Hunger, Hatchet Murders and Human Nature: Why you should play Rust

Rust

By on April 3, 2014 at 12:14 pm

It started out, as many stories in Rust do, as violent, dark, creepy and volatile. I was naked, cold, and scared, armed only with a rock, dropped deep in the middle of a wide shanty town, neighbours literally blowing each other away with homemade shotguns, each brief muzzle flash illuminating another blood spray. I kept low and didn’t use my torches, instead dragging my naked body through the mud and away from the massacre. I later learned that these raids are a common, hourly, occurrence.

I also learned quite quickly that bears like to attack humans.

Rust is many things to many people, and to those who haven’t fallen into its grasp but instead look through a Twitch or YouTube window, it looks simply like DayZ mixed with Minecraft. To an extent, it is — the crafting and survival elements of the game are neatly in tune with its spiritual predecessors, but at the same time, is nothing like them at all. At its core, Rust is about primal survival. There are no NPCs, aside from wildlife. Your avatar regularly hungers for cooked food, gets cold late at night, and relishes the comfort of fire and shelter. During the day, you risk your life against the many unknown players who also seek the same limited resources, plunging players into decisions that many surprise even them.

Unlike DayZ, which very much relies on players to continue moving in order to stay ahead of death, Rust allows a sense of safety and fortification (however false and short lived) via its fairly buggy but still solid crafting system. Players can mine resources and build bases to house themselves or groups, which can range from the friendly to downright psychotic. In some areas, gangs of raiders roam from hill to town, blowing doors of forts with C4 and pillaging the hard fought goods from storage boxes inside. In others, loose alliances work together to secure areas allow for mutually assured protection, and to facilitate a stable existence.

This game has done strange things to me, putting me in positions that have changed how I play sandbox titles. I have always been drawn to group play, finding people and teaming up with them. But the turbulent period many face in Rust can easily be overcome by a friendly face — in most cases, players on their own will barely scrape together a small tidbit of wood and stones to forge a basic hut, easily robbed but big enough to build a fire. It doesn’t help that Rust makes sure you don’t cheat to find your friends — even with online maps, a lack of coordinates and very similar ground meant a 3 hour search for my cousin via Steam chat.

After countless deaths and one hell of a cross-country run, I set up shop in between a valley and a wasteland to become a mountain hermit. The contentious and violent field a few clicks away held enough livestock for hunting, minerals for mining and trees for felling that I didn’t really require any help. For three nights I toiled away, building my fort and stockpiling my resources. On the second night I was approached cautiously by another fellow, where we discussed the terms of my continued existence — if I played nice, so would they. I graciously agreed to the terms, promising that I would stay on my side of the field.

The third night was especially rough — the hunt for my cousin would ultimately force me to leave my mountain and trek through the unknown — losing countless weapons, resources and testing the patience of my new allies who came to my aid on more than one occasion. On one lucky moment I happened to find an airdrop — the game’s disturbing attempt to force a Hunger Games-style killing spree by parachuting valuable supplies onto a random area of the map. My delivery of explosive materials to my bodyguards was returned via a host of survival goodies. I realised then that it was 2AM. I was hooked.

Rust‘s complete lack of scope, its basic client and limited toolset create situations and positions that even DayZ would struggle to duplicate. The removal of zombies makes human nature both a mortal enemy and a gracious friend, continually putting players in positions where they do not know if they can trust a single soul. Any new player is surrounded by shirtless men and repeatedly barraged with voice chat houndings of “Friendly? FRIENDLY?”, hatchets in hand, waiting impatiently for the player to respond in kind. In most cases, I found the best of me would come out — 3 chicken breasts and 100 wood thrown in front of the newbie, enough for a small shelter and a day of sustenance.

Each server becomes its own ecosystem, its own experiment in the nature of who we are. Each world becomes a series of tribes, each with their own rules and ethos. Generally — when you cut out all the griefers, hackers, cheaters and maniacal admins, what is left is a pure snapshot of raw humanity. Players consistently profess shock and anguish on the main chat channel when they are killed or harassed, which would be unusual in most FPS games. I once watched an entire conversation debating the merits of what Rust actually is – a small subset of players complained about the lack of trust and the “shoot first” philosophy many people carry. Others exclaimed that survival is based entirely on self preservation and thus self defense.

But really, Rust is all about fear — fear of being alone, of dying, of starving. New players beg anyone they see for any sort of help, comfort and assistance after realising the rock, torch and medkit they spawned with was completely useless to their long term survival. In fact, it was my initial instinct to help a fellow player that bought me my freedom, and respect from those who controlled the zone where my base was situated. I’ll admit that I was fairly worried about even buying the title after the stories I’d read and the videos I’d watched. The game is still very raw — it’s riddled with bugs, especially when you are crafting. The UI is desperate for a refine, it’s easy to run out of things to do thanks to a lack of objectives, and it can become very easy to turtle.

Rust is full of potential. It’s a game where there are few natural enemies — where being clever, courageous and creative determines your ability to survive. I’m currently holed up in my two storey wooden shack with my cousin, after we finally managed to find each other on a road not too far from my hunting grounds. I geared him up and gave him the tools to be self-sufficient — and so after a week, I was no longer alone. But it didn’t feel right. Even though he was my real-world family, I felt unsure sharing the space I had built and created, unsure that he wouldn’t leave the door open or pillage my gear for himself.

I was shocked at these fleeting thought patterns. But then I smiled — this is what gaming is all about.

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11 comments (Leave your own)

Doesn’t use ARMA3 engine, must be a terrible game, never going to work.

 

Good review piece. Gameplay sounds very much like a large tenement I once had to live in.

 

Love Rust, had to take a break from it cause I was playing it way to much.
Had some moments were my hands were literally shaking and my heart was beating outta my chest, awesome.
Sucks when someone raids your impregnable tower of Mordor, and takes all your shit, because you overlooked one tiny but important flaw, when building your base.

 
James Pinnell

42alpha:
Love Rust, had to take a break from it cause I was playing it way to much.
Had some moments were my hands were literally shaking and my heart was beating outta my chest, awesome. Sucks when someone raids your impregnable tower of Mordor, and takes all your shit, because you overlooked one tiny but important flaw, when building your base.

Some of the ways people exploit these building flaws are very clever. Crazy ramps, small buildings that stack, using boxes and other tactics.

 

After an hour or so of Day Z back when it was first taking off I had already had my fill of this sort of game. Just plain not interested in games that let (encourages?) people do whatever they want to other people.

It’s an awful idea that I hope dies out as thoroughly as rhythm games have.

 

yurtles: After an hour or so of Day Z back when it was first taking off I had already had my fill of this sort of game. Just plain not interested in games that let (encourages?) people do whatever they want to other people.

It’s an awful idea that I hope dies out as thoroughly as rhythm games have.

I’m very much the same, i want survival games to be about the world as your enemy… not bad mechanics or players just murdering because there’s no other content.

Is it so hard to make a zombie apocalypse/viral infection/whatever with actual zombies etc as the challenge? I want something with reasonably clever AI etc that isn’t just a cop out “sandbox”.

Seriously, how awesome would a dayz style game with some real stealth mechanics and zombies with better AI than Counterstrikes hostages be?

 

yurtles: It’s an awful idea that I hope dies out as thoroughly as rhythm games have.

I like the concept of surviving a zombie apocalypse/etc. However I’d like it to actually be about surviving not scavenging for a rifle and essentially turning the world into one giant weird deathmatch with zombies

 

excellent article

 

Theres no point playing Rust at the moment.

Every one hacks and every admin abuses their powers. The game is so pre-alpha its not funny, this doesn’t mean its not a fun game. Its just unbalanced and pointless, theres no house or building you can build that won’t be gone when you go to sleep.

People can see through walls, aimbot, fly, have 3D maps of players and locations, loot items through walls and duplicate resources. You will be fucked into the ground constantly by people cheating and it will be frustrating as all hell.

500 Hours played in Rust. I’ll go back when its had more time in development, really like the game but once again, people ruined it.

 

The Top 10 Most Hated Server Owners in Rust.
#1. IKillNoobs
#2. IHateBlackPeople
#3. Doom
#4. Prickleface287
#5. ((99))66
#6. AdminJDizzle
#7. Killercon
#8. AdminDrew
#9. Deathsky666
#10. AdminJohnny

I recomend not going to any of the servers with these owners. These owners are both abusive and stupid. Here’s a list of the server names as well.

For the first,
US/PVP/Insta/Dura/Neverwipe/Sleepers/NoobFriendly
(This server is not Noob friendly at all, and it wipes often.)
The Second
PvP/NoFall/NoHack/Autoban/Active Admin/Sleepers
(He’s the most racist admin in rust)
The third
BeartrapCave/Pvp/Bears/Winners
(The name says it all)
The fourth
PricksLair/NoobsWelcome/Kits/TP/Home/Pvp
(The owner is a prickface)
The Fifth
SMDBOSS PvP/Insta/Sleepers/Noobs/TP/Friendly
(The Owner likes to tp around killing people and you loose all your shit)
For 6, 8, and 10
USEmbassy PvP/FriendlyActiveAdmins/TP/1/4Craft/Sleepers
(The admins are players admins. All they do is raid everyone on the server by spawning shit in)
The 7th
US Central #1 (PVP/Tele/Econ/Kits/ShareDoor/AirDrop/InstaCraft)
(This server owner will ban you for nothing, he will ban you for asking a question, he also likes to make unraidable bases for his friends so that no one will get raided. The server is very OP from him and his player admins.)
The last one
BigMoneyGaming PvP/AirDrop/Econ/Tele/Sleeper/1/2Craft
(The admin flies around the map finds bases and saves the location so his admins can raid it. Kind of like on the US Central server)

Dont ever go to these.

 

imawinner94:
The Top 10 Most Hated Server Owners in Rust.
#1. IKillNoobs
#2. IHateBlackPeople
#3. Doom
#4. Prickleface287
#5. ((99))66
#6. AdminJDizzle
#7. Killercon
#8. AdminDrew
#9. Deathsky666
#10. AdminJohnny

I recomend not going to any of the servers with these owners. These owners are both abusive and stupid. Here’s a list of the server names as well.

For the first,
US/PVP/Insta/Dura/Neverwipe/Sleepers/NoobFriendly
(This server is not Noob friendly at all, and it wipes often.)
The Second
PvP/NoFall/NoHack/Autoban/Active Admin/Sleepers
(He’s the most racist admin in rust)
The third
BeartrapCave/Pvp/Bears/Winners
(The name says it all)
The fourth
PricksLair/NoobsWelcome/Kits/TP/Home/Pvp
(The owner is a prickface)
The Fifth
SMDBOSS PvP/Insta/Sleepers/Noobs/TP/Friendly
(The Owner likes to tp around killing people and you loose all your shit)
For 6, 8, and 10
USEmbassy PvP/FriendlyActiveAdmins/TP/1/4Craft/Sleepers
(The admins are players admins. All they do is raid everyone on the server by spawning shit in)
The 7th
US Central #1 (PVP/Tele/Econ/Kits/ShareDoor/AirDrop/InstaCraft)
(This server owner will ban you for nothing, he will ban you for asking a question, he also likes to make unraidable bases for his friends so that no one will get raided. The server is very OP from him and his player admins.)
The last one
BigMoneyGaming PvP/AirDrop/Econ/Tele/Sleeper/1/2Craft
(The admin flies around the map finds bases and saves the location so his admins can raid it. Kind of like on the US Central server)

Dont ever go to these.

I just want to point out that saying those listed owners are the most hated in rust does not make any sense. Just because you hate them doesn’t mean everyone else thinks the same as you do. Unless you have some statistics stating this, this is best regarded as a flame post because I know for a fact that some of the owners listed above own highly populated servers averaging 30+ players daily. Seeing how you stated they are the most hated does not correlate to how popular they are according to GameTracker. If they are so hated then why do players play on their servers? So off the bat I can tell that this is a biased post. Also your title is highly misleading. I have been on several of the servers you listed and met some of the owners and your opinions on them are severely skewed. In particular I joined US/PVP/Insta/Dura/Neverwipe/Sleepers/NoobFriendly and US Central #1 (PVP/Tele/Econ/Kits/ShareDoor/AirDrop/InstaCraft) and I found them really welcoming and enjoyable. The owners Killercon, Deathsky666 and Doom were one of the few owners that actually helped me get started, welcomed me to their server and did all they could to help my friends fit right in. However I am not too familiar with the rest but by looking at your simpleminded reasons as to why the servers/owners suck, I can tell you that this is not a post to take seriously. Saying a server is not noob friendly has many variables to it. The owners/admins can be friendly but when you have hostile players, it ruins the chance of a server becoming noob friendly. Rust is like that. Not everyone is going to be nice to you. Also if you don’t like server wipes, pick a different server instead of bitching about it. Same reason for the 2nd server. If you don’t like the admin, go to a different server. Having a racist admin also does not necessarily resemble how the owner is. They are two different people. The third reason really got me lol. If you simply don’t like the server name, don’t fucken join it. Simple as that. I am not even going to comment on the fourth one. I lost couple brain cells from even reading it. As for the 7th one, the owner doesn’t ban you for nothing. He only bans if he has evidence. Ive talked to the owner and he is far from abusive. The worst that he would do is mute you if you spam in chat. Killercon provides players with a starter kit of his own. I got full cloth, some wood planks and the basic necessities to get started. I have never encountered a base I couldn’t raid and if I did, the owner would either remove it or inform the owner of the base to rebuild it to make it fair for everyone. For example, floating bases would be against the rules and would be required to be connected to a foundation. He and his admins are also on top of hackers and exploiters constantly. This is one of the few servers that’s actually serious about dealing with them. The last sentence did not make any logical sense either. It would be a good list if you actually provided informative and accurate descriptions on each server/owner. However seeing how over half of what you stated sounded like you pulled straight from your ass, I advise for anyone reading this list to disregard it and play on a server that interests you and not what a pissed off 12 year old thinks.

However one thing I would like to mention, the server PVP|Instacraft|No Durability|Kits|Tele|Frndly Admins is in fact one of the WORST servers I have ever been on. The second I joined it, a bunch of admins teleported to me and brutally shot me multiple times for no apparent reason. Even the owner himself DeputyDick is extremely abusive. In particular, DeputyDick gives himself millions of market credit for the market plugin in-game and whenever you kill him, you receive millions of credit which makes it extremely unfair towards other players who work so hard gathering resources. It’s basically a pay2win server. The admins also teleport to you whether you like it or not. I got kicked for voicing my opinion. I highly advise you take all this into consideration before joining PVP|Instacraft|No Durability|Kits|Tele|Frndly Admins server. It’s like communism all over again in that server. The server is corrupt and the admins are repulsive towards their players. I have had multiple friends join this server and all left due to the reasons stated above. I am not telling anyone to not join it. I am just simply informing players out there on what goes on in this particular server.

 
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