Map enlargement or faster lot expiry?

We are running short on lots again and I have the impression that people turn around at the door when they realize that only snow or swamp lots are available on the empire map currently. There are two options here:

  • Enlarge the map again.
    Advantages: More users on the server, easy to do.
    Disadvantages: Increased workload since More lot reset required. Longer travel distances, more inactive lots on the map.
  • Shorten the lot expiry period
    Advantages: increase the amount of Active users, less half-built lots
    Disadvantages: People on holidays might get reset.

I am convinced the shortening of the expiry is the better solution. The big question is what is a too short period? I think 2 months is too long. We see this with the amount of lots where nothing happens. However, what is a “natural” break people might have to take from the game? What holidays do people have where they might be unable to connect?

[UPDATE] For a visible reference, I now colored all lots that have not been active since the last 4 weeks in yellow on this map.[/UPDATE]

[UPDATE 2] I would be happy to have a 2-months expiry for donators and people above citizen levels[/UPDATE]

[UPDATE 3] I updated the map now so that DonatorPlus Settlers & Citizens as well as Architects & above by default become yellow after 2 months. Others after 1 month. So there are less lots colored now, but still enough to tell me that the 1 month cutoff is the right thing to do.[/Update]


30 thoughts on “Map enlargement or faster lot expiry?

  1. I’m for shortened lot expiry too, maybe a month or something. Maybe you could make a forum-topic where people can leave a reply if they’re going on holiday longer then expiry date. Not sure if this will work out, but it’s worth a try I think.

    • We would need something else since I cannot go and scan through a forum each time I make a lot reset. There are too many already now for this.

      • how about a submit leave of absence form in the user profile?

        • A leave of absence application would be nice if it doesn’t cause uncovery more work. I fear even the faster lot expiry will be more work for him. The distribution of absences below shows 30 days is sufficient.

  2. I think both sound like good ideas; however, there is a solution to the travel distance issue suggested in the first option. You could re-introduce the outposts, and place them in farther areas of the map, thus making it easier for users to get to them.

    Though, I think both ideas could work easily, and effectively.

  3. I feel duck and pine both have good points. I feel 30 to 45 days max( i say 30). But would adding more lots effect the server speed or cause lag? But i do like the outpost idea.

    • Yes it causes also more lag, but I am not sure how much. All the lot performance is affected since it needs to keep the lots and their members in memory permanently. 4 x 30 more rows is quite a lot for example.

      My bigger worry that I would then have to reset 10 lots everyday.. I do not have the time for that.

  4. I would think enlarging the map would be better as we are getting alot more settlers ands theres not alot grass land lots left. but then again if you shortned the expiry then there would be its really hard too decide but i’d go for the enlargement and maybe down the year we could introduce the shortned expiry thingy:L

  5. I’m for shortened lot expiry because i think more quality is more valuable than more quantity.
    You could implement a dunning (Mahnverfahren) after 30 days, which tells the lot-member that his “expiry” will be over in another fourthnight – so the member knows that after 30 days he will be “dunned” (prob. with an auto-mail) and 14 days after that period his lot will be “gone” (manually done by Unc).
    In fact a period of 44/45 days with a chance to react for the member.

    • I do not agree. I am afraid that then inactive users just “pop in” to be here and leave again. If someone wants to play here, they should simply do so. If we need to remind them, I rather not have them around.

      Next to that this is not that easy to program reliably. There is a risk we spam users.

  6. ‘I would be happy to have a 2-months expiry for donators and people above citizen levels’ – that sounds like a good idea.

  7. I like the 30 day lot expiry. I did a little excel graph based on the data from the Users page, showing the rates of inactivity. Number of users on the left, days inactive along the bottom. The red dotted line shows the 30-day cutoff, and you can see there is a noticeable lump of people to the right of that:

  8. Also, Unc, perhaps it would be possible to defer some of the lot reset tasks to Elders? Just a thought.

        • i know i am not an elder but i would be happy to help with that if it came to that

          • Unc, I already have BIG essue trying to play on uncovery because of all then new stuff the settlers, 1. You could go with the most common one, lot reset every month for settlers and citizens. 2. This would not be the greatest, but make a max players on the server, it’s a very bad thing, but more lot would kill lots of users from intense lag!

    • I’d try my hand at resetting if it helped as well. Is there any way to make it completely automated?

  9. I would increase map size, but add lot outposts as we had in the ‘world.’

    Unco recently upgraded the server, and I think it would be able to handle it. Or would it not?

  10. a month expire date is a good idea, i like it even tho i am newer to the server but it would help get the people who use to play a chance to come back and play but just enough time that it is still viable to pull their plot. I agree!

  11. All theses ideas are great! maybe create some sort of sign up sheet so that we can let you know about a vacation. I say sign up for a 1 1/2 month vacation, so you dont reset my lot for something beyond my control. Just an idea.

  12. I’m in for the 1 month lot expiring. We could implement a plugin to notify people through email if their lot is about to expire.

  13. yeah the longest ive ever been on holiday away from a computer is a month

  14. I think we should make the map larger. The outposts would be smart to re-introduce for shorter walking distances, and it would add new lots so that we would be able to choose in advance because when it comes to lot expiry, we would never know when a new lot would be available or if it would be one that would satisfy us.

  15. Well, do we want to expand? Or do we want active, committed players?

  16. Crazy idea , maybe you could introduce some minecart system like the one in skylands? too help people get places ect?. dont mind me im just an old man;)

    • Yes, crazy idea, no, I won’t do that. We had that on the old map and it turned out to be not feasible. Fat too much work, far too few people use it. Unless users come together and do it across their lots, this won’t happen.

      • When I get a Skylands lot, I would be up for helping with a Co-operative Minecart System.

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