AI Overhaul for NPC's

I think the biggest gripe for everyone (pvp, rp, and pve), and what is brought up in most threads, is that the AI needs a serious overhaul. People’s opinions may differ on where they think the resources/time should be spent, but the unanimous consensus always comes back to our guards.

They stand there, requiring clothing, weapons and food and rarely do they fulfill all of their obligated duties. Often times they’ll let an alligator walk by, but will attack the spider right next to it. An intruder comes and they just stand there dumbfounded for a bit before finally aggregating towards them and (sometimes?) drawing weapons.

Furthermore, to make this a legitimate patch and tie into the settlement system (and to give animators a task), more options for interactions would add to the immersion of the game. Some ideas that have been thrown around since EA include:

  • General fixes. Everyone wants to see a thrall attacking when they should, and not moon walking around when headed back to their position or following Master.

  • Enhancing AI’s compatibility with the new combat system. Perhaps working on making the AI work better with the combo combat system would fix the first problem, but could make the npc’s in the world more challenging to actually fight.

  • A radial wheel option to change behavior to aggressive (attack all), passive (attack nothing), or Alert Status (only attack once violence has been initiated)

  • An option to change which dance that entertainers perform. At the moment all they seem to do is the Cimmerian or Aquilonian dances at random. What about the others?

  • Idle animations. Perhaps something at random, or user selected, it would seem nice to have something other than brain dead zombies moping about. Think conversing or yawning. With pets coming, it would be nice to see some laying down or chasing their tails.

The general fixes would benefit everyone’s experience, regardless of how you play. The other additions would add to the ‘Settlement’ system that was talked about in EA, and would add legitimacy for taking up time and resources to perform the former task, while giving other branches of the Dev team tasks. (Artists, please make the random generated thralls not as ugly?)

If you have more questions or concerns, please leave a comment below and converse on the subject matter.


All great coverage for demands. I would like to see an expansion of thrall duties to include but not limited to: harvesting both food and resources, setting patrol paths, expanding thrall following such as raiding with your thralls, and production thralls making some notification if for example needing more bark to finish the hides they are working on.


Something else that’s been around since early EA is people wanting more character creation options. Simple things for the artists, like a couple more facial/body sliders and a half dozen more hair/beard options, as well as a few more face presets. Tied into the AI overhaul it could be dubbed as the “Face Lift Patch”.


I agree with all that.



I just imagine the guards standing there, greeting the alligator as he comes in, maybe even opening the gate for him (animal rights and such) :slight_smile:

Be careful with your wishes, I would like to have those ideas of you implemented.
As you say it yourself the Thralls are quite demanding already for doing virtually nothing, so I fear once FUNCOM implents your ideas we will have to pay them wages as well, you know as compensation for doing something at all :stuck_out_tongue:


Shhhh… Don’t bring up wages. :zipper_mouth_face: Haha, the feeding system is coming, so I figure a big overhaul would make it worthwhile for the players to keep their ‘companions’.

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I’ve been really thinking about this and since you and I are simpatico, Enyo, I don’t think you’ll mind a little rumination.

My favorite Vanilla AI is and probably always will be Age of Kings/Age of Empires 2. Your duders mine resources, chop trees, heal your people, regroup at the town center, and fight for you. All by default. You can set them to be passive, active, go on scout, or patrol via map waypoints. Furthermore, you can micro-manage a number of them to retrieve religious relics, and if they’re powerful enough, they can heal themselves and your troops, plus convert the enemy’s troops too!

We know “patrol” exists in NPCs. From the two-toenail impression I have with modding the fun little rascals, I think we could easily get a “stance,” plus area patrol, and more in vanilla. I just wish threads like this would get more traction. Intelligence is fundamental: Sony spent a bomb making Resistance: Fall of Man shine by crafting a resilient AI, and this title is still one of the best SP/MP experiences to date.


Yes, seeing as many of the mechanics requested for has already been implemented in other npc’s, it doesn’t seem far stretched to expanding the use of the same code.

I haven’t played the games you referred up, but have definitely seen better AI than we have in game. We don’t necessarily need something cutting edge, but something considerably better than current. I’m not even worried about thralls gathering for me, just being better in combat and more active, lol.

After watching the recent Funcom quarterly review, it appears Conan Exiles has been a big test bed for upcoming projects to work off of (and their most profitable game ever). It would make sense then, as an ongoing production, for it to be a setting in which they could bring upon new AI mechanics as well. :grin:


Agreed so much!

  1. Improve combat functionality/effectiveness.

  2. Behaviour presets (aggressive, defensive, stand ground, free roam within vicinity etc)

  3. Patrol this area (way-points ideally).

  4. Some occasional random idle animations.

  5. Stop falling through the map command.

  6. The ability to name them would be a nice touch.


Totaly agree with the idea but for this to work they need to change current setting that areas are inactive if there’s no player. Other way You would see that thralls are “yawning” only when You’re around the same for other animations/tasks.

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Renaming them would be nice but at this point in time I just don’t care. Your first 5 are spot on

Yes please to all.

Useful thralls, no zombies, more life and challenge.


Agree the AI must be improved.
For iddle animations there is the mod idea to attach thralls to placeable which make then play animationa, much like the workstations, but such placeables can be mostly invisible, maybe a stone on the ground.

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The fifth one was a joke :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:, as in it’s a bug not a feature request. They say they’re already working on the map issue as apparently it’s related to why we haven’t got mounts, 'cause they would fall through the map on lower-end computers (or so is my understanding, could be mistaken). Hopefully this issue is something that can be fixed… it better be [shakes fist], because it’s terrible with thralls and I assume people wouldn’t be too happy about their beloved pets ‘disappearing’ on them as well.

As for some liveliness/idle animations, the devs could look to the mods:
City Life
for some ideas on what might be good to implement or the sort of thing people are looking for.

@Krudos I don’t understand the problem/what you meant. Why would they need to change the way that settings work/are loaded?

Imagine a situation that you go to your base and all your thralls do the same animation of for example yawning at the same time. 200 thralls yawning at the exact same moment. That’s what happens because of how the world calculation works right now. If you want some nice features you don’t want them to look ugly or creepy.

Other example: looking at your base from a distance and seeing your thralls frozen in that animation because you’re not close enough to trigger the block in which the are.

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I give a thumbs up to all of those. Dances and idle animations seem like particularly easy changes.

I would love to see it taken a step further and have them interact with nearby furniture or with each other but we can start with the low hanging fruit.


Oh yeah, getting some thralls to sit in chairs around a table, or lounging around the fire…

@Krudos But why would they have to be doing the same animation simultaneously, I don’t get it.

Also, once I’m close enough to be able to see my base/thralls, they are animated, so not sure what you mean by the other example either.

They would be doing the same animation because it would be calculated in the moment you get in the block in which they are. Many calculations in this case would be simplified for server performance issues to smallest possible number with the result of same animation for most or all the npc’s.

The second example depends on how you build your base and place the thralls . If you build a base that can be seen from larger distance there is always a moment when you see NPC’s in there frozen. You can see this also when approaching animals in the game they are frozen and start to move only when you are close enough. Everything in game freezes the moment you leave the block in which it is. That’s made for performance of servers. However this walkthrough is not best for performance either cause the game makes many calculations whenever you enter the block instead of having already calculated everything before you even think of going there.

Yes, there is certainly some coding hurdles that would have to be jumped in order to set up the ambient animations in a manner that wouldn’t either:

  1. Overload the server
  2. Appear inauthentic and too syncronous

It’s part of why I suggest it be a single large update, because while many of the animations are already in game, it wouldn’t be particularly easy to split them up and divvy them out. But on the other hand, take a walk through Sepermeru and the thralls don’t act in sync, so perhaps there is already another system in place that could take care of this.

Further adding to a Full Patch idea, would be the much asked for character creation options, so that the art team doesn’t have to sit idle while animators and coders work. A few more face presets, a few more hair and beard styles, and possibly an additional slider somewhere, could add a lot of value to making our characters look more unique.

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