HELP! Give us your opinion on the balance of beacon compactness?

Testing 240 has added some new plotting rules to Boundless. These rules are introduced and described in the release notes. Please read the release notes for background and explanation about the new compactness system. The aims are not repeated here.

The update is on Testing to give everyone (players and developers) a chance to explore and iterate the system before it is published to Live. We don’t plan to release the system Live until a healthy majority of players agree that it’s good to go. We’re still iterating and balancing the system based on feedback.

However, it’s clearly hard for everyone to know how these rules will transfer from the simple tests done on Testing to the complex beacons + settlements on Live. To help players explore what these changes could mean when applied to the Live worlds we’ve created a simple web app for exploring the worlds.

Currently it’s a super simple web app and only really works on desktop browsers. If I get some time - I’ll look at switching over to a more sophisticated maps app library. Any suggestions on what to try? I’ve only tested it on Firefox and Chrome.

The app is available at:

With the app you can:

  1. view all the worlds from 2020-02-15
  2. show / hide the beacons plots from 2020-02-15 with b
  3. highlight the beacon compactness: orange uncompact, navy compact
  4. change the compactness threshold with < and >
  5. zoom in with + and -

A couple of comments:

  1. Hey on Testing the compactness rating is -100 to 100, but here it’s 0.0 to 1.0. Why?

    The game computes an underlying compactness score in the range 0.0 to 1.0, and compares it to a threshold. The current threshold on Testing is set to 0.25. We then normalise this to +/-ve to make it easier to understand. You can change the threshold in the web app to make the compactness test more or less strict. Play around with it and find a score you think looks fair across the different maps.

  2. Hey there is a beacon that looks super compact but it’s still orange. Why?

    This is normally because a super compact or super big + compact beacon has a long skinny path running out of it. This can push the score below the threshold. If these plots were removed then the beacon would instantly become super compact.

  3. Hey I’m concerned should I be changing my beacons now?

    Please don’t worry about the changes. Our aim isn’t to punish anyone but create a set of rules that are fair and most importantly built into the game.

    If you’ve been taking a bit too much advantage of the reservation system - we’d always appreciate you tidying this up. Fill in the gaps, or scale back the reservations.

    If you’re just playing the game then I’d suggest waiting for the system to become Live. The rule will still be changed on Testing and we don’t want you bouncing around trying to preempt where they’ll land. Remember the aim isn’t to punish anyone - we’ll help everyone get stuff sorted.

Please have a play and checkout how the worlds and their plotting maps. Comments and feedback welcomed and encouraged! Thanks!!!

Updated the webapp with an alternative compactness evaluation function.

  1. New function considers exposed faces (number of plot faces that are open to unplotted plots, so 1 deep) rather than the original which considers possible neighboring reservations (number of plots that could be reservations, so 2 deep). Both techniques are in the app and can be switched between with “c”.

  2. Balanced the new technique so that it marks a similar number of beacons as uncompact - just for a equivalent starting balance. But there are variations between the 2 functions.

  3. Map and beacon data is still from 2020-02-15.

Updated the webapp with:

  1. Map and beacon data from 2020-03-25.

  2. Switching between 2020-03-25 and 2020-02-15 will show the different beacon maps.

Note: We’re aware that some areas of some maps look a bit different - this is a side effect of some changes for the coming Reclaim system where certain blocks didn’t have colours assigned to them.

Updated the webapp with:

  1. Fixed maps from 2020-03-25 that now include surface decorations again.

Check them out here:


Thank you for creating the supporting app/page & for :point_down:

Gyosha Mall

The compact shops surrounding the uncompact mall walkways would raise the compactness score, right?

I thought Delta would be an issue…it appears I’ve already removed enough plots - 100% purple :+1:

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Could someone check iLLumiNaughty for me?

which planet?

Trior… :heartpulse:

So what we’re looking at in the picture looks like all the mall halls are not in line with the rule? I thought having shops around the roads/halls would make those beacons compact?

Am I seeing it/interpreting correctly?

entire illn is blue :slight_smile:

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I expect some of my Silver District roads are all over the place. I like to give space for larger builds between roads.

Basically silver District [like I expected]

:sweat_smile: Thank you so much for checking! :heartpulse::heartpulse::heartpulse:

And thank you @james for this app… I think seeing how the change will impact everyone before the update goes live is super helpfu. I feel a lot better.

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Niia Zed Ka












Yes, the halls & walkways are not compact themselves, but in Live should be ok because they are within an entire compact structure - right @james ? Or wrong? (hopefully it’s ok lol, otherwise it would stink)

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So looking at my roads I have laid out. I would be in violation for having roads planned out before people moved in or builds were made… See-- I am very confused by this. I stopped before hitting the next city over despite no one playing over there and them not being able to consent to a merge.

HOST just yesterday said we could bridge his saved build to our city. But I don’t wanna bridge it if it’s going to just get reported/deleted.


Thanks, for these.

I see problems on my beacons, now I just have to think do I want to plot reserve extra plots that I won’t have use for or unplot areas that contains stuff :smiley:

Map app works ok for me but takes commands with keys only. Problem is just that this information is only visible if player uses forums :confused:


There goes my new house – the shape of an island.
Flips table


All these people getting crazy over nothing :crazy_face:


Sweet my builds are good. No changes needed based on those maps. I stand with my initial vote of in favor of the new plotting rules.

Thanks!! Hmm, I’m surprised, my Alder one isn’t compact… but then, I laid it out like that mainly because of the landscape around there. Well, no biggie there, just made a decision easier if it stays this way, lol (I was going to keep it but really torn honestly, makes it easier to wipe it :wink: )… no requests on changes here, everything else looks good to me, just a little surprised. I do see some real long thin ones there in a clump on Alder (center-right of the map) that ARE compact though, that is a little surprising too.

We have the same issue with compactness as larger cities and malls. In Lacuna on Storis II, I have plotted the road system with an alt in order to preserve the city infrastructure and ensure longevity by having it plotted on my account which has gleam club. A road system will never be considered ‘compact’. Being on a ‘starter world’. We currently have many new players and having a stable infrastructure allows navigation and consistency. As far as I know, we have never had complaints regarding plotting or connections. We have always been very careful not to over-plot into neighboring settlements. I have six chars with multiple builds throughout Lacuna as does my brother, daughter and several friends. I understand that there needs to be a system to restrict abuse, but couldn’t it be calculated radially from the center of the settlement or take into account multiple owned plots?


I have already posted on our discord and in our PS4 chat group. I also saw the link on HSE discord, so I think word will get around. :blush: