This past week we finally got to play with EverQuest Next Landmark in a hands on session. The client was in an early state, but we got the chance to make some buildings and more importantly use some of the tools the team at SOE has been developing. The one thing we took away from Landmark was that it can become very addictive. Just like Minecraft, there is something fun about building your own world and living in it as well.
I decided to build a barbaric hut as my first Landmark experiment. I only had limited time on the demo so it was important to select something small. The tools give you options on materials to build with, Dave Georgeson (Director of the EverQuest franchise) was with me and he pointed out that you will have to unlock these resources by exploring the world, but for the demo I had some good stuff to pick from. So I chose some brown stone which looked like mud. I then used the Select tool to pick out an area away from everything else. I selected a large block and filled it in with the muddy stone. Next I used the Smoothing tool to round off the edges. You can choose how you want this tool to work and we both found the sphere formation works best to round off edges and make the block into more of a dome. The Smoothing tool really is a highlight in Landmark and was probably my favorite one to use.
Once we had our dome I went in and deleted out the middle so I could have a living place. This did not take long and soon my hut was taking shape. The Delete tool was great because you can expand or shrink it as needed. It does work in cubes so you will need to hit the walls of your structure with the Smoothing tool to help create shape. After I was done with this I decided to make some wooden supports for the outside of the hut. So I changed my resource to wood and used the Line tool. This feature really allows for creating some amazing structures. You can angle shapes on the sides of your buildings. I chose to make logs which came down diagonally from the hut. At first they were rectangular, but after hitting each one with the Smoother they soon began to look like logs. I created three on each side to give the effect of support. I got the idea from a viking style house someone else had made in the zone.
Once I had finished the basic structure, I decided to go into the Props tab and find some cool items to put into or around my hut. There were a bunch of options in the Props section but Dave quickly said they plan to add a lot more to the game. The first thing that caught my eye was a series of viking round shields. One was outlined in ripped looking leather hide... perfect I thought. So I was able to put a bunch of shields hanging on the walls of my structure. Then I put a few plants around, a small cart, and some other minor decorations. The best Prop I found was the massive dragon bones. Dave quickly helped me adjust the size of the dragon skeleton to fit over my hut. It was the spinal column and the rib cage and it worked perfectly as a roof for my savage looking dwelling. Being able to adjust and place the bones was definitely the icing on my Landmark cake for the demo. The hut now looked awesome!
The feature that really amazed me though was the Copy and Paste feature in the system. Once my hut was done, Dave showed me how to select the area. Click the Ctrl-C command, and literally make a perfect copy of the entire structure I had built. I was then able to place it anywhere on the map that I wanted to by using the Ctrl-V command. I now had two huts. I decided to shrink down a massive Wizard Spire and place it between the two huts to finish off my small plot of land.
The Landmark demo was great fun. Dave Georgeson and I also talked about how players will explore the continents to find resources, but also to see what other structures players have built. You really get some ideas by seeing what is out there. If it was not for the viking style house one of the developers had built on the server, I never would have attempted a hut. Landmark will be the players’ quintessential sandbox over the next few months with loads of toys for fans to play with. We cannot wait for this game to come out.
The Founders Packs (see link here) go on sale today, with multi-level prices at $20, $60, and $100. Alpha will begin on or before February 28th, 2014. The closed beta will begin on or before March 31st, 2014. There are just a few more months to wait to see what Landmark is all about for yourself.
Be sure to visit Our EQ Landmark Game Page in the meantime.