Mobile homes for everyone


#1

Hi, today is another time for a proposal from my game experience and wishful thinking:

What I want to propose is a feature that allows me to “take my beacon with me” - including all/as much as possible built stuff attached to it - when I move on to a better place or planet.

I see the following topics which should be part of this enhancement:

  1. when a beacon is placed, fueled and active, it should monitor all actions for it (adding/removing plots as well as changing ANY block within in the plotted volume). This should not be difficult, as the regen process always keeps a memory of all the plots on a planet in case the beacon+plots are removed.
  2. At any point in time - after some building - it should be possible to “collapse” all accumulated changes from all plots of this beacon into a special inventory of that beacon. When that process is completed, all blocks used for the building will be removed from the side and are gathered in the beacon inventory. AND there also is a “blueprint” stored which keeps the memory where each block was located (relative to the beacon location). This blueprint will later on - see below for point 3) - allow to recreate the building using the inventory blocks and/or removal of empty spaces done during the build process.

A “collapsed beacon” does not remove the plots allocated to it, that stays a separate step as well as the last step to grab the beacon itself (with its filledd inventory+blueprint). But when you take the beacon into your player inventory, you can take it to any different place you like and start using it just as if it is a new empty beacon.

If you build something completely different on a collapsed beacon, the blueprint may (?) be getting invalidated i.e. you can not use it to rebuild as the build process would conflict with the latest changes to the area around. There might be a possibility to use the blueprints as some “snapshot backup” during complex building, but I leave that for further consideration. Beyond that an invalidated beacon will have to move the kept blocks back into the players inventory also or at least allow a manual access to thos blocks for a new building.

There may be an option to just “blueprint” without moving the blocks into the beacon inventory…

The “collapsing” of the used beacon with stuff in its plots may provide a solution to regenerate long abandoned areas plus allow to give a returning player a chance to regain his resources - if the game and/or some admin put the collapsed beacon into a planet wide storage and hand it out - for some fee perhaps ?

  1. Putting a beacon with filled inventory and a associated blueprint at a new place will aloow a player to do a automatic rebuild using the blocks in the inventory, following the blueprint to get back the building. If needed this process will automatically add plots to the needed volume to complete the process. This may take some time and some fuel/fee but in the end the new place will look exactly as the previous one. You even could rebuild a building at the same place but “turn” it around by 90 / 180 / 270 degrees.

When rebuild is done, the inventory will be empty again, and the blueprint is obsolete also. I guess the blueprint may be deleted automatically but maybe someone thinks about trading blueprints and allow “copying” nice builds…

  1. There may be some additional rules and/or options for the whole feature. I have not all of them in my mind, but perhaps some ideas:
    4.a) It may be possible to swap some blocks in the inventoty to different materials and then do the rebuild, thus achieven a change of glass —> cold blocks in a automatic process.
    4.b) blueprint and/or needed blocks to instatiate the building could be allowed to be exchanged manually before starting the build process. If blueprints are tradeable, a bought blueprint together with the added blocks into the beacon inventory might be a funny option.
    4.c) it may be too complicated to allow a blueprint process starting on an area which already contains build parts, thus allow a “merge” of blueprints. I personally would not need this but a group of city builders may be interested.

Collapsing and blueprinting may have to be limited as all that information about the buildings has to be kept in the game somewhere. So how about some tiers of the complete beacon capabilities:

  • tier 1 — just the beacon and its plots as it is use now.
  • tier 2 — the beacon allows basic blueprinting for a limited number (lets start with 300 blocks) and noting else. Contained complex blocks / engines etc will not be collapsed but moved into the players inventory instead - I done want to simply delete your valuable stuff!
  • tier 3 — as tier 2 plus more complex blocks (doors, locks and perhaps simple machines/workbenches or shelves). Shelves and machines may need to keep the content of those also, making things to get really complex as the blueprint for tiers 1/2 only needs to memorize block placement.
  • tier 4 — all content (all this funny engines, power stuff, your precious coils).
  • tier 5 — unknown features of next releases to come by

In summary I believe that whole idea is non-trivial to implement - even if some features already exist - if done in one step but I am sure it can be done in several phases. I would like to have at least the basic part to allow me to progress from my base / starting planet to higher tier ones without the ongoing need to migrate stuff. I do know that portals are a way to stay with a base at one place while “working” on a totally different planet, but currently I am very hesitant about the cost to keep portals between far away planets besides because I sometimes find new places which “look much better” than the last place I settled down :slight_smile:

OK, thats the idea for today, what do you all think about its use / feasibility


#2

To clarify: This topic for blueprinting etc is NOT my idea alone. I found a lot of similar / equal points here and similar games and I am trying to summarize all good pieces into something that fits into my beloved (?!) Boundless game to make it even better. All people who did have same wishes shall be honored as well.


#3

Basically a camp similar to the ones in Fallout 76?


#4

One issue that I see is the storage of all the blocks that made up a build. James has already commented on the amount of space this could take up on the servers with all the storage blocks loaded with materials and just the overwhelming number of blocks in some of the larger (thousands of plots) builds. How long do they have to maintain this storage? It is certainly not free and has to be at the server level so it cannot be modified by players. Where is the storage of the items that you picked up if you reuse the beacon without replacing the exact build? If the player does not have enough storage in other builds do these items just disappear or are you expecting the developers to provide a storage place somewhere else that the player can access over time to get the materials? Again this becomes a space issue especially as it can be used by all players to create a massive storage area without having to use plots, create storage blocks or fueling a beacon. All I have to do is create a storage area and then pick up the beacon and now I have storage on the servers even if I never intended to actually move my build. I am not sure how your tiers address some of the issues brought up. It sounds like all you have to do is use the tier 4 and you get everything so why would a player do otherwise? I think beyond the fact that there is not a blueprinting system yet, the main reason this is non-trivial is the cost for the servers to maintain all this data for possibly an unlimited time. What happens when a player picks up their beacon and then does not play for two years or ever again? Like I asked earlier how long does this data have to be stored at a cost to the developers.

While I do believe we will eventually get blueprinting. I do not think the game should allow for a build to be moved. If you use a blueprint I think you should have to actually place and chisel blocks.


#5

I hope this game doesn’t implement blueprints. There is no sense of achievement if you are making something, and all you have to do is one side since you then just blueprint it and copy it 3 or however many times you need to. No please, I really hope they don’t do this. No time nor effort apart from gathering mats going into that.


#6

Ah, a first few comments.

@redlegdaddy: Sorry I do not know anything about fallout, can not answer.

@Kal-El: ty for the lengthy text, was a bit difficult to read. I will try to comment on some statements I could find and understand the argument…
a) for each plot taken by a player on any planet for which the player starts to build something (in that 888 blocks volume) the server currently has to keep the original block structure to be able to regen and in addition the players modifications to any blocks until the plot is removed again. I am sure that the server of a planet will not be ready today to do this for the whole planet and all its blocks but as I do see it, it is working for all currently created buildings (cities, single builds etc). The number of players which use those plots is so far irrelevant as long as one plot belongs to exactly one player. As I have read from some threads, each planet seems to have a maximum of around 80 players (I may be too pessimistic, please clarify) and if any of the planets servers currently is running on its high limits, I would be wondering a lot regarding the capapbilities of those servers to keep running for new releases and additional features but it would explain some of the complaints abouts lags etc. Regarding the storage of such blocks: I am quuite sure that the software architecture uses efficient table-driven lookup for textures etc to avoid redundant info starage so it is not needed to spent soooo many bytes per block for each property it uses (some as coordinates, block type, chiselling etc certainly are OK ):slight_smile:

b) I was aware of the added storage need that may arise, therefore I stated that I would group and LIMIT the “collapsed plots memory” to reasonable sizes ( I said for tier 2: 300 blocks as example, perhaps also something like max 4 or 9 plots for the “mobile homes” concept). I absolutely agree that my concept should not be thought of for any arbitrary sized settlement…Beyond that I would really be interested how many changed plots we have on each planet currently. Is it thousands of plots or even millions, what is their relation to the volume of total plots which are to be kept because the game HAS to remember each hole we are digging somewhere. Or how are alll those “normal” changes to the planets block volume to be considered?
c) perhaps another clarification may be needed to separate valid arguments caused by increased server work: the basic function of “collapsing a beacon build structure” into some virtual blueprint and subsequent re-instatiation (at any same/different place) is something that I consider to be followed by a not-too-far away action which after being done will free any additional storage used. IF features can be considered which expand the time between collaps and rebuild, this falls into your comments about “how long” and “how much” and “at which cost”. I do not understand your “…at a cost to the developers” (maybe it is because English is not my native language). I believe that with a working business plan for a company, all income should be taken from the (paying) customers/players to pay for the running cost (servers, salaries, offices etc) of the company owning the game. If Boundless is not run with at least some profit, we do not need to talk about my little concept at all, but I do have some hope that James is not forced to pump his own money into the company to allow us living in that nice game :slight_smile:

The idea of stacking away abandoned beacons was just an additional thought as I did read that a lot of discussions are done here for problems about those beacons / areas. I have no problems to kill beacons where the last visit is months away but you know: with introduction of the gleam club and 6 months lasting, James has created such long times and all attached issues. Keeping players - even those being away months - happy will ALWAYS cost!

I absolutely agree that my concept introduces a lot more thinking for all players if they would like that feature and then for the company what it means in game architecture changes , cost as well as benefits for future game enhancements etc. My proposal is intended as a start of discussion and not a hard “I want it, give it to me sasp”. I just like to find out what could be done to make Boundless better and more fun while keeping it simple.

@QuimbyBoundless: I read and respect your negative statement but please keep in mind that this option to “copy and repeat” a building done is not my central part of the concept. This is optional, may not be liked by everyone but I guess we all accept that the way to play and have fun and satisfaction in this game is different for each individal gamer. I for example would never request that mining hammers have to be ONLY crafted from wood as this ensures that mining is hard enough to be used for getting resources (sorry, my example may be a bit away from the argument, but enforcing manual repeating trivial work without new results is GRINDING and nothin more). To resume my points again: look at my idea for the “small mobile home” (with 1-4 plots max and some blocks as building inside) to easy player mobility when going from one planet to the next one. I personally have visited (almost) all t1-t6 planets and have ONE large base on my home planet and at least have build my small hunters blockhouse at around 15 planets. It certainly was not soo much straining to build them again and again but I also can not see any achievement having to do this again. As long as I do not find really new nice places, I will not start to try to create something awesome (or at least not too ugly).

I am aware that the basic idea has potential to be expanded in various future directions far beyond but I look forward to gather all visions / arguments from all players and certainly the devs what could make sense and what is too far away from being incorporated into the game. Lets be open to many constructive insights. Never start with “This cannot be done” or “I do not like it, therefore it should not be done”.


#7

I believe the developers actually teased that blueprints are in the plans. The sanctum design contest I believe was them experimenting with part this infrastructure


#8

A player that has beacons on a planet has a cost to store the data but at least in this case the player by paying for gleam club should hopefully be covering the cost. My concern is players using a feature that forces a large amount of data to be store on the servers (and not related to a planet since the beacon has been pulled) for some unknown timeframe that could be technically forever with the existing player base covering the cost. That does not really seem like a good idea.

I also think that moving from one planet to another should entail some degree of effort on not simply hitting the pack up button and the unpack button. I think this allows almost too much mobility. What happens when a portal network picks up and moves every week or so? What slows this down is the cost to re-open portals and the effort to take down and replot and build the network again. This is the same for settlements. So you are in a settlement or a mall and the owner comes in a removes all the infrastructure and you are left. While this can happen it takes effort now and that effort does make it more of a thought out process than a spur of the moment decision.

In general I am not going to argue with James on the cost of storing player builds and that it could be a large amount. Any discussion on ways to minimize that are really not something I can discuss as I do not know what they are doing now. But as to the concept, I still do not see why it is necessary and what value it adds. even if you allow it only for roughly 9 plots (which I still do not understand the tier system you outlined), all it seems to be doing it creating a new storage system.


#9

I 100% support toward this
Cant stand tearing down and rebuilding my 50x50 plots building…


#10

I think as has been said we are going to get a blueprint system. I personally like the idea for allowing a group to do repetitive work like building a wall around a medieval town. I do not think it should just pull the materials out of storage a magically chisel and place blocks. All this does is make is easier to spam out builds. How can you give someone xp or prestige for something they did not really build? They got the xp for the materials but why should they get prestige and xp for no effort other than pressing some button?


#11

I know that blueprints will ruin the game for many, unintentionally. People already run out of things to do, they build small/big projects, finish them and get bored. But other than that, yeah, I could see blueprints maybe working on a very small scale, maybe a 3x3 area at most like AoE hammer. And defo not chiseled. They better poll it…


#12

I do like the idea of saving and storing all the placed blocks in a beacon. It would make half of a move easier.

Restoring a build would be nice too, but sounds more complicated. I think You would have to prep the area by preplotting, and clearing.


#13

tl:dr… I apologize if these points were brought up… Perhaps the cost could be mitigated by only allowing the collapsing and storage of beacons only by Gleam Club, or even a Gleam Club+ membership. Gleam Club runs out, beacons are gone. Also, maybe certain block cannot be collapsed into a beacon, such as the storage blocks, signs, or similar blocks.
As far as Blueprints-- I’m for a blueprint, but only because I’d want it for my own build. Not as a way to “copy and paste” and sell the print, but as a way to move my base and keep the design. People have created some impressive builds. I had a great shop that I loved, but when I decided to go to another planet, I had to let it go to regen.