An idea for an upkeep system

I’ve mentioned time and again in different discussions that I’m hoping Funcom would implement an upkeep system, but it’s been a long, long time since I tried to explain it, so I thought I would give it its own topic thread and point people to it :slight_smile:

Anyway, my idea is relatively simple to describe:

  • There’s a placeable you can put down – a flag, for example – that covers a certain area. If you build inside that area, the decay time depends on how much “fuel” you put into that placeable. The more “fuel” you put in it, the longer the decay.
    • There’s maybe a maximum amount of “fuel” you can put in.
    • The decay-per-fuel function is not necessarily linear. If it isn’t, the GUI should make it easy and intuitive.
    • There are three tiers of this flag. T1 covers the smallest area, T2 a medium area, T3 the biggest area. You can use this to shape your claim more precisely.
  • You can have more than one flag, but the more area you’ve claimed with your flags, the higher the upkeep cost. In other words, the more you build, the more “fuel” you’ll need.
    • If you have only one flag, the upkeep for one week should be trivial.
  • The upkeep “fuel” is obtained from a special, dedicated placeable where you can put literally any item to convert it into “fuel”.
    • Different items will be converted into different amounts of “fuel”. For example, a purge-only T4 thrall will be converted into much more fuel than you would get from some branches.
  • Anything you build that isn’t covered by a flag has a decay of 24 hours and, if damaged, cannot be repaired beyond a certain fraction of its max health.

The idea behind this system is that you can still get your typical one-week timer with almost no effort if you build within a reasonably small area. Anything beyond that requires more and more upkeep. And unlike the current decay system, you would be allowed to “prepay” your upkeep for longer than one week, in case you’re going on vacation or a reasonably short hiatus. The more you build, the more you need to be active.

Along with this approach, I also want to propose two alternatives, because using area-of-effect flags might not be the best way. So, the three possible variants of this system that I propose would be:

  • AOE Claim Approach: Already described above. You have flags that cover a certain area, and the upkeep cost is determined by the total surface area claimed by those flags, regardless of what you’ve built in that area.
  • Connected Claim Approach: The flag you place does not have an area it claims. Instead, any building piece connected, directly or indirectly, to the piece with the flag will be considered part of your claim and contribute to the upkeep. The cost is then calculated from all of the pieces in the claim. Placing additional flags allows you to add pieces to your claim without having to connect them.
  • Hybrid Approach: The flag does have an area, just like in the AOE Claim Approach, and anything outside the area is not part of your claim. Unlike the AOE Claim Approach, the upkeep cost is determined from the amount of building pieces inside the claim.

Bear in mind that I didn’t put down any concrete number – apart from “one week should be trivial” – to avoid people getting distracted and side-tracked by that. The numbers can be tuned, but it’s the idea that matters. Feel free to ignore or discuss it as you wish :slight_smile:

EDIT: I have edited this post to reflect some of the discussion further down in the thread, so that anyone new who comes to this topic can have all of the relevant information here, instead of having to slog through 100+ posts. So if you decide to read through those 100+ posts and it seems like we’re arguing stuff that is already spelled out here, it’s probably because of this edit :wink:


Someone made a suggestion that made pretty good sense (if the amounts didn’t lol). But a percentage of the total building materials used to create the upkeep area. Obviously 10% per day is probably way too much. But 1% per week with the ability to toss in 4 weeks in advance wouldn’t be out of the ballpark.

What would really balance things out is having to do this for each area. So it would be relatively trivial to set up. But one would have to do a bit more than simply login once a week.

In either case, a server setting giving server admins minute controls would be absolutely amazing.

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Hmmm, seems ok-ish I guess. Especially if it’s not visible flags but just like maybe a stone or a structure piece you can designate as such. I can definitely tell you’re a programmer from this though. :stuck_out_tongue:

I still like the current system better myself - but the main problem I see with this upkeep system is Funcom. This idea doesn’t seem to fit any of their Conan Exiles design concepts to date. So, getting them sold on it would likely need a huge percentage of users asking for it specifically.

Personally I’m still partial to the idea of leaving it as it is and just incorporating the demolitions into the gameplay instead of it appearing to be from some employee - even though it still would be. With links to the official reasons and rules. Most of that is already in place. Like Server Messages for the clan-wide communication from the gods who have vowed to destroy your property and a link therein to the rules page. A slightly modified purge event triggerable by the examining Admin, which isn’t defensible and destroys all the relevant property after a set count-down timer :timer_clock:. Could be a anything from 15min after the next login of any clan member (assuming none are on-line when the trigger was pulled), to 24hrs regardless.

To my mind that fits with the current (apparent) design concept and would /likely/ be implementable fairly easily - guessing without looking at their code (which isn’t likely to happen :smiley: ). Likely, the biggest task needed to implement this demolition modification would be the pearl program that would allow the admin to check the boxes next the rule or rules being infracted in order to generate the situationally dynamic HTML. Of course with more comprehensible sentences defining said rules - etc.

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It has my support for this bit alone.

Something to do with all the honey? Well colour me intrigued. And sticky.

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Playing Myth of Empires and I am not fond of their flag system currently installed. Once you start playing with a flag system, you realize the limitations pretty quickly.

One, unless the flag area is customizable, you are either forced to build to that size or lose area space. In MoE, the flag system is all circles so you have to build within in. (My guild is already losing space due to the terrain we built on.) I know CE typical does squares but it is same concept, where you have to build within a square. If you want to build a rectangle, you could not in this circumstance unless you built it within the square area. Odd shape buildings due to landscapes / artistic design, bridges, etc. will be impossible to build normally unless you use another “flag(s)”. Granted, this is all based on how large or small the area is. (I am sure ton of arguments on the size if it was implemented).

So if the flag area is not customizable, then there would be people complaining about for the same square footage used, one player has to use 2 or 3 flags while another uses 1.

2nd, how many flags does a clan get compared to a person? I would assume there would be a limit for both. I am sure clans would need a certain amount per clan member to be optimal.


:no_entry_sign: No.

Especially on PvE maps.


I’d argue that PVE needs upkeep more than PVP does.


I’d argue that nobody needs upkeep.


As long as there’s an admin toggle for private servers, fine by me. I’m just not sure something like this would happen in a vacuum. It would need some larger system change in the game to motivate its inclusion. Otherwise the risk of the system having a bug that while patchable could lead to people losing the very thing they are trying to upkeep. It would need extensive long term test to make sure it works properly if simply added to the existing game as it is today. In principle its fine; its just not without risk.


I can see this working in a mod before it goes free on public.
I believe that even in pvp, protecting this flag would be the maximum meaning. Even the structures near the flag should had more durability and the ones away lower durability.
The fuel for the first flag could be stones or wood.
If you place second flag then the first would demand iron and the second stone.
If third then steel to the first, iron to second and stone to third.
No matter what however the durability of the structures would be different.
Only the main flag would have the durability bonus, all the others would have weaker and weaker.
Not more than 5 flags, so star metal or odsidian to be the maximum fuel.
These flags would not allow more than 16 blocks height builds.
But again…
First in mod, to be tested by private servers.
Maybe an idea like this would give more RP reasons and be embraced from RP servers.

The way officials work right now is way better than the beginning.
I believe the officials are starting to look more welcome for new players.
If officials need something more is more “do not build here” areas.
Since Siptah made the south islands, most of the servers are full of builds there. Huge builds.
So if they created a grid that building would not be allowed then they couldn’t build all these monsters but only outposts.

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I get why people want an upkeep system, and I would be for it except for one thing.
Making a major building change in game will cause havoc with current builds.
I could see this forum going up in flames with people saying half their base just disappeared.


I am sure settings will be built for private servers to expand the number of flags, lower costs, change the timers or expand size of radius of flags (or all 4) so probably not much of an issue.

For official servers, currently its one setting to fit all 3 server types most likely.

They are definitely cleaning them up. I took a tour yesterday and was surprised at how many bases are gone. Some of these bases have been there for years and had spammed foundations all over the area by their base. @codemage DM is completely gone.


If the servers are being cleaned up (by admins or people stop upkeeping their bases), would all this become moot?

I am vehemently opposed to upkeep in any form, and have no idea why people whose personal build style would fit their ideas want to beg Funcom to be more oppressive against everyone else who has a different build style.

Just because something could be done, doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

I know there are people who abuse the current system, and there already are established means to deal with them. Implementing new limitations on everyone to deal with a bad minority is completely the wrong way to deal with a problem. This is how tyranny is born.

Having area-of-effect flags only makes sense in PvP where the flag can serve as a vulnerable core and target for attackers.

In PvE, where players more often make irregular bases or accessibility structures that aren’t real bases, area-of-effect is just stupid. The only system that would make sense, and to be clear, is still not something I would remotely support, would be an upkeep cost based entirely on the number of building pieces a clan has, regardless where on the map those pieces are. Flags would then only serve as fueling stations where upkeep could be accessed, and the number of flags or specific location of them would be irrelevant. And yeah, this system would have plenty of its own issues, like not stopping foundation spam and making it (gasp) less inconvenient to restore upkeep fuel - the point here isn’t that it is a good idea, only a less bad one.

:no_entry_sign: I oppose any and all upkeep ideas. Upkeep is a nonsense system that would only make the game worse for everyone in an attempt to control a few people - who will just find a new way to abuse the system because that type of person just doesn’t care.


I completely agree with this if an upkeep system is purely for police purposes. I give it leeway if it was always intended as a mechanic that just got backburnered. Again, my greatest concern is the amount of work really required to implement it and if its part of the game vision, fine, but if its just to police people, I agree I wouldnt be in favor of it.

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CM explains that flags are not a limited qtt, but the more flags the more cost. So yes, using a square of let’s say 10x10 per flag. you could overlap where needed to create the footprint design you wish. so for players who build small, cheaper upkeep. For someone who wants to cover 50x50 area for a city, the cost would be far greater and need 25 flags. For spammers needing larger areas, it would far be greater. For refreshers, they would have to play more or reduce to something easier to upkeep and refresh.

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True, but someone who builds 12 x 6 for example would have to use 2 flags for less space than a player who uses 10 x 10. That does not even account for having a 2nd base (fishing camp or small camp for wheel of pains at another location). Then the issue would be the prime real estate where you can maximize your 10 x 10 space would be premium over areas where you could only fit maybe 9 x 7 space for example.

Having a 2nd flag is more costly and having a 3rd even more so based on Codemage’s concept. So someone who builds per the terrain and artistic concept will be penalized versus someone builds a square box for example.

Granted a 10 x 10 flag space is probably too small to begin with, but its fine for this discussion.

Also use of horizontal elevators could become an issue.


Wouldn’t that encourage people to build with T1 materials instead of T2/T3? Especially on PVE servers.


I know your position about consoles, I agree. Yet these days I can finally play almost without lags. I lag more inside my own base, or next to other bases only.
I can surely understand the emotional connection this game creates to a player with his “owns”.
Yet not lagging worth the shot.
I finaly fight some bosses in the Grey pools almost without problems. I say almost because these lands in Siptah are way over builded. If they could have red mother spawn inside their build they would do it believe me. There is a lake in the east that lizards and gigantic trolls spawn. These trolls are a good supply of attribute potions. One guy on 8080 decided to wall it all around.
Like @Tephra said. We don’t need further restrictions, just some more adjustments and that’s it.
I really need this grid in some areas so people won’t be able to build massive.
But I encourage the flag system that @CodeMage mentioned, not for officials but for private servers that need to create a controlled building environment and give something more and different to the players. Being an admin in this environment is very difficult to control your players and you have to do the police officer all the time. There are several private servers that crashed from other players actions.
Since they pay for their servers they should have some protection and more from the company. I think this idea would help a lot the admins of the private servers.