Since Grapeshot has told us that they plan to overhaul the Company/Alliance system at some point in early access, I figured it would be a good time to start collecting ideas for what we want in that new system.
Personally I've always been a huge proponent of games heavily emphasizing their guild/clan systems, especially MMOs. In the long-term, MMOs as well as most other games live or die based on the strength of their communities more so even than the strength of the game itself. Making it easier to work with others is in my opinion critical to the success of a game like this.
With that said, here are my ideas for improving the functioning of companies and alliances. I encourage any civil debate if you don't agree or think I've overlooked something, and also encourage additional suggestions which I will add at the bottom if I agree with them once they start coming in.
Add a welcome message for admins to post rules/discord/etc. One for the alliance and one for the company.
Would be extremely useful if it could have working hyperlinks.
Chest logs - this one is a biggie and will drastically help for managing larger communities. Each box should have a log of who removed or deposited items.
This helps police people who are taking more than they're entitled to
This would also be extremely helpful for tracking how much people contributed toward a certain goal.
This can be used by leaders to incentivize hard work and should lead to higher player engagement and longer term player retention
If this would add lag, perhaps do it just for a large vault type item. I hope it wouldn't though, this would be extremely useful.
Placement log - some way to check who placed a particular structure would be helpful, but not necessary if it would add lag.
Show the last time people were online in the guild list, maybe other stats if the info is available.
Do not show alliance claims as red. Preferably choose a different color for each ally, or at least have a unique color for all allies. Probably the most urgent suggestion on this list.
Let allies spawn in each others' beds and use each others' boats. Provide fine control for them to lock specific doors/beds/boats/chests/etc from being accessed by allies.
Let allies give each other places to build in their land similar to the "Neutral Zone" functionality.
Or consider just letting allies build on each others' land altogether.
Remove the limitation on number of Companies in an Alliance, if need be add a total player count limitation instead.
Being in more than one alliance is confusing and leads to allies attacking allies of allies. Unless there's something I'm overlooking, I think alliances should just be one-per-company.
Consider showing alliances instead of companies on the game map.
Add a "neutral" state which alliance leaders can control.
Alliances should be able to operate as either whitelist or blacklist.
Whitelist: Every company is an enemy unless added to the neutral list.
Blacklist: Every company is neutral unless added to the enemy list.
These people would show up as yellow or a neutral color, but still be fully attackable and not have any access to anything.
This would be very useful since it's virtually impossible to communicate relationships that change daily to hundreds of people.
That's what I got for now. Let me know if you agree or not, and what you think of these changes. If I think of anything else I'll be back to add it, as well as suggestions that are given in the comments. Thanks for reading!