Suggestions for Improving the Game

WARNING: Long post ahead!

Rust is a game with a lot of potential. At the moment, Rust encourages drudgery and meta-gaming to an almost absurd degree. The excitement of this game comes with conflict (with the environmental conditions and denizens and other players themselves), but the amount of sheer work it takes to get to a point of real, exciting conflict is completely unreasonable and is easily fixed while retaining the crafting elements and survivalist spirit of the game.

Since the game is in alpha, I’ve decided to share what I believe would be some fundamental changes to gameplay that would help Rust reach said potential. The following are suggestions (along with rationale) that I hope the developers read:


CRAFTING/GATHERING MECHANICS:


  • Make crafting items instantaneous.
    RATIONALE: No matter how realistic, making a player stand and do nothing for upwards of six minutes to make items is just plain boring.

  • Make almost everything (except for things like campfires, furnaces, etc.) require you to be near a workbench to craft them.
    RATIONALE: So you can’t make ammunition in the middle of a firefight.

  • Require workbenches to be built in shelters or on foundations.
    RATIONALE: So you can’t make a workbench in the middle of a firefight to make ammunition in the middle of a firefight.

  • Make wood piles spawn only in forests and make mineral deposits spawn only in rocks/mountains.
    RATIONALE: For realism and to encourage players to try and control territory.

  • Add a Drill, Chainsaw and Bowie Knife. They would harvest minerals, wood and animal parts faster respectively. They could all also be used as melee weapons.
    RATIONALE: No matter what, hitting things with a pickaxe gets really, really boring really quickly. However, you still need to add some element of time and progression to crafting, so allowing players to craft even more advanced tools is a solution to that problem.


BUILDING MECHANICS:


  • Once a player builds a foundation, they may only build foundations connecting to that foundation. Essentially, one base per player. Possibly two.
    *RATIONALE: Before you tear this one apart, keep reading and you’ll see why I recommend this. I think the game should encourage bases to be more substantial and fortress-like. My ensuing suggestions expand upon this idea.
  • Create a radius around foundations built a player where no other player can build foundations.
    RATIONALE: This would prevent two things: building stairs up to windows and breaking down doors and replacing them with yours. Both are against the spirit of the game and encourage griefing, not exciting gunfights and sieges.

  • Add a mechanic in which a player can designate another as a “Friend” or an “Ally”.
    Friend status would allow the player to see their Friend slightly outlined in green, or their name in a different color.
    RATIONALE: This is so that it’s easier to tell friend and foe in a firefight, since all characters look like white, male meth addicts wearing black t-shirts.

Ally status would allow that Ally to build adjacent to your own foundations.
RATIONALE: This would allow you to designate other people to build bases with.

  • Allow you to add players individually to a “permission” list for doors.
    RATIONALE: Players have been screaming for this one for a while. Players should be able to share doors, period.

  • Add a Ladder structure which can be placed against an enemy wall, allowing you to scale the wall. Require 20-30 seconds for it to be placed, and it can be easily torn down.
    RATIONALE: This allows players to still scale walls, but through more fun means rather than adding indestructible pieces to another player’s base.

  • Allow Wood and Metal reinforcements for doors and walls. Make them undetectable from the outside unless you hit the wall (makes a different sound whether or not reinforced) or look at it up close. Reinforcements would add to the amount of C4 required to blow down that particular wall.
    RATIONALE: To discourage players from building a maze of doors inside their base, which is boring and annoying, it would be more fun to allow players to make their walls harder to bust open. The fragility of walls is the only thing that makes the maze of doors a necessity for good base defense, so by making walls stronger there is less need to create an eight story monstrosity of confusing metal doors. You could actually build a real layout in your base without it being extremely fragile.

  • After a player logs off, there is a ten minute window in which their structure (anything build on their foundations) can be attacked and/or have a Ladder attached to. After this window, the building is indestructible and cannot be raided. These ten minutes reset each time a player logs off. If a player has designated an Ally, then all must log off for the ten minutes to apply to anything built on the foundations.
    *RATIONALE: Raiding bases is only fun when there are other players online to defend it. Otherwise, the game becomes “Let’s spend hours getting C4 and blowing up a bunch of hours of hard work”. This mechanic would ensure that at least one defender would have to be online for a base to be raided, giving them a chance to fight back. The ten minute window is in place to discourage defenders from quitting in order to induce invulnerability as a way to save their base. *

  • Allow players to hatchet down EVERYTHING they build, including foundations, pillars and ceilings. This does NOT apply to enemies, only the player and Allies who built the building.
    RATIONALE: Players should be able to restructure their building and relocate as they see fit. Foundations shouldn’t be permanent. One of the most frustrating things is accidentally placing a pillar wrong because your mouse shakes a little and then your precious layout is screwed.


ENVIRONMENT CHANGES


  • Make zombies spawn in droves at night.
    RATIONALE: Make nighttime scarier and more difficult.

  • Zombies are attracted to light during the nighttime and will swarm bases with any kind of light on during the night.
    *RATIONALE: Add more of a survivalist element to the game. The common enemy of zombies adds an interesting level to the conflict between players. It can even be used as a strategy against players (i.e. building campfires to attract zombies as a diversion).

  • Zombies do NOT drop valuable things (like blueprints, research kits, and especially metal building pieces). The only place you should be able to get those things is through air-drops and in rad-zones.
    RATIONALE: Why is a zombie carrying a metal ceiling? Zombie farming is against the spirit of the game. They should be terrifying and paranoia-inducing, not another resource to be farmed. By making the really valuable tech and materials available only in highly dangerous and contested areas, it encourages a Hunger Games kind of thing where players are constantly looking over their shoulders. Discourages farming in favor of excitement.

MISCELLANEOUS IDEAS


NOTE: The following are just random ideas that popped in my head. They don’t have rationales as they’re just fun things that I think would flesh the game out.

  • Add Flamethrowers. Use low quality fuel as ammo, difficult to craft/use but extremely powerful. Cannot destroy structures (unrealistic, but for balance purposes). Used for flushing out enemies.
  • Add stationary light sources (lamps, wall torches, etc.)
  • Add Motorcycles.
  • Add Security Cameras/Sensors which alert you to the presence of players who are not Friends or Allies around your base. They can be seen (not easily) and destroyed from a distance.
  • Add Binoculars for long distance surveillance.
  • Add Mountain Lions that live in the rocks.
  • Every time you kill a player, you can take their head and impale it on a stake and place that around your base. (Disgusting, I know, but adds to the gruesome, anarchistic nature of the game’s environment. Would let you designate your base as friendly or hostile)

I hope these suggestions are at least given a glance. I think they could really add to the game and help shape it into what I see being an extremely fun, player-driven post-apocalyptic anarchy simulator without reducing the game into a long grind session.

Have fun, y’all.

Nice post.

Highlights in my opinion: Make rocks spawn in the mountains, stationary light sources (awesome), droves of zombies (sounds really scary but awesome lol)

Not so good: Mountain lions… I run to the mountains to get away from the zombies/wolves lol