EverQuest Next Landmark Dev Diary Explains Minecraft

By Graham Smith on November 7th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

Still got booby ladies in it, so it's not too progressive.

I knew roughly what SOE had planned for their new EverQuest game, but I was still surprised by how different it was when Adam broke the cardinal rule of Vegas by telling us about it. The first part, Landmark, is a free-to-play sandbox game built from voxels in which players can dig and build and design the world around them.

The latest developer diary walks you through the different materials and tools that make that world.

Axes, buckets, lava, obsidian? This sounds awfully familiar.

I mock – and will continue to mock – but there are plenty of reasons to be interested. For one, the best creations from Landmark will be picked up and placed into the proper questing-and-levelling EverQuest Next MMO, with the builders receiving some form of reward for their good work.

For two, PlanetSide 2 is great, and I’m happy to see an MMO developer continue to be ambitious by trying something different within the genre, instead of solely being ambitious in terms of scale.

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38 Comments »

Top comments

  1. MadTinkerer says:

    “Axes, buckets, lava, obsidian? This sounds awfully familiar.”

    You know what this means, right? There’s been a huge paradigm change.

    Once upon a time, text-based MUDs (plus MUSHes, MOOs, etc.) split players into regular players and Wizards who could create new content as well as acting as GMs. When people tried to graft MUD gameplay onto these new fangled 3D engines, the Wizard concept vanished and online worlds became static. Despite this, static worlds that looked pretty became the flavor of choice, and the kings of the static pretty MMORPG were first Everquest and then WoW.

    Did you know that all these MUDs were open source as well? And almost all of that source code has vanished completely? Once upon a time you could just borrow the source of your favorite MU*, alter it to your liking (assuming it was written in a language you understood as not everything was C based) and put the URL up on Usenet for folks to telnet to. Today, there are still plenty of games that support player-run servers and a certain amount of player-generated content, but only Minecraft lets you run your own server and have full control over the world and it’s rules.

    And now the creators of the original ridiculously successful static pretty world are going the Minecraft route. Not completely, as it’s still obviously a proprietary server based game, but that’s still a gigantic shift away from the former status quo.

  1. HeroJez says:

    I want a bucket that can contain lava. Who are these magical people and where do they get their magical buckets?!

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      RedViv says:

      Tungsten R Us

    • Low Life says:

      Why do you people always presume the bucket is magical? Why can’t the lava be magical, just for once? It’s this kind of prejudice that makes the gaming community unbearable at times.

      • Tei says:

        In Terraria, I have my house partially filled with honey, so I receive a fat passive bonus to regen health.
        People think is lava… People often confuse honey for lava.

        • Ross Angus says:

          Yes, I’ve made that mistake too. Completely ruined my breakfast.

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            tigerfort says:

            It does allow you to toast the bread really quickly, though, which is good.

          • bstard says:

            For those who have troubles differenciating colours I suggest to defend your breakfast with the alternative to lava: the green smeg, like in the good old Doom’s.

      • Sarkhan Lol says:

        Whoah, looks like we got a “red knight” over here!

      • The Random One says:

        Since lava is so hot that even if a bucket could hold it it’d still burn you to death when you got close, yeah, magical lava.

  2. Luke says:

    Those damned mushroom thieves have no sense of respect. Digging up a perfectly good floor like that.
    It’s all Mario’s fault.

  3. rapchee says:

    it’s curious that they didn’t actually do anything, i mean dig or build or craft

    • neolith says:

      http://voxelfarm.com/vfweb/index.html

      This is the voxel engine that Everquest relies on to create its geometry. There are some videos on that site of its creator building directly in the engine. More recent videos are on his blog:

      http://procworld.blogspot.de/

      Things MIGHT be similar in EQ.

      • Soleyu says:

        I’m curious, where did you get the info that this is the engine that SOE is using? It’s looks very similar, identical probably, but there is no mention anywhere that Everquest is being developed with it.

        • sirflimflam says:

          Because the guy who made the engine (links provided in the comment you responded to, specifically the blog) has talked about SOE licensing the engine for use in several articles. Pretty sure in one of SOE’s very very early videos introducing the game and its voxel mechanics they name dropped the engine as well, but I can’t remember for sure.

          • Soleyu says:

            Oh cool, thanks. The engine is very impressive, according to the page there are other games that have licenced the tech, I wonder which could they be.

  4. BooleanBob says:

    Clearly this is Notch’s mistake for not patenting buckets in video games when he had the chance.

  5. Viroso says:

    This sort of stuff is okay and all, the copper pick upgrade to iron pick etc. You see it in a bunch of minecraft inspired games. BUT I don’t think it’s that fun. I wish they’d try to polish and improve the idea instead of going with the exact same type of progression.

  6. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    A Minecraft clone that doesn’t look like ass is a start at least.

    • darkhog says:

      Google Blockscape and then report back, please…

      • Razumen says:

        Blockscape? PLEEEEEASE. procworld.blogspot.ca is where it’s at.

        • Shuck says:

          And we come full circle – EverQuest is using Miguel’s voxel tech (although he’s continued to evolve it since it was implemented for Everquest).

      • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

        A Minecraft clone that doesn’t look like ass is a start at least.

        Was that enough of a report?

  7. Koozer says:

    Gold axe to gather ‘dark’ wood? Game designers reeeaaaally need a few lessons in material properties.

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      I mean, come on, you would at *least* need an emerald axe.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Yeah, retread city. For games trying for any sort of immersion, this sort of thing reeks bad. I prefer a bit more internally consistent realism in my fantasy, thank you. Otherwise it is all just fairie dust.

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    Scrote says:

    I’m actually embarrassed for the large fellow who is rattling off lists of the materials that one can find in the game he’s being forced to work on.

  9. Urthman says:

    Nice to see that Lara Croft found some work after getting fired by Crystal Dynamics and replaced with that annoying girl.

  10. Geebs says:

    Why the hell are they making it harder for people to make their assets for them?

  11. MadTinkerer says:

    “Axes, buckets, lava, obsidian? This sounds awfully familiar.”

    You know what this means, right? There’s been a huge paradigm change.

    Once upon a time, text-based MUDs (plus MUSHes, MOOs, etc.) split players into regular players and Wizards who could create new content as well as acting as GMs. When people tried to graft MUD gameplay onto these new fangled 3D engines, the Wizard concept vanished and online worlds became static. Despite this, static worlds that looked pretty became the flavor of choice, and the kings of the static pretty MMORPG were first Everquest and then WoW.

    Did you know that all these MUDs were open source as well? And almost all of that source code has vanished completely? Once upon a time you could just borrow the source of your favorite MU*, alter it to your liking (assuming it was written in a language you understood as not everything was C based) and put the URL up on Usenet for folks to telnet to. Today, there are still plenty of games that support player-run servers and a certain amount of player-generated content, but only Minecraft lets you run your own server and have full control over the world and it’s rules.

    And now the creators of the original ridiculously successful static pretty world are going the Minecraft route. Not completely, as it’s still obviously a proprietary server based game, but that’s still a gigantic shift away from the former status quo.

    • Nest says:

      That’s a pretty interesting take on it. Honestly I hope as many game developers as possible take the lessons of Minecraft to heart and try to integrate them into their games. Everybody should be ripping off minecraft right now, because as fun as the game is, there is so much more to be done with that framework. There are two games in recent memory which had novel mechanics which should have triggered a revolution in the way certain types of games are designed, but for some reason were never widely integrated into other games. One of them was Shadow of the Colossus, which is the only game that ever did a good job of handling melee combat between a human and large monsters. The other was Minecraft, which gave us fully destructible terrain, and tied it into a progression of crafting, building, and exploration which is much more compelling than conventional “make the numbers go up” RPG leveling systems.

  12. scatterlogical says:

    Wow, I think the thing I find most appalling is the flagrant ninja’ing of ideas and concepts without any real attempt to rehash the mechanics. As mentioned, he could so easily be describing Minecraft, or Skyrim for that matter. If this is all the game has going for it, perhaps they should just stick it on Xbox Live Indie Games with all the other gutless clones and be done with it, because having a frakkin’ pickaxe and buckets does not a game make.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      Perhaps you should read on of the previous articles. Despite the fact that this is already sufficiently different from Minecraft due to the fact that the world is fully modifiable on a far more granular level, with textures bigger than 16×16, this is only the sideshow. The main game is an mmo that will use the world deformation technology in new and interesting ways.

  13. The Random One says:

    ” Axes, buckets, lava, obsidian? This sounds awfully familiar.”

    Fucking Dwarf Fortress clone

  14. waaaaaaaals says:

    It’ll be nice once the “Doom clone” syndrome gets grown out of once again.

    Minecraft wasn’t exactly the most original of games in itself, most of Notch’s repertoire have amounted to taking one pre-established concept and mashing it into another pre-established concept.