I have done a lot of exploring lately and noticed a lot of cities that are truly not cities. They are a combination of settlements that have been forced into becoming a city via intentional road and plot linking. You can tell it is intentional because it is a 3 wide plot link.
In some cases these linked go over lakes or through mountains and are just empty plots. In some cases these links are done with good intentions and other times they are an intentional effort to take the prestige. There is no form or function in these links except the owner of the beacon and their intentional efforts to steal the work of another person’s build and prestige for their own use. On a variety of levels this just really isn’t acceptable and doesn’t speak well for the game.
I completely understand that some people like a big city feel but too many times those cities are not a group of people that want to create the big city, but instead a group of smaller settlements that are just merged whether by accident (plot sprawl of builds) or intentional - prestige stealing of empty “road” plots. I saw more than a few cities and towns like this. I live on Biitula primarily and it has a good example of this. We have some spots that are forced into a city because of reserved land and then we have very clear intentional plots to link settlements.
The guild update helped a little by allowing people at least keep their settlement name. But, it did not go far enough in allowing people to keep their CITY name over just their Settlement Name. It isn’t really right to be 1000+ blocks away from a city center but still fall into that city because of a 3x3 plot link. Or people that are just trying to build a small town and are forced to have a “big city” name.
We need to move away from “forced settlements” into a “opt-in settlement” model. Owners of a beacon should be able to select from one of the following:
- Opt-out of all settlements.
- Opt-in to one of the settlements that are touching my plots. (A simple solution that looks at all settlements that your plots touch and provides it in a list. You select from the list and become part of that settlement).
- Guild aligned/controlled beacons touching each other can create an auto-settlement if people like the idea.
However the “new code” for settlements needs to look, we really need to support the builders of this game and allow them to keep the prestige they put into their builds for their OWN use unless they manually choose to link it to another build. We should not have a game that automatically decides to give your prestige to another person without your consent. We’ve seen too many situations now in the past year of people taking advantage of other people’s work.
If we want to attract players we need to show that we really care about those player’s efforts.
If people have other ideas on how to have a better “opt-in” settlement idea please provide them. The list I provided was just a quick idea…
EDIT: Feature addition : Setting should be set to OFF by default.
- Inactive people could cause problems with existing settlements by breaking it up.
- New user tutorial teaches people to join the settlement so we don’t want to hurt that. It might be nice to quickly explain “turning off settlement join” or something to help people see the feature to cut down on complaints later on. But I am not sure about that.