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Rust’s December update introduces tech trees for workbenches

Tech trees take the guesswork out of researching new blueprints, and there are more big changes too

Rust’s December update is a big one. It’s replacing the experimentation system for blueprints with something that’s a bit more reasonable: a workbench-based tech tree system, so that you can always be working toward the items you want to craft.

As Rust creator Garry Newman explains in this week’s blog post, the tech tree update is meant to address the fact that the random experimentation system has proven to be frustrating and costly. Under that system, players could use scrap to ‘experiment’ and gain a random new blueprint.

Now you’ll be able to see the entire tech tree of items available from a workbench’s tech level. That way, you can find the item you want and work toward it, without having to worry that your precious scrap is going to go to waste on a blueprint you don’t need or want. New players ought to have a much easier time getting set up with useful blueprints from now on, rather than “having to pray to the RNG gods to find a SAP in a crate,” as Newman puts it. Great.

There are more changes, as shown in this nice trailer:

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Newman says the team at Facepunch Studios expects that they’ll need to balance things with the tech trees, and that player feedback will be valuable in assessing how well the new system is working.

The update also makes some 300 balance changes, touching “nearly every item” in the survival game. Here are some highlights:

  • Majority of crafting times reduced
  • Reduced all Electrical crafting costs
  • Majority of electrical items now stackable
  • Hazmat suit now uses condition
  • Road sign armor crafting cost reduced
  • Increased Rocket Launcher deploy time
  • Smoke grenade now craftable and researchable
  • Removed blueprint drops from barrels and crates
  • Complete reblance of torso underarmor clothing
  • Large medkit now provides small amount of instant health and cheaper to craft
  • Greatly reduced the amount of dehydration when consuming anti-radiation pills
  • Reduced Medical Syringe crafting time
  • Reinforced window bars now have glass

You’ll also find that the airdrop event has been completely reworked, with the loot tables “rewritten from scratch” to guarantee at least two pieces of decent armour, and one very good or two decent weapons. You’ll no longer find wood armour, longswords, landmines, or stone spears in airdrops.