Crazy-horse performance issues and the upcoming auto-turret.

UpdatesOctober 19, 2015

Rust development is moving really slowly at the moment. The developers have been spending a significant amount of time working on performance related components of the game to try and squeeze out some of the bugs that have been plaguing clients and more importantly the server side of Rust that quite often cascades down to the clients causing lag. The last update that was released that we covered was a complete mess. In our time playing Rust we’ve not seen an update come out that was quite as bad as that one, they took two steps forward and a hundred steps back introducing some quite severe faults that made the patch day game play an absolute train wreck. In saying that though, they were quick to admit what went wrong and are back on the path to fixing it.

So over the last week and a bit, other than Garry shitting himself while sick, and other than some small code losses resulting in the auto-turret being delayed here’s what’s been going on.

Yes I did say auto-turret. We’re about to get a base protection item that should make for some pretty damn funny situations for raiding parties to encounter. The auto-turret will be a placeable item that you load up with ammunition and it will shoot at anybody who’s not authorised on it if they get too close. It has a 180 degree firing arc leaving the back vulnerable to attack and a relatively short range of 20-30 meters. It can be damaged with bullets, melee attacks, and explosions, and can only be crafted with items dropped from the hard to get places, like a chopper crash. It’s going to make offline raiding a fair bit harder, especially when the raiding party is greeted by the warm hug of the auto-turret when they blow through your doors.

The bow and related arrows (because what is a bow without arrows I guess) has been rebalanced even further in an effort to make it less lethal in situations it shouldn’t be, such as hitting a fully armoured player and killing them instantly. For quite some time the bow has been an overpowered item making it a preferred weapon which is further compounded by it’s silent nature and easy to craft ammunition. The community is divided on this one, some are happy it’s been nerfed a bit but as usual some are pissed off, by large amounts. Over time we’ll get a feel for the new bow dynamic and there’ll no doubt be more rebalancing.

Performance related components have been getting a huge amount of attention, particularly colliders. On a lot of the larger servers with massive populations they have to wipe once a week because their collider count becomes so high the server can no longer perform the calculations it needs to as often as it should, resulting in lag. A collider in game development is a component of an object (like foundations, terrain, etc) that you can run into that will resist your movement. So for example your player has a collider that is the shape of his/her body, and the terrain has a collider that is the shape of the topology of the land. These two colliders prevent you falling through the terrain and it’s calculated on a frame by frame basis. Calculating the results for colliders is particularly expensive, and when you have 250,000 objects constantly rubbing against each other it gets complicated. The team has been working on collider batching to make everything a bit more efficient and hopefully this will yield a performance increase for the small to medium servers and alleviate the stress of the larger servers needing to wipe constantly.

One of the benefits we’ve already seen to the colliders in game being adjusted is you can now walk under twig and wood foundations which previously wasn’t possible. The foundations used to have just a simple box collider preventing movement through and between the legs, including projectiles like bullets and arrows, but now this is an empty void allowing movement, a hiding place, or whatever your heart desires.

There are a few other things that have been included in the last week or so but they are tweak related and not something we’ll cover in this update for brevity, however make sure you check out the dev blogs to get the nitty gritty details on what’s been happening.

We’re hoping for larger features to be introduced in the next patch such as the auto-turret, as we’re hungry for some game changing elements, but we’ll see what happens as time ticks by for the development team.