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One Night in Landmark

Landmark Copper Mine

The closed beta for Landmark (no longer named EverQuest Next Landmark!) started up yesterday afternoon, and I was fortunate enough to be given a beta pass by alpha investor Aurelia, she of the awesome Democracy 3 DLC review video from a while back.

When you first boot up the Landmark beta client you’re treated to a mandatory 3-ish minute video by David Georgeson, the game’s Director of Development, where he talks about what happened in alpha and what players can expect from beta. It was charming, if totally weird in that trademark SOE way.

The character creation is very simplistic, and the character graphics are not great. I run oddly, there’s no strafing (not that there’s anything to strafe away from exactly, but in a world of exploration I occasionally like to move diagonally), and I can’t zoom my camera.

That all being said, we’re not playing Landmark for the character generation, are we? No sir, I’m here for some mining!

Everquest Landmark Beta horizon

I suspect that the same cartoony graphics that hinder the character display help the look of the environment. And it does look good, in a creamy sort of way. I liked that hopping up steep hills is totally acceptable, and there seems to be some mechanic to keep players from plummeting to their death when sliding down the side of a mountain.

Eventually I stumbled across a shiny patch of what I correctly suspected was copper, and started to mine.

Landmark Copper Mine

It might sound like I’m damning the title with faint praise when I say the following, although I assure you I am not: Landmark has the most satisfying mining experience I have ever encountered in a game. Seriously! The voxels, however they work, make me feel like I am actually excavating a seam of materials. Chunks break away in different shapes, and the pick’s animations give it the right amount of heft.

Unfortunately I didn’t find crafting so compelling. That is more a statement about my short attention span than the crafting, really. I looked at the list of ingredients needed to make a claim flag and spent a few minutes trying to gather them, but I quickly got bored and instead focused on digging a tunnel to the center of the world.

everquest landmark ice tunnel

Goodbye, world!

I was digging for quite some time when a random player jumped and/or fell down the ice hole. He seemed to quickly shake off his misfortune, and started digging downward with me.

Everquest Landmark Hole

Eventually my new friend started digging off in his own direction, and after about 20 minutes of finding nothing but subterranean ice I logged off the game.

Overall my first impression of Landmark is that it’s definitely on the road to being a good multiplayer Minecraft. I’m not sure I personally am interested in a game that frontloads gathering so much over crafting, but that’s more a design issue than a fault. Should you get the opportunity to try the game for free, I highly recommend that you mine something.

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  • Reply
    Wilhelm Arcturus
    March 27, 2014 at 10:02 am

    “The closed beta for Landmark (no longer named EverQuest Next Landmark!)…”

    About time. Now they just have to come up with a real name for EverQuest Next and they’ll be set on that front.
    Wilhelm Arcturus´s last post: Facing the Voodoo in Zul’Aman

  • Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 10:27 am

    That’s my big concern with something like Landmark. As much as I loved Minecraft and Terraria for building, I am much more excited to explore. Until Landmark gets more monsters and more layers of literal content, its exploration (however satisfying the voxel chipping may be) isn’t there for me yet.

    It’s cool to see what people build, but I am always more excited for the actual gameplay in my video games.
    Murf´s last post: Why Bias, Subjectivity, and Point of View are Important to Me

  • Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Fun mining does actually sound pretty cool. So does a talking head video to start your sesssion — does that run every time?

  • Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 11:35 am

    You actually can zoom your camera, but it’s something silly like shift + mousewheel instead of just mousewheel. Same thing happened to me; I did submit feedback about it…maybe if enough people are confused, they’ll change it, or at least add a tutorial popup.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    It -is- shift+mouse wheel, and it really is quite unintuitive to those who aren’t used to Landmark.

    I suspect that’s due to mouse wheel being used for the building and placement portion of Landmark, given my very limited experimentation thus far with that part of the game.

    My finger also started cramping after the first vein and first tree, and I went hunting all over the game settings and forums looking for a toggle-on setting which didn’t exist, leaving me to briefly dance with the idea of macroing with Autohotkey (wasn’t like any money was at risk, having a gifted key) or exploring my mouse/keyboarf’s programming capabilities, and finally resorting to Windows’ built-in click-lock setting, where holding down click for 2-3 seconds toggles it on until pressed again.

    That said, mining is pretty amusing, even if the amount of mining needed is kind of exhausting.

    You’re a little early for caves though! Apparently that’s coming in later in beta, so hopefully digging deep becomes a little more rewarding eventually.
    Jeromai´s last post: Minecraft (Hexxit) – The Curse of the Albatross – 6. Is This Real Life…Or is This Final Fantasy…

  • Reply
    Digging Landmark and what we may expect from SOE | MMO Gypsy - Wandering online Worlds
    April 4, 2014 at 6:50 am

    […] likely. I was worried about this before but having sunk several hours into Landmark by now, I am with Liore that the game features by far the most satisfactory gathering experience of them all. Mining and […]

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