On the contrary about things being sparse, in my opinion the current public worlds are almost intolerably crowded. You can’t walk anywhere for more than a minute without finding somewhere someone has built something, except possibly on Septerfon or Andoweem.
I actually insist (in all seriousness) that 50 worlds would be good to have right now, never mind at 1.0. With more active players even more worlds would be necessary as well. The economic limitation is frustrating, and a problem. If a method can be developed that allows an arbitrarily large number of worlds at negligible cost, I’d pursue it. More worlds takes nothing away from the game and can only add to it. Lonely, vast, unexplored, undiscovered, all that creates a wonderful “itch.” The only thing missing from Boundless is boundlessness; and it seems perhaps absurd but this kind of pioneering experience of solitary exploration I’m lusting after can only really adequately be delivered by an MMO. I want to be the first one to go somewhere, the first one to do something – But I can’t get this experience from a singleplayer game, even though it might be a “single-player” experience. The reason for this is that the universe one is exploring has to feel like a real universe. The massive backlash and anger against Hello Games’ faux pas with the promised but undelivered multiplayer shows what I mean. I want to go somewhere no-one else has been or will be – but this place has to be a real place, a place where they might go. Or I could bring my friends with me, into the great unknown; where no-one has been and no-one knows what will happen. That’s exciting! The portal and warp mechanics, hopping from planet to planet by watching the stars, is absolutely screaming out for this kind of gameplay. But it can’t happen with only a small number of worlds.
The argument I hear against that is generally that things are already lonely and they’ll get lonelier if this were the case, but people who think this don’t know the Matthew principle, which is a real law of statistical distributions and gets its name from the quote from the New Testament in Matthew, which goes: “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”
The poor stay poor and the rich get rich – but what this means in the context of Boundless is that people tend to congregate and build near each other, near the established settlements. This is the natural instinct of people but also can be artificially incentivized further, as indeed it is already with mechanisms like gaining coin from footfall. I’m highly incentivized to stay where the people are; and that’s good. But what I want is to go to the stars and have boundless adventures. I think the game is so diverse that there is room for every kind of play in it, and it’s a tragedy if the Universe stays as small as it is. I don’t think make it “No Man’s Sky” level of big, but it should be big. Far bigger than it is now, anyway.