It’s only been a few months since Maplestory 2’s release, but Nexon has already made the game much bigger—and higher. Yes, because the game’s new direction is not just a mere expansion but also ascension, as adventurers will be taken up in the clouds. Time to fly to Maplestory 2: Skybound Expansion Phase 1!

New Skies, Reshaped Dungeons

Lore-wise, the centerpiece of Skybound is the Sky Fortress, a giant battle airship complete with turbines and giant cannons. Content-wise, however, it functions as a new area–complete with dungeons–instead of transport. You’ll be mostly taking on tech-based enemies like giant mechs, so if you spazz out to those kinds of stuff, you will definitely like the aesthetics of this area’s enemies.

Other than adding new endgame PVE content, the Hard Adventure dungeons have been changed. Some had their final bosses weakened and therefore had their gear score requirements lowered, some stayed as they are, while some were even increased–perfect time to buy Maplestory 2 mesos. The changes are as follows:

Lowered from 2100 to 1800:

  • The Fire Dragon
  • Labyrinthine Halls

Retained at 2100:

  • Temple of Immortals
  • Lubelisk

Increased from 2100 to 2800:

  • BeyondLinkTris
  • Rune Temple

In line with the difficulty adjustments, the rewards have also been given the same treatment. It follows suit that the harder the dungeons are, the better are the rewards. To give you even more reason to run the two dungeons with the 2800 Gear Score, they also drop a Re-Roller Box Fragment for both weapons and armor after you complete a run. Collect enough of these and you’d be able to reroll the bonuses of the weapon or armor drop that you got from the dungeon.

Softer Chaos

As for Chaos Raids, unlike some Hard Adventure Dungeons, they won’t be toned down. This is because the developers want players to feel a sense of joy and accomplishment when they finish them. At the same time, they also recognize that there is a huge jump in difficulty from Hard Adventure dungeons to Chaos Raids.

To remedy this, they have released Normal Chaos Raids, which is where the challenge of your Hard Chaos Raids and accessibility of the Hard Adventure dungeons meet. The Normal Chaos Raid bosses have lower health and do less damage compared to their Hard counterparts, but you still have to beat them within fifteen minutes or less. Also, unlike Hard Chaos Raids in which participating parties can have up to ten members, they can only have up to six.

While Normal Chaos Raids can seem like a good choice due to convenience, do note that Hard Chaos Raids have better rewards. However, if you keep running Normal Chaos Raids, the difference won’t be that great. On the other hand, if you want to run both or only Hard Chaos Raids, keep in mind that they share the same limit.

Last but definitely not least, Ludibrium Clock Tower won’t receive a Normal Chaos Raid. With its notoriety, this shouldn’t be a surprise.

Soul Binder and Arena

There are many other updates that have come rolling in with Maplestory 2 Skybound Phase 1. However, we can’t include them all, so we’ll end on the last two important updates: the new class, Soul Binder, and a new PVP mode: Arena.

As the name suggests, the Soul Binder uses spiritual energy and the power of nature to not only deal damage from a distance but also heal allies.

Finally, for Arena, it is a 1v1 PVP mode wherein the one who wins two out of three matches is declared the winner. To give players a fun and fair fight, potions can’t be used, and both players will be balanced thru stat adjustments and Arena armor. The winner will receive Valor Tokens, which in turn can be used in the Arena Shop.

The arrival of Skybound Phase 1 is neither early nor late. Rather, with 2019 having just begun and Maplestory 2 being relatively new, fresh and current players won’t have much of a gap to separate them. Plus, they can both enjoy the new and adjusted content together.

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