Tiered Masternode Basics
Tiered Masternodes is a concept that has several different "tiers", based on the amount of collateral locked for the function of the masternode. For UCC, those tiers are currently 1000, 3000 and 5000 coins. The payout per block changes based on what tier you are running. For UCC, those payouts are 3%, 9% and 15% of the total block reward, respectively.
For every block, one masternode from each tier is used to validate the block, and get their respective reward. With a 4 coin block, the tier 1 masternode is rewarded 0.12 coins, the tier 2 masternode receives 0.36 coins, and the tier 3 masternode receives 0.60 coins.
This system will naturally create support on the network at each tier, as a node from each tier is needed to validate a block. When the network becomes to top-heavy, the earnings per day on the lower tiers will increase, and masternode owners will balance the tiers towards the optimal layout.