A linear/experience based progression system. (Long Read)

So, I have gotten feedback on a couple of my opinions, and decided to refine my suggestion. This system keeps progression linear and kind of realistic as well.

First of all. Get rid of blueprints found in the wild. Make it so blueprints are only for the items that make sense, which means I don’t need a blueprint to learn how to make a stone spear.

Next,** make it so certain items only spawn in certain locations**. This means that there will need to be** more prefab structures**. Maybe a radiated mine will have mining equipment. A hospital protected by turrets and caretakers may have crucial medical supplies (don’t make every place ridiculously irradiated). The big radtown might have loads of supplies of all different kinds. The radiation should be rather weak at the big radtown to kind of make it a central hotspot for PvP. If any bases get made near the big radtown, I think a patrolling demolitionist caretaker could take them out. Perhaps a military base, highly radiated and guarded heavily by caretakers, turrets, traps, perhaps even other, weirder scientific experiements (rad animals anyone?). Kind of like a “dungeon” of a sort. But inside would be flawless military weaponry and high-tech gadgets that you can’t possibly make and find anywhere else.

Basically,** make loot spawns and rare blueprint spawn make sense**. There still should be trash cans and trash piles, broken down cars, all kinds of scrap (bike wheels for cars/wagons or whatever?). This is where you could find scrap, random items (as long as it makes sense). Pieces of items you could fit together to make an item. Perhaps even things for cars.

So, this covers where and why items should spawn. Now the question is, how does this tie into progression?

First off, I will talk about the** progression bar**. Each item has a progression bar. The only way to unlock an item is to acquire the item. It doesn’t matter if it requires a blueprint to make or not. Once you acquire the item, it shows up in your “tech tree” and you can start working on it’s progression bar. Using the item will slightly contribute to the progression bar, but researching the item will greatly contribute to the progression bar. Once you finish the progression bar for an item, you can make a blueprint for it. If the item is a default item, something else happens, but I will go into that later.

However, different items have different** tiers**. Let’s say there is 3 tiers. A gun will obviously be in tier 3, where a wooden spear would be in tier 1.** You cannot work on a progression bar of an item in tier 3 when you haven’t even reached tier 2.** You can still use the higher-tier item, but researching it, using it and all that will have no effect on it’s progression bar.

The progression bar can also be filled up by researching and using items SIMILAR to the item. Say I am using an ak-47. Using it will very slightly fill up the bar of a bolt-action. Researching the ak-47 may also fill up the bar of the bolt by a little bit.

But now you ask: how do I unlock new tiers? Well, each item has a progression bar.** Each tier has a progression bar too**. As you complete items progression bars, the tiers progression bar fills up. Once it is all filled up, you unlock the next tier. You don’t need to learn all the items to unlock the next tier, but a fair amount. Once you unlocked the next tier, you can start to learn items in it. As you unlock more and more items in a tier, other items in the same tier will be shorter to unlock, and will contribute more to the tiers progress bar.

Now, to create blueprints from items you already know, you need a research table. You cannot research items from a tier you haven’t unlocked, and you cannot research items if your research table isn’t of a high enough tier.
Once you unlock a tier, you unlock the ability to upgrade your research table. This will take some resources, but it is fairly simple. If you wanted to research a gun, you need a tier 3 research table. If you wanted to create a gun blueprint, you need the gun, a tier 3 research table and some resources.

Now lets talk about the workbench. You unlock one of these every tier as well. To make items of a certain tier, you need that tier workbench.** A workbench is required to make items that require a blueprint or are simply tier 2 and higher. Items that don’t need a blueprint simply craft faster at a workbench. (btw, crafting will slow you down exponentially if you are crafting on the go)**. A workbench is also required if you want your items quality rating to go up (which we will talk about later).

Okay, that might have been a bit too much information for some, let me provide a few examples of what I mean.

A hatchet is a tier 2 item. It also requires a blueprint to make. This means, it doesn’t exist on my tech tree. Suddenly, I find a hatchet in a broken down car. I am still in tier 1, but I see it in my tier 2 tech tree. Its greyed out, which means I can’t fill up the progress bar. However, I can still use it. I chop down a few trees with it and make a wooden spear. Then I research this wooden spear and fill the progresson bar of the wooden spear. Researching and unlocking the wooden spear also contributed to the progression bar of the stone spear. After killing an animal with the wooden spear, I get the cloth needed to make my stone spear. I make the stone spear and fill up it’s progression bar. Suddenly, tier 2 unlocks. Now I can start learning about my hatchet. I use the hatchet a few times and fill up its progression bar very slightly. I go to research it, but I can’t. My research table isn’t of the appropriate tier. I upgrade the research table and research the hatchet. It fills up the progression bar but doesn’t quite unlock. I find another hatchet and research it, bam! I unlocked it on the tech tree. Now I can make a blueprint. I find one more hatchet, put it in the research table with a couple of resources and make the blueprint (this doesn’t destroy the hatchet) and then carry the blueprint over to my workbench, because I need to use the workbench to make a hatchet. But I can’t make the hatchet because my workbench isn’t advanced enough. So I upgrade my workbench and make the hatchet. Now I can make the hatchet all I want, so as long as I am at my workbench, and the blueprint is inside of my workbench.

SIDE NOTE: Blueprints are solid items. You cannot simply learn blueprints. You have to stash blueprints inside of a workbench to use them. Blueprints can be traded and stolen, but never memorized. However, your item remains unlocked, so you can simply create new blueprints with a research table as long as you get 1 of the item and a few resources. This means blueprints can be mass produced. However, people cannot use the blueprint until their workbench is of the appropriate tier, and they have the resources. Also, getting a blueprint does not affect the progression bar of any items (however, making the item does affect the progression bar).
So, now we have talked about progression bars of certain items, tiers of items, tiers of workbenches and research tables. How we unlock new items and new tiers, and how we get the blueprints of these new items and these new tiers. We have also talked about how to craft blueprinted items, where to craft them and how blueprints work. And last but not least, we have talked about where to find certain items, and why we find them there.

Now, it is time to talk about quality rating.

Quality rating tells you how good the item is. An item with a crude quality rating might malfunction, break faster or just be less effective. While an item with a good quality rating might have extra durability, be more effective and have a very low chance of malfunctioning.

The quality rating is directly tied into the progression bar of an item… We know that we have 3 tiers of items, but each item also has 3 levels. Every time you fill up the progression bar, the item gains a level up to level 3.
There are 5 tiers of quality rating. Any item that does not require a blueprint and can be crafted at level 0 has a quality rating of CRUDE. Any item at level 1, regardless of if it needs a blueprint or not, has a quality rating of MAKESHIFT. At level 2, an item has a quality level of SHODDY. And at level 3, an item has a quality rating of GOOD. As you level up your item, you unlock these quality ratings. This means people can literally devote all of their time to becoming a master crafter, who could sell their quality wares and their expertise all across their server. The bonuses between each tier are not so much that you feel you HAVE to grind to be effective. A MAKESHIFT item can compete against a GOOD item very well. However, the good item does have enough of an advantage to be worth acquring, if you have the time.

But there is still 1 more quality rating. PERFECT. A PERFECT item is impossible to craft. A PERFECT item can only be found. You have a very rare chance of finding PERFECT items across the world, however, the chance goes up in the big radtown or a military base. PERFECT items are commodities and worth alot.

And finally, cosmetic items can be made once you have the blueprint for the item that they are. **A cosmetic t-shirt will only be available to be made once you have the t-shirt blueprint.
**
And that is basically it. I have a ton more ideas to go along with this suggestion, and I could post them later if this gets enough attention. However, I feel like you have done enough reading for now, so on to the TL;DR.

TL;DR:
A linear progression system based on experience. You level up items by researching them, using them and making them. You acuire blueprints by leveling up an item to level 1 and making a blueprint for it on the appropriate level research table. You level up research tables and workbench by tiering up, which you do by leveling up enough items in a certain tier. You can use items in higher tiers that what you have unlocked, but you cannot fill up their progress bar or make/learn them. Blueprints become solid item, they are not memorizable and can be stolen and traded. You cannot make items even if you have the blueprint if your workbench isnt high enough level. Items gain quality rating the more times you level them up, up to a level of 3. Non blueprint items dont need a workbench to create, but blueprint items do. Non-blueprint items don’t need to be leveled up to make, but do need to be leveled up to increase the quality rating. Items with PERFECT quality rating are not crafted but rarely found in prefab areas. Items spawn in certain prefabs (A gun will spawn in a large radtown or a military base, an abandoned hospital will have bandages and other medical supplies). And last but not least, cosmetic items can only be made once you have the appropriate blueprint. (Cosmetic jacket can only be made with the jacket blueprint).

Wall of text it burns :frowning: I skipped to the TL;DR version, there are some nice concepts here, I especially like weapons having a certain quality.

Haha, I expected it would be too long for most people. I just couldn’t figure out how to make it shorter without making it confusing (more confusing than it already is).

i like all this a lot tbh! especially the different ideas on rad towns and them having specialties. the research idea is great, but it would require a sever to survive for a lot longer than it does now, say three months or so

Not necessarily. Numbers can be tweaked, and admins will likely wipe Bp’s less. But yeah, it would be more fun if servers could last more than 2 weeks.

Enforced linear progression tiers goes against garry’s plans for Rust. Experience points and arbitrary levels don’t fit with Rust’s freedom and emphasis on emergent gameplay. Turning Rust into an RPG is something that’d be fine with mods, but I don’t expect this to make it into vanilla.

The game isn’t balanced right now, period, and it’s unfinished,so there is little in the way of progression. This is not surprising for a game in alpha. Much of the game’s planned mechanics are still missing and yet to be implemented. Here is the public mind map for plans for Rust (the devs have additional plans they have not revealed due to spoilers).

A linear progression system will get rid of the horrible RNG element and actually doesn’t take away from freedom at all. It just limits your progression and adds more balance.

It creates interesting player dynamics, a good crafter would be a commodity, and could make a lot selling their wares. Trading blueprints with players. Fighting that boss caretaker and losing 3 of your guys because you know there is a perfect quality ak waiting for you.

It also makes it more realistic. I know the whole blah blah blah realism doesn’t equal fun debate (not my opinion, I love realism for the extra challenge it brings). But building a gun you have never built before off of a blueprint found in a barrel, with your bare hands is very ridiculous.

Maybe the system is a bit too linear for some people’s tastes. But I really believe an experience based progression system is the way to go. RNG progression doesn’t work and we all know that.

They have plans by the looks of this weeks dev blog, they may or most likely will not make by next update but they are coming.

Awesome, this is much needed.

I love your idea about making the world have more structures, and that with each unique structure comes blueprints and items that make sense. A radiated coal mine would be so incredible to find, as well as a military base with sentries. However, I’m not too keen on the idea of introducing human AI. I like that everyone you encounter in Rust is another human being, meaning interactions are fluid. An AI simply cannot match a human, and I don’t think it fits well with the type of game Rust is. However, if a team of players took over a military base because of it’s advantageous position and the items inside, that would be awesome.

I also agree with your viewpoint that the current blueprints don’t fit with Rust. I personally think that blueprints should be done away with, and players can learn a new it simply by acquiring one and reverse engineering it. The item would be destroyed in the process, but they’d know how to make one. I don’t mean using a workbench and all the paper and resources and percent chance of getting the blueprint. I mean destroying the item to learn it’s recipe. The focus of crafting shouldn’t be on acquiring an items recipe, but rather acquiring the resources to make it.

Your experience and tier system is very interesting, but again, I don’t feel it fits with the theme of Rust. To me, Rust is a game where the sky is the limit (for now ;D) right off the bat. You shouldn’t have to go through tedious crafting in order to gain the “experience” for crafting other items. It’s not how it works in real life and so I feel it shouldn’t be how it works in the game either.

In short, I love your vision for what the landscape of Rust will become, but we don’t see eye to eye on how crafting should work. Nevertheless, excellent presentation, I tip my hat to you sir.

Strongly agree with you on these points. I’d add that the OP’s ideas on quality would add a much needed aspect to crafting: a spectrum.

Right now it’s all-or-nothing, but adding a true range of results–even something as basic as starting durability–would give the devs more leversto balance crafting progression.

For example, maybe you start being able to craft far more items than now, but only excel at the basic stuff. The devs could tweak the starting skill/quality to make progression easier or more difficult depending on the item.

I don’t neccessarily think it would be tedious. It would only get a bit tedious if you decided to get good quality on some tools. That would be something you have to work for.

And actually, in real life. I can’t build a gun. I have no idea. But if I ever acquired a gun and had the proper machinery (obviously the workbench in Rust’s case) I could probably figure out how to make a rudimentary version in time (speed that time up because its a video game). And as I keep making it and researching it, I would probably be able to refine my knowledge and make a better gun. In a way, it completely mimics real life.

I like tiers because it gives a linear progression. However, just out of interest, would you like this idea better if tiers were gone?

Also, I couldn’t disagree with you more about AI. AI makes the game challenging and fun. Sure, player interactions are great, but there is an extent to that, especially if you just play in a group and kos everything. AI provide a challenge for all players, and if done right can be quite fun.

Also, AI can improve player interactions and dynamics vastly. Right now, it is mostly KOS unless your solo which means run away or try to talk. Sometimes there is trading, and sometimes there is genuinely good player interactions (expecially on RP servers). However, AI creates interactions all by itself.

I know packs of wolves roam this area at night, if I don’t find shelter I’m done for. You look for shelter, you have to interact with other people. You have to be nice, ask for shelter. Some may kill you, some may ask for a price, some will let you stay for free. You make friends, enemies, acquaintances.

Perhaps there is a really large world boss or army of world bosses roaming the land and killing everybody. Players will have to team up to stop this world boss (part of garry’s vision btw).

It won’t be KOS for fun, it wil be KOS because I am low on hunger, I am out of stamina and I am getting chased by rabid wolves. It will be finding people you can trust to run the military base with you.

I hate the idea of big clans taking control and monopolizing radtowns/bases. It’s unfair to solo and small groups alike. Big clans will always be better than smaller groups and solo’s, but you can still make it challenging for them too. I liked the idea of having mutant animals and other “experiments gone wrong” being attracted to large groups because of the amount of food.

My idea doesn’t take away possibilites, it makes you work (but in a fun way) to gain new ones. It opens up a world of possibilites for player interactions, solo and group play, challenging but fair gameplay, balance and a sense of “survival” not “minecraft and call of duty combined”.

Why should linear progression tiers go against that plans? You still have all the freedom to “take a assault rifle and ammo from an airdrop and run and gun KOS” if you want. You cant build it, ok. But in the game you have a lot of options to get your gun if you want (airdrops, barrels, other players).

My opinion is that progression tiers are THE ONLY WAY to make low tech weapons, like the crossbow and the melee weapons really useful.

At the moment its possible to build an assault rifle at the first day after total wipe if your community is big enough. And from that time on, you dont need all the other weapons. And the complete gameplay turns to a kind of “Battlefield Rust” with nakeds. I dont know if Garry realy wanted Rust to be such a game, but I personaly whould find it much more interesting to see people fighting mostly with stone and bone on the first days and only become able to build much better equipment after a longer period of time.

My thoughts exactly!

Bump

Just be careful when bumping threads as you can get yourself banned temporarily from the forums.
On that note, this thread doesn’t really need to be bumped as these things are already planned for the game and in a matter of fact the blueprint system will be tweaked this update coming.

Just trying to get my ideas out there, perhaps they will influence dev decisions (unlikely)

However, didn’t know about the bumping rule, I will keep that in mind.