Community building is tricky

Most people around the forums, the “vocals” love to praise games that “listen to the community”. Numbers however disprove this theory.

Conan Exiles, like many other games, lost its appeal (not my “opinion”, but a fact shown by the fact that concurrent and recent number of players are decreasing and lower than the major competitors it used to contend with). The community defenders say that the game has X or Y problem because it does not listen to the community, but the forums are full of people that do not represent most of the players that left or didnt even wanted to play in the first place. That is because players who come to forums and play the game as if there were no other to play are a minority, and they do not shape what most of the total players want.

That is what makes those YouTubers and other vocal gamers wonder why some publishers do not listen to the community, do not appeal to forum goers, and do not abide to gamer trends, and their games make a lot of money, and have a lot of players. Their games follow the pattern of not satisfying entirely X, Y or Z kind of gamer, but instead, making it passable to X,Y and Z, and if A and B dont like it, and dont play it, it does not matter. They know that YouTubers are bad indicators of what MOST people want, forum goers and elite players are bad indicators of what MOST people want. That is how other games in Funcom list followed the same pattern and Conan Exiles sadly went on to do.

After a while, knowingly or not, Conan Exiles became exactly what many people asked it to be in the forums, and then it turned into a game that many people who played it disliked. And even those who asked for those things found out they do not work, and are not fun.

While games like Ark, and even freaking Minecraft, benefited from Lockdowns and Restrictions, making people play more because of more free time, Conan Exiles actually lost a chunk of its players, and went to be under the 15k mark it mostly had beaten.

MMORPGs have a thing, and people who play it dont like many aspects of Conan Exiles, and it is far from being a looter, so it should stop trying to be a “kind of those things” and start really picking up the survival genre back, and building upon what people liked about it in the first place.

Instead of making Siptah a better survival experience, Siptah came as a better map, in terms of graphics, in terms of resources and mechanics, but it was done in a way the least of your concerns is the survival basics. All that you had of survival tension in Exiled Lands was removed from Siptah, and instead, you get MMORPG style content, over “mainly fight with mobs” game, instead of having to worry about “where will you sleep ?”, “Do I have a shelter ?”, "Are resources close ? ".

And people found out that survival experience is better elsewhere, Looter experience is better elsewhere, and MMORPG experience is better elsewhere.

And being so focused on restricting the game to community driven content, like servers, mods and so on, Conan Exiles is losing players in bigger numbers because once a community “icon” leaves the game, they take with them the people who likes the game because of these icons’ contents. So a server leave the game to another, the people go with it, because there is nothing there to keep them besides the managers of that server. While it is sometimes good to leave servers to be made by their players, the game rests on the mercy of such players, which are not representative of the appeal of the game.

I am just sad about it because Conan Exiles do have, more so in Siptah, one of the best environments and mechanics around for survival games, even if it is mostly underused by the way it was done. However, it lost its way with small group, co-op or solo content. And servers are not doing a great job in mitigating it.

While the game is off its peak (like all games, they go thru content release peaks), the average has been trending up in the long term. So I’m not sure the conclusions drawn have any data behind them.

You can see the baseline continues to increase.

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“What we are going to do is find what works and intensify it.”
~ Alexander The Great, Conan Exiles dev team

These words were said a long time ago. No one else could read the writing on the wall. At that point, Conan Exiles was wildy PvE, and quite successful. Successful in stability, server growth and pop growth.

We get what we ask for. PvP players can’t make The Exiled Lands work? Funcom has to create a whole new map. Honestly, I’m ashamed to say it but it’s true. The base game is, and has been, too tough for PvP.

Right now, the server I joined is in exodus. A suspected undermesher joined just prior to my arrival and bombed out the Alpha. Now the Alphas have left for a Private Server. Once again, it’s just me and my pals beatin our bearers waiting around for the alleged cheater to decide to hit us. That’s what’s going on.


I like both maps, although I play more on Siptah on the official servers and more on Exiled Lands on private servers. Shrug. True Siptah has better optimization/graphics due to lessons learned, built from scratch with newer systems, etc. but that would be expected with any new map created.

I thought PvPers enjoy EL more than Siptah, but that was based on a thread/post a few months back that PvPers disliking Siptah before all the recent changes. I am not sure if that is true any longer.

People do not always like change (see Rift, Warhammer Online, SWG, etc.) I know a few people quit ESO recently due to the latest changes to the game (Champion Points and some skills). They may return at a later date or they may not.

I think Conan Exiles has been overall improving their game based on feedback and ideas by the dev team. Yes, there has been some misses along the way, that could be tweaked (revamped food and fishing decay timers for example).


If I had a dollar for every time someone thought numbers are easy to interpret correctly, I wouldn’t have the time to hang out on these forums, because I would be too busy swimming in my money like Scrooge McDuck. Hell, if I had a dollar for every time someone said something about numbers without including even one bit of actual data, I could retire right now.

What numbers?

These numbers? :arrow_up: See that long term trend? Is it rising or is it falling? Why doesn’t anyone check this before doomposting about “numbers”? For that matter, why does every post have to make the argument that the game is dying? Why isn’t it enough to just say what it is you dislike and how you would like it improved?

I can’t for the life of me make sense of that sentence. Are you saying forums are full of people who didn’t want to play in the first place? Or that we, on the forums, don’t represent people who didn’t want to play in the first place? Either way, that makes absolutely no sense at all.

We’re here on the forums because we like playing Conan Exiles and we want to have discussions about it. That’s all. Anyone can do the same.

See above. If you or anyone else feels underrepresented here, then come to the forums and participate. I’ll let you in on a little secret, though: we don’t shape the future of the game as much as you claim. You wanna know how I know? Every time there’s a major change, half the forum posts are “who even asked for this stuff”.

I imagine “their” in that sentence means “Funcom’s”. If so, then yes, I completely agree with that. Conan Exiles tries to cater to various disparate play styles and ends up being a game that doesn’t completely satisfy any of them. You can see it on the forums all the time, there are constant clashes between people who like survival games, MMO players, people who like to build, people who like to collect everything and explore everything, competitive PVP players, and a bunch of other styles.

For what it’s worth, I think that’s the root cause of most people’s frustrations. Even I get frustrated by that, a lot. But it seems to be working, as actual numbers seem to indicate :man_shrugging:

Or, and hear me out here, it might be that people are more likely to complain about something than to praise it. There’s literally tons of psychological research about negativity bias and all its ramifications.

And here we are, at last, the buried lede: Conan Exiles isn’t enough of a survival game. We’re finally getting to the interesting part of the discussion.

Yeah, for a survival game, Conan Exiles is fairly easy when it comes to survival. Here’s the thing, though: “survival games” is the name of a genre and, as such, is a bit of a misnomer. I mean, the genre includes games like Terraria, Minecraft, and even No Man’s Sky. Terraria has no real survival mechanics to speak of (and yet people insist on including it in the genre), Minecraft has been watered down by Microsoft to the point where it’s just playing with legos, and No Man’s Sky is basically a sightseeing tour of a procedurally generated galaxy.

So that’s the paradox of Conan Exiles, it’s not really challenging in terms of survival, but it’s still more challenging than a bunch of other so-called survival games.

You hit the nail on the head there. Siptah wasn’t designed to be a survival map. From what I can see, it seems like there were initially two major driving forces behind Siptah: make a better PVP map, and make the progression more meaningful.

Everything seemed to be focused on that. Vaults and leyshrines were designed to be PVP hotspots. The absence of any T3s and T4s in wild surges was meant to prevent people from skipping large segments of the progression curve. And these two things fed into each other. It was a neat idea.

But the people didn’t want a car, they wanted a faster horse. Complaints kept streaming in, hammering at the team until someone at Funcom decided that enough is enough and they bowed to the demands. They axed the tertiary game loop that made Siptah unique and made it more like Exiled Lands.

I haven’t played Siptah since – I’m back enjoying myself in the Exiled Lands – but it looks like Siptah’s bid for uniqueness now is the “loot”. New legendaries, new craftable weapons and armor, new thralls – most of them more powerful than what you can find in Exiled Lands. And kudos to the team for coming up with stuff that looks fun, but I still can’t help feeling that none of that makes up for losing a truly unique gameplay experience.

I share some of those feelings. But in the end, the formula seems to be “Make the official vanilla experience good enough to hook people, and then they can go to private servers to enjoy their preferred play style.”

Like it or not, it seems to be working.

Besides, survival is only one aspect of the game. I find myself enjoying the game, overall, a lot more than I used to, thanks to some of the other changes. But that’s a whole different topic.


I kinda agree but not at the same time.
It is true that the player base that comes to the forums and speak do not represent the majority of players, but tbh, if the majority of players spoke, we would have the most generic experience, boring and dull.

I totally agree that the game needs more depth on the survival side and the game should never feel too safe, at least for certain type of servers.

It could have been better if they had a focused on a certain kind of gameplay and attract those kind of players but the others would have been left ignored and maybe wouldn’t play the game anymore, CE has many ways to approach and enjoy the game and FC has tried to please them all.

Truth is, CE did not have a clear roadmap where it began, it has been modified so much since then that is a totally different game now.

I think most of this changes have been for the best of the game and the quality of it. So far CE is the best survival game i’ve played, although the survival part is lacking in the current version of the game imo. I think CE did a very good job putting together this map and the resources to play with it, then they saw they could do better and made Siptah, trying to bring a fresh experience to all.

Of course they could’ve done better, thats what the community come to ask for. When they introduced siptah most of us didn’t like to capture thralls only through random surges or grinding resources to have a chance to get a competent thrall. Now we have camps and factions all around the map.

Fc has to stick to its niche, keep to its loyal playerbase and fixing what’s already broken, not emulate other games that were more succesful to hoard masses of players. Stick to the IP lore, make the game fair for everyone and fixing bugs, but also improving gameplay mechanics, the community will bring to attention those things.


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