It's a bit like Minecraft, quite a bit not like Minecraft, and it sure sounds like it's going to be big: earlier this month, SOE announced EverQuest Next Landmark , a surprise voxel building MMO releasing this winter as a precursor to EverQuest Next. Today at PAX we learned some new things about it—female dwarves can have beards, for insistence—which we've condensed here into an easily digestible info pill.
What was already exciting about Landmark is a building system that looks like painting in 3D, with scalable brushes and smoothing tools to create spherical surfaces. Today, Director of Development David Georgeson shared more about Landmark's scope, picking up where the debut announcement left off. Here's what we learned (some of which applies to EverQuest Next proper, too—like the beards):
- Players will spawn near landmarks, protected areas which can be teleported to. They'll act as social hubs and player marketplaces—Georgeson hinted several times at a deep simulated economy during our meeting.
- Players will then explore to gather resources, and stake a land claim (almost) anywhere on the procedurally-generated continents.
- Most building resources will need to be purchased from other players or gathered, though there are "super commons," such as dirt, of which we'll always have an unlimited supply.
- Can players stake claims in subterranean areas? "Probably," says Georgeson.
- Land claims can be shared with friends for co-op builds.
- Mounts are in, and they'll move like the player characters—sliding down steep hills, for instance. We won't see horses doing parkour though. Boo.
Above: A new video showing off more advanced movement tricks.
- Players will be able to move between servers at any time.
- Friends lists, text chat, voice chat, and SOEmote are all in.
- A timelapse tool will allow players to record high-speed versions of their builds and publish them directly to YouTube.
- There will be a guild system, as well as a "co-op buildout" system for temporarily grouping up to work together on large projects without a full guild structure.
- Landmark characters will be transferable to EverQuest Next when it releases, and playing Landmark will unlock the Adventurer class.
Above: A timelapse video of a player quickly building out an environment.
We also found out some new things about the Player Studio integration. At the announcement, we learned that Landmark builders will be able to package and sell copies of their voxel creations on SOE's Player Studio, but Georgeson says that players will also be able sell their actual plot of land—its location and all its content—and suggests one could play Landmark like a real estate market. For real money. That's a slightly scary proposition, but in a good way.