Featured Interview with Producer of Uncharted WatersTM Online
Date: Sep 3 rd, 2010
Koei’s classic RPG series Uncharted WatersTM launched in Japan and other Asian territories several years ago, and now it made its debut in the Western market in August, 2010. Community Manager (CM) at Global Netmarble (http://global.netmarble.com/uwo/) had an interview with Producer Tomokazu Takeda (TT)at Koei, who expressed his excitement of this global debut of Uncharted Waters Online <UWO>.
CM: How do feel about having global players who are eager to play <UWO>?
TT: I am very thankful to have global players who like <UWO> and feel kind of compelled to bring this game to meet their needs and to fit their cultures. I wish all them are really enjoying <UWO>, investigating new world and exploring.
CM: Pirates are very popular in the west, helped along by such franchises as Pirates of the Caribbean; what has caused the game's release in Europe and America to be delayed for so long?
TT: <UWO> is originally designed to target Asian market. However, upon the great success of this title at various regions, we’ve been thinking about brining this game to global Market. At the right moment, well-known publisher in Korea, CJ Internet opens its market to global with http://global.netmarble.com/uwo/
and they decided to bring this title.
CM: This game is already playd by millions of people in Asia, many of whom will be very experienced; what facilities have been set up to prevent the new players in Europe and America from being wiped out in the first few hours of them playing the game?
TT: With the long-time of service, there are many people out there who are already mastered in this game. Considering this, in order to prevent counter discrimination, we will not allow the game access from the regions that <UWO> is already in service; China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Also, all game players will start this game in a brand new server starting from Level 0.
CM: For the European and North American players, the online games developed by Asian developers all have to face a big problem – cultural difference, which lets such players fail to understand the in-game oriental cultures. Do you take the problem into consideration? What kinds of modifications have been made to accommodate players in Europe and America?
TT: Basic concept and gameplay remain the same, but we are definitely working on localization to fit the market. There must be some cultural differences taken placed, but Uncharted Waters Online is originated from actual history, so there will be less cultural gaps comparing to other typical online games. Also, through beta-testing, we will apply North American/European users’ requests more intensively to target the niche in the gaming market.
CM: Customization seems a key part of UWO; what aspects of the game will players be free to customize?
TT: Players basically can customize their character appearance and ship model, but the most distinctive feature of UWO is that they can customize the character’s ability. Players can transform their job fields (Soldiers, Adventurers, and Merchants) freely from one to another; they can utilize this transformation skill to maximize their performance. Therefore, players can develop their character with balanced skills of all three job fields, and this feature will definitely attracts players comparing to other simple level up system.
CM: How do you believe the game will compare to other MMO's, such as Runescape, which have a massive following in the West?
TT: It is little difficult to compare games with a single standard. Every MMO has its unique features, so as <UWO>. However, we are guaranteeing a very different game system that players not very often to see. So, <UWO> will definitely target the niche market that other MMOs are not able to focus. Some of few features that other MMORPGs have but <UWO> are; Town Portal, Autobots, Health Point (HP), Character Stats, Fields and the fastest single Path. By excluding those features that other MMORPSs have, <UWO> unfolds the gameplay very different from others. To see the full features: http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=123199314385446#!/note.php?note_id=136433356394444
CM: Briefly mention about UWO gameplay?
TT: <UWO> has a much specified Job choices. Mainly, three Job-types are Adventure-Type, Trade-Type, and Battle-Type. And Each Job-Type is segregated into more specified job choices. For example, in Adventure-Type, players can develop their character from Adventure Learner, Explore, Surveyor, Biologist, Fisher, Excavator, and so more. Players are not restricted to choose one Job-Type, but they are able to develop their specified jobs and play skills of all three; Adventure, Trade, and Battle to coordinate their unique character. Among three Job-Types, Adventurers will focus on quests, excavate, and investigating sunken ships; Traders will focus on trading, producing, and investing; Soldiers (Battle) will focus on water battle, land battle, and NPC suppression.
CM: Is the game accesible to all players? Some of the features suggest that players will need pc's with high specs.
TT: <UWO> is totally accessible to all players who have the low PC specification. It can be run by normal home PC and even Laptop. Windows XP SP2; CPU Pentium 3-800MHz or above; Ram Size of 256MB; DirectX 9.0c or above. See the full specification:
CM: Will Uncharted Waters Online be free-to-play?
TT: Since most of Online Games are transferring from subscribe model to Free-to-Play model, Uncharted Waters Online also will be delivered in Free-to-Play model. We had a long experience in servicing UWO in Free-to-Play model at other regions like Japan and Korea, so we will have no problem deliver this game to Europe and North America.
CM: We understand that you have a free-to-play model which will make the game accesible to more people; what aspects from the main game have been removedfor the free version?
TT: As exactly you said, we open this game to all players for free and there is no feature they cannot experience because it’s free-to-play. Full version of Uncharted WatersTM Series is accessible at online version, and most of paid items are just for saving playing time and convenience.
CM: Thanks for your time, any final words for the fans eager awaiting the arrival of UWO?
TT: We appreciate all your interest and patience, and hope this unique MMORPG suits the interest and desire of players from the world. If you are feeling little tired of existing MMORPGs, we definitely want to recommend Uncharted Waters Online. This will open up the eyes of players in enjoying MMORPGs with new insights.