Your Next: Just a Building Game

If you’ve read this column before, you probably know I prefer to be optimistic, to look on the bright side when it comes to the future and deal with problems as they arise. I’d rather not waste energy worrying about things I can’t change. You may have even worked out this column is meant to be about EverQuest Next and Landmark, though I hide it well sometimes.

So it takes a lot for me to say that for my personal relationship with Landmark as a player, this is a low point, and I can’t see it swinging back in the near future.

As people who write about these things are so fond of saying—Big Changes are coming to Landmark. If you haven’t heard, you can catch up with the official forum post.

The changes have been presented as dialing back the overlap with EverQuest Next to make room for something that works better for Landmark. Personally, I don’t buy this at all; these changes show a marked change in direction when it comes to how Landmark operates as a multiplayer experience.

Here’s a quick list of what I’m specifically referring to:

  • Making basic building resources free and removing some higher tier crafting materials entirely
  • Allowing all resources to be harvested with any tier of equipment
  • Streamlining or removing most material refining and processing
  • Decoupling weapon and armor crafting from tool crafting
  • Removal of the Ether Stone, and Ether Shards for most recipes
  • Removal of Salvaging
  • Removal of variation on crafted items, upgrading and relics

The way I see it, this is a change designed to bring in those people interested in the building aspects of the game when the game soft launches into open beta, they are currently the game’s core audience, so it makes sense to build on that foundation (puns everywhere). However, this is at the expense of any feature that ‘gets in the way’ of the building systems.

The Scrying Pool: Necromancer's Dreadknight

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The Scrying Pool is a Guild Wars 2 column where I simply ask what if? Nothing is off the table as I dive into possible features and future content, looking at what currently exists in Guild Wars 2 before I answer my own what if question with how I think the feature and content could be implemented.

This week we continue the speculation series covering the new specialization feature coming in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Starting off, I had given my general speculation specialization before jumping into the profession specific speculations with Guardian’s Cleric followed by Engineer’s Mechanic and Elementalist’s Mage. This week I dive into speculation for another profession with Necromancer’s Dreadknight.

Greenlight Special: Izle and Monochroma

Hello once again, intrepid internet explorers. In my quest this week, I wanted to shake things up a bit and “go for the funny” which is something I pathetically chase in my day-to-day life. However, I found my initial search parameters of “funny” to lead me to some disturbing, albeit amusing games. Twitch chat was horrified, which is a feat unto itself. In any case, I was luckily handed one of the games this week, Izle, in a nice email from my Managing Editor. The other game, Monochroma, I discovered going through the annals of Greenlight history.

Formerly Hardcore #4: Adventures in BRF, Part 4

Hello and welcome to the 4th edition of Formerly Hardcore, ZAMs column on Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft. For our fourth column, we’re continuing our look at WoW’s latest raid, Blackrock Foundry. So far we’ve covered eight of the ten encounters in BRF, as well as some talk about my experience with using WoW’s Group Finder tool and Looking For Raid difficulty. That leaves us with two bosses to go.

Greenlight Special: A.N.N.E. and Black Ice

This week for the Greenlight Special, I revisit PAX East (I know, all the way back in March) and some of the indie devs we visited while there. There wasn’t nearly enough time to delve into the IndieMega Booth, so I feel it only right to go back over the video notes we did grab. You know, for science reasons. That applies, right?

The Scrying Pool: Elementalist's Mage

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The Scrying Pool is a Guild Wars 2 column where I simply ask what if? Nothing is off the table as I dive into possible features and future content, looking at what currently exists in Guild Wars 2 before I answer my own what if question with how I think the feature and content could be implemented.

This week we continue the speculation series covering the new specialization feature coming in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Starting off I had given my general speculation specialization before jumping into the profession specific speculations with Guardian’s Cleric followed by Engineer’s Mechanic. This week I dive into speculation for another profession with Elementalist’s Mage.

Rocket League: Interview With Thomas Silloway

Rocket League is an upcoming physics-based sports game that will premiere on the PlayStation 4 later this year. We recently had a Q&A with Psyonix's Project Lead, Thomas Silloway, about the game, its features and the upcoming PS4 beta.

For those who didn’t play Rocket League’s predecessor, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars, could you explain what kind of gameplay this title will offer?

"Sure! Rocket League is actually a pretty simple concept: Football (soccer) meets motorsports. All the same rules of traditional soccer apply in Rocket League, of course, except we're using vehicles instead of people -- and each one of those Battle-Cars has a high-powered, supersonic rocket engine strapped to their rear-end.

"Our game is also heavily reliant on realistic physics, which makes position and speed an important factor in how you play. We've also given our vehicles the ability to jump, which allows players to do bicycle kicks with two tons of aluminum and steel. All in all, we think it's pretty cool."

Skyforge: First Impressions

Earlier this year My.com, the Allods Team and Obsidian Entertainment announced that Skyforge, their upcoming sci-fi MMORPG, was getting ready to start closed beta testing on March 11th. At the time I hadn’t been following the game, so I was going into it blind. All I knew was that it was sci-fi and there was a guy with a giant gatling gun that transforms into a flamethrower. Since I’m a sucker for anything with a flamethrower (see also Bounty Hunters in Star Wars: The Old Republic), I was interested enough to pay for one of the Founders Packs and get into the closed beta. That was almost a month ago and we’re currently wrapping up the last week of CBT2 testing after a week of downtime following CBT1. So what are my thoughts on the game?

Camelot Unchained: Q&A with Mark Jacobs

Camelot Unchained is an upcoming Realm vs Realm MMO in development by City State Entertainment. It has been two years since the completion of its successful Kickstarter and the game recently entered Alpha 1 testing phase. We chatted with CSE's President Mark Jacobs about what players can expect from Camelot Unchained.

The Scrying Pool: Engineer's Mechanic

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The Scrying Pool is a Guild Wars 2 column where I simply ask what if? Nothing is off the table as I dive into possible features and future content, looking at what currently exists in Guild Wars 2 before I answer my own what if question with how I think the feature and content could be implemented.

In the last couple of weeks, The Scrying Pool started its speculation series covering the new specialization feature coming in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Two weeks ago I gave my general speculation specialization before jumping into the profession specific speculations last week with Guardian’s Cleric. This week I dive into speculation for another profession with Engineer’s Mechanic.