**Weapon Variations based on Biome
In the world of blackmarket gunsmithing, it is very common to find something known as “regional subfamilies” for certain types of homemade firearms. How this happens is namely that you have a first base copy, and when these firearms are sold to another group, that group will attempt to reproduce the firearm for their own use. What happens about 90% of the time is that you have firearms that come from the same family of firearms, but have minor variations and differences in their design which helps distinguish the gunsmith that made them. During the 1st and 2nd Chechen War, the Russian military was faced with a plague of machine pistols known simply as “Borz” or rather Wolf, in English. During the first war, the firearms kept a very relevant or similar design pattern, and this was more-or-less because the groups that were using them were all unified during the 1st Chechen War.
When the 2nd Chechen War came though, something different happened. It started out originally with a unified front against the Russian Military, but slowly the main faction of pro-Chechens started to break off into several different groups. These groups splintered off with the weapons they carried, and whatever gunsmithing knowledge they may of had. As time went on, these groups needed to manufacture new firearms, and when they did, they began to manufacture firearms that would be easy for them to manufacture with the resources and tools they had available to them. These small variations in gunsmithing lead to an explosion of variations to the original Borz, and by the end of the 2nd Chechen War, the Russian military is said to have collected roughly fifty distinctive variations of the Borz.
This image is an example of said variations, and this is what we have come to talk about today. In Rust, everyone makes the same guns without any type of variation or differences. For me, this doesn’t make all that much sense. How would someone living in the mountains manufacture a gun similar to someone in the desert? It does not happen like that, and all though I am hardly preaching for realism, one thing that would be interesting to see in Rust is small variations to weapon based on where they are constructed. For example, the only wood that may be available in the desert is cacti bones or small thorny brush trees! Why not have a small variation for things like the bolt action rifle where instead of having some uniform dogulas fer stock, it is instead made with cacti bones held together with metal shards and such? This regional variation would not only add a sense of unity among players of similar regions, but it would also promote a new element to Rust… That element? Detective Work.
Imagine that you and some other players have formed a confederation of states in a very heavily forested area. The weapons you carry have uniformed stocks, but rusty metal due to the misty and moist environment. Over time you have groups of bandits which attack your most outward colonies, and in response to this, you must find their empire, and attack them headon. You have a problem though… Outside of knowing that they are attacking certain settlements, you have not the slightest clue where these bastards come from. With Rust’s need map generation system, this will become even harder as time goes on, and ultimately you may never find their base! Then one day you are on patrol, and you spot a small group of bandits preparing to ambush a group of hunters and resource collectors. You react, and wipe them out and while salvaging their equipment, you discover that the weapons they carry, which happen to be a machine pistol have something different to the machine pistols that your town guards carry… The wood is not uniform and the metal is not rusty… In fact, the wood is very much held together by pieces of metal that wrap around the guns barrel, and these bits of wood have pieces of animal hide to protect the user’s hand from getting cuts.
Your party leader calls for a Confederation meeting, and while you all discuss your findings, one of the members remembers that such firearms have been found in desert settlements on the border of another empire. Another user chimes in that the materials of the gun are actually the hide of a mountain lion, and the wood of a cactus. With this, you have discovered where this firearm has come from, who it belongs to, and now you must plan to attack!
With variations to weapons based on geographic/biome location, we can introduce a very non-intrusive system that’ll improve gameplay for players all around. Not to mention that players could consider these other-biome weapons a treasure of war! Imagine living in a mountain biome where your weapons have animal skin covers made from a white wolf. You effectively can camouflage yourself with the environment! Or living in a swamp land, you can moss and wrap it around your gun or use bog iron to make a more durable weapon at the price of weight and carry size.
Simple variations to weapons, clothing, and armor would vastly improve Rust, as it’d add a sense of individuality for groups of players living in certain biomes. It would also mean that players would have to think tactically when engaging players of other biomes on their own dirt.
This concept overall would add a new layer to the game, while keeping it simple and understandable for new players to understand!