Landmark – Listening To Players?

483 wc

I have to disagree with MJ at Massively when she writes, somewhat defensively, that SOE is doing a good job providing what the players want in Landmark. I like MJ and all but SOE has definitely not listened to any of my feedback.

Like for example when I keep asking for them to turn it into an actual game. If they are listening to anyone, they must only be listening to people who just want to build fancier houses and role-play in them. Because the only things they’ve added to the game since the beginning are more and fancier parts with which to build things.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m ecstatic they added a compass. I can remember thinking in the first couple of days, “Man, this game needs a compass or something. Opening the map every ten seconds to see if you’re still going the right way is kind of janky.” That was, you know, three months ago. It took them three months to add one of the most basic 3D navigation tools you can imagine to their game. (Trove had a N-S-E-W text indicator at the top of the screen on the first day.)

It makes me wonder if they have sub-contracted out the game programming work to somebody else. Say, to one C++ programmer in a basement somewhere who only works every other Friday afternoon. While all the rest of the full-time SOE staff is busily working in 3DMAX and Photoshop creating models of windows and clothes and tables to add into the asset database. So if they need a compass added to the HUD, they have to get this one basement programmer to put it in, and he’s too busy watching Game of Thrones or something all day to even get anything done on Friday afternoons. But, you know, give him a few months or a year and he’ll get those minor things like invert mouse and a compass and maybe some non-Linux-looking placeholder UI components right on in the framework.

I’m sure I’m being totally unfair to their development team, but I’m kind of irritated that I was sort-of duped into buying a Trailblazer pack. At no point did anyone say that they were not planning to add any significant gameplay features during the entire Alpha or Beta. If they had, I might have been a bit less implusive about signing up.

I know, I know, it was my own fault for being optimistic. And hey, there’s still a chance that Landmark could become something more than just a demo of the EQNext game engine. And I’m sure they will give all of us early adopters huge perks after the free-to-play launch, so it’ll be worth it in the long run. (No, the Trailblazer’s Pick is not a good enough perk.)

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