[GAME MASTER]The Great Voyage Age Online

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[GAME MASTER]The Great Voyage Age Online

As I child, I always wanted to live in the Renaissance Age. It was so rich with art, music and architecture ― all of which I learned to appreciate from an early age. Perhaps it was this long-standing desire of mine to visit that time that made me so impressed with Daehanghae Sidae.
Literally translated as “The Great Voyage Age,” this online role-playing game takes place in early 16th-century Europe.
Are you an adventurer, a trader or one who just likes to wield the sword? You can choose from about 50 different characters that largely fall into these three categories. As a missionary, you can search for religious relics, wander around cathedrals and visit the Holy Land. As a merchant you can collect commissions from shop owners for transporting weapons and gunpowder over land, and later, if you are successful, by ship.
After choosing an occupation, you can select your nationality and start playing the game in that country. The action begins in one of a number of cities ― Lisbon, London, Marseille, Amsterdam or Seville ― depending on your character’s nationality.
From there you can travel ―by land or by sea ― on various missions, which differ according to your occupation.
I played an explorer and went digging among ancient ruins, which does not require much interaction with other players online. But for traders and warriors, interaction with other players is an essential and important part of game-playing.
According to a player whose online name was Antonio, as a trader one has to build up a reputation in other cities for successful trade. This sometimes requires joining the right guilds.
The graphics are not as excellent as World of Warcraft, but are still highly detailed, and appear hand-painted rather than computer-rendered. This style appropriately complements the setting and era of the European rennaisance.
One of the most interesting elements of the game is that while it is based on real places, events unfold according to the actions of the players. For instance, depending on the trade activities of the merchants, the economy of medieval Europe could entirely change.
Another nice thing about the game is the background music, especially one perky marching number that is reminiscent of pirate movies and ships upon the vast rolling seas.
The costume designers also went to great pains. One can select from a variety of different colors and designs, and buy new pieces of clothing as one’s skill level increases.
Players ascend to higher skill levels by completing more quests.
Despite the potential of this game, its popularity may not last very long, particularly considering that it demands a certain level of intellectual effort ― something that online gamers sometimes avoid.
For example, there are several ways to earn money. You can complete quests and receive silver or gold as rewards, go treasure hunting after poring over treasure maps or buy products at a low price in one city and sell them for a higher price in another. The latter option in particular requires some level of cranial activity, so people who prefer not to think while playing video games should opt for warrior characters rather than merchants.

by Wohn Dong-hee
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