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So I Started Playing This Game Called Rust

In less than two months of purchasing the game ‘Rust’ off of Steam, I have nearly 300 hours in the game. How did this come about?

A few months or so ago, a video of gameplay of a game called Rust popped up in my YouTube recommended videos list. I do not know why it came up, but I watched it. The premise of the game is survival. You start off in Rust naked on a beach with just a stone and a torch, and you’re off to chop down trees for wood, break boulders for stone, and farm other resources to build shelter (a base).

Starting off on a beach with a rock and a torch.

Not to mention, you have to craft or acquire weapons (e.g. spears, bow and arrow, firearms) to protect yourself from the environment (wolves, wild boars, etc.) and other players since it is a Player-vs-Environment and a Player-vs-Player game.

Guns can be equipped with suppressors, weapon lights, reflex optics, etc.

The game of Rust also has a mechanic knows as a wipe. A wipe is essentially a reset of the game map. You lose all your items, base, and the map changes to a newly seeded map and you start from scratch. Servers wipe on a regular basis and the official wipe is the first Thursday every month. Some servers wipe more frequently and some servers do not wipe blueprints every wipe (so that even if the game wipes, all your researched / learned items can be crafted immediately in the new wipe assuming you get the necessary components and workbench).

The gameplay footage I watched was very entertaining and made me nostalgic for the days when I actually played first person shooters and was relatively decent at it (e.g. playing 8 vs 8 Rainbox Six games on Microsoft Zone). I ended up watching more videos of Rust gameplay on various YouTube channels and I learned a lot about the game and the tactics.

Note: Of all the channels I came across, my favorites are Weyln and Blooprint. Both these guys give great voiceovers, but I particularly like Welyn’s story telling which keeps the videos from just being gameplay recordings and provides excellent backstories. Not to mention both these players are really good Rust PvP.

I stopped PC gaming a long time ago (early 2000’s) because I just lost the interest in maintaining a gaming computer. My computing was productivity based and all my time and money was spent in competitive shooting. But if you follow my blog, you know I replaced my Mac Mini in 2019 to the Mac Mini 2018 revision and added an external GPU for video editing.

Mac OS X does have some gaming support and I decided to check to see if Rust supported OS X and I found that it did. But it wasn’t clear if Rust supported eGPUs on Macs. When I was on the Steam store checking Rust requirements, I noticed the game was on sale for $8.74. For that price, I figured why not buy it. If it didn’t work with the eGPU, I’m only out a shade under $9.

I bought it and installed it and was greeted by a pre-load menu that allowed me to select the GPU to use and it had the Radeon RX Pulse RX Vega 56 listed. Win.

I then proceeded to navigate my way through Rust servers. From what I learned, there are two core types of servers: official and community. Official servers are run by the company that developed Rust and community servers are independently run. Official servers are very cut throat and is pretty much rooted in PvP game play.

I was not seeking that aspect of Rust especially playing as a solo player. So I started digging through community servers. There are also a wide variety of community servers which have custom / modified settings. Many are ‘vanilla’ servers which means they are set to default game play settings (base decay), but others have unique modifications that include higher resource gathering rates, different drop rates for items, and different base decay rates (even no-decay).

These community servers also tend to have their own rules to orient the server towards different playing styles (e.g. solo only, no teams or clans).

I tried an official server just to see what it was like and it was definitely cut throat getting killed immediately after spawning multiple times. I then went to community servers with lower populations and the first ones were interesting, but still difficult as a solo player.

After several days of getting a base setup and my resource gathering and researching in full swing (in Rust, you can ‘learn’ to craft/make items so you are not reliant on having to find them in crates or barrels around the map), I would end up logging back into the game after being offline only to find my base raided and all my loot (items) taken.

Rust becomes very frustrating as a solo player because more often than not, you will get raided by a team after you get a base setup and built to a respectable size and quality (quality of materials used to improve base can be an indicator of the quality of items you may possess).

I ended up finding a few servers that have very specific solo or duo only rules and I settled on those. Unfortunately a lot of the community servers tend to go offline (perhaps crash) and never come back online. So it is even more frustrating to put in many hours on a server and then it stops being reachable.

But I was able to get on a good solo/duo only server with reliable uptime.

I will say that Rust is a very interesting game and although I am not playing on a true unmodified ‘vanilla’ Rust server, it still has unique challenges.

Regular airdrop of a crate containing random items including guns, ammo, armor, etc.

Lots of people play the game simply for the role playing aspect. That is to say they’re not trying to PvP all the time and are rather just trying to survive and maintain a base in the game, and learn and craft all the various items in-game.

The AK. Today was a good day.

I gravitate towards the roleplaying PvE aspect primarily because my PvP skills are significantly worse than when I still gamed in college. Although I do like the aspect of raiding which is the process of breaking into someone else’s base to take their loot (or even take over a base).

Going full deep into a base while the base owner is offline.

But raiding as a solo player is very difficult, even on a solo/duo-only server. If the person who owns the base is online, they can defend and if you get caught and killed, they’re going to take all your explosive breaching tools (satchel charges, C4, explosive ammo, rockets, etc.).

Me slowly building up raiding materials: Satchel Charges, C4, and rockets.

Then of course people are free to counter your raid and basically kill you as you raid or after you raid and take the raided base loot for themselves.

Finding the loot in the raided base. Lots of guns.

The game definitely gives an adrenaline rush whether you’re actively raiding or trying to score one of the high value loot crates that pop up in the game on a regular interval without getting killed.

‘Hacking’ the locked crate. 15 minutes until it opens.

Rust is a very interesting game and even though I’m playing on low population servers and not really engaging people in fights, I am getting really good entertainment from it. Eventually I’ll start playing more aggressively in terms of PvP.

I’m in your base, dudes.

But what makes this game remotely playable for me at this time is the fact that there are plenty of community servers with different rules and server settings that make solo play feasible.

Anyway, I just wanted to blog about Rust and how I came about sinking nearly 300 hours into this game in only a couple of months. Even though it is a very difficult game on the surface, the fact that there are custom servers available on the Internet makes this game viable for most people. If you can get this game on sale like I did (for under $9 USD), it’s definitely worth trying out.

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2 Responses

  1. Mike

    Yeah, these games can be somewhat addictive. I’ve had a similar experience with ‘DayZ’, with regard to time-in-game and not having played any games for some time. I had to take to ‘Twitch’ to learn the game.

    Here’s a youtube sample of one of the streamers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBDk0H2jGpw&t=41s

  2. ocabj

    Yeah, Twitch and YouTube gamers definitely help entry into these kinds of games. I would have never figured out a lot of things on my own in Rust if I hadn’t watched gameplay footage prior.

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