Conan Exiles Dev Stream - Questions and Answers
Funcom Full Youtube Link (Starts at 8:25): 09/22/2020 - Written Summary
Hello and good day. I hope everybody has been enjoying the new content.
Today the Funcom stream was all about Q/A, with questions posted before hand, and some twitch chat questions answered towards the end.
Funcom staff sightings for this stream were:
- Natascha (Engagement Director) - On stream
- Scott (Project Director) - On stream
- Alex (Lead Designer) - On stream
- Nicole (Community Manager) - In chat
- Ignasis - (Community Support) - In chat
- Andy (Community Manager) - In chat
- Funcom_Ato (Marketing Manager) - In chat
This area of the recap will be updated for the next few days of any important relevant information. Here is what we have so far.
As with past Q & A’s, the information can be daunting and a giant wall of text. I did my best to put information into categories to help players best find what they are looking for, along with the usual appropriate time stamps.
Special thanks for this recap go out to @Testerle for supplying the Twitch chat logs so I could include the relevant quotes down below. With that, onto the summary.
Siptah - Map Based Questions
This is something they are working on right now. It was a feature that they planned on having when they launched the Siptah expansion. Server Transfers was one of the reasons they decided to go with Early Access since the feature wasn’t yet ready. It is however going through active development right now. The system does require a lot of testing, and they need to get a lot of things in place to make sure it works properly.
Once it’s ready, they will release it to Testlive for public testing. Once it clears Testlive testing, they will release it to live for all players. The ETA on this feature is early next year, hopefully sooner if they can manage it.
The short answer is yes, and it was first discussed in the producer letter that Scott wrote a few days ago.
The long answer is that biomes are tricky. The Exile Lands is a made up location, and has a wide range of various biomes. Siptah is based on an actual location in Conan lore (more or less in the middle of the equator, off the coast of Africa in real world terms). Here is a more in depth description of Siptah’s location, provided by our resident lore expert and Conan Exiles discord moderator, @Jimbo .
After the Ice Age sank the lands of Shem and Argos into the Mediterranean, the land to the west of Stygia rose up from the sea, leaving the former isle now landlocked somewhere in what is modern day Libya.
For that reason, it’s more difficult to offer the variety of biomes that the Exile Lands did for Siptah in order to keep it lore consistent.
However, they are working on new land expansion and adding new content locations. This is similar to what they did with the Exile Lands.
The Siptah experience, as Alex described, is meant to be different from the Exile Lands. They don’t want to dilute that experience by adding camps and potentially not experience the unique dynamic features of Siptah.
Funcom has a couple of solutions for this. Early Access gives them the opportunity to really fine-tune these mechanics and patch the holes in their ideas for Siptah. Ideally, they are providing content for all playstyles. Ultimately, they have a plan in place to address some of these issues but Alex doesn’t want to go into those details just yet. They were even aiming to have a patch come out today, but things fell through, so they will have to see how things go over the next few days.
Natascha made sure to add that they have seen player feedback where players feel that Siptah is slanted towards one playstyle, and that they are aware of those concerns and that they are looking into options. She ends her comment to make sure to keep the feedback coming, as they really appreciate it.
Maybe. Probably not to the extent that there are in the Exile lands though. Some of the caves on Siptah you can actually build them, as they left them intentionally empty for that reason.
This question ties in with the previous question about adding NPC encampments. They are aware that some players are used to or are missing the camps found in the Exile Lands, and they are looking at ways to address those concerns. Whether that’s new camps, or something that fulfills the same goals as camps where it’s more of an on-demand content that tells more of a story into a handcrafted nature.
But just like they talked about before, they don’t want to take away the unique systems in place of Siptah, or be a direct copy of the Exile Lands.
They are looking at feedback as it comes in. They don’t want it to be overly dense, but they also don’t want it to be too empty. So their goal is to find a happy balance between the two.
This goes back to their earlier discussion of offering different play styles to different types of player. The RNG factor probably won’t be removed, but you will be able to control it a little better, though the final solution to this hasn’t been finalized yet by Funcom.
The concern of the combat becoming stale in the Exile Lands because you know where everything is at is one of the reasons they decided to experiment more with dynamic combat with Siptah. Once they move their way through Siptah’s new systems, understanding the processes and mechanics, they will see if any of those system’s will be translated to the Exile Lands. Right now their focus will be on Siptah, at least in the short term, but they have some ideas for what they want to do to improve the Exile Lands later.
Scott says that like other suggestions, they can look into it. Alex said that he feels like it could be an interesting dynamic for the Unnamed City. As talked about before, they are looking into making the game more dynamic and taking those lessons they learned from Siptah to apply that.
They are keenly aware that this is already happening on Siptah based servers. There are a lot of spawn points for the Wild Surges, but it can be particularly troubling for people on PvE and PvE-C servers where people build great walls around them to prevent others from accessing the surge.
Funcom does want to let players use the building system smartly to gain an advantage of the Wild Surges, but they also don’t want players to build a ring around content to prevent others from accessing it. They are hoping to address this with a solution they have come up with sometime next week.
Siptah - General Questions
Funcom has three major updates planned for Siptah. The first would be described and labeled internally as the “Economy update.” Alex said that the idea of the update is to smooth out the player progression through the economy system. He described it as giving players both vertical progression through the economy, and horizontal options at specifically the end-game. This will allow players to much more engage with the Thralls that they collect, while also allowing more precise control of the output of those Thralls. Specifically, Alex says, with regards to the armors and weapons.
Scott adds that they know that Thralls are harder to acquire in Siptah. It’s feedback they have received internally and in the beta. It’s something they want to address, but not by changing the unique gameplay mechanics of Siptah too much. But they would like to approach the haves and have nots, so that it’s not complete feast or famine in terms of being able to access or build things.
This part was clarified further post-stream by Scott
The changes that are being made in one of our upcoming patches is to help players without thralls (specifically crafting thralls) to compete better with those that have the best thralls.
The other part of the first major update is character re-customization. Their goal is to have the character re-customization in the first major patch, but Scott adds a disclaimer that it might not be in it since many things are still in active development. (More on this feature in a follow up question.)
After those two changes have been implemented, Funcom has two other major updates planned. However, Scott said that they could not go into details on those as they are too early in development. But the plan is to have several steps that will lead up to the full launch of Siptah and complete the feature set that they originally planned when they started working on the Siptah expansion.
At the tail end of the stream, Scott said that the intended target for the first big patch will be sometime in October. Though like anything, this is subject to change based on any hurdles or issues that can come up.
They are adding a new way for players to change their character appearances. This however probably won’t include the change of ■■■ or race. Your face, hair, etc will be changeable. It will be a crafting bench that you interact with, and Scott said that the concepts (concept art is probably what he meant here) looks amazing to him.
In addition to the re-customization will be new options for beards, hairstyles, new faces, new tattoos, and warpaints.
No, you must own the expansion to play the Isle of Siptah.
They are looking at all playstyles and trying to find a balance without destroying what the core game loop is of Siptah. Scott wanted to clarify that it isn’t only PvP focused and that there is a lot of PvE content to be found on the map. The map is more conflict focused in general, whether that’s combat or negotiating for resources since there are less. There is however still a lot of vaults, a lot of store and lore, and places to explore. Surges are also not just a PvP mechanic, since you will need them for your PvE goals as well.
Finally, as has been said many times in the stream, they will continue to monitor feedback and make adjustments from there.
There will be some items and features that will be exclusive to each map. The map rooms for example don’t really fit the Isle of Siptah. They want to keep the two map’s unique, a little bit different, and give them each reasons to play.
Future Content, Tools, and Features - General
Scott says this is a feature he wants to bring to the game. It is however not going to happen for the Siptah release and isn’t part of the core features they are planning to add to Siptah for it’s full launch. He says they want it to be amazing, and that it fits the lore and world of the Conan IP. Scott ends the discussion of Sorcery that when he has more information, he will share it.
@Croms_Faithful was identified by Scott as to the source of this question (heh heh).
But to answer the question, adding new weapons and content is something they are always looking into. Scott teased an example that if they added new landmass that it would probably have new content associated with it.
Yes, Scott would like to do that. Scott says that as a console player himself, is that when you go and you craft something but own all the DLC’s, that it’s a lot of stuff to sift through while not being able to sort. It is something they are looking into, and it was something they wanted to do before the Architects of Argos DLC came out but ran out of time. Updating the user interface however is not a trivial task.
Alex added that some concerns would be addressed with the economy update, with more stations and allowing players an easier time to interact with all the recipes in the game.
No. As they discussed in the previous stream, they will focus most of their attention on expanding the toolbox. Instead of focusing on adding new content for one map or the other. As they add new features, there will be content on both maps to take advantage of them.
For mod options, Fashionist is a very popular mod for this functionality.
Alex said that they should probably do that at some point, if they have time to work on it, but will definitely consider it in the future. Scott says to get it to work correctly (properly), it would or could require a significant change to how they do items on the back end. The feature is something they have discussed in the past, but it isn’t something they can commit to right now.
Natascha added that there are PvP concerns with regards to this as well. Being able to observe what your opponent is wearing is a legitimate strategy, so having vanity slots could cause some balance concerns.
Alex quickly in response said, “baby steps friends, baby steps.” Scott said it would be great to do things like knock on doors, and such. He finished by saying that they could look into it.
They said probably not the vault chest models, since they are meant to be special. Alex said that storage in Conan Exiles is a little bit on the boring side. They don’t quantify the value of people’s storage well enough, and haven’t paid enough to that aspect of the “economy.”
If they were going to add more storage options, it would be as part of a larger update, and not just one or two new chests. Scott added that he knows that what players always want is more placeables, as positive feedback they get from the DLC packs is from the various cosmetic placeables they offer. So he concluded this discussion with that they will look into possible options of bundling more storage options in the future.
They are definitely more than aware that there were a lot of mod compatibility issues with Siptah. Scott said that he didn’t expect it to be as widespread, and for it to crash before even getting into the game while sending out an error message that wasn’t clear or descriptive enough to explain that a mod conflict was causing the issue. With that said, they are working on improvements for the mod system right now.
There are various cons to an Alliance system. Eventually what can happen is that all or most of the players on a server will ally with each other, and no new players can ever compete or contest with that. Unlike other games, they are limited to the number of people on a specific server, so it makes that type of system not easily transferable. They have considered and thought about it the past, but it was deemed not valuable enough to chase at that particular time. As always, they will see how things play out in the future and evaluate from there (such as much higher player populations).
Twitch Chat Questions
- Player: Any plans to add Crossbows in the future?
- Funcom_Ignasis: Not at the moment
- Player: Any chance for variable VOIP ranges for the roleplaying community?
- Funcom_Ignasis: It is not in our plans at the moment.
Thralls, Pets, and Mount Questions - General
Scott knows players have asked for this a lot. If Funcom ever introduced this, it would be part of a much larger feature set.
Alex and Scott said that they will need to see why they can’t do that now, as there is probably a technical requirement for why that feature isn’t part of the game now. Scott says that they will follow up on that.
Scott mentions that there are some mods that players can look at for better or more Thrall interactions. Pippi is the only mod that I can think of currently (Thespian set up), as every other mod that used to have things like idle animation configurations are either out of date, or no longer available.
As far as Funcom’s plans, it’s something they want to look into. Things like have the Thralls sit in chairs, or other things like that. Having interactions with Thralls is one of the more unique aspects of Conan Exiles they feel, so having additional features is something they will look into for that.
Yes, this is an ongoing area of improvement that Funcom is constantly looking at and working on.
They’ve talked about this before in the past. If they were to implement more than one companion, it would be wrapped into a much bigger feature release of some sort.
Scott just made a joke here. Safe to assume that would be a no.
Scott and Natascah both said that adding a pet animal emote should be something they add. No ETA was given, but sounds like something they will look into like other things players want.
Sever Questions - General
Alex started off saying that this is a feature he really wants, that it is definitely on their radar, but it comes down to priorities. In summary, it’s something they are looking into, but it hasn’t started any active development on.
They are however, working on solutions to the reported high ping issue players have been reporting in the server browser screen. They raised the ping cap as a temporary measure (as of today). They are also hoping by next week or sometime close to next week to have a hotfix that when you try to connect to the server, they give you a more realistic ping than what the server browser is showing.
Natascha mentioned the 9999 ping issue as one of those, but Scott said that the 9999 ping bug is from a different problem that they have also been addressing. Usually that is from a router or firewall that is preventing proper ping. He added that they are trying to fix all those scenarios as they find them, providing fixes for specific firewall and router setups as they come across them.
There will be no server wipes on any official server after Early Access has concluded.
Their ideal goal was to make sure that the game ran well with 40 people before looking into increasing player caps. One thing they did do is increased the hard limit of servers from 70 to 200 people on private servers. It is likely you will have to host such a server yourself rather than rely on a 3rd party provider, as Scott isn’t sure that a server provider will offer such high player populations for server rental. He added that he wouldn’t recommend going above 70 still, but that you can be adventurous if you choose to.
Ultimately, they will see how higher population private servers are running. But they want the early access launch to be as smooth as possible, so 40 was the safe number to go with for now. If they do increase player caps, they will be sure to make announcements ahead of time.
Funcom works really closely with Joshtech (author of Pippi) in order to provide necessary support for Pippi. It’s a fantastic tool, and it does some stuff that Funcom wouldn’t be able to offer or do in the base game. Scott said that they don’t know if they are going to take any features directly from Pippi and add it to the base game, especially since Joshtech made them himself in the first place.
To end the discussion, Scott’s suggestion is that if you like the admin commands that Pippi offers, you should continue to use Pippi. They are not sad when players opt to use Pippi and encourage players to use it as Joshtech has put in a lot of great work into the mod.
Funcom is expanding their community support team, with one of their newest hires starting just yesterday. Things they want to improve on include better communication and looking at infractions more often than they are right now. This is something that is in the process of improving and in progress right now.
Twitch Chat Questions
- Player: If you can 100% prove someone is stream sniping, will they be banned?
- Funcom_Ignasis: That is not considered an infraction at the moment
Graphics and Music Questions - General
As has been publicitized, the Isle of Siptah map has volumetric fog and lighting added to it. They are probably not going to do that for the Exile Lands. It would basically be a monumental task and a huge commitment to go through and redo the map and lights in order to support this.
They could look into adding an option for that, yeah.
Probably not. It would require quite a lot of work. Among many things they would need to work on would be to implement certain actions so that it wasn’t nauseating for the player. A game centered around 3rd person combat probably wouldn’t be the best for that. Ultimately, there would require a significant amount of changes.
Twitch Chat Questions
- Player: Any Plans to add Ray Tracing to Conan Exiles?
- Funcom_Ignasis: No Ray Tracing plans at the moment, no
Bug Fix Questions - General
They are already aware of this, and it’s actually a graphic bug. Scott mentioned they need to regenerate something (lots, logs?) on the asset to properly fix it. Bottom line, yes it will be fixed.
At the time of this stream, Funcom wasn’t aware of any bugs resulting in this. If you have a bug to report with things you are seeing in Siptah, please post a detailed bug report on the forums. If you know what vaults are having this “blue washed” cut-scene, be sure to make a post about that too.
Twitch Chat Questions
- Player: Is there a fix coming for the clan not able to open/unlock the altars?
- Funcom_Ignasis: We’re looking into it.
Console Related Questions - General
They have a fix that is going through testing, and will hopefully be sending it to certification soon (Scott assumes the person who posted the question is referring to a specific crash that can occur when I believe he said the “epr” goes above 0.6).
One of the optimizations they are going to address first is memory optimizations. On PC, the release of Siptah included many performance changes and improvements, along with more coming. Since Siptah is not yet on consoles, they are integrating some of those improvements from the Siptah build and getting it to consoles earlier.
No crossplay is planned. If it’s platform specific, such as a different store other than Steam for PC, than those PC players would be able to play together.
Early next year, and obviously, as soon as possible.
When Funcom is done with launch related issues and fixes for Siptah for PC, they have some plans to try and get some of the base game changes over to console. An example of this would be things like the temperature changes and healing system changes. Scott doesn’t have a timeframe for that, though he is hoping to have it done much sooner than the Siptah full release launch in early next year.
In some form. Probably with backwards compatibility.
Probably not. They will consider it depending on how things are going as the consoles come out. However the focus will be to get Siptah working on consoles. After Siptah launches and things are stable, then they will consider what they do going forward.
Scott says that he is unsure if they can add a search specifically for consoles, but as discussed before with future UI improvements, he hopes to add some sort of filtering and improvements.
Okay so technically, this wasn’t asked on stream. But Alex commented about it, so I thought I would share since I see it asked a lot. This was also discussed in Scott’s Producer’s Letter.
One of the major advantages of having Early Access on PC only is that Funcom doesn’t need to wait around for certification. They can devote all their attention as far as Siptah updates for PC, and roll out updates as often and whenever they want. Doing Early Access on consoles would require them to wait several days, or sometimes weeks before they would be allowed to push the latest patch. Which brings major problems if they want to release rapid updates, as they did the first week (2 patches within 6 days, and they even wanted to do a 3rd before it fell through at the last minute).
Changes to Healing Questions - General
Alex says he will think about it. They are looking and observing to see how players are using the new healing mechanics. Alex said that they are releasing a couple of fixes in the next patch and he adds that it will be interesting to see how the players end up using the “ecosystem of healing” after that patch.
It comes down to the combinations of consumables you bring for their builds. They need to see the effectiveness of player builds with those consumables in actual use in PvE and PvP and other scenarios before they settle on a final number. The current numbers are subject to change based on feedback and player testing.
Alex further adds that the stuff that players add to their quick slots or hotbar as a player choice of play style. In the combination of armors and weapons, consumables can now also be part of the equation. Before, food was very light weight, and you could have many stacks. This didn’t allow consumables to be part of the player’s “kit.”
Would Funcom consider breaking up food into different tiers, such as snacks and meals. Snacks could be a quick animation during combat to restore a small amount of health, and meals would require a longer animation but takes longer to consume and leaves you vulnerable. (28:48):
Alex says that the unfortunate situation of the hunger and thirst system is that it was left untouched and skipped for improvement for a long period of time. Now that they have updated the healing that was negatively impacting the user experience, they have addressed and removed that problem.
Now they face another problem which is the old system of the hunger and thirst system that hasn’t been addressed in a long time. And it needs to be looked at, so now that healing has been addressed, they can look into the hunger and thirst mechanics to make it more engaging. They will likely maintain the current paradigm of in-combat healing with potions, and rapid out-of-combat healing to be bandages.
This does mean that food has lost its shine and use for players, so they need to find food and thirst a new purpose. It is unlikely to be healing directly though, but more along the lines of something you use when you are safe at your base for various reasons.
Alex says they’ll think about it.
They have further plans to balance the whole game. Natascha adds that balancing is always on-going.
Balance Questions - General
Alex touched upon this, as there were a lot of questions in chat about things like mount balance, combat balancing, and etc. He used the example of the healing changes, where they improved one area, but the food system looks lackluster now and also needs to be adjusted and balanced. Another example is why don’t your Thralls use potions. This is also something Alex wants to look at, but not quite yet because of the impact it will have on other balancing.
Balancing is something Funcom is always looking at, but it needs to be said and observed that balancing one mechanic can often have a great impact on other systems. So it needs to be approached with caution, and with deep plans to address all the areas when one area has been marked for a balance or improvement pass.
Because Scott didn’t outline everything they plan on doing for the Early Access period, Alex is hesitant to commit to anything concrete. There are things that annoy Alex in the combat system to no end and he would love to work on improving them (healing was one of them). Alex went on to say that they would be looking at various aspects of combat in the near future to improve on.
Scott is wondering if they are slower than usual, and if so they will look into it. As far as improving the speed in general, Scott believes they are that slow for a reason. Meaning, in order for it to function correctly and not have a high probability of launching a player into space, he thinks that’s probably why they have it at the speed that they do now.
Yes, like everything else discussed throughout the stream, they will look at the data and feedback as it comes in over the Early Access period and adjust appropriately. They have various improved metrics in order to monitor the economy of such things as Eldarium. It can be difficult to balance something like Eldarium drops for a solo player, vs a clan of ten. So it can be like opening a can of worms if their balance adjustments are off.
Twitch Chat Questions
- Player: Horses are OP, will they be balanced anytime soon?
- Funcom_Ignasis: We’re always looking at game balance.
- Player: Any plans to fix the 40 archery perk?
- Funcom_Ignasis: We’re aware of the Accuracy perk 40 issue, but it is currently not a high priority item.
General Twitch Chat Questions
- Player: Will the building sets from Siptah be available for purchase separately from the expansion?
- Funcom_Ignasis: There’s no plans for that at the moment
- Player: Where can you find sandbeat glands?
- Funcom_Ignasis: They’re not available on Siptah. Yet.
Natascha wrapped up the stream by saying that they will continue to have more Q & A in the future. For gathering questions, they will post on Reddit and the Official Forums via a mega thread for people to post their questions to make it easier for Funcom to prepare for the Q & A streams.