I scanned my email this morning and was happy to see a message from SOE advising the pricing to become a founding member of the next generation of the Everquest franchise, Everquest Next “Landmark.”
Having played the original Everquest since the day it was released on March 16th 1999 (back in the days when MMORPGs were just finding their floundering feet) I was very interested in finding out exactly what becoming a founding member entailed. The new version of Everquest will be split into two vastly seperate yet intertwined games, Everquest Next which will be the main component and will play in the same vein as Everquest 1 and 2, and Everquest Next Landmark which will be more of a building game (think Minecraft) where you can basically build and shape the world of Norrath. The idea is that whatever players build in Landmark will appear in Everquest Next. This sounds like a massive undertaking by SOE and I am excited to see if they can get both games to coexist and interact and also live up to the hype they are producing about it at the moment especially since many MMORPGs have promised such things as shapeable worlds and events that will change the game world forever but have failed to live up to their promises.
Pricing for becoming a founding member of Landmark ranges from $19.99 which will get you the “Settlers Pack” all the way up to $99.99 which will get you the “Trailblazers Pack.” There are three tiers of founding member available all of which offer different in game items and guaranteed access to closed and public betas of the game. You can also get your name in the games credits if you purchase the highest tiered Trailblazer Pack.
It doesn’t actually sit well with me that SOE are expecting people to pay money to access what is effectively a beta test of their game but in saying that I guess they are at least giving the option of guaranteed access to those who wish to pay for the priviledge, if you don’t wish to pay you can take the chance of applying for a limited chance of access to the beta for free.
There is a lot of hype surrounding what is going to be a massive project for SOE and I am sure in the next few months Sony will be revealing more information, screenshots, videos and features from Landmark and Everquest Next itself. The original Everquest is my favourite game of all time so I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings!