In the new version of RUST what do caves do? Do they have special resources? Can bases be built in them? What play elements do they add? What strategies do they expose?
Since posting this (and I'm scoring you TL since you beat me on this) I have gained experience on the caves.
Cave walls are indestructible
- Caves have limited entrances
- Caves can be fairly deep (I have been in caves that exceed three "wall levels"). Levels can extend above and below "local ground level" giving you "exterior walls" that are quite high
- Cramped quarters can make item placement difficult
- Cramped quarters can make rooms difficult to navigate
- Since you are building on "rock" there can be many places that you can not place foundation so some interior placement may be unstable
- There are no special items in caves
- There are barrel spawns near caves
- Sighting of caves can be difficult
- Because of their defensive value caves can be hotly contested immediately on server reset
- Because of their defensive value caves are not hotly contested "mid-game" as you are probably going to have to blow several armored walls to get to anything valuable
My team mates and I have made use of the caves for a while now. They can be very difficult to navigate. It takes skill to get in and especially out. This however is excellent for your safety if you are willing to go through the tedious steps, it gives you a lot of peace of mind knowing that many wont find you and others wont bother to attack you. If you consider the relocation and rebuild of your raided house on surface every time and gathering all over again, it just makes perfect sense to go underground.