Exiles needs a better plot

If a game has a plot, we need a story (a perspective) fit to navigate it thorough. It doesn’t matter if it’s Candy Crush or Final Fantasy 7, Broforce or Jill of the Jungle, Commander Keen or Pong, Darkest Dungeon or Amazing Spiderman; you name it. They all have a plot (content) and a fit story. Not all plots need to be intricate to be pleasant. Sometimes a good old Bejeweled is all we need. Sometimes we want to just jump in and go with the flow. There’s a reason why E.T. the game was buried to the desert and it wasn’t the graphics.

Damn son I’ve not thought about Commander Keen for years :grinning:

Imo the story’s fine it’s the delivery that’s the problem as we all learn bits and pieces in no particular order.

if only we had an extra page in the inventory that logged each piece of the story in it’s proper place so once we obtain all the pieces we can read/listen to it all in the correct order.

It’s a sandbox game, I don’t feel the need of a better plot.

But this do not means we can’t have some more friendly interaction with NPCs, something like in RPG you call side quest.

For example I’m thinking:

  • friendly but weak old exiles beggin you to free them from exiled lands, when you give them the key fro their bracelets they give you location of unique treasure chests.

  • Actually being able to sell relics to some firendly relic hunter who think is better to reward you instead of losing his life in Unnamed City :wink:

Something like that I mean.

You find notes in game to locate some tresure chest, like the one near Black Galleon, why you can’t have NPC asking you to do something to give you the location of a reward they can’t reach by themself ?

I don’t think it will break the sandbox game scheme.

Not all games need a proper story and plot. Sometimes it just needs a theme. And that is what CE provides for its sandbox. Like @Mikey stated, you are the story. I do like story driven games as much as the next person (MGS series my favorite), but after so many play thrus, it dies because the story drove your actions. In CE, the story only hints at things you can do. It is really the their to explain Conan’s presence. For you , you have three crimes that are the basis of your story. Whether you try and live down to them, or live a different life in exiles is your story to tell.

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Indeed. And even the three crimes you can use as a starting point or simply decide that your were unjustly accused (the intro narrator certainly suggests as much IMO). But it’s up to you, and that’s great.

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The issue is you are looking for a different game. You are looking for a story driven adventure. I’ve tried to explain that isn’t the case. That isn’t what this game is trying to be. I have played 5 games for more than 500 hours.

the First Deus Ex.
Diablo 2
Wow
Fallout 4
Conan Exiles.

Deus Ex because I played every side quest, all the endings and played stealth, no kill, assault everything…That is a story driven game with multiple routes of play.

Diablo 2 I played over and over the story didn’t matter I was leveling and looking for more loot to beat the hardest difficulties.

WoW MMO. In Vanilla I farmed so much and so often that GMs contacted me in Chinese.

Fallout 4 I have over 500 hours… I’ve never finished the story. I tend to build.

Conan because there is no set story to follow (really) I have something like 850 hours of play time. Most of that Single Player.

Spoilers

The basic game is simple you are dropped off, you have to survive… which is a major part of the point of the game. If you follow the games story then you are trying to escape. (yes there is a water skin at the beginning if you actually slow down) If you Explore and do dungeons both instanced and real world, you will find pieces to the puzzle of how to escape. This is done through talking to certain NPCs, and Killing certain mobs. The story is simple and basic but it isn’t spoon feed to you.

The secondary plots are flavour. One is the history of the Exiled lands, where did the sand storm come from, what happened to the people, what are the bracelets. The Third story is literally very basic and it doesn’t concern us as it is Conan’s story. Then you have what is happening in the Den and What is happening in the Volcano. Why the Black Hand are here. Both the Volcano and Black Hand are Conan story related.

There are some issues. There is an NPC missing for the Dregs I think, as he talks to you in Sepermeru but is not anywhere else that I’ve found. So his dialog makes no sense. Which suggests there was a Relic Hunter story but it was scrapped or clawed back.

Basically the story has rooms for improvements but is actually very well done but is totally unimportant in the grand scheme of the game unless you want it to be. It is a game where you make your own story. If you aren’t able, this kind of game likely isn’t for you. You’d be happier with WoW or one of the Ark games (though I have no idea if there is a story there) maybe what is it, the Forest I think…

Basically you come in and do what you want. If you don’t want to do anything don’t. The Plot of the game is very neat.

Here is the whole plot.

Thoth Amon (or one of the other Amon’s) came to this land looking for the Black Ring of Set. While here he discovered the sand storm and that there were other artifacts. He discovered how to make the bracelets and started producing them. Either offering to deal with prisoners of various kingdoms for profit or in the hopes that they will find more artifacts and his Purges will be able to collect them and he will find some of even greater power. Conan has learned of this and has come seeking answers. Discovering Razma and freeing her. She moves into the exile lands writing in her journal pages of which are scattered through the lands. She eventually discovers the mask of the Witch Queen and is possessed by it. Conan in his travels through the lands realizes he needs to find her but doesn’t know where and takes time out in a tavern built by the Relic Hunters who also seem trapped but likely know how to get untrapped (though Razma’s Journal suggest that isn’t the case). Conan also encounters the player character and like Razma frees them. In your journey you discover the Staff of the triumvirate which gives you information on how to remove the bracelet and escape the exiled lands. Requiring you to collect several items. In your search for these items you fight and kill an albino bat, meet a mad man in a tomb that tells you of the various pieces of one of the items you need and offers to repair it if you bring the pieces to him. You kill various other people. Including Serpentmen long since dead yet still here. Also Killing Razma possessed and freeing her of the mask. (her bracelet resurrecting her like all the other exiles at her home) Eventually you gather all that is needed and free yourself of the bracelet. What happens of Conan you don’t know you were never more than a person he met a few times when your stories over lapped.

The lands we are in are the lands where the Lumerians landed after the Cataclysm. They were welcomed by the people here. A non human kingdom that few visited. They gave the Lumerians land and eventually through the betrayal of their hospitality enslaved many of the lumerians. A war ensued and the Sandstorm unleashed. Eventually the two sides all but destroyed each other. Corrupting many of those that were here to live an undead existence. Only the lore stones and a few voices are left to tell the story of what happened.

The Dogs of the Desert are tying to escape through less than good means and have turned themselves into werehyena (a missed opportunity) There is some nonsense going on in Volcano with Serpentmen.

If you haven’t found that then you have really looked into the plot meaning you have just been another exile not a character in a story. I found most of that in my first 40 hours and that was in EA. I literally took 300 hours just to hit 60 because I mostly just built.

It’s ok if this isn’t the game for you. The glaring issues in the game is not the story or plot. It is simply too many bugs, the poor design choices early in development several years ago that limited options later. (like the ability to have transformations, mounts etc), the Bad AI and, some of the cut elements.

Even with those this is nearing the second most time I’ve ever spent playing a single game. The building is fun and the dungeons are a nice distraction I’ve not even done half of them. (actually I’ve only offically done 2 and been in 2 more briefly.)

It’s ok if you don’t like it. I have 800 hours if I got that much out of the game the story/plot isn’t that big a deal. More than that I am fairly vocally critical of Funcom’s handling of things. I call them out when they do wrong. So if I’m defending this… that is a sign it is ok.

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Tl;dr all the posts.

I think the problem is mostly with perspective.

Those wanting more of a plot are expecting this to be some sort of grand fantasy epic star wars level thing. And it’s not.

You associate it with Conan, so you want there to be this epic adventure where you are the hero and it’s all about you. Typical run of the mill game stuff.

What is being overlooked is that you start out as just some poor schmuck that gets wrongfully accused and convicted, just so you can get pitched into the Exiled Lands. Whether you live or die is inconsequential.

This bears similarities to the start of pretty much every Elder Scrolls game. You are a prisoner that wins freedom, and through hard work and dedication you become the hero of the story.

So you are tossed into the Exiled Lands. It’s a sandbox. IE, make your own adventure. Do your own thing.

You decide where you go, when you do it, and what you are doing there. Why do you need some arbitrary storytelling to enhance that?

There is a general storyline running during your gameplay. There are other major characters who you can interact with, to an extent.

But this is the equivalent of real life. You don’t -have- to be a part of it. All you are here to do is survive. Or else to be fodder for someone who is better than you.

The crimes listed are merely an excuse to get you into the Exiled Lands. They have no relevance to your character whatsoever. Nobody in the EL knows, or cares, why you are here.

All they care about is what they can loot off your corpse. Or how they can use you to better their own survival.

Another way to look at it is if in real life you were suddenly taken, flown halfway across the world, and ditched in a desert somewhere.

Worrying about who did this to you or why, is far less important than keeping yourself alive.

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I don’t know. Does Minecraft have a story? Because Conan Exiles is basically Minecraft with boobs and gory violence, and Minecraft is pretty popular.

Heck, people have been playing chess for thousands of years, and I’m willing to bet most chess players don’t role-play the wicked king who is willing to sacrifice his pawns and even his precious queen in order to win the war against the neighboring kingdom. What motivates them to fight? Does the king even have a name? What is the story of the valiant soldier who reaches the enemy base and becomes a new queen?

The story of Conan Exiles is one we write for ourselves. That’s the attraction. If I want an immersive story I’ll reach for one of Falcom’s JRPGs instead. But if I just want to build pretty houses and decorate them with dress-a-dollies and the skulls of my enemies, well, there’s no game that does it better than Conan Exiles.

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Okay, that’s a bit far fetched I admit, but hey it’s friday. Er, what? Tuesday? Oh ffs.

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Commander Keen may have left this Earth, but he will surely stay in my mind forever. :smile:

i would love a revamp for the end cinematic, could give a more in depth meaning about finishing the game

Since I haven’t experienced one of the stories beyond awakening of the snake staff, I do believe that the delivery is the culprit here.

Instead of fixed positions, I’d go with a mix of methods; fixed tablets, spawned journals and location-sensitive timeframes. This way we add a method to feed us in a seemingly immersive fashion.

Example…

If we haven’t found a fixed lore tablet within a specific timeframe, the game would check the location if it can spawn a journal somewhere near us (optional server settings feature; on / off). We would have a choice to ignore it by selecting the ignorant attitude approach and to go forth by selecting the interested attitude approach (an option we can switch on the go). Proceeding allows them to track down the journal while mumbling to themselves “I think it’s this way” and " maybe this way instead" to help us navigate to it (narrated tracking feature). If we pick the latter, they start by saying that they “see something interesting in the distance”. Since some of us don’t want to be interrupted, this is where the “select attitude” feature comes in. Those who would like to be interrupted though would find themselves gaining a speed boost to their learning process, should they fail to find the tablets in time. Then again some wandering merchant could also leave us with a journal every once in a while. However, if we stay in the same place too long, the location check would try to find a way to get our interest and make us leave the spot for a moment so it can then deliver a journal to us in a way at the new unspawned spot.

This would be a splendid feature! :smile:

Minecraft has a story of the Enders. One so simple and compact that doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation.

I know. I was there almost from the beginning. It all depends of the content provided. Nowadays there is the Story Mode brought to us by Tell Tale Games, if I am not mistaken. The Herobrine, Steve and the folks all gave it a sweet deal of lore.

However, CE is not even nearly as deep as Minecraft is. This was destined the moment the dev team decided to go with the graphical fidelity the game has.

Quite imaginative, aren’t you. :wink:

Chess is a good example of what you as the player provides thorough moves you make. While it has a relatively low variety of different moves, it channels something interesting from each of us every time we play a round.

Chess is also essentially the one responsible of harbouring us war games.

Thorough strategy and reading your opponent, you play yourself. You are merely you and everything you have on the table is two kingdoms waging a war. The game is so simple that you don’t need to rely on heavy roleplay to get a taste of entertainment. There’s a plot of waging a war and story is dictated by our move choices. Sometimes the war has a happy ending and sometimes it ends at a stalemate.

The more intricate the game is, the more careful the dev team has to be in its decision-making when it comes to the big picture.

You tell me. :wink:

Minecraft has it, but CE deviates from the pattern. This is reflected by their decision-making which in turn surfaces in the game which then reflects that at us. While similarities can be drawn, what makes the case is the differences involved. Some of these choices were made by force so it’s not all because the dev team wanted CE to willingly deviate in some cases.

At this point I want to clarify that by story I mean perspective. Plot is the content and with perspective we navigate it thorough. What I mean is that, while the story might be good or even great, the delivery isn’t well thought.

You mean Funcom? What JRPGs?

Perhaps perhaps… for now. :wink:

Nope, I meant Nihon Falcom. “JRPG” stands for “Japanese role-playing game”. They don’t tend to follow the modern Western “you make choices and they affect the ending” style - rather, they tell their story, not yours. They’re entertaining, touching, funny and tragic at the same time.

But not every game needs to tell us a story. Some games let us tell a story instead. Conan Exiles is one of them.

I know. My profile avatar is literally my own self portrait I made in a manga style years ago.

Letting us tell a story is to provide a perspective from our viewpoint. This is not what I’m criticising here. I’m criticising the way a perspective is given to us, i.e. from a source other than us. Since it is there, three of them even, what I’m asking is to polish the delivery.

Edit:

This is where the admin panel cannot help so much.

I hear what you’re saying, but at the end of the day CE is a building game. The Exiled Lands is a fascinating place in theory, but really all we do is build. When we explore that dungeon and defeat that boss, it’s for the recipe and materials, so we can continue to build more stuff. That’s the Crux of the game. The lore is interesting when you find it, but I know players who’ve only found one or two journals, but they love the game, not for the interesting lore, but for the building.

Me, I like to explore and the survival aspect certainly adds a nice element of danger, but ultimately it feels empty. Perhaps this is due to me being an offline player, but it would be nice to see the factions actually mean something. What’s the point of having factions if they don’t do anything?

Once I realized what this game is actually about I just went with it. Now I experiment with construction, it’s a bit obtuse on the PS4, but it’s workable.

Would a story help a game like this? Not really. It what it is, Survive, Fight and Build.

I feel you.

A story can only do so much. Good story is like a glue that holds the other puzzle pieces together while a great story fires them up in a pulsating pace (the fabric vibrates like it was alive). Currently building complexes is the way to go. Survival comes as a distant second (varies based on settings), but fighting isn’t even remotely close to survival. Survival has some interesting eye-opening notions, though there’s definitely room to emphasise the clockwork synergy. Fighting in its basic level is dragged behind by survival while in its best form the warfaring disregards the survival aspect altogether. Story doesn’t glue any of the features together tightly enough and therefore feels surprising in a not so intimidating way (merely like “oh, a blabbering staff - this goes to my bedroom wall”). Synergy between features feels wobbly at best.

While the story could glue everything together nice and tight, it wouldn’t be able to fire them up. To do this the other variables need to form a proper coalition first. Story is like the conductor of an orchestra. They can’t substitute a missing talent in case a player gets ill or has been replaced by an inexperienced enough player. The orchestra still has to play and amuse the audience no matter what.

I agree with the orginal post. At least I would love more lore and hidden secrets hidden throughout the game. Yes it is a sandbox game but so is the Forest which has a story narrative. I could see conan exlies continuing with the Dark Souls like approach to the underlying narrative and lore.

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actually, you could make a better story, even in a sandbox. I don’t know why players always try to say: a sandbox doesn’t need a story. That is not true: true in fact is that a sandbox with a story is a even better sandbox if the story is carried out in a fitting way.

if we put this to conan exiles: It could be started with doing more evironment storytelling. How this is made in a good way is sometimes seen in the fallout game series and other games as well.

The second thing to strongly improve a sandbox multiplayer game is to “nudge” players to do certain roles. in conan exiles this could be special locations for bases where players or clans who claim them get special roles. Imaging a position where players automatically get into the role of slave-masters and are able to send tribes of thralls to attack certain points of the map from time to time if they chose so and pay in rescources for this feature.

imaging special positions where certain base items can be build that can’t be build anywhere else. This positions would be of higher interest and can be connected to different roles, so that some players will start to behave like the prison keepers want them to behave. This is interesting, because it would fit the picture of prison the game wants to deliver to the player. Lesser random pvp events but more events concentrated on special points of the map, while everyone could still follow there own path.

while in conan there are points where players crowd together it is only because of some farming stuff that you can acquire more easily at those points and not because you really have different abilitys because your clan sits on a special place…

to be clearly about that: everything of that could be substitudes via Roleplay… but i rarely see this kind of coordinated rp on any server. i really would like to join a server where there is a background storyline and people who care about it. As long as this is not the case i think there is still room to improve the storyline we already have in the game…