This week’s Massively Overthinking comes to us from Xijit — and I think you’ll agree it’s quite timely.
“In light of The Secret World getting reworked into more of a single-player or online-but-not-actually-an-MMO title, what other MMOs would you like to see downgraded from the full MMO format and turned into a single-player-focused or limited multiplayer title?”
I’d like to say I can speak for everyone and say NONE ZERO NEVER STOPPIT. But I bet our staff — and you — can probably think of a few MMOs that might be better suited for a different format. Let’s dive in to this pool full of poop jello and fight it out.
Is it too soon — or perhaps too pointless — to wool-gather about EverQuest Next? After all, that MMO project is deader than dead, so dead in fact that it killed off Landmark just to be thorough.
YouTuber Daily Quests assembled a short video remembering the brief, hopeful, and ultimately disappointing saga that was EverQuest Next. It’s good as a refresher course if you forgot how this all went down or perhaps as a method to roil up the blood if you have achieved a state of perfect calm.
If you can stomach the pain, check out the video below!
Believe it or not, there were actually people who played and enjoyed Landmark — and were saddened to see it taken offline. To kick off this week’s roundup of interesting MMO blog posts, we turn to those who knew and remembered Landmark with their words.
“The game, once just a bullet point on the EverQuest Next announcement at SOE Live, has been shut down,” The Ancient Gaming Noob said. “The web site and forums have been hidden away and the domain resolves to the Daybreak main page. The few remaining fans have had their final look at the lands of… erm… <does Google search>… Lumeria! That was the name of the place.”
Superior Realities took a tour on its last day: “That, really, is what was special about Landmark. You could go to any map, walk in any direction, and in no time flat you’d be sure to find something beautiful, fascinating, or awe-inspiring. The traditional wisdom is that if you give players the tools to make their own content, the vast majority of it will be utter crap, but Landmark was stunning refutation of that notion.”
Continue our roundup as bloggers dissect problems with The Secret World’s combat system, share tips on how to grind LOTRO points, mull over why it’s hard to go back to the “olden days,” deliver an early access review of Revelation Online, and pontificate on why theme park MMOs simply work.
Call this episode “tangent city,” because it doesn’t take much to send Bree and Justin down conversational rabbit holes! From discussing why Champions Online failed to pick up City of Heroes’ refugees to going on epic rants against gankboxes, you’ll need a flow chart and a five-dimensional mind to follow all of the topics of today’s show. Good luck!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
Landmark’s servers blinked off for the very last time last night, with our own EverQuest franchise columnist MJ Guthrie there to stream the end. The sandbox hadn’t even reached its first birthday after its long-awaited but still hasty launch last year.
“Such a waste,” former SOE and Daybreak CEO John Smedley remarked on Twitter. “It’s tragic to see this game turned off. EQ Next would have been brilliant based on it. We could have done it.”
We’ve rounded up some memories from the current and former Daybreak and SOE reps, plus we’ve included MJ’s stream and some of our favorite Landmark content in the last couple of years.
Parting is such sorrow, but there is certainly nothing sweet about this one! Massively OP’s MJ is forced to say goodbye to a game that really captured her heart and imagination; come 7:00 p.m. EST, Landmark is closing forever. To say she’s not really happy about it is an understatement. So many amazing creations will be lost, an amazing community will be homeless, and the MMOverse will lose something unique. With two hours left before the islands are blown up, what will MJ do? There’s so much more to see. Join us live at 5:00 p.m. for the final two hours.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 5:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
Time is running out! This is Landmark’s last weekend, and there are still too many things Massively OP’s MJ wants to enjoy and experience in game. There’s simply no way to get to every build, but she has to try; the amazing creativity of this community deserves to be admired, applauded, and archived. So starts a weekend of racing to try to get in all the spooky houses, grand castles, alien ships, and everything else before the world goes dark. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. as MJ visits as many sites as possible. You can even suggest some to see!
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 17th, 2017
Emily “Domino” Taylor, long-time EverQuest franchise crafting wizard at SOE and now Daybreak, announced that she’s leaving the studio at the end of the month — just a week after Landmark sunsets, in fact.
“I love SOE/Daybreak & am super sad to leave, but it feels like time to return home to Canada, and remember what shoveling snow is like!” she tweeted. “More news on new job once I start. Fear not, I shall still tweet food and cat photos, and shall lurk around the world of Norrath.”
MMOs, like any other hobby, have their own terminology. We have the term “newb” for new players, “noob” for players who aren’t actually new but still make new player mistakes, and “n00b” if you want to sound like an insufferable weirdo from the aughts. But we also have a lot of terminology that just plain doesn’t work any more for a variety of reasons, like “pay-to-win” and “hardcore” and so forth.
That does not, however, mean that we do not need our specialized terminology. Indeed, while some of our older vocabulary is not up to the tasks of modern games, I think a great deal could be accomplished just by adding some new words to our lexicon. So let’s create some brand-new terms (or codify existing ones) so that we can, in fact, have shared words to describe scenarios that we encounter on a regular basis.
As promised, today Massively OP’s MJ is running a Landmark scavenger hunt. She’s put together a small list of items she needs to go find on builds, but you, the viewers, will complete the list! What items will she hunt for as she shows off more builds before the sunset? She needs to discover and document:
- swimming pool
- movie star
- Star Wars
- a fire pit
Of course, the hunt is more fun when there are more involved, so she invites you to also come along. Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. to suggest some items as well as participate in the hunt yourself. Maybe you can be the one who finds them all first!
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
TUG, better known as The Untitled Game, burst onto the scene in May of 2013 with a Kickstarter, which didn’t elicit the same groans and annoyance back then as it does now. It raised almost $300,000 to complement its existing investor funding by promising a creative sandbox built by academics. Alpha launched as promised in July of 2013; the planned 2015 launch didn’t seem an impossibility. In fact, when it hit Steam in 2014, it seemed like it might be a true success story for the genre.
But then the game ran into some weird issues. Yogventures!, the Yogscast-inspired Kickstarter game, was canceled, and its developers transferred code and assets to Nerd Kingdom, offering up copies of TUG (and later, Landmark) as consolation prizes. A key TUG investor then effectively backed out, leading to mass layoffs for the team and the search for new investors, which it ultimately found. Multiplayer finally arrived in early 2015, and a number of patches followed that year, but the game lingered in what was effectively a survival sandbox mode (now referred to as 1.0) far from what was originally promised.
Every time Massively OP’s goes to visit one Landmark build, she sees more in the distance to visit. At this rate she’ll never get to even a smidgen of what she wants to before the game shuts down! But that doesn’t mean she won’t try. Join us live at 1:00 p.m. as MJ continues racing through to show off as many builds as she can. Do you have a favorite? Let her know so she can stop by!
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 1:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 10th, 2017
T minus 11 days and counting. That’s all the time Landmark has left. That’s not a lot of time. If you haven’t built all your intricate ideas yet, chances are you won’t be able to bring them to completion in such a short span. I’ve resigned myself to never seeing some of mine come to life. And if you want to try to visit and experience all the great creations out there, you’re going to be hard-pressed to pull that off. There just isn’t enough time; it is all going away much too soon.
You may not want to do anything at all as the sunset creeps closer. Perhaps you feel you have done all you can do in the game, and you feel secure with closing this final chapter. Perhaps it just pains you too much to log in knowing it will all be gone in less than a fortnight. I know some folks that have even uninstalled the game already. Me? Thanks to a video card fire, I am actually installing it now! I am getting it on my new laptop so I can enjoy every last minute I can squeeze out of my favorite building game because even if I can’t do all I want to do as far as creations, there are still things to do.
What are they? I’ll tell you: Here are 10 things you really should experience in Landmark before it’s gone. And if you have already done these, do them again to relive the experience — because once those servers shut off, it’s lights out for good.