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?
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?