Many of you have asked where Rustfanatic went for quite some time last year. We’re back now but I thought it might be useful to address what happened. Rustfanatic originally started as a Rust server along with a website to provide updates on Rust development as it happened. The intention for the server was to keep it a small and friendly community. For at least 6 months this was the case and a brilliant community was formed with players online on a regular basis.
Around 6 months in we started having some larger Twitch streaming groups play on the server and along with that their fanbase eventually found out where they were living and came over to play as well. Initially this was ok but it eventually turned incredibly toxic and the server went from a nice place to play to a complete cesspool of dispair. That’s not what we wanted for Rustfanatic.
Along with the population increase so did the size of the server and the bandwidth required. The thing with a Rust server and a lot of other game servers is the resource usage doesn’t increase inline with the player count, it’s exponential, and when you start getting up near 200 players online at a time the hourly server cost plus bandwidth cost gets out of control quickly. Some community server owners with populations in excess of 200 players spend over AUD$1000 in hosting costs per month.
Once we’d reached the 200 players online during peak times the quality of gameplay for those online was poor, the costs were incredibly high, and the Rustfanatic team at the time didn’t have the time or the money needed to support a community with such intense needs (see salty players) or high costs. We did for a time put a donation system in place to try and recover costs but most people aren’t interested in contributing, so sadly we decided to shut it all down.
We still followed the development of Rust, in fact we’re still quite fanatical about it, hence the name, and a year later we decided that we’d raise the server back up again but this time with the intention of keeping it lean and friendly.
Rustfanatic has always had other projects on the side as well such as RustyTool, an iOS and Android app for managing servers, and Rustfanatic Maps, a map generator for Rust. It wasn’t always just about the server or the website updates, the whole thing was a complete ecosystem that required a fair bit of work.
Rustfanatic is back and is here to stay, but it’s quite unlikely it’ll ever hold a massive population at any point. We’re constantly assessing resource usage and player counts to make sure the server and the players on it are all healthy and happy.