14. Crom Needs An Overhaul
This topic has come up before, and has drawn passionate debate on both sides. However, I am here to argue for a greater role for Crom in Conan Exiles, and am encouraging an open dialogue from players and devs alike on this issue, as it is an important one. As such, this post is long and explorative.
Crom needs something…ANYTHING!! Crom is arguably the most important deity in the Conan universe, and the God of its central figure, Conan himself. A God as cool as Crom needs more. He needs to be better represented in the game, as at this point in time, his only role is essentially an ‘opt-out’ option for the games religion system at the start of the game. I can completely understand the decision for him to have no avatar, and offer no direct aid; that is his nature. I also completely understand and respect the decision by Funcom to take this approach which is friendly to the source material. However, I would argue that Crom can still be included in the game in other ways. So after much head scratching, I have assembled three suggestions as to how he can be overhauled for a rightly deserved, more visible role:
1. The Valor/Fury of Crom:
This would be the most visible and hence the most divisive idea. This would essentially be a berserk or rage mode, in place of an avatar. Think along the lines of rage of the gods from God of War. This would grant the player enhanced damage and resilience for a brief period of time (say 1 min like avatars?). The player would NOT be recieving this power directly from Crom himself. Think of it as an epithany or catharsis. A heightened understanding of Crom and his code, driving the player into a bloodrunk rage/savage frenzied bloodlust. Some would say that this is an unfair advantage, however, an avatar can literally level an entire clans base, months of work, in less than a minute! If anything this is less extreme and unfair. It could utilise ‘manifestations of heightened prowess’ (call it whatever they will) counted from within the player menu as opposed to the shrine. Perhaps even have Croms likeness or silhouette watch approvingly from the sky, not helping, but simply revelling in your savagery and might. How it would be counted is a subject for other debate, and better left to the creative designers at Funcom. Ultimately, my goal here is to argue that something should be implemented; not what specifically.
2. Forge of Crom:
A forge built by the earliest worshippers of Crom who came to the exiled lands in a time long past, now lost to the sands of time. This has been touched upon previously. Has the potential to overlap with number 3. A forge where the player can travel to (preferably atop of one of the highest peaks or near the mounds of the dead in Tundra biome), with recipes on a nearby tablet. Or learn to build it. It would allow players to craft Crom themed weapons and/or armour.
3. Crom themed Weapons (and/or Armour and Decorations):
The most passive and lore friendly, and my personal favourite. These would simply be re-skins of existing weapons. As they are only a cosmetic difference, they would not offer the player any advantage. I would suggest hardened steel due to its Cimmerian nature, or star metal. I visualise these as being more Valhallan or Viking themed, which would be a better fit for the world than the more Japanese themed Yamatai. They could be learned as a religion during the game just as the ‘mountaineer’ religion is learned by the Mountaineer, or the ‘midnight alchemist’ religion from Child of JhebbelSag. It could simply be added to Braga who is already a Crom worshiper, or a new npc, then built at a forge or handcrafted, rather than at a shrine.
Speaking of shrines, I see no reason why he cant have a purely ornamental shrine or even a monument (ie a decorative statue). Just because he doesnt require worship, it does not mean that that it is not permitted or undertaken! Why cant we build a shrine or monument to Crom, even if it is purely decorative/ornamental? Or have banners, seals or busts with the Mountain symbol of his religion? Although hypothetically, if it were functional (eg-through ‘manifestation of heightened prowess’) what material would it use. Hmmm…I say weathered skulls or captured thralls and baby animals for sacriffices (well he is a gloomy and savage God after all!).
My suggestion on how to implement this is also not without controversy. There will always be some fans who wish to see Crom continue to have nothing at all, and I respect that. So I propose that this could be packaged as a DLC as opposed to a free content update. That way those who want Crom to continue having nothing would not have it forced upon them, and those of us who seek to see Crom venerated and better represented can buy it. Personally at this point I would pay ANY asking price to have some Crom themed weapons, armour and decorations. This has the potential, carefully designed, to be the best DLC pack to date.
We have already expanded beyond the canonical. Although Croms religion doesnt provide any benefit, it inspires his followers to create their own benefit; the very essence of a God of self-determination! I like many others want to proudly display my allegiance to my chosen deity at my fortress and in battle; something which followers of all the other Gods already can. And I encourge all others to have their say.
Please Note: I am not arguing specifically for the changes listed here. These are intended as starter suggestions. We all have different perceptions of what features Crom should offer and what they would look like. Think of voting for this as supporting the concept and call for change rather than the specifics. This is a petition, an archive of lore references, and a collection of the communitys suggestions. I also encourage visitors to pay attention to my posts which are headed with boldface and capitalised, as they contain lore referenced facts.