I’ve taken a few small breaks since the full release last year and have come to change my opinions based on plots and regeneration. At first I thought it was about player responsibility and how nice it was freeing up the world from unused refuse but I do not personally like watching things vanish into thin air over night. Have seen it happen a couple times to major builds; in some cases they were landmarks. In another case the entire hub building disappeared in between a few active players homes making it look very awkward.
My suggestion is taking builds that have elapsed beyond their time and making them non-player builds where they are most just ornamentation or ruins in some instances. When the beacon reaches 0 you have X amount of time before regeneration claims the land again. This X give others time to plot the land either for their own gain or perhaps to save the build from fate. Once X elapses have the game take it over making it an unbreakable piece of the map. This could allow people who return after the fact to perhaps even negotiate for their home again (though I dislike the idea of pandering to those who showed a lack of game interest in the first place, its still sad to know people lost weeks/months of their lives over what was uncontrollable in some cases).
I took my old home from the first hiatus and ruined it so it looked abandoned. Broke out chunks of wall, collapsed an underground staircase, broke the glass in my water tunnel, knocked over a few building posts and rebuild them on the ground like debris. People knew I moved or quit due to the lack of storage and coils but the fact it sat there was a reminder of what was. It still remains there on Grovidias Te but I need to make my debris feel more “ruiny”.
On Besevrona I have a unfinished tower I will be knocking over soon so it looks like the ruins from previous players (which is technically is). I personally find this to be a fun use of my plots and am willing to pay/donate $$ to make this happen as in its worth using my plots to do this until something along these lines are considered.
It was these ideas that made me think of what it would be like if expired plots became ruins for the rest of the world to see and explore. With far future updates there could even be chests and items to find in abandoned builds making their exploration worth while. I see a lot of people complain and quit. This game will never be balanced enough to make EVERYONE happy and therefore you will lose epic builds from all sides of the opinion spectrum.
Another idea would be if you know your going to quit you could “donate” your build to the world. Remember back in 2016 when we had to map our plots and request the devs to plot our land? This could be done in the same way where the devs essentially claim a quitters land to make ruins forever. Then a vote can decide if it remains or if the real estate it takes up is too valuable for expansion.
This idea even triggered the idea of adding player placeable chests which can be accessed by everyone/guild/individual depending on triggers placed on the chest. By peppering the land with these chests, or perhaps future exo-worlds, it would add another aspect of discovery and intrigue and would allow players to add the same feelings to old builds. (Thinking back to Trove where in the earth you could randomly find chests which give block recipes, or Terraria where you find hidden chests and barrels deep in the earth). These chests could randomly hold ■■■■ items like beans and orbs but rarer chests could contain ore/gems.
One thing that was a real turn on for the game was the player created world filler which give this feeling of player community but it lacks a real reason to explore another persons build for anything other than aesthetic value. In the case of player created ruins there should be something to gain from not only finding the build but exploring it. If anything comes about my suggestion, I plan to hide forged gem tools in my Besevrona tower.
Sorry about the post length, this started as a two paragraph suggestion.