Every day the Wise Druid encounters confused people who wonder, 'What's the difference between EverQuest Next and Landmark?' While there are some similarities, these are actually two very different games. Here's a handy reference to help you understand these two titles in today's Ask the Druid.
This article was updated May 12, 2014 during Landmark's closed beta.
Dear Wise Druid,
I run into a lot of confused people every time I post on a forum or talk about Landmark and EverQuest Next. I know SOE has tried to remedy this, but it still feels like a lot of folks don’t know the difference between EverQuest Next and Landmark. Would you please clear things up for them?
Stop the Confusion
My Dearest Confusion,
When confusion reigns, consider me the coup d'état. You’re right that the gaming community is rife with misunderstandings about the similarities and differences between the two games. I do think that recent press coverage of Landmark has made a dent in the confusion, but I’m happy to offer up some more detailed information. Here goes!
Is a free-to-play MMO meant to be played by thousands of players simultaneously. Still in closed-door development.
Is also a free-to-play MMO meant to be played by thousands of players simultaneously. Currently in public closed-beta. Players may purchase access via a Founder's Program or acquire a time-limited (7-day) beta key.
A high fantasy game that, although thoroughly innovative in a lot of ways, uses a more familiar MMO setup with classes, races, combat and quests.
Focuses on exploration, discovery and creativity. Players roam the wilds finding resources with which to construct everything from buildings to battle mechs to space ships to giant spiders made of stone. (Think of a highly advanced version of Minecraft with a simple-yet-sophisticated toolset.) Check out SOE's What is Landmark video for details.
Uses a multi-classing system in which players collect and independently progress as many as 40 individual classes.
Will have one class - the Adventurer - which switches roles by switching weapons. A player might choose a sword and board to melee, and swap out to a staff for ranged DPS. Landmark's combat system is not yet implemented.
Has multiple EverQuest-lore-based races. They haven't all been announced yet, but they currently include humans, elves, dark elves, dwarves, kerran (cat people), and ogres.
Will launch with one race - human. SOE is exploring the idea of possibly bringing in additional playable races later, but will likely choose to stick with humans only.
EverQuest Next takes place in Norrath, the high fantasy land of its predecessors, EverQuest and EverQuest II. Although the lore will be different, there will be familiar places and people.
Players can build anything they like (as long as customer service allows it) in multiple uniquely themed locations called biomes (current biomes include desert, tropical, tundra and old growth forest.) Creations can range from fantasy to sci-fi to modern and everything in between. SOE will host challenges inviting players to submit creations. Some competitions may be based on EverQuest art styles, and winning builds will have a permanent place in EverQuest Next.
Uses an active heads-up sort of combat (which has been compared to MOBA-style combat) with an 8-button hotkey configuration. Each class will have two weapon sets, and the weapon choice affects which combat abilities are available. NPCs will use highly intelligent "emergent AI" and will adapt to your combat tactics in order to keep you on your toes.
Will have combat, but possibly not at launch. Combat will serve more as a means of defense while gathering resources. (Combat has not yet been implemented in closed beta.)
Has a parkour-style movement system called Heroic Movement. Characters will be able to leap, flip, slide, glide, vault and so on.
Ditto (although features such as glide and vault are not yet implemented). Makes exploration that much more fun!
Will have player housing.
Is all about creating houses (castles, keeps, rocket ships) and more.
Will have crafting, although little is known about it at this point.
Is all about crafting. Players will discover materials and recipes to use in creating things like housing props, clothing and tools. Crafting is in an early development stage in closed beta currently.
Will have questing, although EQNext turns it on its ear. Gone are the days of linear questlines where players run from hub to hub collecting quests from NPCs with exclamation points over their heads. Instead, a player may encounter a village besieged by orcs and have to decide how he wants to engage - kill the orcs, ask the villagers what they need help with, or seek out the orcs' nearby lair and remedy the problem at the source. (Or maybe all of the above.)
It's unknown whether Landmark will have much in the way of questing because questing is not its focus. However, eventually Landmark players will have the tools to script their own scenarios. As SOE develops the tools for creating EverQuest Next, they will put them in the hands of Landmark players. When that happens, Landmark becomes similar to a build-your-own-MMO experience.
Takes place in a voxel-based, destructible virtual world. Players will be able to destroy buildings and terrain. (Unless SOE wants it permanently destroyed, the world will "heal" after a period of time.) Destruction will lead to new adventures, opening up things such as caverns and hidden ruins in which to explore.
Is all about the voxels, baby! The world is also destructible, but in a way that leads to discovery and the collection of building and crafting resources. In Landmark, the purpose of destroying something is so that you can construct another thing. (The world also "heals" after a period of time, so that mountain you virtually tore down will not stay strip mined forever.)
A launch date is as yet unannounced. It's safe to say that EverQuest Next is in the early stages of pre-alpha development. It is unlikely to launch before 2015. You can apply for beta at the official site.
Players may gain access to closed beta testing by purchasing Founder's Packs. Time-limited (7-day) beta keys for closed beta will also be available from many sources. Landmark is currently in closed beta, and an open beta date has yet to be announced. Apply for beta at the official site.
There are certainly even more differences that I could describe here, but these are the basics. Feel free to post your questions in the comments, or add a few differences that you've noticed.
Yours very truly,
Karen became hopelessly hooked on EverQuest when she wandered into Norrath for the first time, immediately fell off one of the Kelethin platforms, and had to ask a Bard to find her mangled corpse. She's gained a few skills since, and logged more hours than she cares to count playing all kinds of MMOs. The EverQuest franchise remains her favorite. Relying on her druidic wisdom, she pens a weekly column, Ask the Druid, every Thursday. Send your questions to her at shayalyn [at] tentonhammer.com.
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