Enough with the arbitrary NERFING!

Game mode: [Online PvE Official #3731]
Problem: Performance

Time to share my rant about an irritating & repetitive pattern that Funcom has fallen into, yet fails to recognize and just stop doing. Yes I am talking about the ever-so-annoying “2 steps forward, 1 step back, then a hop, skip & a jump sideways” that seems to occur with the introduction, then inevitable NERFING of most updated items.

We all hail (or bemoan) the introduction of a new weapon, armour, features, & even the thrall leveling system, but like the addicts we are, we get to work, figure it all out, maximize the potential & generally embrace the new stuff with the always helpful videos by Firespark81, Wak4863, Horse, etc.

But then, like a pedantic time bomb comes the seemingly inevitable Funcom “just kidding” reaction wherein they release an update in the alleged interests of “play balance” (which seems geared solely to PvP ergo DILLIGAS for me) that ridiculously nerfs the once valuable item… pretty much plunking us back to where we were in the first place. Remember how great the Annihilator, World Breaker, Doom Hammer & other new weapons were? After nerfing they are next to pointless.

This bad habit seems to have reached it’s peak in the latest update to the thrall leveling system that (of course) NERFED the snot out of our patiently leveled to 20 thrall’s ability to deal out mayhem.
I have one Lian at 20 with a total Strength of 70 (bonus to hit around 80); he could chop down a Frost Giant in 3-5 strokes with his Sword of Crom. I have recently exceeded his stats with a Dina at 20 whose Strength is a whopping 80 with a hit bonus now of 66. She is Death Incarnate by comparison to any other NPC or thrall, but when I ran her to the Unnamed City, she was nibbling on the Red Mother and even the wimpy undead Beast in the NW corner FOREVER and it felt oddly like I was about the same level of destruction as it was months ago with any old stock fighter thrall with the Sword of Crom. It also seems like she is less aggressive in pressing the attacks and she seems to get knocked down/back much more often than before the recent thrall update.

So the essential question remains - why bother introducing new weapons & gear only to shortly turn around, eliminate most of the advantages it may have offered to those embracing the new paradigm and basically winding up exactly back at the same game play potential we had before… just another shell game.


Blame pvp. It’s a problem in almost any game with pvp. Pvp players tend to be extremely whiny. So if what they like doing/ or using isn’t meta they start crying and developers try to balance around it.

Which is why in every game pvp and pve need to run off different systems, but uh ya… seems only mmo’s do that.


Frost giants only have 2387hp… So thats your problem. You thought you have killing machines, because they killed low HP enemies fast.

Well, they are not :smiley: Get some end-content thralls and level them up. They still hit hard. So hard that many still want them nerfed.

PS.: Red Mother has 30k hp


Funcom doesn’t nerf things arbitrarily. They nerf things based on player feedback, which may or may not be arbitrary - but hey, if you want to point fingers, at least point it in the right direction. Better yet, don’t point fingers at all.

As to your question, quoting Eeyore, “Why bother?” - because game balancing is tricky. The thousands of players playing this game will quickly discover strengths and weaknesses in a way playtesters could not in any reasonable amount of time. No plan survives first contact with your customers.

Another point is that players want different things from the same game. Any new release, any new feature, will inevitably be loved by some players and hated by some. Based on this feedback, developers need to find some sort of middle ground that’s at least acceptable for everyone. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes not. Especially when the feature can be used in a competitive environment, whether it’s a new weapon, a new thrall or a new siege weapon, people who have it and can use it against others will like it, and people on the receiving end don’t.

What do you suggest the game developers do? For the purposes of this discussion, please pretend that you’re as valuable as every other player of the game, so your suggestion would need to please not only you, but everyone.

If you have trouble figuring out the answer, congratulations - you’ve discovered why game design isn’t easy.


I can agree with the op here. Maybe not as passionately about it, but I do.

This might be a life lesson, but uncertainty causes frustration. A wise old man once told me to “make a decision and dedicate to it” meaning once you do your due diligence and research and make your decision, make sure it’s the right one and stand beside it. Changing it will make things worse.

That was about law enforcement though… And life or death…

My point being, just make the final decision before releasing the material. People will groan, but it’s your game and your vision. Make it your way.


You can make this game easier ou harder just changing your gameplay. Conan is a game you can choose the way you play. If you think a Berserker is too strong and make the game very easy, just get a weaker thrall. Or maybe you should try the game with no fighter thrall. As well as If you just want to explore and let thralls do all the dirty job, with little effort you can get a Dalinsia/Berseker/Daicas/Treasure Hunters/etc and just walk by their side. The same with armor, weapons, etc. That’s why I think players have to be able to get from very weak tools to OP ones. In PvP, once all players can get the same tools, FC just need to let players get equal quality tools in different locations, so no clan can block or dominate better resources. If a sword is OP, it’s OP for everybody. If a sword is too weak, it’s too weak for everybody. “Balance” is made by players. When FC releases a new weapon, it had been tested and its attributes were set with strategy. There is no sense in change this attributes just to make few players happy and other ones frustrated.



Sadly, I can’t give your post more than one like :frowning:


@CodeMage I will throw one in since you can’t give 2.:smirk:


What I’m saying is that if FC wants orbital laser cannons in the game, just give them to players in a way everybody can use with equal chances. If I have a Cannon and you have a Cannon, I can’t see any lack of balance. The one with the better shoot will win. If FC added a Cannon in the game, it’s because it had a reason. My problem is FC give me a Cannon, and them makes it a water gun after a while.

You know, I’ve seen this kind of argument so many times and I’m honestly puzzled why people still keep using it.

Take a hypothetical game that has swords, axes, spears and disintegrators. Swords, axes and spears work the same way they work in Conan Exiles. Disintegrators are futuristic guns that have unlimited range and kill any enemy in one shot. Let’s say everyone has access to all of these weapons. Do you think anyone will use anything other than disintegrators?

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There is one reason.
If the desintegrator need a long amount of times to be made and it’s cost a lot of ressources making the weapon a waste to use on smaller targets.


This topic shows up about every single change that funcom makes, and elsewhere on the forums is a topic raging about how they need to nerf something.

The realistic way to stop this from happening is for the devs to more thoroughly test and evaluate their content before implementation. Then they should probably be more reasonable with their knee jerk reaction when they nerf new content 6 feet underground.

I would like to see thralls become reasonably power but start out weaker than they are now. I would also like to see the player be somewhat more powerful to make us less reliant on thralls.

Will this create problems for PVP, yes everything does. We should just have different rules for PVP servers to gear it out specifically for PVP.


I know how you feel Catspaw and agree. There is a growing list of once great legendary weapons which were useful and/or offered useful mechanics, now rest among the honoured dead. There is also a portion of the PvP crowd who cant seem to handle the idea of a large power differential between legendary weapons and the standard craftable ones. Its like ‘this player has this cool weapon and I dont, its not fair, its not fair nerf it!’, instead of being willing to devote the time to earning it themselves through farming, or developing effective countermeasures to it. This whole over zealous and overkill approach to nerfing everything must stop. Whatever happened to #Babysteps!? That said, I wish we could access two versions of each weapon in the Admin panel; the nerfed version and the original, unaltered version.


The problem is, pve bosses tend to have 20x as much hp as players. What needs to be done is for things like thralls to have a global damage reduction when attacking players. That way, you can have your maxed out crom thrall hitting boss mobs for 1k (like 1% of their health) and hitting players for like 30 (like 5% of their health). I play pve, but I can easily see how “dumb” it would be to have thralls that murderize me as well (or better) than players. They should be window drssing, not the main show.

But yeah, without a pvp vs a pve adjustment, all the pve is going to be watered down endlessly for the pvp crowd. Look at Dont Starve as a great example of that constant watering down…


I don’t like Conan Exiles PvP, so I can’t talk specifically about this game. But in all games I’ve ever played PvP, every gun has its vulnerability. In other case, in a war game every player would use a panzer instead of any other gun. A disintegrator probably should expose its player, or may be slow, or maybe have a recharge time, etc. A stealth assault would be enought to kill the player using it. Or a quick assault just after a shoot. FC knows what it’s doing. It’s not like “I’ll put a disintegrator in the game just because it is beautfull”.

Which is why they keep introducing stuff and then nerfing the hell out of it, right? Do you honestly think they have designed and playtested everything meticulously and then they nerf it to oblivion just because people are complaining? Why would they do that if it was good and didn’t need nerfing? Are they reverting the new dodge roll because of the continuing complaints and temper tantrums?

@The_Hundeprest got it right:

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I think Funcom really knows what they are doing. They created one of the best games I’ve ever played, and it is enough for me to say that. The problem occurs when they create stuffs with specifc goals, but some players don’t understand them and start to complain. Players that like the new stuff stay quiet. So Funcom changes and other players starts to complain about the change. And they will never please every player. That’s why they keep changing stuff that worked well for years, but suddenly they decided it needs to be changed. I don’t understand why Funcom doesn’t just keep the original attributes. Many players liked the new dodge roll, and when Funcom reverted it they get upset. And yes, I think Funcom changes the game because of complaints, not because they think they made something wrong. Not my complaints and maybe not yours, but complaints from a specific group of players they value, maybe the profitable one.

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Are we playing the same game? They haven’t reverted the new dodge roll, despite many players being upset and still asking for it on the forums. Which means that Funcom doesn’t only change things because of complaints, but also because the game isn’t perfect and they need to improve it.

Sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes they correct those mistakes. Sometimes those corrections are in shape of a nerf.

They didn’t revert because it’s not just a item they can exclude from the game, but a new mechanic already implemented, like horses. They never revert game mechanics, they just change the attributes. Exactly what they’ve done with doge roll. When I said they reverted, I said they changed the new mechanic to be as close as possible to the old one. Just because of players complaints.

Of course they make mistakes. But if we consider all the modifications they made untill now after each upgrade, they just made mistakes. The team must be a band of amaturs that barely knows how to program a game. I can’t believe in that.

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They haven’t just made mistakes, but they’ve made plenty of them. And that doesn’t make them amateurs. I’ve worked in a game studio, partly on a game that got cancelled and partly on a game that will eventually get released years after I’ve left, so I know how easy it is to have a team filled with smart, competent people and yet have the project be a complete dumpster fire. Hell, that’s where I learned the expression “dumpster fire”.

Look at the quality of every release. They’ve all been rife with bugs, some of them downright game-breaking. Something is seriously wrong with the team’s QA and processes. That doesn’t mean they’re amateurs or incompetent. If you cut in front of a truck on a highway and it hits you because of the truck’s blind spots, it doesn’t mean the driver is an amateur. This could be the fault of the mid- or high-level management, or the tech their using, or most likely a combination of those and several other factors.

But if the technical aspect of the QA (i.e. catching game-breaking bugs) is so abysmal, what makes you think the rest of it is fine? There’s no way in hell any team will get their game design perfect on the first try, without playtesting the spit out of it. I don’t see any evidence that they are able to do that properly. In fact, the evidence tends to consistently point to the contrary.