So here's an idea I brought up in Banter the other night, and it seemed to gain a lot of traction, and I offered and was encouraged to bring it up here.
Basically... the Island's runnin' outta room, or at least room anyplace anybody wants to go. I mean, check this shit out:
I see (almost) not a single empty square between NewHome, Kittania, and IC. Thing is, a LOT of these (I checked) are either Empty Plots or Untitled Places that have literally been there since the changeover from Dwellings to Places. I'm willing to bet a lot of these belong to expired accounts. So, basically, they're just taking up space that could be actually used by somebody because 'haha go fuck yourself there's only four plots per square and one of them is WORTHLESS FOREVER'.
I guess what I'm proposing is that Empty Plots or Untilted Places (and I mean literally places where they've just built the first room and NOTHING ELSE) with expired owners should be up for razing. Maybe a Titan comes along and, enraged at the sheer waste of potential, just decides to stomp it to smithereens or something.
Maybe even on a case by case basis where if the expired owner wants their account back and had one such place, they can get refunded their cigs, but tough luck bud, you lost the real estate, find a different spot.
I'm hesitant and kind of do and don't want to suggest expanding the criteria to dwellings which have had some but almost no development for years, where the owner is expired, or even developed places that are locked with an expired owner (and thus completely inaccessible) but I feel like that would quickly turn into policing which Places are and aren't good enough to stick around, which is just a whole other (worse) problem.
I think deleting of unused plots is a good idea, too, but I definitely think we should leave anything remotely developed alone because there's always the chance that someone could come back and pick it up. We've seen a lot of vets reappearing lately, and how much would it suck to come back and find out your place has been bulldozed?
I would also like the ability to delete a place or "pull up" a landstake. I claimed a whole square thinking I would build like this huge complex or some shit and that never happened. Probably never will. I'd like to get rid of the ones I'm not using but there's no good way to do it unless someone wants to send me 100 cigs so I can make them a master key, then it's all theirs? I dunno.
I never realised it was this bad.
As for developed places that are either locked or generally untouched and their owners who have left (not been banned, I'll get to that one for a second.) They should get multiple notices leading up to the place's removal. And the player has their ciggies refunded and possibly given a stock of weightless materials so they can rebuild once they return?
The general theme has always been make room for the new guys and while yes, there is more space to the north-west, not everyone wants to go there simply because most of every where else is being taken up by places that are not seeing any activity whatsoever.
If a place has been unactive for a long time, 2-3 emails are sent to the owner over a period of time. Notifying them that their place may be removed if enough time passes without any form of contact, even a "I'll be back once my life settles down" can negate it. After that if there is no reply or the owner is fine with letting it go, the place is opened to the public if it's locked so they can explore. Then possibly a vote to decide whether or not the place is to be kept or removed. Possibly auctioning it off to someone who really liked the place and wants to build more onto it.
As for places that have been locked to their owners being permabanned or because they have been deemed to be simply bad for the community as a whole... Just remove it. Doesn't matter if it's considered a landmark. Jungles are known for completely reclaiming buildings or the drive could have retconned the place out of existence.
What're you talkin' about!? There's like........ 13 empty squares in that picture!
Seriously, though, criteria should be kept simple and final decisions kept out of the hands of players.
Well, first of all -- Kew, if you want to return a space you're not going to use to the general pool of available slots, let me know. I can certainly make it happen. Just ask!
We have more than 15oo places on the Island. As for the idea of removing built-up places... I'll only do that when CMJ gives a direct order. It has happened, but it is very, very rare. My default rule is I don't delete content, period. First, I am personally averse to destroying data that can't be restored if we turn out to want it (the result of a career spent in IT). Second, it would be breaking an implicit promise to players that here's a way they can build something to last - their own personal contribution to the Island. Scrubbing old places to make room for new would make the effort of building less attractive to everyone. And third, destroying someone else's work of art would make me feel like a vandal.
If a built-up place seems abandoned, sometimes it can go to a new owner. That's a judgement call. On request, I have transferred a place to someone who makes a reasonable case - always with the proviso that if the original owner comes back and wants the place, that's a prior claim and it will have to be returned. (This has almost never happened. Usually when someone asks for a transfer they already know from out-of-game contacts that the other player isn't coming back.)
What about the undeveloped ones, though? Can any of those be recovered?
Not the ones belonging to active accounts. I can't read players' minds to tell which building projects are just in abeyance for some good reason, and which are never going to be dealt with. There are about 175 undeveloped places: 100 empty plots, and 75 untitled places, of which only 49 (33 empty, 16 untitled) belong to expired accounts. I'm not comfortable deleting untitled places, even if the owner's account has expired... the place inventory could contain items that would also have to be deleted, some of them possibly paid for with SP -- which would make for a can of worms when an account is being restored. Empty plots, though... something might be done. I'm thinking about how to handle it in a manner that won't be setting up more manual work for myself (or a successor in my role) in perpetuity.
Honestly, though... these are not large numbers. Getting rid of the few empty places belonging to expired accounts won't make much of a dent in the actual situation, which is the built-up nature of the southern half of the Island. Desirable spots were taken first (big surprise), and people who came along later had to settle for longer and longer commutes! No, it's not an urgent solve-it-today sort of problem. But it has accumulated over time, and I agree that it is a good idea to think about ways to alleviate it.
Edit: Also, what Trowa said, pretty much. There are only two downsides I can see to doubling the limit from four slots to eight:
1. It might break the map as displayed above, so that would have to be tested. (No room for 8 pips, and there's always been a bug in the click-to-see-details, anyway; some places don't show up. Maybe take out the pips and click on the whole square to see the complete list.)
2. It would make displaying map-square pages longer when travelling, which might have performance implications and could be a problem on mobile devices.
Neither of these is any reason not to do it, just a side issue that would have to be thought about.
Second Edit: Places were launched in 2011. It's now 2016. If a doubling of map slots gives another five years worth of building space, well... who knows, we may even be into Season Three by then! After all, it's one year away.
If we do have an expansion, there'll be an initial land-claims rush. We could keep the new slots from being all snatched up 'on spec' by those veterans with lots of cigs... by instituting a One At A Time rule:
• If you have an empty plot already, or an untitled place, the game would prevent you from planting another stake until you have done something with the spot you have. Of course a player could still spend the time and effort, but they'd have to think up a purpose for their current spot first! I think this would help.
I've always felt like a land claim expansion should bring places to 9 a square: 3 by 3
Though that'd make point-and-click on the world map an even fiddlier affair.
Too bad that releasing land claims from expired accounts wouldn't make much of a difference.
On a sidenote: Could you do something to free beds taken up by expired accounts?
That'd be the place owners job, but some places like Muddy/Stony Trenches seem unmanaged.
Your opinion about squares appeals to me.
The occupied beds are a known issue.
I'd like to see more map slots so that all Outposts can have a Muddy Trenches.
I feel so cool, having a Place in an otherwise empty square one klick from an Outpost. Beachfront property, too.
More map slots would be pretty great, and I honestly can't imagine they'd put that much more strain on the servers.
And even, I think, the reclaiming of just the expired land claims (like, shit that has literally been there since 2011) would help a bit, too.
Hello all. Been a while.
I hereby relinquish ownership of my dwellings. I'm pretty sure my character's been deleted due to inactivity, and I'm no longer interested in playing or building.
There's the Strategy Hut northeast of NewHome (which I already gave to Omega if memory serves me right - so that's hers.), 3 or 4 plots on 17:33 at the base of the mountain between PV and CC404. I believe I also own a spot somewhere between SH and PV and a 1 room dwelling 1 or 2 clicks west of CC. I wouldn't be surprised if they still had that overpowered "rebuild your dwelling as a place"-thing in the inventory. If you're interested, talk to Sessine about getting ownership transferred.
Maniak might make a comeback in Season 3, but that's a thought for next year.
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