Great Merchant

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Overview

Great Merchant Overview

Great Merchant is a trade-oriented MMORPG with an interesting combat system.  Play as one of eight characters looking to make it in the world of commerce, and jump into a 2D rendition of the ancient far east.  The graphical style in Great Merchant is similar to that in Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu, and the two share other features as well.  Players can visit hundreds of towns, invest  in them and buy/sell/craft items at various markets.  Combat is handled on a separate screen after players engage with NPCs on the main map.  Players can hire mercenaries or monster pets to assist them in combat.  Both the main character and allies level up and earn stat points which can be distributed among four stats: Strength, Agility, Vitality, and Wisdom.

Characters:

Cho Chul Hee - Son of a traveling merchant, he has traveled the world’s markets.
Lee Myung Hwa - Born at an inn to a poor family, she has learned the value of money.
Sandama Ryo - He learned the art of war and business from his master while he was a servant.
Genno Hanahenae - A young girl who is the only survivor of a rich family.
Wang Xiao Long - The eldest son of a large merchant family from Taiwan.
Wang Mei Long - The eldest daughter of a large merchant family from Taiwan.
Tang Hoyeop - He inherited his family’s business and has secret military connections.
Lu Xiuyan – A Tai Chi master whose father was killed by a rich villager.

Great Merchant Screenshots

Great Merchant Feature Video

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Full Review

Great Merchant Review

By Erhan Altay

Great Merchant is an odd, two-dimensional MMORPG with an emphasis on trade.  While AK Interactive launched the global service in late 2009, the game looks and feels more like it’s from a distant era.  Great Merchant suffers from many translation and gameplay issues, but for players looking for something old-school, it may be worth checking out.

20583  500x375 great merchant cho chul hee

Enterprising Merchants

Registering an account on the official site is similar to the procedure of other games, but after installing the client and logging in for the first time players are required to set up a pin number.  Security was apparently a large concern for the developers.  While inputting their pin, players will see three cursors on the screen.  The logic behind this is to throw off hackers who may of sneaked in key-loggers on to a player’s computer.  This system threw me off once or twice but I quickly grew accustomed to it.

Great Merchant forgoes traditional classes in favor of eight characters, four of which are male and four female.  All eight characters have the same distribution of fifteen for the four stats: Strength, Agility, Vitality, and Wisdom.  Players are given an additional ten points to allocate as they wish. Each character has their own backstory explaining how they ended up in the commerce business.  Sadly, this is the extent of the character creation process.  There is no way to adjust appearance, and as far as I could tell there are no differences between the characters.  Even so, there are three character slots per account.

20604  500x375 great merchant outside

Trading in The Far East

New players start their trading careers outside the city of Nanjing, known today as Beijing.  The game’s graphics are not much to look at – upon seeing them for the first time I was reminded of two other MMORPGs.  The first is Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu.  Before being re-branded with the ‘Luminary’ title, Goonzu had much cruder graphics, but the concept for the game was and still is similar to Great Merchant’s.  The game world is dotted by dozens, if not hundreds of cities which players can actually invest in by purchasing shares.  Guilds can colonize vacant cities and amass great wealth by collecting taxes from them.  WhileGoonzu had cute, anime-inspired visuals, Great Merchant has a feel more similar to Mir 2, Lineage, and other older MMORPGs.  Beyond Nanjing , players can explore all of eastern China, Taiwan, the Korean peninsula and Japan.  Much of inland China is inaccessible, but even so, the land mass that is available is quite large.  Sadly, Great Merchant has no graphic settings to tweak so players are stuck with the default 800×600 resolution.  On the bright side, there is an option to play in windowed mode.

20620  500x375 great merchant world map

Pen Pals

The game has no formal tutorial, but beginners will receive a series of messages which offer a series of quests.  By clicking on the flashing envelope icon towards the bottom-right of the screen, players will be able to run through the tutorial questline, which offers small rewards such as armor, food, other items.  I recommend newbies run through these quests, since Great Merchant is not an easy game to penetrate.  Eventually, players will be asked to enter town.  Players cannot actually walk around inside cities, instead they are given an overview with several buildings that can be clicked on to open menus.  Cities contain a city center and at least some of the follow buildings: a bank, clinic, tavern, training center, a war depot (store), monster trainer, and ranch.  It takes some time to grow accustomed to the concept behind Great Merchant, and it can be frustrating for beginners to see such a limited interface.  Even more confusing than the bland city features is the combat in Great Merchant.

20602  500x375 great merchant nanjing

Here Come the Gank Squads!

Outside towns, the game world of Great Merchant is absolutely flooded with NPC enemies.  The ones near the beginner area take the form of bandits and strange looking dog monsters, but don’t be fooled by their singular representation.  Once players click on them in order to attack, they’ll activate a timer which counts down from five.  Nearby enemies will run towards the player and when the counter hits zero, the player and all surrounding enemies will be teleported to a special battle screen.  This combat system is very original and I haven’t seen it in an MMORPG until now.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it was successfully implemented.  New players start with only a single character, the one they created.  The game does a poor job explaining that additional mercenaries and even monster pets must be hired in order to battle effectively.  Once a battle begins, a torrent of enemies will advance on the player and continuously attack.  In my very first fight I was up against at least twenty ‘Bandit Leader’s that mercilessly shot at me while my character frantically attacked them one by one.  I managed to kill a few before being defeated, but the whole experience left me confused.  Back at the local clink, I decided to give it another shot.

20577  500x375 great merchant bandits

Fast, but Going Nowhere.

At least the experience rate is rapid.  Even in the battle I lost, I managed to hit level two after only killing a few enemies.  Characters will gain experience rapidly and be given additional stat points to distribute.  The Monster Trainer in town allows players to purchase monsters to fight by their side, making the stacked odds in combat a bit more even.  Eventually, if players have the patience to build up a large force of mercenaries and pets, combat can be rewarding.  The trouble is that this effort just isn’t worth it.  Great Merchant just feels like low-end product.  There is virtually no player population, which renders the huge game world and trade concept moot.  Will it ever attract a flourishing community?  No one can know for sure, but what is clear is that there are already several superior MMORPGs for players looking for trade-based gameplay.  Besides Goonzu, Voyage Century is an obvious alternative.

Final Verdict: Poor

Great Merchant suffers from archaic graphics and poor translations.  With almost no community and confusing gameplay, Great Merchant will have a hard time convincing players to invest their time in this MMORPG.

Screenshots

Great Merchant Screenshots

Videos

Great Merchant Videos

Coming soon…

Links

Great Merchant Links

Great Merchant Official Site

System Requirements

Great Merchant System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:
OS: Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 98
CPU: 800 MHz Pentium 3 or equivalent Athlon processor
RAM: 256 MB Memory
HDD: 1 GB Free
Graphics Card: Video Card with at least 8MB DirectX 3D Accelerator

Recommended Specifications:

OS: Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 98
CPU: 1.6 GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent Athlon processor
RAM: 512MB or more
HDD: 1 GB Free
Graphics Card: Video Card with at least 8MB DirectX 3D Accelerator

 
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