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I'm on the Highway to ...


Roads, sweet sweet roads. They take people and things from point A to point B and are essential to a functioning economy. Governments around the world spend billions on them. Well-designed and built road systems make countries more efficient, reduce the cost of living for its citizens and make exports more competitive. It's why roads are one of the first things governments spend money on during economic downturns, as they are a great long term investment for a country.

"I'm on the Highway to Hell... Don't stop me!!" by Ellysiumn on deviantart.com So why haven't we heard the Earth2.io developers talk much about them and why have so many tiles been bought without any planning for where future roads might be? Have a look at the majority of locations around Earth2 ("E2") and you'll notice properties side by side, with no gaps. If buildings are built, how will avatars and vehicles move between those buildings? E2 will be a virtual world where avatars can move around on ground level but how is that possible without roads?


There are six options:


1. User built road networks. I was the first to build a city with roads and have built a road network of 100's of kilometers in Tomorrow Land. Other cities have followed suit. Pre-planning a road network via strategic tile purchasing is the simplest way to solve the road issue, but what about all those existing cities that don't have any tiles left for road tile purchasing or planning for roads? 2. E2 implements road buffers around properties. This could work if we all had the same size properties bought in a uniform manner. But we don't, a 750 tile property can sit next to a one tile property, or a square property next to a random shaped property. If a buffer was implemented, the roads would be erratic to say the least. In real life, the minimum size for a two way street needs to be 10 meters wide, that allows one lane each way and a foot path on either side. Meaning a road buffer for each property would need to be 5 meters for a road to pass along side. If that happened, say goodbye to one tile properties. What about a buffer that is a percentage of the property size? A large property next to a small property would mean the large property would have the majority of the road on it. It might work, however it means that every tile holder would now have less space and could seriously restrict what could be built or worse, block the reason the player bought the tiles in the first place. This still doesn't solve the erratic nature of where those buffers will be.


"I5 Highway at Night" by Alireza Borhani is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

3. A forced road grid. This is the most drastic, where E2 simply dictates where a road goes, they whack them down and you have to wear it on your tile(s). 4. A community designed and voted for road grid. This is for areas and cities that have all the tiles bought but no current roads planned. The tile holders design and vote for a road network but again, like the option above, you might find a road cutting across your property because the majority wanted it there. If you have a one tile property, you might find you've lost it to a road. 5. Reduce size of tiles. E2 could reduce the size of tiles, which creates gaps between properties for a road network. This is essentially the same as the road buffer option but they could then shuffle a few properties across a tile here and there to make it work. That takes time, but also means you won't have your property where you thought it was, that might be OK for some, but not if you own key landmarks. 6. Tunnels. Even if there are drastic changes to the concept of a city and we tunnel a whole city road network, where will they go? What are the entry and exit points? Even the most advanced concepts of a city still need some type of ground level roads. If we manage to go 100% tunnels, what will be the point of having roads and the cars that the developers have said we will have, if they are all stuck underground? Why drive underground if we have teleporting? At least on the surface you get to zoom around looking at a city or country side, and more to the point you get to show off your NFT Ferrari. Tunnels still don't solve the issue of foot traffic. Where do avatars walk? Are we forever stuck teleporting from inside a building to inside another building? Take vehicles away and we still need roads in the form of walkways and boulevards. The six options above each solve a problem in their own right, but also create a problem in one manner or another. Roads in E2 will be just as important as roads in E1, they make thing efficient and could even give well-planned cities a competitive advantage.


1. User built road networks. I was the first to build a city with roads and have built a road network of 100's of kilometers in Tomorrow Land. Other cities have followed suit. Pre-planning a road network via strategic tile purchasing is the simplest way to solve the road issue, but what about all those existing cities that don't have any tiles left for road tile purchasing or planning for roads? 2. E2 implements road buffers around properties. This could work if we all had the same size properties bought in a uniform manner. But we don't, a 750 tile property can sit next to a one tile property, or a square property next to a random shaped property. If a buffer was implemented, the roads would be erratic to say the least. In real life, the minimum size for a two way street needs to be 10 meters wide, that allows one lane each way and a foot path on either side. Meaning a road buffer for each property would need to be 5 meters for a road to pass along side. If that happened, say goodbye to one tile properties. What about a buffer that is a percentage of the property size? A large property next to a small property would mean the large property would have the majority of the road on it. It might work, however it means that every tile holder would now have less space and could seriously restrict what could be built or worse, block the reason the player bought the tiles in the first place. This still doesn't solve the erratic nature of where those buffers will be. 3. A forced road grid. This is the most drastic, where E2 simply dictates where a road goes, they whack them down and you have to wear it on your tile(s). 4. A community designed and voted for road grid. This is for areas and cities that have all the tiles bought but no current roads planned. The tile holders design and vote for a road network but again, like the option above, you might find a road cutting across your property because the majority wanted it there. If you have a one tile property, you might find you've lost it to a road. 5. Reduce size of tiles. E2 could reduce the size of tiles, which creates gaps between properties for a road network. This is essentially the same as the road buffer option but they could then shuffle a few properties across a tile here and there to make it work. That takes time, but also means you won't have your property where you thought it was, that might be OK for some, but not if you own key landmarks. 6. Tunnels. Even if there are drastic changes to the concept of a city and we tunnel a whole city road network, where will they go? What are the entry and exit points? Even the most advanced concepts of a city still need some type of ground level roads. If we manage to go 100% tunnels, what will be the point of having roads and the cars that the developers have said we will have, if they are all stuck underground? Why drive underground if we have teleporting? At least on the surface you get to zoom around looking at a city or country side, and more to the point you get to show off your NFT Ferrari. Tunnels still don't solve the issue of foot traffic. Where do avatars walk? Are we forever stuck teleporting from inside a building to inside another building? Take vehicles away and we still need roads in the form of walkways and boulevards. The six options above each solve a problem in their own right, but also create a problem in one manner or another. Roads in E2 will be just as important as roads in E1, they make thing efficient and could even give well-planned cities a competitive advantage.

The only solution I see is incentivizing roads somehow so that people want to build them. Where would this incentive come from? Taxing people for using roads will mean it costs just to walk down a street so that wouldn't work. Could roads be a new class of tile that receives more essence or a new type of resource?

If goods and resources in Earth 2 need to be transported along a road network then that creates an ability for a 'tax'. Want that gold moved from your mine to the closest market, then it will cost you .0001g in gold or what ever it is your moving per km of road travelled. If the road isn't direct enough and your mine big enough, then build your own, more efficient road to save you in resource transportation. It happens in real life so why not on Earth2? "Golden Brick Road" by Matthieleo on deviantart.com



E2 needs roads, but how?

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