Landmark – The Dreaded Cobalt Pick

Last week I had some generally negative things to say about Landmark, so I thought I would balance it out with some positive things this week. And then follow it with something negative again.

I spent a big chunk of time on Saturday playing Landmark the first significant time I’ve spent in the beta. It occurred to me that Landmark is essentially an endgame gear grind from the moment you step into it.

I was wrong before: There is one gameplay change in the beta. You can gather plants now, in addition to trees and ore. After you craft a Silver Sickle, that is. The plants are used to craft outfits, which is cool.

I was having great fun running around digging up ore and chopping up trees to make my tools and crafting stations. I want to emphasize that this part of the game is really fun for me. I enjoy going out into the scenery of a world and looking around and picking things up. (The scenary in Landmark is awesome.) I’ve heard other people say this and I also agree: It’s very relaxing and has a sort of zen-like theraputic quality to it.

I made my first grappling hook, and those things are awesome. It’s almost exactly like the grappling hook from Quake CTF back in the day. Talk about a blast from the past.

Then I got to the Cobalt Pick.

That’s when the fun ended. Like a mosquito smashing into the windshield of a speeding car. For you see, that is when you need to gather Ancient Rootstock, a material that (allegedly) comes from special trees in Old Growth Forests.

I went to many places that looked like Old Growth Forest to me, and there were no special trees to be found. Not a single one. I Googled. I found pictures and video of the exact tree I needed to find: A tall pine with a "diamond" texture. I went back to the Old Growth Forests. I ran around in circles and figure-8s and squares and back-and-forth for quite a long time. And I didn’t find a single one.

That experience is not fun. It is so not-fun that you want to smash your face into the desk repeatedly. You want to throw your monitor out the window. You want to log out and uninstall the game and never go back, and tell all your friends to never play that game. Because you were having so much fun and then someone took the fun away from you, set it on the floor, and jumped up and down on it until the fun was entirely smashed to pieces while you watched, leaving a giant emptiness in your soul that nothing can fill. Nothing but rage.

So there’s a couple of possibilities here. One is that it’s a bug. That’s what I choose to believe, because the only other explanation is that it’s supposed to be super hard to find one of these trees, and that simply cannot be. Because of the aforementioned rage thing. And keep in mind that you don’t need to find just one. You need to find ten of them (or more).

So yeah. I guess I won’t be playing much more until they either fix or explain that. I did a little building but, yeah, you know. Not going to spend a lot of time doing that. The tools are not very intuitive if you want to do anything but squares, and I really don’t have the time to learn a complex interface that is only going to work in one place.

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