Voyage Century Overview
Voyage Century is a unique game in the free-to-play arena. Players start their adventures in the city of Athens but are soon free to explore the rest of the world and settle in a home port of their choice. While each of the game’s 40+ cities have hunting locations on the outskirts, most of the game’s content involves sailing and battling at sea. Voyage Century has such a broad variety of content, players can pursue the life of a merchant and simply trade resources between ports, or they could explore the world in search of rare discoveries. No matter what path you choose, you’ll have to be careful while sailing in the high seas – open PvP means pirates are always on the prowl! There are five classes for new players to choose from, and they can all pursue any desired career.
Royal Military Officer - Members of the Royal Officer Corps are trained in swordsmanship on land and gunnery on the high seas.
Emperor Guardian - Guardians are the masters of close-quarter combat. They are proficient with falchions, axes and swords. More importantly, their skill with the grappling hook allows them to force long-ranged opponents to face them on the Guardian’s terms.
Caribbean Pirate - Pirates are known for their cunning use of the falchion and axe. They prefer to close in on their enemies and let loose their cannons from a short distance for maximum effect.
Treasure Hunter - Treasure Hunters prefer indirect combat, they are trained in long ranged gunnery and laying mines, but are capable of ramming their opponents when necessary. On land, Treasure Hunters prefer pistols and rifles over melee weapons.
Armed Businessman - The merchant marine of Voyage Century. Businessmen are renowned for their repairing, healing, and ship enhancement abilities. They prefer guns over melee weapons.
Voyage Century Screenshots
Voyage Century Featured Video
Voyage Century Review
By Erhan Altay
Though it’s been available for many years in Asia and parts of Europe, Voyage Century wasn’t officially released for the North American market until April 2007 by IGG. The game has gone through several major updates since its inception. Originally, there were no classes and players started in different cities based on their character choice. The old tutorial has since been ditched in favor of a more robust questing system that slowly introduces players to the game’s basics. Voyage Century today is a much more approachable MMORPG that still retains its unique characteristics. If sailing from Lisbon to Athens than on to Seoul sounds like an exciting evening to you, read on!
It’s All Greek To Me
For such an otherwise in-depth game, Voyage Century’s character creation process is a major let down. There are four character models to choose from (two male and two female). Each has a small selection of hair and face styles but are otherwise identical. Players are given three character slots on each of the (currently) four live servers, so players should feel free to experiment with the multiple classes. You don’t actually get to pick your profession until entering the game for the first time. New players start in Athens next the all important Profession Mentor. A screen prompt asks whether the player is ready to choose a profession; answer yes and a screen appears that gives a brief description of the five available classes. If the class names sound a little odd, don’t get your hopes up for the rest of the game’s text and grammar. For more info on the classes, you can see the overview tab. Just remember that all classes are capable of fighting, gathering, and crafting, so don’t be too concerned with your first class choice.
Chose Your Profession
Remember that Profession Mentor NPC I mentioned earlier? Well, he plays by far the most important part in your character’s development. The quests he gives are simply the only way to progress in Voyage Century. Each of his quests yield an experience reward large enough to level your character up well into the late teens. Compared the quest reward experience, the small experience gained by hunting at land or sea is negligible. The point I’m trying to make here is that these quests are not optional, they act as both the game’s tutorial and primary mode of advancement. Luckily, Voyage Century as a great auto-walk feature. Not only can players pull up an area map and click on it to move, but they can click quest objectives in their quest log and automatically start walking there. The auto-walk even goes through zones and keeps going on its own! It even works at sea, guiding your ship from one port to another (more on sailing later.) The auto-walk does get stuck on occasion (the pathing is rather poorly designed), but even having to re-click once in a while is favorable to manually searching for a particular monster spawn or NPC in a capital city.
Quests and More Quests
The first few quests introduce players to the key NPCs in the city, then to land-based combat. Combat and movement work just like in most MMORPGs; point and click with the mouse. My only complaint with land-based combat is that the animals have small hit boxes, which makes it difficult to target them while either the player or target are moving. A more general problem that makes itself evident at this point is the complete lack of difficulty. New players have over 600 health and only take 1-5 damage per hit from monsters their level. The fact that players can defeat anything near their level range with two or three hits adds to the lack of challenge. I went through the first 20 levels without ever having to use a healing potion, rest, or even look at my health bar. At around level 15 you’ll be sent on your first sailing mission, which involves buying commodities from one city and delivering them to another. The ability to play on land and sea adds a whole layer of depth to Voyage Century and is a feature found only in a select few games (like Florensia and Water Margin Online).
Turn to Port, No Don’t Drop Anchor!
I have yet to play a sailing game that did not frustrate me. Whether it’s The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker or Sid Meier’s Pirates!, trying to control a ship during combat while struggling with the wind always manages to drive me crazy. Before even setting sail, players must purchase NPC sailor crew members, provisions, cannons, and ammo. This means that during a fight there are nearly half a dozen ways for you to be screwed. The first and rarest is having your ship’s health run out. Considering the starter Dragon Ship has over 11,000 hp, this isn’t a problem. The second way is for your sail’s durability to drop to 0 rendering you immobile. This too is rare. The third and most common is for all your crew members to either die or become injured. Every time your ship is hit with a cannon barrage, it chips away at your hull but also has a chance of injuring your crew. Since the max crew on a beginner vessel is only around 100, this can happen within a few minutes of sustained attack. The final way you could end up a sitting duck is by burning through your provisions or ammo. Luckily this is a mistake generally only made once; after running out of cannon balls in the middle of a fight I learned to always carry a huge surplus. You wouldn’t believe how fast a ship with 70 cannons can burn through 2,000 cannon balls!
Skills & Advancement
Voyage Century has a standard leveling system that compliments the more important skill-based progression. There are 17+ different skills ranging from weapon skills (swords, falchions, axe, guns) to crafting and sailing related skills. Each skill ranks up as its used with a max rank of 120. While players can learn every skill, they may only max out a select few. This is because a skill will stop gaining experience at rank 31 and require a ‘phase 2 upgrade’, which is only available through a special NPC. Players only receive 8 phase 2 upgrades unless they’re willing to fork over cash at the item mall. While sailing the high seas, players will notice a particular skill that quickly gains in rank: voyage. Voyage is a special skill that all players can max out to level 100. You don’t even have to move for it to gain in rank, as long as you’re out at sea. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out that this and many other skills can be grinded out even while you’re not in front of the keyboard. The game also has a built in botting system similar to the one in Jade Dynasty and GodsWar Online. Players can bring up a AFK system menu and set the game to play on it self, loot items, and so forth. This does cheapen the gameplay experience, but seems to be a standard feature in Chinese developed MMORPGs.
Grind While You Wait
Which leads me to my next complaint with the game: AFK grinders. Players can set themselves to automatically attack a target that strikes them first. Dozens of high level players activate this feature, go to a monster spawn and leave themselves afk all night. There are of course two sides to this issue: it makes ranking up much easier for everyone, but can frustrate newbies who are trying to kill ten wolves and have to compete for the spawn with a bunch of jerks. Luckily, Voyage Century boasts open PvP in most areas on land and sea. Killing innocents comes with a price, though. NPC guards and ships will attack players with high notoriety on sight. There are also dozens of different factions which players can either gain or lose reputation with. Killing NPC pirates off the coast of Crete will increase your standing with the Greeks, but lower it with the pirates. This adds a layer of nuance to the game often only found in pay-to-play games.
Raising skill rank not only improves their use but also allows players to learn various ‘stunts’ based on those skills. For example your rank in the voyage skill effects your ramming and grappling ability. Ramming is the best way for a large vessel to knock out a small, weaker vessel in a single shot. Grappling allows one crew to board another and turn a ranged sea battle into a melee one. Certain classes are more proficient at melee so they’ll always be attempting to sail in close enough to pull off a grapple while the other ship tries to stay at a safe distance. Each profession has different stunt trees; land based, sea based, and profession (crafting.) Leveling, skills, and stunts are a lot to wrap your head around, but it all reveals itself in an orderly manner while playing. Few free games give players this much control over their character’s growth.
Explore The World
Combat is not the only road to take in Voyage Century. Those who prefer a more calming career can pursue the life of a merchant who is only interested in turning the highest profit. Each city has different commodities: Athens is renowned for its fish while Istanbul has the best olives. Buying a cargo full of one item and transporting it to a distant shore can net a huge profit. Similarly, players can mine ore, cut trees, fish, farm, become shipbuilders, blacksmiths, tailors, or alchemists, but even the most honest businessman would be a fool to travel unarmed. The open PvP aspects of the game make it a necessity to always be ready to defend yourself from scoundrels at sea. Players who just want to explore the vast oceans or have a completionist streak can travel the world in search of discoveries. The exploration feature in Voyage Century is much lauded; visiting Alexandria will unlock information about the ancient city in your log book, so will visiting the Spanish port of Genoa. There are literally hundreds of discoveries to be made and filling your guidebook cold take many months of gameplay. I’ve tried to cover the most important aspects of the game in the space I had, but I’ll end by saying that Voyage Century is large enough to have its own database program which details all the game’s cities, quests, items, monsters, nobility titles, ship types, and so on. Such an in-depth game is not for everyone, the learning curve is much higher than in other MMORPGs, but for those looking for a game to get absorbed in, Voyage Century makes a fine selection.
Final Verdict: Great
Voyage Century is a breath of fresh air in a market saturated with generic fantasy titles. The ability to hunt on land or wage war at sea along with the option to become a merchant or explorer add a great deal of depth to this already massive game.
Voyage Century Videos
Voyage Century Character Creation
Voyage Century Tutorial Video
Voyage Century Gameplay Trailer
Voyage Century Gameplay Footage
Voyage Century Official Trailer
Voyage Century Links
Voyage Century Almanac (Database program)
Voyage Century System Requirements
OS: Windows XP / Windows 2000
CPU: Intel Pentium III 500MHz
HDD: 3.5 GB
Graphics Card: GeForce 2 MX400
OS: Windows Vista / XP / 2000
CPU: Pentium IV 2GHz or better
RAM: 256MB or more
HDD: 4.0 GB
Graphics Card: GeForce 4 Ti4200 or better
Voyage Century Articles
- Snail Games gains “Virtual Operator” license in China - Posted on January 30, 2014
Today, Snail Games acquired the first "Virtual Operator" license from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MITT), seeking expansion into the mobile platform, becoming the only game company in China to receive the license so far.