This year’s Gamescom has come and gone and with it, more juicy info on Everquest Next was let off by David Georgeson during SOE’s presentation. What caught my eye in particular, were some very new and interesting tidbits concerning EQN Landmark and a so far unrevealed class concept, called the Adventurer Class. Okay Sony, this is how you get my attention.
(For those who still aren’t quite sure what EQNext Landmark is: Landmark is essentially the Minecraft mode for new Norrath. Players will not only get creative/constructive but social tools to realize and share their own idea of a virtual fantasy world. Landmark is to be released this winter 2013 and is free-to-play.)
Massively have an article up on that specific part in SOE’s GC presentation, which starts around 14minutes into the embedded video on the bottom there. Here’s a summary of the most exciting takeaways, even if not all of it is completely novel:
- Players can create their own, completely customized MMO world having the entire design repertoire of EQN at their disposal. Whether they create a more high/low fantasy, sci-fi or pirate themed setting, is up to them. You can basically go wild with the tools you are given.
- Players will start off playing the Adventurer class in Landmark. This is a new class which introduces players to overall character mechanics in EQN. Not just that, by playing Landmark the Adventurer class will then be unlocked for players to play in EQN. Which means, multi-classing becomes available from level 1 for those with an Adventurer toon. In addition, players can transfer their Landmark character to EQN, if they so desire. (Unfortunately Georgeson doesn’t give further details on “what type” of class the Adventurer will be within EQN.)
- “Landmark” is the name for the random starting locations in the world. They’re represented by giant monuments and meant to serve as hubs for players to find each other – and as the game progresses, to create and set up open-air player markets. There will also be teleport stones called Wizard Spirals.
- Players can plant flags in unclaimed territory inside Landmark, claiming a spot to shape further and utilize for themselves (early American settlers will know that one).
There is more and it’s definitely worth watching the entire video, if you’re interested in this sort of gameplay and EQNext’s sandbox. Ever since John Smedley made that bold claim, players have been on the lookout for proof and indication that EQNext is indeed not going to be just another themepark/buffet/whatever. And so far, we’ve no reason to believe it isn’t going to be; a lot of what have been actual EQN reveals this August 2013 point at an MMO using Guild Wars 2’s notebook and adding more scribbles.
Not that this is bad by any means – I love what GW2 has done for the genre, and I like to see EQN improve on that (especially where events and NPCs/questing are concerned). I’ve also sorta given up on my wishes for a sandbox MMO that actually does what the definition inspires for me – by now, it’s as wishy-washy a term as any other. That’s why SOE’s two-lane approach might actually be the better thing and it seems clear that anyone yearning for that more sandboxy, radical open-world gameplay might be looking at Landmark as their game/world of choice. While SOE keep adding reasons for Landmark players to also want to play (and pay for goods in) EQN, I wonder if they’ve not created some strong competition for their new MMO from within. That’s assuming Landmark will indeed prove to be a fully fledged, independent MMORP world – without the standard “G”.
We’ve yet to hear how SOE plan to earn their money with EQN but unless they intend to monetize both titles equally, they will want the main force of their player base to play EQN eventually, rather than just Landmark. So what does that truly mean for the quality, independence and allowed scope of the latter? I guess we have to wait and see.