Hands-on with EverQuest Next Landmark
Q&A with the dev team
My hands-on time was up but I had questions. Oh yes, I did. Could I build a lair in a volcano? Yes. Could I build a volcano? Yes. Do my creations have to be fantasy-oriented? No. They expect scifi, cyberpunk, steampunk, and many other cross-genre buildings and items created. They also expect players with similar tastes will congregate their land parcels next to each other.
What’s to stop other players from wrecking my place? Any player can enter any other player’s land (it is meant to be an online, social game), but they can’t change anything on your property unless you give them explicit permission.
What’s to stop a player from building something unsightly on the property next to yours? There is a buffer zone so no one can build up to the property line. But if you really don’t like your neighborhood, it will be very easy to move everything to a new land parcel without having to rebuild it all.
My time was up, but my head was spinning with the possibilities and the ease with which I made them a (virtual) reality.
A bright spot in a sea of fierce competition
Yes, there is a part of the game that follows the quest, kill, loot, upgrade, rinse and repeat cycle (which the original EverQuest help pioneer), and it takes place in a destructible environment which adds a new twist to a standard formula. But what really sets this title apart is the control and tools given to the players to not only make their own world, but their own game. And it’s a kick in the pants that the MMO genre has needed for a very, very long time.
EQN is up against some stiff competition. AAA MMO The Elder Scrolls Online will launch soon, quality free-to-play MMOs like Neverwinter are constantly rolling out and MOBAs like League of Legends are sucking up player free time in a way we haven’t seen since the early days of WoW. Can some destructible blocks and sandbox with a robust toolset save the genre? Time will tell, but until then, I’m excited once again for MMOs in a way that I haven’t been in far too long.
Want to see what I’m talking about? Check out the video at the top of the post. It shows off just how quickly you can build just about whatever you can think of.
EverQuest Next Landmark, where the players are given the ability to claim land and build, is due to go into alpha in January 2014. Founder’s Packs granting access to alpha and beta are now available starting at $20. EverQuest Next which has the more traditional MMO game features has no announced beta date.