From reading the posts on Maplestory news it seems that the last area of the Arcane River is limited-time stuff. It make sense - Moonbridge and Labyrinth of Suffering are limited because it's detailing your hero leading the charge through the final stretch of the Arcane River, which is the heart of the Black Mage's domain and thus the most dangerous area in all of MapleStory with normal mobs that can one-shot a Level 275 character in one hit! And let's not talk about the Black Mage, who is the ultimate enemy and has several transformations...
Or let's DO talk about him. More likely, the fact that his HP is shared over every server in Maplestory. He has ten googol HP and everyone in the game who is Level 250 or higher has to help cherry tap his health down, but once you do he switches to ANOTHER phase with buttloads of shared health. It's obvious this is the ultimate epic ending to MapleStory's story...
Just like Kingdom Hearts 3 is not going to end the series and retire it, I doubt slaying the Black Mage will mean that MapleStory will end up like Wizard101 at the end of Empyrea where all you can do is just party quest and sit around Henesys exchanging war stories.
So this thread is to discuss what will happen in the years to come once Nexon ends the Black Mage event and removes this final area of the Arcane River(maybe the whole Arcane River?) from MapleStory's servers. Where will the story go from here?
I am thinking of a few things, but this is just my speculation and how MapleStory could make eke out a few more years of life before Nexon tells everyone to start playing MapleStory 2. If anyone wants to comment, feel free, promote discussion. Since we are in the final final chapter of the Black Mage saga, it's time to discuss the future of MapleStory.
* Maybe replace the Arcane River with a new map that is basically a hub world where you can revisit Lucid, Will and Verus Hilla in smaller maps. I am not saying that Nexon should dump Arcane River, just make it a post-story thing. After all, there is nothing preventing players from replaying Black Heaven, so it might not be likely that they'll replace all of Arcane River, just replace the Black Mage map with something else since the Alliance will be disbanded after the Black Mage is defeated in the story.
* What I think will happen with Kingdom Hearts after the end of Kingdom Hearts 3 will probably happen here - we've defeated the big bad Black Mage, but his minions and dark monsters are still around so future storylines(for up to Level 275 gamers) will be to clean up the mess. They didn't remove the Black Mage's Commanders or Black Wings after those quests are done with so why not make some clean-up story where players go on daily quests to clean up elite bosses?
* Finally, hint at and tease at an even darker power who is licking up the spilt blood of the Black Mage and absorbing his corrupted power to become even more of a threat to Maple World... Maybe the White Mage in FriendStory absorbs the Black Mage's power and turns into a new more sinister Black Mage who threatens both Kinesis's world and Mapleworld, or a High Flora who steals the power and becomes a true monster(which would bring Grandis more into a bigger role - with the new Flora classes of Ark and Ilium and the new Fox Valley story which I deeply enjoyed, it seems that the evil is turning towards the alien worlds of Grandis, maybe a Verus version of Magnus?).