I am going to share some thought on what I would like Rust to move toward in hopes that it will make it to Garry & team. You may agree or disagree and of course you are welcome to share your thoughts but this is how I feel and my recommendations.
Keep tech but just make it more difficult to acquire. It should take several research kits to learn more complicated tech (like 10 kits for C4) and it should be very rare to find in the first place. C4 should be even more costly to make so you cant go around raiding houses one after another like I see so many groups do. Heck, even give it a chance to blow up when crafting it taking down a 5x5 area! I would also like to see more things like the pipe shotgun because it is sort of an “equalizer” that is not hard to come by but can take out people pretty well if they come too close. See below about ammo though.
Make ammo much rarer and more difficult to craft so people need to think before they shoot and don’t just kill every naked guy they see. If it is too easy to acquire guns and ammo (I think it is) you may as well just be playing any FPS. I want to feel a sense of accomplishment when I do get a gun and scrounge up six bullets. Sure at that point I could take out a bambi (or 6) but would I really want to waste my ammo that way? If some idiot runs at me with a hatchet and I pull out a gun, they should know to turn around or die and I would have to decide if they are worth my ammo. That is survival.
Armor should also be fairly easy to craft. It does not take a genius to throw on several layers of animal skin or even put a metal plate here an there. Weight and sound should be impacted though. In full metal you could be heard from the other side of a valley while leather or cloth can be stealthy. Yeah, someone may need to get a really lucky shot to get through metal armor with a bow, but they could not keep up with someone in leather.
The rarer certain things are and the ability to learn them, the more people would be willing to trade. Sure I do see trading and have done my fair share, but it is just so I can learn something. It would be pretty cool if only one or two lucky people on a server learned to make assault rifles. Everyone else would either need to trade with them or trade with someone that had traded with them to obtain one.
Overall I love the Alpha and the initial game direction but it has a chance to differentiate itself from DayZ and 7 Days to Die (aside from zombies) and I would love to see it take an actual survival sim direction. I totally get that feel every time I start off on a new server. I do love learning recipes to improve my character as well. Also, the map is huge but animals and resources are only in certain portions. I am hoping the full map will be utilized in the near future. I don’t want or need to be near the hot spots where gangs of scumbags roam. Let me carve out a tiny slice of heaven in the middle of nowhere, build defenses and traps around it and defend against the occasional roaming gangs looking to get other people’s stuff.
Creative thinking and innovation need to be rewarded more. Right now anyone with enough friends and a desire to bother others will succeed. I want to make them work harder for it and have a hundred ways or making them suffer while trying to destroy my base or steal my stuff. Sure I can make a base that is difficult to raid if I spend enough time farming resources at 3am when everyone is logged off or I can form my own gang, but overall those are the only real options.
As I said, love the game, love the concept but I hope the direction moves less toward FPS and more towards actual survival sim. Keep up the fantastic work and thank you for letting us participate in the sausage making