We have a ton of content currently in development, and if you're keeping an eye on our commits
page, you'll already know some of what's on the way. This year, you can expect to see new and revamped monuments such as the Compound, optional tutorial system for new players, motorcycles, revamped server listings UI, clan system, new weapons.
A hot topic we see is improving the world and the environment. We have multiple patches lined up in 2024 to improve the world, creating unique buildable areas such as canyons and lakes and improving rivers. Procedurally generated caves, additionally, a new biome, we'll be exploring and improving cliffs and adding more variation of rock formations.
We plan to address some of the defender's advantages of sea-based monuments and events like the cargo ship and oil rig. We plan to rework the harbours, and the cargoship will soon dock with the harbours.
Outlined above is skimming the surface of only a few key features. We have a lot more planned.
But what about?Performance?
Performance is always an ongoing process. We're constantly adding and improving new features monthly, often hidden in changelogs. There is no magic button to increase performance. Instead, it is a slow process of small gains.
Our immediate attention is on bringing memory usage down, which can provide a more stable and consistent FPS experience for some users. We've already got several improvements ready for internal testing and hopefully release in the coming month or two.
This year, we'll be bringing onboard new hires with a strong focus on performance.
We'll continue to share news on performance in our monthly development blogs.Global Rendering?
We first announced Global networked bases in September
. Global rendering aimed to reduce bases popping in, significantly increase the view distance of player structures and reduce some performance overhead when rendering bases. Immediately we ran into some issues, applied fixes, re-released, and ran into further problems, this process repeated a few times and then went into development limbo.
It was clear to us that we pushed this out too soon, with a lack of internal testing. We're making time over the next two months to thoroughly test and evaluate global rendering with the hope of releasing it publically again in March.
If you follow our public commits page, you'll know we worked on pets for several months and suddenly stopped. For several reasons, we halted this project, and it will not be released this year.
Our goal is still to have pets in Rust, but we have several obstacles to overcome first.
We're currently hiring a game AI programmer
to join the Rust team to help improve our AI and eventually assist in pets development.
Again, if you follow our public commits, you'll have seen the Nexus system. What is the Nexus system? In short, the Nexus system allows us to cluster servers together and enable players to travel from server to server to server in-game using flight and boats by travling to the edge of the map, effectively linking an unlimited amount of servers, creating an environment where you can interact with tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of players and explore multiple maps without the need to move servers permanently. Nexus opens many doors to us, for example, dedicated arctic maps and maps with advanced AI and high-yielding resource maps but with a dangerous environment.
We don't plan for Nexus to replace the current existing server format as you play currently, but rather an optional new way to play Rust if you wish if you choose to do so.
We plan to release Nexus in 2024 when ready, but much work is still ahead of us.
Another hot topic within the community, for years between 2015-2019, we experimented with brighter nights. Whatever we tried, we saw many players using third-party tools to gamma boost to see at night and gain an unfair advantage over other players. It's a complex issue to address, if we increase light levels at night, we'll reopen old lessons which we know did not work in the past. Night time acts as a natural time for players to take a break, craft, build or use the cover of darkness to move loot or harvest resources, we want to retain this and allow players to use darkness to their advantage with the use of night vision and light sources.
We do agree that being unable to see entirely at night and unable to navigate around is not a good or fun experience, and we plan to revisit the subject early this year. The aim of the change is to allow players to navigate around at night more easily, if you want to PvP at night, then flashlights and night vision are still a must-have.
A hugely complex topic. We work closely with Epic Games' Easy Anti-cheat, to aid in detecting and banning cheaters in Rust. We don't disclose what we do and don't do when it comes to anti-cheat for good reason. The more information we disclose publicly, the more it can assist cheaters and cheat developers to circumvent measures, it's a huge cat-and-mouse game.
One of the best anti-cheat measures is obscurity. The fewer people know what EAC and we are doing, the better. This comes with the drawback of not communicating enough, on the outside, it appears we're doing nothing. Almost every month, we're shipping improvements or fixing/restricting cheat features. We've fixed several high-priority exploits upon discovery or disclosure within hours through hotfixes we don't note publicly. EAC sometimes pushes several improvements weekly, which are applied when you start the game.
Our promise to you is we're actively monitoring and combating cheaters daily. Our internal systems keep improving, as do EAC. Last year, we overdoubled our support team to aid in player support issues, which included anti-cheat matters. This year we're dedicating more resources into anti cheat than ever and exploring some more radical measures.
We've set aside multiple months in our internal roadmap of light or no content. These gaps are deliberate to allow us to be versatile and adaptive to community feedback, time to focus and address old content, and improve recent content. We have a lot we can keep building upon, not all content we add to Rust is supposed to become meta, but rather adding yet another way of achieving a goal.
At a quick glance, here are just some of the changes ahead:
- Older monument reworks and improvements
- Continue experimenting and making meta changes to gunplay
- Softcore game mode Improvements
- Hardcore game mode experimenting
- Experimenting with progression
- Improvements to AI
- Improvements to events such as the patrol helicopter, Launch site APC and Cargoship
- World environment
- Underwater exploration
- Using our data analytics to identify less commonly used items and balancing
- Experimenting with new ways/events to encourage players to engage with PvP