You Decide the Future of EverQuest Next Landmark

The future is what you make of it.

It didn't take long for someone to create a giant, golden phallus. Everyone crowded around when it was finished. Photos were taken with the phallus; tweets were composed. People spoke prophetically about how this phallus was only the first of many more to come. When the EverQuest Next Landmark alpha begins, there will be a lot more where that came from. But the team at Sony Online Entertainment isn't worried. There's a system in place for curating objects--suggestive or otherwise--built by hand using the creation tools in EverQuest Next Landmark.

I'm sitting in a room alongside my peers, fiddling away with these tools. In its current state, Landmark is a game about collecting and crafting. Everyone here has been granted special privileges--cheat codes, essentially--that provide us unlimited resources and the ability to craft anywhere in the world. Unsurprisingly, our world looks like a modern art exhibit that exploded all over the countryside. I tried carving a bust of my head into a mountainside, but ended up with sort of a lopsided smiley face. These tools are complex, but that is by design. Once mastered, they will let you shape your creations with exact detail and show them off for the world to see.

EverQuest Next Landmark is more than just the precursor to EverQuest Next, the follow-up to 2004's EverQuest 2. For the SOE team, Landmark is a proving ground for several new ideas. Any player can enter this world and start making changes every other player will see. In its current state--which the developers stressed was still a work in progress--Landmark is all about gathering and creating. If you're familiar with Minecraft or Terraria, this is familiar ground: collect basic resources to build tools to collect better resources to build better tools and so forth. You then take these goods back to your corner of the world and try your hand at crafting a house or a dragon statue or basically anything else you can imagine.

As previously mentioned, the way you put these structures together feels complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, there's a lot you can accomplish. For my vanity project, I started by using a simple point-and-click tool to drop blocks of material into the world. Then I used the subtraction tool to chisel away small portions of those blocks. There are several menus for determining the shape of the material or what substance it should be, among others. According to the developers, they want you to be able to slap together a rough draft of your project very quickly, and then dive in and meticulously sculpt it into exactly what you want.

Don't worry: there are safeguards in place to prevent other players from randomly destroying your buildings, or your favorite snowman.

In addition to designing the ever-changing world of Landmark, the SOE team is working hard to create a more community-driven style of game development. They want players to get their hands on Landmark while the game is still young so that it will be easier to incorporate their feedback. There are several ways to leave feedback, but one of the most interesting is DevTalk. Hitting F12 at any time calls up little icons above certain menu buttons, the chat window, and other parts of the game. Clicking on one opens a text box with developer commentary on how this part of the game was designed. In the future, you will be able to give feedback directly to the developers through these individual boxes within Landmark.

The SOE team hopes that by being more transparent with their audience, they will be able to collaborate with fans and develop new ideas for Landmark that they would not have thought of otherwise. With its focus on player crafting and expression, Landmark is a game driven almost entirely by the creativity of its players. The developers have some ideas about what they would like to incorporate next--combat and player versus player being chief among them--but they also want to know what you think and what you want to see. In their current state, the game and the openness of its developers are similar to what you would find on Steam Early Access. Is the game still rough around the edges? Sure, but that roughness is your chance to help sculpt Landmark's future. Just make sure it's nothing too lewd.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

25 comments
javalino
javalino

i will sue you SONY!! thats was my game idea, now  i have to continue  developing  boring enterprise apps to live. i HATE you !!

Nev3rtime
Nev3rtime

My mmo days were largely spent in EQ2. I've no interest or time to ever getting back into an MMO but it's nice to look at how things are developing. The art style is very different to EQ2 with much brighter colours and a slightly more cartoonist appearance. Not a bad thing. EQ2's art style always seemed like an inconsistent mix up to me. From the image I wouldn't have assume it was anything to do with Everquest.

Raeldor
Raeldor

 If it's done right and there's a good balance of gathering/building/adventuring then this could be a great game.  Pure adventuring has become such a bore, but being able to build and adventure in places other players have built sounds fantastic.  Minecraft and other games may have started the trend, but there's still plenty of potential untapped in this kind of game.

froggiestone
froggiestone

I've seen some much higher rendered screens than this, so i'm sure the graphics will be quite nice(it only just hit alpha), the art style is a bit more Disney this time, but the stylist look is also how they did the two other Everquest so that is not really a surprise.


While EQ:N is the real deal to look forward to - at least for me, it's still to far off for me to get exited about.

So, i'm Looking forward to trying Landmark out once it hit open beta at some point, because; building.

AzatiS
AzatiS

Another GWs clone with WoWish graphics ... No trinity as well ( tank/healer/dps) makes me NOT wanna play this game ... Will be good? Time will tell , it looks promising but hell... no way a must have

tanerb
tanerb

Was there ever a Sony Online game that did not fall?

Snakpakk
Snakpakk moderator

Everquest was the first MMO I ever played. Hope it comes back strong. 

atopp399
atopp399

Bring on the real Everquest Next...  I can't wait.  This minecraft wannabe doesn't interest me.

dfernand
dfernand

I loved Everquest 1 before WoW was released despite it's broken quests and zones all over the place. and I pre-ordered Everquest 2 and tried to get into it but released it was a boring after a couple of days..... will Everquest 3 deliver ? maybe but I will wait .. I will wait and see....

Fabian85
Fabian85

No thanks, will give elder scrolls online a go.

silversix_
silversix_

What an ugly art style... wtf were they thinking? I wanted to try this game but with this kind of art direction lol no thanks

Senior_Rosa
Senior_Rosa

@javalino  You can still develop a similar game dude. Just make sure it is not called "EverQuest"

kouji03
kouji03

@AzatiS  wowish graphics... dude atleast look at the previous everquest games and see that they always had WoW like Graphics and it came out earlier.

tanerb
tanerb

@Snakpakk It won't work. Players changed. Current generation is bunch of kids with ADD. They do not have the patience to play a game of that caliber

cougar3429
cougar3429

@silversix_ I wouldn't call it ugly, but it's definitely way too "Disney"...or something. I don't like it either. It's a woman art director which probably contributed a lot to that decision.

Barighm
Barighm

@silversix_ Some place, somewhere, some marketing monkey showed an influential Sony executive a pie chart depicting the success of games featuring a cartoony design versus those with realistic graphics. Said executive replied "Make it so!".


And there's your answer.

froggiestone
froggiestone

@tanerb @Snakpakk  i think he means as in the franchise, not the original Everquest - ofc that game mode wouldn't work in todays world.

syn_nyx
syn_nyx

@tanerb @Snakpakk  You couldn't be more right...big MMO companies focus now on casuals and since the casual market is only sustainable by pumping out crap instead of focusing on quality you have dumbed down games catering to as you said "Kids with ADD".  What we valued in a game growing up is unfortunately not what the new generation values in any way...problem solving and putting great effort into achieving goals is not what they want, handouts, easy mode, and eye candy over gameplay is what is fun to them.