Just a word of warning, everything in this post is going to change in the future. I’ve already heard some of the plans they’re putting into place surrounding claims, but I still wanted to record what claims were like when alpha first released.
Getting a Claim
Having a claim is probably one of the most important aspects of EverQuest Next Landmark. It’s your own spot of land in the world where you can create to your heart’s content. The only problem was, the team underestimated the number of claims required for alpha testers to do their job. Not only that, but the initial claim system was somewhat confusing, leaving people to claim in haphazard ways, which didn’t utilize all the land that is actually out there.
The good news is that SOE created a lot more space, starting with the first released new world, Serenity. They then added 39 new islands across all the servers and removed any double claims and claims made by now deleted characters. This added lots of room!
So how do you get a claim? You start with a claim flag,
which is an item in your inventory. Update 3-27-14: As of closed beta, you have to craft the claim flag from one of the stations at any island hub. Then I checked the map for area that seemed open for claiming. You can see other people’s claims on the map as a small square surrounded by a larger square. This larger square is some sort of buffer area, which (if I understand rightly) reserves the extra land around your claim for you to add to your claim and make it bigger in the future. The buffer seems huge to me, and it’s sometimes confusing if an area is open for claim or not because of it.
Update 2-9-14: This has been changed. You can now see claimable land and other player claims much more easily on the map!
Once I arrived at the location that was open for claim, I used my flag from my inventory. This places you on a 3D overhead map to make your claim. While on this map, you can raise or lower the location of your claim (if you want to get that claim up on a mountain top, for example), then left-click to confirm.
For my first claim on the day of alpha release, I spent an hour or so running over the islands, looking for a spot to plant my flag. Somehow, I ended up on a Tier 3 island, caught sight of a clear area on the map, and made for it. While was closer to the hub than some claims, progress to it was blocked by a huge mountain. Every time I wanted to run to my claim, I had to make my way around this mountain and over some rough terrain, which was probably the reason why the spot was unclaimed when I discovered it.
I just tried to plant my flag a few times, found a sweet spot between buffers, and lucked out.
After they added a new server, which interestingly has become the high population server, and the new islands, I pulled up my flag to hunt for a new spot. I was a bit worried about deleting my first claim — maybe I wouldn’t get my flag back or maybe I wouldn’t find a new claim at all — but both worries were unfounded.
I easily located a new claim on the Draw island of Courage server, not too far from the spire. I’m extremely pleased with this location, which is a Tier 2 island, because it finally gives me a chance to build and place machines that I visibly see other people using. I got many waves and “hellos” as others deforested the area around my claim in search of burled wood.
The claim map is not very intuitive to use at this point. The team knows that, and has put out their ideas of how to fix the issue so folks have a better understanding of what land is open to claim. That, along with new worlds, will do a lot to ease the trouble testers are having with finding their own spot in the world.
When you have a claim, several things (should) happen:
- The server list on login displays a number 1, indicating you have a claim there
- The island list also displays the number 1, indicating which island your claim is on
- You can find your claim on the island map, most easily by unchecking all filters except My Claims
Again, all this is going to change in the future.
As you approach your claim in the world, you’ll see this pretty little box that shows you the claim’s borders. Everything inside of that box is yours to command!
When you walk into the claim, your name and welcome message pops up at the top of the screen. You can customize both of these to your liking. If you visit other people’s claims, you’ll see the same on theirs.
Currently, none of the claim privacy settings are in place. However, this is the UI for claim settings as of this point in alpha.
As you can see, there will be upkeep management eventually, based on the size of your claim. This means that you can lose your claim if you’re gone too long and don’t provide upkeep.
You can also delete, reset and even sell your claim. I’m curious and slightly concerned about the idea of selling claims, but since there is no in-world currency right now, I’m not sure what it can be sold for.
Apparently tags are going to be an important part of claim searching in the future. Sorta like tagging on Tumblr or Facebook, this allows other people to find your claim based on a theme or topic.
At this moment, that’s all there really is to know about claims. Again, I know large changes are coming and I’m looking forward to documenting these changes over the life of the alpha.