Building Roads But Obeying Compactness

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Hi, I’m having a bit of trouble plotting some roads, as I’m linking some settlements, but the beacon compactness is dying like a red shirted storm trooper played by Sean Bean.

How do I stop that happening?

I don’t know where I read it, but I had read that roads were a good way to connect settlements as you could separate the road beacon from your main beacon, and therefore when it joins up to another settlement, you’re not ‘taking over’ or any of that horrible nonsense.

Part of the reason I’m mentioning that is that I had also read that a road needs to only be a single plot wide to ensure that the nasty take-overry stuff doesn’t happen.

So my roads are all a plot wide, max (unless there’s a bend).

So, whilst I don’t think that these roads are particularly long (per se), I’m already down to 0/1 compactness, and unable to plot further.

What are the tips and tricks to manage this stuff?

Should I just have a massive square attached somewhere? Should I square them up vertically? I’m just a bit confuzzled. :weary:

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I could be wrong but the roads would need to be three wide(maybe two but not sure) to avoid the compactness issue.


:point_up: Widen your roads by a plot or two. This will help with any settlement errors showing on your beacon and it will help your compactness score.


Cheers, both. Much obliged.

OK, but this does still leave me with the question of how do I avoid the settlement ‘clash’ issue, then?

Because I don’t want my roads to infringe on my friends that I’m connecting up with, however far away they are, but if they’re connected to my settlement, won’t a certain ‘footprint’ when connecting to another settlement either move one under the other’s settlement or something?

((( i’ve also had the issue where it won’t actually let me widen the road :sweat_smile: )))


Do you have plot protection on? This should disallow the settlements from “merging”.
Are both places in the same guild? (make sure they aren’t)

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Thanks, mate.

Well, no, the plot protection has to be off on the road, to ensure that it can press up against both settlements. The more important reason that it should be off is so that it means that it’s not taking up an extra 2 plots either side of it.

Don’t really want these things to be ‘MINE’-ing the areas that they’re near.

Sorry if I’m being a bit confusing here.

If it helps, I know that my main settlement(s) have plot protection on. I’m not sure about the folks I’ll be eventually linking up to, though.

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This is a long shot but maybe narrowing down the road plot(s) down to one (like 3-4 single plots out) before hitting the next settlement may solve that issue… hope someone can shed some truth to this if it is a thing. I think I did something like this and it kept someone else’s small settlement to themselves but I’m not 100% sure… maybe do some testing to confirm… but if that settlement has a guild it should keep their settlement name.

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Cheers, bud … so does the Guild ownership help with retaining ownership/stewardship/etc?

Like, I’ll be clear here, if my settlement connects to anyones then it’s likely that I’ll be subsumed into theirs … because I have all the prestige of Gonzo reporting on the poop episode of South Park.

I think it will make them a sub settlement attached to yours. I’m not an expert on all this so please test out all theories before continuing with your project… It has been a while so I’m not 100% sure…

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Roads were encouraged early on, then became a big problem. Plot protection wasn’t enough so compactness specifically discourages this.

In terms of not breaking a settlement, the rule is 6 plots in the adjacent 9 plot columns are plotted to maintain settlement status. This isn’t measured vertically, it’s strictly per plot column. This means that in order for all plots to be free of red hashes in plot view, it needs to be ~EITHER~ 3 plots wide ~OR~ 2 plots deep.

However in terms of compactness, a single-wide row of plots can only be about 15 plots long. This gets a bit wider if it’s three wide (about 45 - 50 plots IIRC) but end of the day if you want to make it longer than that it has to be touching other things along the way. “Working Around” this is easy, and also explicitly forbidden.

This brings us back to touching things. Your road can’t touch any other settlement, or there will be prestige balancing and takeover. period. I think honestly that if you allow the road to “Break” somewhere in the middle, it will result in both settlements reporting as ‘broken’ - If it’s properly connected to both.

In order for your bricks to fully meet their bricks, actually in order for adjacent plots, both beacons must have plot protection off, and will merge. You can make a little hut 2 plots out, a sort of toll booth at the entrance/exit of the road or something. But if you want them to touch, they have to be allowed to merge. At that point you can keep them discrete builds using guild town vs. public town or other naming features, but they will all form one settlement.


I’ll be honest, that has just confused me a whole load more. :sweat_smile:

So how about an example, all numbers are made up, but it might help someone explain it to me.

OK, so my home beacon, Moon Hall, is in the greater settlement (3-5 beacons in total, I think) of Moonyloon National Park. It is also the master beacon for said village.

Randy Rando has his home beacon, The House of the Rising Bun, in the greater settlement of Rando McNommy Noms. It’s a fair walk away, but we like each other, and would like to have a path to lead folks to each other’s places. However they’ve got a HUGE amount of prestige, and their settlement registers as a town/city or whatever.




Moonyloon National Park



Rando McNommy Noms


Randy Rando

What if I create a brand new beacon, with a brand new character, and it is their home beacon, and it’s purely there to act as this road1 … if that is on it’s own Guild and Settlement (per se)2




Squonk Street



Surely that can escape all this competitive nonsense, no?

So I guess the main questions on that would be, assuming a 3 plot wide road:

  1. Will Squonk Street (and its associated guild) be subsumed into the Rando McNommy Noms settlement when it connects?

  2. After that, when Squonk Street connects to Moonyloon National Park will that then subsume MNP into RmNN?

If the answer to both of those is ‘Yes’, can it be avoided by making the connecting tissue just one plot, maybe?

Basically … is there no way to avoid the gosh darned prestige balancing short of just stopping the roads ‘nearby’?

1 ensuring that we’re not walling off areas of ‘arable’ land, or penning others in
2 assuming that I manage to get the compactness thing down! :sweat_smile:

Both is yes everything will be absorbed in to one settlement.

Only way to keep it separate is to work with guild settlement and see settlement (out of guild) as a zone.

1 plot wide roads don’t (or at least didn’t before compactness and that) carry settlement.
When they become 2 wide they are “fat” enough to carry the settlement zone further.

I was playing with the idea a while back of multiple settlements in a concentrated area.
But a guild settlement name carries within a “zone settlement” (it did when I tried it out) so it would mean i need a second guild to create a new guild zone. And this for every zone created within a settlement (so i abandoned that idea).

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To explain my idea a bit more I would use the roads as settlements connected but apart (new guild for new settlement) and each building it’s own settlement.
So kind of like streets, village, houses and the zone settlement would be the city. To do this 2 houses and two villages (roads belonging to each village) would mean 4 guilds at the very least to “zone” them separated within the settlement.

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Is this on one of the standard planets, or a Sovereign? Because you can turn the compactness off on a Sovereign.

TMMK has you right man so I’m skipping most of the point by point and just re-iterating this bit here.

You cannot connect plots without the settlement system having a look.

As for how the road works, it still confuses people after thousands of hours of discussion, diagrams, etc …

There has to be 6 plots in the adjacent 9 plot columns for a plot to be capable of having or conveying settlement status.

EDIT: I removed the shrug because on revisiting it looked like a sarcastic or sardonic point about @MadManMoon but it’s not that.

That’s the whole rule though. I didn’t thoroughly re-test after compactness but compactness also didn’t break any of the roads or areas I had crafted to demonstrate edge cases. There was no mention of any change to that rule.

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Cheers, both. :slightly_smiling_face:

So, up there @Tmmk said:

Which appeals to me … but I totally don’t know what it means.

However, then @Nightstar said:

So which is it? ( sorry, that’s not said in a ‘DEBATE ME’ way :wink: ) Because If there’s even a chance that Guilds can help here, then I’ll take it.

Also, sorry, Nightstar, but this was all a foreign language to me:

What’s a plot column, and how is this related to the road?

I think I might have to rely on the method of my road building to save me with each road falling a few plots short of any given settlement and … because: River Roads … have a little pond or mini-lake.

Le sigh.


It means even though it connects up you have a guild which can create a “guild settlement”. (Settlement within a settlement :wink:)
And your friend a different guild so he/she can create a ”guild settlement”.

Adjust all te beacons to the guilds they belong and you effectively create separate zones (with welcome to) in the “non guild settlement”, “your guild tag settlement” and “friends guild tag settlement”.

Thats what i ment with creating settlements within a zone (zone referring to the non guild settlement).
You can basically see this at dk mall all the shops belonging to a guild have their own settlement name.

Keep in mind within a ”non guild settlement” the “guild settlement” name carries even though the locations don’t directly connect (thats why you need a new guild for each “guild settlement” within a ”non guild settlement”)


Ahh, I see … cheers.

Hmm, so it sounds like it’s still going to have the larger settlement as the main.

Thanks, @Tmmk … I’m beginning to think like a normal human and understand some of this. :sweat_smile:


Yes guilds can help with naming issues, and also help to clarify ownership of a given area. The settlement system is still at play underneath though and things are trying to merge into the larger settlement overall.

It’s sort of like creating boroughs - Like it’s in Manhattan but, we all call it Harlem.

Heh. A plot column is 1/4 of a chunk. :stuck_out_tongue:

When you’re plotting a road (that connects settlements) you have to be able to convey settlement status along the road, or it will break every settlement it joins. The effect of this is to render the settlements unable to collect footfall.

This is why people say things like “it has to be three wide” or etc… when you talk about making a road that connects settlements.

At this point if the River Roads end at some local lake houses or something, it won’t matter.


Here’s a post for people trying to sort this stuff out. A pretty detailed description of how the system works and changes from the previous (far more vague) chunk-and-prestige based system that could also merge settlements that didn’t … exactly touch.

For me once I understood how the server breaks the world apart it made a lot of things easier to deal with in game, anyways. It’s worth understanding the breakdown of chunks/plot columns/plots.

The earliest stuff references a 9 plots in 9 columns rule that was quickly replaced with the 6 plots in 9 columns rule I put above:

So, regen and respawns, as well as creature spawn and some other “world” features are handled in chunks.

The settlement system and the compactness system are handled in plot columns.

Actual control of the space is taken on a per-plot basis.

For your amusement here’s Luca trying to explain the changes to the new system without explaining plot columns first:

I can tell you pretty confidently though there have been no significant changes to the way this system works since that time. Newer systems for plot protection/reservation and compactness have been put over the top of it in layers that continue to analyse the relationships as primarily a grid of plot columns.

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