The new component system coming to Rust in the near future seems to be somewhat of a lifeline in this authors opinion that Rust desperately needs. Since the introduction of the XP System and various tweaks to it like Research Paper, Rust has become quiet a boring grind-fest of a game thanks to the progression becoming so linear.
There was a day in Rust when progression meant you leeched off your bunkmates or ventured out into the world to find barrels, boxes, and Rad Towns. Exploration was random and sometimes finding what you needed took time and patience but once you found what you were looking for it was truly remarkable and worth getting excited over. On top of this if you found an item blueprint and you already knew how to make the item you could pass that onto your leeching bunkmates or a lucky random. This whole circle of life process had a tonne of charm.
The XP System does offer some level of worldly exploration but just so you can get out there and grind your life away to earn XP which accumulate to Levels which then allow you to unlock a blueprint of some item you want to make. The problem with this is it takes away the random nature of the process of learning bringing it to a painfully linear system. The whole process one player goes through from beginning to end is basically the same as another player.
Following the introduction of the XP System and endless amounts of tweaking to get that bad boy right the team reintroduced some level of Blueprints in the form of Blueprint paper. Unlike teaching you how to make something as many times as you wanted dependant on materials on hand, the new system grants you a number of Blueprints for an item when you research it. These then allow you to make a limited number of those items based on how many Blueprints you have. It’s not an unlocking based system, but instead some weird evolution of the old system.
The new research system had good intentions but it fell short as it was just plain weird. The whole idea of having a limited number of Blueprints to make an item doesn’t really make much sense at all, it’s just not how manufacturing works.
As a result, the XP System is on the chopping block, finally. It’s going to get replaced with a Component based system, but even then that may not last, it just depends on how well it goes. The Component system will be made up of various resources and Components such as rope, gears, electronics, glue, duct tape, etc. These Components will need to be gathered from around the map in order to craft items with them. Items will also share Components which will force players to choose what they want to make. Along with this system are some basic changes to the game. Everything will be craftable by default, and Components will be only be found by exploring the world. The map will be arranged to so that higher tech components are further north, players spawn in the south, and it’s going to be hard to get to the north without preparation.
This new system adds a new layer of random back into the game. First of all you need to find the components for the item you want to make first. This is going to be really hard to do from the outset when you spawn in the south. You won’t be able to just run for the north and find what you need due to radiation and higher geared players if they exist. This system forces all players to start from the bottom, evenly, and slowly progress to the top with a some progression and grinding at each rung which isn’t dictated by how long you play the game, but more so luck. Along with this, higher geared players really won’t have any reason to be in new spawn areas unless they’re being dicks, there’s nothing there for them to gather that would be useful.
It’ll be interesting to see how the new Component system goes once it’s in the wild. For now we’re tired of the XP System in it’s current form as we welcome any kind of change for the better.