repeat questions and suggestions, and sometimes our answers can be confusing, contradictory or muddy at best. Sometimes, this is because we don't have a precise answer to the question and would have to conduct a more thorough investigation, which becomes unfeasible with the sheer number of queries we receive. Other times, we misfire when we try to oversimplify a matter to avoid getting into nitty-gritty details. This can be a result of being short on time, but also of trying to tailor the information to a level relevant or interesting to the person asking.

Here are some common such points:
  • "It's not possible due to client limitations"
    ... is something we sometimes say. This is of course not strictly true; it's not a question of possibility or impossibility, but rather one of feasibility. Many proposals are not feasible to implement, partly due to the lack of documentation of the client's internal code and the fact that we have to reverse-engineer the client in order to understand how it currently works, and how to bend it to work in our favour. The uncertainty aspect is also important. Investigating client functionality is manual work which can require a great deal of time, even for very small-ish tweaks. Some suggestions may be very possible to implement, but they require us to take time out of our schedule to sit down, shift focus, and delve into an issue we may know nothing about. We won't necessarily know how much time we'll be looking to spend on said investigation, beforehand. It could be minutes, hours, or days. We are generally happy to do this, of course, but due to time constraints we prioritise topics that we believe will have the most beneficial and significant impacts on the game.

  • Server-side bugs vs. Client-side bugs
    A related issue to the above is the occasional wonky behaviour of the game; for example, mismatches between what the player sees in the client window and what the client actually does, and wants the source code to do. One such example is Bowman's Soul Arrow, or Night Lord's Shadow Stars, both of which are handled correctly by the client's internal calculations, and the source code. However, for strange reasons, the damage displayed in the client is incorrect, and this is a client bug that would require the aforementioned reverse engineering to address. Another rare example is that of buffs becoming stuck, and blinking endlessly. As time goes on, the bugs of the client itself become more glaring. This is also evident by last years, and this years major fixes and changes, many of which were related to the client.

  • Development time, and working in parallel
    At the time of writing, the Staff has a handful of active developers whose work is split up between backend work such as the source code and websites, and work pertaining to gameplay, such as balancing, new content, and tweaking existing content. We occasionally hear concerns that updates bring with them "unnecessary" or "low priority" changes, especially related to gameplay, such as tweaking maps, NPCs, or monsters which are not part of the de facto meta. However, these changes don't interfere with the development of the backend code, such as the auto banner, control panel, or the improvement of our GMs' toolsets, and they only marginally take away development time from those developers and GMs who work on the game's content. While we certainly focus on the most popular topics, we also wish to take a holistic approach to improving the game long-term, little by little. This will always entail some amount of development time going into improving less popular aspects of the game; to provide minority groups of players a viable option to stray from the beaten path, if nothing else. We do this because we adore the game as a whole, every nook and corner of it, and we hope that you share our perception that there is room for more than one focus!

  • On being GMS-like, and bugs vs. features
    We know, the server is advertised as GMS-like, but what does it even mean? Well, firstly, it refers to GMS as it was around the time of the version that we are emulating; but even that has never been quite true for Royals. Prior to the new source, the server ran on version 0.62, but was arguably less GMS-like than it is now in terms of sheer functionality. The new source has with time made most aspects of the game identical to how they were in GMS. However, we now run on version 0.83, but have omitted the vast majority of version 0.83 content in order to retain the feeling of the original experience. So what are we?

    The argument of "GMS-likeness" is sometimes used to justify correcting certain behaviour, such as fixing bugs. For a long time, this was a core goal of the server, and a point we seldom budged on. In some cases it is effectively necessary to fix these bugs, for the sake of the auto banner, for example. In other cases, such as drinking potions on mounts, or tweaking numbers or functionality of skills- or monster stats, we are not strictly GMS-like, and one may say that we are becoming more lenient on this point.

    This opens up to questions of whether or not "fixing bugs" is always a valid argument. It may be more accurate to refer to other values close to our hearts, such as rewarding active gameplay, or prioritising the auto banner and people's ability to main a class. In the end, these end up being the real reasons for changes, rather than simply "it was a bug, hence we will fix it". We have already proven the latter false, historically, anyway.

    As a general rule, the term "GMS-like" may help players get a broad appreciation for what we strive to be, or at the very least that we are not a server that hands out GM Hats or White Scrolls in the FM! Use the term at your own peril, as we apparently do! :)

On The Horizon
To round out the GM Blog, we wanted to give you a brief update on where our focus currently lies. Granted, we always have our fingers in many pies, but right now our attention goes to improving the alert system for our GMs, and giving them more administrative freedoms, which will help offload our Admins. On top of this, we are carefully approaching the topic of skill changes, but unlike previous patches, we now intend to collect all changes and release them in a bundle, together with a comprehensive statement on the reasoning that led to the changes. We are also (obviously) working hard on the summer events, not to mention various bug fixes, and... high level content (old AND new). On the latter, you will find out more soon!


But that's about all for this GM Blog. Once again, we are saving the real gold nuggets for announcements made closer to the next Update(s), we hope you will forgive us for the cliffhanger!

We hope you all have a great summer, and say 'thanks' for spending it with us! :tobenaww:

- The MapleRoyals Staff

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