But Mr. D., it was just a JOKE!

Here’s someone else’s words to help explain why I take such a hard line on the racist bullshit, and I double down on my “Fuck YOU!” when someone feeds me that, “It was just a joke!” line.

And THAT is my point.  With the ability to look back at history and see just how fucked up the notions of the Nazis, or racism, or any of that other hateful bullshit has been, and how many people have suffered at the hands of those things, it’s the 20-something mouth-breathing cockholster that’s sitting in his mother’s basement jerking off to ISIS videos that I will relentless, passionately pursue, ban, and report to their local law enforcement agencies.

January 4th Wipe Announcements:

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.


Duct Tape:
– High Quality Metal prices increased significantly.
– Autoturrets and other high scrap-yielding items removed.

Anti-Radiation Pills:
– 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!

Coming this weekend: Tower Racing!

WHO: YOU! This event is open to all players on Serenity Valley–feel welcome to invite a friend!
WHAT: An PVP/Build event with prizes for all participants!
WHEN: Saturday, December 16th at 2pm US Central time. (20:00 GMT)
WHERE: The exact location will be announced during the event. Everyone will be given sleeping bags in the spawn area, so everyone can start with the same gear.
HOW: See full event synopsis, below!
WHY: Fun! Glory! Prizes!

Synopsis: Participants sign up in advance at https://steamcommunity.com/groups/SVRust/discussions/0/1617220671496149912/.
Players will be divided into even teams.
Each team is given a 2×2 wooden building to start, which will feature some starting tools, a T3 workbench, and a tool cupboard with ~3,000 wood.
Each base will start with a door and a code lock that the team can set to their preferred code.
The teams have at least 1 hour to build the tallest possible tower.
They can shoot out each other’s towers.
They can use their own materials from their bases, but no refunds will be given for materials used or lost.
They can use their own weapons, but again: No refunds if they lose something.
Teams are randomly assigned, so members of clans or groups will likely end up separated.
You do not get to switch teams once assigned.
Each team gets different colored uniforms and MUST wear their team color prominently so teams can identify each other.
Changing colors, changing teams, or failing to make their team visible instantly disqualifies the player and costs their team the top level of their tower.
Towers can be built of any material, can be attacked, and can be (should be!) defended.
Twig levels are not counted for progress.
When the timer is up, the team with the tallest tower wins! Each member of the team gets 50 tape. Each member of the losing team(s) gets 25 tape.

Serenity Valley’s First Base Building Contest:

This wipe marks the first building contest on Serenity Valley!  In celebration of Halloween, we’ll be hosting a wipe-long contest to build, decorate, and display the best-looking base! Entry is free, and winners will receive some great prizes to help them out after the next forced wipe!

Entry is easy:

  1. Register on the forum.
  2. Build your perfect base.
  3. Post the base location, your name, and a picture of your base in the Events forum.

Three winners will be selected based on a combined score covering different facets of the base’s design, by three judges. Bases can score up to 50 points, with ties being settled by a forum poll:

  • Theme:  How well does the base adhere to its own theme?  Is it cohesive?
  • Design:  How pleasing is it to look at? How wells does the structure make use of its space?
  • Decoration:  Do the decorations make sense with the base’s theme? Is it overly crowded? Too empty?  Does it feel “real” or livable?
  • Creativity: How creative is the design?  Is it something new and different?  Is it a fun use of space?
  • Je ne sais quoi:  Overall, how much do you like the base? Does it have that special little something?

The winning base will be featured prominently on the front of our website and added to the scrolling banner. Additionally, winners will receive some pretty sweet prizes:

Grand Prize:  Featured on the front page of the website, 100 tape, 500 scrap, Ladder Hatch, Armored Door, and Large Furnace blueprints, as well as 3 elite crates, awarded 2 November after the forced wipe.

First Runner-Up: 100 Tape, 250 scrap, choice of one of Ladder Hatch, Armored Door, or Large Furnace blueprints, and 2 elite crates, awarded 2 November after the forced wipe.

Second Runner-Up: 50 Tape, 250 scrap, choice of Ladder Hatch, Armored Door, or Large Furnace blueprints, and 1 elite crate, awarded 2 November after the forced wipe.

The Red Line

It’s no secret that I take a hard stance on discriminatory and hateful behavior on our server. My policy and the community guidelines for this sort of thing has always been one of zero tolerance. Somehow, the people in my country after decades of forward progress in recognizing the need for respect and dignity at all levels of society have been taking massive strides backward in this area recently. The United States Air Force Academy, near my home, is one place I never expected to hear of such backward steps. Recently, several black cadets had racist graffiti placed on or at their doors, using some of the same symbolism and language that I have banned on our server. In response to the actions of some misguided cadets, the academy Superintendent, Lt. General Jay Silveria had very wise words of leadership in response to the use of hate speech to describe people on his campus. His comments were prescient enough that I feel they bear sharing here:

…The appropriate response for horrible language and horrible ideas, the appropriate response is a BETTER idea, so that’s why I’m here.

I’ve said it before: the area of dignity and respect is my red line. Let me be clear, it won’t be crossed without significant repercussions. If you’re outraged by those words, then you’re in the right place. That kind of behavior has no place at the prep school, it has no place at USAFA (US Air Force Academy) and it has no place in the United States Air Force. You should be outraged not only as an airman, but as a human being. We would be naive to think we shouldn’t discuss the topic. We’d also be tone deaf not to think about the backdrop of what’s going on in our country. Things like Charlottesville and Ferguson, the protests in the NFL. What we should have is a civil discourse, and talk about these issues. That’s a better idea.

I also have a better idea, and it’s about our diversity. And it’s the power of diversity… the power of us as a diverse group. The power that we come from all walks of life, that we come from all parts of this country, that we come from all races, all backgrounds, gender, all makeup, all upbringings. The power of that diversity comes together and makes us that much more powerful. That’s a much better idea than small thinking and horrible ideas.

We have an opportunity here to think about what we are as an institution. This is our institution and no one can take away our values. No one can write on a board and question our values. No one can take that away from us. I call upon you all to find the moral courage to stand up for those values.

So just in case you’re unclear on where I stand on this topic, I’m going to leave you with my most important thought today. If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you can’t treat someone from another gender, whether that’s a man or a woman, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can’t treat someone from another race, or a different color of skin, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. So that we all have the moral courage, this is OUR institution, and if you need it and you need my words, then you keep these words and you use them and you remember them and you share them and you talk about them:

If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.”

There isn’t much I could possibly add to the General’s words. Everything he says there applies to our community values here, and does a much better job of capturing and explaining what these values are about than I ever could. He speaks of appropriate responses. I live a life of disproportionate responses. I think he does a much better job of making this sensible and relatable than I could, but at the end of the day, our messages are the same.

If your humor includes making someone less so that you amuse yourself, it is not humor. If your language makes someone less than human to lift yourself up, it is not protected language. If your opinions and ideas include the idea that somehow someone is superior or has more of a right to play this game or use this server because of race, gender, religion, orientation, handicap, or any other misplaced notion of superiority, your opinion is wrong. As the General so perfectly pointed out:

If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.

MASSIVE game shift:

Rust has a new progression system coming in October. This is going to be huge. Soon, we’ll use a combination of blueprints, workbenches, and scrap to be able to craft. Progression will be a lot slower, and it will be a huge shift in power for both solo and clan players. It also means that the player economy is going to be far more important and powerful. Playing the game as a peaceful merchant is once again a very real possibility!

The new blueprint system won’t be exactly like it was previously; it will be a hybrid with the current component system, and will require the use of 3 different tiers of workbenches, which will not only offer a buff to your crafting speed, but will serve to limit which items can be made when–so building an AK as your first item as soon as you log into the game?  Not any more!

It’s going to be interesting, and right now they’re planning on it going live on October 5th.  Facepunch is already telling us that it’s going to be a major shift in progress and game balance, and there will be a lot of tweaks and changes while this system comes out, so please remain open-minded and flexible!  Likewise, as the balance and power and costs for various items change and update, it will impact the balance in the server store, both pills and duct tape. I’ll be following development very, very closely and will do everything in my power to make certain that a balance is maintained between duct tape and rad pill economies. Your feedback will be crucial, so if something seems too cheap, too expensive, or inappropriate for paid currencies, adding your feedback on the forum is more important than ever! We’re all in this together, and I am committed, with your help, to make this the friendliest, most violent, most fair, and most balanced server available in the Rust community, but I only have one set of eyes.  We’re all in this together, and I will need to hear your feedback!

Forum Signup

Feedback Forum

Duct Tape/Rad Pill Information

Wipe Schedule Poll Results:

UPDATE: Almost immediately following the move to monthly wipes, the server population absolutely crashed. Halfway through the second month of monthly wipes, the decision was made to move us back to wiping on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month.  Prior to the shift, we would see average primetime populations in the 12-15 range.  After the shift, we were fortunate to see more than 7. Since moving back to wiping every fortnight, we’re seeing primetime populations in the 20-30 range.  Going forward, we’ll keep to biweekly wipes.


The results are in, with a landslide victory in favor of a monthly wipe schedule!  70% of respondents voted in favor of moving from wiping on the first and third Thursday of each month to only wiping on the first Thursday of each month. The people have spoken! Prepare to dig in for a long haul, people!

We will, of course, keep an eye on server performance as we see larger and larger bases as well as population and may need to review changes after a couple of wipe cycles. As always, encourage your fellow Serenity Valley residents to participate on the forum, and recruit friends to our server! Keeping that population and participation up are how we know we’ve got a healthy server.

Thank you to everyone who voted!  Don’t forget to spread the word, invite your friends, or simply share word of our server around on the various Steam and Rust forums and discussion groups!

Temporary Server Outage/Host Migration


After our hosting service continued to pass the buck and refuse to address technical issues with our server, including low performance, missing server functions, crashes, and roll-backs, I indicated that if either information showing that this was not an issue with SurvivalServers.com or a resolution to the problems was not delivered by Thursday, that I would be seeking assistance from the Sacramento Better Business Bureau.

This morning, I was notified by Ryan Pennington, CEO of SurvivalServers.com that our service would be terminated immediately and irrevokably due to “unwarranted assumptions” that this was a problem involving SurvivalServers. He did give us a (very) partial refund of our annual hosting fees. This is especially noteworthy as Giina and I have been dealing with him and his team going back to June or July, almost immediately after we opened the server, and in every case, he refused to extend our hosting for lost days that we had paid for, or refunding lost time in any other ways, up to and including simply adding slots to the server, which is a token gesture, at best. Instead, he’s opted to kick us out entirely.

I’ll have a new server set up and running for us a little later this evening. I’m on my way to dinner at the moment, but as soon as I return, I’ll work on getting funding and will have us back online as fast as possible. I’m very sorry for the delay, everyone!

Once we’re back up and running, we’ll aim to keep the new wipe from tonight until 2 March, and from there, we’ll work out schedules and whatnot, as I’m unsure which host we’ll have or what services they can offer us.

More news to you all the moment I get it. We’ll be posting news as it becomes available on the forum.