All Hail the Component System!
We welcome the upcoming component system for Rust and very much look forward to seeing it in the game. However, like many others, we have our doubts about the North-South component distribution system as discussed in Devblog 128.
Maurino’s idea of giving new spawns a safer starting location and some breathing space away from the clans has merit, but we don’t think his solution will work. First, it only takes a few minutes to run from North to South and vice versa, so the distance is no real protection, especially since many clans will choose to base in the center of the map. Second, we think Facepunch woefully underestimates the desire of some people to grief their fellow Newman. Once armed in the North, clans will head south for the big turkey shoot.
Time, not Space
So instead of distributing components over space, why not spread them out over time?
When you bang a barrel, the chance to get restricted components would increase over time from the last wipe. Completed items, like finding a Thompson in a supply drop, would also be restricted with a similar variable.
This simple, easy to control variable would prevent the screaming clan hordes from massacring noobs and nakeds in the early hours after a wipe, which would give everyone a bit of breathing space before the lead begins to fly.
The time variable would be aimed at the more valuable and rare components, which would still be found primarily in the radiation zones of rad towns--people need to be encouraged to get out of their bases and take risks. It is ok for the more common components to be found in lesser rad towns like warehouses and electrical substations, or in barrels along the sides of roads. Primitive weapons and items should only require basic materials, or maybe basic materials and one common component.
The single biggest advantage (besides simplicity) of the time variable is that there’s no way around this system. If the chance to get assault rifle parts is zero on day one, then nobody will have an assault rifle on day one. Under both the blueprint and the xp system, people were running around with high tech weapons within a couple of hours of a map wipe, and by the end of the day in a tech wipe.
The chance to find restricted components can be tiered, or a smooth curve. We prefer the smooth curve starting at zero the first day, then ascending upward from the second day onward until some maximum drop rate is achieved. The smooth curve discourages players from waiting until guns suddenly come available to begin playing, because they would be available and uncommon right from the second day, and every day a player waits into the wipe is another day they fall behind.
An important benefit of a more drawn-out curve is that players who like the end-game will have more incentive to stay all the way to the end of the wipe cycle. A well designed tech tree can also give everyone more to do in the early game, especially if some late game components are derived from tools built in the early game.
Server Owners Can Tweak
Server owners could also be given control of the time variable. Much like server owners can now choose between 3 and 4k maps, it would be great to allow the community servers to set the variable rate themselves. This way, servers running a bi-weekly wipe could set the variable to a rate that makes more sense for their schedule. At the very least, allowing server owners to set the variable would make for an excellent experiment showing just what kind of environment players prefer most.
Radiation is Good For You!
Turning radiation back on is a good thing, and we have some ideas--check out our previous radiation post. We cover ideas like not always having radiation in the same places of the same rad towns, radiation only detectable by geiger counters, and radiation building quietly before you know you are sick.