Uncharted Waters Online: Seven Seas Adventure of the Future
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
Uncharted Waters Online is a MMORPG that puts you in the shoes of a “sailor” during mans time of exploration. You get to own your own ship, travel the seven seas and create your own story within this fictional era where you only get to travel on ships, big wooden ships to add that.
Uncharted Waters Online is not a game you can immediately jump into and just play. Nor would you want to since being a sailor means you need funds which you personally don’t have specially when you start off. Thankfully the game provides a tedious “tutorial” stage that gives you the necessary info and money to make your travels much easier.
Don’t take the word tedious too lightly with the game’s tutorial, if you opted to go through the academe—in this case it is an actual school. You’ll be lectured in the basic things you need to know to survive this world. It’s basically a go there, talk with NPC get info and go back type of quests which tends to grate on you. However, in as much as I hated the one or so hour I spent on the Academe, it helped me understand the necessary things in the game, which saved me from looking like a buffoon asking the noobish questions.
The game has only three major classes you can choose. You have the Adventurers, the Merchants and the Maritime (which basically is the soldier class in the game). I don’t think I have to elaborate on the three classes because the titles themselves say what they are.
At first glance the lack of any other classes may seem a downside for the game, however, it is in fact fitting to the game’s overall concept. While the classes seem to be basic, the gameplay provides depth for each class. In fact, you have tons of jobs you can get into branching off each major class. The fun thing is that you can switch to any job class that you like as long as you meet the requirements. The things you can do in the game are not restricted to the class you are in. In fact you can still trade even if you’re a maritime type or an adventurer type and you can still fight even if you’re a merchant type. The only thing that’s different is that each class has an exclusive skill set.
You can go far in terms of the job class, the game provides a truly customizable character that can definitely give you an enjoyable game experience.
Of course it doesn’t hurt that you can also see the changes in your characters equipment, and you can even create a fat character, which is a rare sight in games dominated by the boy next door look gamers often use.
UWO is of course a seafaring game and half the time you are online you’ll be in your ship travelling the seas for fun and profit. Seafaring is simple enough in UWO however it’s the preparation that will really take up your time especially if you’re unfamiliar with the whole idea of ships or you are still on the ropes because you didn’t go through the Academe.
However, once you got the hang of seafaring all these little details of stocking your ship up aren’t too much of a bother. In fact, it becomes really enjoyable because this provides the authentic feel that you are in fact a Captain of your own ship. I also liked the fact that seafaring gives you more things to think about before you sail out compared to other games of the same genre, such as Pirate King Online, where you only worry about the fuel and cargo of your ship.
In UWO, you also have to worry about the crew’s loyalty, morale and fatigue. This provides the feeling that you are indeed the Captain and that your crew’s welfare is part of your concerns.
The game also has a territory system in place where you need a special pass to be able to make port in certain cities. With the game spanning the whole globe, you can actually feel the frustrations sailors experience when you get to ports you are not friendly with.
UWO prides itself that this is a game that doesn’t require violence to be fun. However, before I go into that, I’d like to talk about UWO’s battle system. First and foremost, all of the battles in UWO occur at sea. Battling against other ships is highly reliant on your ship’s position, much like in actual naval warfare.
The game provides you with two options. You can go for the usual canon vs. canon exchange, or you can ram the enemy ship and then board. Being a fan of naval warfare, I truly enjoyed going against the pirates and having an alternative of taking them down through sheer force of sailors.
The boarding system in battles in fact provides an alternative tactic that makes the battling more enjoyable and exciting. It also provides another way of winning battles even if you’re outgunned.
As a port of an old game, UWO really brought justice in providing an authentic feel in the life of a sailor. Considering that the competitors in this genre took a more comical, perky route (Pirate King Online), UWO provides players with a more serious side to sailing.
The good thing about UWO is that it presents itself as more of a “simulation” game than just a mere ship vs. ship canon shootout. You can in fact play the game as a merchant and enjoy it immensely. To prove this point, the game even allows you to create your own home and accessorize it with the money you earned either by traveling or trading.
All in all, I must truly say that I enjoyed my UWO experience and I’m looking forward to when the game goes commercial.