Beacon Persistence

This week at Wonderstruck towers we’ve been discussing the question of how permanent beacons are, and we would love to know your thoughts.

Up until now I have considered beacons to be permanent, which would allow players to return to the game after a long time away and all their possessions would be exactly as they left them. There is something nice about that, but there are also issues, mainly that over time areas will become ghost towns if people stop playing the game, and there could be a large amount of old and poor builds stuck in the worlds overshadowing some of the cool builds. If your next door neighbours stop playing the game, would you rather their stuff remained hoping for them to come back, or would you rather someone else (or you) could use that space?

The big questions are:

Having put a beacon down in the game, should it be there permanently, or should it disappear under some circumstances?

We are moving towards thinking that they should eventually disappear – what do you think?

If beacons are to disappear, under which circumstances should that be?

We’ve come up with three ideas:

  1. It’s based on last log-in time which is simple, and clear, and allows people to keep their stuff just by logging in every so often.
  2. It’s based on amount of recent time played – similar to the above, but prevents people keeping their stuff just by logging on, they have to actually play.
  3. It’s based on gathering / crafting some kind of “beacon fuel” and putting that into the beacon every so often, which would force players to engage with the game and visit their beacons to keep them maintained.

When a beacon is flagged as due to disappear what should happen to the contents?

We have two ideas:

  1. Initially the beacon remains, but the contents start to slowly regenerate back to the initial world state, once that process has finished the beacon disappears and the land can be claimed by someone else.
  2. The beacon disappears, and the normal world regeneration process starts reverting the contents back to the initial world state.

Option 1 gives the owning player more chance to come back and rescue their possessions, and means that other players cannot claim them, whereas option 2 allows other players to claim all the contents of someone else’s beacon (if they’re quick enough).

If there is a time element to beacons disappearing, how long after a player stops playing should this happen?

We’ve not got a firm idea on this yet.

Comments / thoughts / ideas gratefully received.


I am personally strongly for the fuel idea but know that there is a strong opposition against it (Just tagging @Zouls here because he had some good arguments against it in the past)

Fuel should of course be reasonably easy to gather and should be insertable even by non-beacon owners allowing other people to maintain builds they like to keep around even if the owner is gone.

Other discussions touching in on this subject:

This one touches in on beacon options too:

Meh I am lazy today those should touch in on some of it though


Personally I prefer this option to maintain a beacon as it’s the least demanding. The reason being is that not everyone will be able to play all the time, and might just want to keep their game ticking over until they are more free.

I can see reasoning behind the 2 other options as this could potentially draw a player back into playing more often, but even with that I still keep coming back to point 1.

I also like this option, as it gives the player a last ditch attempt to rescue their beacon before all of their stuff disappears. With that, will you make things like containers and anything else the holds multiple blocks disappear last - as this could be deemed more valuable that a building?

I’d like to say 6 months, but even as I’ve typed out the above, it’s starting to seem like quite a long time for another player to wait. Maybe 3 months before it starts to deteriorate?

Will you be implementing some sort of warning for beacons that will be lost in this way?


I basically agree with @Stretchious


I say 6 months seems reaonable that is how long I would want max fuel power to last anyway. I know several people who have gone without internet (or computer varies a bit) for 3 months for one reason or another.


Thanks for your feedback.

I would imagine multiple emails being sent to the player leading up to the process starting. I’m not sure if we need anything in game or not.


I’m also for disappearing beacons and a fuel which is needed. It makes the most sense lorewise too I’d say.

When the beacon is flagged it should not immediately disappear but rather lower the “shield”. That means regeneration starts inside of the beacon and other players can place or destroy blocks.

With this you can still refuel your beacon after the deadline to restore the “shield” and safe your build and chests.
It also helps because you don’t have to place all the plots again for a large build.

How long the deadline should be… a few months.


I think we should definitely go with number 1. As for number 2, if someone is still loving on occasionally, regardless of the reason, doesn’t that imply they still care about the game and realistically could be back? Also, having to keep it fueled up just seems stressful and a bit confining.

6 - 9 months is still very reasonable. I did volunteer work last fall and didn’t have access to a computer for a while, but I was grateful my stuff was still around in some of my other MMOs when I returned. There are plenty of circumstances like that that warrant a relatively lenient time frame.

Emails should definitely be sent out. In fact, they could even have an option for the player themselves to give permission for their claim to be absorbed before the time frame.

Lastly, once the time is up, I think there stuff should be free game. It would add a fantastic element of discovery to the game if you were to happen upon an abandoned game and find all sorts of goodies and half builds, albeit overgrown.

1 Like

I would encourage you and your team to peruse the Final Fantasy XIV “Reclamation of Inactive Housing” policy. It’s fairly good, obviously subject to forum complaints for every reason imaginable but that’s really neither here nor there.

It somewhat aligns with your first suggestion Ollie.



I am definitely all for having beacons disappear eventually. Ghost towns are no fun, especially when they claim beautiful areas.

I’m with @Thorbjorn42gbf in that I really like the fuel idea. I think it keeps gameplay engaging. I mean there are a few minecraft servers I’m a part of where the only reason I log in is to keep my stuff but I don’t actually play on them. Making someone go out to forage for fuel and whatnot encourages gameplay and maybe even lets them find some cool items, some beautiful scenery, a rare monster, etc. along the way.

I like the idea of number 2 here. Gives intrepid explorers a chance to try to recover artifacts (loot) from the lost civilization (players). I think along with this a way of publicly interacting with beacons to see who owns them and how long they will be around for would be handy so explorers could take notes on coordinates/identities of neighbors and whatnot and it really encourages that style of gameplay.

If the above suggestions are taken into account, 6 months would be way too long. 3 months would also be a bit extreme, but maybe if beacon fuel reserves can be increased through, say, the builder profession, 3 months would make sense as a sort of end-game limit to me. I’d propose 2 weeks-1 month as the starting fuel reserve max but would also suggest as Thor did that it be quite simple to find (or make) the fuel.


My counter to all of the people who are arguing for 6+ months due to not having computer access etc. would be that they could then add friends to their beacons and it would be up to those individuals to help you keep your beacon active. That way you aren’t penalized for being offline and we also don’t have ghost towns around for over half a year.


Hmm if we go with 1 or 2 maybe allow people to do some action that tag them as away doing something so if people want to do volunteer work or go traveling they can log that they are doing something and not just have gone innactive.

That way people actively deciding to do something else for a while is not punished while people who just glide away from the game loose their items at a more reasonable pace.

1 Like

That seems pretty easy to abuse if you aren’t actually doing something. Just click a button and you don’t need to find fuel anymore.

1 Like

That was if fuel is in fact not going to be used but basing it purely on wether people log in or not.

1 Like

Curious to hear your thoughts on my counter above your post.

1 Like

Fan of 2 and 3, and for the second part 2.

fan of 2 as it means people cant just buy multiple accounts then use that for extra beacon space, so it means that if they did buy extras they would need to keep playing a bit more with those extras, which im my mind says its a waste of time playing multiple accounts lets just play one.

and 3 near the beginning somewhere i mentioned fueled beacons as i fully support the idea.


I am persoanlly all for allowing people to play solo if they want that ^.^

Also I know in Denmark at least it can be rather normal going traveling for some months after high school and the ones you do that with is your good friends aka the people who would most oftenly be the ones you choose to keep your beacon stable.

Assuming that good friends all buy and play together haha.

I guess in my mind the devs have already said that the game is meant to be a social game. If you do want to play solo and never interact with other players, you’re only going to get so far. And if that’s what you want, that’s fine. But if you also want your progress to be saved, it shouldn’t be possible to just click a button and it works. The world is a persistent MMO world and will move on without you. Just as if the people traveling have a house or apartment and don’t pay rent during their travels, they’ll come back to find that things have changed.

If people REALLY want to play solo but find that they’ll be away from a computer, it should be relatively easy for them to post on the forums and find someone to watch over their things.


Not that i agree with it but I can see the perspective.

I just don’t want the landscape to be littered with beacons and ghost towns. Because the game is social, finding shops to acquire resources and materials you may need is going to be crucial. And if ghost towns are allowed to persist for months on end, it’s going to be really difficult for explorers, travelling merchants, etc. to find places to shop.

I think seeing a group of beacons should indicate that there is a town here and this town is fairly active, which one could infer means there’s probably a shop in that town. Obviously this won’t be a problem for people who are part of a town, but for people who want to play solo but still go into town for goods from time to time will have a much easier time doing so if every town around them is NOT a ghost town with out of stock shops. Fewer beacons due to stricter inactivity limits will make it easier for people who want to be travelling merchants or hermits to find hubs to go to.

Edit: I want to be clear, I’m not against people traveling or taking breaks from games. I just think there are ways around it that also prevent multitudes of ghost towns and builds to block off areas of our worlds.