This week's Landmark column goes back to the tried and tested formula of discussing recent goings-on in the Landmarky-mark world of Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). Aside from an incoming Landmark patch, which should be active by the time you're reading this, one other point of discussion is the update to the All-Access subscription plan.
Seeing as All-Access has a bit of overlap with non-Landmark games, the updates to the All-Access Pass might need a bit of discussion before we move on to Landmark-specific patch talk.
Dragon's Prophet and ProSiebenSat.1
There are three major additions to the long-standing All-Access Pass thread on the SOE forums. The first major change is the revised launch date, in which All-Access Passes will now be available “on or about April 23rd, 2014.”
The second major notice is for my dragon-taming friends among the SOE fans. Dragon's Prophet is highlighted in this recent update. Simply put, SOE is in talks with Runewaker so that the two can figure out what benefits to give to All-Access players.
Until they can decide on the goodies for members, however, SOE wants to remind Dragon's Prophet Players that there are no All-Access discounts for Dragon's Prophet Marketplace items until the game gets added to the membership program.
In slightly more depressing news, players who happen to be locked to (or otherwise playing as a customer of) ProSiebenSat.1 Games are not going to get their money's worth. According to the updated FAQ, “ProSiebenSat.1 Games is not offering an equivalent to the All Access program at this time. PSG will continue to grant 500SC per month (with no action required on your part) and a 10% discount on Marketplace items (excluding certain items such as DLC, memberships, Krono or SC top-ups).”
It's a disservice to any long-time SOE gamers who might be stuck with PSS.1 due to regional restrictions. I certainly hope SOE can manage to weave some magic into future discussions with them because the uneven deal here doesn't look good for either PSS.1 or SOE.
More Marketplace Goodies and Other Changes
SOE is slowly starting to ramp up monetization efforts for Landmark, with this week's patch serving some minor Marketplace additions along with enhancements, bug fixes, and gameplay wrinkles that can inspire builders to do more.
Marketplace wise, SOE is introducing new tints for existing outfits, as well as at least one entirely new outfit with a number of tints, called the Nomad Outfit, which is pictured above.
There are also a number of new crafted props going into the game. You'll be able to get stained glass props (though not actual glass just yet), colored light source props that increase or lessen intensity depending on the time of day in-game, and new housing item props – more braziers and chandeliers!
Aside from this, there will also be some functional changes that should make gameplay more interesting or at least less restrictive.
The first bit is the introduction of a switchable hotbar. The patch will basically allow you to set up two different sets of commands – maybe a gathering set and a building set – that can be easily switched as needed for your adventures.
The second bit, which is still in development, is the voxel cave. Simply put, these are procedurally generated caves in the world that players can go and explore and exploit for resources in the future.
Lastly, players will be able to place an extra primary claim and also throw on up-to three add-on claims total for territorial expansion and large-scale building projects after the latest patch is downloaded. While you don't get three add-on claims per primary claim, the extra free space should be great for builders to go wild with.
I'm looking forward to seeing how glass-shaping will actually work, but unless they change how glass voxels would interact with other voxels, I don't see much functional difference in my head as of yet.
The full video for Landmark Live will clock in at around 80 minutes, and will have tidbits related to SOE live thrown in for good measure. You can view it below at your leisure. Cheers!
Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains the Everquest Next/Landmark column (and formerly the Devil’s Advocate column) for MMORPG.com. He also writes for news website Rappler as a technology reporter. You can find more of his writings on Games and Geekery and on Twitter at @vbarreirojr.