Most of this was copied from Wikipedia:
MapleStory is a free, 2D, side-scrolling MMORPG developed by the Korean company Nexon. Several versions of the game are available for specific countries or regions, and each is published by various companies. (Respectively Wizet, NXGames, Shanda, AsiaSoft, and Gamania). Although gameplay is free, many player appearances and gameplay enhancements can be purchased from the "Cash Shop" with actual currency. MapleStory has a combined total of over 50 million players in all of its versions.
In the game, players defend the "Maple World" from monsters and develop their character's skills and abilities, as typical role-playing games. Players can interact with others in many ways, such as through Instant messaging, chatting, trading, and playing minigame. Groups of players can ally together in "parties" to hunt monsters and share the rewards, or they can band together under a common name in a guild.
Like most MMORPGs, gameplay centers around venturing into dungeons and combating monsters in real time. However, MapleStory's 2D side-scrolling viewpoint more closely resembles a platformer than the typical 3D or top-down view of other games (such as Guild Wars or World Of Warcraft). Though the 2D graphics don't give players the best sense of realism, it's an important part of MapleStory because it allows each game area to be larger. MapleStory characters fight monsters through a series of attacks and skills. Along with combat, jumping is an integral part of the game. MapleStory is played mainly with the keyboard; the mouse is mainly used to trigger NPC's, select various menus from the User interface and to interact with other players.
Characters in MapleStory advance by gaining experience points (EXP, like many other RPGs), leveling up, improving various skills and collecting various items and pieces of wieldable equipment. The players combat monsters, acquire play money called Mesos or Meru (depending on version) and various items, as well as completing quests.
MapleStory characters exist in domains called "worlds" or "servers", e.g., "Scania" or "Aquila". Players are allowed to create up to three different characters in each world. Each world, similar in content between each other in the same version, is split into up to twenty channels, among which characters are allowed to switch. Characters and their items cannot be transferred between worlds although there is limited functionality in transferring items between characters of the same world. Players can use facial expressions ingame. Players may also buy additional facial expressions from the Cash Shop.
The Controls for the game are executed using the computer keyboard and mouse. Most of the controls are capable of being rearranged by the user, to adapt to their preference. As an example, the standard setting to execute an attack command is to press the "control" or "ctrl" button, although it varies depending on the players custom settings. Many of the buttons (e.g. the letter "K" opens the skills book) are shortcuts to various functions. However, certain controls are fixed, and cannot be modified by the player. For example, the movement keys are fixed as the directional arrows. This has led to some complaint from players who are used to the more traditional, or at least comfortable, WASD configuration for movement.
New players are sent to Maple Island, a floating island specifically designed to be beginner-friendly. Unlike many other MMORPGs, players in MapleStory can not choose a character class or job when they create the character. Rather, every character starts with the job Beginner until they meet the requirements to complete the first job advancement.
When a player creates a new character, he or she is able to allocate 25 ability points amongst four different statistics: STR, DEX, INT, and LUK (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Luck, respectively). Players can not manually choose where these points will be placed, as the distribution is randomly generated by a dice roll, to which 262,144 rolls are possible. The minimum possible point level scored when the dice is rolled in a statistic is four and the maximum is thirteen. When creating the avatar the player can also choose from a limited variety of faces, hair styles, hair colors and skin colors. These can be modified only through the purchase of special coupons from the Cash Shop.
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). Each party has a leader who initially creates the party and then 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. The EXP and money gained is only shared if the party members are in the same map and channel. The higher the character's level in relation to other party members and the more damage done will increase the EXP received. When a player forms a party with other players, and then lets the other players fight and get free EXP and loot, without any effort, it is called leeching. Leeching is generally considered rude, unless with permission from other members of the party.
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 EXP they have gained or, equivalently, their level and percentage.
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, world, class, and fame. This adds a new level of depth to MapleStory as it allows players to compete for higher rankings between pals.
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 items 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 and better accuracy and 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 bowman's ranged attacks, thief's dagger attacks and throwing star attacks. Warriors need at least 35 AP in STR to make their first job advancement.
- Dexterity (DEX) increases accuracy and to a lesser extent, avoidability. It also has a major effect on bowman's ranged attacks, and thief's dagger and throwing star attacks. Bowmen and thieves need at least 25 AP in DEX to make their first job advancement.
- Intelligence (INT) increases magic attack, which has determines spell accuracy and spell damage. It also increases magic defence. Magicians need at least 20 AP in INT to make their first job advancement.
- Luck (LUK) increases avoidability and, to a lesser extent, accuracy. It also has a major effect on Thief's dagger attack and star attack. Some players believe that LUK increases the drop rate of items, however, this is not true.
- Health Points (HP) Adding Ability Points in it will increases the maximum HP a character has.
- Mana Points (MP) Adding Ability Points in it will increases the maximum MP a character has.