Sony Online Entertainment is trying something new with EverQuest Next Landmark, a multiplayer online sandbox building game that will give players all the tools they need to build the fantasy realms that they themselves would like to see. The best “landmarks,” which is what the team is coining fan creations, will be featured as official locales to be explored by millions in the upcoming EverQuest Next.
Landmark players will find themselves alone in a vast landscape, free to use the tools and resources at their disposal to shape the world to their desires. The first item the player has is called a “claim flag,” which is used to claim the area that they’d like to craft upon. This makes the area off-limits to others for purposes of mining and building, though using EQNL’s permissions system, you can open up the area to others by making it a collaborative space. Though you can build anywhere, only the landmarks you place in claimed territory will carry over between play sessions.
Currently, claimed land is approximately 100 feet worth of world, centered at a point on the ground. This means that players can extend their creations up into the sky and down into the earth, resulting in a great deal of potential for geographical experimentation. Every server will have a unique world, with its own terrain, weather system, and unique supply of common and rare minerals for crafting.
To make building more efficient, SOE has included a template feature that allows players to save their creations for simple reproduction later.
Players will be able to craft more specialized tools as they play the game and discover more materials and items. Though it isn’t featured in the alpha build, SOE plans to scatter NPC merchants throughout the world that will provide the player with specialized items to aid in crafting.
With EverQuest Next Landmark, SOE is working hard to set a community-oriented tone for the franchise. They are looking for as much community-based feedback as possible and they plan on integrating a number of features into the game that make leaving feedback for developers as seamless as possible. Notable is a feature called “DevTalk”, which allows players to hit F12 to bring up text fields above various items within the game. These text boxes provide developer commentary, but also allow players to leave comments on a selected item.
Players who have purchased the Founder’s Pack at the Trailblazer or Explorer level will be able to participate in the Alpha, which will be available for download this evening, Friday 1/31.