In any online game, it's the players who determine the quality of the game's community. With this in mind, the next logical conclusion is that every player has some impact on the game's community. If there's nothing else you take away from this guide, please remember these two points:
1. Every player has the power to make a positive impact on MapleStory's community.
2. Don't underestimate the magnitude of the positive impact you make.
The main purpose of this guide is to encourage new players and anybody else who cares to consider playing a more active role in nudging MapleStory's community in the right direction.
Questions and any form of feedback are always welcome. If you feel there's anything this guide should mention, but doesn't, please let me know. PM me for a quick response.
For the skimmers and the people who think "tl;dr", the main ideas in each section are bolded and the big take-away messages are in bolded green. To be honest though, I don't think you'll get much from reading those points alone, and I highly recommend reading the entire thing to see the bigger picture.
Don't forget that there is a real person behind every player. Put yourself in their shoes before you do anything. Would you want to be called a noob? Would you want to be made fun of, cussed at, or discriminated against? Would you like to be KSed or scammed? Would you want to be hacked or disconnected from the game? In most cases, the answer is no. So don't do it. The Golden Rule is: treat others the way you want to be treated. You want your Maple experience to be enjoyable, and so does everyone else.
For the guys out there: there's a difference between innocent flirting and sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is crossing the line, and is highly inappropriate and disrespectful. Don't go around saying stuff like "Let me touch your pixels." If you're joking, the only one laughing will be you.
People from all over the world play MapleStory Global, and not everyone will have English as their first language. Speaking English does not make you better than someone who speaks French, Spanish, German, or any other language you can think of.
You know something's wrong with the Maple community when you have people in a map completely ignoring each other's existence, or when you do a party quest where no one says a word to each other from start to finish, or when you're in a guild with 15+ members online but the HQ is deserted (or non-existent) and no one is ever using guild and alliance chat.
In order for any community to be friendly and close-knit, (positive) interactions between its members is absolutely mandatory. I'm sure most of us are actually really nice and friendly, so why do so many of us insist on being so quiet? So what if you've had some bad experiences with the community in the past? By letting those negative interactions (which are bound to happen, be it in a game or in real life) shut you down, you become a mere spectator and end up contributing nothing but a facade of negativity to the game. If you're just shy, then I'll tell you right now that there's nothing to be shy about on an online game. If you're bad at having conversations, this is a great opportunity for you to improve your conversational skills.
I'm not saying talk to everyone you can, and do it all the time - if you do that, you will never get anything else done. What I'm saying is: don't always be completely quiet. There's not a whole lot of excuses now, considering most dead servers have merged. Besides, you will likely find yourself having a lot more fun grinding and doing party quests when there's someone to connect with.
A lot of players talk about things related to level and damage, and this gives everyone the impression that the community as a whole is obsessed with things like leveling up and maximizing damage output. Don't just go with the flow. Do not limit to specific Maple topics like range and equipment. While it's nice to start a conversation on common ground, you should also consider more unique and meaningful topics.
Be careful not to cross the line in conversations. Don't say or ask anything you wouldn't say/ask to someone in your class or workplace. Avoid discussing sensitive/inappropriate topics and asking personal questions.
Lastly, DO NOT give out or ask for personal information to anyone. Personal information includes: full name, age, home address, phone number, and even login IDs and passwords. No one should ever give their personal information to strangers in an online game. You have a right to privacy, so don't volunteer to give up that right. Also, friends respect each other's privacy, so don't think that you're being unfriendly by keeping personal information to yourself.
Attention all new players: The game today is much more newbie friendly than it was 7 years ago. Quests from NPCs and drops from monsters ensure every new player will get the potions and equipment they need. Getting to level 30 is a breeze, and once you're there, you can use the wonderful profession system to create equipment and potions when you're lacking the mesos. No newbie today should ever need to beg strangers for items and mesos. If you're ever feel like you don't have enough to get by, start picking up everything that drops while training, do quests around your level, and make use of the profession system.
Never go around trading random people for mesos/items. Most of the veteran players hate beggars. I'm sorry to say this, but their hate here is perfectly justified. These days, only the lazy people who don't put effort into the game need to beg.
When you first start MapleStory, it can be an overwhelming experience. If you have any questions, or need help with anything, ask. 9/10 times, going up to someone and saying "Hi/Hey" is enough to get their attention. When you have their attention, clearly explain what you need help with. If they say they're busy, say something like "Okay, thanks anyway" and look for someone else. Always thank someone after they help you. Don't be lazy - make the effort to type out a full "Thank you." It makes a much better impression than saying "thx" or "thanks." If you didn't use your fame yet, consider increasing their fame too, because it's a great way of showing you really appreciate their help.
If you have a more complicated/specific question, you're always welcome to ask it here on the BasilMarket forums. This fan site is very active, and the response time should be fairly quick.
Attention seasoned players: When someone asks for help, hear them out. If you can't help them, then say it, but don't be rude about it. Say something like "Sorry, I don't know/I'm busy, ask someone else." If they continue to bother you, don't cuss at them. Ignore them or give a simple but effective F7. If they cuss at you for being unhelpful or defame you, then they aren't worth wasting more of your time on. Take it like a man/woman and carry on.
If you have the wealth to donate to newbies, then by all means, do it. Please be careful about who you give it to though. Generally, people who beg are lazy, or simply don't know the game well enough to be self-sufficient. The former should be ignored, especially if they trade you. (Some people will script a nice way of asking for equips/mesos, mass trade people in channel 1, and copy/paste what seems like a very friendly way of asking for help. Letting your hard-earned mesos fall into the hands of such people is tragic.) As for the latter, telling them how they earn their own mesos/equips will be more beneficial to them in the long-run.
A guild is most successful and enjoyable to be in when all of its members are like family.
If you are a member of a guild, don't treat other members like strangers. Don't be afraid to use guild chat and don't be afraid to ask for help. Talk to each other and give help when someone asks, regardless of their level.
A guild is pointless if its members don't do things together every now and then. Make an HQ where you can hang out and chat or go AFK. Consider doing PQs and boss runs together. Also consider organizing your own guild events - there is plenty of room for creativity here.
Consider creating a name list in the Guild board. The name list should tell what each player wants to be called. You can have people refer to you by your real first name, a nickname, or even an alias (if you're not comfortable giving out your real name). It's much easier to talk to people when you can properly address them.
If you are a guild master, consider having no level requirement. Don't underestimate what low level players can bring to your guild.
If you know you're going to be inactive (whether it's exam period or a vacation), let the guild master (and junior masters) know ahead of time. That way, they don't expel you for being inactive for a month.
Being a leader is a huge responsibility, because the leader is the glue that holds the guild together. If you're busy with life all the time and you're not very active, consider joining a guild instead of making one. When a guild leader is not very active, the guild will be lacking that authority figure who does things like putting an end to silly disputes.
To repeat: always say "Thank you" when someone helps you.
As mentioned before, also consider using your fame on the person who helps you. Double-click on their character and beside the row that displays their fame, press the "up" arrow. You must be level 15 or higher to raise (or drop) someone's fame.
On the topic of fame, if someone's being a complete jerk, you can also defame them. Refrain from defaming someone for no reason. More often than not, 1 defame is all it takes to show that you disapprove of their behavior. Also refrain from logging in on every level 15+ character you have and mass defaming them. It's redundant, and it's a waste of time. Please, don't pay others to defame a person who treated you badly. In the case that they deserve it, the defames will naturally come anyway. Don't waste of time and mesos.
When asking to trade fame, always fame first (unless they beat you to it, or tell you to wait because think they might have used it that day). Faming first demonstrates that you trust the other player, and most of the time, they'll be quick to return that trust to you.
Do not hack, or exploit glitches. Certain hacks will interfere with, and ruin the game for other players. Exploits tend to negatively affect the in-game economy.
If you see a hacker or someone advertising, report them. You can report a hacker by clicking the orange button right beside the whisper button (on top of your MP bar). You'll notice you can report people for a variety of things, not just hacking. Do not make false reports - if you do, you might be the one getting banned. You also can't report fame or trade scams through this system. It costs 1000 mesos, and can be used only once a day.
Do not KS with the intention of annoying another player. If an area is already busy with people, change channels or find another place to train. If someone is KSing you, politely say something like "Change channels please". From experience, it's worth the extra effort typing, because it's a much nicer way of saying "cc" or "cc plz".
If they continue to KS you after you ask them to leave, ignore them and continue training. Most KSers aren't very patient and will leave on their own if you pretend they aren't there. If a KSer doesn't leave after a few minutes and won't change channels no matter how many times you ask, save their name and report them to Nexon. KSing is a form of harassment, and they can get banned for it.
Do not waste your time arguing with other players. All arguing does it create unnecessary drama and draw unnecessary attention.
For any boss run, always turn your pet's auto-loot off. It should only be on if everyone there agrees it's okay to have it on.
When the boss is defeated, always ask before taking anything. If you're looking for something, ask in advance if it's okay to take it when it drops.
Share large maps, especially in 2x EXP events. MP3 and the Jesters map are examples of large maps that provide great EXP, and can accommodate more than 1 person.
If you see a large map is being dominated by one player, politely ask them if you can take a platform instead of KSing them.
Always pull your weight in PQs. Do not go AFK in the middle of one, and follow the leader's instructions.
In the 2nd stage of Ludibrium PQ, always mark the portals you go in. How do you mark? First, stand on top of the portal you are about to go it. Next, open your inventory and press the yellow coin on the bottom right. Press enter, and you will drop 10 mesos by default. The coin you drop in front of the portal tells other party members that it's already taken. This is useful because if there's a portal that isn't finished, it's very easy to see find it - just look for the portal that isn't marked.
In Magatia PQ, pick up the liquids that drop in the 3rd stage and fill up the beakers. In the 4th stage, if a pass drops, pick it up and get the document from inside the room on the left or right. In the stage with the 5 levels of platforms, use party chat to tell the rest of the party what platforms work for you (from left to right, it's 1 to 4). No player has the same combination, so what works for you can't work for someone else - doing this helps your party members eliminate possibilities and lets you complete the stage faster.
In Pirate PQ, pick up the grey, blue, and wooden pirate badges that drop.
When you fight Papulatus, mark the door before going inside. The door only closes when Pap is summoned. If you don't mark, someone else might come in before you drop your crack, and then you will fight about who summons, or who should leave. If you mark, someone will see that the channel is taken and look for another one.
A thank you goes out to:
R0yMus7ang, for the ideas regarding fame in the Common Courtesy section.
Everyone else who helped me out in the original topic.
The Basil Market staff, for making this an official guide.
This ends the guide on what any player can do in Maple Story to help make a better community. I'm always open to suggestions and feedback, and as long as I still play Maple Story, I will ensure this guide is up to date. A big thank you goes to all the readers - I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates your interest in improving the Maple community.
If you haven't already done so, also consider reading:
[url=http://www.basilmarket.com/forum/681648/0//Maple_Ethics_A_guide.html]Varun619's Maple Ethics Guide[/url]