Idea for follower cap! FUNCOM PLEASE READ!

Hello Funcom. I just heard the upcoming follower cap and I think it is not a good idea the way you want to make it. My idea to make this ( if it really happens) better! A Barrack system!

So let say you can have only 60 placed fighters, but you want to have more. You craft a barrack and place it in your base like a wheel of pain or a vault. And you can store the thralls in it that are over the limit or not needed. Only for fighters, archers, dancers and bearers off course! You just go to an unneeded thrall and press E, and there would be a “Send to Barrack” option. The thrall then transported to the nearest barrack.

There would be 3 tier of barracks.
Tier 1: Simple barrack, can hold 10 thralls. (10 slots of inventory)
Tier 2: Barrack, can hold 20 thralls. (20 slots of inventory)
Tier 3: Improved barrack, can hold 30 thralls. (30 slots of inventory)

If you select a thrall icon in one off the slots you can view that thrall and its armour and weapons on the right just like you do with placed thralls when pressing “E” on them to see their inventory. That way you can add or remove their stuff even if they are just stored thralls.
On PvP you could use this to have more fighters so if a purge or raid is going on and your fighters die you could just grab some reinforcements from the barracks.
Well this would be my idea to make this cap thing a little more endurable for players who don’t want to loose any of their thralls.
Please Funcom consider my idea, because I think this would work.

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Would take a lot to implement probably, but I like it. Thumbs up for the idea.

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You know what? That is an awesome idea! It’s not trivial, but I’m willing to bet that a lot of the building blocks in their engine are already there: the logic for the Animal Pet is similar to your idea for Barracks. Some of the stuff you’re asking for might not be feasible, but it’s a core of a great idea!

I don’t think Funcom will listen, but thanks for posting it!

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I would love to see :eyes: barracks in the game. However i think that it would not be necessary to create a new building, it would be enough to expand the possibilities of the wheel of pain and maybe the animal pens so that unused followers can be stationed there.

I particularly like this function, it is very suitable.

if they could path from the barracks for certain circumstances, itd save some rendering too.

This idea was considered in early stages of the thrall leveling system, but would turn to be quite taxing to the server, totally defeating the main purpose of the cap in the first place.

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I don’t think so @Ignasis. Maybe I am wrong but I would say @Dragonman means, that when you send the Fighter/Archer/Dancer/Bearer Thrall to the Barrack this Thrall will vanish from the map but you still own him, like you store him in a chest. I understand this as a reserve function, if you loose one Thrall you can directly replace him with a new one from the barracks. Am I Right @Dragonman?

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I’m not for pre-built buildings, but I will welcome a BED-based system. You can build your barrack the way you want, but you must have a bed for each 2-3 thralls. 50 bed -> 100-150 thralls.

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I really like this idea but i think there should still be a max on how many followers you can have :slight_smile:

Maybe both would be an option, you could also have horse stables for your horses :slight_smile:

Here’s is my to cents. This should only apply to PVP servers. I mainly play PVE. Thralls don’t attack players during PvP times anyway. Thrawls are window dressing. But they are my window dressing. I tammed them and equipped them. Most with the best gear in the game. And with the theme of my base. Kitan, black ice, etc. It is very important to me and my clan for funcom to realize the time investment it takes to get legendary thrawls. My clans, 2 groups of 8,10) are considering leaving this game. Which is a shame. I really want to know how this makes sense for PVE. Are they going to have these new followers attack players during PvP? All my name thralls I have do I lose them outright or do I get to pick and choose to break their bond?

They really need to flush this out. This really is going to break the fun of this game. I don’t want to have to level up 55 followers to Max level. That is truly tedious.

If they want this to work we should be able to have multiple followers following us. Much like WOW did. Pet and thrawls

That is an interesting insight, @Ignasis. Thank you for sharing it with us. Is there any chance you could help us understand which aspect of this is taxing to the server?

From what I understand about this suggestion and about how servers work, I was under the impression that keeping the followers inside the barracks would be no different from keeping them in chests – no server-side simulation to run, no catch-up logic involved, no expensive periodic operations (like thrall feeding constantly accessing the thralls’ inventory on a regular basis), etc. I’m extremely curious about what I got wrong and would welcome a chance to learn more.

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If that’s all it was, then ya. But the OP describes something far more complex (and also cool, if only I had coder genes sigh…).

It is not hard to consider how things are taxing on the server. Programming is made in 3 simple ways, as “CodeMage”, you probably know: “Layering, Instancing and Objectifying”.
Layers are, well, layers, that go on top of each other, you may have 3 layers of stuff going on, like one layer doing the drawing stuff, one layer processing the movement, other layer for decision making, and things of the likes. The more complex you make the layer, the more taxing it is to have this layer working in your actor.
Instancing is multiplying instances of one same code. Like you have a Fighter archetype, from which figthers are instances of it. Actors in general are instances of the actor blueprint, it means you have an “ideal model” from which instances are multiplied to give life to individual instances of that same model. The more complex the model is, the more taxing it is to add another instance of that. And the more layers that model has, the multiplied stress is posed on the server to handle instances of that.
The objects are the things grouped together to make those actors work. You have objects as many things in an actor, and objects can be made out of objects, so each added object is multiplied by the number of times it appears in the layers, and those multiplied by the number of instances that run that particular model.

That to say in short: You can add one object and add 5 “fractions of stress” in the overall game, and one can add a simpler object, but as it appears in more layers and more instances, that object adds 1000 “fractions of stress”. So that is why some simpler ideas can be more taxing than other complex ones.

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Maybe I haven’t had enough caffeine today, but I can’t see it. Can you help me spot it? (genuine question, no snark)

The way I understood this, it’s basically:

  • Keep thralls in barracks like in chests. No simulation or server-side logic involved with keeping them in barracks.
  • Be able to send a follower to the barracks using the radial menu. This is what makes barracks different from chests – remote storage. Maybe this particular bit is somehow taxing to the server, but I don’t have any clue why that would be. Perhaps if you implement it as “send to nearest barracks”, that would incur a performance penalty because the game would have to look up the nearest barracks. But there’s a simple solution for that: just like each placed thrall knows what was the last guarding point and can teleport back there when it’s in the “returning home” state, it can also know what barracks it came from.
  • Be able to pick up a thrall from the barracks. As far as I understood, this isn’t remote teleportation or anything, this is literally just like picking up a thrall from the chest.

Kinda like entities, actors, components and blueprints in the engine I’ve worked with. Makes sense, but I honestly didn’t think adding a barracks component to the thralls would make it that taxing.

Another problem that just occurred to me might also be the resource usage involved in being able to convert a follower actor back into an item placed inside the barracks container. I think perhaps that is one of the reasons why we can’t pick up placed thralls. I haven’t actually looked at the devkit and modding of Conan Exiles, so I don’t know this, but I have a hunch that a thrall actor has a bunch of properties that are randomly generated when it’s placed and the thrall item does not have to keep track of those. Having to track them would increase memory usage drastically.

Thanks for helping me reason about this! I might still be way off and completely wrong, but at least it’s fun :wink:

I am not entirely sure it is the case, as modding “pick up thralls” is actually very simple and do not require rework how the instancing happens. To illustrate, what you do when you put a thrall in a wheel of pain is the same process you would do to get it back in the inventory, you just changing which object goes to which inventory “development wise”. That would not be a problem.

But the reasoning behind barracks may be the same behind the limit on how much thralls you can have in a wheel of pain, and how many pets you can have in a animal pen: The end result of limiting how many thralls you can insert in the game in a given time.

This gets to my area more than programming, which is economics. There would be no problem if one person were to put 100 thralls at once in the server. One person, that person will see the performance issue and learn to never do it again if they want the smooth playing experience. That is why you can set up the server or mod it, or admin it to do such stupid things.

But the same problem you have if one person put 100 thralls alone at once, you have if 100 people put one thrall at the same time in a server. (I am using 100 to simplify things, but that number in reality would be larger). So the problem in taxing server with actions is not that one person my mean a problem. The idea is to prevent, in the words of the Architect in the Matrix (that mostly misunderstood speech in the second movie):
“While it remains a burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control. Which has led you, inexorably, here.”
So some things are not limited because they are taxing per se, but the eventuality of the use of such things will, i.e., the eventuality that two warring powers have a barrack full of thralls and in the eventuality of a conflict, they decide both to insert a mass number of thralls all at the same time in the same region to fight each other. As the problem is not only the load of having the thrall placed, but when you place them, the creation routine is also more taxing.
You can see a sample of that if you open your task manager and open a complex program, lets say, the browser. You will see that beyond adding many tasks relative to one “window”, the amount of CPU and memory it uses to open is much more than it uses to keep idle.

This part

Also what estevanweb said.

There are a couple of pickup mods, but the function can easily be exploited (and probably in more ways then I know). That’s my hunch as to why follower pickup isn’t in.

I’m sorry, I didn’t explain my concern clearly enough. The new thrall leveling system adds a bunch of new attributes to thrall actors: strength, agility, vitality, accuracy, survival, level and perks; there might be others that I’ve missed. A thrall item, on the other hand, doesn’t have these. If I’m right, it should just have a reference to the blueprint for that particular breed of thrall (e.g. Zingaran Archer II) and this blueprint has all the attribute roll chances and other bits of data that pertain to this breed. This data is defined once for each breed and shared for all instances of it.

If you allow players to convert a thrall actor back to a thrall item, that would mean the items would now have to store all that data. So now if the follower cap restricts your clan to a maximum of 100 followers, you could still hog a boatload of memory just by having 1000+ followers in barracks.

I’m entirely unconvinced that adding a “barracks component” to follower actors will have such a drastic increase in processing when placing a thrall. It might be that they want to limit how often thralls are placed, because if 40 players kept placing and picking up thralls frequently and simultaneously, that might be taxing. It still sounds iffy, because it’s not really something that the players would be doing so often.

Interesting. I would expect this to have approximately the same cost as storing the weapons and armor in chests. Then again, if that bit is the real problem, then wouldn’t it be easy to cut it out of the implementation and let people manage that stuff on their own? Hell, you don’t even have to store armor and weapons together with the follower in the barracks, just have the whole inventory drop in a lootbag when the follower is sent to the barracks.

I’m more inclined to believe that memory usage is a big problem, as I speculated above. And there might be some processing load involved with converting followers from actors to items and back, like @estevanweb claims.

I am not saying having the barracks is the problem in itself. I am saying that once you have them, you can incur in the problem by having a “gated storage” so you can quickly deploy many thralls at once.
The problem is not having the barracks, but using it. More precisely, the problem is not having or using the barracks per se, but the possibility that many people have it, and many people use it at once.
It is like the “bank run”. There is no problem for the bank if one person takes the money out of the bank, but if everyone does, then it is. That is why banks do not release X amount of money at momentous notices.

Think the server as a bank of processing power. Each person loan processing power from the server to have their thralls, and to play. All is good if the total play does not empty the server of that. So it is needed to slow down the rate to which people loan process power, unless you incur in the eventuality that so many is taken that the server has none to its basic function. It means, no power to do the routine stuff renders the playing stuff useless. Therefore, if everyone takes a bit of it, but the total taken is too much, those using few and those using much will all be without the server to handle it.

The main problem here is not causing problems to one self, and that is why all this is entirely opted by the admin. The main problem is some people abusing it, and making it rough to EVERYONE, even if the majority of the players have one thrall in a tent, they will be impacted by “systemic eventuality”.