Friday, February 14, 2014

The Road Ahead : EQN Landmark

Last night, just before my bedtime, Drexella, SOE's Community Manager, put the EQN Landmark "Roadmap" up on the Alpha forums. It was too late for me to comment on it but I came home from work today expecting to spend a good while wading through the blogosphere's reactions to this lengthy, detailed and fascinating document.


Annoyingly I still don't have time to dissect, discuss and analyze it in anything like the detail I'd like. That will probably have to wait until after the weekend, when thankfully I have the whole week off to pontificate to my heart's content. For now, though, since no-one else on my Feedly or Blogroll seems to have anything to say about it and in case anyone who might be interested has missed it, here are a few choice extracts. All text in bold is my emphasis:

"In general, the dev team does not want to turn the game into “instant travel"...It’s almost certain that most of these options will be somewhat limited in usage by requiring either crafting of an item or requiring a certain amount of time to expire before reuse".

"Caves : The surface world is cool, but it’s only the top layer of what we promised. So caves are coming. Lots of spaces to mine through and explore. Why add them now? Because the resource tiers are *supposed* to be spread down through the crust of the world, not segregated on separate islands and spawning on the surface. You’re not playing the intended game yet, and we need to move the game closer to the real end-goal now. "

"So we’re introducing Upkeep which is basically a small amount of in-game coin you have to spend to keep your claim from being repossessed into the world and made available to other players."

"New movement methods: Methods of gliding, flying, etc. will be added to the game via items that you can craft and find."

"Death Penalty: Yes, death will have teeth. Try not to die ..things will try to kill you".

"Running (dynamic) water: This is the piece that will come in last. This is the rivers and waterfalls that everyone wants. It adds more real estate choices, but it also creates a lot of gameplay as you folks can start diverting water to do all kinds of interesting things on your claims."

"Achievements are the “quest-like” equivalent within Landmark."

"Unlocking recipes: Right now, all recipes are available at crafting tables as soon as you make them. When this system goes into the game, you’ll need to find those recipes before you can make them at the crafting tables"

"There are a LOT more systems to come after March. All the huge stuff like PvP, advanced combat, better AI, interesting physics features, plus a whole host of “possibles” and “must haves” ".

There's a lot more than that. If you have any interest in Landmark at all it's well worth reading the whole thing. The alpha forums are open for all to read. Here's the link again in case you missed it the first time.

I think this Roadmap conclusively puts to bed the idea, still frequently spouted on the forums and elsewhere, that Landmark is only, or even mainly, a toolkit for builders. SOE have been saying for a while it would be a full-feature MMO and now they're finally beginning to flesh out some of the detail on what that means. I predict a lot of builders who are having a fine old time already will not be best pleased, especially now we know for certain that that one, fleeting reference to PvP all those months ago wasn't a joke after all.

Personally, I can't wait!


  1. PVP via diverting a river to flood your castle sounds hilarious, and also maybe problematic. But also, hilarious. Presumably there is no permanent water damage, so you'd just have to dig your own moat/diversion or something, but still.

    1. That was the first image that came into my mind too!

  2. Not that I would mind PvP, in it's place, but I combed that article you linked and could not find the "fleeting reference" you say is there.

    I had not seen this roadmap; it answers a lot of questions about what Landmark is going, while raising several more. I will have to thoroughly read Drexella's original and provide my own analysis.

    1. Oops got to the end and realized Dexella had posted on behalf of David Georgeson.

    2. It would be entirely in character for me to have linked the wrong interview but I just checked and I didn't :P Both the Drexella-posted Roadmap and the Dave Georgeson article linked through the "reference" link highlighted above mention PvP right at the end. The Smokejumper quote is "“This is just the beginning,” says Georgeson. “Imagine what will happen when we add PvP to EverQuest Next Landmark.”"

      That was on last October and I haven't heard anyone mention it since. I wasn't sure whether it was meant to be taken at face value or ironically but it turns out it's really going to happen. I'm sure it'll either be PvP ruleset servers or instanced battlegrounds in the EQ/EQ2 tradition. The idea of Landmark as a non-consensual PvP game a la Planetside 2 is certainly amusing but also obviously commercial suicide.

    3. I must've been blind this morning, because there it is plain as day. >.> I agree, there will either be servers or battlegrounds. And honestly, the griefing via water diversion (because that's what it is) probably won't fly on non PvP either. The opposite of flooding someone's house would be a problem too: diverting water away from someone's sculpted falls.

  3. Certainly I am very interested in what SoE has produced. I have found myself in EQ2 for more that in GW2 of late. I find myself hoping that EQN is a pleasant blend of the two. The visuals look marvelous so far, and SoE certainly seems to be trying to hear the community. We'll see... right now I plan on giving it a solid look once it is out. Landmark doesn't interest me quite as much, alas, but I'm eagerly trying to read the tea leaves that spring out from in.


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