What Should Happen When A Beacon Expires


You’re saying this as if nobody had thought about it already. There’s a freaking thread made for people to say why they don’t wanna play the game anymore.
And the whole point of the current thread relies on the constatation that the beacon system is too punitive for the player who fails to refuel his beacon. There are lots of negative reviews online about it.

Although, yeah, I see waaaaay more bad reviews based on the whole PS4 deal with Square Enix which added microtransactions. And the devs tend to say “well, we need money”, as if the game didn’t already had an AAA game price. I have to agree with these disgruntled players, that’s a total cash-grab move on Wonderstruck’s part, and the current model is pretty bad.
You can compare it to a game like Creativerse which is free to play, with an in-game store (to which they often add content to make their money) and a 20$ ‘DLC’ equivalent to what the Gleam Club gives you.

Other negative reviews have to do with how the game is too grindy, too hard, too punitive, hasn’t received enough major updates, etc etc. Pretty much what the devs must already know, since, as mentioned above, they made the “What turns you off playing Boundless?
Put all of these grievances together, and you get the final problem : the game looks dead because too many people leave the game and their empty builds stay there for weeks/months and nobody can do anything about it.

Yeah, so, basically my suggestion : CRAZY IDEA : what if there was no automatic regen on prestigious dead beacons?


Why not Have a beacons Prestige level or even footfall (maybe both) contribute to the Fuel time remaining in the beacon. Tiny 2 plot builds are way easier to rebuild, than say a portal hub, or all the roads/halls in a city/mall. Prestige would reward players with large expansive builds with more time per fuel, and footfall solution would help keep popular destinations active longer.


No I am saying this again because clearly we don’t understand the reasons well enough and are not taking the time to SOLVE those things first. I feel this is what we should do instead. Why?

This is a better approach because we are solving the root issue and not spending hours of time to figure out a system to allow those that left get their stuff back. Trying to return stuff requires major changes to the design of the game and many game mechanics within it and causes OTHER problems. We have a simple efficient system now to allow people to keep builds alive or clear out those areas where people have quit. Instead of trying to solve an “effect” we should focus on solving the cause to the effect happens less.

There are many reviews on other negative things in the game about why people leave beyond “their stuff disappears.” Yes the loss is punitive but keeping things around or adjusting how the game works now is very punitive to time required to do the change and all the other content and things that will then be put on hold because of the decision to fix this minimal issue.

I say this because there have been huge threads in EA and tons of discussion around and around about beacon loss and whether it was smart or not. It was decided that it was in the best interest of the game in the long run for a variety of reasons.

I’m not opposed to lowering the loss and have had conversations with James about this. I think it is important. But I still do not feel it is more important than actually solving the root issue on why people leave.

These people did not “leave” the game. They are not playing. When a person leaves the game their build will expire and regeneration will happen because them leaving kept their beacon from being fueled or GC being bought.

Any “empty build” that exist are here because “active players” either haven’t finished their builds or they have grabbed and taken over the build to get footfall traffic or because they won’t wan that build to go away. Footfall is the primary reason and the root problem causing dead looking areas to stay around. None of this has to deal with people losing their “stuff” after they stop playing.

Additionally, not enough people playing is what makes the game look dead in some ways.


This is where we disagree, plain and simple.

It’s paradoxal to read you saying that the current system works and is efficient.
It’s like hearing Todd Howard say of Fallout “it works, it just works”.
Meanwhile, we often see complaints about the game feeling empty, dead, etc.

We’re at the point where people are trying to figure out answers for the devs, trying to find ways to attract more players (before making sure that they want to stay), trying to make a trailer for the game, etc etc.


i can see this issue being a tricky thing to solve on one hand any change to the current system will take alot of dev time that could be used to release content that the game has almost non of right now.

but on the other hand my fixing the cause and not the “effect” we may slow down the retention problem but it wont bring back the people who already left. on the surface beacons expireing is a minimal issue but i think it still needs looking at even if we fix the retention problem we are still going to have people quiting for good when they lose eveything due to being unable to refuel

my self i have no plans of comeing back just cuz i dont want to have to spend 100 of hours grinding for the gems to re craft all the dang power coils you need just so you can “build” in a building game


Thanks for the poll, option two was an awesome idea I hadn’t even considered. I know this is a burden on the devs but I too have felt the deep loss of players not returning after their builds were lost and every minute and every hour lost with it. I was almost victim and I would have perma-quit after losing “everything”.

The service should be free. The game has a high enough price tag to warrant it. Anyone who says “whats the point of fuel” I respond with you had first pick of land and have now lost your epic build but not materials, that’s enough of a loss. Some people are losing some pretty grand sculptures.

This is an opinion coming from someone who was an a-hole about it in the past and I apologize now that I have changed my tune.


I think the land shouldn’t regenerate immediately. This would allow other nearby people to claim it. It sucks when you’re in a nice city and a nice building beside you just disappears overnight. Having a delay before regeneration to allow someone else to preserve it would solve that issue.


The current system for clearing out areas for players that truly left the game and regenerate the world works just fine and is efficient. We need to have ways for the old to be removed and the new to come in. That was the area I was only pointing to for my comments about the system working. At this point I am not sold on keeping old builds around and feel we need them gone even faster.

There are complaints for “lost stuff” but those certainly are more minimal than the complaints for the various bigger problems people complain about. There is no paradox in understanding cause and effect. Person left = stuff is lost. The losing of stuff does not happen before the person left.

The game feeling empty is a result of the leaving not the losing of stuff. Fix the leaving and the complaints lower. Until we focus on the core problems and fix them we won’t get anywhere. So you are welcome to disagree but it feels like you are missing my point about why I feel the root causes are more important than the effects. People need to start focusing on solving things in a way that actually solves them.

Most of this happens because people do not take the time to actually understand the underlying reason on why the problems exist or attempt to solve the problem in a conducive nature. Most of the solutions provided will exasperate the problem or cause other problems within the game.

A very large part of the content in these forums that are suggestions are not in a correct format or even approaching the issues they are trying solve in the right way. Too many people lack understanding from the developer perspective or the unique issues this game faces. Even when that information does come out a lot of the responses don’t really move the needle forward in a way that works for the larger game.

I’m all for suggestions but I think people need to understand the real problem and the challenges the developers have for the game design the built. Once people get a better grasp of that then maybe offer suggestions.


Pay a real money fee to retrieve the stored things? I feel like the storage requirements have been exaggerated a bit. Let’s take a random msgpack file from the boundless files, compiledblocks.msgpack. It’s 4 megabytes in size, and it contains over a million rows of data. I doubt the game has that many unique items/blocks the server would have to store in the worst case scenario.

Even if 100 000 players let their stuff expire and they all had a million unique item types in their builds, the total storage required to store that is 400 gigabytes. And that’s probably an order of magnitude bigger than what it would really be.

Having the customer pay a restoration fee sounds a bit excessive :woman_shrugging: But that option seems to be less popular anyway so probably not something that will be relevant.

The size isn’t trivial for sure, but it’s a small thing in datacenter standards.


But here’s the other chain of event that led to this very thread :
Person fails to fuel his beacon.
Stuff is lost.
Person rage quits, never comes back.
[OPTIONAL] Person leaves a negative review.
Person leaving + negative review adds itself up to the “game feels empty” problem.


So do you have the exact data model they use to store game data? Please post it so we all know.

If we are going to try to prove our points via a technical discussion then we need to make sure to provide all data points in it. Remember a plot is 8x8x8 blocks. Not to mention what ever other meta data they might need to store as well as the thousands of people that have logged into the game along with their X number of alts. So the situation can expand on an exponential basis.

Then let’s look at storage costs for egress of that data as well as how that might actually interact with the current server design or regional breakouts. Do we need another server to process income and outgoing data? Does the data sit in cold storage for better costs but then how to we bring it in for retrieval? Etc…

While this concern might be trivial in one companies perspective does not mean it is trivial in this games perspective. It is in the finer details of the solution that is of concern to the development team in regards to the storage requirement.


Yup sounds like they need more work on teaching people to fuel their beacons. We have made considerable progress from where it was in EA but clearly more work can be done.

But yeah we can never solve a person that can’t control their rage or remember to fuel a beacon or pay for Gleam Club or see a game beyond this specific issue.

As I said before I’m not opposed to helping people that lost stuff but I will always feel solving root issues and bigger problems is the better place to put our efforts.


Yes, the data format is easily available in the game files. The calculations were ballpark. We’re not talking about storing plots, just the block/item id, metadata about (colour etc) it and the count. This can be compressed a lot too, the numbers I gave were an order of magnitude larger just to be sure.

The aws data pricing is complicated and there are many solutions to it, but the point was that I feel like the data requirements have been exaggerated a bit and it shouldn’t cost them so much that the customer has to shell out money to retrieve their data.

The fastest aws storage is
$0.023 / GB
and transfers
$0.09 per GB

The player’s expired stuff would be a fraction of a gb. I don’t see a point in charging you $0.01 when you return to the game.

edit: I understand this is grossly simplified, there are many more variables to it, not to mention the dev time. But in a $40 game with microtransactions, optional subscription and deluxe edition, I strongly believe charging for this would give a bad impression. Paying for GC as a “storage solution” is already in the game.

edit 2: Ook I’ve calmed down, might’ve been triggered a bit by seeing another subcharge suggested


As to “storing” items to return to a player who’s beacon expired… Why not add a slot in the beacon to insert "Insurance Token(s) one per Plot maybe, then rig the beacon to generate a checksum of the contents of the beacon, rather than try to save the build intact, just save a checksum description of the materials to be returned, checksum being generated when the beacon expires. Any insured beacons once the checsum is generated, the beacon contents Regen instantly as if hit with a regen bomb in each plot. So no salvage->recovery exploit is created. when a player comes back they get a time limit to place a beacon (Maybe even an “Advanced Beacon” with an attached temporary storage inventory) and withdraw their returned materials. the contents would not need to be stored, as with the checksum, the contents could be generated upon return to the game.


Don’t you need to register your e-mail before you can start playing the game? I’m asking because the game could send you an automated e-mail when one of your beacons is about to die out (like 3 days before it does).
That would help a lot, I think.

Buuuut we can make it so that failing to fuel your beacon becomes less problematic.
For that, there are a lot of options which have been suggested. I still believe that mine would be a fine compromise.


I think this is an important issue. I am usually over-opinionated so I’ve just been watching this and I’ll only add my thoughts here and avoid discorse.

I belong to a minority. I rarely hunt and I’ve never run a shop. I just gather and build in an artistic way for personal reasons. I have never been a fan nor believed that the scavenger strategy in this game was a fair or a game-sustaining mechanic.

I like option 5 if I had to choose. I will have put over 2500 hours into my magnum-opus build alone when I am done, and I will always pay for it to stay there. But I consider someone who cannot make that financial investment but has created art or something that enriches the community.

It’s a shame to me to see great effort dissapear or be scavenged. Many are “wealthy” by almost cheat-code like methods, which is empty; and when they quit, sooner rather than later, the cycle continues.

I created a thread back in EA about being able to vault and blueprint your build to “zip” it into storage and that never gained traction. I gave up on the notion. I only continue my build because it’s therapeutic and I love it, but the game decisions baffle me, so I do my own thing. I am maybe on an island in my thought, and that’s okay.


I happen to be one of those perma-quitters due to losing my stuff. After 500 hours of play, I also found it necessary to change my review to negative I felt so strongly about it and need to warn others. I’ve also been offered material from another player, but politely refused due to the bad taste left in my mouth. The current system is way too punitive to allow players to return, no other game punishes players at this level. I think most players in this forum are so active, they can’t imagine life getting in the way of them ever logging in on a regular basis, but I assure you, it happens. I don’t really care any more about any future update that doesn’t involve changing this system.


To be fair, there are other multiplayer survival games that do exactly this.


Really, I’m curious, what games wipe a players entire inventory when they don’t login within a specified time? This is the only one I’ve ever played.


Yes I would overall agree that people are spending too much time on the cost/storage component. When I brought up blueprints and a possible “store partial stuff” idea with James on a call the storage part was glossed over because it really isn’t a big deal. It is the data and how it would interact and what that does to the exist game mechanics and game play that exists.

How do you iterate through 100, 500, 2000 plots, add up the items, store them and still keep the server doing all the other stuff. Does the whole build just disappear after it has been itemized. What does this do to those people that like the explore and find aspect. How do you keep this from being taken advantage of. How do you keep this from being a huge scale issue if the game becomes more popular and you have to start storing data for 10,000 of people. How do you decide when data is backed up and when it is stored… ETC ETC ETC…