EverQuest Next Landmark has finally gathered enough materials to craft a claim flag for the verdant closed beta countryside—right on schedule—taking a continent-sized destruction tool to the alpha period's constructions to prepare for the next phase of Sony Online's sandbox MMO. It's also taking on a new name for its travels: just call it Landmark (opens in new tab) now.
Before you craft a panic button and start mashing it wildly, Landmark's devs assure the change extends to the name and nothing else. In a forum post (opens in new tab) earlier this week, Director of Development David Georgeson explained the yanking of EverQuest Next from the name frees Landmark from fantasy theme implications.
"Landmark is anything you can imagine," Georgeson wrote. "Removing EverQuest Next seemed the best. This doesn't change anything we've said about Landmark or EverQuest Next. All the details of both games are still the same."
The closed beta will last longer than Landmark's nearly three-month alpha period and provide a number of major features for deep testing, including combat, a crafting system overhaul, caves, water, and loot. SOE's Player Studio service is also planned to appear at some point for player-designed items sold through the in-game shop. I'm excited to try out some more action-oriented gameplay—I can't even set a cooking timer on my oven let alone build a towering castle on a mountain.
Fellow craft-venturers wanting to join in can do so either by applying on Landmark's website (opens in new tab) using a Station account or by shortcutting straight to immediate access via three purchaseable Founder's Packs (opens in new tab) . The $20/£12 Settler Pack is probably the best value, as it hands you the fundamentals for crafting and constructing at a manageable price. (The next pack, Explorer, climbs in cost quite steeply to $60/£36.)
Check out the below video from Senior Producer Terry Michaels on Landmark's move to closed beta. Tyler's played plenty of the alpha, and he's shared his impressions on the crafting system learning curve. Tim recently put together a huge gallery of some of the most interesting player creations .