Taking the contact system a step further. A need for advanced community mechanics.


There has been a longstanding tension between “roleplayers” and “PVPers” in the Rust community. The primary divide between them as I see it is that roleplayers have a more community/social orientation whereas PVPers do not.

I like to roleplay, but to me that doesn’t mean building a house with a normal roof and making paintings while listening to music. It also doesn’t mean being shitty at AK spray. It means seeking alliances and social interaction over raw PvP like im playing a traditional FPS.

I think what would really enhance the experience for roleplayers (as I see them) is adding more mechanics for community building. The contact system is a great first step. Here are some more ideas.

First Idea: An alliance system between groups, and more granular control of relationships between players in general.

A great way to allow for more spontaneous alliances is to have it be something actually represented in the game. This way, one could introduce mechanics like setting an auto turret to not activate on an allied groups' members, or preventing enemy players/groups from buying items at a shop. It could work such that allied groups are indicated without the need for binoculars or close proximity. They could simply have a different color dot. Integrate alliances/enemies with all the normal team mechanics in Rust; Autoturrets, HBHFs, etc. Make communication between groups easy.

Second Idea: A way to self-select your disposition so that other players can get a sense of how you will act.

Essentially, allow players to flag themselves as friendly, neutral, hostile, or something similar. This could be easily overwritten by each individual player (and indicated that this is a person you didn't make a selection for in some obvious way).

A similar option is to add an ability to let a player know you are approaching them. Similar to the wave, but auditory. Maybe a whistle emote that shows your name and makes a sound from a long distance in a targeted cone?

Third Idea: A group contact system and more persistent/customizable organizations.

Instead of the teams system being a small menu in the bottom of the inventory, expand it to have its own menu, with a way to make choices about other teams. Let me pick a name for my group, manage its alliances, give members the ability to add new members/allies, etc.

Let me see other teams if they allow themselves to be seen in the menu. Allow me to set an agenda. Declare primary enemies, locations/bases of interest. Make notes on the map. Make large orgs possible with in-game mechanics. Skilled players and zergs are using Discord anyways, make similar tools in Rust that people inclined to use will find easy and intuitive. Make them persist after a wipe so players will build relationships across time.

Fourth Idea: Radios that can be keybound that work within a certain range. Make them cheap to craft and easy to find.

Unless you’re using Discord, its impossible to communicate fluidly with other players at moderate distance and scale. You either need to have a cell phone, which, aside from being a DLC item, nobody is going to use roaming where you need to have a weapon at the ready. Or, if you are working with another group, you have to be close to someone on the groups Discord and play telephone with them. Instead, I think we should have radios that can be bound to a key to be spoken into. Like a "comms" keybind. MAKE COMMUNICATION EASY AND CHEAP. Give them a matching default frequency, so that if you pick one up, you will likely be able to communicate with someone else who has one nearby. Make it someone else picks the radio up, its "reset", so people will trust the communication system. Maybe even make communication with radios silent in proximity voice chat. Take some pages out of Arma, Squad, and Hell Let Loose.

Fifth Idea: An in-game LFG/LFA tied to the new reputation system. Add a way to vote up someone’s reputation.

Make it easier to build player and group alliances in game by having a LFG or LFA system. Perhaps it could be built into the outpost, or part of the team UI thing I proposed earlier. Make it so that its easy to tell if the person/group offering to team is likely to be hostile. Make it so players can “upvote” other players that they have good experience with for any reason.

Sixth Idea: Better deals at outpost for non-hostile behavior, perhaps preventing hostile players from entering outpost.

This is probably the most controversial, but if a player keeps to themselves, doesn't kill other players, and takes advantage of the more RP mechanics, they should be rewarded by receiving better deals at outpost/stables/fishing village, and maybe even gaining access to these locations in the first place should be tied to the reputation system. Now suddenly being friendly has an incentive like being hostile does. Why should I KOS everyone I see if by tomorrow I will be able to get 2-3x as much scrap for my mats at the outpost? Killing will suddenly be a more strategic decision. Camping the beach could be dis-incentivized. Smart groups will recognize that to get ahead faster, they should save their bullets for who they really feel the need to kill.


Add more mechanics for organization, and possibly incentives for doing so. One thing that’s easy to point out with these ideas (aside from the last one) is they don’t restrict the ability for PVPers to continue to play the game as they see fit. Its not another “PvE” mechanic that protects people from PVPers. It just allows people more social creativity within the bounds of the game. That’s the general principal takeaway from these ideas, is for there to be mechanics that enable possibility. I don’t think PVPers are “toxic”. They just need a soft counter. Lowering the barrier to (and in-fact encouraging) communication, organization, and strategy is the only real way to counter them without limiting their freedom to play the game as they see fit.

If the game is truly a sandbox, it should have social sandbox features.


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