Wednesday, August 21, 2019
By Bixyl Shuftan
my friend Nydia and I found the survival MMO "Rust." And over the years, the game has evolved and changed much as we've had our share of adventures and misadventures. Long gone are the game's first days when all the structures were on a circular road and you had to watch out for zombies and mutant animals. While much has changed, the objective remains much the same, starting with nothing but a rock and a torch in a place where so much wants to kill you from the animals to the weather to other players, you build tools, weapons, clothes to survive and a base to protect your stuff and yourself when not playing, and as the game goes on you improve what you have. In PvP areas, you also have to defend yourself from raiders. Timid players tend to miss out on opportunities. Aggressive but sensible players tend to do well. And reckless players tend to have a hard time keeping the loot they gathered before making it to a place of safety.
When we last looked at the game in Dec 2016, they had just introduced it's "component system" and introduced junkpiles which you find along the roads and at places such as the metal towers. It was about a year later in January 2018 that the development team announced they were leaving "early access," which basically stated they had determined the general course of the game and while they would continue to make updates there would be no more greatly radical changes such as the short-lived XP system. Still, a lot has changed.
Going back to the component system, going through the boxes and barrels, besides finding complete items, you'll also find scrap and components, such as empty propane tanks, gears, metal pipes, metal blades, springs, and more. Some items need just one of these components, such as salvaged hammers which need one metal pipe. A few need two or three kinds of components. Components can also be broken down at the recyclers at a number of locations, such as the mining outposts and supermarkets, into raw materials and scrap.
research table, which you can either build or use the one at a few locations such as the Satelite Dish monument, and use the amount of scrap needed, which you find in small amounts going about smashing junkpiles and looting boxes. Some items need a small amount, such as leather gloves which require 20. Most will require more, such as the metal hatchets and pickaxes and the pistol bullets which need 75 scrap to learn how to build. Some items need a lot, such as armored doors, demolition charges and assault riles which take 500 scrap to research. Once an item is researched, it's used up whether it's in good condition or poor (I haven't tried researching a broken item). One can also use an amount of scrap to experiment to create a blueprint, though the results are random.
While many items you can just make anywhere if you have the materials and items handy, some need you to be next to a workbench. A level one workbench cost some wood, metal, and a little scrap, and are needed to make things such as metal hatchets and pickaxes, gunpowder, and pistol bullets. For some items such as basic rifle bullets and automatic pistols, you'll need a level two workbench which needs 500 metal, 20 high quality metal, and 500 scrap. Plus you need to be at a level one workbench. The most powerful items need a level three workbench, which needs 1000 metal, 100 high quality metal, and 1250 scrap, plus being near a level two workbench.
There's another reason to research items besides building them. With a few exceptions, unless you know how to build an item, you can't repair one in a repair bench, even if you have all the materials.
Besides the infamous chopper, there's also a Bradley Armored Personnel Carrier. But not everyone sees it as it supposedly stays close to the Rocket Launch area and possibly the new Excavator Pit. Like the chopper, it will attack anyone in sight, and besides it's rockets and machine gun has a cannon. But it has blind spots, and a sneaky (or lucky) player can take it out with two demo charges.
Another option for air travel are the hot air balloons lying around. They take 15 fuel to fill, and more to keep going. They also have a limited storage capacity. Once the fuel is gone, they float down. But be careful where you land as coming down on a place full of razor wire or NPC scientists will end you. For those planning on using the latter two to raid bases, there are now Surface to Air Missile batteries that can fire at player-controlled aircraft. In unmoded public servers, it won't fire on the NPC chopper, though.
Temperature can be a complication as overheating means you'll dehydrate faster, being cold means you'll burn up more food, and really cold can start to lower your health. Being wet will make you even colder, and it cold areas wet clothes don't dry so quickly unless you make a campfire. Temperatures also drop at night, so if you're going through a cold area when it's sunset, you may need to stop soon and make camp. Oh, and if your swim out into deep water, temperatures will drop so you'll start to take cold damage if you're in there too long.
Speaking of water, there's now scuba gear available, facemasks, flippers, wetsuits, and the air tank. You'll need at least the air tank to go down deep without starting to drown while the masks help you see underwater, the flippers help you swim faster, and the suit helps you keep from getting too cold in the water. With the suit, you can dive down to wrecks and loosen up crates there to float to the surface and get the loot from them. There's also floating debris which you can go out either on a boat or swim out with the wetsuit, and get the loot from any boxes or barrels there.
Fortunately, defensive minded-players now have a defense against players: more and better traps. In the past the only traps available were wooded spikes, bear traps, and land mines that could be evaded by raiders and could end up activating on their builder. Now there are shotgun traps, flamethrower turrets, and auto turrets. The shotgun trap requires 125 scrap to learn the blueprint and 500 wood, 250 metal, two gears (less in some servers), and two ropes to make near a level one workbench. It uses the makeshift handmade shells that before were used for the simple waterpipe shotgun and eoka pistol. While it fires only directly forward, it can be placed on walls and over doorways. Flamethrower turrets use low grade fuel to spew fire within a short range, which means you can't place them in a wooden part of a base. They need 75 scrap to research and 10 hi quality metal, two pipes, two gears, and five empty propane tanks. They do make a noise when active, so a raider can hear them nearby.
To help you get some raw materials faster, a couple tools have been added to the game. The chainsaw, when it works, will rapidly turn trees and fallen logs into wood for you. And for anyone even remotely familiar with a few slasher movies, it's use in PvP combat is obvious. I imagine it could also be used to scare enemies away, especially if you're wearing a facemask. I say "when it works" as I have yet to get one of the darn things to work for me. What I have gotten to work is the jackhammer. This handy tool will rapidly chip away a mineable rock into ore or stone, and automatically finding the weak spots as if you were hitting the shinny spot. In places where there's a lot of rocks such as caves, a player can get a lot of material in a short time, which can come in handy in building up a base faster, or getting the material to maintain one. Players can't research jackhammers yet, but they can be repaired.
One of the more recent changes to the game is electricity, or rather electrical components such as switches, batteries, timers, pressure plates, etc. Players can keep their system powered with windmills or solar panels. While they can just be used to allow doors to automatically open, and in the future there may be sorting systems for storage. In PvP servers, a more obvious use of this is making elaborate traps. One example is a pressure plate that when stepped on opens a nearby door with a shotgun or flame trap behind it. I've seen videos made by players luring raiders to a trap base, watch as the raider realizes he's been tricked, then delivering the finishing blow. Sometimes the results are hilarious as it's pretty satisfying to see a "salty" or "toxic" player get his due. For more information on electricity in Rust, you can read this page: https://www.rustafied.com/electricity-in-rust .
For those wanting to know more about the game, there are plenty of youtubes about various aspects of gaming from how to build a better base to solo raiding a clan building to which server to choose (some PvP ones have somewhat less aggressive ones than others) to various details such as the monuments. You can also check out the blog at https://rust.facepunch.com/blog/ for both the latest updates as well as a glance at how the game has changed over time. You can also check out the Rust Wiki at https://rust.fandom.com/wiki/Rust_Wiki . While Rust isn't for everyone, over time it's emerged as one of the more popular and distinctive survival MMOs.
Some pictures by Spooked Dreamscape