This week, we have a rather short, lighthearted update for everyone based off of the most recent Landmark Live show.
The first is the story of a kitten that took the better part of a day to rescue from SOE’s parking lot (the kitten was fast as lightning, apparently), and was summarily adopted by a staff member and given a name by the community voting on a poll.
Aside from the tale of a kitten Sony Online Entertainment has adopted, one important Landmark related update is that a new island will test builders’ imaginations The best builders will be given the privilege of having their creations immortalized in Everquest Next and Norrathian history.
SOE’s Adorably Quick Kitten
SOE’s latest addition to the roster of awesomeness is a kitten. A pretty kitten that likes to dart across parking lots and hide near car engine blocks.
The story goes that a number of people – SOE President John Smedley included – were out in the parking lot trying to figure out how to rescue this kitten that would keep on hiding. Everyone wanted to make sure the kitten was safe as, if left alone, the kitten could easily just be left for dead in a wheel well or run over by the staff.
The task took around 8 or 9 hours, from 9 in the morning to around 5 or 6 in the evening, and during the entirety of the proceedings, Smedley even took to using a company-wide email to ask for the owner of a particular car to come and meet him so they could find the kitten.
A member of Landmark and Everquest Next senior producer Terry Michaels stepped up to adopt the kitten, which earned the name Voxel as based on a poll during the livestream (the other choices were Firiona and Soe).
Now, the reason why I’m mentioning this in the Landmark column is because, for most of the Landmark fans out there, this is the sort of thing that makes SOE a great company.
It’s a company that has managed to make the proper switch from seeming like a monolithic institution without heart on social media and commuinications with the public. Now, it seems to be one that has garnered goodwill among the customers that matter to it the most.
Besides, it provides the perfect avenue to post a picture of an adorable ball of fur.
Dark Elven Foundations
For me, the big draw of the most recent Landmark stream was their announcement of acontest for builders to design the buildings and landmarks that would become the foundations of Dark Elven culture for Everquest Next.
A new island (Foundation Island) is now on the beta, where a Dark elven city will be placed to show SOE’s vision of dark elven architecture so far.
Players will be able to use this as inspiration, as SOE would like builders to make specific types of buildings. The best creations that refer to a particular type of building requested by SOE will be used for Everquest Next.
There’s also a cryptic statement from Dave Georgeson, noting that “The winners of this competition will get a unique opportunity.” Honestly, if that’s automatic access to Everquest Next or a job at SOE, that’d be pretty cool. This contest is set to end on July 9.
Dwarves or Kerrans?
One of the more recent social media incentives to participating in the process of building in Landmark and Everquest Next is that players get to choose the order in which things develop.
It seems the next poll is in play to determine what racial foundations get built next: Dwarves or Kerrans?
My personal bet is that Kerrans will likely win out as dwarven architecture may be too similar to Dark Elven architecture with the overwhelming use of stone. A focus on other surface types may be in order to show off further creativity among the builders of the world.
That said, before I go, let me leave you with the June 2014 Producer’s Letter introducing Player Studio to the public. Cheers!
Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains the Landmark/Everquest Next 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.