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.