I’m trying to wrap my head around this EQ Next/Landmark thing. If I’m understanding this correctly, what we’re buying in Landmark is the toolset that a game developer would use to create an MMO game world. SOE must have looked at their tools and said, "You know, these tools are so fun and intuitive to use, maybe we could polish them up a bit and sell them, because people really seem to like building virtual things."
EQ Next will apparently be the content that SOE builds using Landmark. The rest of us will be making our own content, and if SOE happens to like something we do, they’ll just grab it and stick it in EQ Next. Because to use Landmark, I’m sure we’ll have to sign away any intellectual property rights to whatever we build.
So is that a cash grab? Obviously. :) We as consumers should be offended and insulted and outraged at the prospect of getting taken advantage of like this. We’re not just unpaid contributors to their game, we’re actually paying to contribute to their game.
So um, yeah, I pre-ordered the Trailblazer’s pack too. Because in the big picture, $100 is a drop in the bucket if it buys you even a single month of entertainment, and this could be something that evolves over years.
Also, I have long thought that MMOs need to move toward embracing player-created content to survive in a world where gamers consume years of developer work in a matter of days. There are hordes of players out there willing to slave for endless hours creating additions to games. (Neverwinter is trying this with their Foundry, although I personally think that there should be some editorial standards for user submissions. Most of the Neverwinter Foundry modules I’ve seen are rather silly and exist only as loot and xp dispensers.)
You might be wondering why a person who has never gotten into player housing would even consider buying a Landmark Founder’s pack. It’s because everyone’s doing it. :) Nobody likes to be the last one to get the new MMO shiney.