KMS Apology to Dedicated MapleStory Customers

Discussion in 'KMS Updates' started by Orange Mushroom, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. Orange Mushroom

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    Once again, MapleStory’s director Kang Won-ki has released a statement, this time about the continued disappointment and anger of customers due to the compensation of the additional options/Ability errors.

    Big thanks to my friend Neo for helping me translate this (long) letter. He requested that I share this image for whatever reason.

    This is MapleStory’s director Kang Won-ki.
    I apologize to the many people who are dedicated to MapleStory.

    During MapleStory’s long service, many incidents have occurred. It’s hard to say we have always responded in the best way but at the very least, we have tried to respond to incidents under the principle of ‘apologizing for our mistakes and giving appropriate compensation’. However, this time we were afraid of the unprecedented consensus which we had never experienced before, and because of this, we continued to make decisions in a direction that did not match the desires of our customers who love MapleStory.

    I wanted to sincerely apologize about the poor decisions that I have made regarding this additional options incident and I would like to speak honestly about my previous decisions and what was wrong about them.

    I think that MapleStory’s long-held live service’s development inertia is the main reason for this incident, as we have maintained an operating method which provides only minimal information.
    Since MapleStory’s official service began in 2003, a variety of content has been added, and many changes have been made to game systems but there was no specific guidance on what and how things worked. Therefore, customers were forced to confirm things using their own in-game experiences, and even now in 2021, MapleStory has continued the live service in the same way as before with this complacent behaviour.
    Since sufficient information was not provided, we weren’t considerate of our customers, and we did not flexibly increase the scope of the information that we release.
    We apologize for not following the trends of the current flow and our customer’s needs, by not innovating our current methods to provide in-game information more actively. Before going into the specific improvements we have planned for the future, we would like to give you the background information of how this incident took place. It might sound like a belated excuse, but I hope that it will help customers’ sense of loss a little bit.

    In the [February 18 test world update], the ‘equalized probability of the types of additional options’ was our attempt to adjust the difficulty and barrier of entry of additional options.
    Out of the many enhancement types, additional options were the most difficult. In winter 2012, the additional option system was intended to make it more enjoyable to acquire items that an MMORPG can offer but the system didn’t settle as originally intended. After that, in 2013 summer, we added ‘Powerful Rebirth Flames’ and ‘Eternal Rebirth Flames’, but they were very hard to acquire and the supply in-game was never enough. In order to increase the supply of ‘Rebirth Flames’, we added Union Coins, events rewards, and others but we determined that without improving the fundamental system, it would be quite difficult to lower the barrier of entry to additional options. Therefore, we chose to remove the difference in probabilities of the types of additional options to reduce the variance of experiences in resetting additional options.
    However, there was a problem when we were preparing and informing users.
    First of all, we used the word ‘random’ out of habit, and embarrassingly, we weren’t able to recognize the problem with this. During the development process, we usually ‘lowered the rates of better options to keep the value of them higher’. Options with different values were systematically determined using preset probabilities and logic, and this was used to describe the process and related expressions. With this incident in mind, we are thoroughly looking into all expressions and words related to probabilities in-game. As soon as our investigation is complete, we will let you know what our response will be.
    Secondly, we had a chance to confirm this error in the existing additional options in advance, but we did not take care of it properly. In July 2019, customers reported to customer support about the ‘relationship between all stats % and jump’, but we were not able to determine the error at that time, and as a result, we proceeded to improve the system without complete knowledge about the current system. Currently, we are thoroughly investigating all system logic and specifications, and during this investigation, if there is anything that functions abnormally, we will give a thorough explanation that customers can understand and correct the problem.
    Finally, we mistakenly thought that since information on the types of additional options, ranks, and probability of each additional option had not been officially revealed until now, it would be difficult to explain where this change was coming from, how it was being improved, and why it was being improved. However, we thought that many customers in the community were already aware of better options appearing relatively less, verified through real gameplay, and so they did not need an explanation for this change. However, since there can be variations in the process of experiencing probability systems, we could not categorize this change of the additional options as an ‘improvement’ but as a ‘correction’.
    In conclusion, we made a mistake during this entire process and made the wrongful choice. We apologize.

    We weren’t able to fully empathize with customers’ feelings, we apologize for the lack of sincerity in the previous statement that we made.
    As we said before, without determining how severe this incident was after the [February 18 test world update], we were faced with an unexpected opinion of ‘probability manipulation’. We thought that if we honestly explained why the error happened, the mistakes we made in detail, and showed that systems that use probability function as intended, then customers would understand. This was also a wrongful decision made by me and I apologize.
    On one hand, during the explanation process, we were afraid of unexpected sensations, and were unable to provide a sincere apology to our customers. I was afraid not only criticism of ‘MapleStory’ but also ‘Kang Won-ki’, and made wrongful decisions by not sincerely apologizing which should have been my first priority. It is late but I bow my head and apologize.

    After announcing the [Additional Options, Ability Error Compensation Information], there have been many mishaps.
    We were afraid of being stigmatized for ‘probability manipulation’ and so we took a stance of fixing an error instead of apologizing. Therefore, we provided compensation information without explaining the intention of the compensation in detail. Once again, I apologize to customers who have felt skepticism of my wrongful decision.
    We have a policy of keeping only the last two years of Rebirth Flames usage logs and Ability reset logs. It would have been correct to create a compensation plan using the entirety of the affected time period but it would be impossible to determine past usage due to physical limitations. We apologize for not informing you about this.
    From the development team’s point of view, we decided that ‘we have kept logs for the last two years, and if compensation was given after a thorough investigation, we have done the best job that we can’. In addition, if we compensated for all the Rebirth Flames used in the last two years at the same time as lowering the difficulty of additional options, we expected a significant change in value of items. We wanted to minimize this change in value after the compensation, so we decided to compensate 10% of the usage. After February 25, based on the number of points given out, if they were to be traded in for Eternal Rebirth Flames, the total number would be 250k tradeable flames and 7.28 million untradeable flames. Based on the account that received the most points, they would be able to get 1086 tradeable flames and 156 untradeable flames. In order to mitigate the temporary shock if the compensation was given at a 100% rate, which is 10 times the amount stated above, we misjudged that the appropriate amount should be given based on the total amount and highest amount, instead of the average amount.
    Also, we gave a lot of thought to Rebirth Flames, which were used using an enhancement method called ‘flame service’. When considering ‘flame service’, there was a problem that the number of cases would be increased and the time required for data investigation and compensation would be considerably increased. We also informed users not to use this type of service with various notices, so we were worried that it would be incorrect to compensate for actions like this and users would think that we would be biased towards customers with high item specs, called ‘heavy users’.
    The difference in difficulty for each main stat was not taken into account. There was a difference in difficulty, in the order of STR, DEX, INT, LUK, but we made a mistake in deciding compensation with the same level of rewards. We apologize for not taken important details into account, focusing only on the ‘relationship between all stats % and jump’.
    Finally, there was a lack of response to the usage of the Ability error. Since we did not respond when the Ability error was found, there was a great sense of loss for customers who used a lot of effort and money to get their desired Ability options. At the time, because of the confusing state due to the test world update, we were not able to understand the effects of the sudden error correction and we thought that it would be the wrong decision to have an immediate maintenance which would aggravate the situation.
    Currently in-game, there remain Ability options that were easily acquired through ‘recipes’. If we kept them as-is, we think it would be difficult to recover the sense of loss for customers who overcame the high difficulty and acquired good Ability options normally. Therefore, we will find a solution and give more information as soon as possible.
    In the end, the previous notice gave an unsatisfactory compensation plan without any valid minimum explanation of our intentions, the expected cube probability reveal, and what the future plan would be, which was very disappointing from the customer’s point of view. We want to sincerely apologize to customers who were hurt by us making wrong decisions one after another, and we are currently completely re-evaluating the compensation. Apart from this compensation re-evaluation, we would like to increase the supply of ‘Black Rebirth Flames’ in-game to reduce the risk of resetting additional options.

    We know that we cannot easily restore the once broken trust.
    It is also true that we fear that we might never be able to recover this trust. It is already too late, but from now on, we promise to make changes so customers can play MapleStory with trust.
    We think that the starting point is to clearly explain and apologize for our wrongdoings to our customers. We know that we cannot ask for forgiveness with just a verbal apology. However, to correct my mistakes, I think this is the least I can do, and I apologize once again for the mistakes we have made until now.
    Now, the development team is preparing to listen to the true voices of our customers and correct any mistakes. We are preparing the complete re-evaluation of the compensation for the current additional option system reorganization and Ability error, additional compensation for disappointing customers, cube probability reveals, and other information/records that will eliminate further anxiety or doubts about MapleStory. We will prepare and release this by March 5 at the latest.

    I would like to apologize once more for my mistakes which have disappointed those who have cared about MapleStory.
    I will do my best to correct my mistakes and make MapleStory a game that can be trusted by everyone.
    I hope that customers who have kept love for MapleStory in their hearts for a long time will not lose hope just because of my wrongful decisions and actions.

    I apologize.
    MapleStory’s Director Kang Won-ki

    Source: Orange Mushroom's Blog