Content of the article: "Is it time to talk about player notoriety? Rust needs it now."
TLDR; the game needs a notoriety system like what Ultima Online had to deal with back in the day. Some way to mark people who are trigger happy apart from those playing "friendly."
My proposal is visibly bloody clothes for people who are mindlessly murdering others, and instead of getting safezones to automatically target players who are murderers, these PKs should be able to enter these places as long as they don't attack anyone inside.
Check this article for ideas:
Long version with explanation as to how it works in Ultima Online:
So, now that the game is again more popular thanks to OTV streamers and people like xQc, a massive dilemma on the game emerges again.
Is it survival and lite-PVP?
Is it PVP and lite-survival?
Like it or not, Rust's survival aspect matters a lot. With survival and slower-paced gameplay comes RPing. You can turn the game into a grief-fest, KoS everyone, and play to your power fantasies alright, but the result is what people keep complaining about: servers dead by the fourth day after the wipe.
Can't count the times I've seen a group of people playing more than 10 hours a day rock AKs by day one, C4 raid people by day two, and then on day three start spamming on chat "pvp where? server ded lol"
Of course it's fucking dead, you're killing it with your griefing.
The game allows it and that's great, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be systems to combat it and make griefing less rewarding. And I mean real systems; safe zone bans are a joke.
I'm kind of surprised that people haven't looked back at one VERY GOOD example of this happening back in 1999. If you're old enough to remember, Ultima Online (one of the very first MMORPGs) tried to have an open world where people would policy each other, and of fucking course it didn't work. Griefers just started murdering everyone, everywhere, and shard populations (and subscriptions) fell. With a daunting task on their hands, the dev team started devising a system to flag murderers and keep them in check, while still allowing them to roam free and grief in a more controlled setting. In fact, it gave a LOT of atmosphere to the game, since you knew that stepping out of towns and safezones meant people were prowling out there waiting to kill you, or that certain happenings outside towns just felt like someone was trying to trap you/kill you.
Tinkering on the system took very, VERY long, but they reached a good balance. Now, devising the system is one part, but then displaying it to the players is a very different matter. It's easy in a game like Ultima Online, where it's a top-down isometrical view and basically, everyone who is on your screen (or approaching you) is immediately visible with their name highlighted. In their case, the solution was representing player notoriety with colors on their names. Blue is innocent, Grey is criminal, Red is murderer.
– Blues are any players who haven't committed recent crimes and kept clean from murdering people for a long time. They have the benefits of being safe inside cities and knowing their deaths (and aggressive actions against them) would bring misfortune via temporary or permanent penalties, since any players attacking them would be immediately fair game to everyone around.
– Reds are people who've killed too many innocent players (accrued too many murder counts); they're fair game to be killed without penalty by anyone else (even inside cities), but they CAN DEFEND themselves if attacked first, without incurring any sort of penalties or additional murder counts.
– Greys are a temporary (1-minute) status of criminality; committing any aggressive actions against innocent players (attacking, killing, or even looting a blue corpse) will flag you as criminal for 1 minute and anyone can freely kill you/loot you without incurring penalties or murder counts.
The system is pretty sound, but something like that it's hard to display on Rust, since showing people's names from afar completely defeats the purpose of cover and stealth. Can't put a red outline on them either, yet the idea is having innocent players being able to know the intentions of someone from afar without having to engage them first.
My proposal is bloody clothes for murderers. Just slap a shitton of blood decals (or something else) on people who commit lots of murders, and now you can have people be able to have interactions with others without fearing instant griefing. Of course, you can still kill someone occasionally like a psychopath and remain "blue" in the long term, which just means you'd have to find ways to occasionally kill people without others noticing.
This wouldn't change at all the current flow of the game; if you want to be a complete psychopath and murder everyone, you can do it. In fact, if you're so keen on PvP, then you'd surely have no problems having to fight back a band of blues who can kill you with no penalty, even inside safe zones. That lets you keep playing Rust as you normally do, while giving more casual players incentive to avoid people like you or even form bands of bounty hunters to kill murderers. It doesn't stop the free-killing nature of Rust, but it at least puts some risk and consequences to being trigger happy, which the game absolutely lacks right now.
- Rust needs a PK/Justification system
- AC2 encourages more than murder
- Rust is going to BOOM over the next year
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