Thought Experiment: Remove Greater Settlements and only keep Guild Settlements

I’m fully aware this would upset countless people and the backlash would be huge and it will never happen.
So please, let’s just discuss this idea on a purely theoretical level to explore it’s benefits and flaws.

Simple Idea:

  • Non-Guild Settlements are removed from the game, Guild Settlements and everything else stays as is.

Let’s discuss the implications.

I’ll start with my toughts that led to this idea:

I always felt settlements should work like guilds since they always felt like guilds in other mmos to me, before actual guilds were added to the game. You have a founding process and everyone who wants to build in the city joins the guild first. There is also a well defined leadership that doesn’t change based on prestige. Of course you can have auto join guilds for open settlements like we have now. But the settlement is defined by the guild and then when two settlements touch, they don’t merge automatically when they belong to different guilds. Merging would have to be done by re-aligning beacons to the same guild. That’s also the process to split settlements, by re-aligning beacons to different guilds.

We are actually able to achieve this within our current systems by getting rid of greater settlements completely and only have guild settlements.
In short: For a settlement you need to align your beacon to a guild. no guild: no settlement.
Non-guild settlements just don’t form anymore.

Leaving migration problems aside, do you think this would lead to a better handling of settlements long term?
Can you think of situations this could sovle or new problems this would create?

I’m really looking forward to hear all your toughts! :blush:


You’re an idiot! This would upset countless people and the backlash would be huge and it will never happen!

Oh wait I just read more than the title… gimme a minute


At this point this might upset a lot less people than you think.


It is an interesting idea. So currently the leader of the guild is always the leader of the guild. If they leave then what happens? Does everyone have to leave the old guild and start a new one? Is there a case like with malls where the 100 member limit in a guild would be an issue?


I think simply being able to opt out of other settlements is the best solution to some of the problems we are having now.

Anyone can easily create a guild with their own multiple characters so I don’t think your proposed idea would work.

I do want to say I’m glad for discussions like this to bring new ideas to the table.

If i do not join the guild then I have essentially opted out of the settlement. If I join the guild and align my beacon then I have opted into the settlement if I am understanding the proposal. I am not understanding why a person creating their own guild creates a problem for the proposal? But I am probably not thinking of something.


I’m pretty sure, you have to make someone else leader before you can leave a guild, or the leadership is passed on automatically when the sole leader leaves.

I also think that the current 100 member limit would become a problem and would have to be raised to make this work.

This Idea proposed above started with thinking about how and opt-out could work and it got rather complicated since you somehow have to select which beacons to join and which not.
A simple join all/join none switch wouldn’t work for roads for example, opting out with a road would break the rest of the settlement apart as well.

I don’t think thats a problem. Solo settlements should be possible in my opinion. A single standalone beacon aligned to a guild should still form a settlement.
Please note that this idea is unrelated to the discussion about plot buffers and “roads”.

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Sorry I should have been more clear, what if they leave the game without putting someone else in as leader.

I don’t know if Boundless currently takes care of this, but in other mmo’s like WoW and FFXIV the guild leadership gets automatically passed on to the highst ranked or longest serving officer after the guild leader has not played the game for 90 days. (Don’t quote me on the exact time. :sweat_smile:)

This could be implemented for Boundless as well.


As long as they add something then yes something like that would work.

Personally I would prefer to have a new type of “group” created around a city. Base it basically on a guild like design, link it to a book or something, and allow people to auto join. Then those people grouped together can create the city.

This allows us to remove the current “auto settlement” creation and any forced annexations and stuff. We can have mayors and other council members or whatever in this new city group.

Of course I still would like the Guild settlement design.

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This sounds like it would create too many settlement/cites, and become convoluted.

If you have a city/guild/settlement already, and then you add a new group type of settlement, wouldn’t that be too much?

So basically remove “zone” all together and make guild assigned “zones” only available zone.

I see the pro’s and cons to it.

Pro a zone is carried by controlled or aligned beacon. While its also a con as some one might not want to align their beacon, but does want to join “zone”.

Pro “zones” don’t eat other zones. Con guild beacons break up as most beacons become invalid as in “roads” and “small dwellings” (to name a few).

As a city builder and yes all my beacons connect and are guild controlled. It would not make a lot of a difference for me. Have to redo a few things.

That said the zone i “control” atm exists out of 26 million pres. While guild owns 16 million of it. How ever there is a builder without guild that owns roughly 9 million prestige in the “zone” and the rest are small guilds, starters or other.
If zone would be removed either a lot of people have to join/create “guild” or be happy with the fact they can’t generate a zone unless they do so.

Understand where you are going to as even i find “zones” pointless at the moment.

Here is why, there have been more then a few instances that “zones” cobbled up other “zones” because of expansions or just because “adding prestige”.

Adding prestige is not nice but i have to admit i once expanded to get the capitol reward(s). Think it was during the winter event.
Don’t start nagging at me now because as soon I got the rewards I disconnected and made sure the zone name didn’t change.

Now because of my new build and previous mentioned zone is almost void of any builders I decided to contact the main builder and informed him about the space I needed and what it would mean because our zones would connect.
The problem here is because our zones connected his zone disappeared.
So I renamed the zone to reflect both.

To get back to what i have suggested before. Give us an option to set a beacon as road. When set as road prestige goes to controller of the beacon (personal or guild controlled/aligned). But when set as road zone won’t be carried.

If “zones are removed there should be a auto align in the beacon. When placed next to a guild controlled/aligned beacon it automatically aligns to that guild (manually realigning possible when interacting with the beacon after placing).
Please note auto align when placing beacon. Not replacing or what not.
Because you “decide” to join settlement.

Whell i have rambled enough… :wink:

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The point is taking the current settlement model and moving it into an opt-in group type scenario allowing people to join in an easier fashion. Isn’t that what a city already is? People choosing to live in the same areas?

The current server pass for settlements already groups plots that touch. Additionally, it breaks out that area into guild based settlements. So there isn’t too much change at one level… just a different way of us viewing.

On the backend it would probably take a decent re-write but in some ways could make it much easier in deciding settlements. Instead of the server and some algorithms that we hope are right determining who is city members — the members actually do.


I read this with great interest…

Nope, not the least bit interested in this being implemented… another huge headache for the players and the Developers…

I would rather allow the Developers to work on meaningful content for Boundless rather than stuff like this

How is it a headache to the players?

I don’t see how it is a headache to create a city by people opt-ing into it. It is exactly how cities work. Seems to be much easier in an approach than a haphazard way were plots in certain ways can create split settlements, etc.

As for Development I am not sure all the details expect that the settlement layer is complex. A rewrite to simplify it into an easy opt-in model might actually be even better for them… sometimes removing code and delinking systems make life much better in computer programming.

Not to mention city opt-in leads toward actually voting and other things to chose would would be Mayor. It would remove the prestige dumping stuff that happens with people fighting 100 prestige at a time to be the top dog.


I imagine a system like this for current settlement owners that has 3 options.

A: Opt-in. Automatically joins any other adjacent settlement with the highest prestige.

B: Select. A drop down list is created that includes adjacent settlements. Settlement owner can choose which settlement to join.

C: Opt-out. Settlement maintains identity and cannot be absorbed by a larger settlement.


All I am going to say is what happened to all those who lived in a great city on a neighbouring world was a headache to bother the people there and the Developers …

Ok Guild leader gets annoyed he destroys your city leaves piles of lava all around guess folks just suck it up and live there?No thanks rather have my own greater settlement that way if I quit it regens and another can move in. I been gaming enough to know guilds arent forever and sometimes they expedite factors that make people quit. Plus big guilds like to eat smaller fish too so this is not really a solution unless of course youre in a big guild then this is just bias in the form of an experiment.

Edit by Stretchious. Stop the targeted player attacks, it’s not clever.


Just to clear up any misconceptions:
Your beacon only needs to be aligned to a guild for a guild settlement to form, not controlled.
Your guild leader has zero permissions on your beacons. Exactly like guild settlements work right now.

Single person guild settlements are also possible, exactly like they are today.

The risk that you describe of a person owning important infrastructure of a settlement leaving or destroying it can happen in a non-guild settlements the same way it can in a guild.
Being in a guild settlement doesn’t specifically prevent or promote such a behavior.