Hardcore game Rust gets a softer side

Hardcore game Rust gets a softer side

What gamers are talking about, boiled down, in 1:27 minutes.

What’s being boiled down today?

Rust, the extremely popular multiplayer survival game that made $2 million in 2 days, has added new features to make the new player experience more friendly. The timing of these updates is certainly interesting.

The soft side of a stone wall

What's the fuss?

The only aim in Rust is to survive, and it’s absolutely punishing when you don’t. Even though players enjoy this harshness, the game became more friendly in a new update.

The situation

New players start out naked, alone, and must fend for themselves in a brutal world full of feral animals, unstable climates, and other players with questionable motives. If you fail (i.e. die), you lose everything. Sure, you can retrace your steps to retrieve your belongings, but it’s likely you’ll find them already scavenged. Players love this hardcore playstyle — the harsh circle of life in Rust.

This was entirely the case until recently. The game added 10 new servers (i.e. replicas of the game world that hosts different players) for their new Softcore mode, which caters to a more casual player base. Instead of losing everything upon death, half of one’s inventory can be retrieved where they died or at a terminal. Players can also choose to spawn at set locations (Bandit Town or Outpost) if not hostile, and the maximum team size has been reduced from 8 to 4 players to prevent large groups from terrorizing others. The game has even introduced marketplaces in these areas and a helpful delivery drone for convenience.

Boiling it down

Rust experienced a massive surge in players amidst the pandemic due to popular video game streamers playing the game together and showcasing the footage on their own channels. In turn, this influenced their fans to pick up the game themselves in order to join in on the fun. However, these “noobs” (new players) likely experienced the punishing nature of the game for themselves, potentially causing them to turn away eventually.

Such an influx of new players was likely the cause for FacePunch Studios, the developer of Rust, to turn down the difficulty to ensure longevity with these new players. Turning to statistics, 56.6% of all gamers consider themselves casual players, representing a slim majority of the market. At the time of writing, Rust’s player count still remains strong with over 150,000 concurrent players. If FacePunch wants to expand these impressive numbers even further, perhaps making the game more noob-friendly is the solution.

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