Well, that's the face of horror right there.
When dealing with international games like Nexon's MapleStory, it's a simple reality that updates are often going to be coming out later for US players. It's just the nature of the beast; new updates have to first be tested natively, then localized. But the upcoming Root Abyss breaks the mold, with the full version due to be released on the global servers on January 16th before the Korean servers get a live push of the update.

But there's more to the dungeon than just the release date -- there are four new bosses and a variety of updated prizes for everyone to earn. If you're looking for more insight into how the dungeon was designed, click on past the break for an exclusive developer diary from the Korean design team. You can also check out the dungeon's trailer, which features a quick preview of all four monstrous and disturbing bosses.

What is the inspiration behind the Root Abyss?

The story of the World Tree was completed a long time ago, but we never had an opportunity to reveal it. Root Abyss which is a great opportunity!

The team members stretched their imaginations and thought about how the World Tree would have spent its time after the Black Mage forced it to seek refuge deep beneath Sleepywood. Root Abyss is a place of darkness and energy, so we took inspiration from movies and games set in dark and gloomy worlds. Creating the look and feel of a place like Root Abyss was challenging, but we're very happy with the way it turned out.

How did Root Abyss change during development?

Early in development, Root Abyss's bosses were all going to be gigantic like Vellum, but after internal testing, we realized that while the giant bosses looked cool, they were all very similar and weren't as fun as smaller, more agile bosses. In the first iteration, one of the bosses was even larger than Vellum!

Needless to say, we rethought our boss encounters and created Von Bon, Pierre, the Crimson Queen, and Vellum, all with unique strategies and personalities.

How do Root Abyss's bosses differ from the other bosses in the game?

Root Abyss's bosses require a party with tight collaboration and a plan of action! The bosses are difficult to beat alone, but shouldn't be a problem for parties that work together. In Pierre's fight, you can only attack him when he transforms into a certain color. If you're wearing the blue hat and he's blue, you can't hurt him, so you need a teammate with the red hat to keep on dishing out damage. Teamwork is essential, and death count and reward distribution have been changed to reflect this.

All the bosses have their own unique patterns, and if you take the time to learn these patterns, you don't have to be max level or decked out with perfect equipment to take them down.

The Global MapleStory Service is getting Root Abyss before Korea. Isn't it usually the other way around?

We're very excited to be bringing Root Abyss to the Global MapleStory first (which includes Nexon America's service territory)! We always planned for Root Abyss to be released after Tempest, and since the global release of the 3 Tempest characters was so condensed, we were able to launch Root Abyss there first.

Global MapleStory players have just created their Luminous, Kaiser, and Angelic Buster characters, and now we're giving them some powerful bosses to fight!

What do you think players will like most about Root Abyss?

The rewards, of course! Players can collect Yggdrasil Runes to purchase the Sealed Box, which contains many surprising items. The bosses also drop unique Hats and Chairs that can be worn as a badge of honor for conquering Root Abyss. On top of all that, there are also daily quests designed for players who want rewards but don't have much time to invest.

As for the bosses, we expect the Crimson Queen to be quite popular... We look forward to seeing the reaction when players meet her for the first time!

This article was originally published on Massively.
Betawatch: January 5 - 11, 2013