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Reflections on a Year Closer to Next

Victor Barreiro Jr. Posted:
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Whether or not you’re having fun with Landmark, time still manages to fly. It’s been about a year since Landmark opened up its world to us, so I thought it a good time to reflect upon the game somewhat.

While Everquest Next is still a work in progress along with Landmark, I figured it was time to discuss two good tropes and two bad tropes – cliche nuances to games, for lack of a better term – I’ve noticed when it comes to playing Landmark that’ll likely translate into Everquest Next.

These are likely normal complaints or praises you find in online games, but that’s the wonderful conceit about these four aspects of Landmark and, potentially, Everquest Next:

These four things can be made better, and with the development of Next still ongoing, I’m looking forward to seeing these tropes evolve or disappear depending on how Sony Online Entertainment handles the development of the two games.

Good Trope: Working your butt off to accomplish things

This game nuance is a staple for many sorts of games, whether it be socializing with others to complete a massive complex in a  building game like Landmark, or a working as a team in a high-level raid in an online game, or even trekking in the real world to find a geocache.

The trope of working your butt off to accomplish things is one I’ve always liked, because developers are sometimes forced to find the best compromises between meaningful struggle and a boring grind. Sometimes, it’s a little off when there’s no direction (Landmark can sometimes feel that way) but the potential payoff of getting it right is a large sense of mental satisfaction and accomplishment for players.

I enjoy the journey rather than the destination, and this nice ebb and flow feelings from struggling to make something you want is something that I know many people enjoy in Landmark.

It’ll be interesting to see how Everquest Next handles non-standard quest types with its Storybricks system, and I’m also looking forward to that immensely.

Bad Trope: Krappy Kombat

Some games get fighting wrong, and some days, I feel Landmark and Everquest Next have that potential issue at this stage.

This could get better or worse with further development, but right now, fighting without a purpose with the system they have available might get a bit boring if you do it a lot.

Let’s hope 2015 expands upon the gameplay even further with more stuff to do, or at least a more fun way of doing them.

Good Trope: An Explorable Multiverse

Combined, Landmark and Everquest Next may actually provide one heck of a multiverse for players to frolic in.

There may not be a lot to do in Landmark yet, and the Everquest Next side is still being made, but the potential is there to just go out and explore a ton of different locales, caves, buildings, and whatnot.

All we need are the tools to make our own stories, and the multiverse can truly begin in earnest.

Bad Trope: The Boredom Gene

This is basically Landmark’s worst trait at the moment. Boredom ultimatley sets in when you only really have three things to do in Landmark: harvest stuff, create stuff, or kill stuff.

I know this’ll be remedied by Everquest Next’s formal release, but in the meantime, it does seem to make Landmark a very easy game to drop and come back to. The cost of buying into beta also affects this perception, though I can’t say if there’s a positive or negative reception to that in relation to boredom.

At the very least, people are hoping Everquest Next’s conceits are far better plotted out. In the meantime, all we can do is wait and see… and also hope that as SOE rampus up Everquest Next development, there’ll be more things to do, places to see, things to enjoy and, ultimately, reason to keep playing and paying for the game’s continued development.



Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains The Devil’s Advocate and The Secret World columns 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.