Facepunch Studios boss Garry Newman has some advice for Rust players who have grown bored with the game: Stop playing it. He acknowledged that the sentiment may come across as dismissive, but said in a message on Reddit that it's necessary to break the "ping-pong loop" that's holding the game back from full release.
"I'm noticing a pattern, and we need to address it. It's something we need to get past as a community, not only because it's getting boring but because it has wider implications," he wrote. "We're stuck in ping pong loop. We release an update, you love it for a month, you get bored, blame the system, bitch for a few months, then we release another update—and the same thing happens."
His concern is that the pattern will persist indefinitely, because the real problem isn't that the new systems are better than the old ones, but simply that they're "fresher." But Facepunch obviously can't keep overhauling the game forever, and thus Newman suggests a clean break for those unhappy with Rust. But he also asked that people who do end up quitting, or who think his attitude is unfair, give thought to "whether we have given you enough entertainment over the last three years to justify pocketing your $20" before getting angry.
"If you're interested in the game, if you play regularly and still get enjoyment when you play—we're definitely interested to hear what you think. We especially love hearing your stories, watching your videos, seeing your screenshots and paintings—all things that this subreddit has been very low on," Newman wrote. "If we want to leave Early Access then breaking this loop has to be part of that plan. We have a pretty good idea on how to push forward with Rust, but none of it is going to make the game more appealing to people that have spent their last 1,000 hours hating it."
As silly as it sounds, it's actually very easy to find players with more than 1000 hours in Rust giving it negative reviews on Steam. Two of them are on the front page, along with a few 100-plus-hour negative reviews; one of them, with more than 1200 hours on record, came about at least in part in response to Newman's statement. It's an unfortunate reaction, but probably inevitable, too: Sooner or later, every game developer has to settle on what exactly they're trying to make, and no matter how good that final concept may be, somebody, somewhere, is going to be mad about it.