I - Introduction
The Elite monster and Elite Boss system is introduced to provide a more dynamic game-play, adding much-desired variety, difficulty and rewards to the player in their otherwise monotonous grinding. It changes the old notion/trend that bosses are restricted to area bosses (e.g. Mano, Leviathan etc.), final bosses (e.g. Zakum, HT, Magnus etc.), or PQs and Monster Carnival. Notably (in the author's opinion), it provides an opportunity to slowly bridge the gap between unfunded players and funded players.
II - Elite Monsters
Elite monsters are boss-type monsters of the same level as the monster they evolved from. They, like all bosses, have enhanced stats, HP, and EXP pegged to their level. They drop a variety of valuable loot, including but not limited to: recovery potions, Rare to Epic potential equipment, Golden Hammer 50%, Cubic Chaos Blade etc. valuable scrolls and items. Loot is individualised but is (apparently?) affected by the drop rate of the killing person, and not spread thin by the number of players contributing to the kill i.e. it is a fair-kill system. Interestingly, killing e.g. an Elite Orange Mushroom will also count towards any quests that require you to kill orange mushrooms.
Summoning an Elite monster requires you to be within the level requirement to the monster (observed to be -20/+20). Summoning an Elite monster appears to be entirely probabilistic - you could summon one in under 50 kills, or you could take hundreds to kills just to summon one. An alternative method is to use a Rune of Darkness, which spawns three Elite monsters, and has no monster level restriction. Every monster killed has a chance to summon an Elite monster except for World Tour and Boss maps, and it will summon it around the location where it is killed. When an Elite monster is summoned, an in-game message will appear:
Elite monsters, when summoned, have a prefix to their name, which gives them special properties. The list is below. It is generally grouped into buff, skill, and debuff properties.
Elite Monster Prefix Property Description Target Powerful Weapon Attack Up Buff Attack stat of Elite monster and surrounding monsters is increased, dealing more touch and physical damage AoE Beefy Weapon Defence Up Buff PDR stat of Elite monster and surrounding monsters is increased, receiving less physical damage AoE Magic Resistant Magic Defence Up Buff MDR stat of Elite monster and surrounding monsters is increased, receiving less magic damage AoE Invincible Invulnerability Buff Elite monster receives no damage while buff is active Self Solid Critical Guard Buff Elite monster receives damage from critical hits only Self Reflective Damage Reflect Buff Elite monster receives no damage, and player receives a small but significant amount of (HP-based?) damage per hit Self Speedy Movement Speed Up Buff Elite monster and surrounding monsters move at a higher speed AoE Commanding Fixed Area Random Buff An area of blue aura that grants a random (but consistent) buff to all monsters in the area (including DR but is limited to the Elite Monster) AoE (fixed) Healing HP Recovery Heals Elite monster and surrounding monsters AoE Magic Eater Buff Dispel Dispellable buffs are dispelled Player Dark Chains Ground-based Attack Dark chains emerge from marked random areas on the ground that do multiple hits of HP-based damage (not reduced by Magic Guard) AoE (fixed) Debilitating Fixed Area Random Debuff A darkened area appears that deals a random (but consistent) debuff if the player remains in the area. Dispel buffs if it is Magic Eater Debilitating AoE (fixed) Poisonous Poisoned Debuff Player takes poison damage over a period of time Player Overwhelming Shadow of Darkness Debuff Player receives damage if not moving Player Shadowy Vision Restriction Debuff Blackens the screen and limits vision to a small circle around your character Players Seductive Seduced Debuff Player is seduced, and in this case cannot do any action (but can use Hero's Will and related skills) Player KO Stun Debuff Stuns players, preventing movement (but can drink potion) Player Dry Potion Lock Debuff Player cannot drink potions Player Evasive Blindness Debuff Player's attacks will miss most of the time Player Accursed Cursed Debuff Player receives only half the intended EXP Player Seal Master Sealed Debuff Player cannot cast any skills Player Fragile Weakness Debuff Player cannot jump Player Sticky Slow Debuff Player's movement speed is significantly slowed down Player Befuddling Direction-reversal ("Crazy-skull") Debuff Player's movement directions are reversed - Left-Right and Up-Down are reversed, and jump moves the character downwards Players Petrifying Petrified Debuff Player is restricted from moving, and must tap Left-Right rapidly to break free from the debuff. Once debuff bar reaches maximum, player is inflicted a large amount of damage and dies. Debuff bar fills quite rapidly Player Transformative Transformation Debuff Player is transformed into a critter, preventing casting of skills and setting all movement back to 100% Player Magnetic Location-restriction Debuff Player is pulled to a fixed location, and any attempts to move away will cause the player to be pulled back to the same location Player
Note that recently, the AoE prefixes have been amended slightly to include the monster buff or player debuff prefix. So for example, a "Speedy Commanding" prefix would mean that all monsters in the area will gain a speed buff while in the buff area, and a Fragile Debilitating prefix would mean that all players will be weakened while in the debuff area.
A summoned Elite monster will disappear after about 5 minutes if it is not killed by then.
Note: It is unclear if 2 Elite monsters can be spawned at the same map, but for now it appears not to be the case (with the exception of the Elite Boss co-spawn).
After an Elite monster is killed, an in-game message will appear. It is either:
which is "Stage 1" or
which is "Stage 2".
After killing an Elite monster, there is a chance to promote the map from the first to the second stage, which (most likely) stays in second stage. Stages are tied to the map, not to the character. A successful stage-promoting Elite monster kill in a map at Stage 2 will trigger Stage 3, which is the summoning of the Elite Boss.
Note: Because of the fluid nature of MMOs, it is difficult to verify if a fixed number of Elite monsters is required to summon an Elite Boss, but for now it appears to be probabilistic. (The author has experienced stepping into a map upon logging in, and the first monster kill summoned an Elite Boss.)
III - Elite Bosses
Elite Bosses are significantly more powerful than Elite Monsters. They have the same level as the Elite Monster summoned to it, have much more HP, (possibly WA/MA, PDR and MDR), and have unique attacks. Upon a successful Stage 3 trigger, the screen will flash a giant "WARNING!" in red background, which is followed by the screen turning black, and reappearing with a black-purple frame of "dark energy" to go with the theme. All monsters in the map are removed but the loot stays behind. An Elite Boss will spawn, along with 2 Elite Monsters. A timer of 30 minutes appears upon the re-screening, which in itself is a representation of the difficulty of the fight with an Elite Boss. In addition, all maps in the region (both town and monster maps) will periodically flash an in-game notice that informs what Elite Boss was summoned at which map, but this is restricted to that channel only. To assist players in finding the map, an icon will appear on the world map that clearly informs the player where the Elite Boss is.
(Note, however, that since a summoned Elite Boss is specific to that map in that channel, this would not be a very viable way for "farming" Elite Bosses, not counting the level requirement limits.)
There are 5 Elite Bosses, one for each type of Maplestory job. Each Elite Boss will be summoned with an Elite prefix detailed above. However, each Elite Boss also comes with multiple prefixes that are not shown. These prefixes are often more powerful than those found on Elite monsters e.g. the "Black Chains" attack by the Elite Boss will summon several times more dark chain attacks than an Elite monster. Elite bosses can also teleport, similar to how Von Leon teleports (which has led to some interesting results, such as teleporting to an awkward location and entirely not attacking the player due to its attacks' hitboxes; this can be a very useful tactic when dealing with Elite Bosses).
Elite Boss Job Type General Name Monster Name Warrior Black Knight Black Knight Mokadin Archer Vicious Hunter Human Hunter July Magician Crazy Mage Crazy Mage Karianne Thief Rampant Cyborg Charge Type CQ57 Pirate Bad Brawler Fighter Plaid
Elite Bosses are meant to provide an interesting an challenging experience to the player, and for that each Elite Boss has multiple and different attacks that are based on the job type, which then presents unique situations that require different strategies for each Elite Boss. All attacks (except touch damage) by Elite Bosses are HP-based, so it is equally dangerous to a low-levelled character as it is to a high-levelled one, regardless of the map level. The only difference is in the speed at which a high-levelled character is able to kill a low-levelled Elite Boss. Hidden Damage Reflect buffs can be deadly, but the visual indicator (swirling brown eye aura) now should more accurately tell if the Damage Reflect buff is on or off.
IV - Rewards and The Bonus Stage
Killing an Elite Boss provides similar EXP to the co-summoned Elite monsters (in the earlier versions they did not). It does not drop any conventional loot (the 2 co-summoned Elite Monsters do provide loot), but instead drops a bubble or two that, when looted, provides a Rare Treasure Chest. All players who successfully attack the Elite Monster at least once will be able to loot one bubble, and this has no level requirement on the player to loot the bubble. The player who does the most damage to the Elite Boss (exact damage calculation currently unclear) will be able to loot an additional bubble, but this additional bubble has a +20/-40 level limit for the player against the Elite Boss. The Rare Treasure Chest expires in 10 minutes, so do not delay opening it. You can only use 20 Rare Treasure Chests in a day, and this limit is account-wide per world. The Rare Treasure Chest provides rare items such as 10% Clean Slate Scrolls, 50% Innocence Scrolls, Chaos Scrolls etc. Notably, these scrolls are fully tradeable, which makes killing an Elite Boss very lucrative now, especially since now you are guaranteed at least one rare item.
On killing the Elite Boss, it triggers a Bonus Stage that everyone in the map will enter. Players can enter and join the map for the bonus stage, and if they leave they can enter the map again - the bonus stage is simply a time-limited map event with a different background skin. Unlike bonus stages from most events or PQs, there is no movement speed or jump or skill restriction (consequential to the nature of the bonus stage design, since it must be tied to the original map's nature). In some ways, this is an indirect fair-kill system meant to encourage partying, but at the same time it allows for free-riding, which can be viewed as a way to compensate players who join the map late.
Bonus stages reward the player when they pick up or touch the bubbles (depending on bonus stage). The icons on the bubble represent the type of rewards provided. EXP provides experience. Coin provides mesoes. Potion gives different restorative items. Shield provides armour equipment. Sword provides weapon equipment. The EXP and meso rewards are paltry, while the equipment are potentially significant because they are (usually) Epic and can even be Unique. You must be within +/- 20 levels of the Elite Boss to be able to loot anything from the bubbles from the bonus stage.
In the past, the yellow bubble with purple chest in the bonus stage used to provide rare items like in the Rare Treasure Chest, but have been replaced by the Rare Treasure Chest guaranteed drop when killing the Elite Boss. Compared to the past, the upside is that it limits botting and hacking, and also allows all contributing players to have at least one guaranteed rare item. The downside, however, is that it also limits the total number of rare items one can get in a day i.e. Elite Boss farming is effectively discouraged and limited.
There are 3 different Bonus Stages, listed below.
1) Mimics walk around, and attacking them with normal attack will kill them, releasing the bubbles. Time limit: 20 seconds.
2) Bubbles rain throughout the map evenly, its movement not unlike a feather floating down (but much faster, and each bubble moves differently). Time limit: 22 seconds.
3) Flying monsters will randomly drop a spread of bubbles, falling in the feather motion described above. Time limit: 22 seconds.
Unlooted bubbles will disappear once the time limit is reached. Note that different maps benefit differently from each type of bonus stage. For example, very high maps with low platforms (e.g. AMG map) will suffer the most from the second type of Bonus Stage because it takes very long for the bubbles to drop down to the platforms where the characters are. Conversely, smaller maps with many platforms (e.g. Copper Drakes) benefit very well from all 3 due to good maneuverability, and the mimics cannot run very far. Pets do not loot the bubbles (needs verification). It is unfortunate that bubble-looting from the falling-type bubbles suffer greatly from latency and ping rates.
Thank you for reading through this treatise. I value any constructive feedback, and if there are mistakes please kindly point them out and I will correct them. If there is anything that I should add, please do let me know too. For example, I am gathering information on the types of attacks that each Elite Boss does, and also the damage that they do.
Thanks PirateIzzy for the Solid prefix. Intro and Elite Boss notifications added; some formatting changes; amended level requirement. Added Sticky and Solid. Fixed Debilitating to not have DoT and noted it's consistent debuff. Added a long-needed note on Commanding providing DR buff. Amended Debilitating prefix slightly. Added a small part on Elite monster kill count. Updated the prefixes, and included Rare Treasure Chest as a reward for killing the Elite Boss, and amended the bonus stage section.