While I’ve been a little down about the whole direction of Landmark and the cancellation of EQN, I decided to check out the newest Landmark update that dropped yesterday. There appeared to be a lot of technical difficulties right out of the gate for them, however. The update took 2 days to complete, they put the game up for an hour only to pull it down again for another 7-8 hours.
When it did come up, it was kinda done quietly. The Landmark Twitter announced:
Landmark servers will be unlocking to players shortly! We appreciate your patience today, and we’ll continue to monitor Landmark servers.
— Landmark (@LandmarkGame) March 24, 2016
…but they never actually Tweeted again to let us know it was running. I just happened to try to log in and found it working. But, I didn’t actually get into Landmark until late last night without enough time to fully check things out.
Here’s what I did see.
Character Creation Changes
Our old characters got wiped, so it’s time to roll a new one. There’s a slightly wider array of character creation options. A new height slider. A few new hair styles. Three styles of outfits (fantasy, sci-fi, western). But still not a large range of creation options.
I did like the new female hair provided, so I picked one and went with it, heading out as quickly as possible with the intention of getting a
claim build site (ugh) on some choice piece of land.
Strange New World
I was dropped into this underground looking area to begin with. It seemed that’s where other folks were dropped, too, as I actually saw a good number of people there along with me. I have no idea what this place was, or if there was any sort of tutorial, as it seems the old helpful tutorial got nixxed.
I saw some people moving castle props around, but for the most part, I was standing there in confusion. There was no portal spire in sight on the map. Just this large, cold cavern with people milling around, probably as confused as I was.
After clicking through the new UI, I noticed a blue portal stone icon in the top menu. Clicking it took me to what I wanted – a way to warp out of there and find actual land to claim.
Apparently, we no longer need stones to port (fine with me) as I was able to freely hop between servers and islands until I found one I liked. The only problem was, I didn’t have a claim flag in my inventory, so I couldn’t claim any land yet.
I did some looking on the forum, and found it was a minor bug. Restarting the game put a claim flag recipe at the crafting station. Too bad I had already run all the way out to a prospective claim spot… Warping back, I made my flag. I then hopped around the islands to see what land was available.
The islands seem smaller than I remember, to be honest. There were a few claims near to the Spire, but for the most part, the land was still quite claimable. This was either because most folks didn’t know the server was up, or if they knew the server was up, they had no idea how to get out of that first cavern.
After I grabbed some land… and decided to check out this new starter area they set aside for new players. The land was intended to be flat and easily buildable. Most of the plots were already taken up, but my big beef with it is… why did they stick the new player section in a bland biome like tundra of all things? Really?
I might fiddle around with the quests and building when I find some time. Not sure yet. I was a bit disappointed that they took away the cute little house prefabs that we had before and replaced them with unwieldy-seeming castles instead. I just wanted a little house on an island. And I’m not willing to pay DayBreak points to get one in a game that I’m not even sure if I’m going to invest a lot more time in.
So far, the start felt… clunky and unstructured. We have a quest journal, but you had to go look for it. The old tutorials are gone, and I think those actually went a long way in helping someone newly spawned along. I’m not impressed with the stark, cold box-like structure of the level-land island for new players. Make it green or something, but all that tundra just turns me off.
I sure hope they don’t force that kind of structure on all players eventually.