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So that whole EverQuest Next thing.

Yeap, it sucks. Put a huge hit on confidence of the MMO genre and absolutely affirmed that MMO design and MMO business are so divergent from each other that they might as well be on separate planets. Of course, it also gave people a LOT of reasons to start snarling at The Big Companies for Crushing Dreams and Making Things Awful.

More directly, though, it put Landmark squarely in to the crosshairs of a huge load of bile. And I think that’s kind of unfair.

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People always hate on the pretty ones…

On the one hand, I can kind of understand? I mean, I assume that people are feeling like they were left holding the bag of Landmark when what they really wanted was EQN. They didn’t want some damn buildy game, they wanted the stuff that SOE and Next were selling. Besides, Landmark hardly qualifies as a videogame. And who’s playing this thing anyway, like, what, four people? Five if we’re being optimistic? And anyway, those who support this nonsense are only affirming The Big Bad Company’s evil vision of monetizing unfinished games as fast as possible to gullible morons.

Am I close, haters?

Enter this tweet from a couple of days ago. A feeling I shared that I always seem to have towards games that people “hate”, be it Landmark or WildStar or Blade and Soul. I always have had this aggravating habit of enjoying something about MMO’s no matter how I felt about them overall, and I always seem to have this need to flock towards a game that draws ire and see if it’s really worth it.

So….is Landmark worth it? Is it really a worthwhile target of such scorn? I’m hoping to find out with this little blog project.

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I’m also hoping that I can maybe finish a building for really-reals.

The purpose of this re-entry to Landmark s to both try to find out if I can remove it from its hate and to find out if it is a worthwhile title on its own merits. The Angry Internet Ferret might mock and say it’s me trying to justify my purchasing decisions, but I find that it’s something that needs to be looked deeply in to despite my own buy-in.

In this project, I’m going to outline my times in Landmark and attempt to answer a few points:

  • Is the game a blatant and aggressive cash-out?
  • Do four or five players play the game?
  • Are the features out enough to qualify it as a standalone title?
  • Is it worth anyone’s time?

In the interest of fairness, I’ll be waiting until the next large patch and character/claim wipe arrives in order to give Landmark the most opportunity to show what its got. The incoming storytelling tools that are en route are intriguing and are a feature I have been looking very forward to, and those could possibly make it a true standalone game.

I should mention that I don’t intend to make this an apologist’s series. I am not looking to deceive anyone in to support a game that’s not finished or doesn’t feel complete. I’m not trying to gloss over or sugarcoat anything. I’m just trying to get to the bottom of things with an eye unclouded by rage.

So, we’ll see how this all goes down. I don’t really have a timetable for how long this project will last, but I’m hoping to at least give it a month or so to really form as much of an informed opinion as I can. I know I’ve been lax on updates here, but I’m gonna make every effort to balance this project with the other writing stuff I’ve been doing. And besides, this could be damned fun!

So, I hope you’ll all join me as I start these chronicles. And I hope, for Daybreak’s sake, that this coming update really knocks it out of the park.

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