Invalid play loop ( build + purge + decay )

I thought :thought_balloon: about many aspects :cake: of the game in depth :ocean: when creating my previous topic Rewarding Limits (for buildings and companions) and I noticed that several systems present in the game are stacking up, unnecessarily reinforcing which can disturb new players and, over time, old ones as well.

I will describe what the game systems looks like now and present the points of view of two players to explain the problem.


:desktop_computer: Current state of game systems

  1. The more you put up building elements, the faster the purge :crossed_swords: will attack you.
  2. The more elements make a building, the longer decay timer :clock10: will be.

:sunglasses: Endgame player

This player has already collected most of the items :amphora: :axe: and companions :turtle: in the game. Purge only appears when he really tries :poop: to do something (big build or kill enemies). But no one forces :anger: him to do anything. Such a player may, out of boredom, make jokes :clown_face: at other players (troll), disturb, attack or help :angel: them. And most of all, focus on decorating :candle: :basket: :chair: and expanding his fortress. :chart_with_upwards_trend:
His base is defended by the army. Such a player can log out at any time without looking :eyes: at the decay :clock10: timer.


:baby: New player

(or player who lost everything due to purge / PvP attack)

Such a player has to arm himself, dress up, find food, get workers and companions, build a shelter and multiple crafting stations. All of this must be done before purge or another player finds him, and before someone else has taken over the land that the player would like to live on.
The player has to do it quickly, without any break (logouts), because small building will decay quickly.


:whale2: Summary

  • The new player interacts with many aspects (systems) of the game. The endgame player doesn’t have to worry about many of them and no new aspect comes into play with the endgame.
    • As a result, the game is not fair :speak_no_evil:, the new player has too much to do and the old player has nothing to do.
    • The new player can be overwhelmed by many aspects of the gameplay, which is reinforced by the pressure of other people who play and disturb process (even unconsciously).
  • The new player has to do everything in the right order (first workstations, then build and catch companions), which slows down the process (without a mount and a companion, resources are slowly collected). Player must build T1 first (because he does not have all workstations and raw materials collected earlier), then T2 and finally T3.
    • If a player needs to build T1 and upgrade a building to T2 and then to T3, the purge will come much faster. :fast_forward: :crossed_swords:
  • If a player is attacked by something and has lost a significant portion of his buildings and resources, then the game will slow down its recovery and will favor the other player who is doing nothing.
    • The player who attacks others (PvP) will be favored by the game, it will be easier for him to maintain the status of the leader (alpha clan). It will be similar with alpha clans on PvE servers, where territories are being taken over aggressively.

:information_source: Solution with tweaks

It’s shocking :scream:, but only two small tweaks are enough to move the mechanic crowd from the new players to the endgame ones (give them more goals and deep planning of activities) and even improve the performance of the servers. :nerd_face:

  1. Change from:
    The more you put up building elements, the faster the purge will attack you. to simply:
    The more you have build elements, the faster the purge will attack you.
    • The new player will not be disturbed by the purge, and the endgame player will have to pay more attention to it, or reduce his base a bit (this is where I see the server performance improving).
    • :ballot_box_with_check: Important: Now, if an endgame player wants to purge quickly, kills and builds, he does so once a week, once a month, and does not destroy any extra buildings he has constructed to speed up the purge. If the purge will be faster due to the amount of owned and not placed items, endgame players will only need a large base without endless extensions.
  2. Change from:
    The more elements make a building, the longer decay timer will be. to simply upside down:
    The less elements make a building, the longer decay timer will be.
    • Such a change would make it possible to actively choose what style of play we prefer and whether we plan a vacation / break.
      • If we play every day, we can have a large base and a short decay time.
      • If we play rarely, it would be enough not to build such a large base to have an extended :signal_strength: decay time. :clock10:
      • If we are planning a longer vacation, we could destroy some buildings and move all important things to a smaller vault to significantly extend the decay time (up to several weeks without a double decay timer event).
    • :ballot_box_with_check: Important: If such a change occurred, the game would have to count not the building elements of a single building, but all of the player / clan building elements. Which would also improve the performance of servers, because it would reduce the number of timers.

:memo: Edit: Adding multiple emojis :crazy_face:
:thought_balloon: Thought: Each of my post looks :eyes: like a Christmas tree :christmas_tree: decorated with emoticons :star_struck:

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But normaly its the smal dots of buildings that is the problem. Inte not a problem if you buld a big fort/base somwher aslong as it not block to mutch. Nice big and smal buildings bring the server to life!

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This is why the system would need to count all player / clan building pieces (not specific building ones).

Very true, absolutely. In both topics :memo: I emphasize that the limits of building should also allow players to create large :japanese_castle: structures.

I recently joined the official server for an event :pirate_flag: (to get a pirate outfit). It turned out that this server is played by a clan that only the main building occupies 5 quadrants of the map. Each road and small path was lit by a candle-building :candle: (several foundations :brick: with a light :fire: source on them) all over the map. And no one complained :thinking:, although the game slowed down significantly in many areas. :grimacing:

Sometimes it is difficult to determine who is a spammer and destroys the game for others, or actually cares :innocent: about the game and other players. In this case (on this server) the road lighting was very useful to me and the clan was active and helped everyone on the server. Their structures were detailed and pretty :heart_eyes: (not cubic).

The players simply allowed the clan to expand and I am sure that if someone wanted to build somewhere, it would not be a problem to give the land to a new owner. :sunglasses:

Maybe I should explain why the game should not favor veterans and the most active players. :thinking:

The point :orange_circle: is to make the game :star_struck: exciting. When a player with weaker equipment and less experience will fight a veteran, we can easily predict the outcome of the fight. I’m not saying that the weaker player will always lose, but at the beginning of the fight it becomes boring, for both players:
One usually loses (it’s not fun), so he avoids the fight; The second one wins more often, and there is no real challenge (or nothing to do once he’s got everything in the game - so not fun too).
The game gains :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: if it can make it impossible to predict :mage: the outcome of a clash :crossed_swords: (I’m not just talking about combat, but also about economic domination, about every rivalry :medal_sports:).

Here are some real-world examples from games:

  1. Imagine a First Person Shooter multiplayer game, where we create a tournament consisting of 3 matches. If I remember correctly Counter Strike uses described mechanics.
  • The team that loses the first match must win the next two to win the tournament. If this team lost because it has less experience, winning two consecutive matches in a row is almost impossible. Therefore, the game allows losers to choose (buy) a better weapon for the next match. Of course, an experienced team can use this technique and losing the first match, but after that, they cannot afford the slightest mistake, because the next losing match means the tournament is lost.
    • :x: If the game didn’t have these mechanics, only the first match would be the most important and the rest would be less exciting.
    • :white_check_mark: However, when a game uses a similar system, the gameplay becomes exciting until the last minute, whether you are a new player or a experienced player.
  1. Board games also try to keep the excitement as long as possible. The classic games of moving a :chess_pawn: and roll a dice :control_knobs: often have this rule that the last move is made only when the player has roll the appropriate value. And a game like Snakes and Ladders (originally Moksha Patam) tries to make the game the most difficult towards the end, so that the leader in the first position constantly changes (because it’s a racing game after all).

Out of respect for the time and effort you place into your posts & responses. I will take some time in this. As I agree with your overall goal, yet find disagreement in the execution.

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I do not think that the Endgame should be defined by building. The issue I see with your lowering of the building timer on larger structures and upping it on smaller ones, is you would just see smaller claims spread through the map. They would space them precisely far enough as to claim the land and gain the excessive timers. They would map it to the T on PvP. One of the new reworks was the benches, the best benches are massive in size, my current workshop on PvE is tiny IMO, everything is crammed together. Some of the new benches have overly sensitive collisions that need to be tweaked. But besides that point, the massive benches are not going to encourage smaller builds and in most cases do not allow for it due to size. The key issue with Endgame is not building, or the Purge, or Decay. All of these individual systems I agree need major tweaks and reworks. But I am a firm believer that Endgame needs more. Endgame needs Prestige leveling, it needs exclusive dungeons with random gen mapping & variations to bosses for unique item/wep/armor possibilities. Endgame should give players something to strive for after 60. To satiate competitive/completionism natures.

Thus is life. It doesn’t make sense to have the same struggles or goals in Endgame. Endgame players need further content not a reskin of the starting game. They need something after 60. They need something besides Purge. (Exiles Map)

You will not get my vote here. I do not believe the Purge should be exclusive. The Purge comes for everyone. When are you not considered new? I think that the emphasis here on how hard the game is for new players is being a little exaggerated.

110% disagree. I was an exclusive PvP player at one time. Part of the rush is running. Being scared, having that fear of other players. If we are just talking PvP here and we are in this term. You are stripping new players of aspects of this game that make it a survival game. Predator vs Prey. The Purge. That struggle preps them for what the game and PvP can be, losing everything and building back up to avenge your defeat. An Endgame player should want a new player to build up, that’s what adds challenge to the game and actually gives them something to earn from the encounter.

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For the extended decay timers to work as a system, It would be better if all structures share the same decay timer.
The points that I agree upon and wish we could have them in the game in the future:

  • purge meter will fill up faster the bigger your base
  • decay timer will be on par with your build size (smaller decay timer for large builds)
    As you said in one of your previous posts, build costs should be higher the more you build. I think, this alone would bring the excitement of a new player experience into the endgame.
    Another issue the game has right now is that, with each level up, the game becomes easier, closer to a boring experience. In order to keep the game interesting and worthy of a survival:
  • the food/water meter should scale up with leveling, requiring more food/water at lvl 60 than at lower levels.
  • thrall health and damage should scale down with level.
  • harder purges for lvl 60 players similar to berserker purge, or even harder.
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I like the idea of a purge meter filing faster for a high level player owning many building pieces or items on the map.
As usual, I hate your obnoxious emoji diarrhea with all my soul. But maybe that’s how you express yourself in real life… who am I to judge?

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Ideas and suggestions are always good to have. Some feedback on things I thought may not work, where you can tweak your ideas for better solutions.

Typically below 60, you probably would not get a purge (unless in a clan). Leveling is so quick these days anyway that you can get 60 casually within a few days of playing and not really intentionally try to level. So a 60 and below 60 mechanic I do not think is needed. Too much programming for a feature that hardly anyone will get effected by it beyond maybe perhaps once if they are a new player. So this concept will be less likely since very little bang for the work needed to implement.

Harder purges will drive away casual players who as you can see on other threads about follower limits and such, are not able to handle purges well. So level 60 great player versus and average 60 are not the same. People who can handle harder purges tend to build in harder areas. People who can not, tend to build in easier areas. Nothing wrong with that concept. We should try to avoid building a system that is only tailored for hard-core type players since majority of players are not that type.

Some people like having purges (they are fun) so having faster purge meters may not be a deterrent. I participated in a few on Siptah (but only 2 spawned for my clan). I love fighting purges and the community comes out to assist (at least on my servers). Plus purges only happen at a certain time frame so possible no one is on those hours which also defeats the purge aspect. I tend to play mostly in the mornings although I do play at nights as well occasionally. Mornings will not have any purges when I am online. My clan mates are pretty much early day players as well.

I am not sure people at level 60 would like the concept that you have to drink an entire healing waterskin for example to go from thirsty to 100% filled. (I have that concept on my server because I raise the length of time to be hungry and thirsty by x2 which also effects the need for food and water to be eaten and drunk by twice the amount). My players hate the need to eat twice as much but love that do not have to do so for twice as long. (Funcom programmed both in the same slider.)

This idea does not bother me since I already carry 5 waterskins (2 of which are healing ones) and at least 50 food items each time I leave my base.

Thrall health I would say is already sort of scaled since the higher levels tend to have / gain more health. Damage I guess that would make sense but I think this is scaled based on their stats as well. I am not sure we need to rescale the followers again downward if they are low level. Many followers at the low levels are pretty low in hps to start.

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I don’t feel increasing building costs or hunger/thirst as you level would be a change for the better. For a fair group people those are “chore” tasks that they don’t like.

As for thralls, I’m not sure how useful they would be if you weakened them. They almost need to be op because they simply lack the AI to effectively dodge or block like a player or change tactics on the fly. They can’t even decide whether to use a bow or a sword half the time when they have both it seem

I’ve seen more than one archer thrall charge a bad guy with his sword, run all the way up to them, then switch to their bow and shoot them at point blank range🙃

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Making the game harder will sure scare a few casuals, but the game will gain so many of its veterans back and players looking for a challenge.
I ran out of things to do ingame and the game doesn’t give me a challenge anymore. I no longer play Conan Exiles, and left my bases decay 2 weeks ago. Funcom setting their game for a casual audience only is the wrong thing to do in my opinion.
I would make a return if there will be:

  • harder purges that will be forced on players rather than optional
  • nerfing the building system
  • restoring the maelstrom to it’s original design
  • nerfing thralls down to 10% of their current health
  • new systems that can provide a challenge
    The last point will always be a draw for veteran players, and I’ll be there if they bring something unique/new to the game. As for the rest of the points, I have no hope these will ever happen.

I do enjoy reading @fito posts as these are very well thought out game design improvements and not just random ramblings as I’ve seen so often in these forums.
I wish Funcom would stop listening to the community once in a while and push on with their own vision for the game, as they did in 2017 when Conan Exiles was a survival game and not just a bulding simulator.
Even Siptah early access was proof of what the devs want for their game, which was a brutal maelstrom that has now been reduced to nothing because of the community “feedback”.

Have fun decorating your homes. This is not a survival game.

Edit: This post is my opinion that I don’t force on others.

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True in some cases for sure that veterans would come back if the game was harder.

There is always the modded servers with harder content like EEWA (Endgame Extended Weapon Arsenal) for example that would please the veterans. I been asked to add that for end game content on my servers.

(Side note, I liked the old Maelstorm concept)

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I think there needs to be harder content, but I dont think the game as a whole needs to be harder.

The main issue, as has been pointed out, is lack of any interesting end game activity. You get to a certain point where you feel like you have been there and done that, and the game becomes little more than legos or RP, or PvP raiding which doesn’t really get you anything when you are at the top of the tech tree and resource gathering thing anyway. The idea behind warring clans is only interesting if there is a scarcity of resources to fight over and in Conan, there is rarely (if ever) any scarcity. There are much more effective ways to get what you want other than raiding.

Some wild thoughts

*Randomized dungeons with unique loot that has unique and interesting effects (not just more pen, or more dmg, or add cripple or whatever, but visual and different effects maybe even elemental effects).

*Some kind of reincarnation system where, once you hit level 30 and meet some kind of prerequisites you can do a dungeons that and build a thing that lets you reincarnate yourself into the world with some kind of interesting perk or trait. Of course this could be abused since your friends or clan can just drop you some epic stuff and your basically back where you started, but maybe reincarnated people have different restrictions than others like, they can only wear equipment they make or that they loot from fallen foes but not from other fallen PC’s or thralls. Maybe they can only use structures they build, maybe they can only use resources that they acquire. Basically, as an Enlighted person, other people work and effort is too below them. In return the perk would have to be pretty cool. Maybe reincarnating lets you learn recipes that only other reincarnated folks of that reincarnation rank or higher can use.

*A clan system that supports actual interesting interclan stuff. Like the ability to make alliances and ratify them in the game with systems in the game that support these things. Being able to set permissions to clan members based on rank, and systems that support clans that might be authoritarian (clan leader sets all permissions), or democratic (clan members vote on changes to clan rules).

*Instead of nerfing thralls, I’d rather thralls do less damage maybe instead do more support oriented things like cripple, sunder, hell maybe even apply a bandage to me or something. I don’t want them to be easier to kill though. I’d like if they could be taken out of the fight more often, but I’d maybe like see some kind of death immunity with a cool down. Like, if they get ‘downed’ you can get them back up, if your not around to do that maybe they return home. But they are only immunity to death once every so 20 min, 40 min, I’m sure on the time. Or maybe if they get downed they cant be used at all for a certain amount of time. Limited death immunity would also make them less prone to getting eaten by the game and simply disappearing without a trace.

*Thralls having entirely different functions in combat outside of attacking, would be really cool too. Maybe you could level up a thrall specifically to be a tank thrall, to draw aggro and to cripple and to intercept when something comes after you. Maybe you could level up a different thrall that provides a small passive health and or stamina regen. Maybe a different thrall could be specialized to make your resource gathering more effective. Maybe you could level up a thrall that acts as a spotter to help highlight targets for archers and add effects to arrows. There could be a thrall that increases the effects of using consumables whenever they are with you. In other words, thralls could be more interesting by giving thralls the ability to learn ‘auras’/passives that effect us, or attacks or special moves or abilities outside of the regular combat that the game offers which is what WE the players should specialize in. Players could spend quite a bit of time finding thralls with these abilities, or training them up. These could be handled like perks, but maybe instead of a random perk you can choose 1 of 3 possible perks.

I don’t think it’s interesting to just nerf this, or buff that. I want to see some actual creativity.

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You guys can try to field ideas until pigs fly, but games of this nature are cumulative. And once you accumulate to a certain point, it all becomes meaningless more or less.

I do agree the purge mechanic needs a rework, but only to help keep newer players from getting into a vicious loop of rebuild and loss. But at the end of the day, big clans and established clans want purges. I can promise if you increase purge gain for building big, you will see bigger builds.

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Hey, glad to hear all your replies on the subject. Indeed, I mainly care for new players, but also for veterans who are back in the game or have lost everything (whether by raid or decay). :pleading_face:


I would love :heart_eyes: to see more hardcore content in the game. More survival. And I wish we had the same value of hit points - companions and players. I’m jealous of those high numbers. :smirk:

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