Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The EQ Landmark Sunset

Landmark shut its servers down last week on February 21st. It was an online game from Sony Online Entertainment. I won't go into the any major explanation about what happened. If you really want to know, here's a link to an editorial that can explain it without all the anger and frustration I have read about the shut-down.

Landmark Sunset Editorial

Also, a video: Post Mortem: EQ Landmark

It's no secret to my friends and followers that most of my writing inspiration comes from gaming. I guess you can say Everquest 2 (EQ2) is my muse. When the makers of EQ2 introduced the plans for two new games about 3 years ago, I was excited. They were Everquest Next and Everquest Landmark. I was thrilled to see how a player could build just about anything they could imagine using voxels (virtual bricks to be used like Legos). My imagination went wild at the possibility of bringing to life the lands of Tiaera, or at least some of the notable landmarks I have written about in my novels. I signed up for the Alpha & Beta Testing and downloaded the unfinished game. Hundreds of players did the same and in no time I staked claims with my friend, Solus, and got busy with constructions. The castle in my Facebook page was just one example of what I could create. Here are some screenies of the Dark Forest Realm manor:

For world-building, Landmark was wonderful. It had different environments to build on i.e. snowy mountain, desert, valley, forest, beach front, etc... If you can't draw or paint, here was a chance to build using voxels to create scenes, towns, buildings, almost anything your mind and computer can manage. Players soon made how-to articles and videos to help us in our plans for building our creations. I began with building the Dark Forest Realm castle and manor, then last year I began work on Castle Feralson.
Castle Feralson
Inner Courtyard
Inside the Church
The Main Hall

The castle was never finished. I stopped working on it the day it was announced that Landmark's servers were coming down. Working on these structures kept me inspired to write for the last three years. I worked on "Legend of Fayre Sea" and the "World of Tiaera" coloring book during those years. When I wasn't writing and busy with my home life, I dwelled in this virtual realm of creativity. I visited other claims and got inspired by what others made there.

It really hurt me to see this beautiful game come to an end. Many others were angry, shocked, depressed and disappointed by the money and time they had invested in this game. They blamed Daybreak Games, the game and even each other. I read many articles and saw videos about the game's "sunset" and participated in a final event as time ran out for Landmark and the servers were shut down for the last time. Here are a few more screen shots of the Sunset Wall (signed by players) and Graveyard event where players made tombstones and lingered to the final end.

This wall no longer exists, but it was a good way to leave our mark and say good bye.

My character's name was Kalephia.
The Graveyard Sunset event on the last day:

Here is a beautifully done 7 minute video I found on Youtube. It's a perfect tribute to the player-creators of this extraordinary game.  All the structures you'll see were done my gamers. My mind still boggles at the brilliant designs, plans, ships, buildings, etc... Even the game developers were impressed by what the players did with their game tools. So far, no other game comes close to what this one could do.  Good bye Landmark

I tried for weeks to find another game like Landmark. I depend on these fantasy games for writing prompts and inspiration. Nothing comes close to what this game could do, for now. I am just going to have to settle for EQ2 modular building and go back to drawing my world using pens, paper and my digital stylus as in the past. 

Farewell, Landmark. It was really fun and creative while it lasted.