Every Rust player has a story–or stories–to tell. Some day I’ll tell you of the time I haunted another player with campfires, and how he killed me with a rock. While that sort of bloody revenge underpins a lot of Rust, there are larger stories to tell. Some servers have stories. Some even have histories. Rust Factions has eras.
Seven of them at this point–an era is defined as the period between wipes–where players fought for resources with an ideological purpose above and beyond a need for stuff. Each era the world grew ever more complex, with uneasy alliances, monks, and something akin to the UN all forming at various points. Factions took up the banners of Nicholas Cage and John Travolta (really), re-enacted Die Hard (super really), and built Deadwood. It’s currently on hiatus, awaiting the Experimental version of Rust to reach baseline.
Not being there, not experiencing every twist and turn of the server’s politics, outsiders can only grasp a fraction of what went on. You can skim the server’s subreddit if you want more, and here’s the timeline if you want to see the skeleton of the world dug up and posed. Here’s some highlights.
Rust Town Wars
Unofficially the first era. An early server, and a proving ground of the ideas that will eventually turn into Rust Factions. It included the town of Woodbury (from The Walking Dead), a UK-based town called London, and a paramilitary force called The Republic that attacked Woodbury, leading to the town’s order of Monks to take up arms. Things must be bad if vows are cast aside.
A player named Ruigi watched all this as a hermit from the hills, finally venturing into civilisation after a mugging robbed him of his pants: “A week or two went by, and I started to gather the courage to join a town. Woodbury was booming and monks had opened Three Pillars. It seemed like when I was just about to join one, they got raided. First it was Woodbury and then Three Pillars was attacked as I stood at the gate. I retreated to the hills and remained a hermit for quite some time.” As you’ll find out, Ruigi would take advantage of the server’s strife for his own benefit.
Lechuzza’s concise account of that era is worth reading.
“One day, a travelling old man by the name of Brother Kenneth came to town, preaching the word of Rustia, their goddess. He told us: ‘We are currently building our cathedral of The Three Pillars of Rustia, and are seeking aid! Any who wish to assist in the path of Rustia inquire there! Praise be to Rustia, brothers! Stay the hunger, stay the cold nights. Eat food, be full, stay warm by the fire… but most of all PRAISE RUSTIA!’ Whatever we did, Brother Kenneth would not break character, even in the presence of hostility he would not succumb to it and did not try to defend himself. Due to their dedication, we decided to donate wood and materials for their temple.”
A Rust Town Wars gallery.
“When Rust Town Wars closed, the community split into a few different servers,” Ruigi continues. “I ended up on Rust Factions. The first two eras were rough and I remained ‘Ruigi, The Mountain Man’, scavenging and hiding among 1x1s around the map. Population was low and the second era was marked by the tyranny of Lord Bacon in the Southlands. There was a hotel that quickly turned into a prison and many players were run out from their homes for not paying off Bacon and his cronies. This was the first appearance of our map and land claims; now a vital part of the server.”
Here’s a collection of various maps across a number of eras.
Also during that time, for whatever reason, the Papal State of Cage is formed by Father Loonsun:
By his divine grace, our holy lord Nicolas Cage has given me a vision to spread his splendour to the people. The first house of the Lord is currently under construction in the northern town of Woodbury. All shall be welcome in his loving embrace. His house will have a homeless shelter and soup kitchen later down the line so that all children of the one true god will no longer have to go hungry or not be sheltered. Once the church is build weekly sermons will be held as to spread his holy word.
Because the movie Face-Off exists, heretics gathered under the banner of Travolta, and war would eventually break out.
A wipe is a disruption in the fabric of Rust. It resets everything, and you need to rebuild society as well as towns and villages. Instead of forming a military response to the roaming banditry that followed this wipe, admin Veinharvest created The Monks of Portugal: “I came up with the idea of a pacifist faction after constantly being KOS’d one night after a wipe,” he explains. “The next day I wrote up a declaration on our subreddit proclaiming that my new faction will not kill or fight so killing or fighting us is pointless. The response, though many didn’t want to join the faction, (we might have had 4 total) respected the idea and lent their services to the monks and to protecting their city, Nirvana. This is Sanctuary, the monks gem, and to others a big ass monastery. At the peak of the city, Nirvana, held the homes of the monks, a large base for our protectors The Knights, a soup kitchen, 1×1 homes for new spawns, and homes for whoever wanted to build within our walls.”
This is the sort of thing I love about Rust: violence begats a peaceful protest and then evolves into a social movement. But not everyone is so socially minded.
A time of great strife, which is where Ruigi came into his own: “The fourth era saw a decline in players due to a number of factors, and got off to a slow start. A few big factions popped up: MORDOR built their first Eye of Sauron, and the CRIPS became a force to be reckoned with. I had more or less reverted to my hermit/hoarder status and decided to do something that, at the time, I thought was incredibly stupid. I opened a trading post. A simple 2×2 right in the open, selling guns and C4. I held an auction to figure out base prices and came into quite a windfall. Personally, I had never had even a stack of planks and suddenly I had over 15k wood. I began to open up new trading posts all over the map. I expected to be raided, but it would be another two eras before I was.
“In the fifth era, I revised my designs and set up a trade network. I set a price list and recruited suppliers. Outside of the first day, I never gathered basic resources or even turned on a furnace. My time was spent either looting rad areas or conducting business. I may have been killed once that era. I’d hear a voice from behind, ‘Oh, it’s Ruigi!’ and got left in peace only to hear someone else get KOSd by the same player minutes later. I feared nothing and went about my business undisturbed. I made a pretty decent living as a solo player that era.”
But not everyone was so settled. Could Ruigi’s amoral weapon dealing have created conflict on the plains? There’s a lot more inter-faction violence, and the world seemed to be falling into disarray. Another faction, China, reported of attacks on their engineering project, The Great Wall:
“China Daily News reporting in, foreign intruders have once again attempted to invade China. Zikslol and his band of miscreants were able to breach the incomplete wall on March 3, 2014. Zikslol and his men occupied the junction of the wall and the tower, slowly making their way up the tower with barricades and makeshift stairs. The Chinese fought valiantly to repel the invaders, but Zikslol and his men’s marksmanship was dead on and dispatched of the defenders quickly. ‘There was nothing we could do, our heads were simply too large,’ cited Cereal.”
By now the place had taken on an aspect of the Wild West, and the only logical conclusion was to create a saloon. Veinharvest was involved: “The idea was taken from the show ‘Deadwood’, where we had a gambling saloon at the heart of a dangerous wild west town. This faction was by far the most taxing for us, because of how popular the gambling became and how dangerous the town was. The idea we had was that we had a stream going of a deck of cards (for 21) or a roulette or faro board. Players would place bets with wood at the dealer window and the dealer (usually me) would keep a running total of their wins and losses. This gave us coffers full of wood! Players could make deposits and loans from the Gem, as well as invest money in return for share of the profits. This was just an elaborate puppet for my friends and I, who would use that wood to buy munitions from the traders… to help defend the town and town folks from outsiders looking to cause trouble.”
What you see here is a fraction of the faction friction. Check the timeline, and you can see a world that rivals Westeros for a plot twists and backstabbery. I didn’t mention the Red Priests, the Union of Socialist Ducks, nor KFC. I missed out the moment the Browncoat Union realised how strong they were and became a state. There’s war, unions, kidnappings, and there’s even the opening of an amphitheatre. It’s a superb example of what people are capable of of creating given the right tools. Do we need to put monk’s robes in Rust?
Get In Touch
None of this post would’ve worked if the people of the server hadn’t contacted us. Do you have something about Rust you want to share? We have a dedicated forum post, or you can post in the Reddit thread. I also poke around the the Steam Community, so feel free to show me to things from there. You can follow and respond to Rust on Twitter, and I’m on there as well. I can’t respond to everything, but I read every comment and take it all in. Even the mean ones.