The Rust staging branch has been slowing lifting-off the past few weeks with brand new air-based features that will be taking the Rust community to sky-high heights on September 7th's Rust update. The next air-based Rust update will include an absolute plane-full....no, that pun doesn't work. It's going to be filled to the brim with air-based content, adding a brand new player-controlled Attack Helicopter to Rust, anti-air homing missiles to take down this new air-based threat as well as old, and even changes to everyone's old slow-moving friend...the Hot Air Balloon!
This update is only a teaser of many additions to come, with the end-of wipe airplanes also receiving model textures and potential integrations in updates to come. Planes have also been mentioned throughout developer notes, forming some sort of scrap concept that players have long-since been modding into the game in hopes for an official release. The air has been mostly unexplored in Rust due to limited options up until now...but that all changes soon!
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Rust Attack Helicopter Features
Among adding one more flying vehicle to the game, the attack helicopter is going to absolutely change the landscape of Rust, making both air combat and air-to-ground combat significantly more common. Players with access to an attack helicopter and rockets will freely be able to rain powerful explosives down upon their enemies, with the freedom of air superiority on their side. While this means that enemies will be dangerous above, the frontal cage of the attack helicopter still does leave drivers open to being shot from below.
Alongside pilots using high-powered rockets to rain fiery death upon their foes, each Attack Helicopter can also feature a co-pilot who controls an under-belly turret which can hold any weapon slotted into it. This can make a fully equipped Attack Helicopter far more dangerous than any NPC controlled one but both pilots will still need to be on their guard if they start taking gunfire from below as there is extremely limited protection.
Rust Homing Missile Update
With all the players who will be running..er- flying around and raining hellfire upon their foes with all these new airborne weaponry; The players on the ground will most likely need some way to combat their new air-based threats other than anti-air turrets that take even clans entire wipes to get set up atop their bases. New Rust homing missile launchers are being added to the game, able to be shot by any player who is fortunate enough to get their hands on them! They are able to be researched at the end of the Tier 2 research table line.
By holding the cursor steady on a target, the homing missile launcher will lock onto the target, and then a player can fire, sending the rocket flying at it's intended airborne opponent! Players must continue to maintain the lock on their enemy though from the ground or the rocket in the air will lose it's direction mid-flight. That is currently how it functions on the staging branch of Rust and while it's gameplay application is debatable, things are still subject to change before deployment to live servers.
Rust Hot Air Balloon Armor
The one thing that definitely everyone in Rust was looking forward to was...Hot Air Balloon armor..? It only makes sense that an air update to Rust would include updating one of the most silly aircraft currently in the game, the Hot Air Balloon. While a handful of players do consider this a good source of travel, many players use this as a silly toy to play around with early-game as players don't want to deal with it's constant fuel consumption and lack of helicopter controls.
The addition of armor to the balloon may change this concept slightly, as clans may find particular use in transporting themselves directly into opposing clan bases. Originally, scrap-transport helicopters have been much more favored in this exact job and are much quicker too, so one may struggle to see the application of the significantly slower armored-balloon, but this could potentially be a budget option for clan raids. The vision of raiding with a massive armored balloon sounds hilarious to say the least.
Rust Parachute Update
Alongside all these sky-high additions, players may be jumping from much higher heights than usual! They may also be bailing out of high-intensity situations much more often, requiring something to soften their fall and prevent the inevitable death of gravity squish. That's where the newest addition of Rust's parachutes are coming in! Rust has for a long time had issues with players jumping from buildings too high and crunching their legs...but no longer!
Parachutes in Rust have added an additional slot of every player's character, opening it up for anyone who is able to come across a parachute along their journey. Players are also able to research and craft parachutes through the research table and using metal fragments, and will be required to "repackage" their parachutes after every usage to prepare them for the next jump. It's an interesting mechanic that has also added an additional slot to gear-lockers as well.
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