COMMUNITY - FORUMS - GENERAL DISCUSSION
Settlement Land Acquisition Details
+4

My addled brain is still attempting to digest Caspian's explanation in Discord about how settlements acquire additional land. The relevant post is in the Soul Chamber in Chronicles of Elyria Discord and has also been copied by Ravenlute into his Soul Chamber echo thread here. I am including an abridged and edited copy here to more easily show the points about which I'm having mental indigestion. The bold-typed sections are the points I'm concerned about.

04.19.2019#Settlement Land Ownership

Caspian :cloud:: Ok folks. I'm sure this has been stated here in Discord before, but I'll go ahead and state it again.

When you incorporate into a settlement, land is transferred from the owners over to the settlement. It becomes the property of the settlement to do what it likes with. The settlement owns the land.

The leaders of the settlement, generally a village or town council, can vote on stuff, with votes weighted by how much land was contributed to the settlement. Like stocks in a company. The more land you contributed to the settlement, the more your vote is worth.

The settlement can choose to sell the land back to the owners, to other people, or to hold onto it as settlement land. If they sell it back to others, it's still incorporated, but is now privately owned. The settlement has no control over what happens on that land, but can collect taxes based on the sale of the land back to private owners. This private property can be used by the settlement as a source of income through property taxes.

If the settlement wants to grow, it must either purchase the surrounding land directly from the count as incorporated land, or must purchase it from private individuals who own the land in order to annex. If they purchase the land, then those new land owners potentially also get a vote in how the settlement is ran.

As to "Mayor" titles. They have a controlling interest in the settlement as though they owned a certain % of the land before it became a settlement. But all land in a settlement is, by default, owned either by the settlement itself, or has been sold back to NPCs as privately owned land. Any land owned by the settlement can, at the desire of the settlement leadership, be sold back to the mayor or councilmembers. . ... [stuff left out to minimize TL;DR]

Here are the things that seem a little bit unresolved to me:

Q1. The first bold statement asserts that votes depend upon contributions of land to the settlement. A question that immediately arises is whether the contribution is compensated (i.e., actually a sale) or not.

Q2. The second bold statement asserts that land contributed to the settlement (and perhaps any land comprising the settlement) can be sold to individuals. The question I have is whether land sold back in such a way retains its vote-generating capability.

Depending on the answers to Q1 and Q2, various seemingly unfair manipulations may be possible.

Q3. The third bold statement asserts that land owned by third-party individuals may be purchased in order to annex it into the settlement. It also seems to assert that such purchases also (potentially) obtain voting rights for the new landowners. Who are the new landowners? If the settlement itself bought the land with settlement funds, then it would appear that there are, strictly speaking, no characters who are the new landowners. Presumably in such a case the mayor would get the new votes enfranchised by the annexation.

Q4. The third bold statement also begs the question of who else but the settlement could be the new landowners. The most obvious answer is someone who donated the purchase price. If land sold from the settlement to private owners retains its franchise (answer to Q2), then that donor gets the votes from the land.

Q5. It is conceivable that the new landowners in the third bold statement are actually the old landowners and new settlement citizens. Is this the case? If this is the case, then the transaction is roughly the equivalent of a compensated donation.

Depending on the answers to these questions, various kinds of in-game power-plays and corruption are more or less likely.

Also, there remain questions as to whether some structures must be on either privately-owned or settlement-owned land. Can a town hall or mayoral manor be on private land, either originally or via sale?

I'm sure I've not exhausted either the questions or the possible unintended consequences.


4/21/2019 6:35:50 AM #1
+1

For most of those questions, we really don't know yet. But as to the "Town Hall and the Mayor's Villa/Manor", Caspian has said that they belong to the village/city not the Mayor, so we can assume that the land under them would also belong to the settlement but not be sellable.


](([Imgur Mayor of Funny Farms Inc.

4/21/2019 7:06:41 AM #2
+3

I went over this post quite a bit myself and there are definitely some things missing.

The first bold statement and the third seem to go hand in hand, saying that privately owned land that is incorporated into the settlement gives the person who used to own the land a vote as part of the Council from that point forward.

Okay, so the land is now owned by the settlement and it can make decisions on whether to build a road through it, or put up a wall, or zone it for businesses. The Council votes on that, being the people who used to own the land before.

The Council can also decide to sell parcels back to people. When they do so, they relinquish the ability to build a road through it but they can instead collect taxes from the new owners which will increase the amount of money the settlement has to build that road in another parcel. This may be a good thing and much of a settlement could be returned as private property to it's citizens. I suppose it depends on how much freedom vs oversite they want to have. A settlement may be able to rent the land to someone instead but the renter may not enjoy the idea of being kicked out at any minute because the Council decides they want to use the land for an orchard suddenly. Players especially may wish to actually own the land they live/work on so that they can pass it on to an heir one day. This will be interesting policy to work out in a settlement.

One big question with this is this scenario, as per Poldano's Q2...

Maria decides to incorporate her private land into the settlement. She no longer owns the land but she gains a vote as part of the Council in how the settlement works from that day forward. The Council decides they want to sell that land to a farmer so they can collect taxes from them and let the farmer do what they want with the land...

What happens to Maria's vote? Does the farmer now get a vote since they now own the land? If so, does Maria lose the ability to vote? Or does Maria forever get a vote because she was the one that incorporated the land? If so, does that vote get passed on to an heir when she dies? Would the farmer then not get a vote because he is just the new owner but wasn't the one that incorporated it?


4/21/2019 8:38:12 AM #3
+1

We will see more information.

Maria has no land, why voice or heredity? Farmer has acquired the land of Maria.

Graf claims land, but it is not property. Ebenso denke ich, dass man Siedlungen behauptet. You can claim and become an owner? You happier! Anyone who claims can lose everything ... Owner not.

Conflicts are encouraged and encouraged by SBS.

Google Translate... :o)


4/21/2019 9:09:16 AM #4
+2

To me, in this scenario, I wouldn't want 'Maria' to lose her place on the town council. It seems a bit backwards that Maria would incorporate her land, then the town council (which she is now part of) decides to sell that land to someone else, then Maria is essentially punished for this by losing her place on the council for a decision the council as a whole made. I'd think once you have incorporated your land and become a member of the council, no matter what is done with the land after you incorporate it, you remain a member of the council, that's the way I'd do it in my town at least. Though I personally wouldn't have town council positions as hereditary.


4/21/2019 9:21:07 AM #5
+4

Posted By Poldano at

Here are the things that seem a little bit unresolved to me:

Q1. The first bold statement asserts that votes depend upon contributions of land to the settlement. A question that immediately arises is whether the contribution is compensated (i.e., actually a sale) or not.

At exposition and launch, no it won't be a compensated thing. Remember that this world has been lived in for awhile, it is assumed they were compensated for their contributions already in the past. Ones made during exposition or post launch are another matter though and certainly compensation can happen.

Q2. The second bold statement asserts that land contributed to the settlement (and perhaps any land comprising the settlement) can be sold to individuals. The question I have is whether land sold back in such a way retains its vote-generating capability.

Your voting capability comes from donating the parcel. After that no matter what happens to that parcel you still have voter rights attributed to you because it was donated. If it goes on to private ownership with someone else, if you buy it back, if it becomes a park, doesn't matter. You got a vote by donating it to the settlement, not what the settlement does with it.

Depending on the answers to Q1 and Q2, various seemingly unfair manipulations may be possible.

Q3. The third bold statement asserts that land owned by third-party individuals may be purchased in order to annex it into the settlement. It also seems to assert that such purchases also (potentially) obtain voting rights for the new landowners. Who are the new landowners? If the settlement itself bought the land with settlement funds, then it would appear that there are, strictly speaking, no characters who are the new landowners. Presumably in such a case the mayor would get the new votes enfranchised by the annexation.

In this scenario it is explaining what can potentially happen if someone owns a parcel(s) of land that borders your settlement. In order to incorporate it into your settlement you have to have the owner "donate" that parcel in exchange for voting rights and potentially funds to help encourage them to give it up. Once it is incorporated into the settlement it will be unowned and belong to the settlement unless resold to a private owner.

Q4. The third bold statement also begs the question of who else but the settlement could be the new landowners. The most obvious answer is someone who donated the purchase price. If land sold from the settlement to private owners retains its franchise (answer to Q2), then that donor gets the votes from the land.

Anyone can become the new land owners. The settlement gains ownership of the parcel given to it, after that it can remain in the possession of the settlement, or it can be resold to literally anyone with the funds to buy it for private ownership. Farmer, merchant, guild, corrupt mayor.

Q5. It is conceivable that the new landowners in the third bold statement are actually the old landowners and new settlement citizens. Is this the case? If this is the case, then the transaction is roughly the equivalent of a compensated donation.

Yes it's entirely possible. This would likely be a case by case basis, but this would be the easiest way to maintain ownership of your parcels while incorporating them into the settlement. Don't get paid to do so, don't pay to get them back, gain voter rights. Win, win. Although the settlement may take a hit from potential revenue on the resale, hence case by case.

4/21/2019 9:52:06 AM #6
+1

@Bergantin

Wiki looked, Maria has the right to vote. I can not link, look for yourself.


4/21/2019 1:08:38 PM #7
+4

The section on private ownership brought up a bunch of questions for me as well.

  1. During D&SS will we know how much of the settlement land is already private owned?
  2. If yes, will we have any breakdown as to how many owners?
  3. Will any of it be privately owned by the mayor prior to Expo?
  4. During Expo are the plots purchasable with EP? If yes, does the Mayor/Town council/Elders have any say in either which plots are available or who can purchase them?

Friend Code: D73035

Mayor NA-E

4/21/2019 2:49:36 PM #8
+0

I don’t know about the whole communal ownership thing, in my experience, people value, and care for, what they own. So these communities will be improved by a scant few players, and NPC’s, while most PC’s will be off improving their personal properties, or their character.


4/21/2019 3:04:29 PM #9
+1

If you purchase land from the count, presumably there would be people already living there, and they would gain a vote, the land is incorporated into the settlement not bought and owned to the mayor.


4/21/2019 3:12:43 PM #10
+2

I am a little conflicted by the difference between city owned land and privately owned land. Based on Caspian's notes in discord, we know any land purchased by a Mayor with EP will be incorporated into the city thus disallowing the Mayor to actually own private property. Correct? If this is the case, I don't see a significant benefit in buying up land unless your aim is massive growth.

I understand there is some value in having your city growing larger (if that is what you want) and having a larger voting sharing within the council based on the amount of land contributed. But players will always want full autonomy with their land.

As I understand it today if I want private land, I'll need to go outside city limits and purchase it from the Count?

I really believe the Mayor should have the option to retain their EP land or incorporate it into the city for a larger voting share. I think both options have pros and cons.

4/22/2019 6:27:23 AM #11
+0

@Labbe,

I believe you are misinterpreting my issues represented in Q4 and Q5. If the settlement buys a parcel from a private landowner and incorporates that land in the settlement, does the former landowner of the parcel, who ceased to be its owner when it was sold, gain a settlement vote? If so, a number of issues that might be considered unfair and possibly exploitative come up, partly depending on the answers to other questions.

One thing that should probably be clarified is that it should not matter whether settlement land is sold to the original founding owner or to someone else. But, lets look at an extreme example. Suppose I donated several parcels of land to help expand a settlement. The donations are incorporated (same as annexed) into the settlement, presumably permanently, no matter to whom the land is subsequently sold. I get settlement votes equivalent (presumably) to the number of parcels that I contributed. Then, suppose I buy back one of those parcels. I assume that I keep the vote from that parcel. Then, suppose I sell that parcel to someone else. I assume that I lose the vote from that parcel to the new landowner; otherwise the total number of votes could be pumped up indefinitely, creating opportunity for an excess of unfairness and conflict to the point of an exploitation opportunity.

The previous extreme example could be obviated if the processes of annexation/incorporation and sale/donation were distinct. Owned land could be annexed into a settlement independent of any transfer of ownership. Voting rights would be associated with the ownership of incorporated parcels. Sale of an incorporated parcel would transfer that parcel's vote to the new owner. Votes from settlement-owned parcels would accrue to the current mayor. I am not sure if this is the current design intent, but I haven't seen detailed explanations so I have sufficient reason to suspect not.

In order to comprehensively show what my concerns are, I would have to create a table showing all the questions I have, all their possible answers, and the possible scenarios for each one exhaustively worked out. Any opportunity to reduce the size of that table makes the work much easier.

By the way, for anyone thinking about these issues, it is a good idea to put yourself in place of each of the various possible roles in settlement property transactions. Human minds are extremely adept at detecting potential disadvantages to deals when they have some personal advantage or disadvantage on the line. Without that emotional attachment, these kinds of discussions quickly turn into yawners. At the same time, keep the emotions in check, because we are still talking about potentiality and not actuality.


4/22/2019 6:33:46 AM #12
+2

@Ravenlute,

Your example of Maria is exactly what I first saw as a problem. Thanks for explaining it specifically.

If you go through a typical set of property transfers, you will find that if donators retain votes from their donations despite resale, then it will never be possible to eliminate donator votes, even if they no longer own any property in the settlement and all of their original donation has become private property. This is a recipe for griefing, IMO.


4/22/2019 6:57:11 AM #13
+0

I want to point out that the political issues revolving around mayoral power really only come into being when a settlement becomes a town, and do not apply to hamlets and villages. A corresponding fact is that hamlets and villages do not need to have settlement-owned land, because their enabling structures, wells and taverns, seem to me to be fundamentally private enterprises with major benefits accruing to the private owners. Towns are different, because towns need town halls and town halls have no private benefit to a private owner.

So, a lot of the issues over public versus private parcels can be resolved by determining what structures are fundamentally private property and which are fundamentally public. A rule could then be implemented via the game engine that fundamentally public buildings can only be constructed on settlement-owned land.

(This discussion is entirely restricted to issues about settlements. Issues about military structures such as watchtowers are out of scope but might be subject to very similar discussions.)


4/22/2019 7:02:06 AM #14
+0

Sry, just got to work so im skimming now, will hit this thorough later if i remember. Short version though, only the initial donation of an unincorporated plot to the settlement gets you that voting right. After that ownership of it is irrelevant to said voting right. You can buy, sell, trade, whatever said plot and it wont change that, its still incorporated.

4/22/2019 7:16:43 AM #15
+0

Posted By Labbe at 12:02 AM - Mon Apr 22 2019

Sry, just got to work so im skimming now, will hit this thorough later if i remember. Short version though, only the initial donation of an unincorporated plot to the settlement gets you that voting right. After that ownership of it is irrelevant to said voting right. You can buy, sell, trade, whatever said plot and it wont change that, its still incorporated.

Thanks. If that is the case then I believe we are going to have problems post-launch. Anyway, it's not urgent now. I just wanted to bring up the issue so folks can beat it to death with no time pressure.


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