EverQuest Next is one of the most promising games currently in development. That is, SOE have made a lot of promises of what the game will be capable of but we’ve seen exceedingly little of it in action. You can be among the first to see if the developer has managed to follow through and create a destructible MMO that does away with the D&D ruleset and static design model we’ve come to know so well.
Well, sort of.
SOE have begun selling Founder’s Packs for EverQuest Next Landmark. The offshoot project that will precede EverQuest Next.
Here's Landmark in action:
Landmark utilises a lot of the technology that’s to be found in EverQuest Next and turns it into a sandbox game, somewhat similar to Minecraft. You can use a version of the creation tools that the developers are using to construct buildings on your own plot of land. There’s even an exploration element present in the game so, for one thing, you can go and visit other players’ constructions.
What sets Landmark apart from other minigames is that the buildings players build can be submitted for approval by SOE and possibly included in EverQuest Next, something which the architect is paid for. So Landmark will be a source of revenue for some players.
SOE have put together a short video explaining what the three different Founder’s Packs award you:
So, the Founder’s Packs will offer exclusive gubbins for players willing to pay for something that will eventually be released for free. Obviously, the main draw of these packs is the early access they offer to the game. The basic pack, the Settler Pack, only gets you access to the beta, which launches on 31 March. The Explorer Pack and the Trailblazer back, on the other hand, get you in a month earlier on 28 February.
Besides the early access are things like the Founder’s Pickaxe. This item is more than cosmetic, it also acts as a “tier one” axe and pick. In describing the item SOE have revealed that Landmark players will be able to upgrade their building kit. It’s not clear but it may well be, also, that you need to buy these kit upgrades, a means of SOE drawing in a little revenue from Landmark. Hopefully you won’t also need to buy building materials, only bits of gear.
Explorer Pack owners get a ring of bounty that buffs resource gain. They also get a Megapocket, an item which increases your inventory size. Again, the suggestion here is that players will be encouraged to buy items that increase their functional ability within the game.
For Trailblazers, along with everything in the first two packs, you receive a Mastercraft Bracer. This item increases your chances of crafting a high quality item. SOE haven’t spoken much about EverQuest Next’s crafting but this item’s description hints that crafting will have an element of stat randomisation to it.
There are other rewards, too, largely of a cosmetic nature. To find out about those and to read more about the Founder’s Packs, and, if you’re that way inclined, buy one, then head on over to the store page.