Video Game: Uncharted Waters Online
Uncharted Waters Online, originally released as Daikoukai Jidai Online (大航海時代 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 available on the Windows platform in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean, also available on the PlayStation
3 since 2009. Six years after the initial Asian release, Net Marble produced the game, under its traditional English title, for the non-Asian market in North America and Europe. On August 19, 2010, the official site for English and US game versions was opened and closed beta was announced. The open beta began on October 1, 2010. Beta testing was completed, and the game is now live in North America and Europe.
As of November 28th, 2013, Net Marble has turned control of the game over to OG Planet
. A link is available to any veteran players who transfer their accounts.
The game provides examples of following tropes:
- An Interior Designer Is You: Once you complete certain requirements, you can purchase and upgrade Quarters from the bank, which you can use for storing a few extra unneeded items or goods for whatever your project is. Player-made furniture increases the slots for a certain storage category (Trade Goods, Equipment, Documents, et cetera). You can even pick up different stewards as quest rewards, but they're just for decoration...
- Ascended Extra: Khayr ad-Din from New Horizons was just a frustratingly powerful NPC pirate. In Online, he's the antagonist of the Spain storyline.
- Bold Explorer: This is the whole point of Adventure-type jobs.
- Boring, but Practical: The skills Fishing, Collection and Procurement are meant to be cheap ways to get materials for crafting. Fishing auto-repeats every thirty seconds, and at higher ranks can score species of fish that are either a key ingredient in high-end Vigour-restoring items or can be converted into large amounts of food for the crew. The other two, Procurement and Collection, auto-repeat every five seconds (though Procurement doesn't auto-repeat at sea). Collection in large amounts at the right landing ports can gather materials for the really good items, and Procurement? On land, lots of supplies for the crew (not counting ammunition for the ship's cannons) and on sea, a good amount of water per use. All this for 5 Vigour per use.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Since Online uses a microtransaction business model, Tecmo-Koei (and subsequently their distributors) introduced ships that were designed to either give a massive combat advantage or carry some other benefit like larger than normal hold space. The only way to get them is through the Treasure Box or Premium Tickets, and the chances of scoring one are minimal. On the nonviolent side of the spectrum, though, there's an item called 'Secret no-war pact epistle' which keeps the player safe from any attacks at sea for 24 hours. Mention of either one tends to get at least a moderate amount of angry shouting on both sides of the issue.
- Character Level: Online uses three categories of character level: Trade, Adventure, and Maritime. The mechanics are otherwise the same.
- Combat by Champion: Deck battles. When you engage in melee with an enemy fleet's flagship, you have the option to initiate this mode. If unrestricted, the captains of all remaining ships take part in a team battle to determine the victor(s).
- Cool Boat: Much like the previous games, you can either purchase these from Shipyard Masters or commission your own with the Shipbuilding skill and enough money. One expansion even added 'Original Shipbuilding', which allowed you to use storebought or crafted ship parts to make more useful variants of common ship types.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Certain NPC fleets will counter whatever melee battle skill you use no matter what.
- Expy: Certain faces and accessories resemble Sima Yi, Zhang Fei, Xu Zhu and Xiao Qiao. Also, the captain in the opening movie resembles Ernst.
- Infinite Supplies: Averted; you still need to buy necessities at a port or gather them with the Procurement, Collection and Fishing skills. Even at low ranks, they can give free food and water, but eventually the character's Vigour runs out.
- Item Crafting: A few skills are devoted to this: Casting, which is used to make cannons, plates, and personal weapons and armor; Handicrafts, which can make medicine, ship parts and furniture for your quarters; Cooking, which lets you convert foods, seasoning and spices into Vigour-restoring items; Storage, used mainly as a counter to the Plunder skill but also to make a few ingredients for Cooking; Sewing, used to make clothes and ship sails; Shipbuilding, which lets you build custom ships and adjust the ratio of crew bunks, cannon chambers and hold space; and Alchemy, used to make magical items.
- Maximum HP Reduction: Cannon fire that scores a critical hit can reduce your ship's max armor by a small amount each time. Thankfully an item that can either be crafted or bought from other players restores 1 max durability up to its default.
- Party in My Pocket: Starting when you reach level 20 in any category, you can hire aides at a tavern. Their skills boost your own, any aides with a national correspondence skill can increase your reputation with another country, and at a certain point can captain their own ships, levels permitting. Aside from that, whatever aides you don't take with you on your trips wait in the Quarters.
- Player Versus Player: Three levels. Safe waters restricts combat to Player Versus Environment unless a player has a Notoriety score, Hostile waters allow PvP with a notoriety gain for the winner, and Lawless waters is unrestricted PvP. Both ships have to be at least level 30 in one category, with a total of 50 levels between the three; this was implemented for balance purposes for obvious reasons.
- Prestigious Player Title: An actual game mechanic. Each title can grant some sort of benefit like reduced supplies costs or guilds offering more quests to choose from, and some are even required for specific character equipment.
- Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: The skills related to ship-to-ship melee combat cycle thusly: Assault beats Tactics beats Gunfire beats Guard beats Assault.
- The Wiki Rule: Three different wikis, in fact. The Official Uncharted Waters Wiki, Uncharted Waters Online Database and Uncharted Waters Online at OloUS are all comprehensive enough on their own, but one would have information the others don't.
- Treasure Map: Shipwrecks are found by using enough Shipwreck Map Pieces to reveal its location. It takes a bit of effort to raise the wreck and drag it to a nearby port, but exploring it could score some nice gear. One shipwreck in particular unlocks the Salvager job which focuses primarily on this.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Female-only Petticoat equipment and its variants sport Grade A.