Welcome to 2018! With the first wipe of the year, the folks over at Facepunch have been mostly working on some smaller, quieter bug fixes, so there’s not much to talk about on that front. Mainly: Things will be a little more smooth, and scientists are a little smarter.
From the SERVER perspective, though, we have quite a bit going on this wipe!
All decay rates have been further reduced by 50%. They were pretty good last wipe, but still a little more aggressive than what we really want to see for a newbie-friendly server. To that end, the rate of decay has been halved, and the taxation rates for building larger bases has been normalized somewhat. Short version is: You can build bigger bases without it turning into Farming Simulator 2018. If you’d like a more in-depth talk about what settings were tweaked and all the under-the-hood stuff, hit me up.
Oh, and we’ve added a 24-hour grace period for building upkeep, giving you some time to work on your design before it starts sucking extra materials out of you.
Before I go into what we’ve changed this week, let me first explain a little bit about what the store is, how it works, and how I calculate the pricing schemes for things, both in pills and in duct tape. The store is a source of easy(ish) supplies and materials for new players, and for people who join the server later in the wipe. If you’re brand new to the game and you join 7 days into a 14-day wipe cycle, it can be pretty daunting. The store exists to help normalize the progression curve and let people play catch-up. This is reflected in the number of pills being dropped increasing over the wipe, and the frequency of drops increasing daily. (The delay decreases 1 minute every day for the first week of the wipe, 2 minutes/day on the second week.) The way that things are priced is based on how long it normally takes to farm the materials to build a given thing versus how long it takes to gather pills to do the same thing, plus a small premium of 15-25%. This means that if you’re having a bad run of luck, and you can’t find what you’re looking for, or you simply don’t have the time to work on farming for something because you’ve got a short play session, you can just run to the shop and get what you need. Additionally, we’re constantly monitoring what is being purchased, how frequently, and prices and availability are adjusted every wipe in response to pricing, scarcity, and power creep issues. Please feel welcome to reach out to me on Discord in the event that something you need isn’t present, or if you’re concerned that something is being misused or mispriced.
This brings us to our two major points of contention, and people are exceedinly passionate on both sides of this discussion: Duct Tape, and Auto Turrets.
— Duct tape’s more frequent argument is that tape is pay to win, and gives too great of an advantage to players who are donors or patrons. At first glance, I can certainly see how that would appear so, but the numbers really just do not hold to it. People who are eligible to receive duct tape are able to claim that tape within the first week of a wipe, and it allows them to front-load a lot of the work for their bases, as well as get some neat and cosmetic stuff in the beginning. Yes, this does afford them the luxury of being able to focus on farming components and such earlier in the wipe, but at the expense of giving up some pretty important information: When someone’s got a large, functional base within the first day or two of a wipe, it’s either a large team working together, or someone sitting on a nest egg of tape. Tape which is an item, in-game. Tape which can be raided and stolen. It’s not an invisible bank, where it’s untouchable and doled out in small amounts so they’re protected. It’s just like any other resource that can be raided and taken–so those early large, scary bases are often the most vulnerable, and richest targets in-game. I say they’re the most vulnerable in that duct tape cannot purchase weapons or ammunition. Never has, never will. Yes, they can build a big base. Then, they have to maintain it. Then, they have to defend it. If people are just going to hold up a big flag and say, “Here I am! I’ve got stuff you can use!” that gives you a huge piece of information that’s often hard to come by in Rust: The answer to the question of whether or not this particular raid target is going to be worth it.
— Auto turrets have been available for quite some time in the shop in order to provide defense against the higher-than-normal risks associated with offline raiding. For whatever reason, the order of the day for our community has turned into, “We will only raid people who are offline.” Now, that’s certainly a personal choice, but it’s one that in my opinion, sucks. It turns what could be an enjoyable social interaction of playing with/against a team into a matter of resource management and puzzle-solving. Maybe that’s what you’re into, and bully for you if it is, but it also frustrates and infuriates players who’ll spend hours and hours of work, only to have someone say, “Nah, start over,” without so much as a chance to fire a shot in defense of their virtual home. To that end, auto turrets have been available in the store for some time, in order to present risks and challenges to offline raiders and to help to curtail some of that. The first time they were made available, it was for duct tape only. There was an immediate complaint that it was a pay-to-win item, and it was made available the following wipe for pills, and cheaply, at that. Since then, it’s been a topic that comes and goes, but has recently started heating up again. “THAT BASE IS COVERED IN 60 TURRETS!” one complaintant screamed into server chat. First of all, hyperbole does nothing to help address an issue. The base in question had 23 outward-facing turrets at the time of the complaint. Fewer than half of them were actually loaded. Just because you see a shiny red light does not mean that it’s going to harm you. Even if it is, the number of methods to easily dispatch turrets, especially massed turrets, is vast. If you need help in learning how to bypass a turret, ask someone. They’re most dangerous INSIDE a base, where there are clear lines of fire, and multiple levels of engagement. A turret that’s outside is just an ammunition vacuum, as every critter that wanders by wille suck up 10-50 rounds of ammunition from each turret in range.
The secondary issue is that people have been buying turrets en masse to recycle into scrap. The store has avoided selling scrap to 1) encourage players to actually build and run stores of their own and 2) actually make people have to play the game, instead of just treating the store like the gateway to a creative server. Because of this use, there will not be any base defense items available for purchase in the store, nor will there be a recycler in the store at the beginning of the wipe. The staff and I will need to confer to determine how to move forward, because the store is not intended as, nor will be permitted for exploitation. It’s possible that turrets will return soon, but sold for more scrap than they return, or simply replaced with other defensive items followed by a server rule to prohibit offline raiding altogether. The review on this item is ongoing.
– High Quality Metal prices increased significantly.
– Autoturrets and other high scrap-yielding items removed.
– Autoturrets and other high scrap-yielding items removed.
– High Quality Metal prices decreased slightly.
– Limited supply of cars being made available for purchase for pills.
– Hazmat suits being added at very low prices.
January 4th through 17th: Tower Racing Invitationals!
For this wipe, we’ll be putting together a couple of exhibition teams for our Tower Racing sport, to set up some display games for people to watch and enjoy. Bet on your favorite team, buy bonuses for them, and join in some team spirit–but also watch closely to start formulating your own plans!
January 18th through 31st: Tower Racing League!
For NEXT wipe, YOU will be forming teams, for competition in the first Tower Racing League! Fantastic prizes, forum titles, and server achievements will be yours–if your team can hold their own, as they compete against one another for the top prize!