Dipping Into Water and Caves
On the Monday before E3 Landmark launched a patch that added in swimming and caves to the game. While at E3 I had a chance to catch up with Omeed Dariani, Brand Strategist for the EverQuest franchise, and find out what has been going on recently in the world of Landmark.
Water had recently been added into the Landmark world but players could not swimt. That has changed. Now not only can players swim they have a number of different animations available to them. They can do the breaststroke, backstroke, heroic swimming and eventually they will have access to epic dives. No word on the rumor that dwarves doggy paddle though.
By allowing players to swim they now have access to the water areas that they have been previously laying claim to. Players are now crafting boats, and docks as well as underwater houses. The underwater houses will work out for now because players can’t actually drown just yet, but that will be coming in a future patch and just might hamper the resale value on those underwater homes. Players can also harvest underwater now too.
Caves were also added in with the latest patch. There are between 20 to 30 cave mouths per island. Some of them are easy to see and others are almost seem hidden. In fact Omeed almost ran into one while he was showing me some of the more interesting homes on our island. The caves are procedurally generated and there is also a system of “pocket caves.” You can only gain access to pocket caves by digging through the walls of caves that you are exploring. There are two new abilities added with this patch that help you find ore and gems in the caves. These are ore prospector and ground sounder.
You can also use these abilities to help locate pocket caves. If you are looking for ore and it is way off the beaten path in a cave and you have to dig far for it, you can use pulverizer to move large chunks of earth and chances are that the ore or gems you are looking for could end up in one of the pocket caves. Just keep in mind that when you are digging with pulverizer that you can’t actually harvest. It only allows you to move quickly through the ground.
There will be ore and gems that are unique to caves as well as plants. Some of the ore and gems that you can currently find in the overworld will be shifted into the cave system. Caves will also have different biomes. These pocket caves can also house treasure chests that have items you can only find in the caves. Also if you happen to run into another adventurer while you are trying to loot a chest there is no need to fret. Everyone that can see the treasure chest will receive the reward that is inside. Thankfully chests will not be a point of contention between players. One of the items you can find in a chest is the Belt of the Zephyr. This will allow you to glide in the air when you jump.
Omeed also told me about a new series that the SOE team was livestreaming on their twitch channel. It is called The Workshop. The Workshop is an extension of the Roundtable. SOE wants players to help design the races and their architecture that will populate EverQuest Next. The first race they did this with was the Dark Elves. Rosie Rappaport and Jeff Butler from the EverQuest Next design team published the style guide for the dark elves and essentially told the players what they thought the architecture should look like.
They then asked for the players feedback. Rosie and Jeff wanted to know if their vision aligned with the players vision, and then they asked the players to build stuff to look like dark elf architecture. They also wanted to know if the players thought the dark elves were evil or if they are just misunderstood. They also wanted to know if the dark elves should be subterranean. These are items that are all still up for debate when it comes to EQ Next. Eventually SOE will do this for all of the playable races. At the end of the month, SOE plans on posting a revised style guide on what the dark elves architecture will be like.
I have been hesitant to jump into Landmark. While I’m really looking forward to EverQuest Next, Landmark has not been able to excite me. I am interested in The Workshop however and I think SOE keeps coming up with brilliant ways to crowdsource their player base to help make the game with them. What about you? Are you interested in working with the developers to design the game or do you plan on skipping Landmark and just waiting for Next? Let me know in the comments below.
Robert Lashley / Robert Lashley is a Staff Writer and Online host for MMORPG.com. Rob's bald and when he isn't blinding people from the glare on his head talking in front of a camera you can find him spending his free time checking out the latest games and technology. Feel free to hunt him down on twitter @Grakulen
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