Saturday, April 12, 2014

It Must Be A Sign! : Landmark

When Landmark went from alpha to beta, keys went flying in all directions. Everyone who bought a Trailblazer pack had four to give away (all ours found homes eventually, although it was harder to give them away than you might imagine). On top of that SOE sent out who knows how many temporary one-week keys.

I got one on one of my F2P accounts, probably because last autumn I applied for the EQNext beta on every SOE account I own and tossed Landmark in for good measure. I can't see much future for multi-boxing in Landmark although having an extra key opens up the possibility of trying to tun two Landmark clients simultaneously on my aging PC to see if it explodes or merely catches fire. Even in the genuine beta-tester's spirit of testing to destruction I think I'll pass on that.

Wilhelm of TAGN fame also found himself the unexpected owner of a seven day invite to a game he didn't remember applying for and yesterday he posted details of what he got up to there, which included putting up a sign. That sounded like a photo opportunity to me so this evening after work, before heading off to GW2 for some mayhem with this week's frenemies Isle of Janthir and Northern Shiverpeaks, I dropped into Landmark to follow Wilhelm's vague directions ("You can find my temporary awkward carbuncle on the face of the Lowland zone on the Courage server.")

There are already several ways to travel instantly to a claim in Landmark but they all involve you knowing a little more about it than the name of the blog of its owner. Fortunately Wilhelm had left plenty of clues in his post. I knew he'd found a claim near the spires, I knew roughly what he'd built on it and there were several screenshots to use for orientation. Even so I was anticipating a few false starts but no, as soon as I came over the first low rise from the spires I saw it.

I'd left a comment announcing my intention to have my picture taken next to the TAGN sign but I wasn't quite prepared for the personalized greeting waiting for me when I got there. I'm guessing Wilhelm ran out of time because you can't exactly run out of sand around that claim.

The question that's been asked over and over about Landmark is "what the heck is it for?". According to Massively, Dave Georgeson answered that at PAX East with the less-than-helpful observation that its "a game that can be whatever you want it to be". Thanks Dave, that clears it right up. I wonder if he's considered the possibility that Landmark could become the blogger's equivalent of leaving Post-It Notes on the fridge?

Oh, but why stop there? It might be a bit of an ask to expect bloggers to construct entire thousand-word posts out of obsidian-on-alabaster (although you just know someone's going to do it) but a 140 character tweet in bas-relief sand wouldn't take much longer than an hour or two and with with open permissions some community-minded types could get a forum going. Hey! We could do this year's NBI in Landmark!

Oh alright, please yourselves, as Frankie Howerd used to say, but it's opened my mind to some new possibilities, I don't mind telling you. For now, though, I'll just carry on working on my current project - Kelethin re-imagined as a 1970s caravan park.


  1. Hah, you found it! My account was still active this morning, well into day 8... so who knows... SOE. I put some snowballs around the claim to commemorate.

    It would be hard to run out of places to mine materials, however it became pretty easy to run out of the patience required to do so. I had mats for a longer message, but not enough for the background and was tired of digging.

    We'll see how long my seven days lasts.

    1. I saw the snowballs! I was going to make a joke about ice-cream but I forgot.

      I do think the emphasis on gathering is taking a big risk. I like it and I know a few others who do too, but it seems a poor match for a mass-market F2P game. We are a very long way off "live" still, though, I'm sure of that. Many things will change and the excessive gathering requirements could be one of them.

      Very interesting that your "7-day" key didn't expire after 7 days. Knowing SOE I wouldn't rule out a bug/error but maybe they've just thought better of it. I always thought it was a daft idea.

    2. It turned out to be an 8 day key. Was working this morning, but when I got home this afternoon I was locked out. Such is life.

      I was semi-tempted to put down the $20 for the settler's pack, but I think there needs to be a bit more there before it is anything besides a momentary diversion.

    3. I'd give it a couple of months or three. I think it will be pretty impressive eventually - the potential is certainly there - but there's absolutely no need to rush. At the moment it's like coming in when the orchestra is still tuning up.


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