So this just happened. First I’ve learned that meteor impacts just blatantly and completely destroy anything player-made that they hit. I’m struggling to still feel invested in the game after this, and here are the thought-out reasons why I find it upsetting and why I think it should be changed:
- It’s inconsistent with how every other disaster/weather event in the game is handled. “Build anywhere and everywhere!” the game tells you. Though there are a few places, because they are key spawn or story areas, that the game understandably will stop you with “you cannot build here.” But at least it tells you that. I started my gameplay in Conan Age of Exiles worrying about keeping my thralls and pets in shelter when not following me, because of course, seeing that there were regular sandstorms that could rip the flesh off my bones, I assumed it would do the same to them. Over time I learned that the game was nicer than that. You didn’t have to run around bringing all your guards inside when the storm hit, etc. And the storm wouldn’t just tear down flimsy structures, tents, and eventually stone walls as it is described to, either. Because if it did, what would be the point in building anything but a temporary shelter? And this is a building & survival game. But I expected it to for ages at first, and so would only build on the Southeast faces of cliffs and in other seemingly sheltered locations. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it didn’t, later, but still obsessively upgraded my structures to the highest tier of durability just because it felt right lore-wise. And because of the purge, of course.
Same thing later with thralls and freezing rain in the north. Of course, the purge has stepped things up a bit up here, but it’s a higher-level area, and by now the game has taught me that the purge is what I have to truly worry about when it comes to my buildings. Environmental hazards are for the players, giant beefy rock monsters are what endangers your structures. Got it.
Then this. I understand that if the game hadn’t already spent the whole time teaching me this pattern, a meteor should crash through anything makes sense. But this is inconsistent.
Meteors are much kinder to the existing terrain, and ancient structures. There are standing giant statues in the area that very much do not show signs of even the slightest damage, implying that strong enough structures (which the top durability tier should hopefully be at least close to?) can withstand these impacts. But the meteor doesn’t even just damage or re-route to nearby, it plows right through my structure, erasing every piece it touches.
I worked for a couple WEEKS on this pagoda, with my friends helping me gather resources and build the parts, I build a mock-up out of sandstone to be sure it all worked structurally before upgrading, started moving thralls up, painstakingly got the map-room placed just right so it could actually fit in the upper floor with a roof that would mostly cover it, and was just about to put in the finishing touches when -according the to event log- “structures have lost stability.” It doesn’t even tell me why, and I have to go and look to see what actually happened.
I understand if it was to prohibit a player from being able to build ownership of the resource “nodes” (I’ve been reading up and have learned meteors spawn in actually random spots.) But every other resource node simply stops spawning if someone builds near/over it, teaching the players up to this point to avoid doing so. In places where it is critical for players not to build so as to not impede other players’ experience elsewhere in the game, the UI simply stops them by saying “you can’t build here.” I’ve learned to check the whole area before starting a project to make sure I don’t have one edge of my structure or garden overlapping such a location.
This let me build. Let me plot out. Let me plan, and let me gather, and let me build some more for weeks. Until randomly one day, KABLAM! oops. From a gameplay standpoint, it feels like I’m being punished for being invested in the game enough to want to provide a public map pagoda. Which is not how I think you want the game to feel, and very much not how I want to feel when I’m playing a game to escape the bleak reality of the world around us.
What I Suggest
a: Put an easy-to-find as you first explore the area lore entry in the game warning the players that the meteors falling from the sky are unstoppable and will destroy whatever they hit. Alternatively, simply alter the description of the top-tier durability materials so that it no longer says “excellent protection against the rigors of the Exiled Lands.” or add “short of a meteor impact” to hint at this change in gameplay pattern. (While at it, may wish to update the lore text for coal and brimstone to properly reflect the game process used for creating and hardening steel.)
b: Put a visibly destroyed structure in the game illustrating this.
c: Change it so that meteor-falls don’t just automatically destroy anything they hit, regardless of durability. Maybe continue the current pattern with anything not build from top-tier durability materials, but alter it for top-tier.