The Holidays are upon us once again, and soon another year will end. Looking back, I cannot believe it’s been over two years since I’ve started playing Uncharted Waters Online, and in case any of you reading this are still wondering, I am still playing UWO, although I haven’t been posting recently in this blog. I managed to sail to San Francisco in October and enjoy the early Gold Rush over there, but haven’t opened the Northwest Passage, and I’m not sure when I’ll get around to doing that. I’ve been too busy leveling my trade skills and stocking up supplies for Nanban runs with my company (Honolulu Trading Company). I’ve also been taking regular breaks from UWO to focus on other video games and on other things in life.
Like most things on the Internet, blogs are a convenient place for people to express their opinions or vent or simply talk about their day. While I originally intended to make this blog more of a daily or weekly journal of my adventures in UWO, I’ve found myself too distracted with playing the game or doing other things to sit down and shoot off a blurb. I’m not really that kind of writer anyways (I guess you can call me the more “reflective” or long-winded type, hehe). But the nice thing about not writing so often is that you gain more perspective about what you’re writing about, and that’s never a bad thing, especially since it’s so easy these days to shoot off a tweet or post in reaction to something or someone.
Take the recent server outage on GAMA server, for example. For a couple of weeks last month, GAMA server was plagued with outages and latency issues due to IT problems (or at least this is OGPlanet’s explanation for the problems). If I had decided to blog about all the frustrations of that time (which maybe I should’ve done but was too lazy to do so), my post would’ve probably gone on forever about OGPlanet and the future of UWO on GAMA server. However, the issues were finally resolved, and OGPlanet went out of its way to provide compensation to the many players who wasted astro boost items or were stuck at sea due to the outages.
I’m pretty sure there’s still quite a few players out there who are concerned about another server outage happening again, and such an outage may occur. But in hindsight, I believe OGPlanet did everything it could to resolve the issues and to assuage the playing community. These issues were most likely beyond their control even though they received the lion’s share of the angry reactions that occurred at that time. I know that writing about OGPlanet and their struggles with hosting UWO has become something of a recurring theme or topic in my blog, but I find it easier to write about these things here than posting it in the forums, where there’s a chance that OGPlanet or someone else may get offended. The nice thing about reflecting about things – as opposed to reacting to them – is that you can see both the good and the bad (or at least that’s the ideal). Yes, the outages were pretty bad and they may have led quite a few players to quit playing UWO altogether, but things could be much worse. Hopefully OGPlanet has learned from this experience and will be better able to deal with this sort of problem in the future. And in any case, going through outages is the price you must be willing to pay if you are playing an online-only, free-to-play game.
Now to happier musings….
What has impressed me more than anything else about UWO and its community is it’s longevity, especially when you consider the game’s unique features. I haven’t played many MMO’s, so maybe I’m stretching things a little by saying something like that. But considering that UWO is primarily a historical sailing game with quite a bit of grind thrown into it, I’m impressed that there’s still a vibrant community on GAMA server after five years of existence. In addition to OGPlanet’s own events, a couple of the players have been doing their own events on the server (e.g. BWPanda’s Winter Giveaway Raffles). As I’ve mentioned before in earlier entries, I prefer to play solo, so I do not really take part in these events (although I’m thinking about doing one or two in the near-future). But it’s nice to see people in the community taking the initiative to help other players or foster activity of one sort or another. And any positive publicity will definitely help keep UWO alive and kicking.
So I like to close this entry with a special Mahalo to everyone in OGPlanet and in the GAMA community for keeping Uncharted Waters Online going through the good and bad times. I’d like to thank the players who have been spending astros and therefore keeping UWO financially secure enough for those of us who want to play this game for free. I’d like to thank OGPlanet for their various gifts and events, and I like to thank the players like BWPanda who have been coming up with their own ideas to get players together and help one another. And I like to thank KOEI and OGPlanet for keeping UWO updated and allowing all of us to enjoy this wonderful game.
Mele Kalikimaka and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.