So, the point about settlement A eating settlemnent B, is honestly moot to me because it happens in real life. To give you a real life example. I used to live in Cushing, Oklahoma. Back in the early 2000’s, two nearby smaller towns named Yale, Oklahoma and Drumright, Oklahoma got together and had a town meeting about Cushing’s explosive growth, because they calculated it out and within 5-10 years Cushing’s city limits would have expanded out and encompassed theirs. But, that’s what happens. Settlements merge and become cities, cities merge and become metropolis. An easy fix for that would be for the devs to expand the amount of reserved area that’s claimed by a beacon, then include a one plot wide grace area before another beacons reserved area can start. However, that would swallow up massive amounts of land, and would further push the desire for a shorter beacon time. To give you another example. Osiris: New Dawn is another game in development that opened up public servers. The game exploded, and all the land that was useful for habitation was quickly taken up by inactive settlements. Their solution was a wear timer of all man-made structures of around 10 days, and it worked. The players that are devoted to the game are still around keeping their stuff repaired and the 1-5 day players that played the game once or twice and quit lost their stuff. If Boundless isn’t going to open the table for talks about private servers, then they need to cater to the devoted players that are here playing the game on a damn near daily basis.
Also, the two beacons that I mentioned in my earlier post. They are both literally holes in the ground with beacons and stone furnaces. I scouted that area out for any sign of permanent settlements and found nothing. No player made structures, no evidence of clear deforestation…nothing to suggest that there was any one living there. It wasn’t until I started trying to plot those areas that I came across the reserved area of their beacon. If I knew that they weren’t afk I’d be more than happy to help them develop their plots, but there isn’t a way for me to find out.