Any time you mention EverQuest Next Landmark, you get a score of people saying that they just don't quite get it. To help alleviate that, devs hosted another EQN Landmarklivestream and dished up more details about the upcoming sandbox and treated viewers to their first look at actual mining gameplay footage.
While a large part of the stream focused on harvesting and mining, that was not the only topic touched upon. Senior Producer Terry Michaels teamed up with Producer Emily "Domino" Taylor and Community Manager Colette "Dexella" Murphy to answer various questions and share information about naming, beta news for SOE Live 2013 attendees, and more. If you missed the stream, we've compiled some of the key points right here for you. And since seeing is believing, we've got the entire livestream as well!
Tools of the trade
One very important aspect of Landmark is tools -- without them, there would be no materials and therefore no building! So understandably, one of the first topics addressed was tools. Like weapons in other realms, tools in this sandbox have base stats that affect their usefulness: damage (how hard you hit), speed (how often you hit per minute), and harvest size (the area you hit with each hit). There can also be additional bonuses like discovery, which is for finding recipes and objects in the world. Why do tools inflict damage? Because resources actually have hit points, so you have to damage them enough in order to collect them. Now you can envision that gold vein as your next mob!
In order to raise harvest higher and acquire higher tiers of resources, players will need to harvest materials and craft new tools. But don't think that making a single tool for each tier is all you'll want to do. Because the stats and bonuses on tool vary, you may make a few before you end up with one that has the best stats for you.
The good news is that tools will not decay from use, so if you happen to mine yourself into a tunnel deep in the earth and go AFK so long that the world heals around you, your pick will always be able to dig you back out!
Michaels elaborated on the tool that comes with the Founders Packs. Unlike the other single-purpose tools, the Founder's pickax is a unique combination of a very advanced tier one pick combined with tier five of ax, meaning that players can fell any tree in the game from the start.
Staking your claim
While more details about claims is expected in January, the devs offered a few insights about how claims work. In order to encourage players to explore the world a bit, claim flags will not be available upon first logging in. Instead, players will have to gather resources then buy that first claim flag for in-game currency. Players will also be able to own multiple claims by acquiring secondary claim flags, available in-game and possibly for Station Cash.
One thing devs wanted to emphasize during the steam is that building is not restricted to buildings. Players really can let their imagination run wild. As an example, a dev populated a mountainside with gigantic stone spiders.
Critically, interacting with the land on your claim is different from interacting with the land on your claim. For instance, the land on your claim will not automatically heal over time, and building is done with the building interface tools, not in-game tools for harvesting. Additionally, players cannot harvest trees they plant on their claim as decorations. If a tree is a prop used in decorating, it cannot be chopped down for resources.
What's in a name?
Players worried about not getting their treasured must-have name will be glad to know that a character's first name is not unique, meaning any number of players can be Bob if they so choose. In order to identify individuals, everyone will have an unique station handle that acts as a last name, so the database can distinguish who is who. Note: Your station handle is not your station name that you log in with.
Does this mean that if Landmark allows alts that each one will be instantly identifiable to others as you? That question remains to be answered.
And a little tidbit about names: Landmark Guy and Landmark Girl now have actual names: Gregor and Colette. And yes, Colette is named after the CM, in honor of her suggestion to name the game Landmark.
Sometimes the best bits of info are the random extra ones. For instance, SOE Live 2013 attendees may be happy to learn that they will have unlimited access to Landmark's closed beta when it starts. Additionally, redeeming the limited-time beta codes in PC Gamer will grant the player special paintings for EverQuest and EverQuest II homes. Want to be sure you haven't missed any details? Then be sure to watch the full livestream below, complete with pre-alpha mining footage.
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