I am very much in love with the idea of having water in Landmark. Water is planned for phase 2 as detailed in the recently published roadmap. These continents we live on will hopefully be surrounded by water. The only real hint we have right now is this teaser quote:
Oceans: These are static bodies of water surrounding the islands. When oceans show up, we can start doing interesting things with our coastlines and real estate choices will be a lot more interesting.
I’m going to let my imagination spin up and tell you how I see this all playing out.
Imagine the continetns are surrounded entirely by water yet connected via zone lines like you have probably experienced in the EverQuest franchise, Vanguard, or even WoW. Swim our far enough and you can technically swim to another island or continent. What if you could do more than swim…
BOATS! Or Ships.
What if you could make ships and sail around the water?! These could be hand-crafted like something you would see right out of minecraft. Players could craft a very particular piece of a boat like a basic hull and then be allowed the freedom to spend resources on the boat to make it look however they want. A simple checks and balances could be implemented so that the bigger the boat (the more resources/voxels attached) the slower it goes or the more upkeep must be spent to maintain the boat’s presence in the world.
The other option would simply be to make them craftable like props. Find the rare schematics for bigger boats, spend a TON of resources on them, and pay a huge upkeep like you would a claim. Heck, make the boat actually take up one of your claims just to activate it and tie it to your character.
I imagine sailing around finding a place to drop anchor and dive into the water to find resources. I can think of ways to implement fishing, under-water resource gathering, and all sorts of sailing mechanics.
If done well, the oceans could be significant in size around each continent. This would open up the opportunity for little archipelagos all around the each continent for people to explore, find resources, and settle on. I would sail my boat around to each of them just for fun.
Sea Monsters. RAWR!
When combat is implemented into the game, imagine the opportunity for sea creatures. Even UO manages to pull this off with monsters staying in the water shooting at players on a ship. They could drop scales used for crafting, props for decorating houses, and other resources. Or maybe they just guard neat islands.
Water Claims and Player Created Islands
What if the oceans could be colonized and claimed? I imagine this being identical to how land is claimed right now. You take your flag, and claim water. You can claim on the water and above or sink your claim down in for an under-water base. My guild was talking last night about our plans to hopefully one day be able to place our claims all next to each other and create an island nation. Imagine being able to place the blocks for ground of the island, or create a floating city. So much creative energy can go into imagining how existing systems can be implemented in cool ways.
All of this works toward achieving the goal many of us players have of seeing Landmark start to feel connected like a real, big world. The emphasis stays entirely on ‘living’ in this version of Norrath rather than on just one thing like combat or advancement. Crafting, exploration, and building remain paramount.