EverQuest Next should’ve been called Next Next, or Nextest, because earlier on the agenda is Landmark – the ‘creative mode’ to the new MMO’s ‘survival’. Free to play in alpha from February next year, it’ll see players populate its blank-slate fantasy servers with constructions – villages, skyscrapers, whatever they like – using a toolset that sits somewhere between the accessibility of Notch’s sandbox and the comprehensiveness of Adobe’s face-editing software.
The livestream, picked up by PC Gamer and conducted yesterday by SOE, suggests that the developers have erred towards the former, emphasising accessibility and allowing players to feel out the tools without recourse to a manual.
Players can plant blocks from the perspective of their character a la Minecraft, but are afforded more tools to tweak them after that. They start with 3D sphere-shaped ‘brushes’, painting via swatches, and a smoothing ability used to round out edges and give the appearance of wearing, but appear to go much deeper. Fill, undo, delete and copy and paste options ensure that simplicity is at the fore throughout:
Once players have filled the servers with their creations, SOE plan to expand the toolset to include more of the tricks they’ve used to build EverQuest Next – AI and Dungeon Master powers among them.
So: what do you make of it? Don’t be afraid to read everything we know about EverQuest Next before coming to a conclusion.