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Rust haters can no longer call it a DayZ clone. Facepunch Studios has decided to remove zombies from the survival game's world.
"Yep. We did it," Facepunch's Maurino Berry said on the Rust website. "We decided we couldn’t hold off any longer. The longer we keep zombies in – the more complaints we’d get about removing them. We are forcing ourselves to deal with it."
Rust throws players in the wilderness with nothing but a rock, a torch and some bandages. They must gather wood and stones to create shelter and equipment. In the early stages of the game, they have to worry about running into carnivorous animals like wolves and bears. Zombies are the advanced enemies. They're generally clustered around the irradiated zones where players can scavenge better equipment and blueprints.
The developers had always planned to take zombies out of the game. They were just a placeholder for some other enemy type. It's not clear what those new enemies will be. Facepunch has replaced the undead with red wolves and bears in the meantime. These new animals seem to offer the same type of loot as the zombies did.
Today's patch brings several improvements to Rusts wildlife. They'll now run away from other hostile animals and hear gunshots. If a predator can't find a path to you, they'll run away.
Facepunch also introduced a new feature today: locked backpacks. When you die, your backpack is locked to other players for a period of time. The only way they can open it is by using a lockpick. Lockpicks shouldn't be too hard to come by, as they're a default blueprint. Fortunately, they can't be used on the doors of player-made buildings. Backpack locking is turned off on servers by default. The amount of time that packs stay locked can be adjusted by server admins.
The patch is littered with smaller changes as well. Wood and stone resources have new models, and their appearance will change depending on their quantity. Standing next to a workbench speeds up your crafting. Melee attacks now have better animations.
Though hundreds of thousands of players have bought Rust, it's still in alpha. The developers have plenty to fix. Berry noted today that there are some parts of the world with invisible walls. Also, a couple rocks have no collision whatsoever.
Rust can be purchased via Steam Early Access for $20. Before you dive in, be sure to check out our newbie guide to the game.