Wipe Vs. No Wipe

Garry has discussed that he envisions the game as not having wipes, which has influenced his ideas on how to implement blueprints. The game everyone has been playing, however, wipes constantly, so that is our frame of reference. Because this is a central issue in the game’s future, I thought it might be worthwhile to discuss the arguments for and against each.

Arguments for Wipes

*Gives that fun sense of starting out from nothing and getting established despite others trying to kill your or keep you out of their “turf”. This is arguably the most challenging and fun part of the game.

*Everyone is on equal footing after a wipe, it is a chance to learn from past mistakes and try to become king of the server. Because of how strong established players are by comparison to fresh spawns, those who aren’t seeking out an extra challenge are unmotivated to try, while established players become bored from dominating everything.

We know the several days/weeks cycle of wipes works with the tools already developed and in the game (legacy), it is fun and does not require major additions to extend the gameplay in a way that would allow servers to remain interesting and populated.
*Most likely for some combination of the above, people have consistently “voted with their feet” and tend to rapidly populate freshly wiped servers, which then decline in population as players move on usually within a week. “No Wipe” servers have very limited populations, even when they don’t have enough structures to create unplayable lag. So in short, why change what is proven to interest people in favor of something people theorize they would enjoy but do not seem to in reality?

Arguments for No Wipes

*Many people are discouraged at having their impressive fortresses and towns destroyed. Why waste the effort to build a castle or empire that is truly magnificant when it will be wiped in a week anyhow? Permanent servers would allow people the time and motivation to make amazing things.

*In line with the above, a server that is never wiped has the chance to develop a living universe with its own history, factions, cities, trading, empires, drama, wars, spies, backstabbing, all the things that make Eve Online interesting to read about, if not play. These things can exist for a brief period in Rust, but usually only a day or two before one faction dominates the server and everyone leaves, and they have little consequence when a wipe is coming soon anyhow.

*If implemented properly, Rust could be the best videogame ever made by combining the cool parts of sandbox MMOs with true action combat and creative yet meaningful construction.

Proposed Solution

*Creating a version of Rust that supports no wipe server would require massive changes to extend the gameplay. Making the maps larger and increasing the player count is one large step in the right direction, as it takes a lot longer for someone to dominate and rule the server. However, game still suffers from the tech tree progression being too short as players quickly master all available technologies and can make themselves safe and wealthy enough to be bored. it is human nature to seek constant improvement and progression, safe and secure means boring and time to find a new server. I don’t see Rust becoming a pve-based game, and it has already created one of the best pvp sandbox games ever made, so I think the game should play to its strengths and just give more tools and goals to extend challenging pvp gameplay. But we are talking a lot more. Right now you can max out in about 2 hours, it should take months if not longer, which a reasonable level of challenge (most likely from other players) all along the way.

*Additionally, I would propose as other have the servers become linked, to extend the size of the world and have everyone’s actions play into the larger Rust universe. Sailing to the edge of the map would allow people to join other servers, and the servers would essentially create a large mappable universe, with the oldest servers in the middle as a center of civilization, wealth, and conflict while newer servers on the fringes give people a place to get started or begin a new empire. This would probably have to be done only on official servers, with either no admins or facepunch admins to avoid abuse.

*Allow private servers, or separate official servers with regular wipes to still cater to those who want the quick rags to riches then wipe gameplay that currently is proven to work, is fun, and which allows good and creative admins to create new and fun experiences.

I’m all for no wipes. That’s why I played the official servers the most, even with the hackers. And when I joined the server, there were already people well established, and I wasn’t. I still liked fighting my way up.

Anyone can run their own legacy or experimental server right now??? Wiping is entirely the admin’s perogative. If the server admin shuts down the server every sunday at noon and when it restarts 2 minutes later, it’s wiped clean with a new random seed, that’s up to them.

Right now, there’s practically nothing to do, progression-wise, because progression is something you fill out after you’ve built the foundation. We’re still in the foundation-building stage, and the devs have much more planned. Suggesting they add more is superfluous.

I am trying to point out that a massive amount of things, probably at least an order of magnitude, would need to be added to sustain a fun and active server without a wipe for months+. Right now the “free market” is choosing wipes. If the game is being designed around no wipes, but the amount of content required to make it really work can’t be added within a couple years, it may be best to think about designing around wipes. Even then, we are still in theory land about how viable and fun it would be, while the startup, get established, eliminate rivals, wipe gameplay is proven to be awesome. I am not saying the game is not viable without wipes, but I am saying it would take a lot of investment. If FP isn’t willing to devote the time and resources necessary, it may be best to design around faster wipes.

Why design around wipes when the goal is no-wipes and it’s just going to take, say, the next year and a half to get there? Why design for the short-term instead of implementing the long-term?

Garry’s Mod has been supported for basically a decade. I don’t think we need to worry about Facepunch’s investment in Rust.

What prompted my post about pros and cons was Garry asking if the goal should be no-wipes or not:

"What I’m hearing strongest is that people seem to enjoy the wipes. They enjoy starting from scratch - with everyone at the same level. Is that right?

Should we be designing based on the assumption that servers will last about a month and then be wiped?"

My butt gets all itchy if I don’t wipe, so wiping is of course the better option, you just feel unclean if you don’t wipe.

From my experience with two servers, the majority of PvP players prefer wipes, PvE players don’t. I was wiping the PvP every 30 days, PvE hasn’t been wiped in over 8 months.

agreed, mostly because of different focus. a PVP server feels cluttered with all the temporary walls and half bases being built in combat, and benefits from the occasional clean up. a PVE server being left alone creates a history, and landmarks, and suffers from wipes.

For me, if there were lots of wipes, I’d stay away from what ever server does that…in my opinion constant wipes mitigate half the games appeal. I can handle them when updates come about and maybe after some amount of specficied time. I think server owners will find the right balance between wipes, you’ll have some with frequent, infrequent and almsot never. The developers should develop the game the way they want it to be and not what the community wants it to be. This does not say they should not listen to criticsm but they will get lost keeping up with the flavor of the week. They should use the community feedback on how to correct or make better stuff they’ve already developed.

If I want PvP with modern automatic weapons, I’ll play Call of duty.

The brilliancy of Rust is its inherent sense of mystery. I would argue that the entire game, humans included, is all PvE. The players themselves become part of the environment.

I remember building my base in a hidden area (for the whole 16 hours I played in this server, never got raided once), and when out building (unsuccessfully) a bridge, I heard human footsteps, and saw a (naked) guy run my way. I was genuinely frightened the same way I imagine Robinson Crusoe was frightened when he saw the footprint on the beach. That kind of experience is what gives Rust it’s character, the unknown and unexpected.

If you wipe the server every week, you lose the mystery, it becomes any fps shooter. And there are better fps shooters.