he latest Rust Dev Blog – Dev Blog 128 – ushered in a number of changes! Some of these changes are overwhelmingly for the good of the game. Amongst the usual collection of much-needed bug fixes; server player state corruption, clunkiness, and foliage displacement were a hand full of notable game changers. It’s these changes that have prompted the posting of our very first written commentary on Rust, and its ongoing changes.

Before we launch into our discussion about these changes, I think it’s important to reiterate our overwhelming response to Rust; it’s arguably one of the best multiplayer games in recent memory, one of the best buys on Steam at the moment (certainly one of the best I have ever made)…and the guys at Facepunch deserve a damn medal for their determination. Let’s just take a moment here to think about all of those early-access games gathering dust in our Steam libraries, the veritable bevvy of bullshit, the poorly concocted, half-finished flim-flam that pales in comparison.  We’ll touch on this later, but no other game has brought people together, and created more salt, than Rust. The GetRekt crew met on a pleasant evening, at the Hangar, or on a ridge over Small Rad Town and we’re still together.

Let’s just take a moment here to think about all of those early-access games gathering dust in our Steam libraries, the veritable bevvy of bullshit, the poorly concocted, half-finished flim flam that pales in comparison.

Before my eyes completely mist over with nostalgia, we’ll return to the task at hand – the changes, the REALLY game altering changes. The hottest of these, the one that we’re all talking about and debating on Reddit, is the Component System. I’m really not going to spend too much time recapping what we already know; virtually every notable Youtuber has given you, sometimes almost verbatim – Shadowfrax, I’m looking at you – a rehash. If you don’t know, go and learn. But in a nutshell, this system will replace the current XP system, with…well…recipes, essentially. Only not on paper, because they’d be blueprints. You can find these components at the monuments, just like with blueprints, only they’re not blueprints! Apparently, you’ll know how to make everything innately, like some sort of naked MacGyver, and you’ll have to choose how to spend these scavenged components. Maybe those screws and glue could be used to make a door instead of that new AK you’ve always wanted.  We’re rocking the Bioshock technology here, think Fallout crafting, Skyrim, take your pick. Nothing new here, nothing at all, a bit like yet another installment of Battlefield really. But like every idea, how it’s implemented is going to matter. What’s going to pepper and flavor the implementation here is this; it’s being implemented in a game full of the most savage beings you will ever encounter. Not only are they savages, complete with exposed genitalia and spears, occasionally they’re organized. They get together in groups, they become clans.

I’m going to stop here; because this is where we reach a few divergences from our one-size-fits-all discussion. It’s important to understand that there are two types of servers out there in Rustland, Rustiverse, Rustopia? That one’s probably trademarked somewhere. There are those that are pure, those unmodded grind fests.  Then there is Rust on meth, on crack, on that Peruvian marching powder. It’s on these servers that, in the words of Cole Porter, anything goes. We need to make a clear distinction between the two.

The other important acknowledgment to make is the difference in various play styles. I know I am a grinder, a mindless grinder, a drone. Every server wipe I have ‘won’, and I use that term really loosely here – by won I mean; I was the danger, I was the one who knocked – I won through relentless no-lifting, chopping wood, hitting rocks, mushing together charcoal and sulfur until I stank like a Rotorua bar (New Zealand Joke). Infused, on the other hand, has never hit a rock in his life. But he’s always the one picking a fight, taking your stuff, runnin’, and gunnin’. So let’s just acknowledge that there are differences in style of play.

The final difference is really simple; clan, or no clan. Are you a one, or two-man band? Or do you have a squad? How does this effect your play style?

Don’t even start me on the discussion about how your real life (uh huh, the one away from the keyboard) affects your style.

Great, now that we’ve codified the boundaries of the discussion, let’s return to the component system. How is this going to change things? Well, in a nutshell, camping. We’ve kicked this around a little bit, and the only conclusion we’ve come to is that this is going to play into the hands of large clans. But why, you cry? Well let’s look at the Dev Blog for answers;

This desire to create conflict is just beyond me. We’re actually human, and I don’t know if FacePunch realise this but; we don’t actually need an excuse to fight

Everything craftable by default? Well ok, if you insist. Everything you say? Well, this is tough to imagine. We’ve come from the XP system, where things have been carefully staggered to ensure that you didn’t have too much tech available at one time. This hasn’t been a bad way of doing things; it’s prevented insta-raiding (except for you kids that rolled me with satchels! It’s not been forgotten, you know who you are). It’s controlled the way that bases are built and developed. And lastly, its forced us to play in a particular way. Everyone has had to do a little bit of grinding, either XP or resource. Everyone’s had to work their way up that tech tree. This is going to come to what is craft-able immediately, and what isn’t. What am I actually going to need components to make? Am I going to need some ultra-rare circuit board for a code lock? Perhaps we’re over thinking this, and it is much simpler; after all, Facepunch has only listed 11 example items in the Dev Blog. By suggesting that one component might be needed for many items would create the desired tech epochs. But seriously? What a pain.

Did I just step back in time to 2014? I feel like I’ve been here before; I have a vague memory of standing on top of a tower in Rad-Town Valley, or in the Forrest shooting ‘tards with a bolt

So where are these components going to spawn? Well according to FacePunch, they will spawn in the usual places. They’ll spawn at Rad Town; they’ll spawn at the Power Plant. The usual. There’ll be some level of map progression borne out of the desire for the rarer items; the map will be sorted by the gradient of rarity. I’ve read variations on a theme around this; a north-south map progression, a radial map progression. What does it matter? The net result will be the same; it’s inescapable. FacePunch SWEAR that radiation will prevent the larger clans from ‘Zerging’ (favorite Rust term by the way) it to where the rarer items are. I am a little worried that perhaps there’s a form of collective psychosis (or retardation) developing at FacePunch. How can they think that this ISN’T going to happen? Hell, the very thing they are trying to achieve is going to ensure that it WILL happen. A long, long time ago, in an older version, on a different engine, some smart wee cookie came up with the idea of spawning zombies around towns, Zombies with the penchant for carrying information on military spec weapons, tows which for some odd reason contained loot chests. Why would they have done this? Well simple, to create a level of conflict. That’s why the component system is being reintroduced. To manufacture conflict. So let’s come back to how the bigger clans are going to react – they’re going to go (with a vengeance) to the places where the components are. And there they will wait…for what will assuredly be some form of respawn rate on the components. Rinse and repeat. Did I just step back in time to 2014? I feel like I’ve been here before; I have a vague memory of standing on top of a tower in Rad-Town Valley, or in the Forrest shooting ‘tards with a bolt. This is how far we have come people. This is how far we’ve come. Imagine you’re a naked, you’re grinding up the tech trees as best you can; got together some gear to protect you from radiation and you’re approaching these towns. Can’t go naked; rads man, rads. Don’t want to take your stuff, you know you’re on a one-way trip. Who cares about radiation though right? If you’re like the vast majority of the population you’ll be playing on a modded server, with radiation turned off. But I digress. You’re gonna get f#*ked son, it’s a one-way trip. Perhaps some clans have been crying on Reddit. Who knows, right?

This desire to create conflict is just beyond me. We’re actually human, and I don’t know if FacePunch realize this but; we don’t actually need an excuse to fight. Do you think the last group that blew off your door might have just held back because they couldn’t quite justify it because their moral compass just couldn’t justify it? I know that I have spent many a timed explosive charge in search of the ‘lols’. Creating this conflict, forcing the fights, is just an attempt to control the way that we are playing the game. I am not sure I want to get shot in the head while I desperately try to get some gear, I am not sure I want to have to fight at a time and place outside of my control. But ok Garry, whatever you say, bro.

So, we’re not just nay-sayers, we have suggestions too! We’ve passed this idea around the clan and we’ve come up with a solution. It goes a little something like this; bring back blueprints, bring back research, bring back XP. Add a tier of high-tech, military-grade equipment that provides a little bit of an edge over what would normally to be made by a player which didn’t have access to the components. This top-tier tech could be an entirely new tech layer (sounds super complex), or something as simple as a gun mod. Why couldn’t that steel pipe which you find oddly stored in a crate in RadTown be converted into a new barrel for an assault rifle which provides a damage modifier? Or maybe we could finally make an LR?  Find some sheets of Kevlar? Maybe some new armor, or reinforce some walls. A modified stock perhaps. The options are endless. I had an interesting conversation with a young Australian chap this morning about his belief that experience shouldn’t be anywhere near Rust. He’s an Australian, so his opinions were a little set in stone; this is his country, after all, which make being an asshole a point of national pride.  But some of the points he made were pretty valid; you would raid someone just to get their technology through research.

So in conclusion; this is not the best solution. It feels poorly thought out. It feels a little rushed. This will, undoubtedly, change the way that people play, and we just can’t shake the feeling that it will play into the hands of the bigger clans.