Sorry I Have Been Away

I have not been playing Landmark for a while.

This is not because of anything to do with the game (really). Okay, I was upset about water changes, but that is not too big of a deal. Not enough to not play, anyway. In truth, life got very hectic. I moved, started working from home writing and editing, homeschooling my child …

Oh, and there was that brief period where I could not get the launcher to work. But I fixed that a month or so ago.

Anyway, Landmark has gone through some huge changes over the past few months and they look exciting. So, I am going to be back exploring and enjoying. As I do, I will be posting up some of my player experiences here. It looks like Open Beta is coming soon, so it is all very exciting.


For Every Cool Addition, There Is an Equal Uncool One

So, we have some pretty big updates that came out of Landmark.

I’ve not been playing of late. I’ve been busy with writing and the site, so there simply has not been the time. I got on for a few minutes today, however, intending to pay rent on my claim and check out a few things.

Combat is being rolled out, starting with PVP. I was going to check out how to set up combat arenas on the claim, when I saw that they managed to, in one swoop, make glass uber cool and mess it up completely.

First, the cool:

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By the way, Dave apparently does not approve of the word “patch” to refer to game release updates. Which is kind of funny, actually, from the 7/31 Landmark Live, because Collette refers to them as the preferred Update and then immediately goes back to Patch. I think Dave might have taken notice more except for things like “In a moment, Dave will hop over to the other computer.”

Dave, by the way, injured his foot pretty good on vacation a few weeks back.

Anyway, this week had new updates for Landmark and this Patch was a nice one.

Still no combat and death. We do have some fun things.

  • Guilds
  • Glass voxel materials (I guess I need to go gather sand … sigh)
  • Food props

So, today, I’m going to take a look at some of the new updates and see what we’ve got.

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Building Tools

I debated with myself on whether or not I wanted to have a Guide Post just covering the building tools themselves and decided … kinda. Since I’m not doing a video tutorial, I found it really hard to put together anything nice without it being over-simplified or jumbled. Understanding the tools are important but … well, there’s a lot of stuff. The best thing to do is just play around with the different tools to learn what you can do with them. However, I did promise that from time to time I would be linking to some of the videos that helped me along in the game. So, meet Strahz.

Now, a couple of important notes.

  • This was made during Alpha, so some things have changed with the tools. For example, you can change voxel size you will add, delete, etc, by using the mouse wheel on a 1-voxel increment rather than the old increments available before.
  • The select tool looks a little different, but for the most part acts the same.
  • The smooth tool is way different and has a little more versatility. While the basics of the smooth tool – what you use it for – are the same, just how to use it has changed. And really, the best way to know those changes is to study up on a specific technique it is used for.
    • Note, however, when making things like columns, no need to spread your select tool out around the item to get round edges.
  • The Templates UI is a little different now, but pretty intuitive.
  • Two tools are missing because they were not in this part of Alpha:
    • The paint tool, which just allows you to change the texture of something you have already made (useful if you have stairs and want to change the texture from one type of stone to another).
    • The line tool, which lets you create voxel strings in different volume sizes from one area to another and allows you to make diagonal shapes quick and easy.

And that’s the basics for the tools. Play around. Later, I’m going to be looking at anti-voxels, mico-voxels, mega voxels, and some of the things you can do to play around with them.

Until next time.

Staking Your Claim

Welcome back to the Landmark Guide Post.

So, today I wanted to talk about making a claim.

I know, I should talk about gathering materials and getting around the spires. But, here’s the thing. You don’t really need a guide for that. That is to say, you don’t really need an additional guide for that. The game itself contains a starter guide that is pretty good. It will walk you through getting your initial materials so that you can make your claim flag and so on. When you come into the game, you start at a portal spire, so no worries finding them.

By the way, make portal shards. They are infinitely useful. If you do it right, between your shards and Port-to-Friend, you will never have trouble getting around.

But, okay, there are a few things to know about the spires.


1. They will take you to any island and any server. So if you start on, say Serenity, and find it is just too crowded, or you can’t find any prime real estate, no worries. You don’t have to log out and log back in. Just select the server from the left and the island from the right when you’re on the spire’s menu.

2. They will take you to any island on any server. I know, a repeat from 1, right? But this is a caution. In Alpha, we had problems of it defaulting to different islands, and so you’d be running around looking for your claim, really confused that you couldn’t find it, only to realize that you ended up on another server by mistake. The bug was fixed, but as we are in Beta, I would expect it to return. So take a second to make sure the correct server is selected.

3. The portal spire will tell you what Tier an island is (and the same island names are the same Tiers across servers) so that is easy, but it doesn’t tell you what is on the island. Right now, each island has different biomes: Tundra, Old Forest, Jungle, and Desert. Each island has a combination of two biomes. That will change later, but for right now, in closed Beta, you can use this clever link on the forums to tell you what is what.

So, that’s really what you need to know about portal spires. You can get around and gather.

Now, onto claims.

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Didn’t I Want to Do How-To’s or Something?

So, when I started the Ravensveil Blog, primarily, to talk about Landmark, there are a few things I wanted to do.

  • I wanted to share game experience, including screen shots. Done.
  • I wanted to share some Everquest Fanfic. Started, and ignored.
  • I wanted to share some game tips and how-to’s. Ignored.

So, I’ll hopefully get some more Fanfic going soon. Today, i wanted to begin work on the third point. Landmark already has a lot of great walk-thru videos provided by my fellow beta players. From time to time, I will feature them here, especially the ones that have helped me learn the game.

The problem is, there are a lot of great walk-thru videos provided by my fellow beta players. Sometimes, it can be hard to know where to start. So, I’m going to start with Landmark basics and work my way up. As we go along, I’ll be pulling from some of those other player resources, with links back so you can check out more, of course, and organizing it a bit.

I will beg forgiveness for lack of my own videos right now. Due to system limitations, I am still working out the best way to handle game recording. So instead, you’re going to be treated to my insightful writing and screenshots.

I am going to also ask that you bear with me if you’re finding my site early. I am going to be tweaking the layout to make it easy to move between Fanfic, General Game Play Experience, and Guides.

That being said, I’m off to put together the first Guide Post.

This Week in Landmark

So, apparently when I was playing, I failed to mind my upkeep and I lost my claim and the work I had done thus far. Ah well. I did have the foresight to save the new bookshelf designs, so I’ll be able to rebuild my library. I would actually like to create a PoK-like library. That would be kinda cool.

Sorry, no screen shots today. Just a few brief thoughts from our most recent patch.

We can build with water now. Yay! I haven’t done so yet, but I will soon.

It was also yet another patch of too laggy to play. I had to drop almost everything down to low. Granted, once I dropped claim, I was able to adjust that back a little. However, even on low, I was having issues going through the world. Which means exploration is difficult, a sad thing since the Landmarks are up on the islands now. It also means a tougher time gathering.

The lag/latency issues following patches are beginning to get very annoying. It is a graphics-intensive game, and yes, it is going to tax systems that are on the lower end of the recommended/required spectrum. However, we have not had enough new content in these last few patches to justify the lag issues that have followed them. To be perfectly honest, I experienced fewer issues after the addition of water to the game than I have with basic things like I can use water voxels now and yay, books.

Extra craftables and textures and some bug fixes are not what should bring down play-ability. In fact, the bug fixes should have just the opposite effect, especially since supposedly several of the bug fixes are directly related to play-ability. And if we’re going to have constant drops in play quality when bug fixes happen, it makes me shudder to think what it is going to be like when combat comes around, which should be soon.

And don’t get me started on what will happen when magical effects come into the game.

It’s a big problem, and it does not appear so far that enough attention has been paid to fixing it. They are fixing symptoms when they appear, which is fine. Somewhere underneath all the releases and fixes lies a huge problem with how content is added to the game and how content affects how the game runs on the variety of systems players have. If the developers don’t recognize and address it soon, that big problem is going to become a huge disaster when truly system-taxing additions like combat and combat-related particle effects are added to the game.