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EverQuest Next

The Stream Team: EQ Next Landmark's last alpha update

Betas, Fantasy, Video, New Titles, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Livestream, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content

Last week EverQuest Next Landmark introduced cooperative building. And now that alpha is almost over, there are even more goodies in game to explore. Groups? Check. Group harvesting? Check. Wild and crazy shenanigans? Always -- as log as Massively's MJ is involved! Join MJ as she delves back into the lands to see all that she can see before the big closed beta wipe next week. She'll be live at 4:00 p.m. to catch possibly the last glimpse of the alpha landscape.

Game: EverQuest Next Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, March 21st, 2014
Time: 4:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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EverQuest Next Landmark going into closed beta next week [Updated]

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Sandbox

Landmark
SOE announced today that EverQuest Next Landmark will be transitioning out of alpha next week and into closed beta on Wednesday, March 26th. During the transition, all progress on the alpha servers will be wiped except for saved templates, character names, and Founder's Pack purchases.

Landmark also got an important update today, the biggest part of which is the addition of a party system. While there is no specific UI for it yet, players can invite friends to a group through slash commands, via a friends list, or by right-clicking on them in the world. Groups earn a 20% bonus to harvested loot.

The update also added in-game email, social media integration, and the ability to teleport to the continent hub or to your friends.

[Update: The Landmark team has also posted to explain the differences between time-limited beta keys and founder packs.]

In-game weather is really important to the EQN Landmark community

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

EQN's Terry Michaels and Omeed Dariani
EQN Landmark's latest roundtable video, hosted by SOE senior brand manager Omeed Dariani and senior producer Terry Michaels, is all about in-game weather. With the new technology behind the game, Michaels explains, SOE can make weather a major gameplay factor.

Dariani says that the Landmark community responded with a resounding desire for immersion and for weather to be "a real part of the world." That said, Michaels explains that weather is not on the immediate roadmap for the next few months. It's a core system, he explains, "but it's not something that needs to come in before groups or guilds."

Michaels also suggests that Jeremy Soule's music score will change based on seasonal or weather variations. Click past the cut to see the full discussion via SOE's latest roundtable video.

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Landmark will be included in SOE's All-Access program; latest EQ Next roundtable video now live

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, MMORPG

Landmark
SOE has today updated the FAQ for its multi-MMO All-Access Program. Among the update highlights is the news that EverQuest Next Landmark will be included in the All-Access program, but not in time for April 16th. What else do you need to know that you didn't know before?
  • Every participating game will clearly show players when they've received their monthly 500 Station Cash.
  • Multiple-month memberships will not grant all of their bonuses at once.
  • Existing silver memberships in EverQuest and EverQuest II will be grandfathered but no longer available to newcomers.
  • Separate accounts for different SOE games will remain separate.
  • Multiple game memberships on a single account will be merged into a single All-Access membership reflecting total game time and rated on the oldest membership.
In EverQuest Next news, SOE has posted up its latest roundtable video, this time discussing whether a single character should be able to do ALL THE CRAFTS. We've embedded it below!

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The Stream Team: Touring EQN Landmark's cities

Betas, Fantasy, Video, New Titles, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Livestream, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content

Just because EverQuest Next Landmark doesn't have NPC cities doesn't mean there aren't any. From quaint little outposts to detailed villages, enterprising players have created their own. And with the the addition of attached claims, those places are getting even grander! So Massively's MJ is hitting the cobblestone streets to take you through some of these areas that make you want to move right in. Join us at 5:30 p.m. EDT for the tour!

Game: EverQuest Next Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Time: 5:30 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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SOE has big plans for EverQuest, EverQuest II, and EQN Landmark in March

Fantasy, Video, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Interviews, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next

The Year of EverQuest may still be in its early stages, but that doesn't mean that things are going slowly. EverQuest, EverQuest II, and EverQuest Next Landmark have all churned out their share of updates (not to mention EQNL's alpha launch!), with plenty more on the way.

And to let you in on what's in the pipeline for these three titles, I got to speak with all the games' producers -- EQ's Thom Terrazas, EQII's Holly Longdale, and EQNL's Terry Michaels -- as well as Franchise Director of Development Dave Georgeson about March's upcoming content. To help illustrate their words, we've also embedded a video after the break that highlights that very content.

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EverQuest Next Landmark throws a fashion show

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Sandbox

Landmark
Attention class! Pull up your chairs and mist your eyeballs because it's time for an EverQuest Next Landmark fashion show!

SOE put out a short video today showing off the various models and colors of outfits that are in the game, including the sleek sci-fi Colony outfit, the steampunky Victorian outfit, and the utilitarian Adventurer outfit. There's also a "coming soon" teaser at the end with concept art hinting at other types of outfits.

Give it a watch after the break and let us know what you'll be wearing in the game!

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Composer Jeremy Soule reiterates EverQuest Next exclusivity [Updated]

Fantasy, Guild Wars, MMO Industry, Guild Wars 2, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, The Elder Scrolls Online, Music

EQN
Composer Jeremy Soule won't be going back to Tyria, as he reminded fans today that he has signed a contract to exclusively create MMO music for EverQuest Next and EverQuest Next Landmark.

On his Facebook page, Soule responded to a fan's query about his future projects: "No, I won't be returning to Guild Wars. EverQuest has an exclusive with me for the future projects that involve MMOs. [Guild Wars] was a good experience over many years. As with all good things, it had to come to an end."

Soule was the main composer for Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. He has also contributed to The Elder Scrolls Online main theme but will not be doing any other music for that title.

[Thanks to Bogotter for the tip!]

[Update 3/12/2014: Soule's agent has contacted us to clarify that his exclusivity to the EverQuest games is lime-limited and is unrelated to his abbreviated work on ESO. We may yet see him return to the Elder Scrolls franchise in the future!]

The Stream Team: The hunt for creativity and checking out new EQN Landmark biomes

Betas, Fantasy, Video, New Titles, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Livestream, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content

The hunt for creativity in EverQuest Next Landmark is never done, and now there are new biomes to explore as well! After a brief tour of the Tundra and Old Growth Forest, Massively's MJ will resume the hunt. She has spied a few specimens of creativity in her travels; she's even been ambushed by random creativity in unexpected places. Hidden lairs, lampposts -- there's no telling what she'll find this time. Players are getting even more intricate in their use of micro voxels, so join us live at 3:00 p.m. EST to see some creativity run wild.

Game: EverQuest Next Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, March 7th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Today's EQN Landmark patch expands horizons with new biomes, attached claims

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Crafting, Player-Generated Content

When the EverQuest Next Landmark servers come back up from today's update, alpha players will have more places to build on, more things to build with, and more room to build in! Twelve new islands are opening on each world, each one featuring one or both of the brand-new biomes: Tundra and Old Growth Forest. And with new biomes come new building materials; players will be able to test out the new smoothing tool on the likes of snow and ice sculptures. Plant, rock, and tree prop recipes have also been temporarily added so players can craft the items needed to complete (and finally use) templates including them.

Although there are plenty of bug fixes also included in this update, perhaps the most significant news for space-starved architects is the fact that attached claims are finally being added with this update. Players will be able to craft additional claim flags and place up to two alongside their current claim to expand their property.

Norrathian Notebook: What EQN Landmark's business plan says about you

Fantasy, Business Models, New Titles, Opinion, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook

As surely expected by all involved, EverQuest Next Landmark's proposed business plan ruffled a few feathers. After all, it's a given that you can't please everyone. And also just as expected, some folks are crying foul; you can't have SOE say boo without someone screaming doom and gloom. But has the studio laid a big goose egg with this monetization plan? I say nope. It may appear a little scrambled in an aspect or two, but the majority of it seems to sit pretty well with players.

In a nutshell, the strategy as currently outlined focuses on selling cosmetic items like outfits and pets, shortcuts (like potions, paying upkeep, and renting market space at the hubs), additional claim flags, claim music/sound packs, and raw materials. We know what the actual plan itself says because it was posted front and center on EQN Landmark's alpha forums, which are viewable by the public. But instead of dissecting what the plan is, today I'll focus is on what it says. It's more than just the sum of its words; the plan says something about SOE. And did you know the plan also says something about you?

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Jukebox Heroes: Top 40 MMO themes, #30-21

Aion, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World, Free Realms, Mabinogi, Wizard101, EverQuest Next, Miscellaneous, The Elder Scrolls Online, Jukebox Heroes, Age of Wushu, Music

GW2
We're back with our second part of our Top 40 MMO main themes countdown, this time digging into the middle of the pack. To repeat my self-imposed rules for this list: I limited myself to just one theme from a particular title, even if there were multiple themes in a game. Entries had to be a main theme or the closest equivalent of that; they had to be from MMOs, not from MOBAs; and I had to divorce my weighting of the track itself from the popularity of and my experience with that game. So there were no points added or subtracted based on my love of the game; I'm counting down the best music, period.

If you missed the first part, check out themes #40-31. Otherwise, hit that continue button and get listening already!

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Landmark video diary hints at the Pulverizer, new harvesting tools

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crafting

Landmark tools whiteboard
It's time for another EverQuest Next Landmark video dev diary. Your host is EQNL lead systems designer Michael Mann, and he's a got a lot to say about harvesting tools. He enlists a bit of help from lead character artist Kacey Helms, who takes viewers on a journey from in-game axe concept to finished in-game axe model.

Next up is lead animator Aaron Carlson, who shows off mining animations, followed by VFX artist Lisa Charriere, who explains what SOE's thinking in terms of particle effects. Finally, we're treated to a sneak peak of the Pulverizer, which is a new tunneling tool currently in the works. Click past the cut for the full video!

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The Stream Team: Building Massively's golden yacht in EQN Landmark

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content

Crayola Castle be darned; Massively's MJ has a better idea for her EverQuest Next Landmark plot! She's going to meticulously handcraft the infamous Golden Yacht in honor of all the awesome staffers at Massively, past and present. It will be a long endeavor, but you can get in on the ground floor of the project now and watch it develop over time (unless co-op building permissions come in soon, and then you can actually help!). Pull up a seat and join us at 7:00 p.m. as we pull into dry-dock and get the party ship started.

Game: EverQuest Next Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, February 28th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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MMO Mechanics: Predicting the future of MMO game mechanics

World of Warcraft, EVE Online, EverQuest Next, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, MMO Mechanics

MMO Mechanics title image
I've been thinking heavily about the future since our parent network's budget cuts were announced, so I decided it would be very apt to pen my last edition of MMO Mechanics with that same train of thought. The industry has changed remarkably over the last decade with trends like the free-to-play revolution and innovations in everything from loot distribution to quest design. In my previous article, I looked at the trend toward using procedural generation and what that might mean for the future of MMOs.

In this article, I'd like to give a better overview of where I think the genre is headed in the coming years and what that means for game mechanics. My predictions are based on market patterns and technology developments, including the great indie revolution, the effects of declining subscriptions on investment, and upcoming virtual reality technology. Pie-in-the-sky fantasy or an accurate predictor of things to come? Let me know what you think.

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