Monetization, Player Studio, & Other Updates
The March 5 Landmark Live video brought some more clarifications regarding monetization for Everquest Next Landmark, as well as how the Player Studio will operate when it comes time for players to sell their wares in-game. Aside from this, there were also some minor clarifications regarding the timeline for the game's updates, most especially Closed Beta's arrival.
For those that weren't able to read last week's column, here's a brief refresher. Phase 2 of the monetization process will include the selling basic items: namely outfits and resources. Phase 3 involves selling time-saving mechanisms for the game, mostly in the form of boosts that affect items or certain crafting processes. Phases 4 and 5 involve the selling of player made-templates and big-ticket items by Sony Online Entertainment.
Some of you may think the plans didn't go over very well, but SOE has mentioned that less than 5% of the responses grabbed from the community appeared to be negative. That isn't to say there weren't things in need of clarification, but that's why SOE also put up a response post on the official forums to discuss things.
Regarding selling resources and whatnot, SOE says on the post all resources will be available for sale in various-sized bundles costing Station Cash (SC), and the bundles are also scaled according to rarity. There also plans to sell inventory space during phase 3. I'll leave the rest for you to read up on.
Developers Answering Questions
The first big order of business in the Landmark Live video was what the player studio setup would be like, so let's get that out of the way. According to the video, Player Studio sellers get paid in actual cash. These players will be paid quarterly in cash via a check, and Dave Georgeson also noted that “It's such a real check you'll have to pay taxes on them.”
Of note regarding this is that this will obviously have some kind of regional requirements for it to work. SOE's reponse post linked earlier also mentioned that functionality for EU Player Studio creations was also in the works, so players may be able to buy from their locations, but only countries where SOE has done the paperwork to allow Player Studio sales will actually be able to sell templates.
The video also mentions selling resources to in-game traders for in-game cash, though players can always barter with other players as well. For those feeling generous, the future rating system for claims will also allow people to not only rate other folks' claims, but also leave tips in the form of resources or in-game money.
By the time you read this, there should be an update incoming (or already live) for Everquest Next. The big reveal was that people can attach up to two additional claims onto their initial claim, connecting up to three claims together for building whatever they please. Further development will allow more claims to be attached, according to the video.
How do you make attached claims? With a claim flag, of course! To do that, you'll need to go to a stone forge and make another one for that purpose.
Aside from this 12 new islands will be introduced, with the islands divided by tiers – four islands per tier. Tier 1 has Abyss, Barrier, Channel, and Shield. Tier 2 has Cave, Kettle, Spine, and Valley. Tier 3 gets Gulley, Stump, Tube, and Tunnel. Better still, islands are now alphabetized, making it easier to find your home. They also introduced an improve smoothing tool, which should have fewer irregularities.
The final important bit is about their roadmap, and about the need to be flexible. Georgeson noted that while they intend to follow through on their roadmap, they appear to be a bit behind due to complications with claims. They're also hoping to catch up next week.
Reminding players and interested parties that the game is still in alpha, Georgeson also said the roadmap for the game was relatively fluid. While they do want to follow through with the plans, they also need to adapt to changing conditions, and ask that players do the same as they tweak their development cycles to stay on track as best as they can.
Before I go for the day, I thought you might like some incentive to watch the Landmark Live stream. At around 53 minutes in, and pictured above, there's a claim the team visits that turns out to hide an awesome, player-made secret. The claim maker turned his claim into a multi-level dungeon maze that people can enter by jumping into a well and then finding more entry points to jump down lower into the maze. The team was blown away by the system created and thought the design itself (from mundane, to ornate, to creepy tomb-like) was a blast.
That said, stay tuned for next week's column as we delve into more dungeons and discuss the latest happenings on Everquest Next and Landmark!
Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains the Everquest Next 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.
Links to more EverQuest Next: Landmark coverage:
Last week's Column: The Business Roadmap
Watch this development video on harvesting tools!
More building blocks: the grappling hook and starting areas!