"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women."
-- Conan the Barbarian, 1982
We don't know about you, but lately it feels that the violence, the barbarity, the sheer savagery of Rust has diminished, especially at earlier stages in the game right after the xp wipe. The direction of decisions this past year has been toward more order and safety, when in fact it should be going on the other way. Here are our suggestions for getting back to what's best in life:
Blueprints vs. Experience
Personally, we prefer the blueprint system (sorry!). It was more open and less structured, and you could always trade duplicate blueprints with other players. But regardless of which system is ultimately settled on, there should be a full blueprint or xp wipe with every map wipe. Structure the system to assume a monthly wipe, and accelerate xp gain accordingly. Without a blueprint or xp wipe, rockets and guns will appear the moment a clan gets the materials, which takes just a couple of hours, and puts new players at a discouraging disadvantage.
There is no need to encourage player cooperation. This is one area where Rust naturally excels. Other games tie themselves in knots trying to get players to cooperate, but cooperation in Rust is driven by pure self-interest. Clans should be encouraged to war with each other, not sing Kumbaya. Make rare and valuable goodies that can be picked up and carted away by raiders so that even rich clans have an incentive to raid others.
This has gone in the direction of safety, when it should move toward insecurity. Raiding is FUN--the most fun this game has to offer--and it should be encouraged at all stages of the game. We know the balance is very difficult to strike, but it has swung far, far toward the defense. ALL GAME DECISIONS should be oriented toward encouraging raiding, particularly online raiding. To wit:
Do NOT let chests decay: If the foundation decays underneath them, so be it, but otherwise keep that loot in place for the raiders!
Shrink the buildings: Building big and dumb is the primary defense for large, unimaginative clans. Discourage huge buildings by reducing stability, or by making building materials harder to come by.
Prevent loot destruction during raids: Players ditching their loot during a raid discourages online raids. Valuable items should take 30 minutes to despawn, or items don't despawn for an hour when unauthorized players are in cupboard radius.
Raid ladders were fun, too--removed because they forced players to build in a certain way and seemed OP. Raid ladders were also a tool even recent arrivals on a server could easily make and use. How about we bring them back, and add spikes which can be place on walls where you don't want people to place ladders? Any solution would do, just don't take fun things out of the game.
Wrong way doors and walls: The ability to get around while inside an enemy base is important, too, and banging through wrong way doors was how you did it. This feature rewarded sharp raiders and punished careless builders. It also punished newbies, but player skill should count for something. If you are really worried about the newbie experience, lower the level required for sheet metal doors and code locks.
Never encourage players to sit in their base. Since no player ever roams while crafting guns and rockets, make a crafting table for expensive things so they don't sit in their base while they craft. Make guns require parts which can only be found in barrels or deep inside rad towns. Give far less food from killing animals, or increase hunger dramatically. Reduce available resources and increase rewards to push players into monuments. Just get players out of the house!
Not a balance issue, but a matter of look and feel that is of utmost importance to the mood and enjoyment of the game. The landscape looks good, the rad towns and monuments are fantastic, but how about some decorations, or rare, interesting devices which could be placed in your base? We’ve all seen the wonderful concept art in the devblogs, let’s get some of that in the game! It is easy to underestimate how much more beautiful, interesting, and exciting new artwork can make a game.
How about the skins? There are hundreds of quality skins in the workshop, some of them even made by people other than ourselves ;) just waiting for someone at Facepunch to click "OK". CLICK THAT BUTTON!
And remember what is best in life!