EverQuest Next Landmark was announced as quite a surprise to almost all of us at SOE Live's 2013 keynote. The show was to be all about EverQuest Next, and while it was, EverQuest Next Landmark sticks out as a huge announcement that no one expected. So what is EverQuest Next Landmark? That's what we're about to find out.
Landmark is a completely separate game from EverQuest Next. yes, there will be some overlap, which we will get to, but Landmark will be released quite a bit before EverQuest Next, and will act as somewhat of a teaser of what is to come. In its essence, Landmark is a building/crafting game. The game will let players build anything they can dream of using voxels. Voxels are a visual element representing a value on a grid. The exact details of what a voxel are beyond me, but that part doesn't matter. This voxel system that is in place is much more detailed than anything we've had to use to build with before. EverQuest Next is minecraft on banned substances. The developers are careful to say that the game is like minecraft, saying that yes, it is "minecraft like" but offers much more precision and depth than minecraft can and ever will allow. Voxels are not just blocks, they will bring an expressive amount of creativity to in-game editing.
In EverQuest Next Landmark you will be able to round edges, erode corners, change textures and more. You will stake claim to a piece of land that are will use to build on. Now you can use this land by yourself, or you can invite friends or guilds to help you build on it. You must collect all the resources you need to build, much like in Minecraft, but you will use a much larger, much more realistic world to go adventure in to find your raw resources. You will be mining different parts of the land, creating caverns and exploring lava caves on your quest for new materials that you can use to build whatever it is your heart desires.
So now that you've built your own rendition of the Angkor Wat, now what do you do? Landmark will give you a bevy of tools that you can use to save and share your creations. Tag your creations with any number of useful phrases that people can use to find it. Let's say you're building a modern day house, but you can't quite get the doors to look how you want them. Look through the library of content to find someone that has created an awesome door, and use it on your own building. Review people's buildings and rate content so that people know who's creating awesome stuff. Subscribe to different builders to get updates on new creations.
This will all interact with the Player Studio, so builders will be able to buy and sell what they have built. Let's give an example. Say you created an awesome tower castle. You can package it up, and sell it in the Player Studio and make a few bucks. Now let's say someone is building a complete castle, they like the look of your tower and want to use it. They buy your work and it becomes part of a giant castle that this new builder wants to sell. For every castle sold, you, the original builder of the tower, will make a small percentage of the total for the castle, because it was a piece that you created that was included in the new final product.
So you may be asking what is the point of EverQuest Next Landmark? The big thing we can pull from this is that SOE will be allowing player created items in to EverQuest Next when it is released. Items included in EverQuest Next will definitely have some restrictions. While in Landmark you can build anything you want, but for it to be included in the game, it will have to carry an EverQuest theme. From what I can tell, SOE wants players to really feel a connection to the EverQuest Next world. They are creating a living, breathing (so to speak) game and a great way to get that feeling is with the players actually getting a chance to breathe life into it. The developers are hoping to have EverQuest Next Landmark available later this year, which will hopefully give us something to work on before we get our first chance to actually play EverQuest Next, whenever it happens to come out.
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