I’ve been thinking about this issue for a while, based on a handful of observations in-game:
the worlds are full of ghost-settlements, with lots of buildings but few players.
…and yet it’s not that the players don’t exist, because they do.
It’s more that the buildings are often just pretty-looking shells. Sometimes there’s a machine or two in them, and sometimes a shop, but otherwise? They’re player-made aboveground caverns.
I don’t think I’m alone – here’s a comment from @pseudonym84 that sums up the situation pretty well:
And one more observation:
- The builds I consider most “successful”, and the ones I visit most often, are those that exist to fulfill a purpose: the transfer stations, the portal hubs, the museums.
So I submit to you all that,
in order for settlements to feel alive, buildings need to serve some actual function.
we need more options for that function than we have right now.
Because builder-types are gonna build regardless; we can’t not. But without reasons to occupy the spaces we’ve made, we’ll just move on, or out, or up, and keep building more empty shells, which makes the world feel deserted instead of alive. And then everybody’s sad.
So that’s the problem.
As for solutions, well, I can come up with ideas all day long… Disclaimer, though, I’m still newish and I dunno what, if any, plans the devs may have on this front. Speaking of which, is there some sort of overall roadmap? But anyway, sorry if this is all obvious and will be implemented next patch and has been in the works forever.
Right, ideas. Here are a handful of irl building concepts/“purposes” that I think we could adapt to Boundless world and mechanics:
…from the elements. Only matters if the elements actually hurt you. I have great hopes for the toxic atmospheres, whenever those go live.
By which I don’t mean the boring sim city kind but rather some sort of effect granted at the level of a single plot that would change some aspect of game-mechanics within that plot. I’d expect the costs of applying these things to be fairly steep and require maintenance, much like portals.
Zone a plot to give x% bonus XP to any crafting done by machines within it. Result: trade school!
Zone a plot(s) for lower gravity or extra jumping-height. Result: skate park! (I am still sad that I started playing right when the jump thingy got fixed so I couldn’t play on @Arkefyre’s park
Zone a plot for health regen. Result: field hospital! …and a reason to take builders to your Titan fights xD
Zone a plot that would clear all your skill points and let you apply/remove them at will, and then test out various abilities on combat dummies/block dummies inside it. When you leave the zone, your old skills are returned. Result: training arena!
Zone a plot to allow another player to “rent” it for a fixed period. Or on a smaller scale, “zone” a storage shelf. Result: temp storage for miners far from base.
As in, more objects that can do things in response to some trigger, either automated or player-given.
Some sort of “ball” thingy that can be grappled around. Result: …a sport of some kind? that’s how sports work, right? OOH WE CAN CALL IT BLOCCER!
Some sort of “ball” thingy that makes a noise when it hits certain blocks - and then blocks you can tune for different pitches. Result: music box!
Some sort of blocks that react to the presence of that ball thingy in other ways – doors or trapdoors or springs, idk. Result: rube goldberg machine!
Gears? or similar systems to allow for mechanical interaction between blocks/moving of blocks and buildings. Result: Rubik’s
Player-playable musical instruments with notes bound to keystrokes. Result: concert hall!
Give us tons of emotes and let us keybind them. Get a group of us on voice chat with streaming. Add closeable curtains. Result: theater!
A block that can move the player in a certain direction. Result: elevator! Tramline! Ferris wheel!?
As in, those decals @Minyi was showing us. MOAR. ALL OF THEM.
Lots of basic shapes that can be layered. Result: art museum!
Books where we can write custom text of a few paragraphs. Result: library!
…and so on.
TLDR buildings need, pardon my French, a raison d’etre. Discuss!