Players won't have to pay again
The last time I played Rust was back in late January -- I've been waiting for it to substantially change. As it turns out, Facepunch Studios is in the process of rebuilding the game and "pretty much everything" is being changed or updated as it's re-implemented.
Why start over? The original codebase is tied up in "a lot of decisions made when we didn't know what game we were making," Garry Newman tells PCGamesN. "There's a lot of systems that are integral to Rust, that are 3,000 lines long, that could be 100 lines long."
In other words, overhauling is the right move in the long term. For the time being, the old-code Rust is still the default option when players start up the game; all of the new work is going into an optional "Experimental" branch that's selectable at launch.
If I had known all of this beforehand, I wouldn't have gotten into Rust when I did. It was interesting for a while, but it was also messy. And it sounds like the game is only now starting to truly come together, all these months later. Guess that's Steam Early Access for you.
Rust is rebooting: here's why [PCGamesN]