Christmas In July, Part 2

I know that I rather dropped the ball this wipe with regard to the tree decorating contest. Right now, I’m getting tallies of all the completed trees to date, and everyone who attempted the christmas tree challenge will be getting some goodies this wipe:

1. For every attempted tree found in your base, you get 100 small presents.

These can be converted into 2 Large Presents, 10 Medium Presents, or some combination of Small, Medium, or Large. You’ll get them as smalls so you can decide how you want that parted out.

2. Our players with the most trees, OneMagicalWizard (4.8), CHILL (4), and Jakolanter (2.9) will receive a collection of Christmas-themed decorations for their base, a stack of presents, and a stack of duct tape to help them in creating a secure tree display area for today’s wipe.

3. Our top tree whisperer, OneMagicalWizard, will receive an additional stack of tape, as well as an extra stack of presents.

This wipe, we’ll be having our Winter House Contest again! As we did in the end of December, we’ll be doing both a Christmas Tree collection contest and a base building contest. As before, all players will have the opportunity to create their ideal vision of a holiday home/base/building/monument of their choosing! With all of the new building and decoration options available to us, this promises to be one of the most creative build contests, EVER.

– Christmas Tree Contest: We’ll be hosting a challenge for all players who wish to participate! The top 3 participating players with the most fully-decorated Christmas trees at the end of the wipe will receive special prizes for the August 2nd wipe! For folks not interested in the contest, this is a great opportunity to sell those ornaments. For everyone in the contest, it’s a great chance to win some pretty snazzy prizes!

– PRIZES: For both the build contest and the Christmas Tree Contest, there will be 3 tiers of prizes:

Grand Prize: On the 2 August wipe, start with 100 pills and 1 month of Settler Patron status (Includes access to the patron’s lounge in-game, as well as the daily opportunity to meet and mingle with the admin staff and access to over $2,000 worth of skins, an in-game vending machine at your personal monument, 240 Duct Tape, custom base design assistance including 1 windmill, a custom landmark designed conveniently near your base to grant convenient access to a pumpjack in-game item, and a custom 1-car garage designed for your base. Month of settler is non-transferable, offers no exchanges, and combines with all current subscription products.)

First Runner-Up: 75 pills, 100 tape on the 2 August wipe.

Second Runner-Up: 50 pills, 50 tape on the 2 August wipe.

Thanks, all! See you next wipe, and looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with! –MDR

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.

Tower Racing is BACK!

For our Christmas in July events, we’ll be returning to our very own Rust Sport:  Tower Racing!  For those unfamiliar with the sport, small teams are given a 2×2 building without a roof, a handful of supplies, some basic tools, and then charged with raising, defending, and raiding against the tallest tower in the arena.  Teams are randomly selected, given a uniform, and unleashed.  At the end of 1 hour, the team with the tallest tower, WINS!  Guests are welcome to watch, but must not interfere. Raiding an enemy tower is permitted, and encouraged!  It may not be enough to build the highest–you might have to knock someone down!

This event will run on Saturday at 6pm, and again Sunday at 12pm, and 8pm, with all times being in the central time zone.

The winners of each round receive a full, custom set of metal gear, AK-47’s, a chainsaw, a jackhammer, and 1,000 scrap. The first runners-up will receive roadsign gear, semi-auto rifles, and 500 scrap, each.

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 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.

Primitive Test Server is LIVE.

Here we go..!  We’ve launched the Primitive Test server.  It was off to a rocky start, but we’ve made it through a whole week and ironed out MOST of the bugs we could find.  Of course, we’ll find more fixes for that through….  You guessed it!  MOAR TESTING! I’ve included some quick information about the current server test and some FAQ’s as well:

What IS the primitive server? A primitive server simply limits the field as to how much research/building you can do, to keep the technology base for the game from getting too far ahead, and making things like bows and melee valid.

Why should I play on a primitive server? If you like faster development for your base, quickly getting all your research done, or just being able to go about your business without getting sniped in the back of the head from 600m away, this might be a play style you enjoy.  Between the shorter tech tree and accelerated gathering, the primitive server also strives to make getting raided a lot less painful.  In some of our earliest testing, it was possible to get a fully-functional base and top weapons and armor in <3 hours. Getting raided here is not the end of the world!

What changes are there from Main? Currently, there is no store.  In lieu of being able to buy cosmetic items, every looted item comes pre-skinned, at random, so that it feels a little bit more like you’re actually scavenging.  There is no radiation.  Animals are more plentiful and plants grow more quickly.

What items are blocked from building/looting? Here, I’ve included a handy-dandy list of everything that is impossible to loot or build:

  1. Metal Buildings
  2. Armored Buildings
  3. Metal Chest Plate
  4. Metal Faceplate
  5. Pistol ammo (all types)
  6. Rifle ammo (all types)
  7. Rockets (all types)
  8. 12 gauge buckshot
  9. 12 gauge slugs
  10. 12 gauge incendiary
  11. Auto turrets
  12. Salvaged tools
  13. Concrete barricades
  14. Metal barricades
  15. Barbed wire barricades
  16. BBQ Grills
  17. Repair Benches*
  18. Research Tables*
  19. Tech Trash
  20. CCTV Camera
  21. Laptop
  22. Ceiling lights
  23. Chainsaws
  24. Metal doors
  25. Explosives
  26. Satchel charges
  27. C4
  28. Flamethrowers
  29. Flame turrets
  30. Flares
  31. Flashlights
  32. Floor grills
  33. Ladder hatches
  34. F1 Grenades
  35. Hazmat suits
  36. Snow jackets
  37. Large Medkits
  38. Medical Syringes
  39. M249
  40. Locker
  41. M92
  42. Nailguns
  43. Python Revolver
  44. Revolver
  45. Assault Rifles
  46. Bolt-action Rifles
  47. LR-300
  48. Semiautomatic Rifles
  49. Semiautomatic Pistols
  50. Riot helmets
  51. Rocket launchers
  52. Double-barrel shotguns
  53. Pump shotguns
  54. SPAS-12 shotguns
  55. Small oil refineries
  56. Custom SMG
  57. Thompson
  58. Reactive target
  59. Binoculars
  60. Landmines
  61. Vending machines
  62. Prison walls & gates
  63. Metal shopfronts
  64. Reinforced glass windows
  65. Large water catchers
  66. All weapon mods except the simple handmade sight
  67. Searchlights
  68. Garage doors
  69. High external stone gates

What further changes can we expect to see throughout the test?  Our test server admin will be running some events, and this weekend, we’ll see a test server incentive announcement, where testers can earn some pretty kick-ass prizes. There’s currently an ongoing discussion on the Discord test server channel about the possible inclusion of sheet metal doors to make base defense a little more easily done. That discussion has started veering into how to mitigate raid risks through smart base design.  There’s also been a call to marry the last test server into this one, and create a hardcore survival primitive server.  Stay tuned for more, or join the discussion and add your two cents!

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.

Noob Friendly

It’s been posted on the name of our server for over a year, now. Many a new player has found their way into the wide world of Rust through our humble shores.  To date, we have enjoyed visits from 4,198 players. Most, obviously, have moved on to other games or other player experiences. Some few have chosen to make this their home server, and we’re especially glad for their company.

Lately a disturbing trend has been on the rise, and it has become damaging to our population. I have spoken in the past on this as it’s cropped up, and things will get a little better for a few weeks, and then it’s back to where it was before and often worse. We have had, and of late have been having a worse and worse problem with experienced players hitting new players like a fucking hammer for the tiniest slight. It’s gotten to the point that there’s even a predictable cycle that is beginning to repeat itself:

  1. New player joins server, either after having bad experiences on other servers, or after hearing how toxic of a game Rust can be.
  2. New player receives a warm reception and can reliably ask questions and get help.
  3. New player is impressed with the level of kindness and helpfulness present on Serenity Valley.
  4. New player settles in to stay or even pledges/donates in order to get a leg up and build a larger base.
  5. New player defends themselves or speaks up, saying something that experienced player(s) dislike in the world chat.
  6. Experienced player(s) threaten (or don’t) the new player, threatens to foundation wipe them.
  7. New player either leaves, or speaks up to defend themselves.
  8. Experienced player(s) wipe the floor with New Player’s base, usually offline.
  9. New player becomes disenfranchised and leaves, feeling that the game and/or community is hopeless.
  10. New player joins server, either after having bad experiences on other server,s or hearing how toxic of a game Rust can be.

How is that fun for a new player? Shouldn’t there be some kind of a warning period in there? Are their words really so traumatic that the only option is “leave our server?” As I write this, there are nine players on Serenity Valley, during prime time, on a weekend.  Nine.  Now, I’m sure that everyone here would rather play on a server with an active, vibrant population…  But how exactly is that going to happen when the first response to new people is to grind them into paste?

You’ve all heard me say that I’ll run an empty server before I run a server populated with racists.  The EXACT same thing applies to bullies. Since Christmas, just a few of the things I’ve seen have been excessively inappropriate and toxic.  I will urge you all to NOT be that guy. In that same time period, we have lost no fewer than five patrons because they don’t care for the bullying. The lost player count of people who actually took the time to send a message and let me know why they were leaving is in the 20’s. I’m going to shoot straight with you–I don’t get time to play any more. This isn’t hurting me, this is hurting all of you. The more people you chase off, the fewer people you have to play with. This is doubly true for our patrons:  You’re paying for a server that is emptying out. It’s okay to hold each other accountable.  It’s okay to hold yourselves accountable. In the last six weeks, we’ve lost almost $100 of our funding.

We can do better.  We can be better.  For those who just MUST have your PVP fix, have you considered just using a PVP server, or even just waiting until Serenity Valley has its own not-newbie-server?  It’s literally up and running right now, and will shortly have a permanent rule set. I will be sorely disappointed if online bloodlust and impatience cause everything to crash before the new option that is right in front of us can go live….

For the time being I am not naming names. I’m not calling anyone out, and I’m not coming down on anyone. I’m placing this post publicly as an open letter in order to give players the chance to self-correct and regulate/moderate themselves. If they fail to do so in short order, I will moderate things myself.

Over the next few days, I will be putting up another couple of articles about some initiatives to try and improve new player experience and build our community, rather than seeing it built up and torn down every other wipe. Keep an eye on this space for more information.

New Test Server – Hardmode Survival – Open Testing


Our new Hardmode Survival server is available for testing! This is the first of three (or more) servers that we’ll be running player testing and gathering feedback before making it our new, permanent second server.  Right now, we’re testing what we’re calling “Hardmode Survival,” which strives to make the Rust experience a little bit more like actual survival.  Below is a list of the current changes from Vanilla:

  • Buildings no longer fall apart in just a couple of days.
  • Bleeding is no joke.  Don’t get gored.
  • Bullets no longer tickle.
  • Melee is horrifying.  If you stab someone, they will die.
  • Arrows are brutal.  Life is NOT GOOD with a stick jutting out of you.
  • Cold, hunger, and dehydration are a problem.  Do not neglect these.
  • All forms of armor offer more protection than normal–but not as much as weapon damage has increase.  The world is very lethal.  Other players, even moreso.
  • Text chat can only be read over the same distance that voice chat could be heard.  It’s a lonely world, and your ability to hear it is crucial to surviving in it.

The current test cycle runs until 1 March, and as a thank you for players who are taking time to test this for us, anyone who has spent more than 15 hours active on the new server and completes a feedback survey will get to start on the 1 March wipe on either server, with 3 elite crates and 20 pills spawned for them to help give them a leg up on whichever server they prefer to play.

To connect to the new server, you can point your server browser at:

[NA/EU]-SVRust – Test – Survival Mode

Or you can connect  directly via the console by typing:


Snow Camo Snow Jacket

One of our own has submitted a skin to the Steam Workshop!  Let’s all show some support for a member of our community by voting up his item!

The snow-camouflage snow jacket!  What else could be cooler?  Give it a big thumbs up at: