My Frustration with Funcom and Conan Exiles

In my opinion these are the top factors that negative affect game satisfaction:

  1. Poor in-game performance
  2. Buggy releases and long-standing bugs that never get fixed
  3. In-game exploits and lack of server moderation
  4. Lack of game features or content

My issue with Funcom is that that they seem to always prioritise 4, believing that the community will just suck it up regarding 1-3. Yes, new features and constantly developing a game to make it better are important, but if you ignore the first 3 factors then your players will be constantly frustrated with your game, give it bad reviews and ultimately reduce how many new players will want to play in the future.

The top 3 things Funcom could do to make this game better:

  1. Properly support and moderate official servers and ensure they use very best hardware
  2. Focus on fixing long-standing bugs/exploits and performance issues before any new content
  3. Properly TEST all major new game releases extensively

With regards to point 2, what I would really like to see is some kind of publicly viewable list/database of known issues. I’m a web developr and active in the open source community, and despite the issues that go with open source projects, at least you can see existing issues documented, can add you own feedback to those issues and can track how the effort to fix them is going. With private software companies like Funcom the frustration is seeing the same bugs/issues/exploits reported over and over and then nothing. No feedback and no idea what happens after that, not to mention the hundreds of hours wasted by players reporting the same things over and over and not knowing if what they have just experienced is new or is already something that is being fixed or not. Yes bugs happen, but PLEASE give players SOME kind of feedback as to whether they are being worked on.

I’ve always liked the core features in Conan Exiles, the artwork and the aswesome buildings options, but so many times over the last couple of years when I’ve asked friends to join me the answer is always the same - yeah, tried it but too buggy, or too many exploits etc… And every time a new release comes out, rather than the excitement of the new features I feel the dread of all the stuff that will get broken as well. Each time I hope I will be wrong, and yet each time my fears are realised. Poor performance, core mechanics not working, exploits etc… it’s such a shame. Sure, things do get better after a few months and have improved overall in the last year, but often by then it’s too late. Players have got frustrated and moved on, and once again the cycle continues that new players are put off by poor reviews or previous experiences with the game.

Funcom, I love this game but on the above points you CAN do so much better - and be so much more successful if you do!

Thanks for reading

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I mean… just because there are bugs does not mean they aren’t trying to address them. The hardware at gportal is not in Funcom’s control. I don’t think anyone at Funcom says “yeah bugs are okay”. Its just harder to fix some of them than people realize, but that said, bugs are fixed in every patch. If you want the game to continue and grow though, there has to be new content and with that new content, there are likely to be new or old bugs that rear their head.

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  1. My point is the “The hardware at gportal” SHOULD be under Funcom’s control. For many, official servers are their first experience of the game. Simply passing the buck to another company is not doing them any favours.

  2. Of couse no company wants bugs, but if you keep having buggy releases, then it’s time to re-evaluate the scope of the testing you are doing before releases. As I said, to their credit things have got better in the last year, but the “black hole” so many bug reports seem to dissapear into is deeply frustrating.

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I get that bugs are frustrating and Funcom clearly doesnt want frustrated customers. Funcom has an existing agreement with gportal so that is not going to change, should could or otherwise. Those are for official servers (free I might add) and if people want better server performance they have options. Funcom provides and updates the dedicated server app for us as players to address our own desires. Consoles are kinda stuck, but that’s console life; they are slaved to their console hardware and the server provider’s hardware and that is a cost/benefit analysis that console players must make (I was a long standing console player and prefer console in many instances).

Anyway, no one is going to defend a bug, Funcom or anyone else, but my point is that Funcom IS working on the bugs and Funcom DOES put out fixes to bugs all the time.

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Why? Contracts don’t last for ever, and if one side is not getting what they want out of the contract then in most cases they can and should re-evaluate it.

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We would have to see the specifics of the contract but given server merges and the statement that they see a move of players to privates, renegotiating a contract is not going to be a priority. The officials are pure expense to Funcom. Better servers = more expense. Negotiating a new contract is pure legal expense, and not a small expense. Part of what people don’t see though is that Funcom spends a lot of time on memory optimization to solve problems for underpowered hardware. The ram usage on servers has been reduced over time and unless you run your own server, you dont see that. So clearly, they have opted to optimize to run on existing hardware than just throw more money at more expensive server providers for “reasons”.

Anyone who wants bugs to be fixed that aren’t can most proactively file detailed official bug reports; not spam threads with vague observations (and often rants). The more detail the better because a bug can look like its caused by one thing and really be from something completely different.

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True, but poor game satisfsaction and reputation = reduction in users = less income

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Better servers tho do not necessarily translate to more money (or I should say, enough to cover the added cost). For me as an example, the officials could operate perfectly and I wouldnt play there.

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I personally run in very few to no bugs, most bugs occur online when its laggy…
A lot of players I talk to, mistake this for a buggy game but its most of the time server lag causing issues.

The servers really need to beef up.

I didn’t say there no bugs btw, I said I run in a few to zero and most doesn’t bother me that much in my gameplay.

What bugs me the most are these:

  • Horrible server performance during peak player times.
  • Useless gear (legendary and for example functional warpaints?).
  • Not able to share BP items and BLB with other players.

Still love the game, and I hope with the new systems in place the issues will get better in the future.
Take for example the its not wet when it rains, and a lot lot more improvements we’re got over time.

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:point_up_2: Very true, roughly 75% of the “bugs” people report are not bugs at all, they are latency issues that completely vanish when you get (or host) your own server. It would be nice to see Funcom get better server hardware but I doubt that would fix the problem (as it has been explained on the forums previously).

Don’t get me wrong, I think Funcom needs to start dolling out improvements faster then they have in the past 4 years, and performance should always be a top priority. However, with 3.0 came additional cash flow that supposedly will be used for this, and so far there have been 5 updates in the last 2 months, which is a definite improvement.

Let’s give 'em time. :wink:

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I rarely see lag on the IoS official server. Only one day for a short bit, I had lag. There are roughly 3 to 20 players online (varies depending when I log in, since I do log in really late / early hours at times). There used to be lag when people did the Maelstrom boss fights but that was last year.

Note, I been playing more due to the Battle Pass so I am more attuned to it then before.

I run my 4 servers on Gportal and haven’t had any issues related to lag (either reported by my player base or myself) Granted, the most I have online at once is 5. I run heavy modded servers though. You would think they will cause issues. Only time I may run into any lag is with SvS waterfalls (x 40?) at someone’s base and other water / particle effect placeables. It does take a bit to load. My city (gone due to a bug), caused some to lag a bit when in my city. Not server wide issue, just in the city itself.

So, it may vary from server to server. Also, have played on the EL official server (PvE-C) which had no issues. I have appeared there recently and was fine. Granted, do not play there anymore to really say beyond historical point of view. I recall WoW we started on had major lag issues, and we switched servers and no lag issues. Unfortunately, each server will have different results. Servers will continuous issues, should be looked at though.

NOTE: I do all my Battle Pass gaming on the IoS Official Server so not to cheat and see how time consuming / difficult it is to complete the BP. I am level 59 when I only do the BP roughly 2 days a week. I did pop on EL official server for one super easy challenge (visit the Relic Hunter city), since my clan base (friend prefers EL then IoS) is nearby.

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I don’t really ever see bugs or lag on my private server.

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I am curious what are the long standing bugs that are outstanding?

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I can say this probably won’t happen.

This is a woulda, coulda, shoulda situation. Should officials be ran by Funcom personally? Yes. They should have. But they’re not. They never will be. It was a bad decision that has to be lived with. The players have to deal with it, and Funcom has to deal with it. They made a deal, a bad one, but it was made. I am sure they don’t like it anymore than the players do, but all the can do about it is try to get the game to work better on them bit by bit.

They re-evaluate quite a bit actually. I’ve done a few beta tests and they do try to gather information a bit different in each iteration. Trust me, in 3.0 there was quite a few nasty bugs that was caught. Some the beta testers caught and got repro steps for the devs, and many that their internal Q&A caught.

But here’s the thing, a few dozen beta testers are going to catch things that a dozen or so internal testers catch. A few hundred testlive testers will catch things the beta testers don’t. And then the tens of thousands of players in the live environment will find things no one saw before it got there.

But then there is known issues they release to live simply because all the testers in that whole process simply can’t collectively get a proper set of repro steps. Or the bug isn’t consistently happening enough to weed out.

Funcom got hoodwinked by G-portal. There were scammed, cheated, and tricked. But legally they are just stuck. It happens, whomever made the deal didn’t anticipate the issues. They should have. They did a bad thing. There’s no fix, its just the way it is. Worst part about it, since its a business to business contract, they can’t say anything (even the truth) that would hurt the deal.

Here’s the worst part. Even if they did it in house, who’s to say it would be better? They’re not in the business of running servers like that outside of MMORPGs, but even then across all of their MMOs they run like a dozen servers total. Not hundreds like you see in Conan. So they’d have to buy a bunch of racks, setup virtual machines, and due to the start up costs they’d have to go for the cheap. It might even be worse.

They can’t go with another provider unless something happens to G-portal. Maybe G-portal gets liquidated by going under. Natural disaster or war causes them to get destroyed or what not. Basically you’re praying to the four horsemen of the apocalypse to help you out there. But even then its not certain. If G-portal fails, officials may simply go away. The deal was made over 5 years ago. Is another provider going to take up a similar deal with Funcom on a 5 year old game?

That’s revenue that simply has to be coughed up in either case.

It appears they are working on a few things. Today’s patch had an unfinished feature get slipped in (I assume they are working on it and forgot to turn it off in today’s release build). But those of you playing without mods shouldn’t have anything to worry about, other than a hotfix in the next day or so needing to be downloaded.

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I’m not trying to be mean, but off the top of my head there are quite a few:

a) Rhino saddle uncraftable
b) Yellow Lotus feat wipe
c) Climbing edge jank
d) Torches cause FPS tank (should be a limiter)
e) Thrall AI wack
f) Legendary Armor Repair Kit bork
g) Thralls into texture poof
h) Metal chest overlap near-epileptic-level strobe
i) Starmetal nodes no crack
j) All but a and b are worsened on a busy server, especially PS4

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Thanks.

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Do not forget at the time they made this deal, they were on the rocks, looking at filing bankruptcy. I am sure G-Portal took advantage of this to stick them with a long term contract.

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That’s a valid point except you’re a hardline private (by which I mean you don’t like playing in public spaces) player. That’s pretty unusual these days and shouldn’t be considered widespread or normal.

Look, if this is true and GPortal did something deceptive, surely it would be a priority to extricate your business from an unfair and destructive contract and never do business with the ones who “scammed” you again? It would be worth any cost. Especially since pretty much everyone in this thread has acknowledged that what are often percieved as bugs (and severely damaging to the rep of the game) are actually a result of GPortal.

I’m not a business man. Maybe I dont understand the high level Important Businessings supposedly going on here. I thought there were always options in business. Isn’t that the whole point of free market capitalism? I can see that whatever is binding FC to GPortal must be hard to extricate themselves from. But it seems to be the number one thing creating bad publicity for their game.They should do whatever they can to get out of it. Or maybe the cynical people are right and the finance people at FC just don’t give a shit. And want to wring the customers dry and chuck them and the game away when they’re done.

I was more or less being facetious. I don’t know exactly what the relationship is. But I’m not going to pretend that FC is 100% happy with the results of how the Officials work. Whether that’s the opinion of ‘there’s always room for improvement’ or ‘these guys really just suck…’. That I don’t know. Its one thing they’ve been excessively tight lipped on. Anytime we’ve been in a position to ask in any random situation, we’ve been given a polite yet firm, “nope.”

But I’m not surprised, its a business to business relationship. Not to be cliche, but its actually none of our business to what the details are. And to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Community Managers, Game Moderators, Developers, and such don’t actually know those details. Like the players they simply have to deal with the situation, make it as good as they can, and keep their opinions to themselves as professionals.

I don’t have such a limitation. I’ve used G-portal before (actually rented a server from them). So I can talk sh-t and do so with an informed opinion to their quality. Though I will say in the efforts to be honest and forthcoming, my personal experience as a customer wasn’t bad. I’ve only seen them go to crap when I was tasked to help admin on a server rented through G-Portal by someone else. Server ran fine with some mods until the player count went above 20. Then it crapped itself. Moved the database to another provider and it ran fine for nearly a year before the transition to Isle of Siptah.

Though from a modder’s stand point, G-Portal is a PITA when you update your mod and then get dozens or hundreds of players wondering why their mod is mismatched because the server owner of their server is struggling to get G-Portal to take the update from the workshop.

Only thing I can suggest is getting G-portals contact info and send them letter after letter. Maybe you can annoy them enough to cause them to do something or even cause friction with them and FC, something along the lines of pissing them off enough to tell FC to control their players or somesuch.

Complaining on the forums here will get you told to run your own server. G-portal can’t really do that. Its kinda like Burger King telling you if you don’t like their fries, go to McDonalds lol. There’s nothing to lose there. Its not like G-portal can ban you all.

Our original server host was an abomination. We got G-Portal later (Frozen North Expansion), and it was almost as bad. Then simultaneously something got better, both with the hosting and the game.

I believe it’s like this: if you want a great price on hosting, you need to think about longer term commitments. In my business, and in the other ones I’ve run, we get application hosting up-front and at a “good” price, but never so good as to lock us into obsolescence. From experience the one thing hosts rarely do is let you out of a contract and give you money back. Without knowing any of the details of this particular deal, I would make a pretty general statement and say this is how the situation appears – long term, pre-pay or annual pay, with maximum instances per server.

The simplest, best solution for G-Portal is to make them reduce by half the number of instances running on one server. If I were in Funcom’s position with the “deal” I described, I would shut down 2/4 instances, and either start fresh with fewer servers, or force players to move.