Forging Worlds: Everquest Next – Landmark

By Adam Smith on August 2nd, 2013 at 8:00 pm.

Along with the first full reveal of the hugely exciting Everquest Next, Sonly Online Entertainment announced another title, Everquest Landmark. Quite how they’ve kept its existence a secret I don’t know. If I’d been working on it, self-trumpet blower that I am, I’d have been shouting about it from the rooftops. To be released later this year, preceding Next, it’s a construction and exploration game drawn from the same vein as Minecraft. It’s also the entire toolset used to build worlds and assets for Everquest Next.

Everquest Next’s voxel world allows for fine manipulation of objects, on a much more precise scale than more familiar block-based constructs. The construction tools utilise a brush, of variable size, so that large scale structures can be placed and then edges can be smoothed, eroded or embellished.

However, in order to build, players have to find resources and to do that they set out into any one of the infinite procedural continents or islands that Landmark produces. When they begin exploring the world, characters have a flag, and in the fine tradition that saw America conquer the moon for future terraforming, planting that flag stakes a claim on the surrounding area.

Then the hunt for materials begins. We only saw a brief example of the possibilities, the beginnings of a building that resembled what we had seen of The Feerrott, striking jungle-wrapped ruins reminiscent of Angkor Wat. Other players will be able to visit your lands, making Landmark a canvas of creativity waiting to be explored as well as a toolbox. I give it five hours before somebody manages to build a tower in the shape of a willy.

All creations can be submitted to the Player Studio and, from there, downloaded by other players, who will pay real money for them. The creator will receive a payment every time there is a sale. Not only that, but if another player borrows a specific architectural feature for use in their own work, the original creator will receive royalties based on the percentage of the new work that part comprises.

Every new Landmark world will have one continent that is locked down, with the only content allowed fitting Norrath’s stylings. Because these tools will be available before Next, SOE want to encourage players to experiment with the different landscapes and materials that will be in the game at release. The best creations could be picked for inclusion in the game at launch. It’s not just in the design of the game that SOE want to experiment with new models.

While community involvement is the driving force behind Landmark’s existence, I’m keen to try the actual game. More than that, I’m happy that there is a game because the technology looks like a fascinating toy, and I’ve never had a great deal of patience when it comes to building castles and the like. I’d rather just explore and occasionally return to my little hut, preferably by the sea, where I can watch the sun set in peace.

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15 Comments »

  1. Moraven says:

    Neat. They are combing a lot of good things with user generated content and putting it in a MMO world. Game editors like Dungeon Siege, Neverwinter Nights and the late are great, allowing you to create your own world, but being able to do so in a more MMO setting its a lot more interesting.

  2. Eight Rooks says:

    Now this is more like it. I find the tech behind Next really, really impressive, if it works as advertised, but I’m pretty certain the game itself will swiftly devolve into functionally the exact same epeen-measuring contest as every other MMO in existence. Emergent gameplay and player agency mean next to nothing to me if the long-term progression they support is no different from the competition.

    But this, this, this I like the sound of. Like Minecraft if it had exploration I’d actually call fun, and a balance between guided design (with the locked-down continents) and letting all the players who just want to built wangs everywhere run wild. I’d still expect countless idiots running around everywhere screaming “For the lulz!” as their battlecry, but if the worlds are this detailed and expansive then exploring them might still pull me in.

    • Zyrusticae says:

      I’m pretty certain the game itself will swiftly devolve into functionally the exact same epeen-measuring contest as every other MMO in existence. Emergent gameplay and player agency mean next to nothing to me if the long-term progression they support is no different from the competition.

      I have no idea where you get this from. The entire purpose of EQNext is specifically to avoid the same treadmill that every other MMORPG has been copying ad nauseum. It’d be pretty bloody pointless if they just reverted back to it in the end.

      I mean, hell, the game doesn’t even have levels. That’s a pretty goshdarn big leap from previous MMOs on its own…

      • Martel says:

        I assume he’s referring to the fact that almost every MMO that comes out states the exact same thing you said in some way or form, and never deliver.

  3. aliksy says:

    Wow. This sounds neat and different.

  4. kopema says:

    The link is down. Are any gameplay videos available yet?

    I don’t give a crap about pretty pictures. Anybody can make those — and by that I don’t mean “any major software company.” I mean anybody sitting at home in his parent’s basement.

    That’s not what makes or breaks a game. What really matters is how well the ANIMATIONS work. Blizzard understands this simple principle – and has made billions off it. But it really seems to me that most game companies (and reviewers) just don’t get it.

      • In Zod We Trust says:

        Looks like fun both building and breaking things.

        Bit of a shame they had to have two scantily clad elven women as the border art on the page but I guess we can’t expect leaps and bounds of innovation in *all* fields.

        Maybe people will be able to design outfits, though I guess that would lead to even more porny ones.

        • SyrusRayne says:

          The green-clad elf on the left isn’t that bad. Maybe I’m just saying that because she’s actually wearing pants, however. Still a significant departure from classic fantasy stylings!

  5. Bashmet says:

    I’m excited more by Landmark than Next. Time moves too slow. Fuck, if only I could hibernate.

    • RedViv says:

      Don’t worry, that time problem solves itself once your cells start cutting off telomeres when dividing!

  6. aemskelley says:

    I must admit, these tools are pretty neat and everything.

    But I can’t help but wonder if they’re just getting the community to do all the hardwork for them.

    Georgeson gave the example of the Temple being built/designed by a community based competition – will that player be paid for his work if his design/creation is used in the final game?

    They mentioned the player store as a separate example where you can charge real world currency for your creations – but didn’t mention any payment for structures/items used by the devs in the final game.

    Still – lots of good stuff in there if they can pull it off!

  7. cptgone says:

    in the fine tradition that saw America conquer the moon for future terraforming, planting that flag stakes a claim on the surrounding area
    meanwhile, sunlight has turned that flag white. soon Earth will be lunaformed.
    but we don’t need no aliens for that, do we?

    WE are the luna-tics.

  8. Maret1954 says:

    what Patricia responded I didn’t know that a stay at home mom can make $6555 in one month on the internet. did you see this web site http://www.blue78.com

  9. Smaug says:

    If this delivers it will be the best game ever made (the one people dream about at night), if not SOE is going bankrupt.