Funcom has adamantly said their DLC content will be cosmetic only. I fully agree with their goal. However, the currently releases of DLC content has not entirely been cosmetic and has slipped into the ‘Pay to Win’ category (albeit, ever so slightly).
What do I mean? I’m referring specifically to the temperature/attribute system on armor. At present, Funcom decides what armor will have what heat/cold resistance and its’ appropriate attribute bonus. But that’s not available to everyone playing the game; if you don’t buy the DLC package, you can’t make certain armors with the attribute and temperature stat combination. And some are exclusively available only to those who have purchased the DLCs.
For example, only those who have purchased the Jewel of the West DLC have access to the only medium vitality attribute - heat resistance armor in the game (Aquilonian Infantry armor).
Or consider another example, only those who have purchased the Seekers of the Dawn DLC have access to the only heavy vitality attribute - heat resistance armor in the game (Yamatai Warlord armor).
Or consider yet another example, for encumbrance-build players, only those who have purchased the Imperial East DLC have access to the only heavy encumbrance attribute - cold resistance armor in the game (Khitan Imperial armor).
These are just a few examples and there are more if you take a close look at how armor stats and temperature bonuses are distributed in the game so far.
Now, I don’t believe Funcom set out to do that on purpose. I like their first try at making armor have influence on your character’s build and interaction with the environment. But that’s what has evolved with the releases of the DLCs with the current armor system. People who buy the DLCs have an advantage, not just in cosmetics, but in functionality, given the way armor works with its fixed attribute and temperature resistance system.
Therefore, as a fan of Conan Exiles, I implore the devs to revamp the armor temperature and attribute bonus system and return the DLCs to their intended function as ‘cosmetic only.’
Possible solution: cause the player to select which armor linings/pads with temperature bonuses (heat or cold resistance) desired during crafting. The lining would determine the temperature bonus.
Next, let players select attribute bonus kits (like armor runes to be attached to each piece for whatever stat the player is crafting) (+1 for most low level armor benches learned at level 10 with the Armorer feat and +2 for improved armor benches learned at level 60 with the Exile Epics feat). Armor “runes” would not need to make any visible changes to the armor and occupy a separate upgrade to armor kits already in the game.