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Norrathian Notebook

Norrathian Notebook: Landmark's latest patch packs an armored punch

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Free-to-Play, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Norrathian Notebook:  Landmark's latest patch packs a punch
Wowsers! While we knew that September was a month of bug squashing and that meatier content updates would return to Landmark, this latest one seems extra juicy. It could just be that everything feels like a feast after a famine, but I think it's more than that -- and not just because it took multiple posts to announce the changes. Besides being tantalized with a bunch of new goodies right now, I get the impression that we are in for regular doses of content, content, and more content as the dev team revs up for open beta. And these changes are also glimpses into the ongoing development of EverQuest Next. Who doesn't love that?

As it is, I am pretty excited to delve into this content update, Armor? Appearance slots? Additional weapon abilities? Ability to template the movers, flingers, and stuff? Lava?! Heck, yah -- serve it up.

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Norrathian Notebook: EQ Next's 'workshop collaborations'

Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Races, EverQuest Next, Norrathian Notebook

Last month we embarked on the journey of corralling the remainder of the EverQuest Next Round Tables for you, adding the fifth installment to the previous four. But that last roundup did not quite bring us up to date. Why? It wasn't just a matter of space: There was a fundamental shift in the round table discussions that I felt warranted a separate Norrathian Notebook.

The next section of round tables were focused on the collaborative efforts of the devs and the community in building and shaping EverQuest Next. While there is a smattering of other topics sprinkled in, the bulk is dedicated specifically to the Norrathian races and building collaboration. As such, many of the polls were more time-sensitive; some have closed, and some were just more relevant to determining design direction during the specific The Workshop Show series. However, the information is still valuable, and opinions can still be shared on a number of the proposed questions. If you have an opinion on coloring, racial mounts, and architectural styles, this is the collection of inquiries for you.

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Norrathian Notebook: Seven things EverQuest Next and Landmark really need

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Crafting, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Norrathian Notebook: Six things I really want to see in EverQuest Next and Landmark
What do I want to see in EverQuest Next and Landmark? I know that is a question that all of us have asked ourselves and each other. Heck, even the developers ask us this! It's a key component in the open development process; it is the discussion of these answers that lead to some great ideas. So in the hopes of sparking another meaningful conversation (and hopefully giving the devs a few ideas!), I'm going to detail five things that I desperately want to see in these upcoming titles. While most of these items are a wish list for both games, there are a couple that are title-specific. I am not going to dwell on those desires I have brought up in the past or things I have already talked at length on, such as player-written books, theme-enforced Islands, and larger landmasses of multiple islands for more seamless experience. Instead I hope to present seven more morsels of food for thought, and hopefully you'll add your ideas in as well.

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Norrathian Notebook: EverQuest Next round table roundup V

Betas, Fantasy, Polls, Video, Opinion, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Norrathian Notebook:  EverQuest Next round table roundup V
Combat, combat, PvP. That can pretty well sum up a lot of Landmark's chatter recently. That's understandable, since it is the newest feature to hit the sandbox. But that is certainly not all there is to talk about. There are plenty of topics of interest that cover both EverQuest Next and Landmark, and a number of these are touched on in the regular roundtable discussions.

It's been quite a while since we've gathered these all up into one concise spot for you to peruse (so long that Landmark lost part of its name in the interim!), so here's the fifth installment of the roundtable roundup. Poke through this collection and check out what other players and devs are saying about various issues. You can even participate in many of the polls if you haven't yet and add your voice to the mix! Even if some topics seem old, remember that none is irrelevant; the games are both still under development, and player input is always a good thing.

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Norrathian Notebook: Ten must-see PvP arenas in Landmark

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Guides, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

As soon as Landmark's PvP combat launch date was announced at SOE Live, a number of players dived in and started building arenas in anticipation. Not even hours after the update went live, there were fully functioning battle claims ready to welcome players to their death. Over the holiday weekend, that number exploded. In fact, there are now 10 (and growing) pages of PvP-labeled claims in the gallery to sort through with 50 claims per page. With so many choices already, how do you know where to go to check things out? Folks don't always have the time to mosey through all the choices themselves. That's where Norrathian Notebook comes in!

From the first PvP claim I poked my head into (live, no less!), I planned to visit as many as possible and build a guide to highlight these creations. So I've compiled a list of 10 -- of the many -- Landmark arenas that I personally think are worth a visit. Please note, this list is by no means all-inclusive, and narrowing down the field was no easy task! There are plenty more out there and more coming all the time, so be sure to explore any that catches your eye and send your finds to us!

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Norrathian Notebook: I tasted Landmark's combat and I like it!

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, PvP, Free-to-Play, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Better late than never, right? At long last, after months of only mining and voxel magic (and then an overnight delay), I have finally partaken of the Landmark combat fruit. And oh, how sweet it is! Of course the system was just barely implemented and is in only its first iteration, but that doesn't stop me from sharing the experience I had upon first logging in to check things out. So in I jumped just as soon as servers went live... and there I lost the rest of my day.

Even with the inevitable bugs, I was not disappointed by my first few hours of this update. There are flingers and teleporters, weapons and proximity mines -- plenty of things to keep a slightly wacky mind occupied. And who can leave out the new joys of fall damage? Here are my unadulterated first impressions of that much-anticipated system.

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SOE Live 2014: The revolutionary intelligence of Storybricks' AI in EQ Next and Landmark

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

SOE Live 2014 The revolutionary intelligence of Storybricks' AI in EQ Next and Landmark
The most exciting part of EverQuest Next and Landmark for me is the living, intelligent AI brought to the games courtesy of Storybricks. Thanks to a tech demonstration at SOE Live, we got to see that AI in action, and can I tell you I am even more excited having seen it! This technology really will revolutionize the game, creating a living, breathing world in EQ Next that players help shape as it develops as well as give players the power to make their world come alive in Landmark. And to add icing to the cake, the panel also delved into the background of the new Norrath a bit, revealing the world map complete with familiar areas (like Kithicor).

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SOE Live 2014: Details on EverQuest Next combat, classes, and races

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Norrathian Notebook

We heard you: You want more EverQuest Next info. We do too! And here at SOE Live we've been getting all of that for you! Between the keynote address and our chats with Creative Director Dave Georgeson, Senior Producer Terry Michaels, Lead System Designer Michael Mann, andLead Designer Darrin McPherson we've discovered the next race to be announced, learned about the three newest classes, and watched a demonstration of those classes in combat. Get your first glmpser of EQN's Teir'DAal race and check out the Cleric, the Elementalist, and the Termpest.

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Norrathian Notebook: How to improve your Landmark building skills

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Guides, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

What goes through your mind when you come across show-stopping Landmark builds? Do you just admire them, or do they also pierce your confidence and remind you of your own less-than-phenomenal skills? Some folks see another player's masterpiece and are inspired. while others get discouraged. Don't let it discourage you! Previously, I offered a few hints on how to avoid discouragement; remember, it's perfectly natural and OK to not have uber building skills. Besides that, you don't even have to build because when all is said and done (and released), there will be game enough for everyone, regardless of construction prowess.

But what if you really want to improve your skills? In that case, the first thing you need to do to restore hope in your skills is to stop comparing your abilities to others. Trust me, there will always be someone who can create circles (literally) around you in Landmark. Instead, focus on what you can do and on improving from there. If you really desire to make some specific awesome creation that you can see in your mind's eye but can't it make work in voxels, take the time to hone your skills. You may never join the upper echelons of the truly constructionally gifted, but that doesn't mean you can't make something great that you can be proud of! This guide will help point you in the direction of polishing and practicing those voxel manipulation skills.

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Norrathian Notebook: The ups and downs of Landmark's open development

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Open development: It definitely has its ups and downs. And Landmark players are getting plenty of first-hand experience with this fact.

Back in the early stone ages of MMOdom (think baby Ultima Online and EverQuest first crawling on the scene), massively multiplayer online games were more like boxed single-player games: You waited and pined for it until it shipped out (in yes, an actual box!) and then you ran to the local games shop to nab your copy on the launch date. If you even knew about the existence of the game before, you still had to wait until that box was in your physical possession and the game loaded on your PC to find out what it was actually like. Before that moment, only the devs and reviewers at gaming magazines really knew.

Boy, have things changed!

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Norrathian Notebook: Building EverQuest Next in Landmark

Betas, Fantasy, Contests, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Norrathian Notebook: Building EverQuest Next in Landmark
From the first surprise announcement of Landmark at SOE Live last year, fans have been interested to know how exactly that sandbox would tie into the much anticipated EverQuest Next. In big bold letters on the main site, the devs declare, "EverQuest Next is still in development... and you can help us build it!" So how exactly is that going to come to pass? Through Landmark.

Landmark might be a separate game in and of itself, but players can actually build structures there that might one day be gracing the landscape of EQN. At first, we knew only that those structures would be judged and picked through contests. However, with May's racial Round Table vote and the recent implementation of The Workshop, the actual process has begun. And you can get in on it right now!

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Norrathian Notebook: SOE says bye-bye ProSiebenSat.1, hello Landmark Player Studio

Fantasy, EverQuest II, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Double the pleasure, double the fun! SOE made two big announcements Wednesday that brought smiles to the faces of many fans. One said goodbye; the other said hello. But both were good news indeed, especially for Norrathians.

Sometimes parting is just sweet, without the sorrow. Such is the case with the first bit of news: the departure of ProSiebenSat.1 from SOE. That's right, my European compadres, rejoice because SOE is bringing you back into the fold! The deal that quickly went sour for fans squished between the US company and the European partner is over, and SOE's titles are returning fully to its portfolio while region locks are being lifted. I can hear you all singing hallelujahs and dancing in the street!

The second bit of news worthy of celebration was the launch of Player Studio in Landmark. Although it arrived later than anticipated thanks to the international tax registration processes, the wait was worthwhile because players from not only the U.S but also Canada, Sweden, France, the UK (yes, including Ireland), Germany, Norway, and Denmark can now submit items for sale to other players. That means that aspiring money-makers and non-builders who want to buy their cool items can finally find one another and do business. And that just paves the way for the system to work in EverQuest Next.

As great as the announcements are, neither is without a few downs mixed in with the ups. Norrathian Notebook explores both bits of news to get you the necessary details.

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E3 2014: Underground and underwater with Landmark's Terry Michaels

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Patches, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

You didn't need to be at E3 2014 to partake in Landmark's latest (literally) groundbbreaking patch. In fact, if you were at the con as I was, chances are you haven't been able to log in and experience it for yourself yet! Luckily, Senior Producer Terry Michaels was on hand to offer me a peek at the new features before I broke down in heap of deprivation-induced agony from my Landmark withdrawals.

What was the big deal with this latest update? It included the first iteration of caves and the second phase of water. Players can now go spelunking deep in the earth to find large veins of minerals, explore uncharted biomes with new plants, and even find treasure chests filled with special items. On top of that, they can swim through the bright blue oceans that surround each island. As Michaels helped me get my Landmark fix, we talked about everything from the newest content to heroic movement to my pet topics: player books and theme-enforced islands. Oh, and did I mention that combat is planned to appear by SOE Live in August?

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Norrathian Notebook: So you aren't Landmark's greatest builder

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

The walls are lumpy. The stairs are crooked. You couldn't make a statue of a blob if your virtual life depended on it, and everyone comments on your creative Koi pond that's actually a fireplace. So you aren't Landmark's greatest builder. Join the club! Despite how it may appear at times (especially when you see majestic jaw-dropping creations plastered all over Twitter and featured in livestream tours), there really are a number of us. So who cares if you can't build a voxel replica of the Taj Mahal with the Bronx Zoo on the side? Well, you do if your perceived lack of skills is keeping you from enjoying the game!

It can be hard when you see such amazing builds springing up around you; it's easy to get discouraged if you are one of the skill-impaired. I already know of players who have lost hope and even some of their interest in the game because they feel their skills are not quite adequate. But I'm here to tell you that you -- yes, you -- are indeed a valuable member of Landmark's community and we need you. So for those without any leet building skills, here are some tips for avoiding creative frustration and ways to more fully enjoy the game.

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Norrathian Notebook: The key differences between EverQuest Next and Landmark

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Guides, EverQuest Next, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

What's the difference between EverQuest Next and Landmark?

If we've heard that question once, we've heard it a thousand times, which is understandable, considering EQ Next has been totally scrapped and re-imagined more than once and Landmark came literally out of nowhere. Until recently, the two even shared a name; EverQuest Next was dropped from Landmark's moniker when closed beta started at the end of March of this year.

We certainly haven't heard the last of the question, either. With new folks finding out about the games and getting interested in them, it's likely to come up a few more times. Those who haven't been following the development of the games from the beginning have a lot of material to plow through to find answers to their questions. For that reason, Norrathian Notebook is going to address the differences and similarities between the upcoming titles in one fell swoop. Hopefully, with a concise reference we can call on again and again, the confusion will dissipate.

So what is the difference between EQN and Landmark?

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