Since the worldwide phenomenon known as Minecraft was released, there have been countless attempts to cash in on the addictive mechanics of resource gathering and base building. While many have failed to be anything more than poor clones, Landmark is attempting to be different by being the first MMO in this new resource gathering genre.
Since the fundamentals of the genre are so rooted in formulaic activities (gather resources, use the resources to construct building, repeat), this is going to be about the top 5 things Landmark can improve on to help stand out among its competitors.
5 – Tutorials
The first few hours of Landmark do a good job at scaring away newcomers by throwing players into the world with nothing to guide them. There’s a short introductory page that pops up to recommend how players should start the game, but once closed it become nearly impossible to find again.
Having a small optional tutorial where the game explains how all the building and gathering mechanics work would help newcomers greatly. Showing what types of minerals require what level of tool or what each crafting station has to offer is a great way to help people find their feet in the barren wasteland.
4 – Add quests and combat
While building constructions is all fine and good, once they are built there isn’t really much to do with them other than look around and say “that’s nice”. Allowing players to create quests that take place inside their landmarks would greatly expand the reason for their existence. An example would be a quest where the player starts at one landmark and has to carry an object to another landmark that’s over a mountain range, and completing the quest would net them a few copper mineral and some high level materials too.
These quests could also introduce a combat mechanic where players have to defend a landmark from enemy invaders trying to steal the framework brick by brick. Killing and protecting the base could reward players with exp to level up both their character and equipment, helping boost the games longevity.
3 – Don’t punish mistakes
In a game about building constructs and being creative, punishing mistakes only gets in the way. Accidentally placing a block or circle of a material in the wrong place means that it’s set there forever. Erasing the material deletes it from the area, but doesn’t put it into your inventory to reuse.
This means that making mistakes punishes players by taking away their materials and not giving them back. Too many times did I have to venture away from my construction to fetch more stone or collect more dirt, all because my experimentation cost me to lose my collection.
Putting the materials back into the player’s inventory when they delete them would help speed up production while also increase creativity and risk taking. Making the construction of landmarks a lot more enjoyable and easy going.
2 – Remove fees to keep constructions
Making a landmark is no easy feat, and when it’s finally done there’s nothing better than to stand back and admire the spectacle in front of you, knowing that other players will also praise the hardship that went into its construction. Creating and sharing is the name of the game, which is why it’s confusing that there is a daily fee the player has to pay in order to keep their landmark standing.
If the player doesn’t have enough copper or gold in their bank, then their landmark is taken down and all of the materials are returned to them, completely eradicating any proof that a structure once stood there. If the game wants to maintain a devote fan base, it needs to completely remove a feature that punishes those who don’t play every day. Many are likely to give up on the game if their work keeps being removed due to a lack of consistent dedication.
Removing these fees will allow people to play whenever they like and not have to worry about having their hard work taken away from them. With the games core message being “leave your mark”, it seems silly to have that mark taken away from you.
1 – Have more than just builders
While building is the name of the game, it doesn’t have to be the only thing to do. Being able to gather resources and build towers is great, but what if there was more to the world. Adding other classes to the game would appeal to fans of other MMOs while also adding a lot more to do in the ever growing world.
What if there was an expedition class that could explore the world to find patches of rare minerals, and could then advertise and sell their information about the mineral, or even sell it to other players for gold. An explorer class could venture into dangerous caves to battle monsters (providing they add a battle system) and gather loot that could be given to builders to make guild bases. Even the job of a tour guide that travels around mapping out different types of landmarks would be an entertaining pastime. Different classes mean more things to do, and more things to do means people play more. Simple.
Landmark is currently in closed beta, you can sign up to apply for the beta here