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Facepunch put out a fresh statement on Rust for Steam Deck / Linux

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I recently wrote about how it's looking pretty unlikely that Rust will actually be supported on Steam Deck / Linux with Proton, and it's not looking any better right now.

Previously it was just comments from Facepunch Studios' Garry Newman on Twitter, with Newman trying to explain their thoughts on why it hasn't happened yet. Now, we have another and perhaps a bit more public / official answer with their latest official news post on the Rust website including a note at the bottom about it from Alistair McFarlane, the Producer at Facepunch, that reads:

You know, we switched to EAC's new platform with the intention of providing support for the Steam Deck, and so far we haven't done that. So when is it coming?

Well, short answer is we don't know. We don't know if it is. When we discontinued linux support in 2019, one of the core reasons was how the cheating community was exploiting the Linux platform. That's not to say that cheating was super widespread on Linux, but it was safer for cheat developers. And that's not good in a game like Rust where a cheater can ruin weeks of hard work.

Enabling proton support would mean we're asking the EAC team to provide support for a whole other platform, which we fear would reduce their ability to support Windows - our main platform. We don't know whether we should enable one platform at the disadvantage of another.

The one thing we don't want to do is to enable Proton support to only discontinue it six months later. We don't want to encourage players to spend their money on a Deck to play Rust and then be in a position where we want to take that ability away.

For now, we're still weighing up the risks and will continue to explore options with EAC. Don't expect to see Proton support in the near future, but we hope to have it enabled someday.

So it's basically the same story as what Newman explained. They don't wish to potentially open up Rust to more cheat developers again, where they don't seem to feel confident that EAC would be able to keep up with it on top of preventing the cheats on Windows too (which is obviously the main platform).

It is a genuine shame, since Rust is (while quite brutal) a great survival game and very popular. It's also interesting, because clearly they think that EAC don't provide all that great protection on Linux if they're that worried about what would happen again. While again, other games like Apex have it, they're very different games.

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RIP

It is hilarious to watch that intrusive anti-cheat will never be as intrusive on Linux as it is on Windows...
Solitary 7 Oct
What's with the gatekeeping? So basically what they are saying they don't want EAC to support any other platforms but Windows, so they won't use it and hope Proton/Linux to fail... so it doesn't take away from EAC Windows resources. What a twisted logic.
Corben 7 Oct
We do have now (mostly unofficial) EAC support for some games. Fall Guys, Insurgency: Sandstorm, Apex Legends, Back 4 Blood (those come into my mind without researching). Though these are all games, where a cheater can ruin a session, but not really weeks of work. Nevertheless it would be interesting to see if now cheat devs are able to exploit the Linux system to cheat on these games, or if they are safe?

I did see someone cheating in Fall Guys recently, but I've heard that EAC didn't prevent cheating before they (tried to) enable EAC support for Proton/Steam Deck/Linux either.

Would be very interesting to know if there is some data on if people are cheating more easily on Linux nowadays. If Epic could collect this data, they could share it with Facepunch Studios, so they would be confident (or not) to enable EAC on a further platform.

But with Tim Sweeney's statement back then, they don't trust Linux for Fortnite with their Anti-Cheat... I'm not expecting much in that direction.
Spyker 7 Oct
Game devs "grown up" in an environment where their user has no control on its machine's OS, therefore they thought that client side anti-cheat with a kernel rootkit was a silver bullet against cheaters.
With the rise of FOSS and Linux on consumer hardware it changes everything.
One day, all those people will have to admit that kernel level anti-cheat is not future proof and maybe they will start to find another solution.
Server side anti cheat supervised by AI could be the next better solution against cheaters.


Last edited by Spyker on 7 October 2022 at 11:40 am UTC
Steven 7 Oct
Greetings!

Personally, I think what they are saying is a bit absured. I have over 4,000 hours in Rust and the cheating is as bad as ever. I feel like they believe they are doing a bang up job protecting the players of their game, but in reality, it's not true. They mention cheaters "runining weeks of work." It's that way now and, from a players stand point, little is done to really crack down on it. My personal experience has been horrible wiht cheaters, with over 30+ reports with hackers banned, their system (EAC) doesn't work. You can be "flyhacked" falling out of a mini climbing a tree branch, but not a cheater flying around the map. Happens everytime I play the game. So, no, I don't buy their argument. Let's use the usual logic that I often hear about Linux and gaming. It's touted the platform is too small to care about, so we don't develop for it. Now, the Rust team is saying that thought Linux cheating is almost nonexistent, we don't develop for it. Yet, we'll keep churning out for Windows even though they cannot get a handle on it. Makes little sense. I know there are differences, but look at the numbers. How many Linux Rusters are there? Very, very little. Enabling it to work with proton doesn't seem like much of a risk. EAC isn't that great to begin with in a game like Rust, so maybe it's time to really care for the gamer and find something else that will work the way it's supposed to, protecting the Window gamer and Linux gamer. Afterall, we don't have a thousand Comomos running around to catch everyone. Thanks for reading, this is just my opinion.
ShabbyX 7 Oct
Quoting: StevenGreetings!

Personally, I think what they are saying is a bit absured. I have over 4,000 hours in Rust and the cheating is as bad as ever. I feel like they believe they are doing a bang up job protecting the players of their game, but in reality, it's not true. They mention cheaters "runining weeks of work." It's that way now and, from a players stand point, little is done to really crack down on it. My personal experience has been horrible wiht cheaters, with over 30+ reports with hackers banned, their system (EAC) doesn't work. You can be "flyhacked" falling out of a mini climbing a tree branch, but not a cheater flying around the map. Happens everytime I play the game. So, no, I don't buy their argument. Let's use the usual logic that I often hear about Linux and gaming. It's touted the platform is too small to care about, so we don't develop for it. Now, the Rust team is saying that thought Linux cheating is almost nonexistent, we don't develop for it. Yet, we'll keep churning out for Windows even though they cannot get a handle on it. Makes little sense. I know there are differences, but look at the numbers. How many Linux Rusters are there? Very, very little. Enabling it to work with proton doesn't seem like much of a risk. EAC isn't that great to begin with in a game like Rust, so maybe it's time to really care for the gamer and find something else that will work the way it's supposed to, protecting the Window gamer and Linux gamer. Afterall, we don't have a thousand Comomos running around to catch everyone. Thanks for reading, this is just my opinion.

Just to be clear, I don't think they mean that Linux users are cheaters, just that cheaters (currently on Windows) would switch to Linux just to cheat better.

That said, bs argument for sure. I never touched this game, and I take your word for it that it's in a garbage situation.
scaine 7 Oct
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I don't understand how 17 Linux users can possibly influence Facepunch's decision. Even if they were all cheaters, c'mon.
Lanz 7 Oct
Facepunch has got to be one of the rudest, most hostile studios around. They simply don't deserve our money, even if they supported our platform. The market should hold them accountable and make them clean up their act.
Arten 7 Oct
Quoting: SpykerOne day, all those people will have to admit that kernel level anti-cheat is not future proof and maybe they will start to find another solution.
Server side anti cheat supervised by AI could be the next better solution against cheaters.

Don't hope. I predict we see CPU firmware level anticheat before we see spread server side aticheat.
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