Imports - by Julie Whitefeather
Jun 05, 2007 16:11:58

The word "imported" can sometimes have diverse connotations - it's good when it comes to beer, and often bad when it comes to games. I will admit to preconceived notions in this regard. Then I noticed the gaming group I belong to (TOG which is 14,000 members strong I am told) had a "Voyage Century" presence. With the delay of "Pirates of the Burning Sea" I thought I would give it a try. After all it's free and as the guild leader said, "What have you got to lose"?

A week later I have been pleasantly surprised - I ended up playing Voyage Century over Lord of the Rings Online (to which I am a founding member).

I will admit the sentence construction used in the game was sometimes a bit odd at first, but I rapidly got used to it. This may be due to having lived for a year and a half in Asia. That, or having spend three years in the military where everything seemed labeled in reverse (example: "Sidewalk, concrete, grey, one").

The biggest surprise was - I had fun. Lots of fun.

Yes, the learning curve was a bit steep, but nothing compared to Eve Online - the mother of all steep learning curves. I think mostly it was due to the instructions losing something in translation. However, a few generous guildies to guide me along and I was soon in business - literally.

At first I thought that all I would be interested in was the navel combat (of which there is plenty). "Work in business all day long and then come home and work in a virtual business? Are you nuts?" I thought. Then I saw it. It was beautiful. It was enormous - so big it could easily have held a football field. Sweeping past me as I made my way into port, it was graceful as a swan as it rowed its mighty way past me.. It was a turtle ship. For those of you unacquainted with Asian history I have included a picture below. A Turtle ship was ship that helped Korea defeat the Japanese invasion in the 16th century. That was about the time I found out about all of the quests available for trading. But lest you think that becoming a virtual merchant princess is all the game is about - read on.

Back when I played Guild Wars the biggest problem I had (and yes it is just a matter of personal preference) was that the entire world was instanced - leaving I and my henchmen alone in it, whenever we left the cities. However, "Voyage Century" is a bit different. Sailing around in the "high seas" as they are called is "no great shakes". The artwork there will never win any awards. It is more on the level of an older RTS game. Like Guild Wars, the cities are open instances. So too, however, are the battles on the high seas - cannons blazing, armadas moving to destroy the enemy (you OR them) are all open instances. Anyone can join in any time. These are not open quests, just open battles at sea. Me? I like actions movies like "Master and Commander: Far side of the World", "Pirates of the Caribbean", and "Captain Blood", and this was like being part of them.

Yes, if you miss the sword play, that is anything but lacking. If you want to have at a live player in the suburbs of Seville, that is always open to you. Imagine my surprise, however, the first time I was "rammed" on the high seas and the game switched to a scene on the deck of my ship where I and my crew had to fight the pirates hand to hand - charging across the deck of my ship with a flintlock pistol in hand.

Here is a quote from a recent interview with William Zung, product communication supervisor for "Voyage Century" on

"Voyage Century won a great reputation in eastern Asian and has tens of millions of players. We decided to bring this game to the western audience since we believe Voyage Century, which was set on the 17th Century navigation age, will easier to be accepted by western audience. We are confident that Voyage Century will also win players' heart in North America and other western world. Now, Voyage Century has nearly 1 million players. As IGG grows more and more mature and with our professional promotion campaign. I believe this number will keep on increasing." - William Zung on

I had my doubts. I thought for sure the micro transactions would destroy the game for me. So far they haven't. Mr. Zung may just be right about winning player's hearts.

See you online

-Julie Whitefeather

Submitted by Brent on Jun 05, 2007 16:11:58 CST (comments: 0)


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