Missed out on the most recent Everquest Next Landmark Claim Livestream focusing on how claims work? Or maybe you don’t have an hour to spend to listen to the team of developers talk. We’ve gone through the video, taken extensive notes and put together this article with all of the biggest highlights of the livestream.
This is the year of Everquest. The original is turning 15, Everquest II is turning 10 and Everquest Next Landmark will make its world debut. SOE wants to start 2014 off right. So they’re inviting the public to go to the Everquest campus in San Diego. The campus event will take place on January 31st and will be the very first chance for people to play Everquest Next Landmark. There will be demos, a chance to interact with the devs, and a tour of the studio. It will all be under NDA and if you plan to attend your NDA must be signed by a parent or guardian. They recommend arriving early as this looks to be a VERY popular event. RSVP with details on how many are in your party and where you’ll be coming from by emailing at email@example.com.
When Alpha begins the game will be approximately 60% complete. It is intended that those who purchase access to Alpha are like an arm of the development team. Combat will not be available during Alpha. There will however be some crafting. It was repeatedly stressed that everything could change, and that when the players actually get into the game they will have direct impact on how the game is developed. And will even be making notes that the developers will see.
DevTalk is a system that will be in place that will allow players to see what the developers have planned for certain aspects of Landmark while it is in Alpha. They were compared to sticky notes where developers leave notes. They will also be a place for players to leave notes for developers. And lastly they will include a link to the forums where discussions can take place about that particular part of the game. To access them players will simply hover over an area in game and the notes will be made visible. This creates a simple way for developers and players to communicate and means that there won’t be any mystery into what the dev team has planned.
The majority of the stream was dedicated to talking about claims. In particular how the mechanics of them work and answers to popular questions. Claims are at the moment 70x70x100 meters. This means that you can build up to 100 meters into the sky. Importantly you will never have to worry about people building above or below you. Though the building space only reaches 70x70x100 the claim covers all of the air above and the ground below to the ends of the world. Claims must be placed on the grid, meaning that the edges of the claims will form a square and not a diamond. This is done to make the most of all the space available. Players cannot place their claim directly next to a claim belonging to someone else. There will be a buffer area, the size of which hasn’t been stated. This is something that could change with player feedback. This buffer space will not be there for claims that are placed next to eachother and are owned by the same person. Players will be able to own several claims, though during Alpha there will be a hard limit to how many any one person can have. After that point there will be a practical limit to how many claims you can keep because of the Upkeep system. This does however mean if you wanted you could have an unlimited number of claims, assuming you have the time to dedicate to earning the upkeep.
There will be a recurring cost associated with every claim. This will help clear areas that have been abandoned by their owners to make way for others. It also encourages players to get out into the world to gather resources to help them raise the cost of upkeep for their claims. If you allow your upkeep on your claim to lapse that land will be freed to be claimed by someone else. If you return after your upkeep has lapsed and your land hasn’t been claimed by someone else you will be able to reclaim that space. Because the developers understand how much work and dedication will go into construction on your land if your upkeep lapses your belongings will all be packed away for safe keeping for when you return.
More on Claims
You will be able to see the areas which have claims thanks to large boxes that players can toggle on and off as they desire. They will also be clearly outlined on the map. Another feature that claims will have is a tagging system. This will allow the creators to tag their claims with certain key words that make them searchable. So if you happen to be looking for inspiration on how to build a tree house for instance you can find exactly which claims have tree house tags and go directly to them. There will also be a claim rating system. This will allow players who come across your claim to rate it. If you tag castle on your claim but it has a shack then players will be able to rate that down. The overall rating of a person’s claim will be decided by averaging out all the ratings made. If players put two claims right next to eachother they will be able to build across the line from one claim to the next. Claims can be transferred from one person to another or put up for sale on the player studio. And claims will have storage chests. However, anything stored in these chests can only be accessed by that particular chest and no other ones. So if you leave your favorite hammer in a chest on one side of the world then travel to the other side you won’t be able to get that hammer without going back to your claim on the other side of the world.
There were several questions asked about trolls and how to prevent them from causing trouble on your plot. Because Landmark is an open world MMO anyone will be able to walk on your plot. But you will be able to decide who has permission to edit it and interact with the plot. If you put a crafting table down on your plot but decide you don’t want any random person who walks by to use it, you can do that. Players won’t have to worry about others coming along and tearing their work down. And they’ve even put in measures to keep people from trolling during construction. If you’re in the middle of building something and someone keeps standing exactly where you’re working you will be able to hide all characters. This will make them invisible to you so you can continue to work without interruption.
Answers to Questions
Before the stream started developers went through the forums and twitter to find the most common questions players had about Landmark then answered them. Perhaps the biggest of them all related to character and claim wipes. There will be several character and claim wipes throughout the Alpha and Beta stages. Some of them are already planned. The first planned wipe will take place at the end of Alpha. You will be able to keep your character but all of your progress on them will be wiped. All resources and collected objects will be wiped and your claims will be wiped. Though as with when upkeep lapses you will have everything you built saved. The second planned wipe will take place at the end of closed beta. This time around your character and all the progress they make will be retained. Your claims will be wiped, with your buildings saved. And finally all of your resources and collected objects will be kept.
Another question asked about Landmark had to do with moving across servers. Players will be able to go across servers easily to gather resources and explore. Everything gathered in one server will go with you when you return to your home server. Fast travel will be in place so you can jump from one area to another. But players will also have to do some exploring. Finally, though in Alpha and Closed Beta players will have claim flags immediately from Open Beta onwards players will have to earn a claim flag. Doing so should only take about 5 minutes.
And finally the stream ended with the very first glimpse of The Chomper. The Chomper is nasty plant that seems to well, chomp on people. Check it out in the video below.
So that was the livestream in a not so small summary. It was hosted by Colette “Dexella” Murphy the Community Manager for Landmark and featured Senior Producer Terry Michaels, Senior Brand Manager Omeed Dariani, and Lead Game Designer Darrin McPherson. They answered a lot of questions and in the process raised a million more.