Uncharted Waters Flow Westward

TECMO KOEI, publishers that combined have a pedigree including the famous Dynasty Warriors, Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden franchises,  announced today that their partnership with CJ Internet will be navigating Uncharted Waters Online to the West this summer 2010. Already a popular MMORPG in Japan and Korea, UWO is set in the Age of Discovery between the 15th and 17th centuries. Players are able to pledge allegiance to one of the great naval powers of the time – England, the Ancien Régime in France, the Dutch Republic, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Spanish Empire or the Republic of Venice. After deciding whether to be an adventurer, merchant or soldier, and buying or building their own ship, they can then set sail to conquer “the hundreds of neutral cities to ensure that their chosen nation becomes the world’s leading power”. Click below to see the full teaser trailer. The context of the game world is grounded in historical circumstance:

In the year 1453 AD, Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantium Empire, was taken. The people of the Christian nations were terrified by the formidable might of the Ottoman Empire, and at the same time disappointed that they lost their only passage for Eastern trading.
Meanwhile, far to the West, opposite the Eastern European region—which was no longer the superpower it once was–the Iberia Peninsula celebrated the birth of a new military state called Spain, a result of revolution. Hand in hand with Portugal she immediately launched a campaign of utmost importance—defeating the Ottoman forces.
The flag ship of Portugal was forced to explore new routes around the African continent, pressured by the legacy of the Christian Empire of the East and the appearance of Ottoman influence. Direct trade with India was of utmost importance. Spain was also determined to find new ways to the East far beyond the Atlantic Ocean, entrusting Christopher Columbus to the task.
To the East before anyone else!
The era of passionate adventurers and great navigators is dawning upon you.

Uncharted Waters Online attempts to model a complex economic system based on real-life goods trading, obviously very important to a game with this seafaring setting. Part of the incentive for players to conquer cities for their nation is to reduce the taxes and customs costs levied upon them. Depending on how to player wishes to play the game, they can attempt to buy influence in neutral cities or battle with the current rulers to forcibly take control of it. The possible PvP implications of a conflict for a city are massive – forces as great as a hundred ships on each side can engage in a gigantic sea battle.

Other activities players can participate in include exploring previously undiscovered exotic locales to possibly finding “ancient sites and artifacts” like the famous explorers of history. If you manage to discover a completely unoccupied island, it is even possible to build your own farm upon it – though less adventurous or more urban players might purchase a city apartment instead. Meanwhile, UWO boasts that it contains more than 75 professions and 100 skills to master as an extension of the three primary classes, along with the ability to customise a range of different ship types with “thousands” of items.

To learn more about the characters of the Uncharted Waters Online nations, visit the Netmarble portal site.