Ever since I saw the first bits of information about Boundless I always dream of a thematic city, the many projects I’ve took part in have tried it’s hand at that: Dragons Watch, Pixel Gate, Elop Portas and lastly The Hive.
Reading through most of the topics about it I can see many concerns about the current prestige system and this is a set of ideas I have about tackling the issue. Coming off that there’s never gonna be a perfect prestige system and that I’ll probably have some gripes about it. But that lastly my gripes with it are derived on the understanding that the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Main problem with the prestige system
Aggressive takeovers Someone new comes and takes over naming rights. The current situation makes it easy to take over a thematic settlement or a settlement in general by dumping a ton of gleam.
Why should I care about prestige?
1. I’m aiming for Capital I want to be part of the capital, more foot traffic or more visibility.
2. I want to be viceroy or warden
3. Higher prestige means higher foot fall per visitor
4. I want to keep rights to name my settlement
Why I shouldn’t care about prestige?
More isn’t equal to “better looking”, I always considered my builds to be above average, but they never held too much prestige. There could be gorgeous builds with vast amounts of prestige, but there could also be fantastic builds with lacking amounts of prestige. One doesn’t define the other.
What does prestige mean to me?
It’s a metric used to calculate the “worth” of one build. It means to do that by using time spent (usually higher prestige blocks means more time spent looking for them) & the thought behind it (the diverse factors build ratio, exotic, chisel ratio, etc) It’s not a perfect system, but it’s not a bad system per say, it has it’s merits and it’s logical.
What should prestige be based on?
1. Time spent gathering the block It’s logical to me that a block that’s more rare/harder to craft, should have more value than a block of dirt or trunks. There’s no arguing here. How much each value should be tweaked it’s another discussion.
2. Factors I like the idea of builds being affected by percentages, due to having more variety or more chiseling, etc. This is what I’m gonna be using to supplement my suggestion.
2.1. Theme This will be a new factor and it’s not gonna be exclusive to the beacon, the settlement will also play a role. What it means is, that if for example a settlement is based around a Medieval town, they will use a variety of blocks that will repeat across the settlement, to keep the theme going. That in itself will give a great boost to the settlement as a whole to keep building within the theme, giving more encouragement towards making a living world instead of just focusing on getting naming rights. A new resident that comes and dumps a gleam deposit will be affected by a thematic penalty as it breaks the aesthetics and thus his/her plans to take over will be futile.
As you see above, I’m not changing the proposal the devs have put in motion, I’m just gonna try to change the formula.
Expanding on themes
This will not solve all circumstances, there will be settlements with not a specific theme, they will still be open to being taken over by a gleam deposit, but at least it will help thematic cities.
Thematic cities may no longer be taken over, but the neighbor will surely break the environment, but nothing the game can do about it. The owners could try to plan a walled off city since the start to reduce those cases.
I always believed the best groups are those that grow together, an ever expanding settlement of friends will transition from stones to bricks and so on, so the theme shouldn’t affect them. And a capital full of luxurious gems, gleams and the sort, shouldn’t be afraid of their new neighbor coming and trying their hands at warden with a new gleam deposit.
The theme factor, will help growing natural cities deal with the ever growing takeovers, and boost their incentive on expanding the city instead of changing the materials, just to try and defend their prestige.
Things I could hope to be implemented, but see highly unlikely
I always loved Dragon Quest Builders implementation of the room system, meaning having certain things inside constitutes a type of room.
I could see Boundless trying to enforce that system, meaning having furniture, blocks, machines inside a “room” grants extra prestige or use towards the builds. But I see far too many ways around it and algorithms involved that might over complicate the situation, and ultimately make it not worth it.