Here’s a modest proposal for re-introducing radiation into Rust. This simple system aims to make radiation and radiation gear relevant again, entice players into the monuments, AND give the little guy a chance against the big, bad clans.
The Silent Killer
One of the great terrors of radiation is its silent, insidious nature. By the time you’ve noticed you’re sick, you’re already in serious trouble. Radiation should be found in the large monuments, particularly the airport, nuke plant, and military tunnels. Portions of monuments should be possible radiation zones, and these zones should be changed at random on map wipes to keep people from always knowing exactly where they are.
Players walking into a radiation zone should begin to accumulate radiation damage, which acts as a long-term bleed. There should be about a five to ten minute delay before radiation damage sets in, and no warning whatsoever the player is getting irradiated or where it is coming from.
Carrying or (gulp) wearing radioactive gear could also cause radiation sickness. The more you carry, the faster the radiation damage would accumulate. This would make the choice to carry or use radioactive gear an interesting one: “I know it’s slowly killing me, but I gotta win this fight, so…” Note that we’re not suggesting all equipment be radioactive, just some, and only high tech gear.
The Geiger Counter
A new item that works much like the old, automatic geiger counter worked--it ticks in the presence of radiation, and ticks fast and loud in the presence of strong radiation. We recommend that geiger counters run off batteries (which could be found in barrels or charged in base) so that players can’t always run their radiation detection. Geiger counters can also detect radioactive objects. (see below)
High tech equipment should not be craftable without machined parts, only found deep in the radioactive monuments, on top of the sphere, or in air drops. Ideally, the best equipment may require two or three components which are scattered in different kinds of monuments, ideally in the radioactive zones.
The Big Score
One of the biggest, and most unfair advantages of building a monster rambling base is that the good loot could be literally anywhere in that base. Once the base gets big enough, nobody is likely to ever have enough explosives to find the correct loot room. Here’s two suggestions to cut down on base bloat:
The first is radiation, of course! Make most high tech weapon parts and equipment radioactive. Concentrations of it would be detectable with geiger counters by raiders. The defensive solution would require either guarding the hell out of that one loot room, or spreading it around your monster base. In either case, raiders would be more likely to get at least some of what they came for.
Clean equipment would also become much more valuable. Weapons without radiation (like stuff dropped by the plane or helicopter) would be undetectable to raiders, making them much more valuable.
The second suggestion is for big bases to decay faster than small bases. We’ll cover that idea in our next article, “The Power of Decay”
“Ra-di-a-tion. Yes, indeed. You hear the most outrageous lies about it. Half-baked goggle-box do-gooders telling everybody it's bad for you. Pernicious nonsense. Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year. They ought to have them, too…”
--J.Frank Parnell, Repo Man, 1984