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.
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 creativity. Players roam open worlds (islands) finding resources with which to construct "builds," which can be anything their imaginations can conjure from castles to sculptures to space ships. Landmark also has tools to allow players to become game creators and build PvP arenas. Eventually, players will also be able to script PvE AI to create dungeon scenarios.
Uses a multi-classing system in which players collect and independently progress as many as 40 individual classes.
Has no specific classes. Players "are what they equip." Landmark uses itemization to allow players to switch roles and play styles depending on the weapons, armor, and specialty items they equip.
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 has developed a Workshop program, inviting builders to collaborate on racial architecture styles for EverQuest Next. Eventually, player-created builds may appear in EQNext.
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.
Also has an active, heads-up MOBA-style combat, but abilities are weapon-based. Equipping a certain weapon type grants the player two distinct abilities - one tied to the right mouse button and one to the left. Currently combat is available only on PvP enabled claims created by players. SOE will soon implement PvE combat.
Has a parkour-style movement system called Heroic Movement. Characters will be able to leap, flip, slide, glide, vault and so on.
Ditto. Specialty Heroic Movement items also contribute to player abilities. This makes exploration that much more fun, and is also very useful in combat.
Will have player housing.
Has advanced tools and materials for creating houses (castles, keeps, rocket ships) and more.
Will have crafting, although little is known about it at this point.
Has many crafted items. Players harvest materials to use in creating things like housing props, clothing and tools. Crafting is still a work-in-progress in the current closed beta.
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. Current estimation puts Landmark's open beta launch some time in early 2015. 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.