Potential Landmark Features

I’ve been thinking a lot about Landmark, the features I want for the game, and ultimately the game I think or want Landmark to become.  For the last 3 days I have done nothing but build.  I haven’t gathered any materials or crafted any items.  I’ve strictly been experimenting with various textures, arrangements, and tools to see what I am personally capable of constructing. I can easily spent 3-4 hours building without realizing time has passed, and knowing my ability to do the same thing in Minecraft for weeks at a time makes me confident that I can keep enjoying the even more complex building of Landmark.

My mind has been drifting toward the future and what features they can add to really make progress and achievement present.

EQNL-MachinesResource Gathering – Harvesters

Star Wars Galaxies comes to mind.  We needed a lot of resources to craft items, often rare ones, to craft and make certain items.  To gather resources in the beginning you had to go our and survey the land by actually walking out to the spot, kneeling down, and using your ability.  Later as you progressed there were options to create machines which harvested for you.  These machines had upkeep costs and burned fuel.

I think harvesters of some sort could work in Landmark.  Imagine progressing to the point where you can create a harvesting machine like something you see in the image here to the right.  It extracts minerals from the ground and stores them in a hopper with limited space.  You would have to craft the fuel, pay the upkeep, and check back often to empty the hopper.

Harvesters would take up physical space, and like SWG would require you to use one of your ‘claims’ slots.  Finding a resource to place your harvester on could be like SWG as well, and completely independent from the physical mining gameplay.

Maybe harvesters are used to find different resources entirely.  Perhaps there are some so deep and dangerous to mine that individuals can’t find them with a pickaxe.  I could also see the idea of mining removes entirely, and machines (again like the one above) used as refineries to process combinations of materials over long periods of real world time.  Combine copper and tin to make bronze, but it only makes 1 every hour.   My mind is spinning on this one.

Resource Quality

What if there were different variations of a resource.  For example, I find an Iron deposit in one area and you find one in another.  My Iron has an overall quality score of 86 (with some form of sub-stats like durability, conductivity, etc), and yours has a score of 76.  Maybe mine is better to make physical weapons with, and yours can be used to make arrow heads.  I’m just spitballing here but hopefully you get the idea.   That way we have to really explore and work hard to find better resources.  Heck, what if it combines with the idea of the refineries I mentioned above?  Combine certain copper with certain tin (finding a great combination of sub-stats) to make the ideal hybrid Bronze to craft something special.  This will make crafting a much more intricate and involved experience as well.

Item Durability & Resource Permanence

In its current state, Landmark suffers from infinite resource syndrome.  There’s nothing in the game to remove resources — yet.  Maybe claim upkeep will require 5,000 stone and 2,000 copper per day.  Otherwise, I’ll quickly be throwing it away.  I’m trying to think of ways to remove resources from the market.  When combat is added and we can use weapons, maybe those weapons should break.  Maybe mining tools should break.  If harvesters are added, maybe those should need repairs.  I want opportunity costs.

I’ll stop with those for now.  If you have any ideas, I’d love to know what direction you think Landmark should go.  So much potential for an already adventurous and amazing game.

  • We still really have no clear picture of what kind of “game” Landmark is going to be. A lot of alpha players are convinced it’s a construction set, not a game at all, for example. Those people just want access to the tools and resources immediately so they can get on and build. I would hope that there are “Free Build” servers specifically for those people because potentially that’s a large market and probably a profitable one.

    Then there’s the old-school craft lobby. Like you, they seem to want various hybrids of systems they remember affectionately from other games, most especially SWG and UO, where it was all about increasing your skills and techniques to be able to make better and better things. That bunch seems quite happy to have a fair amount of resource gathering that the first group would probably dismiss as useless, pointless grind, but ultimately they, too, mostly want to make stuff.

    After that you have a vocal minority that wants a fairly unforgiving exploration model. They’re against most kinds of convenience, especially fast travel, and they see difficulty of access as content. They are far less focused on the end result, the building, being much more interested going out into the world as an end in itself, not just a means.

    All those groups have significant sub-sets and divisions of opinion and most of them seem to be ignoring quite a lot of what SOE have said about Landmark in the past. For one thing, SOE have repeatedly said that Landmark isn’t just a building environment but a full-feature MMO. We know we are getting mobs and combat; the character sheet has weapon slots, too. We also know public events are planned (Altars being the only type so far revealed). I believe at some point a storyline was mentioned and there has been at least one mention of PvP that quite possibly was meant seriously.

    In addition, it has been stated on several occasions that Landmark will give players access to most (I think they actually said “all”) of the tools they’re using to make EQNext and that was specifically confirmed to include the Storybricks AI. The implications of that are impossible to quantify at this stage – how an open world would function with mobs running AI instructions allocated them by players just boggles the mind.

    Speculation is fun but even now we are playing the game I don’t believe we have anything like enough information to predict what it will actually be when it comes to launch. Possibly beta (which has to start in just six weeks or so) will make things clear but frankly I doubt it. I’m just going to carry on building and gathering and take what comes.

  • Harvesters definitely could have a place in Landmark. Landmark really has no lore to speak of at the moment despite it using the Everquest name so there are lots of possibilities going forward. I think it would be cool if harvesters that you place down on a spot could actually spawn some characters that work the land gathering the resources. For instance you lay down a mine shaft harvester on a spot and after a few moments a few miners spawn and just roam the spot digging and working. There could of course be saw mills, farm structures, iron mills and any other sorts of harvesters. I would like to see a cost to produce these and then an upkeep cost as well.

    Resource quality… absolutely. Anything that will add complexity and depth to a crafting system is good and resource quality is a great feature. This ties in directly with durability which I also agree with.. if things never break people cease to gather.

  • I agree with Bhagpuss. There are still so many unknowns about what Landmark really is, and a lot of competing interests. I think if Landmark really wants to be successful it should go the Minecraft route and just support player-run servers with custom rulesets. People can have their “godmode” server with their friends, an “adventure mode”, etc.

  • The ability to craft one’s own mob would be cool. I could set up my own mom and pops demonology shop!

  • It would be neat to use the Storybricks AI to create harvester’s, but what of materials do you use to build NPC’s and functions?

    Right now I’m just enjoying working on my house (Pics here: http://thematicdissonance.blogspot.ca/ )

    My most wanted feature at this point in time would be the removal of islands having ‘tiers’ of materials, and have it dispersed out everywhere.

  • I don’t think that metals of the same name should have varying quality. What would make more sense to me would be ore quality or purity. Refining your raw material would always give the same quality of resource but depending on the quality of the ore you either get more final resource and or the refining costs more time and other resources.

    Everything should have permanent durability and eventually represent a loss of resources. Otherwise there is no enduring value in crafting at all, and eventually none in resource gathering. This could be done in ways that make sense though. Things could be partially salvageable. Old blades could be used as scrap to make new ingots. Stone walls broken in battle or by the elements and time could crumble to gravel or smaller rocks.

  • I think it would be great to have variations of ore or refined metals (based on crafter skill?) to give at least small variations on crafted items. So the quality of a sword would, in-part, depend on the quality of the metal used.

    I wonder how these two games will compare to earlier efforts? I’m largely ignorant of SWG’s crafting model (other than a friend always telling it was the “best ever”). But for instance in EQ2 with the dungeon maker you are largely limited to items you have found (or bought) – that fits the ‘explorer’ emphasis more than the ‘builder’, no?

    It contrasts strongly with, say, the Forge in Neverwinter which immediately gives the would-be dungeon maker all available content to design their own stories around. I know the two systems are not necessarily comparable but there’s a tension here between fostering a strong in-game player-driven economy and the desire by some for creative freedom…