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.


4/23/2019 4:23:43 AM #31
+0

Posted By Ugly-Green-Trog at 2:58 PM - Mon Apr 22 2019

I'm both confused and concerned with how this will work with baronies. We are told that a baron is just a mayor with a contract with the duke, however working to military goals rarely works with direct democratic involvement. There is very little information on how baronies are actually going to work.

Excellent point. I limited my original post to towns and such because even that is too much to assimilate in one gulp.


4/23/2019 4:50:21 AM #32
+1

Posted By Protey at 7:38 PM - Mon Apr 22 2019

Posted By Malais at 10:38 AM - Mon Apr 22 2019

@Labbe

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.

“Controlling interest” means the mayor who selects the settlement in DSS has enough votes to do what they want even if the rest of the council votes against them. Least that’s how it works within a corporation which is the analogy caspian used.

No. When you claim your settlement you get a "simple majority". That is, it is less than 51%, so you'd see something like: Character A 25%, Character B 35%, You 40%. The others combined would be able to overrule you. Now, you could own surrounding land and convince the council to incorporate the land, thus making you have 51% and thereby be unstoppable... But they might be wise to what you are trying to do and prevent you.

You also have to consider the case of completely new settlements, which will be possible. An initial hamlet enlarged into a larger settlement is a very similar case to a completely new settlement. I assume new votes will be created by the annexation that will be needed to enlarge the settlement. It will be possible for a mayor to completely own all the land originally donated to start the settlement. Such a mayor will have a monopoly of votes in the settlement. If donator privilege as I described above is a thing, the mayor will retain a controlling majority, not merely a simple majority, even after selling all but 1 parcel of land in the settlement to others.

The situation is similar for settlement expansions.

With respect to initial settlements, mayors will most likely have an advantage over Gentry in acquiring property. With enough EP, and especially if Exposition entry is phased according to influence or social level, a mayor might be able to acquire all of the private property in the settlement.


4/23/2019 5:00:20 AM #33
+0

Posted By Protey at 12:38 PM - Tue Apr 23 2019

Posted By Malais at 10:38 AM - Mon Apr 22 2019

@Labbe

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.

“Controlling interest” means the mayor who selects the settlement in DSS has enough votes to do what they want even if the rest of the council votes against them. Least that’s how it works within a corporation which is the analogy caspian used.

No. When you claim your settlement you get a "simple majority". That is, it is less than 51%, so you'd see something like: Character A 25%, Character B 35%, You 40%. The others combined would be able to overrule you. Now, you could own surrounding land and convince the council to incorporate the land, thus making you have 51% and thereby be unstoppable... But they might be wise to what you are trying to do and prevent you.

This is why anyone in a mayoral position should consolidate to an absolute majority as quickly as possible during the beginning of exposition, either through their own land purchases or with the help of a trusted ally.


4/23/2019 12:06:48 PM #34
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I wonder if S&DS will show us precisely what that majority may be. Also, it should be possible to alter that during KoE.

Either way gaining an absolute majority will be my first priority during Expo and\or first months post-launch.

Second priority will be to do as Malais says and sell a majority (the nice ones) of the incorporated pacels to myself so that in the event I lose the Mayorship I still have the parcels.

Wonder how that works with parcels containing the town buildings; Mayor Villa\Town Hall. I'd assume these must remain incorporated?


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4/23/2019 12:14:32 PM #35
+0

Interesting thread, and good to add your insights to mine.

I also wonder how 'building ownership' will overlay against 'land ownership'; it is my understanding that players and councils can own buildings within the tiles even if they do not own the parcel. For example, a shop keeper may actually own his building and boundary around it which he either bought, or was passed down generations and pay a nominal amount monthly to the council. If a player (or even NPC) purchased the parcel that this sits on, I wonder if the shop keeper would then end up paying rates/ rent to the new landlord instead of the settlement - and what would prevent either from hiking up taxes to force him out.

I suspect in the latter, public opinion would quickly turn on an overeager taxation.

Regarding the 'EP used for the Settlement, not the player possession' there would need to be a balance around this. We bought EP knowing that we are using it to build up the settlements for the world.

One question I wouldn't mind a bit of a steer around, if anyone would be so kind; If I used 90% of my EP with my main character, and wanted to save 10% to start up a little farm somewhere, is this possible, and how would I go about doing this? (Am hoping I can take land with a separate alt after D&SS has run the core bit)

Nevertheless, there is more dynamic than purely parcel ownership.

4/23/2019 12:25:49 PM #36
+1

Posted By Protey at 9:38 PM - Mon Apr 22 2019

Posted By Malais at 10:38 AM - Mon Apr 22 2019

@Labbe

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.

“Controlling interest” means the mayor who selects the settlement in DSS has enough votes to do what they want even if the rest of the council votes against them. Least that’s how it works within a corporation which is the analogy caspian used.

No. When you claim your settlement you get a "simple majority". That is, it is less than 51%, so you'd see something like: Character A 25%, Character B 35%, You 40%. The others combined would be able to overrule you. Now, you could own surrounding land and convince the council to incorporate the land, thus making you have 51% and thereby be unstoppable... But they might be wise to what you are trying to do and prevent you.

I quoted exactly what Caspian said. Controlling interest is not a simple majority they are two different things. So either he misspoke or once more something has changed within the system without being widely documented.

con·trol·ling in·ter·est /kənˈtrōliNG ˈint(ə)rəst/ noun the holding by one person or group of a majority of the stock of a business, giving the holder a means of exercising control.

4/23/2019 4:38:31 PM #37
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I can't see a single reason why a mayor wouldn't work to consolidate 50%+1 voting rights to themselves and then resell their donated land back to themselves for basically nothing based on what we know right now.


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4/23/2019 4:48:46 PM #38
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Posted By Sildadia at 12:38 PM - Tue Apr 23 2019

I can't see a single reason why a mayor wouldn't work to consolidate 50%+1 voting rights to themselves and then resell their donated land back to themselves for basically nothing based on what we know right now.

Because any privately owned land in a settlement is taxed and that tax money goes to the settlement. So if you buy up 13 out of the 25 parcels, giving you 50%+1, you're going to get taxed heavy on those 13 parcels. If you don't pay or you lower your taxes to 0, that'll most likely piss off the rest of the people in the town. Getting voted out is just one way to be kicked out of office, I'm sure they will have other methods to get rid of you...


4/23/2019 5:06:32 PM #39
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Posted By Tilarium at 10:48 AM - Tue Apr 23 2019

Posted By Sildadia at 12:38 PM - Tue Apr 23 2019

I can't see a single reason why a mayor wouldn't work to consolidate 50%+1 voting rights to themselves and then resell their donated land back to themselves for basically nothing based on what we know right now.

Because any privately owned land in a settlement is taxed and that tax money goes to the settlement. So if you buy up 13 out of the 25 parcels, giving you 50%+1, you're going to get taxed heavy on those 13 parcels. If you don't pay or you lower your taxes to 0, that'll most likely piss off the rest of the people in the town. Getting voted out is just one way to be kicked out of office, I'm sure they will have other methods to get rid of you...

There is not another way.

There isn't another way to dislodge a mayor short of conquering the county. The new count would then be able to remove the mayor. (Note: This is based off available information and subject to change during development. As it stands at the moment mayor is the only title can be made truly secure. They can't be challenged on the basis of money unless the count allows it, they can't be challenged on the basis of fame, they can't be challenged on the basis of title claims).

As to the tax issue... how is that a problem? I'm the mayor, I still pay my own taxes to the town, so do the npcs. My count is in on it. I pay out to the count, he privately kicks back to me, he has 100% assurance that I'll never support deposing him AND I have a strong incentive to throw everything I have at helping him maintain his position because doing so ensures my position stays secure.

I'm not suggesting that it's ethical, I'm suggesting that given the game mechanics as they've been explained thus far, that's something a count can use to secure his place against the mayors. If a count does that for a majority of mayors and doesn't allow new towns that don't support him/her in that way, he's got "challenged by mayors" crossed off the list as a threat.

If town voting rights are inheritable (I haven't seen anything on this one way or the other) then locked down a town permanently is a fairly simple one-time event. If they aren't then it's the same song and dance once a year, so long as the count maintains control of all land adjacent to the towns.


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4/25/2019 3:11:50 AM #40
+12

1) Please don't quote discord onto the forums like this. When we're chatting in Discord having a discussion I don't have notes with me, and the audience is relatively small, so if I say something incorrect, it's easy to rectify the next time I'm online and someone asks a follow-up question.

When you quote me and take it to the forums to "increase the scope" of the conversation, you're essentially changing the intended audience and forcing me to have discussion on Discord as though it's a forum post.

2) My focus for that conversation wasn't on how much a percentage of the settlement it was assumed you owned before the settlement was incorporated, but instead was on the idea that mayors do not "own" the land of a settlement. They simply manage it.

RE: The actual statement, our internal documentation still says it's a simple majority. Which is to say you have more than anyone else, but not necessarily more than 51%. So I misspoke in the conversation on Discord.

Thanks!
Caspian


4/25/2019 4:57:21 AM #41
+1

Kingdom Land Management

Old but one source of why people thought mayors own land within in settlements.

4/25/2019 7:00:02 AM #42
+5

@Caspian,

I understand your reticence. It was not my intention to assert that what you said was a done deal, only to illuminate the problems that I perceived would result if it did become a done deal.

Your conversation indicated to me that the mechanics may not have been fully worked out to avoid unintentional griefing opportunities. I did not make this clear, my bad, but the knowledge was accessible to those who read carefully that it all came via the Soul Chamber. I am presuming that what goes into the Soul Chamber is not final, but substantive, and therefore worthy of discussion.

I was also taking into account settlements not present at launch but started during or after Exposition. It is clear to me from reading both forum posts and discord conversations that some players will attempt to own substantial portions if not the entirety of the settlements they lead, so any assumption that mayors own no property in their towns and do not desire to do so is not entirely valid. It is worthwhile for players seeking substantial ownership of settlements to understand what their opportunities and limitations will be.

In this thread, I intentionally focused on how votes in settlement councils are allocated, and the question of whether they are allocated according to parcel donation, to land ownership, or to some combination of the two. These two methods -- property and donation -- seem mutually incompatible to me, for reasons I have pointed out. In my opinion, it is likely that the issue is not yet decided. It is not my intent to attempt to force a premature decision, but to discuss the issues with different possible methods of allocation on the record before a decision is needed.


4/25/2019 8:52:01 AM #43
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Posted By Poldano at 08:00 AM - Thu Apr 25 2019

I am presuming that what goes into the Soul Chamber is not final, but substantive, and therefore worthy of discussion.

Certainly my perception on Soul Chamber entries. Any word on Mayors selling incorporated land back to themselves for peanuts? Also how Malais expanded on that with counts selling land to their chums to keep them in power; nepotism at its best.

On that, is Casus Belli by fame the mechanic to counter those with power staying in power?


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4/25/2019 12:44:15 PM #44
+0

Posted By FoolUnknowing at 03:52 AM - Thu Apr 25 2019

Posted By Poldano at 08:00 AM - Thu Apr 25 2019

I am presuming that what goes into the Soul Chamber is not final, but substantive, and therefore worthy of discussion.

Certainly my perception on Soul Chamber entries. Any word on Mayors selling incorporated land back to themselves for peanuts? Also how Malais expanded on that with counts selling land to their chums to keep them in power; nepotism at its best.

On that, is Casus Belli by fame the mechanic to counter those with power staying in power?

CB via fame is for counts. Mayors are a vote from the council to vote them out.


4/25/2019 1:35:59 PM #45
+0

Edit: post removed


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