Proposed ideas and direction to avoid the inevitable failure of this game/genre.

(I originally posted this on the steam community forum and a few readers recommended that I post it on the official forums)

This game (currently) brings very little new to the table in terms of longevity. I want a game like this to really work and succeed, but it’s going to take some serious development on in-game systems that will make it more than a FFA-PVP-KOS rerun of others in the same genre. (The WarZ comes to mind). The following are my thoughts how to make Rust a better game so it won’t end up in my “that was almost a good game” pile.


Proposed Ideas:
Many on the forums have made suggestions as to what might help alleviate this dilemma.
I have a few that I’d like to share.
***They are not perfect, finalized answers. They are just suggestions to be built upon.

The first in my mind is the introduction of element(s) more dangerous than players. Those elements would make players focus on that rather than solely on PvP. I’m sure the implementation of zombies/hostile wild-life is their version of this. The problem is that when the threat factors involved in a survival game are removed due guns/bombs/other weapons and accumulation of basic material, players get bored. Instead of playing another game, they get their rocks off by messing with others.

Players need goals, things to strive to achieve. They need constant threat factor that can match them as they get better. At the start, that goal is to get the basic necessities to survive. Once shelters are built, guns made and people are thriving, there is no more goal or threat. No purpose. Is there really even a reason to play at that point?

As an ***example to add to the point I’m making, it is similar to real life. Once our needs our met and no imminent threat is present, we fill our time with things we care about, want to accomplish and entertainment: We go to movies, play games, have hobbies (just an example, there is more to life than entertainment). In the walking dead (comic) they addressed this point when Woodbury introduced its own version of entertainment (I won’t say what it was exactly to avoid any spoilers). Give players other options than finding and killing naked players.

**Point being – There needs to be more thought put into the endgame. **


Another factor to change would be the jump from a bow to guns/c4. Are we really going from Rocks to guns? Took us a lot of time to do that in human history.

This comes down to where they want their game to go and what they want it to be.

For those that have played survival games, you know the intensity that comes along with close range combat against something terrifying, unknown, or powerful - It’s tense and exciting.
When you can shoot it from a mile away from a hiding spot, not so much.

When guns are removed, there are so many more options for combat (IMO). Not to say that ranged weapons should be removed, but having to load and arrow, pull the string, and fire an accurate shot, (example for combat), before someone bashes you in the face with a rock is a lot more engaging than unloading the 30 round clip in the general direction of a naked caveman. It also gives that naked caveman a chance instead of it simply being a massacre.

On that note, I feel some weapons/explosives add to the excitement and overall experience. However, they need to be extremely hard (like sacrifice your left nut hard) to make and only available in small quantities. They need to be very useful, but not 100% necessary to the games goals. Limiting factors on powerful objects/weapons will make you really consider when to use them.
"Do I want to nuke a noobs 1x1 shack hidden behind a rock or save my two homemade grenades(that took forever to make, but are very useful) against boss monster ‘X’ or for a group of raiding bandits? "
Sure, there will be some Youtube videos and Twitch streams of players using them for the lawlz to get views, but it won’t be the majority of players and will only be occasionally.

Summary: Make powerful items really fing hard to get and in very limited quantities so they can be used in conjunction with endgame goals (from my first recommendation).*

Conclusion:

I’ve played a number of similar type survival games. They all have their merits. The problem is that they suffer from the same genre issues: Lack of endgame features, balancing, and hackers. Many of these games do an early access and end up turning off most of the prospective player base. By the time release comes, you have a handful of abusers and a slow trickle of unknowing suckers that pick the game up for $2 on a steam sale. It is almost inevitable. So while the idea of early access is nice and provides devs with important funding to continue creating a worth-while game, the majority of games usually fail to deliver on promises or rise above mediocre.

There are so many more ideas that could really make this type of game successful for a large audience of gamers. I really hope this development team can break the status quo by not letting Rust turn into another “FFA-PVP-KOS” f***fest that it will be if nothing is changed.

We are in alpha, there is still a lot of content to come.

I disagree with removing guns to make it more engaging. If the best weapon you can wield is a hunting bow, this game would be beyond boring. Many players seem to get the style confused. In my opinion this is not a game based in olden times where technology does not exist, hence the radiation and modern buildings. The term “caveman” gets tossed around way too much on these forums and is causing a false sense of what the game is actually about. This is a MODERN survival with primitive aspects, not a primitive surivial with modern aspects.

I agree, but the same promises were made by every other dev team of all the same games. “It’s only alpha, lots of changes will come”. They don’t. At least no dev team has managed to do that.

When I think of the WarZ as an example (a game that I liked at the beginning), it makes me sad to see the way it went. They are an extreme example, but also a perfect one of the pitfalls of the genre.

[editline]16th December 2013[/editline]

I don’t disagree with your statement, that is why I said this:
"On that note, I feel some weapons/explosives add to the excitement and overall experience. However, they need to be extremely hard (like sacrifice your left nut hard) to make and only available in small quantities. They need to be very useful, but not 100% necessary to the games goals. Limiting factors on powerful objects/weapons will make you really consider when to use them. "

In a post-nuclear wasteland you won’t be building an M4 with a hammer. Making modern weapons takes specific machinery and skills (or a 3d printer :wink:). I could understand an airdrop with a 0.1% chance of a gun or explosive being included. Having a variety of hand-held weapons that can be made or found would add to the variety and would remain usable for the entire game rather than obsolete the moment you find a gun.

Again to my original point that powerful weapons need to be really really hard to get and have limitations (ammo supply and failure rates). It provides more options for play styles and overall benefits the survival aspect rather than a sad representation of today’s world economic disparity between the “halves and have-nots”.

WarZ is the only example that can come to mind for games like this that the developer abandoned/failed. you’re speaking out of your ass, seriously. And thinking that every developer is the same is retarded anyway.

Not to mention there’s a thread for user suggestions already made

Not speaking out of my ass, but thanks for the nod to the other thread.

If you’d like to point me to one game in the genre that didn’t lose its user base due to hackers/lack of endgame/server admin abuse, then please point me in that direction and i’ll gladly go pay for it right now.

If you can’t manage to provide one, then I’d say you’re “speaking out of your ass”

Your point about having a constant threat is something we’re actively working on. Eventually the environment (and its native inhabitants) will be a lot more of a threat to you — we can’t give details or a date yet, but rest assured that it’s one of our focus areas.

Well your original argument was that these games always tend to be abandoned by the developer or just refused to work on. Now all these points you are coming up with now are problems with the community, not the developer. Other than endgame, that is, which is a very stupid idea in a game where you’re supposed to see how long you can survive.

and regardless of what people say on these forums I have yet to get abused or witness hackers. I’ve also haven’t even been approached by someone who just kills and loot. I’ve only ever been robbed or ended up joining the person. (how the game is supposed to be played)

Just gonna throw my own opinion in here

Endgame is actually pretty important, just yesterday me and 3 friends on Skype we’re all playing (they had just bought the game each after me pestering them for a while), and once we had some pretty nice items they all started asking the same question,

“What next?”

And at that point I really had nothing to say, raiding is about it after a certain point, so yes endgame does matter because why would you ‘survive as long as possible’ if you know you’ll never die and even if you do, you have so much overflow shit that you don’t need to worry.

Just saying.

What next? are you daft? the point is to do whatever you want. If all your friends have yourself established, it’s time to start recruiting people into your group, or go on raids, or build a town. its completely up to you. Having something that takes away a “what next” would ruin this game, in my honest opinion.

You’re looking at a generation and a demographic that is used to games that have linear goals, that’s how they think when they play games, they want a clear cut goal and a way to get there. There has to at least a minute reason to continue playing the game. Ever heard of replay value? This game has literally none of it, excluding maybe building your house in a different location or in a different manor. Other than that every city is in the same place, every time, and resources are pretty predictable. Rust doesn’t have replay value NOR endgame material, games should pick either one or even both, but not just fucking neither.

this game has infinite replay value what are you talking about. the only thing hindering it is the fact that it is an most aspects a fresh project, and there is still a HEAP of content to be added/changed.

and developing your game based on the demographic is why a lot of games today are so shit-tier its not even funny

It’s hard to respond to this because if you’d actually read the original post, then you wouldn’t have made this. I apologize for not spelling out each and every failure that comes along with the genre. If you’ve played them, then you are familiar with them.

Your failure to address my first response with an answer also indicates that you were indeed “speaking out of your ass”.

I wasn’t mugged during my time in New York either, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. There are endless posts of people expressing their distaste for the known problems of geared players killing almost gearless beginners for no reason other than to get their jollies.

Endgame doesn’t mean that you have to know “what is next”. It means that there IS more next to find. Currently there is no more. No additional threats to be found (***apparently this is being worked on), no territory to explore and find new things, no goals.

I do however respect your point that you enjoy the Alpha as-is. You’re lucky in that respect. If you still find it entertaining after two months (if it hasn’t drastically changed), then i’d be greatly surprised at your ability to be easily entertained.

The idea of constant threat is numbed by the idea of infinite respawn. Especially if you respawn where all of your gear is.

So players enter into a weird state. Gear is precious, life is not. Finding a solution to this is key.

You’re missing the whole entire point of these games. You create “what is next” and it isn’t decided for you. that’s why I love games like this anyway. I never failed to address your first response, I pointed out that it was ridiculous, however, because you went from the point of the developer giving up on the project, to things that actually happen in every multiplayer game.

I believe that people would find the game far more enjoyable if it would be easier to find friends. Just something that I have heard a lot of people agreeing with

this is the best post today

I 100% agree with this dilemma. Not sure there is an answer. Hopefully they can find one.

Anyway. I’ve stated some ideas and my opinions. Hopefully others will also add useful insight like this.

[editline]16th December 2013[/editline]

Show me where in my post I said, “the developer giving up on the project”. I don’t. Again, read first then post.

And if these problems plague every multiplayer gamer, then all the more reason that they are important to address. Not sure if your attempting to make my points for me, but it’s working.

This is a good point that will not see an answer for a while — not as long as progression is defined by the quality of your gear. (we do have ideas that stray away from the notion of equipment quality = progression, but nothing that we can really say - just ideas at this point)

What about having a players’ death last a day per server?