I like strange characters who largely ignore players, following their own unknowable agendas until you cause problems. Skyrim's giants who'd rather scare you off but will eventually knock you into the clouds. The Borg in Star Trek: Elite Force who don't even consider you a threat at first. Despairing Hollows in Dark Souls. That sort of thing. I do hope that Rust [official site] will follow through with ideas raised in the latest devblog, for NPC scientists in hazmat suits investigating this strange island of ruins and naked men chasing each other swinging rocks.
Rust artist Paul Bradley contributed the scientist concepts to the devblog, explaining:
"This week I managed to work up some scientist NPC ideas, exploring the basic look of their hazmat suits. I want these guys to have a weird, unsettling feeling. I felt like you could capture this by hiding their faces completely behind dirty face masks. I also think it would be cool if they somewhat ignored the player as they went about the island conducting their research, only really acknowledging you if you got too close and threatened them. It would be cool if you could hear them communicating to each other with muffled, distorted voices so you can't really understand what they’re saying. Just to add to the creepy factor."
Do note that's mostly ideas, thoughts, and it-would-be-cool-ifs, but they are awfully cool ones. I hope this happens.
I'm enjoying seeing Rust's world develop through additions like this. Long, long ago Rust was another zombie apocalypse 'em up, but since removing deadfolk it's become a weird other post-apocalyptic world, slowly filling with more ruined buildings and high-tech installations. Now it's working in more traces of seemingly advanced society still active beyond the island, where people don't wear armour made of traffic signs or slap scrap together into rudimentary guns. It recently added NPC helicopter gunships who'll fly in from the sea then patrol around the island's monuments, firing on players they spot. (Organised folks can take it down to score fancy loot.)
I do hope these weird, aloof scientists will be exploring around too.
Paul adds, "it'll be really awesome to add some life to the world to see how players react." Won't it just!