Uncharted Waters Online

Infobox VG| title = Uncharted Waters Online (GVO)


developer = KOEI, Delfin
publisher = KOEI (JP), CJ Internet (KO), SoftStar (TW), The Foreseen Group (CN)
designer = KOEI
version = 2.018
released = Japan (October 30 2004), Korea (July 2005), Taiwan (January 2006), China (January 7, 2007) (Windows)
genre = MMORPG
modes = Multiplayer
platforms = Windows

"Uncharted Waters Online", referred to as "Great Voyage Online" in Japan ("Daikoukai Jidai Online"), is a MMORPG developed by KOEI based on the Rekoeition "Uncharted Waters" series of games. Set in the Age of Exploration players act as adventurers, soldiers, or traders, and engage in combat, exploration, and trade within the game.

"Uncharted Waters Online" is currently only available on the Windows platform in Japanese, Korean, traditional Chinese, and simplified Chinese. Koei Co. has only made reference to an eventual Western release mentioning "the development of the major Asian markets, each in turn throughout the continent, and will take the route towards the European and North American market" [http://www.koei.co.jp/flash/press/pdfs/20060601.pdf] . The U.S. branch of Koei has only mentioned that a North American release is "To Be Determined" as part of their 2006 E3 announcement. Contrarily, KOEI makes no mention of a Western release in their 1st quarter plan for 2007 only highlighting the simplified Chinese release [http://www.koei.co.jp/flash/financial/pdfs/20061121_2.pdf] . Criticism amongst western fans against Koei is concerned that all of Koei's MMORPGs will remain "Asia-only".

etting

"Uncharted Waters Online" is set within several timelines during the Age of Exploration as a romantic and historic fictional account of the era. Inconsistencies are found in the presence of Christopher Columbus and Elizabeth I of England as well as in some quests. However despite some of these timeline inaccuracies the game offers educational content in the form of exploration. Players can discover quests with historical value such as learning about Greek Fire or Seals.

As an online game it offers Player vs Player combat areas and factional warfare as well as socialization in the form of in-game chat and card games.

Gameplay

"Uncharted Waters Online" features a variety of gameplay. The game can be divided into sea-based areas, land-based areas, and towns. Like most MMORPGs characters gain experience in skills and levels.

The player may choose from among 6 nationalities: English, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Venetian. As well the player may choose from several "occupations" after choosing a basic class: adventurer, merchant, and soldier. However players can learn and upgrade skills from other classes, albeit needing more experience points. Under certain conditions a player may change their class, occupation, and nationality. Players are able to trade, explore, battle and join in live events such as "Great Sea Fights".

toryline

"Uncharted Waters Online" also includes event storylines for each of the nationalities adding single player depth to a multiplayer environment. Each nation's storyline revolves around a protagonist and their journey much like in previous games of the series. The following contains a translation from the Beginner's Guide as well as basic character information [http://www.gamecity.ne.jp/dol/start/biginner/] .

Portugal

Portugal is a mercantile nation that prospers by trade from profits of the land facing the Atlantic Ocean. They quickly rode the advances of navigation, and were the first to round the Cape of Good Hope. Recently, after returning from the discovery of the Indian route, and fiercely compete with their neighbor, Spain.

:"Alvero Sarmiento" (17) - A trader plying the marketplaces near Portugal. He is a leader among boys his age, and his smile endears himself towards people.:"Diego Sarmiento" (42) - The head of the Sarmiento Company, a major company representing Portugal.:"Juan" (10) - A boy who accompanies Alvero on his journeys.:"Vasco da Gama" (28) - Portuguese naval officer born to a noble house. He became a national hero by discovering the Indian route.:"Sanjai" (18) - Indian spice trader.

pain

Spain is a powerful authoritarian kingdom dominated by the royal house of Habsburg. The Habsburgs' rise to the royal throne came because of the premature death of the late king's son. Spain came into possession of the Netherlands which is the territory of the current royal family.

In order to support the country's finances the Netherlands have been taxed heavily, and as a consequences has raised support for their independence movement in recent years.

:"Baltasar Oliveira" (38) - Captain of the mercenary fleet working for Spain. He lives to hunt down the leader of the Barbary pirates - Khair ad Din. He is the leader of the Black Orca fleet.:"Eduardo de Mascareñas" (20) - The newest captain of the Black Orca fleet. He was born into just a normal house instead of the famed Hildago class. In order to fulfill his dream of promotion to a hidalgo he joins with Baltasar.:"Augustino" (39) - An officer originally from an artisan family in the heart of Italy.:"Barbarossa Khair ad Din" (38) - Leader of the Barbary pirates. He sails out into the Mediterranean from his base of operations in Algeria.:"Irene" (29) - The barmaid at Marseilles. Sophisticated and "high-maintenance" she is known as an "adult woman" who is chased after by many adventurers.

England

England is a small island country to the north for whom wool is the key industry. However, the wool market became unstable because of the Spanish political meddling in the Netherlands, which is England's biggest trading partner. The wool trade decreased, and a heavy recession ensued. The Queen wishes to repair the situation, but there is no method to compete with powerful Spain.

:"Liza Middleton" (21) - An English naval officer from the former pirate Middleton house. She has gained notoriety for her courage.:"Gordon" (40) - A veteran crewman who has served the Middleton house for more than 14 years. He runs around trying to protect Liza.:"William Middleton" (29) - The family head of the Middleton house who was pirating 10 years earlier. He has passed on naval activities to his sister. He maintains friendly relations with the courier Fredrik nowadays.:"Count Kilingrew", a transliteration of キリングリュー伯爵 (45) - The chief vassal who serves the English Royal Family. He treats the navy as his personal property.:"McGregor" (35) - A pirate who stood out after he had beaten the Middleton family.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a rising maritime courier nation facing the North Sea. They are a producer of wool fabric. The main Habsburg territory of the Netherlands became Spanish territory by inheritance of the Spanish king. The Spanish political meddling awoke the independence movement, but the military strength of the House of Alba prevents the movement.

:"Fredrik Van Metteren" (24) - Specializing in the transport of 'dangerous' goods and naturally independent.:"Egmont" (25) - A nobleman representative to the Netherlands government. Recently he has been trying to increase monetary support from other nations for the independence movement.:"Hoorn" (28) - A revolutionary of commoner origins.:"Amalia" (18) - A towngirl liked by many who lives in Amsterdam. She appears to be a normal beautiful girl, but...:"Ines" (25) - The trusted retainer of the House of Alba, who indirectly rule the Netherlands, and is a female officer of the Spanish navy.

France

France is an agrarian kingdom holding territory from the Mediterranean to the North Sea. France is surrounded by strong ocean-faring countries, and its seafaring business was delayed because of a long line of monarchs who were obsessed with themselves. The half-century delayed Renaissance starts from the Italian peninsula, and there are many nobles who collect rare treasures and artifacts.

:"Julien Clarence" (23) - A quiet man who belongs to a treasure hunting family who holds the patronage of many nobles. He has excellent eyes in regards to art.:"Countess DuBois" (42) - The wife of a count in Marseilles who holds lots of power. She has a proud and sadistic demeanor. She makes servants out of those who are unable to pay for services.:"Augustine" (39) - A one-eyed priest who recently came to Marseilles.:"France's Queen Mother" (48) - The Queen Mother who holds real governmental power in France in place of the young King. At 17 she was married from the Medici family in Firenze, and after awhile the king died.:"Ogun" (20) - A warrior who travels the continent of Africa. He knows the spirit of animals and how to survive.

Venice

Venice is a small city-state floating on the sea. It is called the "City of Water". Venice's maritime industry had long been prosperous, and Venice had long held a monopoly on the profits of the Mediterranean trade on pepper from Alexandria. However, recently the Ottoman Empire appeared in the East and Portugal discovered a sea route to the Indies. The era of the Mediterranean monopoly is ending...

:"Vittoria Orseolo" (22) - As the daughter of the noble Orseolo family in Venice she is a beauty that holds the title of "the flower of high society". She is the younger sister of Alvize. She has been proposed to by many families, but those have not been from the heart. She has strong intentions as a patron of culture.:"Alvize Orseolo" (30) - A young member of the government and Vittoria's elder brother. :"Haroun" (12) - A boy from a Muslim country overthrown during to the Spanish Reconquista. He calls himself "the egg of the treasure hunting family", and makes a living off of stealing historical artifacts. He has come to Venice to sell cultural artifacts to Vittoria.:"Gradenigo" (61) - The leader of the 10-person advisory committee. Possible reference to the Doge of Venice?:"Faisal" (31) - The chief of the Bedouin nomads called the "desert champion".

Translations

The game has been officially translated in Korean, traditional Chinese, and simplified Chinese.

Expansion

La Frontera

"La Frontera" is the first expansion pack for "Uncharted Waters Online" released in 3 installments the first of which is titled "Aztec" on August 30 2006 [http://www.gamecity.ne.jp/dol/lafrontera/news.htm] . This extends the Age of Exploration from the early 16th century into the 17th century with new areas in South America & North America [http://www.gamecity.ne.jp/dol/topics/0606012.htm] . The second chapter of the expansion titled "Angkor" was released December 6 2006 expanding the world map through Southeast Asia. The third chapter of the expansion titled "Spice Islands" will continue to expand the world map throughout Southeast Asia.

Apart from new storyline the expansion includes "pirate islands" for irreputable players, "debates" using discovery card battles for adventurers' bragging rights, "joint built shipwrightery" for craftsmen, duels in towns, housing for all players, and a commissioned ferry service between large cities. The expansion will also include interactive towns that players can change from being a Merchant, Adventurer, or Navy town [http://www.gamecity.ne.jp/dol/lafrontera/aztec2.htm] .

In further developer announcements [http://www.gamecity.ne.jp/dol/lafrontera/aztec3.htm] ] [http://www.gamecity.ne.jp/dol/lafrontera/aztec4.htm] , KOEI announced that the land battle system will be overhauled into a "Ranged-Shift Battle" system where players will choose from short, mid, and long-ranged combat positions with strengths and weaknesses. As well, 3 combat classes will be released to enhance land combat-oriented players. New "Imperial Quests" will allow players to run quests pertaining to a specific country.

The expansion pack will be cost an additional fee for current subscribers to be released both as a download and expansion box set like the original game. New subscribers purchasing "La Frontera" includes access to the original setting. The subscription price has not changed.

Cruz del Sur

The second expansion pack titled "Cruz del Sur" will be released late summer 2007. As with the first expansion pack, "La Frontera", this second expansion will also include 3 chapters the first of which is entitled "Circumnavigation". Also similar to the expansion pack system users must pay an additional fee (2940 yen) to download the expansion [http://www.gamecity.ne.jp/dol/ep3/report1.htm] .

The first chapter (Circumnavigation) of this expansion opens the Southwestern Pacific Ocean up to players to explore and adds in "private farms" while trying to add in more flavorful player-vs-player combat.

The second chapter (Special Ornaments) opens the special ornaments in players' flat and allows players to have a pet.

The third chapter (Grand Anniversary) and the fourth chapter (Inca) have been released.

Mobile Support

The Japanese version of "Uncharted Waters Online" offers mobile-to-game mail service for I-Mode, EZweb, or Vodafone Live! capable mobile phones [http://www.gamecity.ne.jp/dol/mobile/] . This service will be beta tested until August 30, 2006.

External links

:* [http://www.gamecity.ne.jp/dol/ Official Japanese Site] :* [http://dho.netmarble.net/ Official Korea Site #1] :* [http://dho.daum.net/ Official Korea Site #2] :* [http://dho.hangame.com/ Official Korea Site #3] :* [http://gvo.joypark.com.tw/ Official Taiwan Site] :* [http://www.dolchn.com/ Official China Site] :* [http://gvo.odorudaisousasen.com English & Traditional Chinese News Blog]

References


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