A possible counter-measure to help some issues

I was just wondering if this sort of thing would be something FP would even consider right now, but temporarily pausing entries to the Rust Alpha may be an idea. I myself believe they have a very good group of dedicated people to test this game and temporarily closing it may help with a few things.

  1. Cheaters-As we can see, there are multiple cd-key sites and such that sell this game for much cheaper than steam. G2A.COM for instance, and it has been brought up elsewhere. We all know if a cheater is risking himself with a purchased game, its going to be the cheapest copy he can get. Maybe these cd-keys could be handled seperately?
  2. Stability Issues-Until this game is a little more stable and some quirks are figured out, it is hard to label this game with a Minimum/Recommended System Hardware (also noting issues with Linux). This is frustrating for shoppers for sure. It may prevent some unhappy buyers in the short-term
  3. Noobs-Right now this game is changing so much week to week it is difficult for noobs. Yes I know this is part of Rust, but until you lay out the basic game essentials properly, it is hard to even write a beginners guide. I myself (and others) often read these guides even before buying a game.

I know this may be an extreme idea, but I doubt it would need to last longer than a couple months. But, when the game is available again (it could even be re-labelled as a Beta), there could also be a (imo $5-10) price increase. I myself believe they are right on the cusp of that anyways.

Please go easy on me, I just like to throw ideas around.

I didn’t realize you could just buy a rust license for $8 off G2A.COM. So getting banned is really no deterrent for cheaters at all? Is this legit, or counterfeit licenses?

G2A has been involved in multiple issues recently, including the pile of Far Cry 4 keys they sold that were purchased using stolen credit cards. Ubi yanked the UPlay keys, and then reluctantly reactivated them on active accounts to avoid the bad PR (even though they were in the right).

There’s a reason those keys are so cheap, they were purchased in cheaper regions (activating these in more expensive regions from resale is a violation of the Steam TOS), and you don’t know where they came from.

Trust them if you dare, but you are essentially working outside the system. I don’t think that’s something garry really has time to care about, unless a batch turn out to be stolen (then he’ll be having a bad day).

Besides, stopping sale of Rust won’t solve anything and will generate nothing but bad PR. If you don’t want to deal with cheaters, run your own server and whitelist access to people you trust. Then, if someone’s cheating, they’re banned, boom, they’re not getting back on unless they borrow the account of someone who is still whitelisted – and then they’re going to get delisted and have to explain to you, their supposed friend, what happened.

The game is in Early Access. If that isn’t warning enough for you that this is a hard hat zone, the problem is on your side of the keyboard. If your expectations are too high, you should reconsider them.

Why must your responses always generalize expectations being so high? If you have ever monitored the course of any large scale game be developed using a large scale alpha/beta test you would realize that in the alpha stages the invite period is usually very short. Its also typically closed invite for alpha testers. There is a reason for this and its because so the game doesnt get flooded. I have no idea how it is bad PR for the company/game. One of top 3 largest game releases scheduled for the first half of this year on steam is Project Cars. You cannot buy it right now, because they just closed the BETA. If you really think this is such a RADICAL fucking idea in an ALPHA game (especially one already long past the point of needing closing) then please, just tell me you would not like me to post anymore. You sir have really tested my patience.

You have to realize that this is not a conventional AAA-tier development studio production, where the closed alpha period is near the end of the alpha and is primarily a stress test and a chance to gather last-minute data and feedback from players before locking things down and going into beta.

Rust is being developed in the open; the devs’ changelog is being live-tweeted, FFS. I’ve been in closed alphas before, and most of them were not conducted the way Rust is being done. Of the ones that were/are being handled similar to Rust, this confusion and impatient frustration is common.

That is what I mean when I say that your expectations are too high. You are expecting a much more refined experience than is currently available, even during the alpha phase. I can’t think of any AAA-tier studio that would give alpha access out to the public, without being NDA’d private alpha tests, this early on. Well, there’s Star Citizen, but it’s being developed in public just like Rust, and it has frequent balance issues and bugs and inconveniences.

If garry were to find that Rust was becoming too popular, too fast, and the sheer number of users was becoming a major threat to the dev team’s productivity, I could see him temporarily halting sales on Steam. However, we’re hardly there yet, and given that the bulk of your argument is that it would reduce the number of hackers by preventing them from cycling accounts, I don’t really see him acting on that specific need alone.

Stopping sales of Rust because omg infested with hackers, that’s just going to look bad. And even if that’s not the story everyone talks about, it’ll be seen as a failure of Early Access, especially for feeble reasons.

There are reasons to suspend sales of Rust, but I don’t see any of the arguments you’ve made carrying much weight. You’re welcome to disagree, of course.

closed beta is an interesting idea, but the hackers actually show the weaknesses in the game that can be exploited. as production continues, those loopholes will be closed up, and EAC/the team will get better defences in place to combats hacks. so rather than running a closed beta where there are no hackers, it’s actually more beneficial to let them try and break the game, provided the devs learn from it;)

First off, calm down. You invited criticism, please handle it with dignity.

Secondly, there is a huge difference between traditional development cycles and Steam early access. Are their pitfalls to it? Yes. Transparent development is in it’s infancy. There are only a handful of games on early access. As an early adopter of early access, Rust has a chance to be a pioneer and light the way for other indie studios.

One of these pitfalls is hackers. Although closing the alpha could remedy this, it could be a double edged sword. It would not allow them to see how people get around their countermeasures and the commercial release would be just as hacker laden, if not more.

I may “expect a AAA game/experience” but at least im using mainstream ideas and business models in my arguement, and I dont know why you are basically ruling out this game being anything but a AAA game. Please, this game has sold over a Million copies.

Honestly the best part of this idea I think would be to smooth the transition of a price jump. I strongly think Rust is at/surpassing the point of a price hike. The last thing I would want to see (and others) is an Alpha game in the steam store jump 25-50% in price overnight. Now, if I was thinking of buying Rust and one day the Alpha closed, it would picque my interest. Now if that game headlined on the steam main page a few weeks later with the headline “Re-opened Alpha” I would be super pumped.

Really though, it wouldnt take long. From a financial standpoint, to calculate its worth you just need to compare average daily sales (over course of closure) and compare it to the expected flood-buy at re-open.

Just because Rust is being developed differently, doesnt mean it couldnt use a sales/community boost using traditional methods.

And its not like steam has to headline saying “Rust alpha closed temporarily due to hacking and instability”

[editline]16th February 2015[/editline]

Lets also not forget this game has been out for over a year. I personally don’t think think the “dedicated” community is really gaining as much momentum and users as it could. And by dedicated group, the group of players where Rust is there “go-to” game. Extremely avid games are usually turned off when they first purchase a game and the most prominent thing about it is instability/hackers/lag. Not saying those customers will never return, they are just aware enough of the community to realize this specific game is not “ready” enough for them.

Anyone seeing “Currently closed to new entries” in the Rust tab is not going to run away forever. They will just click follow game if they are interested.

Its not like it would effect anyone currently in the community anyways, just new people coming in (it also adds some elite/exclusive feeling to the currently-existing community). And its not like its completely abandoning sales/advertisements for the game either. It adds to the suspense and build-up of an up-and-coming monster game, and helps spice up the community. Hell, I know if they temp closed it I would play Rust alot more (my thinking is that they are satisfied with sales/customer base for a Development crew, and would like to focus on making the game rock solid, and build up to the Beta)

Rust has sold over two million copies, that doesn’t make it a AAA game. We’re not having this argument if you think sales alone determine the type of game it is. There are a few billion installations of Windows Solitaire in the world, does that make it a triple-A? :eng101:

A good example of a AAA game that’s being developed in public is Star Citizen; it’s undeniably AAA-tier, but there are also >300 people working on it, now, it’s been in development for two and a half years so far, and it’s not scheduled to leave beta for probably another year and a half. Right now, only walking around in your hangar and dogfighting in limited-size maps works, but development is chugging away at getting the other component modules (fps, planetside-social, and multi-crew ship environments) out in their initial forms this Spring and Summer. Cloud Imperium Games is also not using the mainstream model, and it’s working amazingly well for them. They’ve bypassed the traditional publisher model and are existing entirely on crowdfunding, and they’re developing the game in public and giving backers access to the development builds for tons of thorough and early feedback. It’s about as far from the traditional game development mainstream models as you can get and still churn out a game, and they’re already making the big studios look bad.

By comparison, the Rust dev team is sitting around 20 people, and that includes artists, coders, the works.

$20 is the price garry has set, and I would be surprised if he increases the price later. Rust is priced where it is because that’s the number that makes sense for FP, in terms of the revenue split between it and Valve. I’ve never seen any statements from garry that forecast a price increase later (in the way that Minecraft’s price continuously went upwards over its development arc), but I have seen clear statements to the contrary.

Right now, garry isn’t interested in increasing interest in the game. Rust is not in a playable state to the general public; making Rust more attractive to buy (in terms of store pricing, or interrupted sales with a ‘new and improved’ ad copy when it comes back on sale) is not something garry wants to happen. He’d prefer nobody buy it unless they want to provide feedback to development.

The game has been out for a year but it’s still in alpha. I don’t understand the mindset of people who play Rust as their hardcore daily driver. People say “I’ve got 1500 hours in Rust” or some high number of hours, and I just wonder how they could do that. And they’re usually, but not always, the ones bitching about how Rust isn’t finished yet and they’re impatient with garry.

You’re right, in a way; the things you are suggesting would probably increase sales, or at least interest in Rust, on the short term. However, right now, that’s not in the dev team’s interest. Instead, when Rust is actually much more closer to a playable state, more of a beta where game mechanics are fairly locked down and what’s going on is balancing, playtesting, bugfixing, and building out content (like extra clothing items), that’s when the devs are going to really push to make the active player numbers climb.

This right here is what I’m talking about; you’re months ahead of this. Rust isn’t quite at parity with legacy, yet, and legacy was only 10-15% of the devs’ vision for the game. Rust is nowhere near going into feature lockdown for a bugfix and polish pass into beta. When the game is ready for this, you’ll probably be right, doing the things you suggest would likely increase interest and buzz in the game. However, that’s down the road, and right now priorities are much different.

Right now, too many players at once will overwhelm the small development team. garry never wanted Rust to become this popular; he never predicted that Rust would sell over two million copies in a year. He only put it on Steam because of popular demand (and it made for a convenient way to distribute updates); you weren’t around for this, but late 2013, the forums were flooded by people demanding a way to get access to Rust, at a time when keys were not being handed out at all. garry added a Dutch auction system that made a certain number of keys available every day as an interim solution until he could get Rust into a standalone form and onto Steam. I get the feeling that he would’ve preferred not having to do any of that right now and kept the game small and obscure, but it didn’t work out that way.

There doesn’t need to be any elite or exclusive feelings about being a Rust alpha owner. You’re in a group with over two million people.

You know what’s going to increase active player population in Rust? The new version becoming playable without huge performance hitches, and, with some stumbles, this is starting to happen. That’s what’s going to bring people back and keep them there.

I snipped some stuff yes, sorry.

I think I am kind of missing what you were saying by comparing Rust to Star Citizen. They just got their money a different way, and are taking a similar Dev path as Rust.

I guess the real arguement here is the timing for this. IMO it is ready, maybe it does need a few more months.

And correction–2 million users. What exactly is the average unique player count per day? My guess is less than 3% of that 2 million+. All that means is that there are lots of people that currently own the game and are not playing it. You are also not going to effect these people negatively either, and if they see a bunch of headline news for Rust they may check it out again.

I would be flabbergasted if they never plan on increasing the price of this game. It would be ludicrous.

why? it’s their game, and they can charge what they feel for it. besides, they have regularly been quoted as saying it’s not about the money, but making the game they wanted.

This is the real world. Have you ever sold anything before? You must have poor bargaining skills.

Why would you want to purposely sell something for less than its value? A price increase ($5-10) is IMHO an extremely reasonable price bump.

The current price of DayZ is just under $40, and although I am not a fan of DayZ (I purchased it about 6 months ago, less than 100hrs logged) I think thats a fair price for it currently. Even considering (what I expect) that a major re-write of core code is going to happen (and likely) upset the community/game for at least a short period.

Its one thing having a great game that is budget-friendly, its another thing making it an actual steal.

Plus, the average cost of gaming is constantly rising, like inflation. Is the current price fair? Probably, yes, if not a great deal. Very soon this game will be MUCH better, within the next few months even.

Im not saying use this as a giant cash grab either, its just simple economics. As your business and product quantity/quality increases, you can charge a higher price (lets not forget added production/mainstream costs when growing) for your product.

Lets not forget, the initial surge of buyers is over, and this game will likely never see a surge-buy like that again. And I hope this game never ever implements pay2win (other than a custom skin [statistically identical] market like CS:GO), which alot of games are flocking to, to help continual growth to their game. Which is fine, but I strongly disagree with games that use both initial purchase costs and pay2win (Evolve for an extreme exampel)

it’s not a matter of business savvy. just because they can sell at an increasing pricing structure doesn’t mean they want to, or indeed have to.

FYI, Rust’s development has been funded entirely by the wallet built up by Garry’s Mod, and profits on Rust sales have already exceeded Gmod profits. garry did not actually need to have a single copy of Rust sold so far and development would still be funded through to now. He could give away copies of Rust for free (but that would have made the community growth spike even harder, probably closer to 6 million, and the level of support that the devs would’ve needed to deliver would’ve crushed progress).

The average cost of gaming has been going up and down for ages. I once saw a new copy of Street Fighter II Turbo, when the game had just launched, retailing for $90 because that’s what they could charge for the last available copy in town until the next shipment arrived, and it sold. And that was when SNES games retailed for about $60.

The price point of a game is based on what the market will pay, and garry’s found that $20 is a pretty nice point – it’s not free or nearly-free, but it’s not unnecessarily high. For him and his studio, and his customer base, it’s working – just argue with >2 million sold during alpha. Minecraft did amazing sales numbers at $15, and the price increases when it passed certain milestones didn’t hurt sales numbers by much because the improvements justified the extra cost. Pricing games at $20 is not the end of the world, especially when you have a small studio and the game sells well enough to more than cover operating costs.

By the way, Facepunch has four or five other games in development by people not on the Rust team, so they’re not even relying on Rust’s sales to keep them going in the future, but spending their money now to have the next thing ready before they hit the point of needing something to keep them going.

So, please tell me that Rust is being undervalued. I don’t think garry would make substantially more money if he was charging $45 for it, because fewer people would’ve bought in at that higher price point.

And we know this because the Dutch auctions for Rust keys, before the game was on Steam, started at $250 and proceeded to tick down during the day, stopping at 50 cents or when the allotted keys sold out. Generally speaking, after the initial rush was over with, keys sold out at the $20-25 price point for most of the auction runs. I once saw one key get bought at the $250 mark. In that early rush, there tended to be very limited numbers of keys, sometimes as few as 10, and keys tended to sell between $60 and $35. Near the end of the auctions, just before Rust went onto Steam, where garry was putting ~200 keys per day up, you could routinely pick one up for $5-10.

The bulk of the demand came in at the $15-25 mark, from my observations, although I have never seen the internal sales numbers. When the key supply was very constrained, they tended to sell out at much higher price ranges because it was a race to get a key before they ran out, and whoever wanted to spend the most money got to pull the trigger first. Once supply was able to meet demand and the daily auctions were restarting (at the end of that day) with keys still left over, people were prepared to pay $10-25 for Rust.

As you might have guessed, the number of available keys being released for sale was depended entirely on the server capacity available. Once garry got more than one server online, he was able to crank up the number of keys being injected into the system.

$20 is altogether about the right price for Rust, at least until the Early Access tag comes off, but even then I wouldn’t anticipate a price increase. You’ll notice that garry has not put the game on sale on Steam, ever, since arriving there over a year ago. If he wanted to grow the community and encourage sales, he could just do that, but, again, he doesn’t want the game to be any more popular than it is right now. It’ll be better to spend that energy and good will on the game when it’s worth showing off and marketing directly.

The mindset is simple, it’s the most fun game for me to play right now. When that stops, I’ll stop racking up the hours.

I know I’ve been vocal moaning about when there are problems in the Linux build, but I have to say it’s running really well for me on the dev branch at the minute. I’m looking forward to the three week lock-in that should come with this next update - it’s the most stable I’ve seen it for me, locking that state in is great.

I mentioned it in another post but Rust should cost more- the fact that you can get it for so cheap off g2a encourages hackers- I’ve met a lot that have told me that they buy cheap off these sites so that they can hack with impunity, buy another copy if they (if ever get banned). My take on the price point is based primarily on the premise that it would be riskier for cheaters.

Rust also deserves more. The 20 dollar price point is far below other games of the same genre- Dayz is 35 and its selling like crazy, Life is feudal is 40 dollars and also selling, miscreated is 25- Maybe you don’t agree with my comparisons but those are games that are selling and they are miles behind Rust. h1z1 is 20 but I also think it does not compare in quality to rust. Rust is the premium goodness and should come with a premium. It’ll still sell and they may be even better able to make the game they wanted with a higher price. 20 dollars may have been right up until this point but not anymore.

@Elixwhitetail, You mentioned that you don’t understand the mindset of the people playing this as their hardcore, everyday, go-to game. I find that odd you would mention that here but have so much to say yourself. Who else would you expect to care so much about Rust to speak up about it? Afterall, people are supposed to provide feedback. Not that long ago, Garry made some small change that got a few people upset and his response was that people should have spoken up. I respect that. Its obvious that he wants people to speak up (hopefully constructively) about the experience. Part of getting feedback or accepting criticism is that sometimes you hear things you weren’t looking for or don’t agree with. Not everything people are going to say are going to be in line with what Garry envisions or in line with what people think Garry envisions. The fact that he does encourage people to say something gives him all the more power, especially when he does (or continues to do) something that isn’t popular with everyone. In the end, many of the die-hard everyday players are going to continue to stand behind Garry’s product even if they don’t agree with every decision in the development. Also, just because Garry didn’t want it to become popular in the beginning doesn’t mean anything to today- Things change and it is popular with a very dedicated following. You have to work with what you have today and aim for what you want in the future, not get stuck on the past.

I also EXPECT AAA from RUST. Why? For things you love, you also have high expectations for. You can do this Garry!!! Maybe not today but keep working on it, AAA quality is within reach. To end this on an additional positive note, lots of AAA quality fun to be had already in Rust.

The fact that you can get copies of Rust cheap off G2A isn’t something garry can really do anything about except for jack up prices in other regions to unacceptably-high levels and just choke out sales to those regions entirely, legit or g2a reseller.

A reminder that G2A has dealt in fraudulent keys before, where the keys were bought using stolen credit cards. Multiple times.

And, 20 people does not a AAA-tier game make. Also keep in mind that H1Z1 is going to be free-to-play with microtransactions; buying in right now gives you microtransaction items in exchange for your buy-in. Just think of what the hacking situation is going to be like on H1Z1 when creating a new account is completely free.

I don’t have numbers for H1Z1, but I’d wager that the only game you’ve listed that is more popular than Rust, in terms of sales and daily player numbers, is DayZ, something that’s validated by Steamcharts. H1Z1’s more popular than both right now, but early bursts of population right after launch is normal – Rust had >50,000 peak users once, before the hype slowly died down while development continued.

The fact is, regardless of what you think, garry has good reasons to maintain the price point he has set, and increasing it is not going to make an appreciable dent in the hacker population, because even if G2A stops selling Rust keys, they’ll just find another way, like keylogging people and stealing accounts.

Feedback is important to garry, and I have never told someone to stop posting their opinion on here – I’d probably get banned for it. But that doesn’t make feedback utterly immune from criticism or discussion.

Alright I apologize for my somewhat hostile response earlier. We are all here for the same (somewhat) goal to improve Rust, everyone can safely agree to that.

The price-raise was just a possibly benefit of my current proposal. Like I outlined, it may help out in the short-term quite a bit with multiple issues. If they are clearly against suspending Alpha entries, that is fine. I am not trying to tell anyone how to do anything, I was just wondering if it is something they have or will consider at some point. If thats an official statement, then that is that.

I’m not a Facepunch employee so I’m not in a position to make official statements. However, I have seen garry state that he’s not changing the price on Rust, either increases or decreases via Steam sales. He has said that he might consider a 4-pack (so people can get their friends in) with Steam’s usual 4-for-the-cost-of-3 pricing, but I doubt that would happen before Rust is ready to go into the beta phase of development (gameplay foundations locked down).

And, think of the hacking problem this way: Better now than after the Early Access tag comes off and Rust is considered “finished” and the second big wave of popularity hits (when the devs actually try and market the game, this time). Hackers finding and using exploits now means Rust is that much harder to hack on in the future. EAC’s on the job, the devs are patching exploits when they can (some exploits are likely using code they intend on reworking/replacing, so it’s not actually worth trying to fix them right now), and hackers are actually helping the game become better in the long run, while also contributing more than average amounts to FP Studios’ wallet.

Imagine spending $30/month on a paycheat and new copies of Rust, just so you can hack. How sad :v:

I agree