New Month, New Wipe, New Crafting System!

Tomorrow, November 3rd marks the ending of the XP system and the introduction of Rust’s new component-based crafting system. Those who’ve had a chance to test it have reported some positive things and most folks seem to prefer it to the XP system, so I’m certainly looking forward to hearing everyone’s take on it!

With the new month and new wipe, I’ll be rotating our server to a North American-based server for a couple of reasons.  First, I promised our NA players that we would; it’s really only fair that our player base get the opportunity to take turns between having 20ms ping versus 100ms ping. As someone who’s been playing from NA on an EU server this whole time, trust me:  Don’t panic. It’s not a big deal, at all.  The other NA players and I did just fine these last three months.  The second, and much more important reason is this: It’s no secret that our server host has been kind of shit at maintenance and stability for Rust, and with the server based in France, our host has been able to tapdance around American consumer protection laws that would otherwise require them to either fix the server or refund our money. By moving the server to a US-based location, it gives us a lot more leverage to be able to actually force things to get done and to make the server actually stable and reliable, which have been big issues at times.

I’ll be closely watching the dev feeds and package releases tomorrow and expect that we’ll be up just a few minutes after the server packages are released.  Tim has been kind enough to reach out over some social media channels to spread the word about our server, to invite some new folks to visit us during this awesome new phase, and to unleash some exceptional mayhem!

Due to the changes coming both to the map and to the crafting system, we won’t be doing a map vote this month, and I’m going to hold off on setting up an event schedule until we have a better idea of what the new crafting system looks like; I don’t want to risk early game imbalance.  I will be doing some testing with supply signal drops and drop rates, as well as some testing with barrel drops, during low-population times. If it looks like presents and signals won’t break the game for folks, we’ll get back to using those as our daily giveaways and running some events that will give people a chance to win some new goodies.  Until we’ve got a little more data on balance and loot propagation, expect events to be more along the vein of our primitive arena, labyrinth, and hunger games events.

Hero’s Song RPG to be added to Serenity Valley soon!

In order to add some additional variety to our wonderful community, we’ll be adding another game to our list of servers. There’s a new game coming out from Pixelmage Games, called “Hero’s Song.” It’s heros-song-kickstarter-trailer1pretty amazing, shares some similarities with Rust, and is based in an epic, procedurally-generated fantasy world. This game is being made by some absolute legends of game design, including one of the creative minds behind EverQuest.

Some of the best parts of this game is the ability to create a world that’s not just a blank slate, but one that has 10,000 years of history when you log in.  There will be legends to learn, history to unravel, epic artifacts to quest for–all while building and managing your home, surviving the trials of a dangerous, evolving world, and heros-song-ruins1some of the most stunning AI ever presented in a fantasy game–let alone something like this. It has a lot in common with Rust as far as its gameplay style, but instead of being a survival shooter, it’s a survival Action/Fantasty RPG. It’s also worth noting that it’s already racking up awards, including “Most Innovative Game” award at PAX West from  That’s huge!

As development on that game moves forward and we approach the Alpha release in November, I’ll be sharing more information about it here, as well as some links to the game’s preorders through Indiegogo, their Twitch stream, and so on. Just like Rust, this will be an early access game, so we’ll see new features rolling out, and there will be some bugs–but what a game it’s going to be!town_01_copy-0-01

Indiegogo Campaign & Game Preorder:

Pixelmage website; includes newsletter sign-up:

Reddit page full of Hero’s Song info:

We we get closer to the launch of Hero’s Song, I’ll be working on getting us a new web domain so we can have Serenity Valley as its own gaming community, and then have the information branch out into the different games we want to play together and the various servers we host.

“Small, But Significant Changes”

This week’s changes are described as “small but significant” by Rustafied. This doesn’t even begin to cover just how big these changes are for our players! Based upon how our players tend to build–particularly with the appearance of small, hidden bases. Starting after today’s patch, you only see the “Building Blocked” message if you have a deployable or building tools in your hand, meaning that simply running past a small house hidden in some rocks won’t give up its location.  Additionally, when building anything, the game now checks not just player location, but the actual building location, meaning you can no longer stand just outside of tool cupboard range and build inside a build radius.  This means less need to place piles of cupboards outside your building perimeter, and a little more forgiving build, particularly in rough terrain.20160907181556_1

On the topic of raids, online raids just got a lot easier.  Prior to today’s patch, reviving a player was a slow, often buggy process where you’d have to stand, staring at a downed player, unmoving, and VERY close to them, because if they squirmed the wrong way, it would break the revival mechanic.  No longer!  Revives are a little faster, and don’t break so easily now, so that if you’re in a firefight, it’s a lot easier to get your buddy back up and into the fight.

Finally, and of benefit to everyone, Grass Displacement is back in the game after a year-long absence! What this mechanic does is it smooths out and pushes down the grass around you in the environment, making it look a little more natural as your character pushes through the grass–and more importantly, it makes it easier to see dropped items in grass.  No more losing your gun to the grass demons after a death or excess ammo during a long craft session and inventory overflow!

Today’s update has yet to deploy, but we should be seeing it within the next couple of hours!

On Server Events, Item Ownership, and Admin Interaction

There has been some very understandable concern in the wake of some of the server’s weekend events that something fishy is happening, when people get raided, and they then find caches of loot listing 100% ownership from me. I’ve gotten some questions on the topic, so I wanted to take a moment to address the concerns with the group, rather than waiting for them to roll in periodically.

I’m sure if you’ve been here for very long, you’ve already noticed, and if you haven’t, or if you’re a new player I’ll offer it directly: We do things kind of differently here at Serenity Valley. My administration philosophy involves a very fair, light touch, with periods of direct intervention. I try each week to present different events that have 3 objectives:

  1. Give players an interactive distraction outside of the normal sandbox play of Rust with which to engage.
  2. Create opportunities for spontaneous player interaction.
  3. Provide increasing availability of higher-valued items as the server wipe cycle progresses in order to raise the stakes and create tension as we march closer and closer to the wipe.

As a part of many of these events, there is a loot component, either given out as prizes in the case of the Caveman Arena, or as part of the participation in the event, such as the Labyrinth or Airdrop Mayhem. We even have smaller, more low-key events during the week to offer something for players that don’t want to get into all the hub-bub of the bigger events, such as Giina’s brilliant offline raid bases, or some of the little sniper hunt events we’ve done.

The benefit to the players of the admins doing these events is that you can all completely let loose, and we aren’t losing anything. The materials and the prizes for these things are spawned in by the server, so that we can give you all something different and hopefully fun and exciting to do, without having to worry about other players getting salty. If you raid your neighbor, they might get pissed and come back with a rocket launcher or worse. If you raid one of the bases Giina’s built for us, or you come and shoot up an admin that’s sniping as part of an airdrop event, that’s AWESOME. We’re there as game content–Doom has AI demons that run around and try to burn you. Terraria and minecraft have zombies that try to eat their way into your house. Serenity Valley has a couple of people who get out there and make themselves available for the hunting and killing so that you can be a bloodthirsty murderhobo without the repercussion of your fellow players getting salty and coming after you.

The exchange for this is that the prizes for those events–the reward side of the risk vs. reward equation–are going to reflect as having been our personal stuff during the event, or looking like something that admin spawned for another player if it’s after the event and it leaves us with the question of how best to address those issues. Do we risk creating a situation that appears to be an admin abusing Rust’s systems or forego carrying out events for the server altogether? In order to create the server experience that I’m hoping to create for our players, it means having some gear in circulation that appears a little bit fishy. I would much rather have to remind people that we host little narrative-driven events here and deal with the occasional cries of unfairness from those who have chosen not to read up on the server’s activities than to just have any other rust server.

I recognize and respect that this may well rub some folks the wrong way. You want a 100% pure environment where we just turn on the server and let it run, and whatever happens, happens. That’s not the server I’m running. There’s nothing wrong with someone having a different vision or looking for another product. In fact, if there’s something that you’re looking for in particular in a Rust server, let me know and I’ll gladly direct you toward some great communities that have what you’re looking for. If however, you’re looking for a community with some action, admins that you can play directly with and who are easy to approach, play, and deal with, where everyone gets a voice and a say in how we conduct the server’s activities, and where the community is held to a standard of maturity and mutual respect–you’ve found the right place. Let us know what you like and dislike. Offer your say on what you feel could be being done better. Without that feedback, Giina and I cannot work to make your server better, but you can be damned sure that we’ll always try our very best to give you one of the most unique and interactive Rust experiences ever.

I definitely want to hear your thoughts on the matter.  Please drop any comments on the forum thread, at:

Mid-Month Update

There’s some huge news afoot on the Rust Devblog and over at  Soon, we’ll be seeing new turrets, a whole new cave system, and a massive revamp to gathering crafting components.  Sadly, wolves and bears are still magical ghosts that can walk through stone, but we’re seeing more and more improvements in managing the game’s biggest threats:  Each other! The other news is that we’re (hopefully!) about to see TONS of new skins flooding into the game, as the workshop is opened up and more user skins are able to make their way into the system.

The DevBlog was an especially interesting read; well worth taking a moment if you have some time.

Today’s updates are listed below:

  • Better explosion sounds
    Misc sound polish
    Old bone armor no longer drops( will be removed next wipe)
    Projectile CPU optimizations
    Semi auto pistol damage nerfed to 40 (was 50)
    Pistol ammo effective distance nerfed to 60 (was 80)
    Fixed players sometimes appearing with wrong name, gender or skin tone
    Fixed various small client side network interpolation issues on respawn
    Added stabilityqueue server convar (building stability update time per frame)
    Added surroundingsqueue server convar (surroundings refresh time per frame)
    Fixed various issues with player model pooling
    Enabled player model pooling by default on 64bit systems (pool.players convar)
    Drastically improved entity destruction performance (less stuttering)
    Optimized player mesh building and refreshing (less stuttering)
    Fixed exception when trying to upgrade building block after it was destroyed
    Fixed exception when trying to rotate building block after it was destroyed

Primitive Arena Launches

This afternoon, the Primitive Fighting Arena opened, to much fanfare! 20160903141449_1Straight away, /BFM/Wizard and NostradamusOP jumped in and waged very simple warfare against one another with sticks, stones, clubs, and simple bows. After several rounds of combat, Wizard was the clear winner, becoming the Round One champion!  After the server restart, many more had a taste for blood, and the battle was joined by [TSAS] Spoink, [TSAS] Paella, Clawmaster aka padawan, /BFM/Wizard, and NostradamusOP. In was a vicious, furious melee with clubs, maces, and even a crossbow flinging death across the arena floor.  In the end, after multiple rounds of respawns and bodies being looted for arrows and medical supplies, Clawmaster came out on top as Saturday’s arena champion!Primitive Arena

Both winners won a small present and a large banner on a pole as winnings, giving them bragging rights and a trophy to place at their base as a warning to all:  This is the home of a prize-fighting, take-no-names, gladiator.

If you fancy a go in the arena or you have something to sort out with one of your neighbors, or just want to set up a fun, organized fight with your clan, you’re welcome to visit!  The door is unlocked and ladder hatches open. The arena itself is located on the island in the far southwest of the map, at coordinates B21. Be sure to check back on our feed!  There will be more events and more arenas coming, with at LEAST one new feature each week.

Discuss the event, share your thoughts, and let us know how to improve on the forum by clicking here.

September Giveaway and Event Schedule

With the wipe only hours away, I wanted to share a preview for the giveaways and events we’ll be seeing during the month of September! Nothing is set in stone, and we may see some changes based on the needs of the server. However, barring any changes, here’s some idea of what kind of stuff to expect for the coming month!


  • September 1-7:  Assorted food items – Small Presents – Cosmetic Items
  • September 8-14:  Anything Above, plus: Medium Presents – Small Beneficial Items (Traps, Stashes, Etc)
  • September 15-21: Medium Presents – Large Presents – Supply Signals
  • September 22-October 5: Supply Signals – Weapons – Rocket Launchers – Rockets – Timed Explosive Charges


  • First Weekend:  Caveman Arena
    • Staff builds an arena and scatters primitive weapons throughout
    • Contestants enter the arena naked, gather weapons or armor and fight
    • Each round, the first to die falls out of the contest
    • The final winner receives a choice of prizes
  • Second Weekend:  The Labyrinth
    • Staff will construct a multi-level enclosed labyrinth including some locked doors or hatches.
    • Logic puzzles and clues can be found around the labyrinth to figure out the codes for the doors or hatches.
    • A prize chest exists in the center of the labyrinth.
    • TWO MODES OF PLAY:  Small prizes for each person to solve the labyrinth -OR- timed, competitive play, with larger prizes to the person with the best time.
  • Third Weekend: Airdrop Mayhem
    • An admin will announce 30 minutes before the event that it is going to initiate soon. At this time, they will note 3 monuments where the event might take place. 15 minutes before the event, they will narrow it down to 2 monuments. Once the event begins, players will be able to follow the contrails of supply planes or the sound of helicopters to direct them to the event.
    • At a randomly-selected monument, 2-8 supply signals will be triggered.  3 minute after the first supply crate drops, helicopters will be summoned to the area, or an admin will be hidden in the area as a sniper.
    • Players can choose to try and sneak in to take over the supply drops, attack the helicopter(s), hunt other players who are doing one of the above, or give the area a wide berth so they can gather or build in relative peace while the more violent sorts are fighting it out over guns and ammo.252490_screenshots_20160825132621_1
  • Fourth Weekend:  ARMAGEDDON

    • With the wipe imminent, utter chaos reigns.  Any of the above events may trigger. Additionally, random giveaways will increase, and can include explosives and incendiaries.
  • October 5th:
    • Multiple giveaways of rockets, guns, ammunition, explosives, and supply signals. Violence reigns supreme.  Did someone raid you to death earlier in the wipe? Been holding a grudge?  Sick of that eyesore building near yours screwing up your view?  BURN. EVERYTHING.1460218815593

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Now that I’m finally back and I have some time to put into the server and making thing work for us, it was time to address our face to non-Rust players, or to new folks just joining us for the first time. This means it’s time for a major update to our website. (If you’re reading this, I gather you’re already aware there’s been a change.)

The last design, while pretty, did little to actually drive visitors to the pages they were likely looking for:  Maps, Server Rules, or our Forum. That’s remarkably not cool for an informative website, so I’ve made some pretty big layout changes to address that.  This means a little letter glitter and fancy features, but a lot more accessibility.  It also means that there’s a huge block of ugly color that I’ll be addressing soon-ish, after we get today’s server wipe and new map underway.