A lot of people may disagree with me on this one, but portals being locked by distance limits and time gates. I don’t think the latter is in the works as of now because it severely limits a core feature of the game, but I don’t think that the current solution of setting tolls is enough.
Far too often in game we use a portal hub to get from Point A to Point Z quick and easy. I am sorry if this sounds redundant, I have ranted about this time and time again. This impacts the game in a few way from making travel much easier to providing players with a seamless diverse experience being able to enjoy each planet very early on in the game. Obviously negative effects include access to high level areas of the game too early for newer players, which exposes them to parts of the game too fast. Another negative includes less and less disparity in resources throughout the Boundless Universe.
Now, pay gates would solve the issue of accessibility for newer players. They would not have enough to make more than one hop in the very start of the game most likely. I am saying this from the perspective of a player coming in to the game a few months after the release. The experience must be enjoyable for players who didn’t buy at release for it to be successful.
By this time portal networks should be grounded in the boundless world. Let’s say there is a Capitol in one of the starting worlds and it has a portal to every planet to the universe. Our new player might jump to Planet Z and get stuck on a level 9 (or whatever level the highest tier will be) planet. They might not be able to jump back because of a lack of coin plus how bad would it be to have to lose all of your coin from a mistake like that. Distance limits would be a way to ensure this doesn’t happen.
The other nerf to portals that I think is necessary would be time gates. Limiting the amount of time that it takes to make a hop would force players to spend more time in cities! I cannot stress how important this is. Sure a portal network is convenient and all but what about encouraging players to spend more time on much grander player built projects! I touched on this in the Trello board, but the trailer with the Titan at the end really drew me into the game because of the city. I thought wouldn’t it be truly awesome if players thought, “Hey, I’m going to rent out this little pre built furnished hut over here while I stay on this planet for a bit.” Right now, it’s more of just go from A to B to D to G back to A; a very plain and simple experience. Wouldn’t it be more unique if when I traveled I could ask the next planets town owner if I could rent one of their homes? Of course the player has the ability to make their own plot but at the cost of having to spend the time and inventory slots to build everything they need. With a time gate I would be forced to do more on the middle man planet adding value to planets in between the end of the nodes (starter planets and high level planets).
To sum up, pay gates, time gates and distance limiting factors to portals in my opinion would greatly enhance the player experience come 1.0. Nothing that I mention here is new really. Warps have distance limits which you can increase with skills. Time gates could be decreased with skills or increased by the number of hops within a time limit. I do not have any advice on distance because I don’t know if the web of planets will look similar to what we have now or not, but with time limits you could maybe have a skill mode for 1 hop in x time and a second node saying 2 hops in x time. This would make it so players aren’t able to travel until getting the hang of things.