EverQuest Next's world builder EQ Next Landmark was due this winter. But apparently, SOE didn't necessarily mean it would be ready by year's end. Instead, it will be available beginning February 28, 2014 for fans that purchase a Founder's Pack.
Sony Online Entertainment plans on offering three variants of the Founder's Pack. The "Settler Pack" starts at $20, while the "Trailblazer Pack" goes for $100. To get early access into the game, you'll need to purchase at least the "Explore Pack," which goes for $60.
"Early Access is kind of a big deal," SOE's Dave Georgeson explained to us. "It's kind of like a land rush feel on day one as people are trying to find the coolest claim they can find... We figure that mountaintops and coastlines are going to big." For example, players may rush to claim the top of a mountain to build a foreboding tower that looks upon the rest of the world--a la the Eye of Sauron.
But don't worry if you don't join the rush. "The worlds are huge, so you'll be able to find stuff. It's not like you'll be janked if you start four months later. But people still want to get in early and start building first," Georgeson added.
With its emphasis on building, Landmark may be reminiscent of Minecraft. However, SOE goes one step further by introducing the ability to make angles and curves. "I used to get frustrated with the fact that you could only do 45 and 90 degree angles [in Minecraft] When we first started this game, we were following the same conceit. But humans don't build that way. It doesn't look natural. So what we developed instead was this line tool that lets you set arbitrary angles. You connect two different points and you can make any angle you want."
In a hands-on with the Landmark editor, I discovered that the creation tools are rather powerful. They're not the simplest to use, as painting lines in a three dimensional space can take some time to get accustomed to. However, it's clear that the tools enabled by Landmark are incredibly powerful--especially when using the game's smaller "brushes." By building up and chiseling down, it's easy to create rather ornate objects in the environment.
You can see the tools in action in this new timelapse video:
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