SOE discusses claims in their first EverQuest Next Landmark livestream of 2014.
This evening's EverQuest Next Landmark livestream was helmed by Senior Brand Manager Omeed Dariani, Community Manager Colette "Dexella" Murphy, Senior Producer Terry Michaels and Lead Designer Darrin McPherson.
Colette encouraged those attending the EverQuest Community Event on January 31st to email firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know where you're coming from and how many people are coming with you. Demo and on-site tour participation require an NDA, and those who are under 18 must have a parent or guardian present.
Terry and Omeed went on to discuss the alpha, stressing that the game will be in an earnest alpha state with it estimated to only be about 65% or so complete. Alpha testers will be integral to assisting with not only finding bugs, but also helping to shape the game. A "DevTalk" feature will eventually be introduced, enhancing the dialogue between developers and community in-game.
Moving onto the subject of claims, Terry stated that your claim is your little protected part of the world so that others cannot come by and destroy your work there. You will eventually be given the ability to hide other people that are on your claim. Terry also stressed that not everything mentioned today will be available even at alpha launch, and plans may change as development continues.
"Don't get married to anything you see here, because it can change..."
We were shown how you place your claim, using a claim flag ability (which you need to earn first through gameplay) and deciding where the claim is at your current location. Everyone can see other people's claims, but you can control what permissions others may have there. Each player may have multiple claims, but there will be a limit as to how many.
Your claim will have upkeep to keep you engaged in the game and so the world doesn't become an "elephant graveyard" of abandoned claims. If your upkeep lapses everything is "saved for you" and the only risk is that you will lose your space in the world.
You will be able to expand the area you're capable of building in by placing/joining a claim close to another one you have. The current claim area is 70x70x100, but may be changed later on. Once you choose a claim spot, you will instantly have access to build inside of it. When placing a claim, it will be locked to the grid. Terry explained that this is so you can build entirely within your claim, otherwise you may not be able to build on edges where you only own partial grid space.
Darrin said that along with your personal inventory and vaults, there will also be chests to store "things like props" on your claim. The chest will be unique to the claim, meaning that you would have to return to that particular claim to retrieve items from it, whereas the vault storage is smaller, but global.
Moving between servers will be easy; for example, you can can mine on whatever server you like, then can carry the materials between servers. Claims are unique to the server you place it on, but you can use those materials from other servers on your claim.
Initially there will be buffer space between different people's claims. The devs will watch in alpha and see if joining claims with other players' claims is desirable; they will be looking for tester feedback to make that decision. In the longterm the team plans on allowing claim transfers to other players, or you could package up a claim and sell it on Player Studio.
During the testing phases, when there is a wipe (that is not a full character wipe) SOE will package up what you have built so you don't lose your work. This should save your template, though there was mention that you may have to go get more resources. Claims will be wiped at the end of Closed Beta (we assume at the end of Alpha as well), but will not be wiped at the end of Open Beta.
When asked about navigational aides, Terry explained that the map will be particuarly useful, showing you not only your own claims but others' claims as well.
Many players were wondering if you could claim underground areas or join claims on top of other claims. The response is that you can attach claims horizontally in alpha, and that vertically should eventually happen, but maybe not much underground since a lot of "exploration gameplay" is down there. Another dev comment was that you "own" vertical space above your claim even though you can't build on it.
Day one alpha players (and no, there's still no date, sorry!) can expect building, exploration and claims to be available, along with some crafting. There will be no combat in alpha; this will be added in during later stages of development. Alpha will have an NDA, which anyone who purchased a Founder's Pack or registered for beta already had to sign.
Will there be danger in Landmark? Yes, definitely... as the game progresses combat will eventually be added. There will also be other hazards....
If you want to see the livestream in its entirety (runtime is 55 minutes), check it out on Twitch TV! UPDATE (Jan 16): SOE removed the livestream recording this afternoon, citing "technical difficulties."
Ann "Cyliena" Hosler, Managing Editor