Facepunch has released a new update to Rust that adds an all new experience and leveling system. Experience is gained by doing almost anything in the game. Players can earn experience fishing, chopping trees, and lots of other activities. In addition, the developers behind Rust say they'll be adding more XP-generating activities in the future.
Using the ownership system, which tracks your influence in the world, you can get more experience points. As you complete more actions, you leave your mark on them, and when those items are used by other players to gain experience points, you get a share. For example, if you cook food and give it to another player, when they eat it, your character will get some experience. The same thing happens if another player uses resources you found to craft something.
Facepunch acknowledges that these updates aren't polished or balanced yet, but the studio says that it is working to make sure things like XP sharing with friends in order to unlock higher tier weapons before the rest of the world is preventable. That said, the studio is pleading its Early Access users to leave feedback to assist with this balancing effort.
If you don't want to use the new experience system and want to go back to the old system of blueprints, you can switch back to the way it used to be through a new branch, but those environments won't feature the latest updates. For more on this update, you can head to the latest Devblog.
Rust is currently in Steam Early Access for $19.99. You can also purchase a four-pack for the price of three copies at $59.99.