Learning the ropes…
We first started out on the non-pvp official server to dip our feet into Rust. It's a quick way to understand the mechanics of how the game worked and it seemed that these servers were just littered with shelters and massive 50 story tall skyscrapers. The first challenge was finding my friends Three3 and my son John Lemon which as extremely difficult since we were navigating purely by the direction of the sun and often found that we were just moving in a circle chasing each other on opposite sides of the map. We probably went through 2 day-cycles before finally finding each other.
After finally meeting up we built our first base out in Beach Mountain. We quickly discovered though that this area is actually quite barren of major resources such as wood piles or ore nodes and that it was an extremely long trek to reach the major radiation towns to find new items.
After a day or two of gameplay we felt we had enough of an understand to start playing the real game. We teamed up with a couple of other real life friends BigJerms, Suppacheese2 and Matti3 to start-up on our first PVP server.
Lesson 1: Know the map.
Study the map onrustmap.net so that you can identify where you are based on well-known structures and later by well-known areas. Pick a designated meeting area for everyone.
After awhile you can just follow the road for a short bit and know exactly where you are.
Lesson 2: Build near resources.
If the goal is to advance technologically quick then build near radiation area or areas rich in radiated creatures (previously zombies) such as Big Rad, Small Rad, Civilian Rad or Hanger. However, if the goal is to fortify and build big then find resource valleys such as Next Valley (the choice of most admins), Resource Coast, Resource Mountain, French Valley, Spain Valley or the completely remote Hacker Valley.
Hacking is lame
Before the recent addition of the Cheatpunch plugin, most modded and community servers were overrun with hackers. There are a number of hacks which include Speedhack, Superjump, Aimbot, Wallhack and ESP. Speedhack which allows you to run super fast, Superjump which allows you to jump like the Hulk across the map, Aimbot which basically removes recoil and tracks any body part you want, Wallhack which allows you to walk through walls and lastly ESP which allows you to see all objects of interest flagged on the map, even through walls such as inside people's boxes in a closed off room, basically x-ray vision. You can find popular hacking tool kits such as these at www.ilikecheats.com
Because of the tremendous number of hackers online, most of the time people spent the day accusing people of hacking or aggressively looking for proof of hacking. People would leave the servers in droves when they were magically raided with no walls broken or find people spawning in the middle of their fortified structure, mass murdering people and then blinking out as if they were never there. However, recently a new plugin was added called Cheatpunch which detects most of these hacks so from what we've heard, most common hacks are now detectable and will auto-ban hackers but who knows how long it will be until hackers find new alternatives.
People have also found innovative way to raid buildings that aren't necessarily hack but are tremendously annoying. On one occasion, we built a huge 30 story base at resource coast but it was eventually raided by hackers who placed ceilings into every stairwell at each floor. They utilized what we now call the barricade glitch. It is common practice to place foundation at the edge of your base with a tall center pillar to prevent people from building stairs into higher levels of your base but using this glitch people are able to stack barricades along the pillars perpendicular to each other and jump up to higher floors. This kind of defeated the idea that building higher was safer. Large storage boxes can also be stacked on top of large spike ways when stairs can not be built.
Get use to server wipes
In addition to the hacker problem which eventually allowed groups to quickly become so powerful they could not be fairly challenged, the game in its Alpha state was constantly under revision with new major updates ever week or two. It's expected to wipe, or clear the entire server back the beginning every 2 to 3 weeks. It's sometimes is disappointing when you've invested so much time into building a base, collecting resources, or learning items only to have to start completely from scratch again. However, at the same time it gives everyone a fresh start and chances are you always look back in hindsight and realize there is something you could have done to improve on the last game progression.
There have been times we had just been raided and lost everything and welcomed a wipe and other times when we had everything and dominated a server and dreaded a wipe.
All in all I think every time the server is wipe, we haven't minded it much since we get a fresh start and we build better structures every time and learn more efficient way to farm resources and zombies.
We built a huge 30 story base at resource coast but it was eventually raided by hackers who placed ceilings into every stairwell at each floor. They utilized what we now call the barricade glitch. It is common practice to place foundation at the edge of your base with a tall center pillar to prevent people from building stairs into higher levels of your base but using this glitch people are able to stack barricades along the pillars perpendicular to each other and jump up to higher floors. This kind of defeated the idea that building higher was safer. We finally settled on to our most recent server Avalon-gaming which has so far been our strongest base design yet and before the first wipe we had pretty much dominated the server. We'll go more into that next week on location and base design.
First few servers
The first server we were on, called Creamy's we built a base on the top of the a mountain between Hanger and French Valley. The server had just wiped and the population was fairly low. After building a massive base we quickly got bored since no one was ever on. We realized that the server had to have some consistent activity to be fun so we decided to move on to a new server Rust-Life which had an active population of 100+ regularly. This server although exciting with constant skirmishes breaking out was over-run with hackers. Additionally, the admins didn't really know what they were doing, half of them played the game serving only part-time as admins and they didn't understand their own tools such as private messaging, editor tools for destroying structures and had no idea how to track hackers.
Find the perfect server
- We soon realized that the key to having a good time in Rust was to find a server that was fairly populated (20 to 30 people regularly).
- Recently wiped, so that we had a fair chance of building up the same as everyone else.
- Knowledgable and active admins who knew what they were doing and were fair.
- Was a generally challenging gameplay with a limited starter kit, no instacraft and must have door sharing.
- If admins are playing, there is a good chance they are abusing admin powers to their own advantage to be careful. (On Avalon, we were raided by admins who forgot admin tools were on and blew up the foundation in the middle of our base, they apologized and swear it was an accident but some admins might not be so honest)
- Find a good ping. We find that around 30 to 85 ping is good, anything above that could become frustrating with constant rubber banding which will make the game infuriating to play.