Isle of Siptah: Grey Ones
After finally having a chance to visit the Isle if Sitpah after patches 2.3 and 2.4, I’d like to give a little review of the Grey Ones area. The review is from a single-player PvE perspective after ten or so visits (i. e. ethnic cleansings).
Visuals and Lore
- The area has a nice feeling to it. It captures the desolate, crumbling atmosphere of Funcom’s interpretation of the Conan universe quite well.
- The ruins, skull trophies and so on fit the setting. What could be added is something about that and how the Grey Ones capture creatures - and how the Stygians steal their statuettes. An area with conflict, captured creates, escaped slaves, something like that.
- The Grey Ones look well. I’d maybe add a unique war cry like a bone-chilling shriek - something strange to to their alien feeling.
- The Grey Ones are hard enemies and brutal to animal followers due to the bleed and high damage, but have curiously low health. They are bigger and look tougher than humans and give great XP, but their HP is close to that of low-level Exiles.
- To give a suggestion: Buff their defenses, so that they can only (or more easily) overcome by damage over time effects. That would make the risk/reward ratio a bit better and give a purpose to all the damage over time effect that Isle of Siptah weapons have.
This could be achieved by either giving them very armor, similar to the Arena Champion, or vastly increasing HP and adding a regeneration effect (e. g. 10 HP/second). Bosses could get both.
- In the Pool of the Black Ones story, Conan witnesses how the Black Ones create their statuettes. I’d add something like that into the world, e. g. Grey Ones performing some kind of ritual on captured Stygians.
Loot and Recipes
- The Grey Ones’ weapons are very, very strong. They deal more damage and have higher penetration than many epic weapons and apply bleed. I’d reduce the damage a bit.
- The Grey One’s armor, on the other hand, doesn’t seem useful. To give a suggestion: make it light or medium armor with no stat bonus, but very high armor, a healing effect or some other defensive bonus. That’d be somewhat unique.
- The recipes are hard to find in my opinion. I was completely surprised by the new mechanic to get recipes (weapons placed around in the world instead of huge, glowing rune walls) and didn’t even look for it during my first visits. Haven’t found bow, greataxe and greatsword so far. Suggestion: Place the recipe weapons in more prominent locations and add a glow to them.
- Suggestion: Remove stone weapons from the Grey Ones’ loot table. It feels absurd that these stone-age masters of weapon crafting drop the greatest “random” weapons of all enemies as well as the worst ones. Yes, it somewhat fits the idea of a declining culture, but… well, they all fight with their ancient super weapons. Why also carry a stone sword?
- The boss summoning is a great idea. It fits the lore. It’s strange, it’s mysterious, it’s high magic in a low magic world - and just feels like ripped from a REH story (which it basically is, I know).
- It was surprising to see creatures form the Exiled Lands and its history. Did the Grey Ones travel there and return? Or did people/creatures from the Exiled Lands travel to the Isle of Siptah? It’s a mystery!
- The random spawning of statuettes is a great idea to make players explore and revisit old areas. Really good mechanic.
- The bosses gives interesting loot.
- All creatures that can be summoned seem to be special in some way. Some make you wonder how the Grey Ones captured them in the first place. One might add “lesser” summons, e. g. Stygian Invaders and animals. Their statuettes could be added to the Grey Ones’ drop table.