Welcome Back Again, Again!

It’s no secret, at all, that April has been a hard month for our Rust – Main server. From our old host (gameservers.com) becoming increasingly unstable and failing more and more and more to deliver the performance we were paying them for, to the move to our new dedicated server and our ISP’s hub failure causing lag and an extended downtime, April’s been incredibly trying for us here. I have good news, though, and with tomorrow’s forced wipe and BP wipe, we’re going to see a whole new era in Serenity Valley Gaming.

We have the dedicated server up and running, along with a very positive, very responsive host who is providing us with some DDoS and DNS services, as well as providing us with constant backups and a seamless transfer in the event that the dedicated server goes down. Now–I say seamless, but we are ALL very familiar with the rollbacks that can happen during a crash. That will still be the case with this new setup, but in the event of another failure for the dedicated server, a virtual server will spin up at our host, drop a clone of our save files directly onto a new server, and pair it to our IP address. No muss, no fuss, no lost progress (beyond a few minutes from a rollback) and roughly triple to quadruple the actual server performance we were seeing before April. This means no more limiting AI, no more skipping the cargo ship, and no more keeping you from being able to play the whole game just to keep the server running.

I know that this has been kind of a long time coming, and that I’ve been way too quiet in the last couple of weeks while I’ve been hurriedly getting all of the systems, agreements, and funding in place to make this happen, but barring something truly, unbelievably catastrophic happening, we’re good to go, for good.

As of tomorrow’s patch, the Main Backup server will become a 2 km vanilla PvE server with no global chat. It will have the Serenity Valley branding removed from it as there won’t be admin support there, and we’ll let it run out the next two weeks as a place for people to truly just chill the hell out. Main will be on the new server, with the same name. Searching for “Serenity Valley” will get you onto this new server, and as always, you can directly connect by opening your console and typing:


Simple as that. Warzone will remain as-is until its current lease at gameservers.com expires, at which point we’ll move it to a similar situation as we have now. We’re still evaluating what to do with Whitelist.

Server connection information elsewhere on the website will be updated to reflect the new connection information, and we’ll update the pins on Discord to reflect the new information as well. As always, please feel completely welcome to reach out to me with feedback or questions, and I’ll get with each of you individually as time permits.

Good Grief.

About 8 months ago, I relaxed our no-griefing rules, specifically because they were causing entirely too much policing from the admin staff. As a part of that, we went from, “You can’t do it at all,” to “You can do it, but only with wood or twig, and if you use turrets, you have to take them down when you’re done, and you can do whatever you want against raid bases and outposts.”These adjustments were made to allow players to engage a more aggressive play style, and to reduce the amount of hand-holding and babysitting that the admins would have to do.

In the last 2-3 months, there has been a major escalation in the amount of situations where people will push the absolute limits of these rules and try to see just how hard/far they can push the boundaries of the rules. Let me just tell you: That shit is exhausting. Seriously, it’s kind of like being on year 3 of a 3-year-long roadtrip with two kids in the back pointing their fingers millimeters from each other’s eyes, yelling back and forth, “I’M NOT TOUCHING YOU!”

Stop that. I’m pretty much sick to death of having to amend the game rules on account of either rules lawyers that find one specific and ridiculous set of circumstances that I’ve not specifically written about and then they want to moan, “Oh, but it wasn’t in the rules,” or the people who just expect to get a second or third or fourth chance…? No.The server runs on good faith. The people who donate or subscribe to keep the server turned on do so in good faith that the staff and I will keep the peace. The people who play do so in good faith that they will have a fair and relatively stable gaming experience. People who play for free do so in the good faith that those of us charged with running the server will do so in an equitable and transparent manner.

Well, that’s goes two ways. We also put forth the community guidelines in good faith that people won’t try to be dick-nosed little weasels that will try and worm their way into any and every advantage with people, and, “You know, people can just complain, and the admins will sort it out, and if I went too far, I’ll say sorry.”

No. Not any more. Not ever again.

Read the rules. Take some time to grasp the subtext. Play to the spirit of the rules, and DO NOT BE A FUCKING ASSHOLE TO OTHER PLAYERS. Seriously. Play the game, raid each other, kill the hell outta folks, but there’s never a need to do things to intentionally push people off of the server and ruin their desire to play the game.

If you absolutely, positively MUST go super-hard and destroy any and everything around you, GO. PLAY. ON. SVRED.

Seriously, I made a server where you can be just as hard and just as nasty to people as you want. There’s even a monthly competition to see who can be the biggest complete bastard to each other. Do not make Main a hostile place to play.

 I will be watching the rest of this year very, very closely. In the event that the whole boundary-pushing crap continues, we will go back to, “No griefing,” and the staff will be instructed to pursue it just the same way we go after hate speech. Likewise, someone claiming griefing when there was none will receive temporary bans. Yes, this server has an active admin staff. No, we are not here to hold anyone’s hand. Y’all need to consider trying to sort some of this stuff out between each other before you bring us in to deal with it.

So, about those Zergs…





This and similar questions crop up once or twice per year. They deserve an answer, and this was covered in part in an earlier post.  In short, we do already have rules in place regarding zergs and zerging; it’s covered under our “Don’t Be a Dick” rule:


A large group of people showing up and working together isn’t not newbie friendly. Moreover, the newbie friendly element of this server isn’t on restricting people from playing the game, but giving people the chance to play the game in all sorts of different ways, so they can learn what parts of Rust work well for them. Some people want to be a part of a group. Some people want to solo. Some people just want to farm and build, and others just want PVP. All of those are completely valid, and all get equal representation and protection.

Being a newbie friendly server is about giving people the opportunity to learn the game without having a 10-year old screeching in their mic calling you a retard faggotjew while farming you for kills on the beach and talking about how recently he fucked your mother. Being a newbie friendly server is about giving people a positive, supportive environment in which to learn the game, it’s mechanics, and nuances. It’s not about protecting people from the consequences of their actions. People, generally speaking, hate injustice, and when a big group shows up and starts throwing their weight around, a bigger group forms and pushes their shit in. This is the constant swing of the pendulum, and is a part of a natural kind of oscillation of violence in Rust. Further, because players are paid in rad pills to play the game, and because items are available in the shop every wipe to help them either skip the grinding of scrap and air drops and monuments, recovering from a bad hit is never that difficult, and if someone joins the game just before a BP wipe, they still have access to resources in order to swiftly put them at parity with other players who’ve been playing through the whole BP cycle.

If what you’re looking for is a PVE server, that’s the keyword you need to be searching for. If what you’re looking for is a roleplay server, that or RP are the keywords that you need to be looking for. This is a newbie-friendly server, where people can come and learn the game in a non-toxic environment, and where rules and systems are put in place to help people to advance and recover more quickly while they learn their favorite parts of Rust. If you’re playing on our Main server and a big group is menacing you constantly, report them. If you’re playing on our Main server and you feel threatened or have been raided by a big group, use your voice. Seriously, this isn’t just a first-person shooter. The thing that distinguishes Rust from so many other games is the social aspect, the fact that you’re dealing with real people, real situations, and things like diplomacy, deception, and clever dealing with people can do more damage than bullets, blades, and bombs.

Halloween Winners!

Players have had two spooky weeks to build their perfect spooky haunted houses in a special contest area in the desert on the east side of the island. Between the wonderful new items added by Facepunch and the terrifying new NPC’s roaming, it’s been an incredibly exciting wipe! Yesterday, a couple of admins and myself had an opportunity to tour the contest area and check out everyone’s hard work. As with all of our housing contests, each location is rated on a scale of 1 to 10, in 5 different categories, from how well it conveyed its theme, to how well it’s decorated, and then those points are tallied and averaged for a final score.

Our Grand Prize winner was Jake, with his incredible “Maze Macabre!” Jake managed not only to create a compelling and interesting haunted house, but he built a whole experience around it, very successfully emulating the feeling, experience, and enjoyment of a real-life corn maze, and he even tried to be present for each person who reached the end of the maze to help them celebrate, to give them goodies, and an impromptu fireworks display for their efforts. In included a genuinely challenging maze, riddles, challenges, and a fun haunted house in the center. Great work, and a huge congratulations on your prizes for next wipe!  We’re looking forward to seeing what you do through November!

We had a two-way tie for our first runner-up was Jakolantern, with The Pumpkin Corporation’s genetic research lab. Throughout the facility, and as you wandered deeper and deeper into the bowels of this site, more and more layers of secrets began to be peeled back, revealing that the doctors working to cure people of their ailments were actually creating deranged pumpkin/scarecrow/human hybrids, and running extensive, murderous experiments on them. The overall theme was unique and moving, and a unique take on the horror genre, that even managed to illicit not one, but two jump-scares with well-placed lights and turrets.

Our second-first runner-up was Dasbronco, creating an old rural church-

turned-funeral home. While the theme was a little bit of a trope, the execution on that theme was absolutely top notch. Where the other winners showed an interesting and creative step outside the box, this one took what was in the box, and polished it to a lustrous shine.

Our second runner up was Killer Jermz with what appeared at first to be a simple, straightforward mansion, but one that held a secret. As you explored the themed, dark, and oppressive rooms, it became more and more clear that the owners of this home had dark appetites that demanded satisfaction, and upon delving into the cellar, you find that it’s no cellar at all, but a torturous dungeon, complete with a supply of captured island survivors, including our long-lost Mrs. Muerte. Also within the dank dungeon were a number of ritual pieces and coffins for collecting those who didn’t survive the dungeon–which makes us beg the question, “Who was on display in the funeral chapel out back, and who fills all of those graves in the ‘family’ cemetery plot?”

A huge shout out for all of our winners, and congratulations!  Thank you all for your hard work, your dedication, and your creativity!  We can’t wait to see what you come up with next, as we celebrate Valentine’s Day in February by ripping out hearts and eating them, with the spoopy return of our late winter Halloween redux!

Win a copy of Fallout 76!

We’re doing a huge giveaway in the next few weeks.

Image result for fallout 76

Serenity Valley has been growing massively in the last few months, and several of you have heard me talking about some changes and new features coming to the community. Now, I am finally in a place where I can talk about that.

Fallout 76 is coming to Serenity Valley.

There won’t be private servers for a while though, so that leaves all of us in a weird place: How do we all play together during the few months that 76 is out, while we don’t have a server? The answer is simple: We’re going to give away a few copies of the game. Right now, Fallout76 is slated to release on 14 November, with the beta starting in the next few days. From there, the game will have a ~2 week test/repair period, then a couple of months of data gathering and processing while they finalize the the private server software. It’s estimated that servers will be available in February or March, but given the amount of work between here and there, there’s a very real chance that will push later.

So… we’re phasing our giveaways into 3 different giveaways. 1) We’re giving away 1 copy on October 19th via a raffle, starting TODAY. 2) We’ll be giving away another copy on November 15th, in a sweepstakes available only to subscribers! 3) We’ll be giving away the third and final copy when private servers are available, and it cannot be gained through money, through subscriptions, or through begging. The final copy can only be gained by winning the contest of champions on Red.

The Raffle:

Starting today, right now, everyone can purchase raffle tickets for the Fallout76 giveaway.

– Tickets are purchased for $5 each at: http://paypal.me/probablynothingbad.


When you purchase a ticket, I’ll respond back with your ticket number(s) and on the 19th, we’ll be randomly drawing our winner.

In celebrating the upcoming release of Fallout76, whoever ends up with ticket #76 for this raffle wins 200 tape, every wipe, on main, for life.

If we reach 100 tickets sold, the winner will receive the upgraded Tricentennial Edition of Fallout 76, which comes with a ton of bonus in-game items.

If we reach 200 tickets sold, we will be drawing TWO winners instead of one.

The Sweepstakes:

This goes to all of our subscribers, even at the $1 subscription level. You get a number of automatic ticket entries, based upon your subscription:

  • Scout: 1 Entries
  • Explorer: 2 Entries
  • Settler: 3 Entries
  • Wastelander: 4 Entries
  • Clan Leader: 5 Entries

Additional tickets can be purchase for $3 each, as above for the raffle. On November 15th, a winner will be chosen and you’ll receive the base copy of Fallout76.

The Contest:

This is the most straightforward contest. As soon as private servers are available–which we’re unsure of exactly what date that will be–we will announce that the contest has begun.

In the month that servers become available, the winner of the contest on SVRed will be awarded with a copy of Fallout76. To get all of the details on how to win on Red, visit http://rust.ars-insolitus.com/?page_id=449 or jump on the Red server and type /info.Image result for rust game contest

The First Blood Champion: FEROCIAN!

The last 12 hours have been INSANE. There’ve been four different pretty major upsets in the ordering of our winners, including one getting knocked completely out of the running!

BLOOD CHAMPION: Your Blood Champion, and the top overall winner for this wipe was Ferocian with 50 points scored! Well fought! I know you worked your ass off for that one!

CHAMPION: Our Champions, the best in class, being our first and second runners-up are JoYoung with 36 points, and Cynixret with 21. A great effort to you both! The added rewards on both servers will help you to continue to hold and exceed at your championship!

CONTENDERS: They weren’t the very, very best we saw, but our contenders showed a lot of grit, a lot of determination, and made a damn fine show of their work on Red! September’s winners are Jakolantern, with 20 points in a last-minute leap forward in points, Jezter with 15 points, and finally, jpellis, sliding into the top six in the LAST FIVE MINUTES of the game, with 8 points!

Each of these six will be receiving some nice perks on Main in the form of a new currency: Blood. Blood can be used to buy duct tape, houses, cars, and other special awards! In addition, from 4 October until 1 November, each of these players’ skulls is worth 5 points, each! Last but not least, each of these players will gain access to another kit, designed to help them gain and maintain the edge from their previous victory–especially now that their skulls are so, SO valuable!

Finally, each month there will be a Chosen One, a winner granted victory by the grace of Lady Luck. To be eligible for the Chosen One award, a player must play 10 or more hours in the month, achieve 1 or more kills, and collect any combination of wood, stone, and ore with a total of 200,000 or more. 17 players were eligible to be Chosen this wipe, and the randomly selected winner is: GREENJOKER with a final score of 5 points, and great play overall, including a stunning 2.0 Kill/Death Ratio, I believe he’ll be a kick-ass contender for the October wipe!

Full Disclosure, Transparency, and Rumor Control:

This evening, I was forced to remove a member of the administrative staff. It was found that the admin in question was using their powers as an admin to create items and give them to friends, and that the admin in question was also playing and benefiting from those items. In particular, a member of senior staff and I found that a metal base had been created, armored doors had been placed, and it appears very reasonable that garage doors had been spawned and placed for this base.

This, of course, calls into question any and all actions from the player and the admin for legitimacy, and in this break with public trust, the admin has been removed, and their player account has been banned from Serenity Valley Rust servers. As we don’t know how much benefit was given to the player account through admin action, while a ban appeal as a player is certainly on the table, we owe it to you, our players, to make certain that they are unable to play until a BP wipe has leveled the playing field. My commitment remains, 100% to the integrity and enjoyability of your play experience on our servers, and we will continue to carefully monitor and jealously pursue any hints of wrongdoing, whether from a player or a member of staff.

In addition to the server’s rules, all of my staff are asked to follow several additional guidelines beyond the standard community guidelines, in order to preserve the fragile trust that exists between player and administrator and the good faith that everyone can enjoy a fair play experience. These guidelines are are:

1. Integrity First
2. Excellent in Everything We Do
3. Service Before Self
4. Always Avoid the Appearance of Evil

I am deeply embarrassed and and immensely disappointed that your trust was violated, and I will redouble my efforts to instill the best behaviors in staff and work to guarantee that no such further lapses in that trust occur.

Serenity Valley Christmas in July!

We hope that everyone had a great time for the 4th of July yesterday, and that you’ve still got all your eyes and fingers. With record-breaking high temperatures hitting all across the Northern Hemisphere over the last month, it’s time for us to do our part to cool things off! Several of you have already heard a little bit about the promo, but here’s the really real official word:    Christmas in July!

For the next two wipes (starting today, 5 July, going until 2 August) we’ll be running the in-game Christmas event, and running a series of joyous events during the weekends to show off some Christmas spirit, keep things really cool, and show off the spirit of giving! In addition to the wintry festivities, July is our Donor Appreciation Month, and all donor tape is doubled for the wipe, and any donations made during the month will receive 25% bonus tape for the duration of the donation!

A summary of July’s events include:

  • Tower Racing Event
  • Pookie Stacking Challenge
  • Tree Decoration Contest
  • Christmas House Decoration Contest
  • Regularly spawning Christmas Presents
  • Special holiday collectibles available for purchase in the store

Rather than writing up another post for each of our in-game sports, we’ll actually be creating some new permanent blog pages to detail these sports, in order to give teams time to form up and practice their team strategies in advance of the events.  Be looking for those pages later today or tomorrow evening.

As always, find us on Discord or Facebook should you have any questions, and a member of staff will be with you ASAP!

Serenity Valley: Now Hiring!

I’ve talked about it for a good, long time and now it’s here!  We’re finally at the point that it’s time to bring on some fresh blood, start building our support team, and reach a point where players can get help for their game 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are a few different ways we’re doing this. The first is that we’re implementing a new trouble ticket system where people can offer feedback,  lodge complaints, request assistance, and appeal administrative actions. That system is up and being updated almost daily at http://rust.ars-insolitus.com/help. With time, we’ll be building up a knowledge base through the help portal as well, so that when player have questions about how to accomplish a task, rules clarifications, and more, it’s all in one, easy to search place.

The second step relates to the first as I’m currently writing the application process for these positions through the help system, but very soon we’ll be accepting applications for a number of support roles that we’re looking to fill to help the server run smoothly. These are volunteer positions. Each of these roles offer some in-game perks, but some of them come with restrictions, and all of them demand an absolute respect for and adherence to the community’s guidelines. Each of these positions starts with a 60-day probationary period so we can all determine if this is going to be a good fit. Without further ado, the new positions being created for Serenity Valley gaming:

Customer Service Representative (CSR): The CSR will be a first line of contact for many player issues, answering questions about rules, policies, benefits, and services on our server. This role will be able to work across all servers and comes with no play restrictions. Ideally, we will have 1-2 CSR’s on each server, all of whom can answer player questions and point them toward helpful resources on Discord or in-game. Questions or requests beyond the CSR’s responsibilities are forwarded to the admin team for resolution. This role is expected to work at least 5 hours/week. There’s a small reporting component with this role so that notes and the questions being asked can be collected by management and either added to the knowledge base or policies adjusted accordingly. If you like helping people, showing off your expert skills, or writing correspondence, this is a great role!

Server Administrator (Admin): The Admins are responsible for enforcing the servers’ rules within fixed guidelines, assisting players in-game, fulfilling sponsorship awards, and designing/maintaining the server store. This role will be unable to play on any server that they work as an Admin. Ideally, there will be 1-2 Admins per server, with Mr. D serving as backup/floater between all servers. Admins will also provide enforcement of the community guidelines on the server’s Discord server. Admins will also be the go-to for conducting server events, adding extra elements of fun, PVP, or player interactivity for their assigned server(s) and must be able to maintain professionalism and respect. This role is expected to work at least 10 hours/week. Each day will include a small after-action report. If you like being hands-on, working with people, or enjoy building creative things in Rust, this will be a very enjoyable role for you!

New Player Ambassadors (NPA): NPA’s are players who primarily play solo and make themselves available for new players to join them for 1-2 wipes in order to learn the four core pillars of the game: Farming, Building, PVP, and Raiding. These players will reach out to newer players, offer them safe-haven, and introduce them to the NPA service where they can join a temporary friendship/alliance and learn the game with the active involvement/support of an experienced player. These players are also asked to help new members of the community get to know the rules, expectations, and ways to get help within our community. This role has no hours requirements or reporting requirements, and is best suited for people who love playing, love teaching, and love making new friends!

Community Manager: The community manager coordinates with the lead Admin and each server’s admin staff to design and conduct regular events across all Serenity Valley servers. This role will require a good familiarity with all games in the Serenity Valley network, a moderate understanding of game design and balance, or a similar understanding of economics. The ideal community manager will be upbeat, positive, and willing and able to engage the community in a friendly, welcoming manner. This role will also interact heavily with the Discord community, engaging in conversation, seeking feedback, and working with the community to develop ideas for the sorts of content they wish to see in the game.  The Community Manager will have some light supervisory duties in working with, consolidating feedback from, and training for CSR’s as this role develops. The Community Manager’s time expectations are fluid and as-needed, but are anticipated at taking no less than 5-10 hours per week.

Media Team: If you’re interested in producing art, music, or video content for Serenity Valley, let us know! We’re very interested in and excited for more development and interaction with the community at large, and we’re looking for a more creative eye to help offset Mr D’s seemingly endless analytics.

Each of these positions will have an application form on our help portal (soon), and will be available for players to apply. Players can apply for any and all roles that they feel that they are suited. As mentioned above, there is a probationary period for each of these roles. We won’t start giving volunteer perks until after the first wipe that a person has worked in their assigned role, and during probation, they’ll receive one half of their reward stipends. Probation status lasts from 60 days past their start date. During and throughout probation, new volunteers will be evaluated, tested, and given training to make sure they’re a good fit for their assigned positions. These roles will remain open and available for all to apply until all roles are filled, and before we add additional servers, more positions will open to fill those staff roles before the new server(s) start. Please leave a comment here, send a feedback ticket, or message @admin on Discord if you have any questions!

NOTE:  This posting is up a few minutes ahead of the applications being posted.  Applications will be live as soon as the announcement hits Discord.

Introducing: New Player Ambassadors!

Despite my most valiant efforts, it seems that I cannot be everywhere, all the time. Strangely, neither can the admin staffers.  You know who IS on the server all the time?  You! Well, not YOU personally, but he community is always, one way or another, plugged into the server. As we inch ever closer to having our first alternate server up and running, it’s going to give us even more capacity to focus the main server on its primary mission:  Helping new players get into Rust. In order to facilitate that, we’re rolling out a new program that we’re calling New Player Ambassadors.

What this amounts to are a small handful of experienced Rust players who have learned enough to be competent builders, gatherers, and fighters. People who know about closing up windows, airlocking their doors, and distributing loot to avoid raiders. Their job on the server will be simply to play and have fun–but to always keep their eyes open for new players. Basically, it’s their job to find and adopt newbies (who want it) and bring them in for a couple of wipes to help them learn some best practices in Rust in something of a safer environment, as opposed to leaving them to build a 600-foundation twig house, and then wonder why their masterpiece is gone the next day.

Everyone who joins the NPA program will be invited to join a special Steam group just for this program, and each of them will receive a stipend of tape, both to help offset the time that they spend teaching, and to give them access to some supplies to help teach a new player how to get the most out of the game.  The NPA Steam Group will have some best practices, including some different things that we’ve seen as helpful for not going insane when you have a new player with a lot of questions, managing time while managing two or more people, and major bullet points of stuff that new players should probably know before we turn them loose on their own. The idea is that a new player should be in and out of the NPA program in 1-2 wipes, and then they can move on to start playing solo or join another group.

If you’re new to the server, and you’re looking for a helpful hand, just look for people wearing the handy [NPA] tag or anyone who has a green name in chat, and they’ll be there to help. If none are around, just ask your questions, and everyone in the community tends to be pretty helpful!

To sign up for the NPA program, please message Mr. D on Discord, or drop a line on the Welcome Forum.