Rust is interesting, and also infuriating, largely because it is completely without rules. Players can work cooperatively, and they can also murder each other without penalty. Trading is a big part of surviving, and getting shot in the face while you're trying to do a deal is a big part of not surviving. What's a poor soul, dropped naked and alone into the midst of a cold, rocky wilderness, to do?
The new Compound update promises to help alleviate the stresses of such no-holds-barred business by adding a place where players can safely interact under the protective watchful eye of heavily-armed scientists. It will provide useful services and facilities including a refinery, workbenches, a recycler, a water-catcher, and vending machines that sell basic survival resources, and also a place where you can just kick back and be social if that's your thing.
The rules are simple: No weapons, no looting, no killing, and no sleeping inside, or directly outside, the compound. Follow the rules and you can hang out to your heart's content. Break them, and the scientists (and their turrets) will kill you dead. You'll be marked as hostile for five minutes and the status will persist across death, meaning you can't rush back into the compound immediately after you die: The only option once you've been marked is to wait it out.
Facepunch acknowledged that the compound is "probably going to be gamed pretty hard," but said that it will continue iterating on it in order to stay abreast of players trying to dick around with the system. It also pointed an amusing finger at the player base for forcing developers to take this step in the first place: "We originally intended for people to set up these kind of zones with peacekeeper turrets, but after a year and no-one bothering we took matters into our own hands."
The update also adds a four-piece set of scuba gear to the game that facilitates underwater operations, and underwater rock formations, because what's the point of scuba diving if there's nothing down there to see? Full details on all the new content and gameplay changes including first-person clothing models, new AI for compound scientists, and updated chainsaw sounds, are up at facepunch.com.