A letter to the Devs

Dear Funcom Team,

I’ve had my eye on this game since it’s release on May 2018. Once I finally got my hands on it about 2-3 months ago, I’ve had a hard time putting it down.
That being said, your beautiful games has a lot of issues on console.
I understand that many players are on PC and I’ve seen a lot of improvements to the game on that platform. However, the love feels a bit lost on our side. Many players, including myself, have become increasingly frustrated with aspects of the game. Most notably the slow load times (before and during gameplay) common lags and frequent crashes. I understand this is still a new game and perfection takes time. However, when hot fixes and updates hits for PC we are right to assume that the same effort will be applied to the other platforms. I’ve done my best to keep up with the game on all fronts and stay as optimistic as possible. Alas, seeing what seems like favoritism is a bit discouraging. Feel free to prove me wrong (i’d like to be wrong in this case)

Building in Conan Exiles is such a joy for me! I can get on the game and spend hours just building nonsense only leaving to collect materials and kill for food or find thralls/pets. (More on that latter) However, there’s a catch to this. The game space it MASSIVE. So naturally we want to go big. Whether it be right away or over time. In the case of my family and I, we like to build what we call “The Compound”. This culminates to a huge base every time we’ve built it. (Total of 5 times now between all of the servers we’ve been on. Private, Official and Custom) Whenever we return, loading of The Compound takes ages. The wall commonly appears to have holes in it, witch really triggers me as I am the one who spearheaded that particular project. Often, this slow load will cause the game to crash and in some cases you cannot load back into the server after this crash. You have wait upwards to five minutes before you have a solid chance rejoin. This kills the immersion outright and really ruins gameplay and in the case of not being able to rejoin, can easily end the gaming for the day or longer. Sometimes this slow loading / lag / crash will result in items vanishing or being moved such as my friend’s trebuchet that vanished off the top of a tower. Or the time J. J. was relocated to under 2 runs of foundation in the spot he was last standing. Or better still, my brother’s naked carpenter thrall working without his bench.
If we are allowed to build big, it should feel like a punishment for doing so.

Combat it awesome, when it works. Every time I log into the game, my normal practice is to stand next to my bed and remove the bracelet twice. I do this twice because the first death after you join the server is always bugged. The game freezes, skipping over the countdown and option to pick your respawn point. This causes us to respawn in the desert. This is why I remove the bracelet again to trurn home and collect my things. Then it’s breakfast. After all of this, I set out on my adventures. I always take J. J. the Greater Jag with me. He tends to save me in battle because even in a 1v1 I tend to get beat out by the lag. He’s a good boy. God forbid I end up in a moshpit. If i don’t have my guard on point for the lag, it’s an ‘L’ for me. Boss fights? Forget it. I wont even attemp them cause they cause so much skip I spend most of the fight in guard or standing still eating hits. I wont even know I’ve died until I respawn after the freeze. I may have found ways to combat the lag but for some of my friends and family that play like the Spartans they are, this is a HUGE turn off. There are other games, older and more recent games, with similar combat without this issue at all.
These battles are more often than not, epic. That feeling is ruined when the game decides its had enough of you and throws ice on your screen.

I’ve watched loads of gameplay on YouTube. interviews and patch notes reviews. Updates and the like, yet I’ve noticed one common tidbit in it all. Their on PC. Reading the forums and tweets from other console players, the call is loud and clear. Please give console platforms more effort and attention. We like this game too. Hell, I LOVE it but it’s these details that are slowly ruing the experience. I want to pull more players in as the server we play on has all but died. (Witch is a bitter-sweet thing really. Much more peaceful but less people to enjoy the game with) I want to have the an experience as smooth as my PC counterparts. It doesn’t have to be the same as one another but it shouldn’t be night and day like it is. An update / hotfix should be released on all platforms with the same amount of love and effort. If not together, within weeks of one another. It pains me to see / hear people say they hate this game because it “freezes too much” or because of the lag or even because no one else is on.

Iv’e reached out on the game’s twitter pages @ConanExiles and @ConanExilesPS4 asking about these topics in a very respectful manner with no reply. Only to see not even five minutes later they have posted or replied or retweeted something else. Being that I have worked in a similar field, I have to say I’m a bit disappointed here. All feedback should have a response to it in a professional manner. You may not agree or even like what is being said or asked but every customer deserves attention. This will help your image and may even help your product and brand. No one is ignored, word of mouth and your image on social media is huge.

I’ve seen so much down talk on this game but in the same threads so much praise. Yet the one thing no on can deny are these issues. There is more baggage to this but I will not address that here. I just want to make my case to you Funcom. Please, show console some love. Give us all the same level of attention. Save this game that WE ALL love and put a warming blanket on it.

Happily Exiled,
RedDSW01 - PSN

4 Likes

I’m all in support of what you wrote, but you have to keep in mind that patches for console take extra scrutiny time from $ony/micro$oft, I’ve seen this in the past with this game, you get less patches, but you get way more optimized patches, but of course there’s still bugs because the console version would need a little more extra testing and that’s probably what you refer to.
Beware I’m not a defender or a fanboy, I gave them a lot of savage comments many times when they made “stupid” mistakes in between patches ( I have the game since feb 2017 day 1 ea, before climbing was a thing), but I still love this game.

Godspeed fellow exile.

2 Likes

First, I appreciate this obviously well thought out, respectful, constructive feedback. So kudos to that.

Now then, a couple of things. Consoles are usually behind PC’s when it comes to parity patches, but not by much (and Funcom has been doing better with this, or at least really trying to). Mostly, this has to do with the certification process. Both PS4 and Xbox have certification requirements, and each patch can take longer then others to complete said process. On Steam, there isn’t a certification requirement, if Funcom has a patch ready to go, they can push it out and have it ready for us in an hour. On Xbox? The same thing can take a week (or longer even! The Halloween Patch to turn off the Halloween content was a mess in this regard). So hotfixes usually get lumped together for console.

This week, we on PC, will see our 3rd hotfix. Console players will see their first, but it will be all 3 lumped together. You can read about the plan for the hotfix stuff for this week here, if you wish. Now major patches, Funcom has done a pretty good job lately of launching the patch for everybody on the same day (I don’t have the greatest memory sometimes, but the last two major updates came out on the same day for everybody if I recall correctly), it’s the hotfixes that typically get consoles a bit behind. And it’s mostly because PC is more convenient due to that certification stuff, and if there are issues (which there was in the most recent hotfix last week), PC players can serve as a bit of a test subject (so there are some advantages). And I’m not saying that Funcom couldn’t find ways to maybe improve on this, maybe they could. I’m just giving some additional information on all of that stuff.

Next, performance on building stuff. Right now on testlive (which is a public beta testing ground), there is a major patch going through the testing rounds. The patch notes are here, though I would like to redirect you to the Steam page here (I know, it’s PC, but bare with me). Click here to access the same set of notes, but it’s got a little extra couple gifs here. Scroll down the page until you see the 2 gifs (it will be very obvious). That is what is coming next for us all (same link already given, but here it is again if you want to see current ETA plans for testlive release). It’s a major improvement to building performance and load time. This isn’t the only performance update coming either, as outlined in the first link I provided in this response.

As far as reaching out, Twitter (and Funcom would be the first to admit to this) isn’t great for getting a response back. The best place to receive feedback and responses? Right here, on the official Forums. Funcom has admitted multiple times that they don’t feel they are hitting the mark with communication, which is one of the reasons @Ignasis was brought in. It’s definitely getting better, but if you really are hoping to hear back faster about feedback and questions, hit up these forums instead of Twitter (just my advice).

That’s all I got for now, good hunting!

3 Likes

I have forgotten that Sony and Microsoft tend to complicate things. (To put it nicely) I wanted to make my plea on not just my behalf but for my family and friends how are greatly frustrated with thus game. I really wish to see this improved and thrive. The best way to see something you like grow is to bring it’s areas of improvement to the forefront.
I’m very thankful for this information, thank you.

Thank you! This is great information and I will be reading these in full soon. (during breakfast) I have seen some of the up coming patches that will be hitting soon and I have trouble controlling my excitement. However, when I look at games like Warframe (not a truly relatable game, I know) witch is free to play and how they apply their patches across all platforms in comparison to Conan Exiles, I become quite perplexed. I’m sure there is more to this whole process that I don’t know as I’m not very knowledgeable in the field. I’m sure the links you provided me will help shed some light on this.
Thank you again for this nugget of information.

PS; I know it’s PC, it’s fine. I’m more than sure it’ll make perfect since to me in time.

Ya, I understand. I’m not an expert either on the whole certification thing, but it seems there are a lot of variables. There was a semi-recent small controversy with Death by Daylight (also not a relatable game) console community, who saw a delay on their own major patch and DLC. And it all had to do with the same kind of stuff, certification process. At least it’s better then it used to be, both Sony and Microsoft used to charge $$$$ (yes, 4 figures) to do a certification for a patch, and it took longer.

Us PC Conan Exiles players aren’t completely immune to certification though. Epic, who hosts the download for the Unreal Engine 4 Dev Kit (which is what we modders use to make our mods) also requires a certification for the Dev Kit. When I first got started modding way back in April/May of 2018, I was fastly introduced to this process when a certification problem lead to a delay of almost a week on the Dev Kit being updated. Which is bad for modders, because we need the Dev Kit to be updated and matching the latest version of the game in order to get our mods working. So ya, I’ve had the headaches too for sure!

1 Like

Yeah, that just sounds really crappy.
Sadly $$$$ runs everything and we can’t enjoy games like we use to. I understand haveing to pay a REASONABLE amount for modding but the extra extended wait times and other complications is just offputting.
I wish I knew more on the topic. I may do some research on it one day soon.

Oh, maybe I wasn’t clear. As far as I know, it doesn’t cost money now to do certifications (Sony, Microsoft, or Epic), just time. I meant that it used to cost developers and companies money to push out a patch for their players.

Modding wise, luckily that was a one time thing that happened, there was just a lot of bad luck that lead to a lot of certification issues. Now, most of the time, Funcom gets us mod authors an updated dev kit within hours of an official patch. But I still worry about that next hiccup though ha ha!

1 Like

The answer is simple. They test every patch (on testlive) on PC because you dont need it to go thru an certification process. The playerbase is bigger on PC also which means they can test the upcoming patches on PC first and get a good Q&A. After that they send it for certification process to sony and microsoft and after that you will have updates on consoles.

Funcom dont screw consoles players. If you look at testlive there is alot happening.

1 Like

The game certainly has problems , but as for me, much has been fixed and much promise to do and we see the result. The only thing I can’t deal with right now is the griffins on the pve servers. When they manage to throw a horizontal Elevator behind your wall, camper, that sort of thing. For example is still one clan terrorizes me update every 5-10 days their buildings inside my location, and no it does not go to conciliation. Alas, destroy them I can’t. The main problem - unfinished construction mode, a small radius of blocking construction and some incomprehensible possibilities of enemies in the construction next to other people.

1 Like

Hey RedDSW01!

Thank you for reaching out and for taking the time to write down your thoughts and feedback :slight_smile: We really appreciate it, especially when it comes in a well-articulated and constructive manner!

With the current amount of patches the PC version is getting I can understand that it looks like we’re prioritizing the PC version over the console version. This isn’t the case internally, but as Multigun pointed out, it is much easier for us to patch the PC version. Once a build is ready we can release it when we want. On consoles it’s a different matter due to certification, and releasing a patch can take up to a week’s time, depending on when it’s sent to certification and when the certification team at Sony or Microsoft are able to slot us in. So we lump several patches together into one batch on the console side, based on the patches that have been released on PC.

Our current plan is to release a hotfix for the PC version this week, which will be sent to Microsoft and Sony once it’s ready to go. As soon as it passes certification it will be patched to the consoles.

The currenty Testlive build, which has a ton of changes and some improved mechanics and features, is scheduled to go live at the end of January or start of February at the latest, with a planned console release a few days later depending on the certification process.

I agree, but we’re still only human and sometimes we miss stuff. The community team is still a small group of people, and we work on a lot of different things beyond social media and the forums, which unfortunately can cause the odd message here and there to slip through the cracks. We do try to get to as much as possible though :slight_smile:

TL;DR: We’re not ignoring the console versions, but the patch process takes more time on consoles. Due to certification we bundle patches and hotfixes together so we can release them at the same time instead of having to go through cert for patches with just one or two fixes.

5 Likes

Thank you @Jens_Erik,

It’s refreshing to see that there is an effort being put into the game and members like @Multigun and all the other that have replied to this post have shown that the community has good people that are willing to help someone like me better understand whats going on. I thank you and everyone for your insightful replies. Looking at the updates to come, I cannot wait to see how the game changes and improves.

4 Likes

This topic was automatically closed 7 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.