Future of Siptah

I’ve been reading and rereading the producer letter and I’m not sure what to think. At first I thought they had changed the producer, but I can’t find any news that even hints at that. Barring that, the only conclusion I can draw is that they decided to throw in the towel and give up on the “Siptah experiment”.

What made Siptah unique was the vault-storm-surge game loop. That idea had the potential to breathe new life into the game. It gave T1s and T2s a purpose, it provided opportunities for conflict on PVE-C and PVP servers (other than “I’ll attack you because I can”), and it established a progression curve.

Of course, the potential is worth little on its own. To realize that potential, they would have had to keep improving on things that need improvement. What they’re doing now is giving up and throwing that potential away.

Why are they doing that?


First, let’s take a look at the “Review Breakdown” from the letter:

Forget the pie chart and focus on the list. What’s the biggest problem? “Buggy”, at 21%.

Now, I don’t have access to any hard data, so I can only judge from what I’ve seen on these forums. Based on that, the biggest source of Siptah-specific bug complaints are the vault chests. I would guess that the second biggest source of those complaints would be the delving bench. Neither seems like an insurmountable issue with the game design, so I don’t think anyone can honestly say bugs are why they decided to break the Siptah game loop.

What about the rest of it? Okay, let’s look at the pie chart now. The two biggest chunks of it are “bugs/misc” and “thralls”, both at 28%. When you cut out the “bugs” from the “bugs/misc” category, that brings is down to 7%, so the biggest problem here would be the “thralls” category.

What are the thrall-related complaints? The biggest one is the “grind”. And the grind, as people keep repeating on the forums, has to do with the RNG-dominated mechanics of the surges. Every time I’ve seen a complaint about summoned surges, it has always been “we’ve done X of these, but have yet to get a T4 of Y type”, with various combinations of X and Y. Is there really no other way of making this aspect less grindy without throwing the whole loop away?

As a matter of fact, the more I look at the picture, the less I understand it. The use of pie chart implies that these problems are somehow mutually independent. So 21% of people complained that Siptah was buggy, but that doesn’t include the 2% that complained about the vault chests? What bugs are we talking about then? Also, why are “healing revamp” and “2.1” included at all? Those aren’t Siptah-specific at all.

So maybe the Review Breakdown infographic isn’t very good. Maybe we should just look at the problems mentioned in it and disregard the numbers.


Again, in the absence of hard data and judging basically from my erstwhile obsession of hanging out on these forums, the biggest Siptah-specific complaints I’ve seen so far are, in no specific order:

  • There’s no way to play the same character on both maps.
  • The map feels much emptier than the Exiled Lands.
  • The vault chests are buggy.
  • The grind is awful.

The first complaint can be solved by implementing the “character transfer” mechanism. It’s a relatively thorny issue, because if that mechanism allows you to transfer items, then the whole point of unique game loop is pretty much lost on any servers where that mechanism is enabled; if it doesn’t, then people will keep complaining that you can’t really travel from one map to another. Of course, even if they do implement that mechanism and enable it on official servers, it doesn’t mean they need to throw the game loop away. Private servers could still opt to make full use of it by disallowing the transfer.

The “empty map” complaint has different causes. The lack of human NPC camps is one of the biggest factors, but it’s not just that. In Exiled Lands, there are many ways to interact with the world. Sure, the map is littered with human camps, but there are also dungeons, caves with unique bosses, ghosts, lore tablets, religion trainers, special crafting stations, and a bunch of other details.

On Siptah, there really isn’t that much to do besides the “Siptah game loop” and other types of the grind. Sure, there’s a total of whopping 14 vaults, but that’s 14 variations of the same dungeon. In contrast, the dungeons in Exiled Lands are all quite different from each other. Plus, there are all those other details I mentioned above.

Moving on to other complaints, I’ve already written enough about the buggy chests, so let’s skip to the one about the awful grind.

What are the main sources of grind on Siptah? The one most people talk about are the thralls. Specifically, the T4 thralls. It’s undeniable that getting a full T4 complement is ultra-grindy. Different people might disagree about whether that grind is acceptable or not, but nobody will deny that it’s a process that takes a very long time and/or a lot of effort. Another major source of grind on Siptah are the recipes. They drop from the vault chests and from surge NPCs. Getting all the recipes requires pretty much the same amount of grinding as getting those T4 thralls.

Both of those sources of grind have the same underlying cause: RNG gating.

Getting T4 thralls in Exiled Lands is somewhat random, but it involves more than just chance. You need to know the map well enough, or at least know where to look up what you need to know. You need a certain level of preparation depending on the faction of the thrall you’re hunting (e.g. you can’t just waltz into New Asagarth wearing coarse wraps and expect to waltz out with a Njoror). And, for the top notch thralls, you need(ed) to get the Purge and defeat it. On Siptah, all you need to know is how to execute the Siptah loop. The rest is up to the RNG. Okay, so building a different altar will have some impact on that RNG, so I guess that’s another thing you might need to know. The end result is still much more RNG-controlled than in Exiled Lands.

As for the recipes, in Exiled Lands, there are many ways to get them. Some are learned by reading documents left in the open. Others are learned from tablets or journals in dungeons, with the expectation that you’ll have to fight for them. And yes, some drop as a random reward. But even those that drop randomly are not all in the same bag. Khari recipes are not in the same loot table as the Esoteric Library recipes. On Siptah, the decorative grindstone and the master weapon fitting are in the same RNG grab bag.


I’d say that covers the biggest Siptah-specific complaints. So, are any of those a good reason to throw away the whole Siptah loop?

It’s certainly the easiest way to deal with them. After all, people have been clamoring for “more of the same old” since Siptah came out. You can’t go that wrong with giving them what they asked for.

It’s also a waste of potential. The Siptah loop is an excellent idea, but the map needs a lot of work to bring to the same level of fun and engagement as Exiled Lands. The recipes need to be made available through something other than vault-and-surge grind. If getting recipes required interacting with the world in different ways, that would also make the map feel less empty.

As for the T4 grind, it could be made more bearable by tweaking summoned surge tables, but it would probably be much better to solve it differently. One idea is to get rid of wild surges, introduce NPC camps with T1-T4 thralls, and have the best thralls available from summoned surges, like the Purge in Exiled Lands. Another idea would be to introduce NPC camps with T1-T4 thralls, but leave wild and summoned surges as a source of “special” T1-T4 thralls who are better than their normal counterparts.

But all of that requires a lot of work. And I’m starting to suspect that they bit off waaaaaay more than they can chew. They’re trying to revamp a whole bunch of core gameplay systems, and implement anti-cheating mechanisms, and fix the Xbox stability problems, and make Siptah work before the official release in “early 2021”. Something’s gotta give, and considering that “make Siptah work” has a deadline, it’s hard not to draw the conclusion that it got sacrificed to give them a shot at all this other stuff.

Whatever the reason, I’m sad to see the uniqueness of Siptah go the way of dodo. I was one of those people on these forums who would occasionally point out that Siptah is in early access and that providing feedback for it is an excellent opportunity to make it better. I never dreamed that it would lead to turning Siptah into Exiled Lands v2. In my opinion, that’s not “listening to feedback” as much as “giving up”. I’m not sure that the end product – with all the changes they announced – will be worth the money I paid for it. For that matter, I’m not sure it will be worth the money they intend to charge for it on release.

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I think the “21% - buggy” flew right past them, as it always does. There have been major bugs in this game since ALPHA that have not been fixed, let alone exploiting problems. Sure, they did something against meshing by making the majority of mesh unbuildable, but all this really did was stop most amateurs from meshing… but amateur exploiters are hardly a problem.

I too enjoyed the uniqueness and direction Siptah was headed, and I think they really missed the mark with the new roadmap.

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The vault-storm-surge mechanic doesn’t have enough longevity in and of itself. This changes dramatically with the introduction of purges, however.

Totally agree, and I am against them copy and pasting the content that makes Conan Exiles so unique and special and somehow trying to plant it onto Siptah - it wont work as well within the context of Siptah.

Where you find emotes, recipes and feats in Exiles has been lovingly crafted with that map in mind and you cannot just drop it in Siptah and expect it to work through the RNG. I recently played Siptah before going back to the Exile lands after a break of about 9 month and it is night and day between the two maps. Exile lands is simply breath taking and the different biomes work so well to create such an inspirational map.

Ive always been a huge admirer of Funcom’s artisitic team and their bold and rich imaginings of Howard’s literary works and feel now they have taken the plunge with Siptah they cant back down now with some half baked Conan expansion that is loosely Conan 2.0. They should trust their vision and follow it through to completion - for sure there is work to be done and the current feature set is lacking, but with careful consideration im sure they can sensibly marry the two maps together or create Siptah unique content.

From my point of view, I view the content of Argos with its mariner theme as a natural stepping stone to create a quest line or Jungle expansion that opens up Siptah for exploration, for example, and thus see Siptah as a true expansion rather than simply another map with the feature set of Exiles dumped on it.

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To me, the letter looks promising.

I also have trouble understanding how the gathered and counted feedback. Did they count forum posts? Is that really a valid approach? But at least, they do listen to feedback and give some insight how they do that. That’s quite refreshing. One can always argue which method is best, which complaint is most important, but at least they listen at all.

Travel between maps can be a problem. But it doesn’t have to be. Let’s assume that one can only travel with equipped items, no thralls, cooldown of 24 h. That probably would lessen the impact on game balance - thralls and materials would have to be gathered separately. Only recipes and equipment could be transferred. And that would help to remove the difficulty - i. e. pure RNG mechanic - in finding recipes in Siptah with the much more lore-friendly and reliable way to find them in the Exiled Lands.

With the vault - maelstrom - surge loop, it’s pretty much the same: It depends on how it is done, I think.

Anyhow, the whole thing looks promising. Played Siptah on a private server for a long time, but missed the lore, the settlements, the atmosphere of the Exiled Lands. Haven’t played on Siptah for months. Connecting both maps and bringing NPC camps to Siptah will make me revisit the island.

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Well put. I agree, it seems they gave up any outside the box thinking and went the easy route. Remove the unique parts from Siptah, and basically we will now have CE clone, with different map.
I really never got into to the surge because of the heavy handed RNG. All they had to do was as you said, make the surges give possible Purge thralls, less wave (7x21 per mean 147 thralls). It should have been tiered for 1, 3 and 7 waves, with the cost per wave going down 50% if you wanted to do it. IE, 1 wave of 21 thralls is 500 ???, 3 waves of 63 thralls is 750 ???, and 7 waves of 147 thralls 1000 ??? as it is now. That way a solo can gamble even on PVP to get his one possible good thrall, and a full clan of 10 can do the full 147 thralls rng hunt. And make the T4’s Purge level. That would have made the mechanic not as all or nothing before you even get the RNG wins. Hell, you could have tied some of the recipes to the crafter purge types to make them even more unique when you got one.

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To me, the Producer’s letter outlines a great direction for Siptah. I’m excited for the changes coming to the game and I’m looking forward to it.

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“changing” by making exiled lands 2.0 isn’t good for a “different” map.

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I disagree.

google translation
MY PLAYER OPINION:
Specifically on Spita Island I did not experience any serious bugs, I do not agree that possible bugs are the cause of the “failure” of the DLC, not at all because at the beginning of Conan there were many bugs and even so the game was good to play and we even “learned” to live with them, of course it is bad to have bugs but that is not enough for someone to stop playing, unless it is broken saves or something serious at that point.

When people, and I include myself in these people, say that the map is empty, it’s not that he doesn’t have “anything alive” he simply doesn’t have what we wanted and always “searched” for the old map, “humans”, all who playing the conan ignored 99% of the animals and creatures and only focused their game on humans, removing the “humans” gave this feeling of “nothing left”.

It would be like ARK to remove all od Dinosaurs from the map and only have humans, and to have access to dinosaurs you had to invoke the “obelisks”, nobody would like it, nobody would understand, nobody would think it was a good idea, and everyone would find the map empty, even if adding human tribes to the ARK, it’s the same situation here, except in the case of Conan on the contrary, where humans were removed and animals and monsters were added.

I believe and use my feeling as a basis to deduce what other players of 3,000 hours played feel like this, we all feel that there has been an incredible evolution in the “world map” of Conan, although a small map has been created, it is very beautiful, it’s visually advanced, the world (map) is what we all expected, I’m sure nobody was frustrated with the visual evolution of the world, I feel like I’m playing a current game now, so much that I can’t play the map anymore old.

The frustration came in “how this beautiful world with a modern look, finally a beautiful water, was used”, we all expected this same “evolution” in NPCs, certainly everyone’s dream even more than a beautiful world was that “gameplay” was greatly improved, and when we say “gameplay” in Conan is to capture human slaves, a very rich world of NPCs, with dense and very populated cities, alive, that you feel like a true “capturer” that those cities offer you a huge range of possible “slaves” with distinctly “different” looks, a very “competent” procedural system for creating NPCs, face, hair and especially body, not just 1 BODY with different sized breasts.

This was what everyone expected a giant evolution, and there was 0 evolution in that sense, on the contrary, it got “worse” because before even in a “limited” way we had Supermeru and New Asagart with a limited range of slaves and visuals, more and that made us “fantasize” how it would all be in a “much more advanced” way we wanted to continue doing the same thing, but in a more “deep” way with more options for cities, more options for slaves, infinite visuals … and that Conan would become the “Human ARK”.

I don’t believe it was “lost work” as the ‘created world’ was incredible and this is already a ready base for Conan to “go back to the origins” but with an incredible look, I believe that if they focused on that, if you focus on what people are looking for in Conan, not wanting to “innovate in what nobody asked for” the game will return to success.

Dense and rich cities, abundant procedural variety of slaves, faces AND BODIES, more alive slaves and that makes you “believe” that your base (your castle), your little house, is alive, that you “care” for that place, that you feel the need to “take care of what” you don’t feel “alone in that world”.

Certainly the translator may have changed some sense of my text, but certainly the idea, the main feeling was passed on.

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Siptah is not that evolved visually. It has a very New Asagarth aesthetic across a amjority of the island, even the tower is basically UC structures just with black sand. There are no true unique creatures, the lizards on the beaches are just not pink??? The skeleton mini bosses gurading decaying lore structures are not different than the ones you find in the black keep or UC. The Vaults have 90% the same beasties we see on CE. the humanoid one is the exception.

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I’m seriously upset that a purge is planned for Siptah. This is a bait and switch on Funcom’s part, plain and simple. I spent the money on Siptah’s concept, which for me specifically did not include a purge. This is the ONLY reason I bought the game. To me and several others I play with, the purge is a stupid, time wasting game mechanic that only destroys progress for no reason for people who just want to build. We’re not here for PvE, and the combat in the storm is just fine for the occasional fighting we may want to engage in. By introducing the purge to Siptah, they have made a MAJOR change to the dynamics of the game, and strayed from the premise of Siptah FAR too far from what it was when it was purchased. Adding the purge, to me, is no small deal, and fundamentally makes this a different (and very less desirable) game. If this comes, I’m never touching another Funcom game in my life.

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I am too. To be honest to process this 360 Funcom is doing is too much effort, The bugs is what needed fixed as they were found, Vault Chest should have been Patched right away, Followers should have been fixed to not follow so close, but Nope they do a 360 and are now making Siptah like Exiled, No Thanks. I Enjoyed my time on Siptah.

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360 means you end up in the same direction. Just sayin.

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It’s simple they are about to sell a unfinished dlc map just like they did with the base game CE lol and they haven’t even fixed the Xbox yet go have a look at the Xbox forums it sad an sick

main issue is the thrall aquiring method in siptah . why u do not breakdown the thrall part where it says 10% finding the grind to get thralls awfull, 8% that the surge mechanic is bad (considering thralls ofc) 2% saying that getting thralls is also a bad aspect of the dlc and 5% saying no npc camps around ? all those (i remind that is thrall considering thingie) is 25%… they did the correct chart and for me they got to the correct conclusion… not disabling a mechanic , but breaking the loop… u want vaults? ur free to get em. u want purge? u will have it , u want storm? u can also get it… the ability to have choices is the best way to run any open world survival game…

Siptah is a failure, FunCom knows it.

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When I said “visual evolution of the world, of the map” I referred to a graph, whoever plays in EPIC feels a huge difference between the graph of the base map and the new map, the water of Conan has always been something very bad, in this new map the water is incredible.

What you said was exactly what I said, they worked a lot on the “world” on the map, and they didn’t work on populating it with the same quality.

That’s what I said! Formerly Conan had a world surpassed with advanced NPCs, and NOW Sipta has an extremely advanced world graphically with NPCs surpassed, since all NPCs, intelligence, visual, even though still absurdly limited, almost all NPCs are equal, ALL ABSOLUTELY ALL bodies of NPCs are the same, only the size of the chest changes, this is very annoying for those who want to hunt NPCs and fill their base with varieties of skins to play with armor … Conan is a game of “decorating bases”, DLC previous ones only prove that they sell construction products and decoration of bases.

SUMMARY: I said exactly what you questioned in my text, a world well made with a great evolution, but without evolution in its settlement, especially because people want different humans, cities, races and tribes … certainly many even dreamed of this world “existing” unrelated to players with these cities and races … fighting among themselves, making wars and that you could even “take advantage of this”, certainly many people dreamed of Conan going to this “side” of the world exist alien to the player with a functioning “biome” as many games including “indie” do.

I’m glad you think the same as I do, even though I didn’t find it, hugs

???

graphically = visual (visual quality)
The google translator changes the words a bit.