As you can see, I’m very pleased to report that Dark Elves won out in the poll for the race that gets its architecture and style developed and made available to Landmark players first!
Dwarves will come later, but if they had a poll and asked me to pick among Ratonga, Sarnak and Dwarves, I’d reckon Dwarves will definitely have to wait!.Scales and Squeaks for me!
Aside from the earnest reveal of SOE’s Dark Elf architectural and aesthetic style guide, Landmark also provided some great news for those who are looking forward to caves but are afraid of losing everything again: there will be very minimal damage or wiping to existing claims.
Dark Elven Style
According to the design documents they’ve made available, Dark Elves are known for having very plain-looking, smoothly built stone architecture at the base, with very ornate, edged or curve-angled details at the top of the structure.
The idea is to sort of have a crown of blades for your buildings, which is pretty badass, and to make the buildings look like they were fashioned whole out of one monolithic slab of stone.
The idea of tall towers and curved, bladed interiors falls in line with most of my memories of Neriak in Everquest 2. However, the whole “build your home from a giant block of stone” is an intriguing ideological concept that may need some rewording. Otherwise, some intrepid person who doesn’t quite understand all of Landmark’s toolset (such as myself) may eventually try forcing a megavoxel to carve itself and fail.
For those who play Landmark to build, the design documents linked above will have a full set of interior and exterior shots, along with size comparisons of pillars to people.
An entire subsection of the forums – called The Workshop – is also available to discuss Landmark development as it relates to the race-specific building and development cycle, with a poll asking folks if the style guide encompasses a user’s existing view of how Dark Elven architecture should be.
The funny thing is, you’ll notice that the design documents also point to Dark Elves building below ground. My memories are more of them living in corrupted forests, but I do remember some caverns back in the day.
Ratonga are likely the only one that I could safely say deserve an cave-introductory role, but they’re an EQ2 addition, thematically speaking, rather than something iconic spanning all of Everquest.
(MOSTLY) No Wipes for Caves 1.0
The introduction of caves was a nervous affair for some builders, as there was a fear that caves would forcibly reset all the claims on all the maps again.
To wit, this week’s Landmark Live says most people will get to keep their claims thanks to some breakthroughs on Sony’s end.
It isn’t all sunshine and roses though. Since every map will get some type of cave structure, those folks whose claims are going to interfere with the entrances to the caves will have their claims removed, though all wiped claims will be templated. Those affected will also receive their props and resources reimbursed for the trouble.
The Livestream also notes that they’ll be making a couple of things easier for the following patch, slated for next week, with no patch incoming this week..The act of staking a claim and placing it will be made simpler. The smoothing tool will also be improved, including the reintroduction of fine control for those who want to make every pixel count on their builds.
According to the livestream, the art team will discuss the dark elf art development process at end of each Landmark Live Episode for June (more like this week, moving into June, but you get it). There will also be a mini-livestream for Workshop discussions, which means the Landmark Twitch stream will get mighty crowded moving forward.
While I’m hoping they introduce caves 1.0 next week, I wouldn’t put it past them to do more internal testing to avoid any undue claim removals. They did promise to bring in more props, so I’m hoping they introduce Dark Elven styled props for players get on the bandwagon and build dark castles to dot the lands of this new Norrath with.
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.