Sunday, December 22, 2013

Can You See What It Is Yet? : EQN Landmark

Another day, another Landmark video.

Here's the bullet point rundown:

  • Huge, giant world 
  • Procedurally generated
  • Five environments
  • Hot Volcanic (Lavastorm)
  • Cool Forest (Qeynos Hills)
  • Arid Desert (Ro)
  • Colorful Deciduous Forest (Feydark)
  • Snowy (Everfrost)
And what, if anything, can we infer from that?

Well, it seems we need the "huge", "giant" world because "there always needs to be something for people to go explore through" and it has to be procedurally generated because if they'd handcrafted it they way they did Everquest and EQ2  "it would just take way too long and people would consume that content long before we could create more of it". Hmmm.

So do we conclude that the "content" of Landmark is territory and that the act of exploring said territory will consume it? Is that consistent with the emphasis previous videos gave to building and creating? Is there any need for a vast world to explore if the main thrust of the game is building structures, which almost by definition tend to remain where you put them?

Consider this:

a) The game is called "Landmark"
b) It's marketed as a game, not a utility
c) The premium pre-release Pack offers as one of the highlights "a 48 hour or more headstart into Open Beta ensuring ... time to find amazing new claims".
d) By the time Landmark officially launches it should include combat, achievements, titles and an economy.

 A pure MMO Construction Set presumably wouldn't need "content" or gameplay at all, so this must be a game first and a construction set only incidentally, unless, like Neverwinter Nights, the Game and Toolset parts come separately, something that hasn't been suggested. Yet.

Not just a game either but one with a competitive element. I'm having trouble not thinking of it as a corporate version of Wurm Online, which is an intriguing, if slightly terrifying image.

Also, wasn't the idea that we could build anything we fancied, not just things that might exist in Norrath? I seem to remember there being something about a SciFi setting and maybe a contemporary one. Did I imagine that, because if not, don't these five environments offer a somewhat limited palette? Or are they purely for the "Only In Norrath" segment that feeds into EQNext?  That would at least explain the constant referring back to pre-existing Everquest zones.

It seems the more they tell us about Landmark, the less clear it becomes what exactly it is, which makes it somewhat difficult to decide whether to spend $20, $60 or $100 or just pass on the whole thing until the finished version arrives for free. I haven't stumped up for any of the Founder's Packs yet but the time for getting down off the fence is fast approaching. John Smedley is now suggesting a mid-late January start for Alpha rather than the end of February.

Oh well, I guess it's only money...


  1. "It seems the more they tell us about Landmark, the less clear it becomes what exactly it is"

    I have stopped looking into Landmark because by now I honestly doubt it will be for me. if it is, then I'd rather keep it a surprise. I'm mystified as to how this is gonna play into EQN and it's clearly not just a sandbox, either.

    also, wasn't this supposed to come out winter of 2013? what happened?

    1. I'm glad it's not just me that's confused :) I can't say I'm expecting to get much out of Landmark either, but then it's hard to say with it all being so vague.

      Traditionally Winter in the Western Hemisphere begins on the Winter Solstice, which was yesterday, December 21st, and ends at the Vernal Equinox, around March 21st. Even if Landmark hadn't started until Feb 28th it would have been well inside the parameters for Winter.

    2. True, but we have that earlier comment from Smed saying we would have a "playable version" of EQ Next in our hand this calendar year. Either that was Landmark or something else slipped off the agenda entirely. My guess it was Landmark and it is now late.

    3. Yes, I only remembered that after my reply there. I think you're right. Landmark is late by the original announcement but on time by the revised one they've been using for a while now.

  2. Actually that sounds almost identical to Trove...

  3. I started our back with the SOE Live announcements excited about EQN and indifferent to the whole Landmark thing. One was the next Norrath and one was a tool/construction set/way to exploit the labor of the masses. There was considerable talk as to how it would link into Player Studio and being able to sub-contract bits and pieces and so on.

    Since then, SOE has been moving solidly towards Landmark is a game, the next Norrath, the thing you'll want to pay them money to play.

    So I am with you when it comes to the quote Syl chose above. I want to play EverQuest Next, but they seem to be blurring the lines between Landmark and Next as things move on, which makes me dubious as to where I ought to head in the end.

    When I asked if SOE could keep the SOE Live excitement going, I was worried about their old problem of saying stuff then disappearing for months and months without a word. I guess that wasn't what I should have been concerned about.

    Anyway, it is all a long way off still. Lots of time for the message to get... more clear. And I do require more clarity than they are offering to spend money on something.

  4. Also, is it just me, or does everybody else see my post about running Civ II on Windows 7 listed below under the heading "Links to this post?" I am not sure how a post I wrote in 2011 could have been so linked... unless Blogger is picking up on the RSS feed thing in my side-bar somehow. Hrmm...

    1. I think my curiosity and the absence of anything else new on the horizon that really grabs my interest makes it almost certain I won't have the patience to wait all the way until Open Beta. It would be entirely sensible to skip the first alpha phase, which is going to be missing a lot of the more interesting stuff like mobs and access to the AI and which will be wiped at the end and just go into the beta stage, in which most progress will be saved, for the fairly insignificant $20 basic. Too sensible, most likely. At the moment I'm still leaning towards getting the $60 pack but decision definitely not made yet.

      And yes, I see that link. I have no idea where those links come from and in fact until you mentioned this one I didn't even know they were there.


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