Pay2Win Vs Play2Win

Pay2Win Vs Play2Win In Maplestory Private Servers

Infographic contrasting play2win and pay2win

Imagine that you’ve spent months playing on a maplestory private server.  You’ve grinded for hours to earn millions – or even billions of mesos to fund your overpowered attack gear, perfect weapon, and yellow scrolled equips.  Then, some random person comes along, spends a few hundred – maybe even a thousand dollars on the server and purchases gear that’s even BETTER than yours.  How would that make you feel?  In this post, I’m going to dive into pay2win, the phenomenon that plagues most free2play MMOS and explain how it applies to maplestory private servers.

Defining Play2Win

Before we go further its very important that we have a clear definition on the terms Play2win and Pay2win.  Play2Win means that in order to “win” you must play. By win, I mean obtain significant advantages over other players, for example winning can be having more expensive gear, being higher level, or just doing more damage.

Basically, a maplestory private server is only play2win if playing said server is the only way to gain significant advantages.  A server can only be play2win in the absence of Pay2Win.

Defining Pay2Win

Pay2Win is the polar opposite of Play2Win.  Instead of playing, the way that you gain an advantage over other people is by spending real life money to purchase items in game.  For example, take a server like MapleMS where you can donate real life money and sell donor credits for mesos. This means that if you want to purchase an expensive item in game for mesos, you can just “buy” the mesos with real life money and then instantly purchase the item without having to had work for it at all in game.

The Problems With Pay2Win

A new player angry at pay2win

The main issue with Pay2Win is that it severely undermines the accomplishments of people who Play2Win.  If their months of hard work can be matched with a few hundred dollars, what’s the point of even working hard to make a strong character in the first place?  Overall, it makes the maplestory private server less “competitive”, as all the top ranking people are not necessarily earning their rank via gameplay.

The problem with Play2Win

Money, a problem that pay2win does not have.

There isn’t any problem with play2win in itself – but there is a problem that it doesn’t solve that pay2win inherently does.  Maplestory Private Servers are not free to run – they cost money each month in the form of hosting. When a server is Pay2Win, they have easier access to funds from their user base than a server that is Play2Win.

Of course you could always just take normal donations without giving tangible in-game benefits on a Play2Win server – but I would imagine that the revenue from this would end up being sporadic, and may or may not be able to 100% cover all the hosting costs.

Although Play2Win is probably the ideal philosophy for Maplestory Private Servers to abide by, sometimes it is just not practically feasible.  For a Maplestory Private Server to be sustainable in the long term, it needs to be capable of producing enough income to sustain itself (unless the owner is just willing to let the server leech on his/her pockets for eternity).  That being said, I do think there are some solutions to this problem.

A New Idea – Pay4Advantage

Pay4Advantage is basically a compromise between Play2Win and Pay2Win.  A server needs to generate revenue to feed its existence, so the server can offer people who donate specific advantages while keeping the server competitive (whether or not you donate shouldn’t impact core gameplay or ranking).

Example of Pay4Advantage

A example of Pay4Advantage being implemented happened in the private server Croosade.  In Croosade, players who donate could purchase a cash item called “auto buff”. Auto buff would basically automatically cast certain skills before they would expire so that the players who had this item could spend an extra second or so attacking instead of rebuffing – effectively increasing their DPS.

However, the increase is so miniscule – for most classes this would result in less than a 0.5% DPS increase.  The advantage gained from donating to the server is real, but it is small enough such that it does not affect competitive gameplay.

Other ways to implement Pay4Advantage would be to introduce special quality of life items that can only be obtained by donating to the server.

Essentially, Pay4Advantage, when executed properly would provide real, tangible incentives for players to donate to their server, while keeping the server competitive for all players.

Concluding thoughts on pay2win

Pay2Win hurts the competitive aspect of Maplestory Private Servers and severely alienates players who do not want to or cannot donate.  Play2Win keeps Maplestory Private Servers competitive and fair but doesn’t allow for a direct way for a server to generate revenue.

Ideally, we would prefer it if a Maplestory Private Server could be Play2Win while being able to support itself purely from donations from the community.

How to Join Maplestory Private Servers

How to join maplestory private servers

A maplestory player saying "Join Maplestory Private Servers"

The first step to join maplestory private servers is to decide which maplestory private server you want to join.  If you are still unsure, try checking out my ranking page to help get an idea of what servers are available.  You can use that as  a starting point to do more research.  For more help, I strongly recommend reading chapter 1 of my comprehensive maplestory private server guide, which you can get for free by subscribing to my blog below: 

Anyways, after you’ve chosen your new server, you want to go to their web page and download their files.

Install the maplestory private server

After your download is done, you probably need to install the files to your computer.  This part is usually a problem for most people because your antivirus is going to freak out and assume the maplestory private server is a virus.  Chances are that the server is clean, so you will need to ask your antivirus to relax.

Set your maplestory private server as an exception in your antivirus

What I personally recommend is making a folder where you can put all your maplestory private servers.  Then, you can simply add that folder and all its contents as an exception in your antivirus. By doing so, whenever you want to try a new server, you can simply download it to your maplestory private server folder and never have to worry about your antivirus going haywire.

Here are some links that show you how to do so for various antiviruses

Windows Defender



Join Maplestory Private Servers Forum

After joining the maplestory private server, I recommend checking to see if the server has a forum.  A forum is typically where the administrators of the server will talk about upcoming events related to the server, or anything in general relevant to the server.

Join Maplestory Private Servers Discord

Other than a forum, most maplestory private servers also have a discord as their preferred social media.  It is usually a good idea to join a private servers discord because it gives you easy access to other players.  It is especially useful for questions that need quick answers or any market related query.

Have fun and begin your new adventure

After all this is taken care of all that’s left is to sit back and enjoy your new maple adventure in your brand new server!

What Are Maplestory Private Servers?

What are Maplestory Private Servers?

A advertisement list containing Maplestory Private Servers

Maplestory private servers are basically modified maplestory servers hosted by some third party individual(s).  What they do is adjust and modify the game to make it more appealing and fun. For this reason, no two maplestory private servers are identical since they take the form of their owners vision.  Playing a different maplestory private server is almost like playing a different game. However, the core game mechanics usually stay intact.

Why do people make Private Servers?

The main reason people make private servers is that they are unsatisfied with other private servers.  Sometimes it is because they are dissatisfied with the official server.

They see a lot of issues with the game they think they can fix, and try to do so in their own rendition.  Also, some people have a lot of fun creating their own maple worlds.  New servers come out regularly every year from different developers, so there is always a lot of content to choose from!

Why should you play Maplestory Private Servers?

The main reason you should play a private server is that it is a lot of fun!  Each server has their own take on maplestory along with their own community. This makes playing each server a unique experience.

A lot of old school servers also progressively add new custom content which makes it feel like the old school maplestory is still alive and well, even though the golden era of the late 2000s is long gone.

Each year there are tons of new features added in the community which keeps the scene fresh and exciting to play!  Each year adds new servers as well, so there is always the hype to restart on a brand new world.  In the next article, I will discuss more about how you can join some servers!

Maplestory Game Mechanics

(BBB) Maplestory Game Mechanics

An Image of gears representing Maplestory Game Mechanics

Now that we have a brief introduction of Maplestory out of the way, now is the time to go into the nitty gritty details and talk about what, in my opinion makes before big bang maplestory truly a beautiful game, Maplestory Game Mechanics.

Maplestory Game Mechanics: Leveling Up

Leveling Up in Maplestory Private Servers

Leveling up in maplestory is pretty standard when it comes to MMOs.  The only thing noteworthy to point out is that the exp required to level grows exponentially, with level 199 to 200 requiring more than a billion exp.

You can get exp from doing quests, killing bosses, and killing monsters.  You can also get exp from leeching – which is being in the same party as someone else who killed a monster.  Leeching is a fairly controversial topic, so there will be more on that later.

Also, each time you level you gain 5 ability points, and 3 skill points.

Ability Points [AP] AND Skill POINTS [SP]

Maplestory Game Mechanics Ability Points (AP)

Ability points or AP, are points that you use to make your character stronger.  You can put points into Str (strength), Dex (Dexterity), INT (Intelligence), and Luk (Luck).  Typically Str is for warriors, dex for archers, int for mages and luk for thieves. You want to have as many AP points into your main stat as possible so that you can do the most damage.


Maplestory Game Mechanics Skill Points (SP)

Skill points or SP are points used to level up a set list of skills for your character.  The skills that are available to you vary depending on which class you choose. The one thing to note is that it is very important that you put the correct skills, or you could severely damage your character.  I always recommend googling for a class skill point guide to help you decide which skills to get.

Maplestory Game Mechanics: HP/MP & “Washing”

HP is the stat that determines how much damage you can take before you die.  In maplestory, if you die you lose some exp and respawn at the nearest town. MP is the stat that lets you cast skills.  You can increase your HP and MP via a process called “washing”. This is also a VERY controversial topic so rest assured that there will be more on this later!

Maplestory Game Mechanics: Equipment

Maplestory Game Mechanics: Equipment Window

Equipment in maplestory is also pretty standard as far as MMOs go.  There is basically 1 piece of equipment for each body part on your character.  The only important thing that you should know is that there are two types of equipment, generic and class specific.  Generic equips can be used by all classes (this usually makes them more valuable), whereas specific equips can only be used by the class it is meant for.

When building your character it’s often a better idea to get generic equips because it is easier to resell and upgrade, though there are exceptions to this rule.

Scrolls & Scrolling

Scrolls are items that you can use to upgrade your equipment.  Each equipment has slots, which is basically a counter for how many more times you can scroll the item.  Each scroll has its own percent chance to pass – the lower the percent chance the higher the reward the scroll offers.

Monsters (Drops + Spawn)

All monsters in maplestory drop mesos (the in game currency) when killed.  Most of the time they also drop an extra ETC item that is sometimes used for quests (but mostly just to clog up your inventory).  

Drops in vanilla maplestory are very hardcore.  Monsters only drop mesos about half the time and rarely ever drop equips or scrolls.  Some maplestory private servers remedy this by increasing the drop rate on their server – though this often comes at the cost of an inflated economy.

The Classes

In bbb maplestory, there are 5 base classes: Thief, Archer, Magician, Warrior, and Pirate.

The classes are fairly generic and follow all of the typical MMO stereotypes.  And although original class balance wasn’t too great as far as damage goes, there are definitely clear trade-offs and balance in terms of class identity. 



There are tons of mechanics in maplestory and we have not even scratched the surface.  However, as long as you know how AP and SP work, I think you are ready to go ahead and start maplestory!

The next post will talk about maplestory private servers and lead in on how to join one!

What Is Maplestory?

What Is Maplestory?

Maplestory Private Server Login Page

Maplestory is a 2D side scroller MMORPG initially developed by Wizet. Nexon later acquired them and continues to host this game today.

There are technically two different kinds of maplestory – before and after big bang.  Big bang was basically a huge patch by Nexon that completely changed how the game works. This website is mostly about before big bang (bbb for short), though I may one day go into post big bang.


Since maplestory is a 2D side scroller, you basically create a character and explore the maple world.  You can kill monsters, level up, choose your class, complete quests, socialize with other players and much, much, more.

Maplestory Private Server Create Character

On the surface maplestory seems pretty simple, but the real beauty lies in its hidden complexity.  Anyways, that’s a topic for another post but for now it’s good enough to know that maplestory is a 2D, MMORPG.

The Grind

Grinding Maplestory Private Server With Nightlord

Most MMOs are known for being extremely grindy.  Maplestory is no different – though some private servers (more on these later) try to fix that.

Generally, if the rates are low it takes an incredible amount of effort to level up.  For some people that’s part of the charm, for others it’s a miserable experience.

Should You Try Maplestory [Private Servers]?

The biggest reason most people play maplestory private servers is because of nostalgia – they played it when they were younger and want to relive the past.  The second reason is community.  

However, even if you didn’t play in the past, I still think it can be worth picking up – for casual and hard core players alike.  The community (although it varies from server to server) can definitely be something that adds a unique flare to stick around for.  

In the end however, you won’t know if private servers are right for you unless you give it a try.  So why not give it a try?