EverQuest Next Landmark alpha
—which I've been playing a ton of—introduces the MMO's voxel building tools with patient restraint. By pacing players with a crafting game (advanced resources and building tools must be earned, and not quickly), it encourages a lot of observing and dirt block prototyping, giving its architects time to establish a sense of scale and plan out their first project. When Cory and I visited SOE in San Diego a few months ago, we didn't have that benefit, as you can see in this timelapse video of an apparently drunk construction crew building a pub.
Cory and I were sat in front of a pre-alpha version of the building tools with everything unlocked and unlimited resources. It was a bit overwhelming for our first experience in Landmark, but does give us a great out if anyone ever asks us to help them build a deck. You'd be better off contracting the developers at SOE, who decided to renovate our pathetic Coconut Monkey gastropub after we left. Their work, seen in the screen above and in the second half of the video, is a much better representation of the refined work being done by players in the alpha.
When it enters beta, Landmark will be free-to-play, but for now there's a minimum $60 buy-in to play the alpha. Director of Development David Georgeson is happy with the pre-release test so far,
telling us last week
that it's already "better than most betas" he's worked on. The updates have been coming fast—so far they're mostly bug fixes, minor features additions, and small gameplay adjustments, but SOE has plans to do much more, including adding guilds, water, lava, monsters, and more as it molds a game around Landmark's free-form building technology.