Funcom Developer Stream - Re-balancing, VOIP, Testlive - Written Summary

Dev Stream - 02-07-2019

Opening Statement

Funcom dev streams are back, and with that, written summaries by yours truly. I had some time to think about maybe changing things up a bit, so I’ll be mixing some old with the new. First off bulletin summaries are still here if that’s what you liked before, and I’ll provide links to them (personally I type them out first to help keep track of my thoughts and notes, so I might as well make them available). I also decided to do a official forum friendly write up to make it look nicer, all with video links and all of that. Hopefully one or the other will make things easiest for you to get the information that you need.

I tried to imbed the videos, but the forum doesn’t work that way I guess, so all I did was imbed a billion of the same starting video instead of the link to the time stamp. And it was really crappy performance lol, so sorry for the wall of text. I tried to break it up as much as I could.

With that, let’s get this party started.

Links to Bulletin Summary:

Google Docs Link

PDF Link

Streaming Schedule Stuff (11:00-15:00)

Obviously, Funcom took some stream time off to start the year. A large factor for their absence in this regard was because they were making evil plans to stream multiple times a week, every week (prior to this, it was every 2 weeks). Here is all of that information and more.

Testlive and the Re-balancing goal (18:31-20:47)

One of the goals going into this patch cycle is to help re-balance the game. Players will notice that the overall progression from 1-60 feels smoother. But specifically, addressing players feedback on how easy end-game is. New and more dangerous monsters were introduced who will hit harder and have more health pools. Undead creatures are harder to kill then ever, even going so far as to do corruption damage at higher levels. Of course, you get better loot for killing harder creatures as well.

Much has been written about it already, but Funcom has been working on lots of different performance related tweaks and changes. One of which is the infamous new building load system (which makes loading buildings far faster), but another is just a lot of little small tweaks that all add up to try and create a smoother gameplay experience.

What is Testlive, how to access, and why you should participate (20:48-21:50)

So what is all this Testlive stuff? Testlive allows players to join what is essentially a beta branch of the game, where an up coming patch is available for public testing. Players can help test out these patches and find bugs, and critically, provide that sweet sweet feedback that Funcom developers want to hear about.

It was brought up a few times during the stream so I thought I would just throw it in here, the current plan for Testlive to move over to live is sometime next week.

For instructions on how to install Testlive, see this thread here.

Exploits (22:40-24:42):

There has been some confusion on what exploit hunters is all about, but yes, Funcom heavily uses Exploit Hunters to find out about unknown exploits. It’s a safe and easy way to communicate exploits to Funcom in order to keep the spread of that information to a minimum. Jens talked about that in a post recently.

With that said, Funcom is currently working on a batch of exploit fixes. There are a few exploit fixes on Testlive now, but they are hoping to have yet more exploits fixed in the next major patch cycle.

Further, Tascha talked about why public posts on how to repeat an exploit are hidden on the forums. It’s not because they are trying to hide that information because they want to pretend they don’t exist, but they want to hide those exploits to try and keep the spread of that information hidden as much as possible. Posting about exploits will not result in Funcom fixing it faster either, in most cases they are already aware of the exploits being posted and are working on a patch for them.

Any Sorcery News? (25:13-26:47)

First off, Funcom is aware of what Joel Bylos said during his Firespark interview. In that interview, Joel said that Sorcery was going to come next after the pets update (this was back in August of 2018). Funcom has gone through a “design process” for Sorcery at one point, but that’s as far as they went with it.

With that said, Sorcery is not seeing current active development. As has been widely written and discussed, Funcom’s current focus for Conan Exiles is core gameplay improvements and bug fixing. When Funcom has more tangible news on Sorcery, they will share it with us.

New Creature Features and Purges (26:51-29:40)

In your travels you are going to find more creatures around the map. This includes things like snakes at the Oasis, Lizards in the desert region, and etc. There are also new mini-boss enemies all over the map (more on that in a minute).

Tascha and Jens shifted gears for a minute, and decided to talk about the Purge improvements. There are several improvements to the Purge on Testlive now, such as more reliable Purges and no more Naked Purges (and working admin codes, yay!)

Included with these fixes are new types of Purge events. These include but may not be limited to: Vanir, Jhebbal Sag Disciples, Yeti, Alchemist, Crocodile, Rocknose, and shorter versions of the Purges as well (in addition to the existing longer ones). Tascha and Jens teased that there will be more to come in the future for the Purge as well.

New Lieutenant/Mini-boss Enemies (29:44-35:52)

New additions coming to the game are the random chance of a mini-boss type enemy spawning where a normal creature would. These include things like bears, shalebacks, sabertooth tigers, and leopards. These new mini-boss enemies are of course more challenging to fight, but also more rewarding. They also teased that they might add wondering world bosses down the line.

Further teasing at this point was done by Tascha where she hinted that there are going to add more things to help make the map more interesting. Such things could include things that happen randomly.

Most of this segment was devoted to showcasing some of the new Mini-bosses, so if you want to get a sneak peak of what’s to come, see the clip here.

Avatar Balancing (35:52-37:10):

Avatars across the board are getting a damage buff, all except Jhebbal Sag anyways. The idea is for Avatars to be able to do solid damage, but not be the super nukes they once were. There is also a known issue with Jhebbal Sag, and Jens said they are hoping to have it fixed in the future after a coder can be assigned to that task. It is estimated that about half of the intended Avatar fixes are on Testlive now, with more planned for the future.

Unnamed City Revamp and Changes (38:00-41:05)

Right now, there isn’t a lot of incentive to go there (as players have pointed out). A project that Funcom is working on right now (so it’s not on testlive at the moment) is revamping the Unnamed City. There will be more human NPCs, specifically Relic Hunters is the current plan, mini-bosses, and 8 other unclassified bosses.

Post-Stream Clarification

Robtheswede sent me some clarifications on the boss situation, so here is the updated and corrected information.

The 8 unique bosses are classified as Robtheswede’s little murder-bastards (his exact words). There will also be 5 additional Relic Hunter mini-bosses, in addition to the normal world boss. 2 of the little murder-bastards will patrol around, while the rest will be stationary. They will have their own loot pools, that include legendary weapon drops, legendary repair kits, new Legendary Armor Pieces, and something called Fragments of Power. Fragments of Power were only teased today and will have more of a reveal at a later date.

The new Legendary Armor Pieces are not sets, but pieces. Visually, they will look like what can find in the existing game (no DLC armors, vanilla only). But they will have unique special attributes and abilities added to them. Examples given by Jens include (subject to change), poison healing, better durability, or be able to see in the dark.

Mount News (42:53)

There are no current plans to introduce mounts in any shape or form at this point. Funcom did work on mounts for several months back during the EA period. As is well documented, there were several technical hurdles that couldn’t be overcome. Funcom did do some testing to see if they could add mounts to the game (in one shape or form) since the EA period, but that’s as far as any of that progress has gone on that.

Jens also made it clear that it is his strong opinion, based on where they are sitting today, that mounts will not be added to Conan Exiles at all. Mounts were discussed several times during the stream, but I’ll only include the first clip as the other several times it was brought up, the information was the same.

Any plans on Map Expansion? (45:45-46:32)

Funcom is not currently considering any new areas to the map. This wasn’t said in the stream, but this particular question has been asked a lot, and it’s been the same answer since at least May 8th. I think what is on the Wiki now, best sums it up:

No new biomes are planned at this time.[4] New dungeons, however, are. (see Upcoming features)

  • Areas outside the map (mostly the top right corner) are used to ‘hide’ the Dungeons, which are not directly visible, but have a building that acts as marker above their location.
    • The true location of each dungeons are displayed on each dungeon’s Media section.
  • The size of the map is just about hitting the actual limit of 400k x 400k - after that, Unreals’ physics start misbehaving.
    • For example, on the eastern-most islands, corpses tend to fall through the ground.
    • Newer versions of UE are said to cope better with these problems. However, it would take a huge investment to move the game to a newer engine version.

Recycling Machine is Coming in the Future (46:33-47:22)

This much requested feature is now a coming soon attraction! Basically, this will let you throw unused weapons and armor and other items into the recyclable in order to gain back some materials.

Role-Playing Stuffs (48:12):

As was recently announced, Funcom is overhauling the VOIP system completely. This was a heavily requested feature by the players, and was the number 1 voted change on the Community Trello Board. Here is the written announcement in full.

The VOIP system is not yet on Testlive. They also might have some other “exciting news” about VOIP, but they don’t want to say anything yet because it hasn’t been officially confirmed it’s coming.

They have also added a Biography button that’s on Testlive now. This will allow players to write up player biographies for their characters. This can be enabled or disabled to allow other players to view this biography.

Another thing added to Testlive now is you can write notes and leave them laying around for other players to read.

Seeing Clan Members on the Map (52:30):

For those unaware, on Testlive now, you will be able to see where your clan members are when viewing the map.

Any News on Upcoming DLC’s? (54:04):

No current news to share on up coming DLCs. They know what it is they want to do, but Funcom isn’t ready to talk about it right now. When Funcom has info to share, they will do so.

Character Creation - Being Able to Change Character Features? (56:42):

Funcom is aware of people really hoping to have a feature like this in the game. It’s being discussed as a future option, but no concrete plans on if or when this could become a reality. For now, for those of us on PC and who use mods, there are multiple mods that allow this feature.

What is Joel Bylos Up To These Days? (58:50):

Joel is up to a lot of things, but it can’t be discussed right now.

Any Chance on a Level Cap Increase? (59:25)

It is likely that there won’t be a level cap increase. There might be additional feat points awarded, or a system that awards more feat points. It’s still being discussed.

Are There Any Plans on New Community Contests (1:02:44):

Yes, there are plans, but nothing specific to announce yet.

What About Maybe Underwater Dungeons or Hidden Relic Sites or Cities? (1:07:32)

Tascha, Jens, and Robtheswede (in chat) all did a wink wink, nudge nudge, side glances, silly giggles, and said this idea would be “really cool.” Take that for what you will.

Stream Chat Goodies!

Robtheswede (Conan Exiles Developer):

  • Player asks: Can you make NPC’s able to climb?
  • Robtheswede: I would love to do that, but it’s not currently technically feasible
  • Player asks: Can you make Conan a playable character after “beating” the game?
  • Robtheswede: I’m not going to say “no” but it’s unlikely. However, I’m sure a modder out there could make that happen!
  • Player asks: Will we ever see a two handed axe as a weapon?
  • Robtheswede: You have my word on this: When/if we make a new weapon type - that is going to be the one we make.
  • Robtheswede: Note to self: Add naked Purges as an Easter Egg (Multigun thinks Robtheswede would actually do this, don’t put anything past him!)
  • Player asks: With the new alchemist Purges, will this make it easier to get the black and white dyes?
  • Robtheswede: Indeedy!
  • Player comments: Spears are OP
  • Robtheswede: We are doing changes to spears on Testlive if you haven’t noticed. Baby steps though, we can’t make a total 180, but there are changes to weapon balances coming, they’re just tricky to do because they affect the game greatly.
  • Robtheswede: Testlive currently has about half of the avatar fixes out right now, there may be more coming, feedback is always appreciated!
  • Player asks: Will the Ice Wyverns be given the correct colors for the head trophys?
  • Robtheswede: If you mean the “White Dragon”, we will at some point but other priorities are higher right now
  • Player asks: Would you guys consider adding more Knight Armor Sets? Maybe an alternative to the awesome Silent Legion?
  • Robtheswede: Patience, we’ll get there.
  • Player asks: Can we also get a trash can that just destroys anything that you cannot recycle?
  • Robtheswede: I was considering that. If enough people want it, I’ll make it.
  • Player asks: Any news up new or upgraded Trebuchets for raids?
  • Robtheswede: I don’t think we’ll do an improved trebuchet, but we have internally been talking about adding more ammo for the current one.
  • Player suggests: I suggest instead of adding more ammo types, an entire overhaul of the siege weapons is done. A lot of players just use firebombs and explosives anyways. Things that would be cool would be like using rhinos to drag siege weapons, and better siege mechanics.
  • Robtheswede: We have talked about that too, as well as new ways of defending the base. It’s not something we’re ready to talk about in detail officially though, because we haven’t really decided on anything final.
  • Robtheswede with regards to Level Cap Increase: We have spoken about a system to “fake level” past level 60, it would only give out more feat points though.
  • Player Asks: Any plans to update the farming system at all?
  • Robtheswede: Depends on priorities and time. I would like to, but at the moment, it’s hard to tell.
23 Likes

Jesus, how long you write this :thinking:

You don’t want to know.

3 Likes

Really looking forward to the mini-bosses, roaming world bosses, new features, and random events to make the map more exciting and unpredictable.

The recycling machine sounds interesting, too.

As always, you’re a boon @multigun. Nice writeup.

2 Likes

I’m looking forward to EXP FOR BUILDING as it was before… I know there are mods for that but alas, I like to use DLC building pieces :disappointed:

Hopefully just a few more days. Hang in there! (And yes, the EXP mod is my mod, if I could have given DLC buildings their EXP back, I would have done them too).

1 Like

Yes I know… all this because of my love for DLC buildings. But it’s sad all the same.

@Multigun Thank you very much for your time and effort to put these - many - lines down. I like the dev streams of JEV and Tascha a lot, but couldn’t make it in time yesterday/had not the time to watch. In general I’m more the kind of person to read through stuff instead of watching long videos aka streams. But since I always enjoyed their style of presentation, I got a fan of it and missed its absence over the last two months.

3 Likes

@Multigun You sir, are doing the gods work! Whichever god, Crom, Yimir , Yog, Set, Mitra etc etc

Awesome post man, I was in the Youtube stream so its nice to finally know what the “really cool” thing being talked about was.

2 Likes

IF these new exciting news is moving mouths on voip i know a lot of players/streamers coming back :slight_smile:

Robtheswede wanted to clarify the new bosses up coming in the Unnamed City. See quote (also updated original post)

So far it is not smoother. Starter levels are more challenging than they should be. Hoping for more changes at the low levels. (My thoughts are if a player is lost or feels defeated in the start of the game, they will not play long enough to see how the game ends.)

The game is top heavy and is going to get heavier. Unfortunately for players like myself that like replay value, the game will no longer be inviting if this direction continues. I understand that some changes were made to assist new players from feeling overwhelmed, but I wonder if it will be enough.

TestLive is gold. If anyone wonders, Funcom does listen, note, and take action regarding feedback from TestLive. It is the first-line defense against, bugs, glitches, and instability making it into the live game.

2 Likes

That’s what I’m afraid of… FunCom switching the balance too much towards the pro-gamers who sit there using endgame gear and complaining how everything is too easy.
Granted, a lot of things are easier than they should be on live, but that’s a problem that stems mainly from how overpowered endgame weapons (and armors) are.

At least for PC users there are mods that can address this (unless playing on an official server), but the console players don’t have that option.

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