This week’s Landmark Live stream has wrapped up. It included details about some great new updates coming to Landmark in a "meaty patch" this week, including some new props, as well as a fan Q&A. If you missed it, or simply want a quick recap, read on!
Colette “Dexella” Murphy, Community ManagerSteve Klug, Technical DirectorOmeed Dariani, Senior Brand ManagerTerry “Fairan" Michaels, Senior ProducerEmily “Domino” Taylor, Producer
Landmark Live kicked off with a segment featuring Technical Director Steve Klug. (For the moment, they’ve called it Tech Talk, but that might be subject to change.) Steve addressed the topic of the spinning gears Landmark alpha players have noticed on their UI, which are often associated with a hitching or rubber-banding effect. He explained that this occurrence isn’t generally due to network lag as it might be in other games (although it still can be). Since players are constantly changing things in Landmark, this effect happens because the game’s visual assets are built on the fly rather than housed client-side. The gears mean either that the game data has not arrived yet or that your CPU is still “crunching the numbers.”
Fans should be aware that moving through the game quickly (by using speed buffs such as the Scout’s Emblem or grappling hooks) can intensify the effect because the player is moving through the game faster than the system can generate information. However, as you move through the game and more information is cached to your disk drive, the problem should decrease. There are also future optimizations planned that should lessen these occurrences. If you notice extreme behavior related to the spinning gears and rubber-banding, please post it to the official forum so the tech team can look into it.
Producer Emily 'Domino' Taylor demonstrated the inlay technique. See the Twitch video at about 21:00.
The patch planned for today has been pushed back, possibly to Thursday. Watch the forums for an update soon. Some of the great things planned for this patch include:
Is there a way to do mini claim permissions? (eg. - I only want people to touch this building, but not that one.)
“We don't intend on going smaller than a per-claim basis,” said Terry. But you can have different permissions on your attached claims. You might dedicate one claim to your builds only and allow others to build on an attached claim, for example.
Some people prefer the old smoothing tool. Will there be any further updates to smoothing? Could we potentially have both tools in the game, the old one and the new one?
The team is working on giving a finer level of control to the new tool. Once that has been accomplished, they'll look into incorporating things from the old smoothing tool that people liked. They would prefer to keep the toolset unified, rather than complicate it with more tools.
Will there ever be painted materials?
SOE wants to be careful about giving too many options along those lines because of the limitations on how much the engine has to render, but they're looking into it.
Will there be wheel props?
"We're constantly working on expanding the number of options people have to work with," said Terry. The wheel is an example of something that will be in Landmark; it just hasn’t been added yet.
Some of the texture bleeding is useful, but could there be an option to turn it on and off?
"This isn't something we'd probably have a check-box on the given texture for," Terry said. Texture bleed is controlled by the developers on a per-texture basis. There are some textures that are intended to bleed for blending purposes and others that don't. If you don’t want a texture to bleed, simply choose a different texture. For example, raw copper will bleed into other textures but worked copper will not.
Will we see permissions on chests?
Yes! On this week's update.
If I give permissions to my friend and my friend builds something objectionable, will I be liable?
From a pure gameplay perspective, you're responsible for what people do on your claim. If SOE’s customer service determines that the claim represents a trademark infringement or is unsuitable, the entire claim will all be removed, not just the objectionable segment. Don't give people permission to build on your claim unless you trust them.
Do you plan to support microvoxels with future tool improvements?
“We want to find ways to make them work,” Terry said. For instance, recent undo changes made microvoxels easier to work with. One of the things SOE has been talking about is actually having a microvoxel as a native tool size to eliminate the voxel-shrinking step.
If I build on someone else's claim, whose resources are used?
Your own. You can trade resources with the claim owner if you want them to donate to the cause.
Will character creation be expanded?
Absolutely. "Over the past five weeks we've been working on further customizations. You can expect to see some of that when we open up the closed beta," said Terry.
Am I going to be human forever?
Right now, yes, plan on humans only in Landmark. Things may change down the road, but for now Colette suggests you "get used to your human skin."
When's closed beta?
On or before March 31. SOE hasn’t given an exact date, but it’s coming.
We know that those who purchased Settler packs we’ll be getting into Landmark when closed beta launches. Will Trailblazer or Explorer packs still be available for those who want the extra prestige items?
Yes. And it’s advantageous to be a Trailblazer because they will get at least a 48 hour headstart period after the closed beta wipe to secure claims and begin building.
SOE is also evaluating making package items even better, as well as making sure that Founder’s Pack purchasers get items that are truly exclusive and not found elsewhere in the game. "We want you to feel like you got a good value if you purchased one of the founder's packs," said Terry.
"We're working to resolve issues with that. We're going to re-grant them inside closed beta so that you can use them again." - Terry
Omeed Dariani introduced a new Landmark Live feature in which we’ll get to meet the developers and learn a little more about them. (“It’s just the tip of the iceberg about these people,” he said, in a nod to one of his comments in last week’s live stream.) This week he introduced fan favorite (and possibly the dev with the most fan marriage proposals - no lie!) Emily “Domino” Taylor. Here’s the gist of their Q&A session.
What is a pentapod?
Emily used to work for Sony Pictures in England. Someone brought little five-footed stuffed creatures in to work one day. They became popular, and folks started referring to them as pentapods. Emily started sewing pentapods for her coworkers, and they were in high demand. (There were rasta pentapods, some with glowing eyes, and even one that made a sound that Omeed described as “truly horrifying.”) @Pentapod is Emily’s Twitter handle as a result.
What do you do outside work?
Emily makes pentapods. She likes to cook and bake a lot. (We’ve seen the cookies she bakes for her teammates on Twitter. They look delicious.) She also makes costumes. Her Weeping Angel (from Doctor Who) costume won this year’s company Halloween costume contest.
“I like to play games, obviously,” Emily said, “but sometimes I need a break so I like to make things with my hands.”
What games do you play besides Landmark?
EQ2, board games, Cards Against Humanity, etc.
Terry surprised stream viewers by presenting four new paintings that will be added to Landmark as props with this patch. Here's a peek at a couple of them.
Colette and Omeed gave a shout out to the launch of EQHammer’s brand new User-Generated Content (UGC) system. We’ll be giving away coveted Prime Grappler codes to the first 100 approved submissions to the UGC system. Create a guide, blog, or other great piece of content and contribute here.
This Sunday is the 15th anniversary of the original EQ. There will be a special EQ franchise themed show next Wed. If you've built an homage to EQ content in Landmark, let the team know via the forums or Twitter so they can feature it.
SOE is engaged in a year-long celebration - the Year of EverQuest. Not only is EQ turning 15 next week, but EQ2 will turn 10 in November. "It's going to be an amazing year for the franchise, and we're going to celebrate it every chance we get,” said Terry.
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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