Sony Wants You to Test EverQuest Next Landmark, But It'll Cost You

Sony Wants You to Test EverQuest Next Landmark, But It'll Cost You

EQ Next Landmark - Founders - Main

Testing Sony's latest free-to-play MMO, EverQuest Next Landmark, isn't free.

Over the past few years, Sony Online Entertainment has developed quite a reputation for nickel-and-diming its customers. And with the impending release of EverQuest Next Landmark, gamers are a little nervous about how Sony's business practices will affect the next chapter in the EverQuest franchise.

Unfortunately, Sony has managed to dig up a depressing new revenue stream. Despite Landmark being a free-to-play MMO, fans of the series will be required to open their wallets if they'd like to participate in the testing process.

Potential testers will need to purchase one of the Landmark Founder's Packs, a set of bundles that start at 20 dollars. The Settler Pack, Sony's cheapest option, includes beta access, a speciality item called the Founder's Pickaxe, and a Settler's Flag--something that you'll need to claim a plot of land. The Explorer Pack, which will drain 60 dollars from your bank account, includes alpha access, an Explorer Flag, and a slew of other in-game items that will make players complain about Sony's pay-to-win strategy. Landmark's most expensive option, the Trailblazer Pack, includes four sharable keys, alpha access, and your name in the credits. It'll cost 100 bucks, though.

Sony will start the alpha testing process on February 28th, and the beta will open on March 31st. So, if you have some extra cash lying around, and enjoy paying for free-to-play titles, EverQuest Next Landmark has your ticket to happiness.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

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That's really not as bad as the article makes it seem. Reading the first couple of paragraphs, you'd think that you have to pay for the beta access itself, but really it's just that beta and alpha access are bunndled-in with things that players might end-up buying anyway. It's still kinda lame, but I guess if they don't want to run an open beta, it's a fair enough way to decide who will get a beta key. Who better to test the game than the people who are devoted enough to put some money into it.

The game definitely looks interesting, and I didn't know that it was going to be a free to play title. On the one hand, that means it'll be easier for me to check it out. On the other, it means I might have to put it down very quickly if it turns out to be a pay to win game. It'll be a shame if the first big-name Minecraft-themed MMO turns-out to be just a giant sham.

"here's your money, mister, now can I please have the honor of cleaning your pool?"

EDIT: Actually, let me be fair here. Are beta tests even considered beta tests nowadays? They're the equivalent of early access with a free pass on glitches.

This isn't that controversial.

"testing" is more akin to "early access", because that's all random people on the internet do when they get into open or closed betas. They hardly participate in testing the game, they'd just rather play it.

If you don't want to pay, I mean you can just wait for the release. Why would they open up the game to everyone for pre-Alpha?

sony's actually been doing this for quite a while now

it is annoying if there's no actual value for the money, though

basically a gamble

I was really looking forward to this game because Sony did such a great job making Free to Play fair in Planetside 2, but this really pissed me off, because it's building a toxic community from the getgo.

The first thing they ever do to monetize the game is creating a special class of players that is willing to shell out 100 bucks for the mystery box, so right from the start you have to be an invested fanboy to be dedicated to this game.

It's also coercive marketing. They aren't convincing people to put down the money because of the great product they are offering, they are basically just telling people "You don't want to be left behind, do you?". The fact that they are starting things off like this just quenches my enthusiasm for this games future.

And what's the worst out of all of this: This isn't even Everquest Next. If you were interested in Landmark because you wanted a chance to leave your mark on EQN your best chance of doing so is now putting down 100 bucks, and guess what. When EQN rolls around you can bet your ass there will be another $100 buy in option.

Oh Sony, you jokers.

I don't necessarily want the game to fail but if this makes a lot of money I have a horrible feeling it could eventually lead to a sitaution where game testing becomes a bunch of gamers paying for the privilege of an unfinished game.

Wildly unimpressed...

nexus:
This isn't that controversial.

"testing" is more akin to "early access", because that's all random people on the internet do when they get into open or closed betas. They hardly participate in testing the game, they'd just rather play it.

If you don't want to pay, I mean you can just wait for the release. Why would they open up the game to everyone for pre-Alpha?

And on the flip side it's quite possible that a good percentage of the people that will pay for access are going to be slavering fanbois who won't properly critique the game as they'll be too busy jamming their tongues as far up SOEs butt crack as they can get.

100 bucks to Alpha test a game that will eventually nickle and dime me for building materials is totally cool with me.

Just kiddin'

How is this any different to paying for early access for games? I would pay for early access to any MMO that I was interested in. You see, unlike other game types, getting into an MMO early puts you ahead of the curve for when everyone else starts playing and that's important to some people.

I see this as pay to win. Mmo's require quite a bit of dedication(even "free loot" world of warcraft). Early access is worth a lot to people who want an edge in experience or character progression.
However, I can see this being a very clever "early release" where the press can't slander your game for being unplayable due to launch stress and give the team ample time to fix the worst issues pertaining to launch.
My money, which remains safe from this particular offer, is that it's mostly a matter of greed that stems from the kickstarter fad.

VanQ:
How is this any different to paying for early access for games? I would pay for early access to any MMO that I was interested in. You see, unlike other game types, getting into an MMO early puts you ahead of the curve for when everyone else starts playing and that's important to some people.

It's important to those who won't be suckered or can't afford early access too, which is quite frustrating for people like me.
I think it's worse with random beta keys, since it's dumb luck and with money you have quite a few alternatives, such as donating sperm(I'm not kidding).

Oh wow.

They really have abandoned all pretense at convincing people that they aren't paying to do something people usually get paid a wage for.

In case some people (like myself) did not know, Everquest Next Landmark and Everquest Next are different.
To quote the site:
EverQuest Next Landmark is a world where you can design and make anything you can imagine! Objects and buildings that players construct may be featured in EverQuest Next.

It is still an MMO, I just wanted to leave this here for anyone like myself who hadn't followed this closely enough to know they were two separate games.

Beyond that, I don't really see a problem with this. If they want to pay to be in alpha or beta it shouldn't be an issue.

i think ill buy more kinky shit for my vanguard instead.

Anyone else remember how in the past people would provide a free demo to try out a game, then charge you for the full, finished version? Now it seems everyone is providing the finished version for free, but charging for the unfinished demos.

......oh god, the stupid, it hurts. It hurts so bad...

Paying to test a free-to-play game. I just.. I can't..

*sigh*

This is shaping up to be one hell of a week for me. At least there is Proxy War, my only ray of light right now.

Welp, you had me and you lost me, Landmark.

I'm simply not interested enough to pony up. I'm not particularly bothered about being behind, I'm not going to conquer the world, I just want some fun adventure. Just get that flippin' Free to Play game out, and I might cough up if I enjoy my stay.

Leaving my mark on the world would certainly be interesting, but I just know griefers will find a way. And going through that process in Minecraft won't cost me 100 dollars.

nexus:
This isn't that controversial.

"testing" is more akin to "early access", because that's all random people on the internet do when they get into open or closed betas. They hardly participate in testing the game, they'd just rather play it.

In many ways, that's all that they need to do. There's only so much that you can do to specifically hunt for bugs, and oftentimes the worst bugs are the ones that can crop-up during normal gameplay, but somehow made it passed initial testing. A hundred people just playing the game will find a lot more bugs than a single person specifically looking for them.

 

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