1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY &
FULL PERMANENCE UPDATE

Posted by Adûn

December 27th, 2021

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1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY &
FULL PERMANENCE UPDATE

Hello all!

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the beginning of the Rust MMORPG Server Open Beta!

Suffice to say it's been a whirlwind of a year, for the development of the project but of course also for the world at large, and we consider ourselves very fortunate to still be here in the position to work on a project we love and believe in, as passionate as ever, and with one year of substantial development and foresight behind us.

We've said it before and you'll hear it from us again - we want to sincerely thank you all for your support of and interest in the project, as it quite literally could not exist without you, but I would be remiss not to go even further to emphasize that we don't take that support or interest lightly, and we know it hasn't always been a smooth or easy ride, especially for those of you who have been here since the earlier days.

The server has been in quite a state of evolution - much has been added or modified and it's certainly not always seamless or convenient, though we do hope at this point you know it is always in service of an overall vision that we are painstakingly
pursuing no matter the cost, and for those who continue to join us on this journey, whether that be through the more active and arduous development cycle of the Open Beta, or one day down the road, we thank you and greatly value you being here with us.

And that is actually a great segue into the major changes we wanted to talk to you all about, so let's get into it!

SOFT LAUNCH -> FULL LAUNCH PERMANENCE CHANGES

Currently we have it set up that all player progress - everything earned and achieved in the Open Beta with the exception of Items and Blueprints, will persist to the Full Launch. We however want to take this even a step further with an emphasis on making the Open Beta feel even more like a "Launched" State in its own right, even if it is still of course a Soft Launch preceding the Full Launch (which is not changing).

We originally made the decision of Items and Blueprints not carrying over at a much earlier time, one when it in fact was even a plausibility that the server would actually be "Fully Launching" right about now, but simply put, our scope for what the project should "be" before it can Fully Launch has substantially expanded since that time.

At this point, rather than providing players with an estimated date, we want to instead base our projected launch date on the completion of major development milestones, and to that end will be adopting a "ready when it's ready" approach that is highly contingent on how the development process proceeds.

This certainly doesn't mean we will remain in Open Beta forever or more than "we have to", but it does mean we will move away from providing a date that players are hinging on before they feel like they can "start playing for real" (to try and avoid losing any items in a wipe) - to instead focusing on allowing players to take in the server experience in the here and now as it continues to grow patch by patch without any worry of any loss. 

Everything Will Now Carry Over

As such, we have made the call that Items and Blueprints will now persist to Full Launch from the Open Beta (Soft Launch), meaning everything will now carry over from the Soft Launch, and any items, resources, currency, any and all of it, is now truly permanent, with the "Open Beta" no longer hanging a kind of Sword of Damocles over player's heads with the knowledge that items they are earning now would be purged in the transition to Full Launch just being part of the process since everything else was already slated to carry over. 

Permanence Logistics

With that said, while everything will now carry over to the Full Launch from the Open Beta - RPG Progress, Items, Blueprints, Clan Points, Reward Points, everything, there are some logistical updates we will be making for this to be a possibility.

Player Leaderboards
Player Leaderboards will switch from being Lifetime & Monthly to Annual & Monthly. This will ensure a higher level of authenticity to the leaderboards, reflecting the state of balance of the most recent year as well as those who played within that year rather than potentially a long time ago when the system was just not the same, creating a potentially unfair representation of that leaderboard bracket. With this change, this means on January's upcoming Forced Update, Player Leaderboards will be fully resetting. Are you ready to make a name for yourself with the new system? 

Map Overhauls & Item/Resource Restoration

There are currently two Map Overhauls (keyword being Overhaul, not Expansion, as we will have a number of those that will be entirely seamless with no need for restorations) planned from now until the Full Launch. The first will take place with the Rebrand Launch, scheduled for some time during this coming year, and one final Map Overhaul at the time of the Full Launch itself, with that date of course still TBA.

When a Map Overhaul happens, since the new map will truly be a whole new "land" both geographically and POI-wise, and therefore entirely incompatible with the previous map, every player resource used to create every base on the map, every item within those bases, all deployables including their levels, in other words: everything, will all be saved into data as a credit, allowing the owners to then access it all when the Map Overhaul is live from an invulnerable safe zone vault, and build new homes with all the resources, deployables, and items they previously had, wherever they see fit on the new map, giving players a fully equipped new start in a brave new world. PVP will also be temporarily disabled during this "Rehousing Period" to ensure no one can kill anyone else for their "life savings". 

As mentioned, this will only happen on or before the Rebrand Launch, still many months away, and then on or before the Full Launch (we're still deciding how best to handle it for the Full Launch to make it as equitable as possible and will be considering many possibilities and involving the community in the discourse well in advance).

 

Since we are standing by "full permanence" at all stages, we will always be ensuring that items earned, resources spent, deployables leveled, and so on, are always carrying over across anything that may happen during the Open Beta, whether that be a Map Overhaul or across the threshold of the Full Launch itself.

Soft Launch -> Full Launch Transition

Players might ask then, what will be the difference between Soft Launch and Full Launch if we're going to allow everything to carry over? The answer being, that once we enter Full Launch, the map will be wholly new, represent years of extensive design and planning, and will never be overhauled again, allowing players to fully settle in to their permanent homes without ever having to deal with a relocation.

Additionally, Full Launch will be a "land rush", and those who play right at the beginning will have the first choices of where they live in the world, which by the time Full Launch happens, will be quite an important decision, as the map will be highly localized, with each pocket of the world representing potentially greatly varying trade, resource, PVE, PVP, and territory possibilities. 

The Why

So, why this change? Simply put, when we decided that the Open Beta development cycle was going to be a considerably more in-depth one before a Full Launch could take place, we didn't want players to feel as if there's a barrier preventing them from jumping in and playing and truly immersing themselves here and now, as many are understandably dissuaded by the premise of a one-day item and blueprint wipe for a server that is meant to have full permanence. It also created a somewhat contradictory and potentially confusing situation where we specifically said there are no wipes, but with the caveat that it would only apply to when the Full Launch would one day happen, a caveat we're happy to no longer need to contend with or explain, since everything will carry over starting now.

 

On the other side of the fence, for those concerned about how this might affect the Full Launch in terms of the scales of balance being shifted away from new players, we likewise understand those concerns. But the fact of the matter is, before the Full Launch happens, there will be many deterrents in place (and in fact already are even now) making sure the situation is not an imbalanced one. 

Because we will be undergoing serious marketing efforts such as advertisements with major YouTubers, in addition to us by then having our own established YouTube Channel, in addition to word of mouth, lighter advertisement, grass roots campaigning, and the like, we will be building this project to accomodate multiple servers at the time of Launch, and for the sake of balance, will either not be offering server transfers, or only offering them after a several month grace period after the recipient server has already been established in its own right, so that each server can progress organically. This will ensure that for newcomers who wish to have a truly fresh start, they will have the option to play on a new server, or join their friends on one already progressed, with each option having its merits.

Additionally, we should point out that we've actually already factored this in since the beginning of Open Beta, and this is just one of the reasons why each Tier has limits, and characters are scaled down to a maximum effectiveness within a Tier - all so that fights always remain as fair as possible and players cannot be bullied as long as they stay in a Tier they actually are progressed to be in.

 

For example, if a truly endgame character wished to enter a Tier 1 Area, they would only be able to use the same equipment a Tier 1 Player can use, and be scaled down in power to be equal to a player who actually belongs in Tier 1, thereby making them unable to leverage their progression against players far beneath them. Where their power will be entirely unhindered and in full force (since after all, they did earn it) would be in the Tiers they are properly progressed to be in, for example in Tier 3 and above in the case of a very high level player. Though with that said, we should point out this only applies to combat, and all non-combat pursuits will not be affected by scaling, as the Server will have a great deal of activities, adventures, and occupations to be had outside of just combat.

This system therefore is set up to empower players to progress entirely at their own pace without being able to be bullied by those more experienced than them, while always being able to contribute to the economy and stay relevant, and when they feel they're ready to step into a more challenging Tier, can do so entirely at their own discretion and on their own time table. 

We feel the combination of offering (a) fresh-start server(s) at Full Launch, as well as the overall Tier-Based approach of the Server's core gameplay design, combined with an in-depth and long-term development cycle on the way to Full Launch, enables us to enact full permanence now without it being unfair to anyone down the road, and making sure our players can fully immerse themselves into the Server in the here and now without any restrictions or loss of progress they know they would've eventually had to contend with at Full Launch.

In Closing

Keep in mind, the logistics mentioned here to ensure a fair environment when Full Launch does come are just a summary, and we will be paying close attention, consulting with the community, and doing everything in our power to ensure the Full Launch is equitable to all involved, and a truly one of a kind and memorable experience to boot. 

We wanted to once more thank you all for joining us on this incredible journey so far; we have one year of being live behind us now and during that time we've had ups and downs, highs and lows, and we'll be using everything we've learned to make each subsequent year that much better and go that much further, aiming to offer our players an experience that just doesn't exist anywhere else, whether in Open Beta, Full Launch, and many years beyond.

We'll see you out there, always. (That doesn't sound stalkerish, does it?)