I hope you like leather!
(Yes, I’m doing another one of these again. Vesteria is closed, and I have to fulfill my niche somehow. This will likely be a lot sillier and less likely than my other idea: New Area: Frozen Clockworks, but I feel like I can be far more creative with this than ever before. I would also like to point out that I have taken extreme inspiration from the Rustland Grand Prix content from Crash Team Racing:Nitro-Fueled, even down to stealing the name. This could be changed to “Salvagelands” or “The Wastes”, but this sounds the coolest. Then again, The Warrior Stronghold is heavily based off of Kaer Trolde from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.)
The Rustlands are an extremely different location from every other area in Vesteria, and likely will be very difficult to implement without breaking the overall theme. The best I can come up with is the Mad Scientist or some Mage transport the player thousands of years into the future, after the fall of mainstream civilization and into a post-apocalyptic Mania. There won’t be any guns, but definitely things like mechanized enemies and metalworks. The in-game context is that some huge Mage experiment went horribly wrong, causing a mana-related fire to wipe the continent clean of foliage and civilization. The mana has now been used to keep all the fires burning and preventing it from raining.
The actual location for the Rustlands is a riverbed that’s been long dried up. Ships that previously were used to sail cargo across the blue are not rusted up and used by Salvagers and Survivors against the harsh weather conditions and wildlife. While it is technically a desert, it separates itself from the Whispering Dunes by having a lot of abandoned ships and dried up coral. Definitely not a lot of open stretches of nothingness. The player would primarily explore these wrecked ships, explore dusty hallways, and dodge mangled metalwork, somehow spinning propeller blades, and portions of the ships that are still on fire.
The color scheme for the Rustlands may seem very generic, but it’s a combination of boring shades of beige and brown with highly bright neon colors. The boring colors come from the rocks, ships, sand, and certain enemies. The bright colors are certain enemies, grafiiti, and the bright orange flames from the still-burning wreckage. Again, not too dissimilar to the Whispering Dunes, but infinitely more chaotic.
The mobs and NPCs in this are all survivors of the Rustlands, and are actually the descendants to popular Vesteria NPCs. The NPCs will all be wearing protective gear, spiky shoulder/kneepads, brightly colored dyed hair, and extremely cool looking weapons. The enemies are related to the lore side of this area, mostly being the spirits of those who couldn’t survive and the indifferent wildlife. Also, there’s the Rustland equivalent of Bandits, inhabiting certain ships marked with special flags and extra grafiiti.
All the gear in this area fits with the theme, the weapons and armor have spikes and grafiiti on them, with very impressive stats. Some special ideas that i have are a Greatsword that’s just a severed propeller, a wand that has a flare gun on the end of it, and a dagger spray-painted to look like an “ancient weapon from the days of old” (Which is just the mushroom dagger). Armor could be a Warrior’s helm with little spikes all over it, and some spray paint, spiky leather hats and boots for the hunters, and the mages getting a tricked out traffic cone as a makeshift wizard’s hat. It’s silly, but I think it’s cool.
Enemies are the previously mentioned salvagers, sporting Bandit armor (with spray paint on it, of course), and Rustland weaponry. You could have buzzards that swoop down and can often bump themselves into rocks and walls to expose themselves, fiery spirits that never found their way to the afterlife, coyotes that enjoy fighting in packs, and armadillos that use spiky helmets as shells.
The music would be really fast-paced, like the Spider Queen’s Revenge, Forsaken Isle, and Whispering Dunes themes, except even faster. Definitely high level gear and enemies. Again, maybe this could be discovered if you speak to a certain mage or the Mad Scientist, since this DEFINITELY requires some time travel shenanigans to work.
A few final thoughts. I know this almost reads like something out of the “Submit your most Ridiculous Lore Theories” thread, but I really wanted to make this work, and I want to hear constructive criticism more than ever. I do not recommend replying “LOL he wants Mad Max in Vesteria, Bruh.” I do think that even having a "destroyed civilization area would be a cool idea for an area, much like Frozen Clockworks. I hope you enjoyed reading, this was likely my silliest post yet.