In my last post, I mentioned that changes were coming to Uncharted Waters Online in August. And changes did indeed occur. For one thing, players can no longer lose their valuable stuff in land combat or in the dungeons, although sailors will still continue to take your things if you let their fatigue run too high (I lost a cheap pair of boots while collecting stuff because I forgot to leave the collection area before going AFK).
But perhaps the BIGGEST (and most recent) change to occur in Uncharted Waters Online since July is OGPlanet’s decision to bring UWO back to Steam. The class registers are full to the brim again, and there’s even players talking about whether OGP should open another server (probably too expensive for them to consider doing that, but who knows?).
Along with my regular forays into the OGP forums, I’ve also been following the UWO community hub at Steam. Over there, Uncharted Waters Online has been receiving generally positive reviews, although I’ve also noticed many of the same old complaints about the schools, dungeons, ESBTS, and so forth. I think it’s great that UWO’s back on Steam again, and I hope that this will lead to a more vibrant player community. More players after all equals a greater chance that Uncharted Waters Online will continue into the foreseeable future.
I do want to point out a specific thread that’s emerged (again) on the OGPlanet forums about “resetting” or “wiping” GAMA server. This is the first and hopefully last time that I will have to bring up this topic. A lot has already been said about server wipes in the OGP forums, so hopefully I won’t rehash too much of that stuff here (forgive me if I end up doing so; sometimes I get a bit carried away). And it is very unlikely that OGPlanet will even consider such a drastic move, especially now that they have been managing UWO’s GAMA server for nearly a year now.
But for some reason, there are players out there who are still floating this idea about. For that reason, I’ve decided to state some of my own thoughts about server wipes and why such a move would be a VERY BAD IDEA for the future of Uncharted Waters Online….
For those of you readers who don’t know what a “server wipe” is, it basically means that EVERYBODY on the server – whether you started playing Uncharted Waters Online yesterday or have been playing for over four years – will have ALL of their character and stats reset to zero. Period.
If you’ve finally leveled your adventure, trade, AND maritime classes to level 50, server wipe means you’ll need to go back to school and start all over again.
If you’ve just spent 100 astros on ships bottles, booster items, or what not, then server wipe means that all of that is now gone.
And If you’ve spent a year grinding shipbuilding in order to begin building clippers, then you’ll need to grind shipbuilding
all over again. And if anybody reading this has tried to grind shipbuilding (and I have), you’ll know that even the THOUGHT of having to grind shipbuilding all over again from scratch is painful!
Now the people arguing for server wipes will give you a couple arguments for doing so:
1. Astros can be refunded, and any progress made in the game can easily be made up again.
Perhaps that may be true for some players, but I don’t think this will be true for ALL players. As mentioned earlier, restarting from scratch means undoing weeks, months, or even years of playing time, and I don’t think everyone’s going to be happy with that situation.
2. The dungeons and ESBTS have corrupted the UWO economy so much that KOEI/OGPlanet has no other choice but to reset the server in order to make everything nice and balanced again.
I’ll admit here that the dungeons and ESBTS are NOT how Uncharted Waters was ORIGINALLY meant to be played. There are still many players who are calling for an end to both in UWO, and I sympathize with their concerns. That being said, I personally have no problem with either the dungeons or the ESBTS being in the game. Players can still sail around the world and trade to their hearts content if they want to, and anybody who’s tried farming the dungeons before will tell you that the dungeons, while addicting at first, can get quite boring eventually. Not only that, running the dungeons a little bit can be quite helpful for new players struggling to establish a secure financial base so that they can focus on all the other aspects of UWO.
This is probably why the “majority” of players have not come out against removing the dungeons and ESBTS, and this is also why removing them, like wiping GAMA server clean, will probably do much more harm than good.
Now here’s why I think a server wipe in UWO will be a very bad idea:
1. It can take a VERY LONG TIME to level classes or skills in UWO.
Now of course there are ways to grind more quickly in UWO, but that usually involves things like relentlessly playing UWO during 2x events (such as the one occurring right now on GAMA server) or buying expensive booster items. Some players may be able to do either or both of these things, but I don’t think many players will be willing or able to spend 12 to 16 hours a day grinding away during 2x events or spend a hundred dollars at a time buying all sorts of boosters in order to shortcut this process. Being forced to re-grind skills or classes that you’ve already spent weeks or months grinding WILL lead to burnout. And burnout means players will quit playing UWO altogether. And that’s not a good thing for anybody who cares about UWO, either players or management.
2. A Server Wipe will lead to ALOT of heated discussion and debate both INSIDE and OUTSIDE Uncharted Waters Online, and this will discourage new players from joining UWO
Like any other commercial product, image/reputation is everything when it comes to a video game. If people do not like your game, they will talk about it openly and quite vociferously. And while there will always be somebody who’ll be unhappy with a video game and who’ll therefore complain about it over and over again (especially around the Internet), having LOTS of people complaining about a video game AT THE SAME TIME is NEVER A GOOD THING. Negative publicity has a way of feeding back upon itself, especially on the Internet, and when lots of people are getting mad about something, that usually tells bystanders that whatever their complaining about is probably a not a good thing to get into.
And that is what a server wipe will do. It’ll lead to LOTS of players (especially Veteran players) quitting Uncharted Waters Online. And while the proponents of server wipes may say something like “good riddens” to these players, not having many experienced players around is just as bad, if not worse, than having few new players around in UWO. And the worse thing about all of this is that it will send a negative message to anyone who is remotely interested in playing Uncharted Waters Online. In other words, veteran players will leave and very few, if any, new players will want to sign up.
One minus One equals Zero.
All of what I’ve just written are of course my own thoughts about server wipes in UWO. I cannot speak for every player in Uncharted Waters Online and I do not intend to. Any of you reading this post are free to agree or disagree with me or to correct me if anything I’ve said here is inaccurate, misleading, or wrongheaded. And I do not want to convey any negative impressions about Uncharted Waters Online. I know that I am taking a bit of a risk in writing about a topic as controversial as server wipes, and I do not mean to “feed the trolls” either (the person who started the original thread and/or the person who revived the thread may have done so for trolling purposes).
But after reading some of the reaction on the forums to the “server wipe” thread, I felt that it was time for me to weigh in with some of my own thoughts in a place that I am relatively comfortable writing about such stuff. Even though I’ve chosen to play more privately in Uncharted Waters Online, I have a good deal of respect for UWO’s player community, which on the whole is quite friendly, welcoming, and supportive.
The last thing that I want to see happen is for that community to become divided beyond repair.
Now that all of that has gone off my chest, I want to end this (long) post on a more positive note.
First, I want to reassure anyone who is still reading this that there will be no server wipes happening in Uncharted Waters Online. Not now and heaven forbid not ever.
Second, and especially since this summer, OGPlanet seems to be managing Uncharted Waters Online quite well. There have of course been hiccups along the way. The OGPlanet GM’s, it must be remembered, not only had to take over running UWO, but also had to learn how to play this game from scratch. OGPlanet’s GM’s – like the rest of us players – are human beings who make mistakes, and considering the fact that UWO’s very future was in doubt last year, I think that things have improved quite considerably under OGPlanet’s tenure.
It’s one thing to point out issues or to make suggestions, for a healthy honest discussion is never a bad thing. But it is also good to give the credit where it is due. And although November is not here yet, it is never too early to give thanks for the things that we do have, rather than always complain about the things that are wrong or missing.
On that note, I will end here. For those of you who have been following my posts, I apologize for not writing more regularly these past few months. I’ve been far too busy enjoying Uncharted Waters Online, and far too busy with other things in life, to post as consistently as I had hoped. But hopefully I’ll be back soon with another update on my adventures in Uncharted Waters Online.
Mahalo for all of your feedback and support, and happy sailing!