My new map idea, ver. 2.0 (Now with pictures!)

As some of you may or may not recall, a little over a year ago(!!!), when the subject of a new Conan Exiles map was first raised here, I posted a thread detailing what I’d like to see if such a thing ever did come to pass.

Well, I’ve been doing some thinking on the subject since then, especially over the last several days since it’s been brought up again, and since I can’t resurrect my year-old, long-closed thread I thought I’d post a new one going over my new ideas. Also, since I recently found a folder I had filled with Age of Conan concept art I’d downloaded somewhere, I will be using images from that as visual aids for what I have in mind.

So first of all, how would the map work. If you’ve played Ark, you’ll already have a pretty good idea of what I have in mind here. The new map would be an entirely separate entity from the current one, accessed via the main menu in singleplayer and hosted on a separate server in multiplayer. Unlike Ark there is no way travel back and forth between the two maps, however. Among other things, this will prevent any “pay to win” scenarios where players can buy the new map, obtain high-level gear exclusive to it, and then go back to the Exiled Lands and use it on players who can’t defend against them, especially since this new map would have a higher level cap of, say, 100 to allow players to unlock the new feats it includes.

So say you’ve bought and downloaded the new map DLC, how do you access it? Well, first you need to beat the main game by building the keystone, removing your bracelet, and leaving the exiled lands. After a new cutscene in which your character now climbs into a boat or raft and sets sail from the eastern shore of the Exiled Lands, you are informed that you have now unlocked the new map. At this point your character’s information is saved so you can play with them on the new map, or you can start over with someone new.

At first I wanted players to keep their old level and all their feats and attributes from the Exiled Lands map, but after thinking it over I’m now leaning towards starting them off with a more or less clean slate, back at level one. The one exception is for feats learned by interacting with objects, journals, lorestones, NPCs, etc. Since those can’t be unlocked via the feat menu and it’s doubtful some (if not all) of them would be available on the new map, the player will get to keep those. (Though some would probably be useless now anyway, depending on their ingredients.)

Okay, now we’re finally on the new map. Our player wakes up on a strange shore after washing up after a storm and having been stripped of their gear by opportunistic scavengers. The surrounding waters are filled with jagged rocks and the wreckages of ships in various states of disrepair, some fairly recent and some little more than sun-bleached timbers held together with rusted nails:

This graveyard contains ships from all over the Hyborian world. Trade ships from Khitai, galleys from Stygia, Argos, Zingara, and other styles are all represented.

Heading inland, while avoiding aggressive beach combers and crocodiles, the player comes across a settlement, perhaps built amongst some ancient, forboding ruins.

This is the map’s answer to Sepermeru, a place built by the surviving crews and passengers of the wrecked ships lining the shore. Unlike Sepermeru and the Relic Hunters the people here don’t all follow a single theme, with each dressed in their own culture’s traditional attire. Despite their far-flung origins, these people have learned to come together and coexist in order to survive in this place, and so are generally welcoming of any newcomers who happen to wash up and come staggering in.

In the interest of not posting a massive wall of pictures, here’s an Imgur album containing NPC designs that could be used.

There will of course be NPCs who warn against traveling too far into the island’s interior, citing its many dangers, but since the player’s character probably isn’t a terribly cautious person they’ll probably waste little time in striking out to explore and carve out their own little niche to live in. And what will they encounter? Let’s find out!

In terms of biomes, right now I’m envisioning mostly tropical savanna, rainforest, bamboo forest, grassland, and swamp. One or two rivers would be nice, perhaps with a lake somewhere, in case there are usable boats.

And running below the island are winding networks of caves to explore and get lost in, much bigger than anything on the Exiled Lands map.

And of course, ruins to explore. Big, dark, overgrown ruins, dating back to the empire of Acheron.

And what can the player expect to encounter in these biomes? Well aside from the usual fauna, big cats, deer, crocodiles, carnivorous plants, etc., the forests are home to tribes of Picts, not particularly friendly to outsiders.

They shun the darkest of the ruins though, and some of these places have been colonized by a brutish race of ape-men:

And deeper within the ruins, the player will start to run into what were once people from the settlement, who ventured too far and were possessed and twisted by the evil spirits that haunt these places:

Meanwhile the crumbling towers have become rookeries to massive black demon bats that attack anyone foolish enough to come too close.

There are no doubt other things to fight and kill as well; these are just what I’ve come up with so far.

And speaking of monsters, there’s no curse wall here and no magic bracelet, so what’s keeping everyone from just repairing a ship and sailing away, or sending someone out to come back with help?

This guy:

A huge, unkillable sea monster that rises up and triggers a cutscene in which it eats anyone who swims or sails out too far.

Okay, now we’ve talked about biomes, NPCs, and enemies, what about feats? Surely this map has some exclusive feats to sweeten the deal, right? Well, first of all, it has three new building tiers. Tier one is bamboo and thatch, tier two is…uh…I haven’t decided on that one yet, and for tier three players can build in an Acheronian style. Also included is a new weapon type: a blowgun, capable of shooting poisoned darts to weaken or incapacitate foes. And of course new armors, weapons, and placeables, reflecting the various cultures represented among the island’s castaway population.

Some stuff, like the standard armors, would be unlocked via the feat menu, while a full range of casual outfits can be learned by talking to NPCs or interacting with objects in the world. And that’s just what I’ve come up with so far.

There are other details to hammer out of course, like what lore there is to find, how the map would handle dungeons, and how the religions would work (for example Ymir worshipers would be pretty hosed, unless we come up with a way to get them some ice) and if any new ones should be added (I’m looking at you, Yag-kosha). But this is all that I’ve come up with so far. So what say you, ideas, thoughts, reasons why it’s all garbage and I ought to be ashamed of myself?


Wow very nice :+1:t3: Good work

I don’t want to just do talking lorestones again (and that was more of a Giant-King thing anyway), so maybe one of the ships could have carried a historian who decided to take the opportunity to explore the Acheronian ruins and translate the carvings. The player would then find his journals strewn about the place and piece together the story from those, along with hints that something in the ruins was beginning to exert its will over his mind, until the big endgame fight where the player(s) are confronted with his hideously swollen and misshapen demon-possessed self.

Along the way, there could also be hints of some sort of talisman that would pacify the sea monster and allow any vessel carrying it to pass unmolested, allowing the player to leave the island once they beat the game. Or that may be too close to the keystone, I don’t know.

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I have just one thing to say :

I was talking to a unreal engine programmer/modder for several unreal engine games to look into the “spatialOS” plugin; spatialOS is a language-as-a-service for gaming clouds to have 9 servers connected (like atlas but seamlessy, without the teleport so they look like one giant server), in a grid 3x3 where the central server has all the dungeons and monuments and the 8 surrounding it have building privileges with different biomes.
He didn’t know anything about spatialOS and told me he would investigate and let me know if it was even possible to do something like that.
But I think that would be super cool, the things is that it’s a payed service, so to use it the server should be pay2play unfortunately, but something along the lines of 8/10 bucks a month. I would gladly pay if it breaks the 40 players limit.

This info is good, hopefully this is the next objective of the team, they also have plenty of material
(AoC) to create a new map with races and cultures of the Conan universe.
There should be NPCs exiled throughout the map who also managed to leave the lands of exile and maybe they should find them, you can join a story consistent with this, of course, not everyone will be friendly.
You can create several stories with many ancestral mysteries and puzzles. it would be nice to make
a system of roads where they pass caravans and carriages from time to time. These would be necessary and important transport of materials, objects weapons etc of each culture for all areas of the map, they could be small or large caravans depending on the route. This links a lot with the Conan lore and all its civilizations.
With this you can make a purge-like system either pvp pve or solo, this is that you could join to
defend that caravan with everything that entails or you could attack that caravan with all that entails.
As always this is easy to say but it takes a lot of work and brings several options however
it isn’t something too complex …it would be great.

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Well, most of these pictures aren’t necessarily intended to be literal representations of what things would look like, so the actual beasties would probably look different. (Except the NPC outfit ideas, I’m totally proposing Funcom reuse their AoC clothing designs).

Though to be fair, the original stories did get pretty creepy at times.

I feel like there must be a way around this, because Ark runs on the same engine and its maps are riddled with extensive caves and dungeons and they don’t have this problem. So rather than just using the Exiled Lands approach that might block off large parts of the map again, I would instead propose a rework of the entire land claim system so it’s no longer an issue.

Now that you mention it I did consider that, but then work last night was awful and I’d forgotten about it by the time I got home and started typing all this out. Oopsie poopsie!

I’m not super sure about any NPCs being fellow escapees from the Exiled Lands (escaping is supposed to be extremely difficult after all), but I do like the idea of different settlements of varying levels of aggression. Like I imagine some pirate ships would wreck on the island as well, and their crews might be more inclined to prey upon the more peaceable inhabitants rather than coexist.

At least some of which were carrying a pet exclusive to this map, the foo dog:

Either purchased from a merchant NPC in town, or picked up as feral puppies in the wild. The feral dogs, descended from pets that got loose, will attack if harassed but otherwise are more bark than bite.

It would just be absolutely disgustingly adorable, of course.

And maybe, as the players discover as they descend down into the largest ruins, they were built atop the remains of something even more ancient and evil…

An ancient underground serpentman city. Probably with fewer burning torches, though. The original inhabitants are long gone, leaving the city inhabited by slithering, vaguely-shaped things that were called forth by their blasphemous magicks.

(Plus, y’know, the usual giant spiders and whatnot you’d expect to find in caves in a video game.)

Perhaps it was one of these ancient demons that brought about the fall of the serpent city, and that of the Acheronians who would come later…and has now been feeding upon and twisting the people of the island for its evil purposes…


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