My impression of the new releases (#144+)


With this topic, I like, to sum up, my impressions from the latest releases of B< and about the new features that were added. I’ve split this article into different parts and I hope that I cover all critical topics. First, I want to start with my overall summary of the latest releases (for the lazy readers). After that, I like to talk about a few things in more detail.

I know this game is still a work in progress and I try to phrase every “critic” to be constructive. I also like to say that all numbers (e.g. for balance) are only [my] subjective example numbers. It’s most likely that others of you have different experiences and think that other balance numbers are more applicable but please don’t make this topic a discussion about “numbers”. Never the less I’m happy to hear your opinions and if you share some of my impressions too.

Overall summary

As the basis for my summary, I have played approximately 60 hours in the past two weeks (overall playtime for B< is more than 300h). I also achieved nearly everything that is currently possible (all machines, [most] worlds visited a huge base with 80+ beacon plots in use, I open a store in the Therka market and so on). One of the main reasons for my huge time investment is, that I like to give a solid feedback for the devs (as you might already saw I am an active bug tracker).

Overall I enjoyed my latest experiences with B<. The graphic style is - as it was always - really nice and the worlds have a lot of really beautiful places to explore. The user interfaces (Insofar as these are implied) are working as expected and are mostly “self-explaining”. The current RPG aspects are (obviously) early work stages and don’t offer a lot to explore (no skills, no improvements) and I think some of the skills need urgent improvements (more later). I also have my “problems” with the current trading system and I think if there are now “reworks” in the pipe this will be a huge drawback to me (read more later). The “smart-stack system” is in my opinion currently totally useless (read more later). The beacon permissions need rework too (there were already enough debates about it and I won’t cover this topic).

Let us now have a closer look at a few topics.

Please note that this complete topic is also a work in progress and I may add additional things later (I’m currently a bit busy with my master’s degree)

Section #1 - About the UI

Most of the UI elements are, as said before, really self-explaining and I like the “artwork” style. But a few things are “bad-placed” in my opinion.

One of my main problems with the user interfaces is the “friend” section in the trading menu. It’s really awkward that I need to trade with someone to become friends with him. I’d also really like to see a “friend is online / offline” function or a location mark for friends e.g. “Dummyplayer is on Tharka at [x, y, z]”.

The other problem is the chat position and the chat setup. It would be great if it’s possible to select the information you like to receive (e.g. “Chat only”, “Chat + World” or something like this). At the moment, a conversation will get lost fast if you mine ore or do other things that “pick up” resources because both are in the same UI element. The last flaw of the current chat is the char-encoding. “special chars” from other languages (e.g. the german chars “ä”, “ü”, “ö”, “ß”) are wrong encoded and produce only “trash” in the chat output.

My last problem is the size of the status bar (HP, Air). which is too small in my opinion. I also liked the “prior” (release #146) version more than the new one (except the labels with the correct values, these are good).

Section #2 - RPG aspects

The first appearance of RPG aspects if by far the biggest feature that has been added to the game. I like the idea that you gain skills by doing ordinary work like chop a tree or mine resources. One of my problems with the current approach is the big imbalance between a few of the professions (skills). I think the miner is by far the easiest skill to acquire. I, for example, am a miner Lvl 43 but I’m only a builder Lvl 7 and an attacker Lvl 9 (and I hunt a lot). The XP gained for other actions than mining are by far too low - or the XP gained for mining are too high. One approach solving this problem (i think the slower skills are the more accurate for long time motivation) would by to split the miner into more “sub-skill trees”. E.g. the current miner skill could be split into “miner” (XP gained for mining stone, soil, gravel), “lumberjack” (XP gained for cutting trees, leaves, grass) and “geologist” (XP gained for mining resources like copper, iron, silver and so on). There might be even a 4th skill “technician” who gained XP for mining fossils and tech. This would solve the problem, that one skill is far beyond the others. Even if you are not a big “miner” at the moment this skill will mostly be the highest just because you need to set up a small shelter.

One side note is the beacon distribution. I don’t like to say that there is a problem with the current setup but it’s strange in my opinion to get 10 beacons plots at the x9 levels. Why not at the even tenth ? I also think that there should be an increase e.g. at Lvl 10 you get 10, at Lvl 20 you get 15 and so on. It’s a pitty that you currently don’t get a reward for the “extra” work you put in the skill.

Section #3 - Trading

As said before, I think the trading is the biggest problem at the moment. We set up a small market on Therka and there are huge problems with the worth of items. Some are by far too expensive, others are too cheap because people like to help each other and trade items far under value (e.g. Tech Components) while others are far over priced for example gold ore (all ore in general). This might be a problem of balance in the resource distribution but it’s also a problem of the “decentralized markets” (i know this might be good for a trading profession (trading on different worlds), but it’s annoying in small spaces (e.g. on the small market on Therka). It would also be good to have something like an “auction plinth” where you can place an item and set your “minimum” value and a time for the offer. I have the feeling that a lot of items are not sold because no one really knows the value of items and most player spare “huge investments” (this is also a currency problem which I explain later). Let’s make this more clear with an example.

I like to sell a power core. In the beginning, Tech Components were really rare and therefore I set the price quite high (8k). In the meantime tech components dropped in value and therefore the power core should drop too. In this case, it would be good if I were able to set an “auction plinth” and offer the power core for a comparatively low value (e.g. 1k). If there is more than one player interested they start the auction (maybe over a time span of a few days) and they offer what they think is fair. This will be repeated till someone is not longer willing to raise his offer and the competitor wins the auction. The item is now sold at a fair price (one was willing to pay) and I, as the trader, know a guidance for future offers.

The other wish would be a “listing plinth” with a table of the content of all plinth in a defined area. E.g. on the Therka market it’s hard to find items - especially because of items also smart-stack and you only see one representative of the smart-stack group (e.g. Bone, Raw Meat, and Tallow share raw meat as representative). Let’s also make an example:

I, as the “owner” of the market or a shop (maybe everyone can do this), set up a “listings plinth”. Now the content of all other plinths within a range of 50 blocks is listed in the listings plinth. If a buyer visits the market, he can now use the listings plinth to get an overall feeling of the items offered (really great if there is also a location mark). He knows exactly where to go to get the items he needs. This would also make prices more transparent and better to calculate.

Section #4 - Smart-Stacks

Smart-Stacks are one of my biggest problems so far. This was also because there have been a lot of bugs in this system, but it’s also because it’s really unhandy in everyday use. If I roam around in the world and I collect items of the same group (e.g. Bone, Raw Meat and Tallow) they stack by default. This might be a “space saving” feature but it’s now also not obvious what’s in the smart stack. Every time I like to know how many bones are on the stack I eighter need to open the stack (wich is a useless action) or I need to split the stacks into its components which nullify the value of the smart stack system. I also split everything in the storages because it’s by far more clearly what’s on the shelf.

I have become accustomed to always split the stacks. The only things I don’t split at the moment are timber (because I don’t use it for building and therefore the visual representation is unimportant for my) and leaves. Stone is my main building material and therefore I always split it, because I can’t build if there are different stones stacked in one smart stack (e.g. sedimental and metamorphic). It’s even more annoying for ore and metals because I can’t just drop a smart stack of ore in the furnace and select what to produce. It’s, as far as my experience is right, always from a low value to high value.

If you have a smart stack with copper, iron, and gold the copper is processed first in the furnace before everything else. If I now need to produce gold I need to split up the stack again => useless interactions.

If there is a higher value, yet not revealed, I’d be really interested in the reasons for the smart stacks. But otherwise, I think they are a completely useless feature which produces more problems than usability. Why not just multiply the inventory with 9 (the smart stack size) or maybe a smaller value (average size of smart-stack groups).

The only reason why smart-stacks might be useful is for the, in the future appearing upgraded items (as far as I remember correctly in the “forge”). But if the also smart-stack, how should I know which items is used at the time ? At the moment I always have 2 smart stacks of every tool in my inventory and I don’t care which is which because the are all the same value (stone). I also have 1 stack of iron and 1 stack of gold hammers in my inventory but not in the same smart stack as the stone tools because they are by far more worthy and I like to choose them only deliberately if I really need them and not by accident because I did not look at the tool all the time.

Section #5 - Currency

The currency is one of the things I’m skeptical about. This is because of many reasons. First of all, i don’t like the idea that skill progress is the only source of currency in the world. This will become a problem if you hit your max level and can’t get more currency from progress and you are forced to trade all the time. This will also be a problem if a group of persons owns a huge amount of the money in a world. They pull out a huge amount of money from the economy and prices will drop dramatically because all others don’t have that much money. I’d appreciate a system where you are able to also make your own currency. It could be e.g. possible to make 100 currency from the refined gold alloy (or similar for other professions).

I also don’t like that coins are used to open warps. If warps are a “money sink” they should use some worthy items to open and not the currency itself. Otherwise they literally “burn” all coins till nothing is left.

Section #6 - Beacons and machines

Could it be possible to place machines outside of beacons, please ?

It’s currently nearly impossible to leave a planet if you don’t have other warp conduits in your inventory because you can’t place a crafting table and build new ones because this requires a beacon. If you - by accident - forget to build a beacon control you are stranded on the new world (which might be too hard for you to survive).
EDIT: This is obviously possible. Thanks at @Zerus.

Section #7 - Overall balance of items

Overall I think a few items are currently really useless and should gain more value in the future (e.g. sand, gravel and tree leaves) while others are too important to hard to find (e.g. gold). Because the current release has a lot to do with balance it’s important to name this here for future improvements.

Let’s create a ranking for Items from -100 (useless - you find them everywhere and can’t use it for anything) to +100 (hard to find and you need them a lot) . This ranking is for the EU worlds (i don’t play enough on other servers to rate the items there).

Below 0

  • Sand -100
  • Gravel -100
  • Tree Leaves -50
  • Sap -20
  • Tallow -20
  • Silver -15
  • Tech Fragments -10

Around 0 (they are well balanced)

  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Soft Coal
  • Medium Coal
  • Timber
  • Stone

Above 0

  • Bone +10
  • Fossile +10
  • Peat +30
  • Tech Components +50
  • Silty Soil +80
  • Gold +80


Overall the latest releases are fun to play and I’m happy to see a lot more releases in the future. I’m especially hyped for the new creatures. Last but not least i hope you can share some of my impressions about the latest releases and I’m eager to hear your options and experiences.


I have to say I didn’t really play much of the last few releases and I thought my experience with the smartstack was because of that.
But everything you wrote was exactly what I thought of and had problems with all the time. (Although it was a short time^^)

About the money, if the warps would use worthy materials instead of coins wouldn’t we need another coin sink then? Or if there are already others (I think I faintly remember a tax on plinths?), those would need to destroy more coins.
If not we’d have more and more coins without ever getting rid of them and thus inflation. Especially if you could make coins out of gold or something else.
Unless I overlooked something of course.

Nonetheless a really good review!


This is correct if there is an infinite amount of coins (now max limits or the ability to craft more coins). If there is a finite amount (max level caps and no ability to craft coins), there should be no coin sink because every lost coin is permanent.

This is already implemented if I remember correctly. My opinion is the same as above. If there is infinite currency a coin sink is okay but if it’s finite and if there are max level caps we should have “item sinks” and no “coin / currency sink”.

Thanks a lot :slight_smile:

It’s true that there would only be finite amount of coins if their only gained through players going up levels and if those levels are also finite.
And, although there could be a seemingly infinite number of players because of the sheer number of humans and we might even get multiple characters per account (and some people might even have multiple accounts), I agree that it would level out in the end so there should be no or only togglable (by the devs of course) coin sinks in case the inflation gets out of hand.

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At the moment we are planning to have two windows by default to split chat and log window. You can merge these in the settings if you don’t like that option.

The HP bar is new and we went for the smaller option but we can look at changing this if people want.

It would be interesting to know if other people have issues with the current way you add friends? I’m personally more accustomed to the invite by name search option, but there is a certain sense of satisfaction by going out and hunting down your friend to add them to your friends list.

Still early days here, but good to see we have a system which you like. We are going to add more to it and balance it further, we can clearly see mining is too easy and will need to be rebalanced. It is also worth noting that “grinding” is not the primary way to earn XP. Players should earn more chunks of XP by completing objectives.

Also, right now everyone is the same. We haven’t got unique stats per character that you change and upgrade it is all down to the tool. However when we do add stats you can modify, this area will certainly change. :slight_smile:

We are splitting logging and mining. We didn’t do it for this release and there are a few more roles to come… :wink:

Beacon distribution is also slightly placeholder but we were mindful of giving away too much too soon. We were also considering the fallout of taking away Beacons if we gave too many away in this update and the game exploded. Imagine what would happen if you logged in and saw we nerfed your beacons by 100. :open_mouth: (I haven’t forgotten of the bug where you lost your plots when you died)

This one is for @james & @olliepurkiss. I like to answer the easier questions. :stuck_out_tongue:

See above! :stuck_out_tongue:

There are talks about how we can get more coin into the game. It won’t be tied to levelling but it will be an unlimited source, albeit very small. We’re are just trying to nail the theme as to where this coin comes from. ???

Hmm, this one is for @james and @olliepurkiss again. One solution for warping could be to have a return to beacon option on a cooldown or death penalty. But it is seen as a way people will game the system.

We are starting to see what is valuable and useless in Boundless thanks to this update, so you can expect to see a lot of balancing in future. But not saying when we will start because we still need more data. :slight_smile:


What exactly is even the purpose of us not being able to place machines outside of a beacon?

  1. Anti Griefing - People left their machines with stuff cooking in it and other people came along and stole them when they weren’t looking. Locks is one option but you need the skill to craft locks and the knowledge of how they work before hand. If it was possible to craft a machine outside a beacon most players will have been mugged by another player, which would have resulted in a lot more angry new players.
    (See the selling plinth topic where entitling players to be a member of a beacon resulted in them stealing the items in the shop.)
    This is just one area players could have been mugged, there was nothing stopping someone smashing your machine and stealing the block and the resources in it. We could have added extra rules and restrictions, but then it becomes a lot more confusing as to why you cannot break or interact with a block, etc.

  2. Encourage Building In An Area - We want people to build towns and cities in an area and be committed to a region. Allowing people to craft whenever and wherever they are makes the need to settle less of a necessity. Also, there isn’t much of a reward for building and settling in an area and this is something we are looking at improving. We want to reward people for building shops, crafting houses, homes and turning them into towns. Instead of a random crafting table in the middle of nowhere, which we see all too often. :wink:

Might not have been the answer you were looking for but I hope it gives some insight to the insanity here. :stuck_out_tongue:


It’s a bit offtopic maybe (@Heurazio it’s your topic so your call^^) so I try to not start a big discussion.

Point 2 is completely understandable. Although it’s a bit restricting the diversity of playstyles (for example people without a fixed house who travel from place to place and might want to put up a temporary camp for the night without the need of having to place a beacon) and I don’t think we would see many “rogue crafting tables” or anything left behind by those people because of the world regen^^
Also I think it’s already in the nature of humans that they want to settle. I’m not sure they need even more guiding to do that if they want to do it anyway eventually.

Another point is that a lot of the time when devs want their game to be played a particular way and only this way they take the fun away for a lot of people. That doesn’t mean devs shouldn’t have a vision for their game and that this vision is always unfun or the opposite of what the players want. But I’ve seen games fail pretty because of too much restricting the things players liked in a game and focusing on the “right” but boring way to play the game.
(Which also doesn’t mean the beacon restriction will make the game boring^^ I hope you get what I want to say^^)

Point 1 though sounds a bit too much like babysitting. I understand that a lot of players who come from games like Minecraft might be confused at first about world regen which will destroy their stuff if they are away for a few days. Or people who might not think about the possibility that even if their lock protects their stuff, the lock can be broken outside of a beacon.

Surely you could make more rules for locks which would complicate everything but in the end I think it should come down to the responsibility of each player.
Everybody should have the right to choose on their own if they want to risk these things. If a machine or it’s contents are precious to you, you shouldn’t place it outside of a beacon unless you have no choice and/or know the consequences.

The tutorial you’re working on could also help a lot to minimize number the people who just didn’t know any better and got mugged.

For me this restriction feels exactly (and I really mean exactly) the same as if the game would tell me I could only leave my beacon if I had equipped enough armor (or things with protective stats) to defend myself from the mobs of the world I’m on. As if I had an overprotective parent^^
I can decide myself if I want to risk my life because I don’t wear anything that protects me.
(sounds a bit like a rant, sorry for that^^)

Summary: I see your reasons. And I’m glad that there are reasons behind it^^ But I can’t quite see how the small benefits (or at least of those I know right know, maybe there are more?) outweigh the restrictivness. Especially in a game called Boundless, restrictions feel even heavier.
Might also be because I really really hate any kind of unnatural restriction and babysitting and I’m a bit biased because of that^^

P.S. After writing that whole post, which will inevitably result in a discussion, maybe a new thread about this would be the best after all?


I’ve actually had the opposite experience with smart stacks. To me they are incredibly useful. I always smart stack all of my items. It both saves space and keeps redundant items from quickly filling up my inventory. This will be especially important as item tints become more prevalent. If you pick up 3 different colors of the same dirt you don’t want them to take up 3 inventory slots. Smart stacked tools are the best use case in my opinion though. Not having to stop and equip another hammer every time one breaks while I am mining feels amazing. I do agree with you that it needs to be made a little more clear on what items smart stack with each other though. Most cases, such as different types of dirt or stone stacking, are pretty straight forward but it felt really confusing that bone, tallow, and meat stacked. I think this is because they feel like 3 different categories of items. Hopefully some sort of adjustment can be made for these edge case items to make them more clear.


I agree with this. There are scenarios where it is just necessary that you are able to build outside a beacon and if you are aware that there is the world regeneration and burglars around, I don’t think you log off in the time you craft.

Dirt might be one of the few examples when smart stacks come in handy. But e.g. for stones which are (as said before), my main building material it’s a pain if they smart stacks (i build with sedimentary only). It’s often different kinds of stone (sedimentary, metamorphic) in on smart stack and I can’t just use it for building because every time a “slice” of the smart stack is used, the next picked is defined [felt] randomly and I need to switch it again mannulay.

Why not make them stackable (not smart stacks but normal “numbered” stacks) in the first place ? The vanilla items are not unique at all and therefore it’s not important what color a stone hammer has. For the upgraded ones you might not be able to afford a “stack” of them at all because they are either extremely expensive, extremely uncommon or otherwise “special” so that you won’t have a smart stack. If there are upgraded ones that are “more common” I can agree that smart stacks of them might be useful. But this is only a really really tiny use case compared to the “everyday work” of a miner or an attacker. I just can’t see the “real” advantage at the moment.

Is this not the same as placing a beacon to set up a camp then removing it once you are done?

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The same logic will apply to stone as well in the future though as there will be different tints of stone. You could have orange sedimentary stone in addition to the current purple. Additionally, what item you will use next from a smart stack is not random. The items in the smart stack are used from the top left to the bottom right like so.
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
This means if you are building with only sedimentary stone then you’ll want to move it to the front of the smart stack before you begin or if you have multiple stacks of stone (like I sometimes do) You may want to reorganize the stacks so that you have 1 smart stack that contains all your sedimentary stone. This only really happens when you have a ton of resources though.

I don’t disagree with you on this one but I think what is preventing this is durability. When items stack normally it means they share ALL properties. Items with durability will have different remaining durability and max durability (possibly) from each other and this information would be lost when you stacked them. Also, you can stack different tiers of tools in the smart stack such that your least valuable tools are used first. So for example, if I have 3 stone hammers, 3 copper hammers, and 3 iron hammers, I can set up my smart stack to use the stone first, copper second and iron third all without me having to open my inventory and re-equip hammers.

It’s similar, but I deliberatly said without placing a beacon^^ I mean sure you could always place down a beacon and remove it afterwards but why? It’s just an unnecessary step that’s imposed on you by the game and nothing you chose for yourself.
If your playstyle is nomadic for example. You’d take everything you needed with you in the morning anyway and in the night you’re always with your stuff. So no mugging or regenerating will take place. And everything you leave behind you don’t mind being taken either by nature or by another player.

I know what you mean though. It’s not an argument against the restriction but it’s an example to show how it doesn’t serve any purpose than restricting. No matter how noble the intentions are.
This example also shows that, if someone doesn’t want to settle in one place, this rule won’t stop him from moving all the time. It’s just a hassle for him.

Everybody who is able to start Boundless is also able to choose for himself if he wants to risk certain things or not and building machines outside of a beacon is one of those things.

I mean if you wouldn’t want that things get destroyed by regeneration or stolen/broken by a player then you should make it so NOTHING could be placed outside a beacon.
Sure everybody would be safe from any kind of griefing outside of beacons but they couldn’t place blocks to climb mountains etc.
While that would be even more impractical it shows more clearly the underlying problem which would be amplified by extending the “no placing outside beacon” - rule to all blocks.

It’s just that I see no real benefit that wasn’t there before, only restrictions. What I mean is, the beacon protects your stuff with or without this rule. And as such you are always more inclined to place your stuff in a beacon and therefore settle permenantly.

Why not? It takes like 5 seconds. This in no way restricts you from being nomadic like the example you gave. The only difference is the 5-10 seconds that you will spend placing and picking your beacon back up. I think that is a fine trade-off for avoiding new players losing their stuff to griefers.


But a tutorial could solve that problem just as good and wouldn’t restrict anyone.

edit. I also said that this example wasn’t an argument against the restriction but an example to show how it doesn’t serve a purpose^^

It does serve a purpose though. It prevents players from falling victim to easy griefing.
How exactly will a tutorial prevent people from being jerks in an online game? Could you imagine if, as a new player or nomad, you were setting up your stuff and didn’t notice another player walk up behind you and then they steal your crafting table or workbench? It would be a very frustrating experience, especially for the new player. Generally speaking I think you should aim to avoid these sorts of experiences all together when designing a game as it will drive players away. Yes, you do trade a very slight amount of freedom but I don’t think it is so much that it prevents or especially hinders a particular play style and that’s what important in my mind.

As Zerus says, it stops the scenario where a new player spawns into the world and places their crafting table down, loads their resources into it, then when the crafting menu is open another player comes along and steals everything. That new player now has to go find all their resources again, or more likely, they’ll quit and never play again.

Like in some MMOs where veterans used to kite powerful monsters to starting areas. Yes, it was funny but for new players it made the game instantly unplayable.

@luke-turbulenz @Zerus But if a player places down a machine outside a beacon AFTER a tutorial which explains to them that nothing outside a beacon is safe, then it’s entirely their fault.
It’s completely unnecessary to punish players who can follow a tutorial and understand it because of people who can’t.

If you really, really, really have to hold hands then why not make it an option in the settings? It’s on per default and if you want to place machines outside a beacon you can go into your settings and disable that safety net. You’d get a big warning message which would only go away if you agreed to have read it and that you know what the consequences of building outside a beacon are.

I’d still think it’s unnecessary because of the tutorial which hopefully will cover all those things but it’s a compromise I’d be willing to make.

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But it does serve a purpose - as it enables the permission system on the items within the beacon. It also stops the world regen from triggering - meaning that your little camp will still be there if you happen to be offline more than expected.

(I see other people have already commented on this issue.)

(Btw - I’m personally in favour of allowing players to place and use entities outside of beacons. But once you start digging into the issues specifically around many-players in the world and a persistent online game it isn’t quite as simple as first appears.)

I floated the idea of making the beacon asset like a generator and requiring that entities needed to be connected to the generator. Then it would thematically make sense that to craft something away from home that you needed to place a generator to get the party started.


I’m not sure I can follow your explanation.
The permissions are only for beacons and things in beacons right? How does “being able to place entities outside of a beacon” mess with the permission system for things in a beacon?
Wouldn’t just all the players have permission to things placed outside of a beacon?

I’d make it so if somethings not in a beacon it’s fair game for everyone. That’s why I don’t quite see how it’s connected to the permission system.
(I’ll comment on the rest after I understand that^^)

Also, yes I know world regend would trigger if you build something outside of a beacon. But you should be able to make the decision, if you want to risk that, on your own.

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