My first 4 hours with Boundless

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007fa0d12d7020> #<Tag:0x00007fa0d12d6f30>

Hey all!

Just wanted to post my feedback about the game whilst this weekend is fresh in my mind. A big thank you to @cor-karolis for helping me find my feet. I am wary of early access these days and without their help I would probably have asked for a refund. Not because my experience was bad per se, but since the steam threshold for returns is 2 hours I didnt have a lot of time to get acquainted with the game… That being said! I have been having a lot of fun wandering around and the community here is really great. The criticism below are just my personal experiences and questions I asked myself when I was playing the game. There may be good answers to these questions but my point is that as a new player I have no idea what they are and the game hasnt provided any answers yet.

Firstly, the intro to the game is awesome. I definitely had a wow moment when I popped that first portal after being guided by the shaman tutor. After wandering for aimlessly for a little while I settled in a random spot and built my first beacon. This is when I was to be introduced to my nemesis… The crafting menu.

(Full disclosure: I absolutely love the FTB Infinity modpack on minecraft. I know it’s probably the bajillionth time someone around here compared boundless to minecraft but I promise I will try to be objective about it.)

Oh crafting menu… Firstly. For the love of all that is pixelated, why is there no filtering or search functionality? Every time I wanted to craft more stones from my rocks I had to scroll aaaaalll the way to the bottom of my “craftable” menu, select the thing I wanted, and then mash the “craft 2” button. Then after that I had to craft a crucible, so I opened up the menu again, scrolled even further down, overshot, scrolled up, clicked on it, and checked what I needed… Weird… I thought I just crafted stones? Oh! They’ve been put into a completely separate output inventory… That’s ok I guess? It’s kind of annoying how I have to move them out of the output inventory and into the regular inventory… Cant it just go back into the item inventory? That way when I put wooden logs and tallow into the crafting table, I dont have to fish them out as planks and then again as sticks, just to make torches?

What is also kind of frustrating about this problem is how much screen real estate there is. A good 2/3rds of my screen is reserved for my character to stare at me whilst I develop carpel tunnel scrolling around for the billionth time. It would be nice to have some Left <-> Right from the inventory to crafting and back again.

SPEAKING OF INVENTORY. I love smart stacks. I love this game and the dev team just for thinking those up. They’re great. Just having those is enough to almost forgive locking the larger inventory away behind an arbitrary grind wall… Almost.

What isnt forgivable is the lack of storage at the start. Just building in the tiny area around my house I collected a bunch of materials which I had nowhere to put after a very short amount of time, and being new to the game I had no idea what I should trash and what I should keep. So I did waste a lot of time dumping mud and sand out of my inventory every time I found something new. I understand that I can unlock storage later in the game but… Why? I dont really get a sense of accomplishment unlocking shelving after a level up… It’s just a pain in the butt to manage my tiny inventory until I whack enough things to level up enough to put the whacked things onto a shelf. I walked around a little and noticed that the other players were using crafting benches as interim storage but it felt a little cheesy… If players are going out of their way to substitute storage just because it’s locked behind a skill wall… Why have it there at all?

Speaking of level ups, I realise that the progression system is new, but it feels a little gung ho to lock even sprinting and crouching behind a skill wall… Especially when they’re literally the only skills you’re able to get in the beginning. I understand it’s partially to introduce players to the levelling system but you can do that railroading with the basic crafting tree. It honestly felt a little silly that I had to unlock the ability to crouch and sprint and a bit counter intuitive that I couldnt understand what I was looking at until I picked up the scanner perk.

So, now that I’ve set up my little slice of nowhere I did what any person who’s picked up minecraft for 20 minutes would do… I dug down. I made a nice little staircase and grabbed more stone, hunting for the ore and tech parts I needed to craft a workbench. I was loving that I could hold my shovel in one hand and my hammer in the other. It was fairly late by this point so I logged out and turned in for the night.

When I logged back in the next afternoon my entire staircase was filled in again! At first I thought that it must have been the rain washing mud into the hole (Cool!) but after some reading on the forums it turns out it was just the server cleaning up after 8 hours… I get that in order to save memory on these massive MMO servers you have to make some concessions but erasing all the work I did, practically on the doorstep outside my claimed area was still a huge kick in the teeth. Especially since after all that time digging I hadnt found any tech parts yet. So feeling a little lost I set out to find other people on the server and get some answers…

It’s handy that I can see player icons on my compass. Running across the vast, largely untouched plains of my starting planet of Vena V, occasionally seeing half finished huts or haphazardly placed beacons littered around the place was a nice experience. Maybe a little more accidentally post apocalyptic than the devs might have intended since the lack of players made it feel like everyone had been raptured… After a lot of running I finally found my first player! He let me into his house and told me I was the first player he’s ever met. I told him I also started this weekend, to which he replied: “No, I’ve been playing on an off for a few months…” Oops…

Without a goodbye my new friend logged out. It was nice that the greifing protection meant he felt comfortable letting a stranger explore his house and his setup did look pretty cool. So I decided to take what I had learned from it back home. USING PORTALS!

After setting up the portal to my house the game tells me that it costs 100g to open a portal. I realised there was money but didnt think you’d have to pay to use the thing that made the game look so interesting from the promo videos. Again, I realise there is probably a heck of a lot going on under the hood of the game whenever someone cracks a portal open to another server so you want to limit us from going crazy with them but at this point in the game I didnt know (and still dont) know how to make money… And if it was through trading with players… well… That was proving harder than I thought it would be…

After that I return home with no drama other than the slight anxiety that comes with spending 5% of the money you own without knowing how to get any of it back.

And that’s about it! I dug another staircase down and discovered a cave, this time using up the rest of my plots to keep half of it claimed… I guess it’s better than trying to re-dig the entire tunnel… And I am still hunting for those elusive tech parts, which after consulting, are supposed to be around here somewhere…

On a more meta side of things, it was really hard to find info about this game. I am glad my searching led me to posting on the forums here but the official website has no mention of the discord, barely anybody is let’s playing the later versions of the game on youtube, and the reddit is a ghost town. So, my usual avenues for figuring things out were not available. It was kind of nice going into a game completely blind but I am not sure that the directionless flailing at the start helps people who are keeping an eye on that 2 hour return limit…

All in all, I love the potential of this game and I focused on the warts of my first hours but I still had a lot of fun! I’d probably have a harder time convincing friends to join me in this game in its current state but I think it’s good that most of the problems I have had are relatively superficial. I think that a well placed free weekend further down the line will be enough to jumpstart the community, and most of the design/UI choices can be iterated on. I understand the difficulty of also designing a menu that works with a PS4 but there’s a great community here willing to give constructive feedback!

Lastly, I hope this review is helpful for either the devs or some newbies out there searching for info on this game. I dont claim to know better than the people actually building this game but I tried to give an accurate representation of my thoughts as I had them.

Thanks for reading
See you all in Boundless!


Great feedback, I’m sure devs will love it. You might find regeneration a bit weird at the start, but it’s very good system. Imagine having more players around, they axe down trees that are around, you have to travel a bit to get to the first available trees etc. With regen you get trees back after some time. Also it prevents people from making nasty stuff in the wild that will stay there until cleaned up manually.

@devs one more case of storage needing to be in basic recipes. That is really a basic thing to have, especially for players who don’t have upgraded inventory.



1 Like

I may have Hydra in my avatar, but even I have had enough with the “hail”-ing this week :dizzy_face:


I love this game very much and I invested Early, but I’m so glad I did, this is the kind of game I have looked for for a long time.


Honestly man i feel about the same thing with all of this…like in RPG’s there should be early and late games…but this is just ridiculous and it’s such a damn GRIND to get anything because of it…like i’m used to having to grind but this is just too big of a hill IMO

Heyyy now that’s what I call feedback :smiley:

You’ve got some good points here – fun to read too. I’m sure I can manage some actual coherent thoughts but I just woke up and the caffeine hasn’t kicked in…

But paging @SWProzee1, who’s making the giant portal-hub on Septerfon. You’d be a good excuse to link up the Aussie servers :wink:

1 Like

Hey, so we don’t guess at what you’re referring to. What areas are finding a grind at the moment?


Been completely MIA focusing on lucio ball. You mean it’s a recurring theme on the forums or you’re getting a lot of hail irl? Can’t tell for sure since we’ve been having some god awful weather in my neck of the woods.

First, I’d like to say: Welcome to to the Boundless community! I always like reading what people’s experiences are when they first start the game. I’m sure the devs find the information invaluable. (I would) It let’s them know what areas may need further explanation. If you’re looking for answers to anything, the forum is my favorite place to go. I still haven’t really joined the discord but if you want to chat, that’s probably the best place to go. The world regeneration isn’t necessarily for keeping the game running well, but more-so, to keep the beauty of uninhabited areas that way, and also, to respawn resources when given the chance. It’s more of a gameplay thing. A better crafting menu should be in the the works, it may not be an area of focus just yet but i’m sure the dev team is aware to some extent that it needs another quality of life pass. As for the storage, I completely understand. I think it’s kinda tough to get enough skill points to unlock the storage shelves. Perhaps move them to be part of the tutorial faze. (At least the wooden shelf)

To fix these woes, I’d like to propose a different thought process to the dev team:

Most games with depth all share a common theme. Easy to enjoy, difficult to master. I think the core game should be Minecraft’esque in nature. Quick, intuitive, and just plain old fun. But the true nature of the game should be rooted in the end game. Imagine that you’ve been alone on a planet, enjoying the game when all of a sudden, some guy, zips past at the speed of light riding what seems to be some sort of vehicle. Until now, you’ve only ever played the game like a standard Minecraft experience, but here’s this guy flying around in front of you. You’ve just seen a part of the game, you never even knew existed. I think it will help to make the core experience as much like Minecraft as possible, but to give the notion of… “but wait!.. There’s more!” (if you get where i’m coming from) We should be able to enjoy the game without having to grind for xp just to learn something as simple as a storage shelf, or grind for xp to learn the simple cooked meat recipe, because people expect those things to be a given at the start of the game. (Thanks to Minecraft)… We CAN however, offer enhanced versions of these game mechanics that allow for more versatility and more capabilities. So, instead of it being a simple shelf, now it’s a more decorated shelf with one or two more slots, and instead of cooked meat, it’s a stew of some sort that heals more and offers a buff. I’m not sure if these types of things are in the works or are planned for future iterations of the game (If not there are a few suggestions), but i think that with these types of game mechanics, we can make progression feel like less of a hinderance and more of an opportunity to turn the game into something truly amazing.


3 areas I can think of off the top of my head are:

  1. Basic item crafting. As a new player it’s really hard to set goals when the skill tree is locked off and 4 hours in i still hadn’t unlocked basic crafting recipes which was bottlenecking my building

  2. Exploring. Part of the reason I didn’t have enough levels was because I “wasted” time wandering around exploring the world. I am not sure if the game gave me exp for discovering new regions but it certainly wasn’t as much if I stayed home and whacked more stuff. I felt like I was wasting time because exploring delayed me from unlocking the basic parts of the game

  3. Plots. I get that terrain regen is important but as I said above, it’s hard to get resources because I can’t leave the game overnight without losing progress. If I’m supposed to do something else than create mines and quarries then the game hasn’t told me as much. I know plots are tied to levels but instead why not make it an upgrade for the beacon? Better materials = more plots

Or another suggestion. Make torches mini campfires. I don’t mind replacing my torches every so often if I means I can explore and tunnel further and create infrastructure to facilitate that rather than starting all over again because I haven’t gained enough levels to place enough plots…

Taking a look at minecraft and factorio for example: most of the progression is locked behind material boundaries which immediately allows players to feel able to set goals to fix those problems. The skill tree in boundless is tied to time spent in game because you’re given tiny bits of exp for everything but the player isn’t really in control and can’t say: today I will fix my lack of plots problem.


P.S I’ve just been stumbling around in the dark with this feedback/commentary. So if anyone wants to ask me specific questions please feel free!

As a veteran of three whole days, I agree with you on the first point for sure. Following the objectives as they unlock was helpful up until about needing to create a spark generator. There were so many items needed to build it locked behind multiple different Item Crafting Skills it became frustrating fast. And it’s not so much that I mind different things locked behind different skills, but these crafting item skills require 10+ ability points and in the early levels you are only getting 5 per level. You get to the point where it’s like “okay, what/where do I do/go to get experience so I can get more points just to unlock recipes?”

I think it boils down to the experience grind is such a monumental grind it’s not fun, because you don’t get to play with cool items/blocks until you go through this massive grind of breaking basic blocks. Even worse, as you gain levels the next level requires ever more experience but the activities you do to gain said experience don’t increase in value. It’s like leveling up in World of Warcraft but all you can do is kill boars for eternity. Honestly, if we are only ever going to get 16-30 xp per action, I think levels should be a fixed value, not increased level over level. It’s just not fun having to smash a billion copper veins before I can even unlock a glass prop block.

Which reminds me - prop blocks should be a basic crafting item. I’m tired of getting chewed up by the little critters because I can’t block up my windows with glass yet (open holes for now since glass is gated behind FIFTEEN skills activated. What?!).


He’s talking about Nazis… Too many Nazis this week. I wish I was kidding. Dammit. Godwins Law. I lose.


For me, the grind becomes a problem when it locks whole modes of gameplay that I like behind hours and hours of things I find boring, and/or when I don’t get any XP reward for doing the things I do like. In my case, I like building and exploring and running around making a fool of myself in the company of internet strangers (tho I don’t expect XP for that last one :wink: ). But it’s miserable when the things I enjoy feel like “wasted time” because I’m only putting off the grind.

So, leveling. Leveling started off feeling fairly quick, slowed down dramatically between lvls 10-20, was annoying-but-acceptable from 20-25, and ever since has been dreary and only become drearier. I keep running into the wall of I-need-more-plots-but-I-don’t-wanna-mine-forever. I’m lvl 35 right now, but I admit that I cheated and used the flower-planting exploit from maybe 31-34 (sorry) (I just…couldn’t take it anymore please forgive me :cry: ).

Things that would help:

  1. Make the XP-per-level curve less steep

  2. Give us ways to gain XP faster at higher levels (does the world-block-level thing on testing do this already? I haven’t done much there.)

  3. Don’t lock everything behind leveling up. Give us other ways to gain plots. Maybe even other ways to gain skill points? GuildWars2 has a system where you can get skill points from finding “places of power” in the wild or fighting Mean Murdergoat Grampa or sometimes odd things like, idk, eating some suspiciously glowing meat jerky you found in a cave…in addition to getting them automatically from levels. It does make you feel, as a player, like you at least have some say in how you play the game.


We definitely need more rewards that are not related to mining. I like mining (which made leveling quite enjoyable) but even then there is way too little reason to look for rewards anywhere but in deep caves.

1 Like

My question is, why are plots and recipes tied behind levelling at all? Why not require certain materials or actions instead?

That way players make their own quests trying to get these things. If they don’t want to do it they have to become more involved with the community and trade. This also has the upside of convincing people who do like gathering these materials to capitalise on it and start selling their loot to people who don’t want to get it themselves.

They already have infrastructure for trade, why are they undermining their own systems?


If they were unlocked at the start other players can give you high end materials and you can craft the rarest and most powerful items in the game. It also means players who want to be specialists crafters and have no interest in combat or exploring are now at a disadvantage because everyone can craft.


That is a fair concern.

The question then becomes: if the materials are rare and hard to aquire in the first place then someone who worked hard for them will want to give it up for free? If they’re giving it away then there would either he a general surplus or the that has no interest in the item right?

Case study:

Ftb infinity. There are literally hundreds of mod streams each with their own progression system. None are tied to levels but players still specialise in the skillet they prefer and you have players trading with one another across disciplines. There are even common instances of people hiring mages or other specialists with high level items for services in exchange for low level goods like wood that the higher level player can’t be bothered to farm.

What does being a specialised crafter entail? Apart from access to high level items that most if not all players need at some point. Since crafting takes time, if they have no interest in building and exploring then all they would be doing is transferring materials from one input to the other right? Therefore the players role isn’t dependent on their skill or knowledge so much as their tolerance for repetitive actions

Skyrim’s skill system follows a similar progression philosophy:

Crafting upper tier items and artifacts or skills is locked behind an exp gate. However, the game allows players to choose which branch they are able to spend points in. Regardless of which tree a player chooses however, they are still able to perform tasks from the other disciplines. The game does not ever stop players from attempting something new, rather, allows them to choose to invest their limited skillpoints in the trees they are interested in. At no point in the game is the player confronted with the problem that because they spent X skillpoints in Archery they will have to grind for the same amount of time to be able to use magic. They WILL have to spend time investing points in it to be as good at magic as they were in archery but they will never have to choose one over the other

Applying this philosophy to the boundless skills:

At the moment in order to access the ability to experience the crafting discipline in the game I have to activate 10 skills. 15 if I want to get access to quality of life stuff like inventory space, storage and… increased chat range?.. Not only that but I have to CHOOSE between these things because the skill cost incrementally increases for each activation.

Each skill costs 5 levels. So I need to earn 50 skill points, 75 to be able to choose between inventory size or storage space… in order to be allowed to SEE which items I unlock in the recipes. Unless I look it up outside the game… And if I want to be a warrior, I need to have 33-55 skills activated in order to access those skills… So I am not really choosing to be a warrior rather than graduating to one. Which isnt inherently bad but I get the impression that’s not what you’re going for with:

As an alternative, what about allowing everyone access to recipes, but experienced crafters can just do it better? You already have those skills in the equipment crafting section, just don’t lock the basic stuff behind skill walls. As for inventory space, a craftable backpack with upgrade modules?

Same principal with the beacons. More modules= better upgrades. If high level players are trading high level materials to low level players for their money so they dont have to spend the same amount of time on it… That’s how supply and demand works… to balance this, the rarity or difficulty of acquiring those items could make it prohibitively expensive for newbies to buy it. Same reason I cant make a new account in WoW and buy the best weapon in the game right out of the gate.

Also, this is more off topic since I only want to offer feedback on existing game features, but I am noticing a lot of separate shops and weird pricing. It might help if instead of a shop, it could be a terminal that allows players to access a galactic market/auction house?

I hope this feedback is helpful! I dont want to be an armchair dev but I really love the potential of this game and that the devs are listening so I want to do what I can. As I said before, let me know if you have any questions. I am contactable here or on the discord.


I actually don’t like the idea of a global marketplace - I LIKE that markets are isolated. Over time this could create a scenario where certain goods are sold cheaper in one place and bought higher in other places, creating another avenue of play where people become travelling traders. In ice/snow biomes, lumber is at a premium, so I could see people paying a premium to buy lumber instead of having to run to a richer biome to cut it down themselves. The player in the lumber rich environment wouldn’t be able to sell lumber in his home area for nearly as much as the ice biomers, so he could travel to the ice biome to sell. On the flip side, that same player couldn’t sell lumber for much in the home region, but the ice biomer may find it worth his time to travel there to buy the lumber at the cheap, local price.

Global markets like in MMOGs just get items cornered by one or two people and the price either stays artificially high or low, not really being controlled by supply and demand but rather the time invested by a single player or group of players.