By Bixyl Shuftan
Since writing about the game last time, me and a few of my Second Life friends have continued to play Rust for a while. We've gone through our share of misadventures, in both public and our private server, struggling with decay, bears, wolves, the helicopter, other players, and game reboots from updates.
Jasmine also had some bad luck with foundation decay. Not simply rebuilding, she decided to experiment with builds that were a mix of triangular and square bases. She would show us pictures of her design, and I looked at them. Later on, I would put some of them to use.
The game itself was also updating. We were soon finding occasional 50-unit bits of wood, stone, iron ore and sulfur ore on the ground, which was a help, especially in one's start in a game, or if one got raided and lost everything, in which they could built basic tools faster then making a trek to a nearby permanent structure to search for crates for them. Later on, the wood chunks were reshaped into stumps, and the stone and ore peices given more natural rocklike looks.
Among the other Rust servers, I found one called "Free Wood," which gave it's players a full stack of wood, 1000 units every twenty minutes. It also boasted it's helicopter was 80% less accurate. There weren't too many people when I first came across it, and looking around I saw lots of structures, but no people and very little chatter. I also found resources were more plentiful, more wood and stone chunks on the ground that could be picked up, more barrels and boxes one could get stuff from, notably blueprints for which I learned new things to build rapidly. This seemed to be the place for me.
Then I heard a possible reason from what chatter there was why "Free Wood" was relatively quiet. People were talking about a server wipe in a few days. And one day, I returned to see many more people on, and I found myself having to respawn. It turned out I hadn't been clobbered, but the server had restarted after all. Fortunately I still had my skills. But unfortunately with the reboot came some aggressive players, or as I put it, "the freaks came out." Going about collecting wood and stone, I was fired at, "I'm gonna kill ya!" And when I finally had enough animal fat to make the fuel needed for a furnace and began setting up a small base, before I could so much as finish the walls the place was attacked and a burst of submachinegun fire ended, or "wrekt" as was the gamers lingo, my first attempt to make a base in Free Wood rebooted.
Coming back, I had a little more luck as I appeared near the airport. After refining some fuel, I made a large furnace and began building a base. But every day, the place would end up raided. So after getting more fuel, I had to move further away, making a place not to far away from the satellite dish area. People were still trying to break in, but it wasn't as bad, and I began to build the place upward.
I noticed others were setting up one square structures around their bases, which obviously had tool cabinets inside. I decided to try that, and made two "nodes" as I called them, planning on making two more the next day. But I was a day too late. When I logged on, I found the "building blocked" tag on my display as I went around. Going to the lower levels, I found to my sorrow that the "squirrels" had gone in through the stone floor by blowing up a section and used the metal still in the furnace to reinforce their hatchets as they chopped their way to where the tool cabinet was, wrecking that then making their own. They managed to break through my designated vault room's metal wall, and used the items there to cause further damage, building all kinds of walls and making the place not truly my own.
Taking a look at my avatar, I found that the familiar "sausage" was gone, and the shape was more slender. Nydia grumbled she was still male, and Jasmine and Brandi were now dark-skinned females. Jasmine had a laugh at me and Nydia, joking we could hold a "genderbender party." But the laughs were short lived as we were soon dealing with the bears again, who loved chasing down and eating female humans just as much as the males. And once the avatars were dressed, one couldn't tell as easily. Nydia took a look at the forums for some comments. Some male players were furious. One took it in stride, cracking a somewhat sexist joke, "I've bled plenty in this game already. It might as well also be from down there." Pagan would come on a time or two, but we never did find out whether our prediction of him/her running around in a nude female avatar all the time came true.
Back in Free Wood, I found not only were the player built buildings gone, but also all our skills except those we entered the server with when we first logged in. Nevertheless, I went ahead, getting fuel from the airport and oil dome, which were in the north, making a temporary base just south of them, then heading south across some rough terrain to near the water treatment plant. After this reboot, activity wasn't as much as it had been the month before. Were players turned off by the skill reboot and rough terrain? I went ahead and began building a base around a large furnace. But I hadn't quite made the foundations high enough around the furnace, and so I couldn't get them all away around. I had to make another furnace at the other end so I could built all away around that. There was nothing else to do with the first furnace but keep it empty when not in use. During the few days I was building the base, there was a raid. I had to place nodes around the "figure 8" as I was calling it, and after that felt secure.
It was about this time events in Nydia's real life were keeping her occupied, so her server stayed down. Brandi took a peek at Free Wood, then Jasmine came in. They also made places near the water treatment plant. Then Jasmine had something she wanted to try, a "roundhouse" design built around a large furnace using square and triangular foundation units. She picked a spot close to my "figure eight" and we both went to work. It didn't take long for the two of us to finish it, then our friend Kryxia came in. All seemed well. There was soon an update in which water buckets and barrels were introduced, which led to a few trips to a nearby stream. One had to keep a bucket in the action bar for the water to stay. We kept a barrel of water in case some joker came by with one of those flamethrowers we'd been hearing about.
Then one day I checked in to find my persona naked and the room full of holes. looking around, the place was a mess. Even the armored vault room had been busted into. Once again, the "squirrels" had probed around until they found a weakness, then hit it with demo charges and jumped in, wrecking the place. The good news, they hadn't touched the tool cabinet. Checking the roundhouse, the damage was worse. They had somehow gotten to the tool cabinet there, smashed down the door to the way up, and replaced that. The building was no longer truly ours.
Unfortunately, just because there weren't other players, there were still hostiles. I got chopped up by the chopper, and was getting mauled by bears. But somehow, I found a spot, laid down the foundations of a roundhouse, basic walls, and just enough of a second floor to stay hidden from the chopper. The next day, I had enough time to reinforce a quarter of the roundhouse to the point anyone coming across it would have a hard time getting in. It seemed all was well. Then the next day, I found the server had rebooted. The roundhouse was gone. The skills I had learned, including the rocket launcher, gone. And before five minutes had passed, I ran into a bear, and once again died screaming.
I'm not sure how much longer I'll be playing Rust as even my patience has it's limits. But it seems as far as most of my Second Life friends are concerned, they've moved on to other pastures, at least for now. One stated she was tired of the raiders, tired of the "world killer" updates erasing all her work, and would be taking a break for a while, at least until Nydia could get her server running again. And there's no telling when that will be as right now, the game is the least of her worries.
So perhaps it's about time to move on to another game. As soon as there's one me and my circle of Second Life friends like, we'll let you know.
On a final note, I've heard stories about players and teams accomplishing great builds with Rust, such as "Paradise Island" in which a place resembling an inviting looking resort was crafted. Then there was "The Great Wall of Rust" in which a team braved glitches, bears, and saboteurs in order to build a wall across the width of their server's island, and came close to succeeding (WARNING: video contains male nudity). Then someone made a game in the game, a maze in which players had to navigate, braving traps, in order to get the prize at the end. Then there was the "City Council Arena" of which it was stated took teams seven days to farm materials and build. There are also fanworks in which players have made Rust items in real life.
So yes, the game does attract people who would rather build than wreck other peoples' stuff. It's just that they never seem to be around your particular public server. In the meantime, avoid windows on the first floor, use metal bars on windows on the first few floors, and don't be afraid to use some of the metal you're saving up on the first and second floor's walls and the foundation under them: raiders can't steal what's been used.