New Name, Slightly Different Game
It felt easier to call Everquest Next: Landmark just Landmark so as to significantly differentiate it from Everquest Next (EQN). Apparently, Sony Online Entertainment agrees, and has changed the name of it's craft-heavy version of EQN to, quite simply, Landmark.
Obviously this isn't the shopping mall called The Landmark (seriously not joking here folks) that I remember visiting and being terrified of as a child. More importantly, this one-off joke will likely apply only to a number of people around the world who have ever been to a local landmark called The Landmark.
Let's dispense with that joke then, since I hope I have made it unsatisfying enough to leave be for the remainder of my time as a Landmark writer. Closed Beta awaits!
The old ways... are ineffective
Dave Georgeson, aka Smokejumper on the forums, has taken note of two major things that those entering beta will likely have an easier time relating to compared to the diehards who've made their mark in Alpha.
The first one is pretty straightforward: While those who have played Alpha will have the advantage of practical operating knowledge of the game's systems, they also have to unlearn the habits they've picked up from Alpha as the best way to start out in the beta is different from Alpha.
Aside from telling folks with founder's picks and those without founder's picks what they might need to get past the initial curve of “what do I do now” syndrome, Smokejumper also said, “You do NOT know the progression steps just because you played Alpha. You'll need to poke around and figure it out, just like you did at the start of Alpha.”
Personally, that's a good thing. Mechanical changes that force people to unlearn then relearn better systems or progression paths will likely keep monotony down.
Marking Beta with More Game
Perhaps the more exciting thing about Landmark for many folks will actually be seeing more of the game's systems introduced. Not to worry, as that's what the team also has planned.
A post on the forums lays out most of the notable incoming mechanics:
We’ll be adding Combat (which includes damage, death, and risk), the crafting overhaul we’ve talked about on the forums, Player Studio, caves, water (both static and dynamic), loot (heck yeah!), SOEMote, a journal to track your progression, achievements, collections, an improved map, salvaging, guilds, ley lines, pvp, and more!
SOE will also be updating and refining Landmark's development roadmap more frequently. They even call it the development blueprint now, for one thing.
Hopefully, aside from having crazy new structures to feature, we'll be able to pin down what they'll throw into the world next. Should make for an interesting morning if the introduce fall damage and death first, mind you.
Till next week, I wish you all safe travels!
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.
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