Rust is supposed to be a survival game, regardless of the fact that it currently isn’t. It should have a lot more in common with the feel of DayZ than that of Minecraft. Personally, when I log onto a server and every valley looks like downtown Manhattan, I turn right around. Not only does it inhibit the feel of the game, it generates lag and promotes trolling/griefing; once you have a giant base with too many doors to raid and there’s nothing left to do, most players sit in their clocktower with a BAR and snipe at newbies to prevent them from gathering resources. Does anyone want to play that game?
-Implement real physics: component strength and weight. Cross the threshold of height vs. support and the decay rate starts going up exponentially. Implement something similar for width (decay rate) to prevent sprawling 1-story carpets. This has been suggested plenty of times, though it might take a while to code.
-In line with what the previous player proposed: allow players to reinforce existing components at a higher cost of materials, with the cost going up exponentially with each level of reinforcement. That means a group can use the same resources to create a strong small to medium sized base instead of having to build a giant obnoxious castle. Instead of air drops of C4, introduce craftable molotov cocktails… and the ability to reinforce your base against fire. The fewer components you have to reinforce/treat, the fewer vulnerable parts of your base.
-Give players more incentive to play stealthily: non-load-bearing half-components that allow for easier builds in tight spaces or caves, camouflaged tents that work on the same principle as small stashes (invisible at more than a few meters), natural camouflage coverings for small houses or shacks that changes the appearance to be closer to either grass/bush/rock and shortens the rendering distance to medium etc.