EverQuest Next Landmark Gets Name Change, Closed Beta

My god, it's full of voxels

I always did think that EverQuest Next Landmark was kind of a clunky name. And, true story, I know plenty of people in the gaming industry – devs and journos alike – who don’t understand that it’s an entirely separate experience from EverQuest Next proper. So I suppose it only makes sense that SOE’s decided to shave it down into to a more prim and proper “Landmark” and leave it at that. It’s still the same massively ambitious world building tool/game, however, and you can now buy into its rocky yet rollicking closed beta.

You need only purchase a $19.99 (or more) Founders Pack, and that’s that: you’re in. The higher tiers are significantly more expensive, but they also confer bonuses to things like resource gathering – a tempting boost in a game that, at least in my experience, can be rather stingy with lifeblood for your audacious arts and crafts.

Landmark’s toolset is extremely versatile, though, as I’ve chronicled on multiple occasions. I’ve built everything from a giant ice cream cone to an entire civilization to an even giant-er ice cream cone, and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s on offer.

Who all is in the closed beta already? What do you think? Does SOE have a diamond in the rough on its hands, or a promising toolset surrounded by a lackluster game?


  1. noodlecake says:

    I wish they’d hurry up and send me a key. This game looks exciting!

  2. Eight Rooks says:

    I’ve been in since the alpha, but I’ve hardly had the time for it. :( Plus while it’s certainly very promising, I was getting a little tired of the early terrain/mining model, which SOE freely admitted wasn’t the way things were meant to be, IIRC – resources on the surface instead of underground (because there was no cave system to put them in down there), and scattered over multiple different worlds necessitating a lot of traipsing back and forth through teleporters. I’m not averse to the idea you’re supposed to walk about a lot and think very carefully about making an expedition from your home base, rather than warping around just like that, but there really wasn’t much to do other than walk about a lot, and while the scenery was pretty it still felt kinda… frustrating. It seemed like it could turn into an amazing game! But in the early stages, at least, it was clearly more for people who could spend days getting their equipment up to scratch and hoarding vast piles of resources in order to properly mess around with the building tools.

    Oh, well – I did like a lot of what I saw, and having checked the road map out every so often I’m still interested to find out how much of the good stuff has finally made it into the beta.

    • noodlecake says:

      That’s interesting to know. It’s the building I’m most interested in, but I think it does help to gamify the resource gathering well so you feel a greater sense of achivement when you manage to build the thing you want to build. :)

      • Eight Rooks says:

        Pretty much my feelings too. I wanted in ahead of the game because I was really interested in the idea of a prettier, much more gamified Minecraft, basically. My limited experience hasn’t really put me off in any way, it’s just most of the stuff I was actually looking forward to isn’t in yet – though I was a little frustrated at how limited the tech was compared to my first wild imaginings (certainly at the alpha stage, anyway). Still, such is life, and it was neat running around seeing how people got round the limitations of the voxel system in various ways.

  3. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Talking of Everquest, there’s a certain someone who loves it and is usually surrounded by plushies missing today :( So sad. So sad today.

    • tormos says:

      Especially given that this was the kind of thing they fired Lewie for.
      In fairness evidently her grandfather’s funeral was yesterday and it kind of seemed like it was multiple days long maybe? Her twitter was not super clear

      • Lemming says:

        Bereavement is rarely an issue for just one day. This isn’t corporate America.

    • Smashbox says:

      I missed the news – what happened?

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      She should take as long as she needs away then, as Lemming said these things take time.
      Sending out plushie vibes to you Cassandra ^_^

  4. Sakkura says:

    It’s looking prety awesome, but I wouldn’t personally be too interested until the creativity meets some more structured gameplay – ie. when Landmark is joined by EverQuest Next. And that’ll be a while.

    Until then, the housing system in Wildstar is going to do me just fine. The sandbox is smaller, but you can still do a lot of fun stuff:

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Not sure what you mean by “joined”. The two games are not being integrated, AFAIK. Structured gameplay is coming in the Landmark closed beta – monsters, fighting, quests, death etc. – but SOE haven’t given concrete dates for most of this stuff (the cave system and all the biomes still aren’t in yet, for starters, and that means another server wipe).

      • Sakkura says:

        AFAIK the plan is to export a lot of content from Landmark to EverQuest Next.

        • aircool says:

          Landmark is basically the building tool for EQN, but with some gaming stuff wrapped around it so it’s no just a building tool.

          I believe that the reasoning goes like this… people will want buildings in EQN. They can get them (either whole or in partially made bits such as archways, walls, roofs etc…) from the marketplace. The marketplace has on offer stuff made by SOE and stuff made by players in Landmark. I’m presuming (and kinda hoping) that if you make something in Landmark yourself, you can import it into EQN without going through the marketplace.

          However, to stop people just quickly building awesome stuff and jamming up the marketplace, you actually have to put some time into Landmark to get the materials and make your build. This in itself becomes a game as there’s mobs, exploration etc…

          Perhaps the most interesting goal of Landmark (it’s there in the blueprint (formerly roadmap), is the ability to make dungeons, script AI for mobs etc… and then put that into EQN. There’s going to be a hell of a lot more to Landmark than what you currently see.

        • Osmedirez says:

          You could fairly say that Landmark is a sort of off to one side testing/refining tool for what will become EQN, while at the same time allowing massive player input in the development process. That might sound like a scam or something, but it’s actually quite remarkable. While right now there’s a buy in for the closed beta, once it hit’s open beta it’ll be 100% free.

  5. TWChristine says:

    I’m certainly one of the ones who doesn’t understand (completely) the difference. I get that Next is the next EQ game, and Landmark was allowing you to build and fool around with terrain. But are they two separate games? Is Landmark essentially just a tech demo to allow you fool around with what you’ll be able to do in Next? I think what’s confusing me the most is that you have to buy into Landmark (if I understand correctly) which makes me wonder if by doing that are you essentially also pre-ordering Next, or are you essentially getting an EQ version of Minecraft and will then have to pay for Next when it comes out?

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Landmark, from everything that’s been said about it, is an entirely separate game. It has nothing to do with Everquest Next beyond being built on the same tech. It is a sandbox, though it is partly a game, too, and they seem to intend it to be a bit more structured than Minecraft, AFAIK (I haven’t played Minecraft for years, mind). The focus is far more on building things, but it will still have monsters, combat, fighting, death, questing of sorts and even PvP, apparently (this from reading SOE’s roadmap). I don’t think there’s going to be a peaceful mode or equivalent, unless I missed them talking about it.

      You do not have to buy into Landmark, only to play in the closed beta (and the alpha before it). SOE are basically doing their own Kickstarter, if you like – getting some more player money at an early stage – but the game will ultimately be F2P. Last I read (again, on SOE’s forums/FAQs/the roadmap) you do not gain access of any kind to Next by having bought alpha access to Landmark or buying into the closed beta.

    • Mctittles says:

      Paying for Landmark now is so you can try the unfinished game early. Landmark will be free when it is released.

      Landmark is made to be a building sandbox and Sony has said that people will be able to buy and sell creations made in landmark and some of them will be accepted into the EQ game. Landmark has no story instead you just mine and build stuff using the engine they made for EQ.

      The EQ game uses the same engine as landmark except instead of permanently building anything the effect is temporary and the land “heals” over time. I imagine this is so they can have an authored story that you can play again without messing up the terrain used to tell that story.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        Note that land does heal to some extent in Landmark, too, if you’re mining outside of claims. I guess that’s probably how Next is going to work everywhere.

  6. rexx.sabotage says:

    Whew, the lack of distinction in the nomenclature of those two games was very confusing. This is a very welcome change, hopefully this will placate the EQ die-hards over the presupposed ‘minecraftification’ of their beloved franchise.

  7. shimeril says:

    I was going to jump in for the Closed Beta until I read in the FAQ that it ends on March 31. $20 for 5 days? No thanks.

    From the FAQ: End of Closed Beta Wipe – Timing: Occurs at the end of Closed Beta testing, which begins on or before 3-31-14.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Just bad wording. This is the date closed beta was estimated to start, it’s nothing to do with the wipe.

      • shimeril says:

        Ahhh. Fooled me totally. Might have to jump in after all then.

    • aircool says:

      That’s $20 for full access to the closed and open beta – not time limited.

  8. Hideous says:


    Here, have 4 closed beta codes. I won’t use them and I got them for some reason even though I got a refund for my trailblazer pack.

    • Smashbox says:

      These are all gone, in case you’re wondering.

      Nobody left a comment though…

  9. aircool says:

    I’ve been playing it since day one and having a really good time. Only the basics are in the game, mining, gathering and building, but the building tools a very versatile (you only need to look at what people have done via the website).

    There’s an awful lot of ‘game’ missing, such as mobs, continents (at the moment, everybody chooses and island and that island only has two biomes and one tier of resources), static and running water, caves and caverns, combat and a whole lot more.

    The feedback loop between players and devs is pretty spectacular. Of course, you can’t please everybody, but a lot of changes have been made due to player feedback.

    It won’t come as any suprise that microtransactions are already in the game. However, I can quite definately confirm that, as per Planetside 2, you do not need to use the in game marketplace at all. There are no advantages to be gained, except perhaps saving time when you’re after a large amount of a particular resource. I should also note that, to build items, tools etc… you will still need to harvest materials that aren’t available from the marketplace, and in doing so, you’ll be gathering enough of the other materials you need – So in reality, it won’t save you time in making all but the simplest items.

    Personally, I’ve bought two outfits and a small bag of each gem/ore available. Prices are similar to Planetside 2, with outfits costing around 700 Smedbucks.

    Once you get the hang of the building tools (there’s plenty of tutorials and people willing to help), you can build some awesome stuff quickly. You can concentrate on small details, or build huge structures rapidly.

    One thing people are worried about is the amount of space in which you get to build. It’s not really a problem. At the moment, you get once claim and two attached claims which can make up a pretty significant area. If you look around on the forums/website, you can see whole villages that groups of people have made. The bottom line is, there’s enough space to build. There’s also enough space to place your first claim, although I think there’s a lot more room on the EU servers at the moment. You might not get that prime spot you dreamt about, but, at the moment, the only important factor (in my opinion) is the type of basic building material you expect to use. Rock is easiest to find in the desert (as is sand, although sand can also be found on the sea bed that surrounds each island), ice on the tundra biome and dirt in the forest biomes.

    There are bugs and performance issues, which is what you’d expect at this stage, but I can get a good 60fps on high detail (without shadows) using an i5 3570 and a GTX 680. I cap my framerate at 45 (just to keep my video card quiet), and it will keep that framerate even if I stick shadows on high (for taking screenshots etc…).

    A lot of people were getting confused about Landmark and Everquest Next, although, if they’d read FAQ etc…, they would have a pretty clear idea about both games. But the name was changed anyway to avoid confusion, which in turn upset one or two players who still thought they were testing Everquest Next.