“Good night, have fun, kill each other like civilized people.” This used to be my sign off on my first regular Rust server. I and my friends had entrenched ourselves there over the summer, became part of the community, and even though we collectively may not have been a stellar 5-6 man clan, we were regulars to the point where a couple of the other regular players jokingly referred to me as Server Mom. Considering the ARBiTors on the Minecraft server also know me as Server Mama, this amused the hell out of me. And then that server went poof, my group went on to other games, and life went on.
Rust as a game I find personally fascinating. Sure, at its worst (which is the level most play it at) it can be a nest of sociopathy and other toxic behavior; I think I’ve jokingly referred to it as Lord of the Flies With AK-47s. It’s an game where the environment itself is not necessarily the antagonist (though Facepunch has tried to rectify this by improving animal AI, adding radiation back to monuments and adding non-player hazards such as the Bradley), but other players definitely are. There is no penalty for being horrible; in fact the game rewards the biggest jerk on the server. At the same time, at great risk to the player who goes this route, there is room for other styles of play. Some of the more memorable players I have encountered were the players that didn’t concentrate on raids and kill numbers but did something for the benefit or amusement of everyone, like the guy who ran around the server singing very badly into the voice channel while strumming tunelessly on the in-game guitar. People stopped shooting him after awhile because his schtick made everyone laugh, which is important in a game that’s 90% other-player generated dread. And there’s the aspect that I enjoyed the most, which is (unsurprisingly) base building. One can build some incredible things in Rust given time and resources, both of which can be rather scarce on a vanilla server.
These days there’s not much call for me to build structures that can house 6 players plus all our loot. I’ve since shifted to creating in-game puzzles, smaller one-person sanctuaries, and way stations to add interest to the tiny server I’ve kept running in the wake of Rustpocalypse’s demise. Seeing as it’s empty most of the time, I invite new players, those looking for a break from the “new server, get shot in 30 seconds” model, and players who want to not put up with the usual asshats to visit my tiny island. Stay awhile if you want. The sunsets are beautiful.