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The more keen observers among you may have noticed that I’ve stopped writing posts about Everquest Next Landmark. The fact is I’ve cut way back on playing it for 3 main reasons.

First, I’ve done as much as I want to do over again. 🙂 I ground out all the gathering I needed to do to make all the building tools and that was plenty, since I know everything is going to be wiped when we transition from Alpha to Beta. I actually didn’t mind the grind: mining is actually pretty fun (chopping trees much less so) but I don’t know if doing it all a second time will be as much fun. So now when I do log in it’s just to play around with building.

I should note that templates will survive the transition from alpha to beta, so I could be building cool things to throw down come beta but…

Second, I’ve become kind of discouraged. Early on I was building stuff that I actually felt a little proud of, but every day we see a dozen incredibly awesome projects that make mine look like crap. So unless I’m going to quit my job and live off of someone else’s money so I can spend 8 hours a day working on my Landmark claim, it hardly seems worth ‘pushing’ to get anything built right now. When more facets of the game get put in there may be more practical reasons to build; we’ll see. Or maybe I’ll just have fun gathering and fighting. This is my Sour Grapes reason for not playing.

Third, I made the age-old mistake of visiting the forums. As with just about every official forum in MMO land, it’s a toxic place and spending time in it just leaves me not wanting to have anything to do with the game or the community. What makes the toxic forum situation worse than normal is that, in theory, we bought into alpha so we could have a voice in the design of the game. And that may be true, but the only way to be heard is to post more frequently than everyone else. See above re: 8 hours/day to devote to the game. Any and every suggestion is attacked viciously by a contingent of people who want nothing to change, ever, and the only way to be heard is to post the same thing over and over and over. Meanwhile, every suggestion is attacked as “dumbing down the game.” I swear if you suggested “The game should crash less.” someone would give you shit over that. [Disclaimer: The game has never actually crashed for me.]

At the same time when I do log in, the populations across the servers are all “LOW” now, so it’s pretty clear changes need to be made to give normal players a better reward/hours spent ratio if you want them to stick around. I’m sure the dev team knows that as well as I do and that they aren’t taking the forum mafia too seriously, but it’s still a discouraging situation to be in the midst of.

By the time beta rolls around I’m hoping the forum toxicity effect will have worn off and I’ll be excited to jump in and start playing again. I still watch the weekly live streams and follow the devs on Twitter. I’m still excited to watch the game develop. I’m just no longer interested in being a part of that process. I don’t want to be a part of the EQNL forum community; I just don’t have the time or the patience to deal with the ‘hardcore’ contingent there. Now to be fair, there are definitely some saintly folk who’re in there trying to actually help. I can’t imagine how thick their skins must be but I admire them for fighting the good fight.

Tangent: The whole “dumbing down” thing really bugs me. We need a better term. Because when they complain about ‘dumbing down’ EQNL what they really mean is “making it less of a time sink.” In real world terms, if you wanted a swimming pool and started digging the hole with a shovel, and I came along with a backhoe, would you accuse me of “dumbing down” your swimming pool project? I doubt it.

For prosperity, here’s the project I was working on before I realized how pointless it all was.

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This is an early version of what wound up being a stable, or intended to be a stable. Mostly I’d been working on creating the roof with the angled beams built with the line tool The covering is wood thatch and you’ll note it’s running in the wrong direction. I never did figure out how to get it oriented properly.

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Same building but I’ve changed the walls and that’s about it.

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Here’s the finished (for now) building seen from the hill behind it. I trimmed in the open ends of the walls while leaving plenty of space for a cool breeze to blow through. I replaced the thatch with wooden shingles which are also running in the wrong direction.

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Stables from the front. All the way to the left is a storage area. It never rains or gets cold on this island, making the open design an easy choice.

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To make these thin cross beams I used the smoothing tool over and over. But see how they flare out where they meet the vertical posts? I haven’t yet figured out how to prevent that from happening. The engine seems determined to make the adjoining faces the same size (I paste in beams with no flare but as soon as they touch the vertical beams they just ‘blossom’). I can sometimes get it so the vertical beam caves in to become skinny but that’s no better.

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The whole building from another angle.

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And here’s the approach, though this was taken before I fixed the roof. H is for the Halasian Empire Annex. 🙂



Comments:
12
  • One thing I think SOE will have to address is – what if you’re NOT an amazing artist with the time and talent to build some of the incredible creations out there. No one wants to play a game where everything they build is crap (not in reference to your own stuff, lol). While it is amazing to see what everyone has been building, it does bring about a very negative feeling if not everyone can build those sorts of amazing claims.

  • So spot on I’m starting to think you’re psychic.

    There just doesn’t seem like much point progressing like this when most, if not all of the progress will be wiped eventually. I think it’s also that so much is going to be added in the near future that it I feel like just waiting for those items first.

    I kind of get discouraged as well but then, I don’t mind just creating something for me. When you think about it those amazing builds you see on the forums and twitter might be the top 5% out there. In comparison yeh, it does seem pointless but then we can obviously bring interesting things into the game as well. Just in a smaller package (that stable is awesome by the way).

  • @Stargrace I’m hoping there’ll be other things to do as the game gets closer to completion. At the least I could join a team building something together, which could be fun. So I’m looking forward to the ‘social tools’ that’ll let you work on someone else’s claim.

    @j3w3l I do still log in and build little geegaws just for practice, then delete them when I’m done. I think building things is kind of fun. Once we’re past wipes I can plan something more elaborate and just build it a little bit at a time. I think that ‘time pressure’ of knowing a wipe is on the way adds to the discouraged feeling I get. And thanks for liking the stable!! 🙂

  • I’m also making a house! A generic, non-descript, generic fantasy house. Not a castle or a whole friggin town or a gigantic statue (my sphinx was horrible). I think I’m OK with this; this is kind of what EQNL is about, whereas EQN will be about more rigid themes.

    What gets my goat (if I could build a goat) would be if I were interested in making things to sell on the Marketplace later on. I’d be woefully outclassed in that regard, and I haven’t decided if that’s something I’d want to aim for, but THAT is where things start to bother me. Even if I decide I want to, I know I’d not even register on the market compared to some of the stuff that other people are doing.

  • I am really hoping this is where the template system and the player market comes into play. I could see someone designing a series of prefab components that would make landmark/next housing work kinda like it does in the Hearthfire expansion for Skyrim… aka build a house by placing these few components then decorate however you like.

    Additionally I am really hoping that we can trade templates freely with our friends. Got a friend who is really good at building a certain thing, that you want. Gratz trade across the template and place it in your claim!

    I am slowing down myself, mostly because the bulk of my house is complete. Now I just need to farm copious amount of resources to be able to craft all the fine detail stuff I want. I figure that is an ideal practice for watching netflix this weekend or something like that.

  • Yeah, that would be awesome. Let me just buy a curved roof from someone and put it on my house! LOL I don’t want to spend a week trying to get the curves right!

    Or if I DO spend a week, let me then share that roof with my friends, and/or sell it. I hope they make it work this way eventually.

  • I wrote a long comment that vanished into the internet somewhere Rather than rewrite it I used your post as inspiration for one of my own.

    Your stable looks pretty darn good to me, by the way!

  • Ugh, sorry your comment got eaten. On the other hand, it resulted in a blog post so that’s probably better anyway!

  • It is a common theme that any feature in a game, no matter how annoying or generally hated, is somebody’s favorite feature and they will get on the forums to save it at all costs.

    The dumbing down thing though… that is a tough one given the above. Anything that makes life easier isn’t dumbing things down, but we’ve seen the nature of some games change dramatically over time through an endless series of quality of life changes. There is not, for example, a single change made to EverQuest that I would say changed the game… well, maybe the Plane of Knowledge, but aside from that… but the game is still drastically different than it was in 1999. Is it a better game now though, or worse? And who is qualified to make that call? Devs? Old players? New players?

  • Let me join the chorus of “nice stable.” I think the thatch pattern is tied to some “cardinal” direction right now, and cannot be reoriented. Hopefully that will change in the future. Like Scopique, I am content for now with the generic cottage for now. I need to spend some time gathering/crafting the more advanced tools now. Like you, I don’t have a bazillion hours a week to devote to building some incredible castle or sculpture.

  • Yeah I think you have to build your roof oriented so that the roof material you want to use is oriented correctly, then copy the whole think, and rotate it 90 (or 270) degrees when pasting it.

    I also hope they’ll let us re-orient textures eventually, but somewhere some is yelling about how doing so would dumb down the game! 🙂

  • I’ve had problems with Templates coming in mirrored, as well, which is frustrating. Ended up making my roof “the old-fashioned way” as a result.

    So many “nows”! That’s what I get for typing on my phone.