Settlement etiquette proposal

Firstly, let me say that I’m not saying thus should be some sort of “law” or enforced by the police, simply that I think that this should be the encouraged method of founding a settlement. I think if players follow these simple guidelines and treat each other and their creations with respect, then we can all avoid a lot of drama as this community grows, and our in-game communities grow with it.

I will adress three states of players: Founders, Nomads, and Citizens.

I define a Founder as a player that seeks to establish or has successfully established a settlement. I define a Nomad as a player who currently belongs to no settlements. A Citizen, is a player who has applied for and been accepted for citizenship within a settlement.

Founders responsibility: Founders should provide clear details upfront about: plans for a settlement’s layout and architecture, contact information for Nomads to apply for Citizenship, and any particular rules to live by as a Citizen. As the game progresses in its development, this should be done in-game in a town hall or centralized location of some sort that would be easily recognized by visiting players. For the moment, forum posts establishing these details are the best we have. Founders should make some form of contact information available for Nomads to contact them for citizenship application.

Nomads: do not build or establish beacons in proximity of settlements. If you seek to gain citizenship of a settlement, you should first seek out the founder of a settlement for permission. You should then read, understand, and accept all rules and plans put in place by the founder, or else find a different settlement to live in.

Citizens: having accepted the rules and plans of your settlement’s founder, you should also seek to help Nomads who seek citizenship to do the same. Report violations of your settlement’s rules and plans to your founder, and settle disputes in closed channels amongst the members or your settlement. Don’t take town drama to the public channels, and if you decide your Founder is doing something you can not accept, simply denounce your citizenship and leave. Do not harm your settlement for any reason after having become a citizen, nor should you retaliate in any way after denouncing citizenship. Citizens should provide their founder with some form of contact information while they are a citizen.

A settlement is simply a collection of beacons in which multiple players have set shared build permissions for each other. Anything built outside of a beacon or beaconed zones with only one player are not settlements. In this way, a Nomad that protects their property with a beacon does not count as a settlement unless they desire to have others join them to form a settlement.

Development wishlist for settlements:
Beacon proximity protection- reject placement of beacons adjacent to another players beacon unless those players share beacon permissions on the adjacent nodes.

Bulletin boards or sign posts to share info such as town rules or guild website information and founder contact information.

Door and mechanism locks for inside beaconed zones, as well as permission sharing per 8x8 plot to allow private locking of doors inside a settle as well as general protection from outsiders/ nomads.

Animal/crop damage protection inside beacons and per 8x8 plot to protect privately owned pets or livestock inside a settlement. To allow protected raising of cash crops/ livestock while apart of a settlement.

Beacons permissions to deactivate hookshot/ grapple hook inside a beacon.


Would a founder ‘claim’ certain areas of land and how large could these be at a maximum size. What if players don’t want those categories? What if the founder is afk/nasty/unfriendly/rejecting for no reason? How could you claim the land back?

For example a player who just likes to build in random areas but builds a structure in an area the founder has ‘claimed’ without realizing it. Or a group of players who claim the maximum size possible over a very large area, in servers over time the spawn areas and areas outside of portals will become very unfriendly to newer players wishing to find a place to build as they would have to get outside of the claimed area before being able to build what they would like.

Also these founders could claim areas and just deny citizenship to others. Of course a founder of a community would have a larger area than a normal single person. Maybe a solution is allowing area space relative to number of people in the community. But then again if that solution were implemented each player in a large guild could make a large settlement for each person, unless there was a limit to the number of communities one could join.

Perhaps allowing multiple founders or electable founders?

Or maybe having an area founder act like a normal area, except when you enter a message pops up with rules, etc. And if the rules are disobeyed the repercussions could be exile, being defamed by forcing to have a negative title alongside the name above their head. Exile could be used by all founders, being defamed could be done by larger groups.

Those are my thoughts.

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Could there be players that just create cottages out in the wilderness, rather than having to deal with all the paperwork, or would the citizenship have to apply to all of the world/region, rather than just the city?

This etiquette is based around the current beacon claim system, which means the maximum area a founder could set aside is 12 8x8 plots. It would require additional citizens to contribute their plots to grow the claim of the settlement. This alone covers the majority of your concerns. A player can not accidentally build in a “claimed” settlement because if there is no beacon, there is no claim and if there is a beacon, building is prohibited.

It occurs to me that I should have better defined “settlement” for forum readers that have not yet played the game. A settlement is simply a collection of beacons in which multiple players have set shared build permissions for each other. @dwarvenname Anything built outside of a beacon or beaconed zones with only one player are not settlements. In this way, a Nomad that protects their property with a beacon does not count as a settlement unless they desire to have others join them to form a settlement.

As I said before, If a citizen decides they no longer want to be a part of a settlement, they need only to remove their own plots from the settlement, there by leaving that space available for future citizens to use.

Every other concern you mentioned is not currently possible in the game, due to the limitations on plot sizes.

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Edit made to original post to reflect definition of settlements as well as a developer wish lost for settlements.

Anybody else have ideas for settlement etiquette or feature wishlist to make settlements better?

thanks @Havok40k for collecting some reasonable thoughts. I’m in a project in which some regulations might already have helped. But in this early stadium of the game it’s a nice example how people start to argue when many ideas touch each other.

In any case I don’t like dictatorships in which one player decides over everyone’s actions or ideas.
It would be okay, if a settlement would have 5-10 citizens. But then there should be electable players who can regulate more then others.
In other words: depending on it’s size (number of citizens) a setlement should be organized by a group. So one lazy / stubborn leader cannot make everyone else suffer. Leadership must be connected to activity. So inactive leaders cannot stop the developement of a settlement.

I also think the maximum “claimable” area should somehow reflect the number of citizens / members.
The area claimed should be also connected to activity of citizens / leaders maybe. If people stop playing for a long time, the claim just disappears and is free to everyone else again. Then there is no dead occupied space, maximum ghost towns.

Further more I think some voting systems would be nice. Creating an idea and let other players vote / discuss if this should be realized or not. I like the idea of a townhall in this case. There founders / leaders could write down rules and ideas can be announced. Everything could be pinned to the walls. So new applicants can inform themselves before they apply and know what’s the idea of the settlement.

The guidelines here are not necessarily for dictatorships nor democracy. That can still be decided among the citizens of a settlement. These guidelines are only to outline some appropriate behaviors when creating and joining a settlement. After the initial founding of a settlement, the citizens should coordinate the rules and regulations among themselves.

Once again, I reiterate that this is based around the existing beacon system. I do not favor beacons expiring due to inactivity and I do not favor other players disabling somebody else’s beacon for any reason. If a leader becomes lazy, as you put it, then the citizens can either leave or contact their leader and arrange for them to withdraw, but they should never be allowed to force another player out.

If a citizen is poorly behaved after joining a settlement, they may find that their permissions in surrounding beacon plots are revoked, but they can not have their own plots taken from them.