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.
Last June, Daybreak offered the ability for folks to change their looks to become more in line with the various fantasy races of Norrath. The implementation may not have been the greatest, but the ability to make Orcs and Dark Elves and such was definitely something the community wanted. If you haven’t had the chance to make yourself into an Orc, an Elf, or a Dark Elf, take advantage of it now! Everything in the cash shop (which has sadly been totally gutted) is only 1 DB, which means you can buy the pack for pretty much nothing and have a go at prancing around as a different race. You can also change it up a few times as there is also a big pack of Lumens for 1 DB so you’ve got in-game currency to squander. I bought the fantasy pack myself and plan to spend some time as a different race or two before the Apocalypse.
2. Dig to the center of the world
This is seriously something I think every early supporter did within the first days of that alpha release. Back then, we had only picks, but we still played a rousing round of Dig Dug and aimed straight down. Later, we were blessed with pulverizers, these massive spinning arm cannon tools that cranked through the dirt and stone like a super gopher. If you have never tried this, you’ve just gotta. It’s a true Landmark rite of passage. If you have already done it (probably multiple times), do it one last time to relive that early exhilaration.
3. Sign the farewell wall
Before everything is abolished, you really should add your moniker to the memorial wall. We actually had one in game right before the big alpha-to-beta wipe, and I love looking back at images of that every so often to relive the memories of that time. I definitely need to carve out time from my build tour to stop in and carve my name on the wall. I’ve already got the wall recorded on stream once, and closer to the end I will do so again. Lots of memories dance in my head reading each of those names, along with some regret at not getting to know a few folks inscribed there even better.
The easiest way to get to the wall is to go to the Gallery and type sunset wall or goodbye wall into the search bar. Then, you can port directly there. If you want to hoof it there the old-fashioned way, you’ll find it located to the west of the main spire on Rebellion, Snowcapped wilds; Maque is the claim owner. Don’t worry if you don’t feel skilled in making signage. If you don’t have your own letters, you can copy templates there to write with. You can also be creative and add some embellishment to your signature, like Shyshadow’s creepy octopus or Ogrsnot’s giant statue.
4. Swim around an island
I am not sure why I haven’t done this one sooner, but it is on my plate to accomplish now. I have swam out to the barrier until I could swim no farther, but I’ve never made a lap around the map, so I am going to jump in the water at one end of an island and completely circumnavigate it. Why? Well, why not? The water in Landmark is some of the most gorgeous water in games, and I seriously love it. I want to enjoy this feature just a little bit longer.
5. Grappling hook races
I’m telling you, if you haven’t done this one you are totally missing out! One of the most entertaining modes of transportation in the game is movement by grappling hook. So get a friend or two together, pick a start and an end point on an island, and take off! Maybe you’ll try to cross an island from east to west or from north to south. There’s just a special exhilaration to zipping across the landscape. Zip. Zip. Zip.
I know I said you can’t experience everything in Landmark before it is gone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience what you can! The ability to create actual stories and adventures here is amazing, and you just can’t replicate this ability to this degree in any other game. Once the doors close here, you’ll lose the opportunity to participate in a player-made dungeon/story/adventure built literally from the ground up. Who knows when or if we’ll see the likes of this again. So jump in, use the gallery and sort by story, then just jump from claim to claim with no down time.
There are more than just stories, too. Thank to the mechanics, players were able to build puzzles and mazes. Use the puzzle tab in the gallery to take you to those. Folks even made life-sized games (but you may not find enough players to start one).
I don’t have the room here to list out every awesome claim you should be sure to stop in and enjoy, but feel free to add your favorite must-sees in the comments so others can find them!
7. Tour with a scavenger hunt
While you probably have no chance at getting to visit every single cool build, you can make it to quite a few if you do a scavenger hunt! The rules are to find a claim that matches an item on your list, jump there, record the name and builder, snap a screenshot, and head out to the next item. The first one to meet at the designated ending spot is the winner. Items can include things like finding an alien, a Santa, a cat, a castle, a swimming pool, a Snoopy, a racial build, a Ferris wheel, a train, etc. There are just so many possibilities! I will actually be hosting a scavenger hunt on OPTV next week, so join in on Wednesday, February 15th for the fun!
I know many have already been doing this, but without a game to come back to, all we will have are the memories — and all those screenshots and videos that we take! Jump in game and get a selfie at your favorite spot. Get a group shot with all your friends. Go nuts and just run around the world spamming your screenshot keys with reckless abandon (why oh why couldn’t they have ever made it a single key press?!). Don’t hold back. If nothing else, you can be assured that no amount of screenshots you take will ever fill the amount of space that Landmark did on your hard drive. Videos, however, might eat up quite a few more GB of space.
9. Watch a sunset
No, no, no — I don’t mean that sunset. This isn’t some evil form of masochism; I’m not attempting to rub in the fact that Landmark is heading toward the ultimate sunset. I’m referring to a regular in-game one. Actually, this is a very personal kind of must do for me. You see, my favorite thing to do in games (and life) is to stop and just watch a sunset. Forget about the hustle and bustle and all the to-dos I have to piled in my life or gaming — just take a moment to enjoy that simple pleasure. To me, a beautiful sunset is a moment to reflect, a moment for appreciation. And honestly, I do want to take a few moments (or more) and reflect on this game and what it has been in my life, and I most certainly have much to appreciate about it and because of it.
Finally, choose your final resting spot. It might seem like no big deal, but after having lived through a few sunsets of beloved games already, and chronicling others (like Asheron’s Call and Asheron’s Call 2), I can’t discount the value of choosing where it will end for you. A part of the process of letting go is actually going out in some special spot that has meaning. In Star Wars Galaxies, four of us who grew very close in game went up in a ship together. I danced, we reminisced, and then we gathered in the cockpit and hit hyperspace right as the servers went dead. It was quite a moment. In Vanguard, I went a bit of a different route; we actually had a GM come over and spawn us a dragon to show off and fight. Both are special memories to me.
Perhaps you already know where you want to complete your Landmark life. It could be on one of your claims, or on your favorite claim built by another. Maybe you want to meet in a group with a bunch of other Landmarkians (I’m never going to call anyone a Luminary) and party it up. If you don’t know yet, however, you’ve got time to scope out some sweet spots to lay your head. Personally, I am undecided if I want to hang with the crowds at the last moments, or go bury myself in my own personal cave. Maybe I can build a cave near the end-of-the-world party…