There are a couple of things in Conan Exiles that I feel are extremely profound problems, and that will be the biggest turn offs to players that want to enjoy the game.
First, about me, I’m nearly 50 years old, and have been playing competitive PvP games online since the days of dialup on my 300baud modem on a local BBS. I’m no stranger to how things happen in the play environment we have - the internet. Nor am I surprised by the actions our fellow humans take in this environment…I’ve seen it all. I bought Conan the day it was available, and have roughly 2200 hours invested. There are few things I have not seen.
That said, I do feel eminently qualified to speak about what I think are the two most glaring and off-putting problems facing CE as it exists now, and how it seems to be destined to exist upon release, as neither of these issues has been clearly and definitively addressed in any of the communications from FC.
The first is the rampant cheating and lack of administration on the official servers.
Every online survival game seems to have this same problem. If FC wants to compete then I think it needs to be the new trend-setter by dedicating the resources to police these servers, take direct action against players as they are caught, and not ruin the play experience of the vast majority of the players…the honest ones.
When new players buy CE, they’re going to play on Official Servers. This will be the most obvious and direct path to get in to the game. If that experience is negative, they will not continue to play. They will give the game bad reviews. Word of these experiences will spread, and this will affect other potential buyers’ decisions. We already see this now in EA, and it will only be more pronounced upon release.
I urge FC to not hide behind the “servers are maintained by a third party” line and take an active role in maintaining the community on the official servers. Break new ground for this genre by creating an environment on the official servers that people want to be a part of, not an environment that drives people away (either to ‘private’ servers or away from the game altogether). Have active administration that observes and polices the servers and is empowered to take action against folks that are found to be violating rules, either by cheating or toxic and abusive behavior.
I challenge you, FC, to raise the bar for this genre and do it better than the others. If you don’t, if you release with how the Official servers are now, this game will not flourish.
Second is the disparity in time/effort required to build relative to that required to destroy/raid.
The ‘tagline’ for this game is “Survive. Build. Dominate.”
As the game stands right now, one third of that line is pointless. Building is a waste of time. I can wreck what took you weeks to build with a few hours work. So why would anyone Build?
FC, you seem to have set a very clear focus and direction on how you want this game to work and be played. The building aspects of this game are fantastic, considered by some to be the best part of the game.Between what was clearly a priority in your development resources from the very beginning and your Build tagline, it seems clear that you did not intend for Building to be completely invalidated by cheap and quickly made tools such as the trebuchet and orbs.
Please consider making this a priority. Many of the things you’ve shown us in the last few weeks streams and letters are great, “nice to have” things, but this should be made a “must have”. Your new players on release will tell stories of how their beautiful cathedrals and fortresses were wrecked in 15 minutes by people that were on their server for an hour and built some trebuchets and orbs, and they will not want to play anymore. As with the issues on Official servers, these stories and experiences will reach the ears of other potential buyers, and they will very likely spend their money on a game that rewards their time and diligence in building with something positive.
Rebalance this. There are likely many potential paths to fix this, but something must be done to not invalidate building.
Thanks for reading, FC. There are certainly other issues and balancing and tweaking that are sorely needed, but those two things are what i think will be the most impactful on new players when the game is released. Those new players will talk, and if they have fun, then others will come too. I want that, and I think you want that too.
Bob - Hopeless Game Addict and Hopeful Conan Exiles Lover