Prestige Balance in Testing 218

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The Prestige system has been a hotly discussed topic in Boundless for a while, both internally as a team, and by the player base since its introduction. The game has changed in many ways with each update, and while the first version of the prestige system served its function. It has become apparent to us it needs some changes to help players who have been failed by it and to discourage “Prestige Bombing” behaviours in settlements. We have worked internally on a new prestige system which should be a lot fairer for most players and would like to give you a run down of what we are thinking so you can give us your thoughts before we go live with it.


  • The rebalance the prestige value of a block properly reflects the effort to collect/create the block. Bringing it up to date with changes to the rarity of blocks since the prestige system was added to the game.
  • Make the system more rewarding to players who actively add variety to builds and create something visually appealing. Likewise, make the system harder to abuse to rapidly gain prestige (for example gleam bombing). Note: not impossible to game, but making it require as much effort to “cheese” as it would to progress prestige as a normal player.
  • Fix issues with the old system for calculating factors, such as chiseling and block colour, on prestige.

New Proposed System:

Our new proposed system seeks to tackle the system from two angles; rebalancing the prestige value for blocks and entities and looking at the actual final prestige formula.

New prestige balance on blocks

Many things have changed since the Prestige system was first added to the game during early access, and many materials which were once scarce, are now a lot more common place; many of these are owing to changes in spawn rates in the world regeneration and some others are down to player progression making some raw materials much easier to gather. Due to these changes we have had a look at rebalancing all the blocks.

Internally, the design team has moved towards using a calculated “Crafting” value to each item in game; this has greatly helped with the balancing of blocks. All blocks should now have their balanced around the level of effort it takes for a player to harvest or craft that item.

We have also readdressed our stance on natural blocks. We are seeing more builds take advantage of Foliage and Grass to make grand parks and vine covered castles. These builds should be encouraged to some degree, so we are making sure natural blocks (Grass, Foliage, Clay, etc.) will now reward a tiny amount of prestige. Not enough to start prestige wars in the major cities, but enough that our green fingered builders should get a small bonus sense of accomplishment.

New formula for calculating Prestige

The old formula was very basically and mostly considered total prestige from all the blocks and entities and then looked at the variety of the blocks and chiselling in the build and rewarded prestige accordingly. While it worked initially, it rarely worked in the favour of people putting in time and effort into eye-catching builds.

To create a system that is fairer to elaborate builders, and requires more effort to “cheese”, the formula now considers more factors when assigning a prestige score to a beacon.

  • Histogram of Prestige Buckets: Each prestige value of a block/prop falls into a bucket value of prestige (i.e. 10 prestige items 12 prestige items and so on). The game will now look at the histogram of spread of blocks/props across the beacon area. If the beacon is considered to have a good spread of prestige items in each bucket, the final score will not be changed. If the spread is very uneven (so for example, then thousand 50-prestige items but barely anything else), the game will begin to penalise the total prestige on a curve of how uneven the spread is.
  • Prestige Weighting: This works in tandem with the above Prestige buckets. Since realistically a build will tend to use a lot of lower value blocks (woods & stone etc.) rather than a castle of Diamond, we have made sure the ideal “spread” of prestige buckets will act more favourably to larger lower value buckets.
  • Buildable Space: Buildable space is a ratio of space containing built blocks against empty “air” blocks. The new logic will penalise any beacon which has a lot of blocks filled in the plot space with very little “air” gaps.
  • Colour Prestige: A ratio of tinted blocks which match the world colour against blocks with tints from other planets. More prestige will be rewarded for a good mix of native and “alien” blocks.
  • Chisel Prestige Histogram: Like the Prestige value buckets, this buckets the blocks into each type of chisel shape. More prestige will be rewarded for a good variation of chiselling.

Note: this system will never “reduce” prestige of a beacon whenever a new block is placed or chiseled etc., the system never even considers the ‘total prestige of the blocks’ in the first place for there to be a penalisation involved. People should never feel like they are being penalised, only ever rewarded.


To make sure the prestige changes were fair, I have been using a recent snapshot (taken on the 7th of January) from the world of Finata, which hosts the largest current City in the game along with many smaller builds dotted around the planet. I have ran many different prestige balance simulations across the planet to come up with the planned balance changes. To best highlight how the changes will affect current beacons I have found a few select examples the planet:

Foliage Builds:

With natural blocks (such as Foliage) now giving prestige, the mix of prestige buckets, colour variation and free space. This Build has been a major winner on the new system, increasing its prestige by a whopping 50%.

Statue Builds:

This build is one of the unfortunate casualties. It contains a lot of Gleam (which received a large reduction in prestige due to its availability in the current game) and lacks variety in its prestige buckets. It has lost just over 30% of its prestige. But with a few choice material swaps and a bit of chisel work, it would easily be back to the same level of prestige.


This style of build is eye catching and lovely to stumble across in the wilds. While it lacks a vast variety of block types, colours and chisel work. It has benefited from not trying to “prestige bomb” with densely packed refined gleam and machines. This build has had a 5% increase, and many similar builds have also had increases of 5-20% prestige.

Gleam Towers:

From the outside, this tower looks relatively inconspicuous, covered with decorative blocks, subtle Gleam use and a breath-taking Glass penthouse. However, its internals are tightly packed full of Refined Gleam, which you can just about make out at the bottom of the screenshot where the gleam blocks are being rendered at the distance. With the changes to Gleam prestige and Buildable space ratio, this build has heavily lost prestige (as have many gleam towers), down to 50% of where it used to sit.

Giant Castles

With a good mix of prestige buckets, natural blocks and open space, castles like this one have benefited. This one has increased by 19%

Gargantuan Walls:

This section of wall is part of a larger build as its own independent beacon. It consists of tightly compacted gleam and stone with very little variety. It has lost around 30% of its prestige due to this.

Quirky Shops:

Many shops have benefited from the new rules, since they consist of open spaces and large diversity

of block types. This example has increased by almost 20%.

Overall, most builds will find themselves around 10% above or below where they were previously in terms of prestige. With a vast majority of visually appealing builds at higher levels then they were previously. Please let us know of your thoughts of these changes before we move ahead with implementing them!


so what are the new base values? Machined Iron for example?

This might hurt a bit but seems more balanced. I’m down to give it a try!


This may hit me or send my prestige up. This will be fun to watch lol. Guess this will give me a reason to finally add more to my to my gargantuan walls build


So if I make a huge build out of bricks from another planet I will be penalised?


… Ok, so I probably shouldn’t have brazenly just stuck a sign on my new building that says “Tower of Prestige Spam” yesterday then? :rofl:

Though, this actually could help in my case. I started out using a lot of gleam but switched to brick, and as many decorative gems as I can create. And I do mix things up. To the point where it looks like a gleambow entry pretty much. My settlement is ugly as sin, but that is the whole purpose: something silly and fun that newbies won’t feel intimidated to join, which so far is working, have had two new neighbors comment about not wanting to feel like they’re imposing, some new folks are shy and/or intimidated by real good stuff.

I’m not trying to become the capital, but I do want the 500k PS trophy. Though the air space thing may hurt, since I’m now working more on creating underground chambers and tunnels.

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I think this change will bring some really great builds and probably even change some existing ones to be even better. The loss of prestige on certain existing builds kinda sucks but i understand the reasoning. Cant make every person happy lol but in the big picture this is a good thing. Id also like to say that the new Hunters Courtyard had me in awe when i first stepped in, amazing job! A build like that should definitely be rewarded by this


YES!!! Thank you!!!

uh oh…

oh ok phew! :sweat_smile:
(my build is all natural (variant transformed) sedimentary.)

AH! hahaha! awesome!! I suggested this a while back! this will be very good for a proper balance!! \o/

aw, boo. my build can only be one material type, for the nature of the build… =/
it’s good in general I suppose. I thought there was supposed to be more penalty for suing native blocks, as it’s far easier to gather materials from the planet you’re on :wink:

and those build examples. :ok_hand:
that is exactly what I like to see.
reward for natural or aesthetic builds, discouragement for trying to game the system.

:+1: :+1: :+1:


Looks like it will be a good change. Personally I’m a little worried about how much air space is valued before a critical tipping point though… what with having an 11x11x5 deep pit for our guild build :joy:

What the heck, lets go for it!


This. You go through trouble to import specific blocks, what’s the reasoning behind penalising this? Something I’m overlooking?


So if I spam a ton of stone for the base of my build I’m going to get penalized understandably but then I build a chiseled multi colored build on top of that out of various resources then my prestige will climb as normal. Will that penalized part of my build negatively effect the rest of the build. Or is it just going to give me zero prestige or very little prestige for all the stone/rock that I place and the rest of the build will scale accordingly to new rule guide lines.

SHAMELESS is built with black marble primarily. I expect my prestige to go up considerably. I’ll take my viceroy now please.

Overall I welcome an adjustment to what we have now for Prestige even though ultimately I would prefer the system to go away completely; or at least be de-linked from key things like footfall - which should just be an average coin count per visitor per day. I think prestige creates too many player behavior problems for very little game enhancement.

My biggest concern is a few mentions of “too much”, “not enough” etc type comments which are so hard to define especially when looking at the creative nature of building. So I usually fear that the numbers will always be off and not right.

Is this only done on “player placed blocks” or all blocks in a plot or Beacon? Because if I build a dungeon that is tunneled into a mountain I am going to get really mad if you think I don’t have enough “air” gaps in it. This could be a very hard to prove and define part of your algorithm. I would really consider this a dangerous direction to take in hopes to solve the problem of putting gleam in a box with no space. How do you define the correct level of AIR?

Why are you needing to define blocks based on the planet they come from. Why would we penalize people if they want to live on a green planet but have blue blocks? Of the revamp ideas this one misses the mark the most. I get this was done to stop people from spamming exotic blocks from other planets. The correct approach to solve the problem is to just count each block type the same no matter what planet it came from. The source planet and the color in relation to the native planet should not be taken into account.

How did the tower not lose more prestige since basically it is just a big vertical block? Was it due to just sheer size and the amount of materials?


That last image was my old settlement :blush: wish i still had it but i ended up getting meteor meet in Ultima HQ

Maybe remove other world’s blocks from the calculation entirely?

Looking forward to seeing how this pans out, most of it sounds like a good idea to me.

Can you go into the logic behind this a bit more? I’m not sure why my build would be penalized for not matching the native colors of the planet it is built on.

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This is poorly presented.

Builds gain prestige for using blocks from other worlds.

The quote appears to say the opposite.


Whew my cold beery build will survive on sorissi then

Almost all of my builds have color from other planets


I think that part of the using native blocks is that players who wanted to use native because they felt that fit the planet felt they were being penalized. I’m hoping they realize that it needs a blending of both.
On air, I don’t think there should be a lot off air. When we fist came to the game we went to look at some cities, some of the tall gleam towers were extremely high but nothing inside. Some were smaller but all gleam blocks. There needs to be a balance. What is the reason for the empty air in the build and why so many blocks.

I think it is a great thing to include the natural plants. The tree was beautiful and deserves to be recognized. Players who make beautiful gardens should be recognized, for some, me, that is more what I want to see than a tall building of various sizes and mix of blocks types and chisels.

I think castles should be allowed to have in their walls all of one stone, wood or other as in real life a person would use what was close. Some variation should be needed, but I would expect to see that. But the house, mansion inside should be a blending of native and from other planets.

I think the developers will read the posts and take into consideration what we state. That seems to be what @rossstephens means in the post.