EverQuest Next: Landmark: Plan for Free-to-Play Features Detailed

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SOE director of development Dave Georgeson has revealed the studio’s five-phse plan for EverQuest Next: Landmark.

The first phase of the plan is called the “Founder’s Pack” era, and encompasses the current closed alpha for those who have bought into early access to the game.

Next, SOE will introduce buyable outfits and resources into the alpha. Resources can be gathered, traded, or bought via microtransactions. If that raises some red flags for you, Georgeson hopes to put those fears at ease.

“Selling those resources may seem like we’re allowing you to pay for power,” he says, “But our current game progression is not the intended real progression. Very soon, you’ll only need handfuls of resources to make picks and other tools. Tool and item progression will be limited by activities completed and achievements gained… not by resources. So, letting people buy resources is really just a time shortcut to let people build more easily.”

In phase three, “shortcuts” to allow players to manage the time needed to craft certain recipes will be implemented (microtransactions again).

“These shortcuts will not be allowed to affect game balance and can be avoided completely through in-game effort, if desired,” Georgeson said.

Phase four will push the game into a closed beta. Additionally, the “Player Studio” will open up, allowing players to buy and sell their creations.

Lastly, phase five will bring cosmetic purchases such as name and gender changes.

Georgeson also stressed that despite this being a microtransaction-based free-to-play game, those purchases aren’t going to be the focus of the game.

“We have to entertain you before you decide whether to pay us or not,” he says. “We like that burden of responsibility. We think it’s cool and the right thing to do.”

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