Hi folks! I was down last week with an illness so I couldn’t get to making a column for last week, and it seems this week the folks at Sony Online Entertainment have wildfires and safety issues they need to contend with. Let’s wish them all well and hope they get through this time without any trouble.
This week, I suppose I can safely say that two big things are new to the Landmark experience at present. The first one is the starting implementation of water into this new Norrath we have for Landmark. The second is the introduction of Landmark into Steam. I’ll get into both as we go along.
Undrinkable, Unshapeable Water
Based off the livestream of the last available Landmark update, water should now be in-game, though there’s not much you can do with it at present.
This is basically phase 1 of the Oceans phase of water. Users cannot swim in it, nor can they actually go ahead and build with water. Strangely enough, this version of water has an interesting bug with it, and that is the ability to make your structure become water as well.
The above screenshot is from the stream, and it shows what happens when you build a regular structure, and it bugs out after interacting with water, causing your entire house to have water’s flowy texture. It’s a bit of crazy fun, obviously, but not particularly harmful.
Aside from this, changes were instituted to make crafting and the various portions of the different interfaces friendlier for users from a visual and organizational standpoint. The other noticeable thing is that caves haven’t been put into play yet. The caves system is scheduled for mid-May and the blueprint (their name for the timeline of development) is available on the forums.
Landmark’s on Steam
The other thing mentioned during the livestream was the addition of Landmark to Steam as an early access title.
While this basically doesn’t change much on a lot of levels for people who’ve already bought into Landmark,, it does allow more people who’ve never heard of Landmark to say, “HEY! A high-tech ultra-minecrafty game that looks nice? I gotta try this out!”
What makes this psycholgically interesting, mind you, is that, compared to some of the other Early Access Games, this early access game is by SOE, so there’s a better chance that people will equate this to a safe purchase at the US$20 mark. I doubt people will buy into the $60 or $100 options, but I could be mistaken.
Those who know about Landmark and want the convenience of Steam can also use this as a stepping stone to trying other SOE games available on Steam, such as Planetside 2, DCUO, or the Everquest franchise, among others.
You’ll be able to watch the May 8 livestream below. Now if you’re in the California area, take care and I hope you guys stay safe over there!
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.