With the release of Rust’s most recent patch, offering such things as fully functional underground natural caverns, lighthouses, as well as new weapons and equipment, a group of my gaming brethren gathered in order to play together. Since most of my Rust buddies prefer servers with high player counts, we chose one with a population of little over 160.
After spawning in naked, and possessing only a rock for gathering resources and torches for illumination during the nocturnal hours, we quickly fashioned maps and located one another. We first built crude, elementary weapons—spears, bows, and the like. Then, we swept across the randomly generated world’s lands, killing, looting, and pillaging anyone whom had the misfortune of encountering our motley crew of eight scallywags.
Eventually, we came across a large grouping of boulders just a short distance up a hillside from a winding river, and decided to build the foundation for our first base there. The location couldn’t have been a rougher spot, in fact I joked to the others that it must have been the Grand Central Station region of the entire map. It seemed like every time we turned around, either single individuals or whole groups of bushwhackers were assaulting us. Some had more advanced weapons that made it hard for us to defend ourselves against.
In other words, we died…a lot. But, as the more combat-oriented of our hardy band of brothers held the malevolent interlopers at bay, our builder boys, meanwhile, gradually erected a base. At first it was entirely made of wood, and was breached several times. But after each round of repairs, we added stone to its structure, with sheet metal doors. This made it impossible to siege unless the attackers carried demolitions with them.
After ten or so hours of play, my eyelids began to droop. So, I eventually drug my weary body off to bed after explaining to the others that I was falling asleep. I felt bad for leaving my friends, as we were still fending off attackers periodically, even though the sieges were becoming less and less frequent. I went to sleep and woke up alike, thinking, plotting, and planning different battle strategies for our new game of Rust. But one question weighed more heavily on my mind than others—would our start-up base still be standing when I logged back on?
I joined back into our Discord server (a voice communication program), and sure enough, everyone was chatting and coordinating online. Actually, we had even added a couple of new faces to our team for a total of ten players. But I wondered—were we still barricaded within our burgeoning base or had my brothers been smashed, sacked, and scattered to the winds like ashes? I didn’t want to ask anyone right away since it could be a touchy subject, had the latter transpired.
I spawned into a sleeping bag that one of my compatriots had handily put down for me. I awoke in a chamber and quickly ascertained that I was within our base. I made my way through a multitude of metal doors, some reinforced, until I stumbled out into the light of day. Turning around, I looked upwards at our new base. It was now an impressive looking fortress seven stories high. It featured slotted windows that weapons could be fired from, as well as a sturdy reinforced metal foundation. We’d even begun construction of a massive stone wall that would surround our stout new fortress.
Suddenly, shots rang out and a bullet whizzed over my head. A new group of invaders were climbing our hill and made their way directly towards us. In turn, a multitude of cracking sounds emitted from high atop our citadel as my comrades began shooting at the would-be raiders. Then I saw them—the bodies of other interlopers who had fallen not far from this new group of bandits, an ominous presage that attacking us was not only an extremely tall order, but literally an uphill battle.
As the above description from the opening days of my current Rust game entails, Rust can be a very, very addictive game. Not only is there a continuous and ever-present sense of urgency (and many times desperation) just to survive, but you are always trying to prove that you are more hardcore than the next guy. Not only are you constantly trying to outlast your foes in order to build up your base and siege theirs, while they’re on or offline, but you also don’t want to be labeled a quitter in your comrade’s time of need. These factors can make you lose many hours of your life, and I’ve heard more than one girlfriend or wife nagging incessantly in the background of my friends’ headsets, like some sort of deranged clucking chicken, furious that their gamer geek boyfriend or husband will not let his fellow nerds down.
Rust has grown on me like some sort of virulent, malignant tumor. At first, I outright hated the game, because its community is so toxic. I mean, I used to log on with a buddy and we’d die several times within the space of twenty or thirty minutes, before rage-quitting. Indeed, the term Kill on Sight is synonymous with Rust. Then, I realized that it was imperative to play the game with a much larger number than two in order to have a decent chance at surviving any Rust server’s do-or-die environs.
Fortunately for me, I met several like-minded players who were tired of getting ambushed by unscrupulous goons and bushwhackers. Initially we banded together to resist the bullies, but as our power and skills improved, we eventually became the aggressors.
A few patches ago, Rust switched from an experience system, where you could only build certain items if you were of high enough level, to a component system. Within this new system, anyone can craft anything. All one has to have are the resources necessary for slapping a weapon or piece of equipment together, and voila, it’s all yours.
Thankfully, Rust still maintains its post-apocalyptic survival aesthetic and hasn’t gone all futuristic like other games of its ilk have. The weapons that you wield still consist of everything from bows and clubs, on up to sniper rifles and rocket launchers. It still has that semi-arcade-y feeling which makes it accessible to newbies, while still being challenging for veterans. Only thing is—everything looks better now, due to the ever-busy developers at Facepunch Studios who release constant updates, including upgrades to the game’s visuals.
Rust is a game that can be both frustrating as well as highly rewarding. The difference between falling into either category is your personal level of patience, and the size of your party. In all, Rust remains a game that I have played a ton of—probably more than any other game right now. That alone says a lot.
Rust offers some much improved visuals since its debut back in 2013. However, you have to have an equally fast gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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