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Landmark: What Would You Like To Build Today?

First, the name. If you've been following Everquest Next Landmark, but haven't heard yet, the name has changed. Since the types of things you can build go way beyond things that belong in the Everquest universe, the decision was made to step away from the Everquest Next labeling and go with, simply, Landmark.

So, what is Landmark? It's an interesting experiment, to be sure. Sony Online Entertainment is putting the tools that are being used to make Everquest Next (a different MMO game currently in development) in the hands of the players in Landmark, giving them the ability to create anything and everything from castles to spaceships. It's being called a "sandbox MMO" and it feels very MMO meets Minecraft meets Little Big Planet. I'll give you a moment to think on that.

I played some in the Alpha, and even though they start you out with a little bit more than the game will when it goes live (such as a claim flag, for example), it takes a lot of doing to get together the materials you need to make larger things, such as a castle on your claim, for example.

I keep referring to a "Claim," so I should probably step back a bit and explain that. In Landmark, you can build your own homestead on your own piece of land. In order to build something, however, you first have to establish a "Claim." Doing so requires a Claim Flag, which requires that you have the ability and materials to craft a Claim Flag, or that you buy one. In the Alpha, you were started with one already in your inventory. In addition to your primary Claim, you can add up to two additional Claims adjacent to your primary Claim, to allow you to create larger things, spanning across the areas.

Claims are the primary basis for building anything, as you need a place to build things before you can build them, but starting with the Closed Beta, Claims are not without upkeep. There is a maintenance fee that must be paid and can only be paid five days in advance. This means that, in order to keep from losing your claim, you have to play at least once every five days; if nothing else, you have to "feed the meter." I assume this it to prevent Landmark from becoming a ghost town, filled with a collection of unused, vacant structures. Personally, I hope they change it to seven or eight days, so someone can check in once a week to keep up with their claim, in case someone has a period of time that they can't play the game much.

There are lots of things that weren't fully implemented in the Alpha, from running water to plants that can be harvested. In order to make up for the lack of plants to harvest, however, they added random plant drops into the trees, to allow players to have access to those materials. Also missing from the Alpha was any way to get hurt. With no threats to worry about, players were free to focus on mining and building. In the Closed Beta, the plant drops appear to be gone, so I'm assuming the ability to harvest plants is either coming soon or is available now, if you have the ability to create the appropriate tools to harvest them...

...which is totally possible, since everything can be (and has to be) created with mined resources, first. In the Closed Beta, you even have to use the appropriate workstation to create a Claim Flag, before you can create your own structures. Mind you, it doesn't take a lot of materials to create a Claim Flag; I had collected everything I needed before I happened upon someone's workstation and was able to make one from what I had on me.

Now, I need to craft a Selection Tool, which allows much more in-depth manipulation of objects. To do that, I'll need to get my hands on 30 Elemental Iron, 30 Iron Ingot and 10 Topaz and I'll need to find a Stone Forge...

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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