Uncharted Waters Online is a unique MMO. It’s unique because the players are friendly and helpful (for the most part), the only way to level up is to actually play the game (instead of boring ‘grinding’ shortcuts in most MMOs), and… well, heck, it’s fun! It’s completely NOT about running around to different areas and slaying a buncha monsters there, and then moving on to slay more monsters. It’s… about sailing your ship around, fighting pirates (or, yes, being a pirate), and making money in trade. And adventure.
This is a little tutorial about the adventure part. It deals mainly with Adventure quests and maps. There aren’t any pictures for this tutorial, so you should be fairly familiar with the game interface to understand it.
First, you will need to acquire maps. These fall out of books at the Archives. Before you can raid the books, though, you will need at least one skill that sounds useless, because it is about “analyzing discovery of X” where X is some branch of study, like archeology or biology.
You can get any number of these six areas of study: Archaeology, Geography, Biology, Theology, Art, and Appraisal (jewelry/treasure appraisal). Once you have them, that unlocks the books at the Archives for you to read. Tip: Archeology and Appraisal often yield some pricey loot. Along with Appraisal, you’ll need Unlock, because a lot are buried treasure.
It costs 500 ducats a pop to read a book, so after a good merchant run has padded your pockets, stop off at the Archives. Reading a book will randomly net you 1, 2, or 3 points added to that particular skill, or sometimes zilch, or sometimes a map!
Analyzing the Map
Once you get a map (or several), go to your Inventory and press the Store button. Maps can be stored in your portfolio (along with all your cookbooks and guild cards) to free up space in your main inventory.
Click or mouse over the map, and you will see a brief name and description. Something like “West bank of Cairo, southeast corner” or “outside Alexandria, north by the rocks.” You will have to go to that location to use the map and get the discovery and/or goodies there.
Tip: If you see something about a ‘bank’ but it is not located on a river… it’s talking about a CONTINENT across from that city. For example, “southeast bank of Madeira” is actually Africa (near Casablanca). “Northeast bank of Athens” is past the islands east of Athens and on that coast past them. (Which is Turkey, I think. The only geography I’m good at is the ones labelled in the game. :X )
Sometimes, the outdoors area is through a gate in a city. Sometimes you have to sail to an unidentified landing point outside any city. You will know a landing point because it looks like a patch of ground and trees (or just sand, in desert areas), and you can click on it like a city to dock there.
Using the Map
Once you get outside the gates, or land in a wilderness area, go to your Use Item chest and Use the map. If you’re in the correct area, it will tell you which way you need to head. When you get within line of sight of the location, a glowing beam will appear in the world when you use the map, to point out where to go. Note that it doesn’t matter how far away you are, the glow will still appear. So, if you’re at a fork in a canyon and one side goes west off into the distance, and one side curves north… and you use the map and it says go West and you don’t see the glow anywhere ahead, that means you should take the fork that goes around the long way.
When you arrive at the glowing spot, you are ready to discover the map’s target. How you discover it depends on the map. For archeology, treasure, and other inanimate discoveries, you will use Search to dig it up. For biology maps you will use Ecological Research for plants and animals, but Search for fossils.
Note: Geography maps are usually for small islands, capes, promonitories and such that you can see out at sea. So you don’t need to land anywhere. Or even stop sailing, for that matter. You can still use the maps out at sea. When you are in the right sea, use the map and it will guide you to where you need to go. Then use the Recognition skill (telescope icon) to get the discovery.
When you make a new discovery, you will get a discovery card. You can then turn in those discoveries to various people, and get money for doing so. Check the Unofficial Wiki for a chart of whom to turn discoveries in to, for maximum payout.
Quests are slightly different from maps, in that you don’t have a handy tool telling and showing you exactly where to go. In fact, some Quests (::coughaurochcough::) can be downright UNinformative. But all Quests, I have found, follow the same format.
First you will have to run around and talk to various people to get information. Hopefully, the Quest will have a big clue (or come out and SAY) what city you need to be in to start. If you can’t find the person you need to talk to next, try drinking at the bar. The Barkeep should tell you. If he doesn’t, you’re in the wrong city!
After however many steps, you will then have to go discover whatever it is the quest is about. Usually, it is an animal for a biology quest. Let’s take Aurochs for example, because that was the most godawful quest….
The Aurochs quest tells you what city to go to. You’re supposed to interview townspeople. A Young Man, and a Young Woman. It will not tell you this, but the Barkeep will. Then the Young Man says they’re out in the forest. The Young Woman tells you to ask Durer (I think it’s him). You find his mansion and he tells you that Aurochs have been hunted to near extinction, and if you find their hunting grounds, you might see one.
What’s that mean? Doodle-squat. But you’re supposed to figure out to go outside the city gates and look around. Look around WHERE!? Most quest will at least say “let’s search around an oasis” or “near the round rocks.” There’s a whole flipping huge outdoors area, and NO CLUE where these aurochs hang around, or where the hunters’ hunting ground is.
Well, I’ll tell you… each of these quests is keyed to a landmark of some kind. The Oases, the Piled Rocks, the Giant Trees, the White Flowers, etc. You see them around the outdoor areas, and they are clickable. You click them, you don’t find anything of interest.
But when on a quest, ONE of those landmarks will tell you something like: “This is the landmark you were looking for. The location is X meters North and Y meters West.” That means you have to move out some ways from the landmark in the indicated direction, and then do your searching/digging/researching. When it is something reasonable like 10m North and 13m West, you just run a little ways northwest and dig there.
When it gets a little ridiculous like 64m West and 129m South…!! You can actually pace it out. (Unless there’s, say, a big canyon wall in your way.) If you reckon your character is about 2m tall… (1m for those little lolli types), and you click about one person-height away from yourself, that’s two meters you went, in that direction. Well, you can guestimate if that works for you! If not, I found this method helpful.
At least you don’t have to search the whole outdoors area for a ‘forest’ or somesuch. Just find the scattered landmark objects.
And for both Maps and Quests, remember to stock plenty of Landmark Ribbons!!!