I know, I should stop. Landmark is what Landmark is, and no amount of wishing for private servers with complete autonomy (paid for, of course) and entire worlds that can be changed, explored, and molded will change that. Oh the adventures to be had. The game is what the game is and I should just accept that.
Except I can’t, because I think it would be perfect in a private server model. And I am going to keep dreaming (and writing) about it. The latest inspiration is from Portal Knights, a game my son and I are playing together. It is in early access, and on steam, and checks off every box that I want Landmark to be (except one).
- Persistent, private world? Check!
- Sandbox-y, build, conquer, create? Check!
- Explore, discover, surprise? Check!
- Character Development? Check!
- Modern, believable graphics? NO. *sadface*
Portal Knights has three character classes (Ranger, Warrior, Mage) that all play just a bit differently. In the simplest of terms you could say it is a more focused Minecraft. It has all of the building elements of Minecraft but more RPG built in. You start on your own private, floating island and through discovery find and unlock a portal. This leads to a separate floating island with different resources (mobs, plants, trees, ore, etc.) which also has portals. Some islands have dungeons, boss mobs, and the like. Each world, currently, has 49 different floating islands. I can setup homes and crafting stations in each (which is overkill) but there is that option to personalize each of the islands. The time swaps between fighting and resource collecting (and a day/night cycle) keeps the game play fresh.
I have my private world and can do what I will with it. I can also invite up to 3 friends to explore my world with me, through Steam friends, and/or LAN. It’s a great setup. We have been having more fun with PK than Minecraft and my son is level 15 while I am level 13. One of the better parts is that we can have our own, private worlds plus a shared one for when we can play together. You can advance in, around, and outside of each. Whatever you have on you when you visit a world you have. It’s that great mix that a world moves on without you, but yours can’t. You can have your cake and eat it to.
It’s fun, addicting, and the first boss battle I did was simple enough – but it is always exciting to drop a boss in any game. I look forward to continuing to explore the worlds and enjoy the game for what it is – did I mention it was in early access?
While enjoying it for what it is, I can’t help but think Landmark could have a similar setup, where you could explore other people’s worlds when invited and they even have a better setup to personalize your world with dungeons and mob placement. That is the version of the game I really want to play. I am also being consistent here, as I have argued for World of Warcraft to have private, paid for servers as long ago as 2008. I think that is the kind of model that is going to have a future. Portal Knights is where we spend our gaming time now and it has been a polite, engaging distraction. Hopefully other worlds follow.