Feedback: Rewards, long-term Monetisation and the Exchange!


That’s a good point on whether or not plots remain trade-able but I missed the devlog saying that was a possibility. Even if they are no longer trade-able, they should remain donate-able for players like myself that don’t build or need much space but want to contribute to different guilds.


I think adding cubits is a great idea, not only will it add more character customization which is something I think this game is lacking, but it will provide money for further goodies and development.


I like these ideas. Particularly the gathering, mining, and hunting part. It sure would be nice to know how many resource blocks there are in a given area. I already like to mine out specific areas for stuff, so it makes sense for me to want to continue mining out an area and it would also confirm a couple assumptions I have about world regen mechanics.


you mean 100%? :stuck_out_tongue:

these are excellent ideas!
I especially like the idea of free warp travel, it is worthwhile for someone that shops around before buying or tends to forget stuff at home or likes to explore, as well as gatherers but does not actually constitute pay to win. Sure you’re saving money that you’d be spending on tools or blocks but repeated usage doesn’t get you more stuff, just allows you to get around more without the cost, especially if you can go to further planets, where the hop distance reduction could come in, for more expensive packages.


I admit, I’m a little sad you guys went with cubits instead of sticking with qbits :stuck_out_tongue:


free warp travel essentially means unlimited distance, also for for free (once you have saved locations on each planet). Reduced cost might be better


After reading both, this and @Karko 's post, I gotta say that I still side with @Karko on this.

The proposed microtransactions sure are not pay to win, so cudos for that, but besides of that it seems like any other microtransaction mechanic in any other early access game, where money and actively playing share the same reward system. Which, as far as I can tell, always resulted in a major :poop: storm.

Which imo is a pitty as Boundless would have had the unique chance to try a different monetesation model with its abillity to allow users to rent & design public worlds in a voxel mmo.


I wonder if there are games out there that have followed this model and have done it successfully (would be interesting to see if they employ any specific approaches to it that we can borrow)

Hearthstone, maybe?


I don’t recall @James or anyone else official saying people could trade plots. Personally, I would hate to see that. Next thing you would know people would be auctioning off plots somewhere and once real money changed hands they meet in game and make the trade of plots. Donating (no money involved) to a guild (preferably through a game mechanic where someone actually approves the exchange) would be fine for guild use but no ability to transfer to a specific person. If the guild closes down then the guild plots become wild as they are abandoned.


@James thank you so much for posting this and providing a pretty clear direction on how you all are moving the game forward. While there are a few points I do think are helpful there are a couple that I think are not smart at all and will break the game seriously.

The game improving decisions: (followed by the very poor P2W decision farther down)

I think this is definitely needed because of the push towards character classes and everything. Along with the “build-out experiment” options, it gives us the best ability to customize and ensure that there is a level playing field for everyone and the classes people want to play.

Very smart. Since we had to start using alts because we have no ability to move beyond level 50 it was becoming frustrating in getting certain rewards when they weren’t needed and you want more of another type. This ties into the “class” system perfecting and enhances customization of classes.

I agree with something like this because it can let you maybe save up and use things when needed. I find myself sitting on skill points and not using them until I really see what is needed. Having a solution like this in a larger perspective makes sense and can be leveraged in many ways.

This will help you all with income and is fine because it is just part of character look customization. Many games do this and it is fine. Same goes with respecs and stuff because we get later on in our characters and want to redo things so this provides those options with a small fee. You must be careful, though, that the cubits don’t link to anything related to in game income.

This looks ok as long as the customizations do NOT affect the builds too much in how they look because that will cause things to be too different than you can get via normal game play. I would suggest simple stickers and things more advanced be via normal crafting means. Because not doing this can add to the “attractiveness” of one city over another because people are able to get something special that others cannot.

Yes we need things to make you all be supported financially especially because of the bad decision to move toward plot monetization.

The poor game breaking Pay To Win decision:

You already see how many people are willing to make real world money purchase to get more plots and of course subconsciously it is in your best interest to monetize this part of the game because everyone knows how important they are. This decision is a bad mistake because of how things will play out in the long term of the game and its economy.

Unfortunately, the rationalization of plots you paint is completely off base from the dynamics of the game you all have built. We need to reset your perspective of the game to help explain how you put in a P2W solution. While the way you characterize plots is at some point fair because some people don’t use them as much as others it still is not the correct way to define them because of the underlying game mechanic.

The logic is very simple:

  • Prestige = Ranking System of Cities and Capital City definition
  • Plots + Resources = Prestige
  • Footfall (based on prestige) + Ranking System / Capital / World Taxes = Income

So purchasing plots = more in game income = Pay To Win.

The game mechanic is inherently built around gaining income and the game economy, etc. That is the goal of everyone playing at a base level whether you are a builder, hunter, or merchant. Some people don’t care about income (or say they don’t) but we have seen everyone fight for the best plot spots, you just put a change in to lower plot income if not playing in 7 days, city battles for top ranking and footfall, etc…

So by having more plots it allows you to ultimately gain more prestige than anyone else which results in you making more footfall traffic and a higher city ranking that delivers more tax income. There is no other way to define this but pay to win.

What is worse is then anyone that is not using outside funds to purchase plots will fall farther behind and those that are rich IN GAME will only become richer. It is a self fulfilling cycle and is ultimately not fair. (Note: We have seen this happen with OmniUno and his store how he can outprice and corner the markets. When we get more money powerful people this will ruin the experience of others especially because outside RL cash now increases inside game cash.)

Everyone should get the EXACT same amount of plots and you should in fact remove bonuses from all Founding members. IF you do not do this then you will ultimately give an unfair advantage to people because founders always will have more plots than others. The founders will become the richest people in the game because they can have the most prestige, etc. Additionally, I would suggest that you not sell plots and instead require people to rent servers if they want more plots.

IF you must sell plots, then the only way to fix it and remove the pay to win design is:

  1. Remove the prestige/city ranking = tax income system. (Even though I am against Prestige and how you all rank cities, at least income will not be part of it and battles for prestige will not result in additional cash and only linked to personal vanity to be at the top.)

  2. Remove the plot = footfall income system. (Footfall should just go away completely and people use the economy to make income.)

At a foundational level doing this will then remove the plot = income dependency model you have built. At that point “plots” will no longer be critical to income, hence moving things back to the only place it should be allowed – the economy (buying/selling of good and providing services). Then plots will only be of interest to people that need them to build and not hunters, healers, etc.

@James, I tried to keep this as simple as possible in my explanation. If you need clarification let me know but I think you get my points even though many others will be very pissed and against them. I cannot stress enough that you are doing P2W as long as plots are linked to any type of income. You need to break one of these base dynamics or the game will fundamentally fail as people figure this out and the gap between those that “paid” and those that “did not pay” see the gap increasing more and more.

Cash shop? wait what?

Counter-proposal: what if there is a cap to how much footfall income a given player (or account) can receive? And that cap is easily achievable without purchasing anything.

At that point, purchasing plots becomes mostly an aesthetic thing: “I just need a couple more plots to complete this build, and I don’t want to wait!”. It would level the playing field, and as an added bonus, provide a mechanism for regulating the game’s economy a bit.

Now, of course, people can still purchase multiple accounts—but we’d be in the same situation without the exchange. Also, I’d speculate that having the exchange somewhat reduces the number of multi-account players due to its convenience


You did a much better job of laying out the case than I did. Well done!


I do not agree that profit from footfall is a long term imbalance. Just because a builder has a ton of plots does not mean that they will have riches or the potential to create a vast market and corner the economy. I think of places such as Chisel Town, which experienced a popularity surge, or Pixel Gate, which is no longer near as novel as it was in its glory. These places are vast, yet they no longer enjoy much footfall. I think the concept of long term benefits from footfall coin is like chasing a dragon, the climate of the populous will change and so will interests. Footfall is fleeting and there is always a new generation waiting in the wing to create the latest and greatest and get theirs. There are too many chance factors involved to directly associate mass plot ownership with guaranteed footfall. This is a creator and innovator’s game and you’ve gotta have that x factor to attain great wealth. I do not personally see a long term threat to the economy by allowing builders to purchase plots, not to mention that with “hundreds and hundreds” of planets, there will be too much diversity to corner any market.

Edit: some but not all grammar


Thank you very much for this informative and thorough post, @James.
It’s very well thought - not just the post but the entire concept. Bring on The Oort Club! :sunglasses::wink:

I can’t see anything there that would spoil my play experience in Boundless by giving others any advantage through spending rl money. I can’t see someone buying plots affecting me, as so called advantage here is a matter of perspective.

If you are someone who has extreme ambition to be a winner in Boundless (whatever that may mean), you might think bought plots can spoil your chances if you don’t spend yourself.
However, looking at PvE side of game as the main one, I’d be inclined to say that there is no real winners, and no losers in Boundless universe - enjoying the game in any capacity (building huge cities, or just focusing on one activity like mining coal or hunting for one particular resource to sell) is winning already. Being under pressure of maintaining certain status (biggest city, biggest shop etc.) can lead to feeling of being at work rather than in game (relaxing, having fun, socializing etc.) or to feeling of grind (instead of enjoying progression at whatever pace). Grind and feeling that a game is just another job you have is just a state of mind tied to your own set of goals. Therefore its a choice (no matter if unconscious). When you get there, it doesn’t seem like winning no matter how much you achieve in game.


Yes I get where you are coming from but that wasn’t the point. The long term imbalance is not linked to a “person” it is linked to the game mechanic and design on a fundamental level. Just because the players change does not make the problem go away. Inherently it is P2W due to the design, not the result of those that are caught up in the design. The design causes the imbalance because it is not fair from the start. Some people have an advantage over others due to outside real life income.

I’m not trying to argue a point or make people agree or disagree with me. It is just the fundamental logic of the system that is set up. Anyone looking at it can clearly see it. In fact it is even worse than I mentioned when you look at people that have multiple keys and stuff. The only way to fix is break the link and allow plots to be their own commodity and income/economy to be its own economy. That way you can still fulfill contract with “founders” on plot bonuses but not adversely affect the economy and those not willing to use outside money. Find a way to allow “builders” to make money that is not linked to “footfall” or “tax” and then you can remove the plot income requirement. Each class should have it’s own way to make money and not have to rely on footfall as an income contingency.


For some people it won’t matter and I completely agree based on the context you are likely coming from. But, what is being missed is that is a subjective view and when doing the game development we need an objective view. This is because “winning” means different things to different people but on a game level “income” is clearly a form of winning because it is inherent to so many things in the game. That point is reinforced with ways to nerf income around plots. So they are linked.

@James has clearly communicated they want the game to be flat on many levels - exp, skill, rewards, etc. But, they do not have a “flat” model on the income level. That needs to be fixed and I think they probably know that but are not willing to do it yet or haven’t figured out how. They basically need to find a way to give each class a way to make income in their own way and up until now for anyone beyond a shop owner that was via foot fall.

This is why it is going to be broken because now with the plot purchase people can manipulate the market in footfall, etc. And it will NOT be flat and fair for everyone. That is why it needs to be fixed and I think they should rip the band aide of right now and remove footfall and prestige ranking tax. That solves the whole P2W problem right there in one swoop. Then they just need to figure out how to get a builder income (like selling houses or who knows what) and then the “class income” issue is now made flat.


I’m not sure.
I can have 5 plots available, but have high footfall because I have a good shop visited by hundreds players - or maybe a portal to great mining/hunting location etc. I can also build within a big settlement - still have small place but creating a lot of income. All for way less time and resources spent than those who build large. And if I have a good shop my income from there will matter more than footfall. At the same time I might have no shop and just a small base for my own use (crafting, storage etc.) and make loads of money by selling whatever I mine/gather to big shops. So, different approach might give me a lot of money - its just a matter of balancing what income you get from plots and other sources to make sure none of it is OP income-wise. If such balance is achieved, buying plots won’t be P2W and will serve builders create on whatever scale their addiction makes them to.
I think so anyway.
I might be wrong.


Nothing inherently heirarichal is altogether flat because this is not Utopia. We all learn to thrive or fail within imbalanced models. This is the crux of good competition and separates the opportunists from those who patiently amass. Everyone still has an equal propensity to win, the method proves the person and exposes ones truism.


No it does not. plots only protect the area that you want to build in. once the player buys and places their plots, there is nothing that gives that player income no matter how many plots mommy’s credit card could buy… until they start building something. at a minimum of 5000 prestige and the more they build the more income they get.
That’s called playing the game. not pay to win.

Let me describe a different (and totally fake!) scenario, one that IS pay to win.
Let’s say that (hypothetically) in the Exchange you could get blocks. maybe blocks that you couldn’t get in the game regularly. or even ones that do exist but have prestige.
Wallet Warrior B buys as many blocks as daddy’s credit card can buy and places them in his plot giving him enough prestige to be a footfall earning settlement.
that right there is pay to win regardless if those blocks did anything or not. (even worse if they actually gave prestige)
/end hypothetical scenario

Wallet Warrior A (who bought as many plots as mommy’s credit card could buy) and Legit Player A (who levelled up and played normally) still have to do the same amount of work to get their prestige level to footfall earning status.

While I would agree with this statement if it were regarding buying coins or something, but the amount of plots in a beacon does not matter if the content inside is the same, so number of plots wouldn’t separate the rich from the poor any further than just playing the game does.

what? communism much?
I fully disagree with this one. I know a lot of players don’t care about plots, some people are happy living in a tiny hole in the ground. they enjoy hunting or selling their stuff instead of storing it. whatever… they don’t need plots. I know I would like to have a lot more, whereas on my alt, I could care less if he has 5 plots.
plus, people have already paid for perks in those packages. some people bought some of them specifically for the plots. I think there would be a lot of uproar if they removed any of those, I am glad founders perks are going to be valid through the existence of the game.


I never said anything was flat. The developers have started using that term with how they want the game to be based on the context they are using. You are bringing in philosophy where it has no value in relation to the problem with the game. Everyone has an equal propensity to win INSIDE the game but when you bring the OUTSIDE world into the game you change the dynamic and there are a million more variables to consider. Good competition comes on a equal playing field and mixing outside and inside does not create an equal playing field.