Decay, purges and inactive players

The decay system really should be reworked at some point, its extremely inefficient and has many flaws. One of them is allowing people to keep PvE structures permanently even if they dont play anymore.

Im sure all PvE servers have their share of players that used to be active, built way too much and now cant allow their buildings to decay, even if they dont play the game for months/year. It was too much time spent and now they cant let it go. Its easy log once a week and never be seen again, anyone can do that, the server I play has a couple people that have been inactive for almost a year but still keep countless, massive bases that serve absolute no purpose for the server, its just a frustration for newcomers that could use the space to populate the server.

The Purge SHOULD be a fix to that, the bar should never decrease, for the contrary, the bar should still increase even if the player is offline and inactive. That way inactive players would still be punished by attacks and suffer losses, this would make them either reduce their bases, play a reasonable amount of time (to keep their bases up and alive) or let their bases go once and for all, so the real ACTIVE players can benefit from it.


Heartily agree that purge meters should never slip into reverse, but moreso because it’s discouraging to active players who also need to maintain a healthy work/ life / gaming balance. IMO/IME, it’s better suited as a PvE challenge / reward than as a clean-up mechanism.

I do agree about the need for a better clean-up function though. The ease with which bases can be kept refreshed indefinitely by people who no longer “play” (particularly by griefers) is a big reason why I decided to start a private server for my friends and I.

Ironically, I haven’t exactly decided on what to do with all of my own builds. There are quite a few structures I built on #1502 to preempt common trolling practices such as walling off New Asagarth or the Well of Skelos, and it’s gotten back to me that some of the remaining players are apprehensive about losing public works such as bridges, maprooms, etc.

Still, I’d wager there is a far-greater incidence of refreshers keeping servers chock-full of spam than of those keeping anti-griefing countermeasures intact.

IMO, we need to figure out a better way of implementing a clean-up system than what we’ve got now regardless. At 7 days, the current default decay period provides a small chance at being able to catch a refresher unaware (which is why I’ve supported it), but just as often it seems to punish those who had a life emergency only to come back and find a source of joy has been lost.

One system I’d be in favor of is to slowly decrease the maximum decay time of a clan’s holdings if their players aren’t actively playing. By this I mean, if you’re only logging the 5-10 minutes a week it takes to make a circuit of your bases, then your max decay time should start slipping from 168 hours. With a system like this. After several weeks or months of such behavior, perhaps a clan’s max time might even reach a low of 24 to 48 hours.

On the flip side, this could also be a means of rewarding active players. Perhaps this would make it feasible to to increase max decay time beyond 7 days to benefit long-time players so that folks can afford to take a family vacation, weather an in-patient hospitalization, or the like without having to jump thru hoops.


This is actually a great idea, Funcom should consider something like this.


the maximum decay time of a clan’s holdings if their players aren’t actively playing. By this I mean, if you’re only logging the 5-10 minutes a week it takes to make a circuit of your bases, then your max decay time should start slipping from 168 hours. With a system like this. After several weeks or months of such behavior, perhaps a clan’s max time might even reach a low of 24 to 48 hours

I’m in favor of this as well.

On OPs note about no purge bar decay, I don’t agree. The decay does need a solid grace period before it starts to drop though.

Solo players/clans with limited time already have to wait longer due to decay from “inactivity”, but decay is still needed to keep inactive players/clans out of the list of those eligible to be attacked, so it doesn’t take away from people who want the challenge & rewards.

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This seems like one of those things that sound better on paper than in practice. For starters, what would a player have to do under this system that would convince the game that they’re “actively playing”? Second, does it affect all the builds or just some? Third, how does this apply to clans?

I still believe I would prefer a system that combines upkeep and limited PVP. Keep the decay system in place. Allow each player to keep one base invulnerable – at a cost that depends on the size of that base – and the rest of their builds can be raided. This would make people play more actively, it would cut down on unreasonably massive builds and it would make it impossible to spam the whole server with impunity.

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I am currently an inactive player on pve.
I log in once a week, sometimes more and play a bit but mainly just to refresh.

The irony here is that I’m inactive because no amount of building, thralling or boss killing will increase my purge meter enough to even get me close to a purge.
Then if I can’t log in for a day or so, the meter is empty.

I would love for the purge meter to go up constantly but I understand that may not be good for everyone.
But it should never decay unless you are inactive for at least 5 days, even a week.
In my opinion the meter should not drop for 8 days from your last login. That way anyone who is refreshing to greif won’t be able to avoid the purge and anyone who has stopped playing will become inellegable.


I cannot agree more , if I can add something to your post , is that some players (like me) are playing in different servers at the same time . Pvp is very demanding sometimes and it needs all your time and energy . That leads to the fact that you don’t have time for pve . In Greece we say that if you hold 2 watermelons with one hand the one will drop down and break .So I cannot complain if I loose my purge meter in pve . Plus if you want to have a fast purge you can always spam 1000 foundations and your purge meter will go crazy . No pain no gain simple as that .

No. Definitely no.


Definitely no… no. It is an option that u can use. Now i f you want to play fair, you have to dismantle after your purge is done. I tottaly agree that the best way to have a purge is to play frequently and wait for it. But if you want it now, pain awaits. That’s all i mean nothing more.

Well the tasks listed as potential (yet not tracked) purge meter activities (harvesting, crafting, visiting different map markers) in addition to the usual killing & building seems like a reasonable place to start. As for what it should affect, I’d say it should affect all of that clan’s holdings with the threshold time per player being the same either way. Otherwise this unfairly penalizes building styles where the players don’t link everything together or adds (I would imagine) thrall-pot-like server strain to the building system.

For example, if the threshold for maintaining your current decay time is 1 hour per week, then I’d suggest it be 1 hour per week for each member of the clan. In this way, if folks want to sign-up 9 alt accounts to reach their max thrall limit they can still do so, but it would be an option that would require a fairly dedicated player to maintain. Similarly, it might help to address instances of toxic clans trying to lockdown multiple servers with a small number of people as there are only so many hours in the day.

That works well enough for PvP, but in PvE all bases are already invulnerable. I’m also not sure about basing the upkeep mechanism on literally the most unenjoyable part of the game (i.e. farming basic materials). I might not mind this so much now that I have a private server where I was finally able to disable the camera shake, but this would be a deal-breaker for me on an Official unless I relied on my friend Gavinrad to farm everything for me or traded purge thralls for materials (as I started doing after the mid-animation hitch was added to the pick/axe).


Based on these two quotes, it seems like you’re proposing something different from what you originally stated, which was a system that would “slowly decrease the maximum decay time of a clan’s holdings if their players aren’t actively playing” (emphasis mine).

This new turn suggests a system that isn’t so much a decay system, as an upkeep system based on the players’ activities, tracked in a similar way as the Purge meter.

If that’s the case, I like the general idea, but dislike certain aspects of it :wink:

What I like about this:

  • It’s an improvement on the current decay system. It makes it necessary to actually play the game if you want to keep your real estate.
  • It doesn’t tie the players down and force them to do more mind-numbingly boring stuff out of obligation.

What I dislike about this:

  • It doesn’t seem to depend on the amount of real estate occupied by the clan. If the effort you have to put into maintaining your holdings is always the same, you might as well pave over the whole map.
  • It does depend on the clan size, which further discourages clanning. Under the current system, if your clanmate goes on vacation (or stops playing actively for any other reason), you just have to go refresh their builds and you can spend the rest of the time playing normally. Under the new system, you would have to put in much more effort.

What I don’t dislike, but I feel queasy about:

  • Adding another mechanic similar to Purge-meter invites all kinds of bugs that have been plaguing the Purge, but this time tied in with the survival of your bases. The current decay timer is a crappy measure, but at least it’s dirt simple and hard to screw up.

No, I was proposing this for the non-PVP servers too. Either that, or a new mode. Basically, as long as all PVE and PVE-C buildings are invulnerable all the time, there will never be a way to deal with trolls and griefers. On the other hand, I don’t see myself or anyone else who plays primarily PVE(-C) as a kind of person who will ever feel comfortable with full PVP, where you can lose everything in one fell swoop.

I’m not pretending to speak for anyone else here, but I know I would be quite happy if I had to pick one base to keep invulnerable – at a cost – and leave everything else vulnerable to attacks.

It doesn’t have to work like that, either. Someone could come up with a different idea and as long as it provides players a way to attack and destroy other players’ buildings – under special circumstances with well-defined rules of engagement, as opposed to the complete chaos of PVP – I would support it :slight_smile:

But that’s probably off topic in this thread, so I’ll shut up about it.

Maybe another approach could be some sort of “maintenance” cost to buildings with in game materials. This would help reduce not only inactivity, but also overbuilding which is a huge problem in PvE servers. This game really lacks “soft caps” on players, that feeling: “I can go beyond this, do I have the time/dedication for it? Will it be worth my time?”. Take the feeding pots for example, it could have worked as an alternative to the incoming and already hated/feared thrall cap. Im sure most would prefer it than this forced thrall limit on us.

There is limited resource a player can take on the server, Im talking about hardware, not in game materials. This works for thralls and buildings and Funcom designed a game where players have basically no restrictions in what they can do/keep, this cant exist in a sandbox game, hardware is limited, so we are now facing problems that are demanding extreme solutions (thrall cap for example).

The game design should be good enough to give freedom at the cost of dedication. If it worked that way we wouldnt need these extreme solutions and nobody would feel restricted. If a player wants massive bases and 1000 thralls, fine, but they would sure have to work a LOT in game to keep it all this. If they want smaller bases and just a few thralls, great, they would be able to keep them with much less effort/dedication.

RP happens, people also lose interest in the game (sometimes just for a length of time), that’s when they should consider reducing, but not giving up, their domains, so they can manage it with much less effort in the long run. And this would give more room to more active players. It should all be a trade, everybody should have what they can keep, without feeling restrained or having more than they make up for.

This is a survival game, and it loses everything when you walk around and only see endless roads, massive bases and claimed lands by inactive players everywhere.

This is a game that has been marketed and sold as a survival game, but hasn’t been one for quite a while now.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t disagree with you on the points of decay, Purges, overbuilding and inactive players. It’s just that the survival game genre establishes certain expectations that Conan Exiles hasn’t been meeting for months now. I’ve played both Conan Exiles and Don’t Starve quite extensively, and guess which one is much harder?

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I made no comment about the extent of people’s holdings because I was talking about the differences between someone knowing to link everything up, vs. players building in a more organic style where they simply place new buildings down, unaware that this creates a new building ID in the database whenever they do so. I’m also wanting to avoid a “Brick Pot” solution where the server has to keep feeding materials out (thru a potentially vast network) since that was so taxing to servers under the original follower-feeding system.

I see no issue with having larger builds require more effort to upkeep, it would certainly give clan leaders a reason to police what their subordinates are up to. That part of your suggestion I’m totally on-board with.

Actually, if I understand some of the build-size constraint conditions correctly, then a clan with lots of buildings (read: blocks) would be paying expotentially more than if they were to split up with each member having a proportionate share of what would otherwise be a single clan’s holdings. From that standpoint, the expotential cost increase some have suggested would disincentivize clanning more than what I’m suggesting.

After all, if any given player must play 1 hour per week to keep their stuff alive, then it makes little difference if they are in a clan or playing solo. The only disincentive to clanning this would create would be for active players to allow more casual/ less active players into their clan. i.e. The reason why I stated it this way is to preempt situations where a clan of 10 people keeps 1 member logged-in on each of 10 different servers so they can keep them all on lock-down by having all the other members swoop-in when an even happens on one of them.

No clue if this is an actual issue or not, but given some of the forum posts I’ve read over the years, I’m inclined to think it happens in at least some form.

Now as for making the buildings on PvE servers attackable by other players, that is something that makes me queasy. :wink:

A system like this should be approached carefully. You don’t want to punish people who have real life issues pop up, but they do intend to come back and play. So, a heating up effect. The more time away, the more the system will “punish” you. Being gone for a week, or two, shouldn’t be a problem. Logging in once a week, and rarely ever playing, for 6 months…yeah that’s a problem.


This all makes sense to me. Because officials are supposed to be shared free places that belongs to anyone who purchased (or via free weekends/ps plus) should have a chance to play on. I have been soap boxing 2 things, and both are tied to the economy:

  1. As you state, up keep costs.
  2. Everything should have a decay rate, even in the freezers (it was like this on release, where normal decay was 60 minutes, became 600 minutes).

These would both be settings for privates and SP to turn on or off. Officials would be on by default.

Here are the benefits i see from this.
PVE—No more spam trolls, as they would not want to put in the hours it would take to refresh it correctly. Would also allow those that do play a lot to have their massive builds, and those that are just stopping by on officials to have to keep their builds smaller.
PVP—Same as PVE, but also make it harder for People to hoard and out resource new players when they join a server. They would have to put legit time into playing consistently, and not body vault anything.

I look at officials like public parks…You can claim 5 tables one Saturday for your kids b-day party, but you shouldn’t be able to keep that claim if all you are going to use the park for is that once a year birthday party. Open it up to the other people who have the game.


To be clear, I was referring to your idea on its own, not comparing it to other people’s ideas about building limits and such.

I think the problem is that we’re talking in vague, hand-wavy terms, so it’s easy to misunderstand each other. Let me try to put it down in more concrete terms, so we can either both get on the same page or at least understand which book each one is reading :wink:

First, let me explain how I’m interpreting your idea right now.

Just like in the current system, all the structures and placeable that belong to a clan have a timer that is slowly counting down. Once the timer reaches 0, the buildings can be destroyed.

Unlike the current system, the timer isn’t refreshed to its maximum just by virtue of a connected building piece being loaded on the client. Instead, the timer is pushed back towards some theoretical maximum through player actions, using a mechanic similar to the Purge meter.

In other words, certain actions performed by the player will each count as a certain amount of time to push their clan’s decay timer back towards the maximum.

Provided that I correctly understood your idea and that what I’ve said so far is more or less what you meant, here’s what I worry about: if action A performed by a clanless player pushes back the timer by X, will that same action A performed by a player in a two-person clan also push back the timer by X or by ½X?

Likewise, what I worry about is whether and how the amount of building pieces placed by a player affects that X.

Well, the idea I was thinking of would still use the current Decay Timer and refresh mechanism (i.e. visiting a base), but it would modify what a clan can get their Max Time set to on any and all bases irrespective of how much or little they’ve built.

How much they need to play each week to neither increase nor decrease their max time, could be determined by how much their clan has actually built. A clan whose entire holdings are only a smallish 1000 block base might require only 1 hour a week to stay at 168 hours, with an avid player being able to push it to 2 weeks if they’re putting in an hour or two most days. Meanwhile, a clan with an investment of 10K blocks might find they need to put in about 10 hours a week to maintain 168 hours. A clan intent on paving over an entire server might even require more hours than can even be logged, meaning it would be very difficult and time-consuming to maintain such prolific spam, and even a short absence from the server might result in their trollworks being demolished via the radial menu.

As for how much each individual contributes? My original thinking was that it would be 1/x (where X is the number of players in a clan) so as to disincentivize cheesing the thall limit and the scenario that I mentioned previously. However, that aspect I’m less fixed on because I’m not sure how frequently that scenario (of 10 players gatekeeping 10 servers) occurs. In a normal PvE scenario, where each member of a clan wants to do their own thing, then having each member contribute at a 1:1 rate makes more sense, but the current thrall limit is such a huge disincentive to a PvE clan operating like that that it might be self-limiting

Does that explain what I was thinking better, or are there still missing puzzle pieces leaving the picture unclear?

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Right, that’s what I’m trying to figure out a solution to. The 1-week system currently in use on all Officials is at once a necessary evil but also very unforgiving of extenuating circumstances. That’s why I’m trying to brainstorm a way for avid players to increase their max decay time for In Case of RealLife™ while making things more time-consuming than it’s worth for the “players” who only want to grief others.

EDIT: Also what @WhatMightHaveBeen said. :+1:

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Okay, now I understand better what you’re trying to say. I have a lot of very serious doubts about how effective that would be, but they’ll have to wait until I get home so I can: 1) test some nitty-gritty details of the decay system, and 2) spend some time mulling things over without feeling guilty about not doing my actual job :wink:

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