Rust to lose zombies, gain defence solutions; Facepunch “knocked on [their] arses” by sales

Rust alpha sales have exceeded all expectations.

Rust sales have been “strong” since its release via Steam Early Access – silly strong. Better than Garry’s Mod, and better even than incredi-popular 2D sandbox Starbound

“We really have been knocked on our arses by sales,” said Facepunch’s Garry Newman. “Our plan was to release the alpha on to Steam in a low-key way and slowly build up steam until the game was in a decent state. But our player counts have exploded our wildest dreams.”

First priority has been to work with GSP to bring more servers online, and to squash residual DDOS problems (“for the most part they seem to have subsided”). Next comes the removal of zombies, and providing players with more means to defend themselves.

Our Matt recounted his issues with zombies in our Rust review – they can attack you “from about five feet away”.

Newman says that the shuffling antagonists were never intended to reach the Steam version – and “the sooner we remove them the less people will miss them”.

Facepunch don’t know whether they’re going to replace zombies with another enemy type at this stage.

“It’s not something we want to rush into,” wrote Newman. “Reskinning them so they’re ‘mutants’ instead of ‘zombies’ goes against the whole point of removing them in the first place (which is: we’re not a dayz clone anymore).”

Beyond that, Facepunch want to provide players with more tools to defend against the game’s real threat – other players. While offense is accommodated with weapons, grenades and explosives, defence is currently limited to doors and spiky fences. Newman intends to fill that gap, especially when defending unoccupied homes – but notes that “crafty” players will always find workarounds.

“They’ll build stairs over a fence. They’ll put a sleeping bag outside the base so when they die they can respawn there, pick up their weapons and carry on,” he said. “We want to avoid adding systems to dissuade these types of behavior. If anything they should be rewarded – because they’re finding their own solutions to problems.

“We want to find solutions that allow the defending players to find innovative solutions to attacks. Ideally solutions that don’t involve putting a million doors in your house, or building a maze around it.”

The rest of Newman’s blog post is a detailed and insightful look into the game’s key issues – including alternate cheating solutions and looking after players on Linux and Mac – so I’d recommend reading that. I’d also recommend Rust itself, on Matt’s behalf. Have you been responsible for any of the player stories to emerge from Facepunch’s open murder sim to date?