Sony Online Entertainment’s “build-your-own-MMO” EverQuest Next Landmark is officially set to launch in beta on March 31, 2014, with an alpha phase to kick off one month earlier, on February 28. Fans and newcomers alike have the chance now to buy in early and participate in either or both of these testing phases prior to the full launch next year. All of the details are laid out on the game’s official website.
A $20 Settler Pack includes beta access as well as a Settler’s Flag item – needed to claim land plots in the game’s user-created take on Norrath – as well as a “Founder’s Pickaxe” item and a couple of titles. The $60 Explorer Pack adds access to the alpha as well, along with a handful of other in-game goodies. The top-level, $100 Trailblazer Pack adds even more perks, including four shareable beta keys, early access to the forums, and your name in the credits. All of these options are available now.
There’s something very promising going on in EverQuest Next Landmark. Equal parts fantasy MMO and Minecraft-inspired world-builder, the game lives on the idea of an economy – both in-game and real-world dollars – fueled almost entirely by player-created content, covering everything from mundane decorative items to full-blown, dungeon-diving adventures. Just be sure not to confuse Landmark with EverQuest Next. The latter is SOE’s more traditional return to Norrath, a follow-up to EverQuest II that won’t be released until some unspecified time after Landmark‘s 2014 launch.