RTS Elements ~ Deeper Simple Immersion

A lot of discussion came about upkeep mechanism and it still hasn’t dried out. There have been reasons here and there, but no solution seem to fit the framework. Then this hit me. Maybe merely a simple stepping stone could suffice.

Hence the following examples:

  • Feeding system? How about a pot that simply allows us to catch thralls to begin with instead. Without one our character would comment “I don’t have a way to keep them fed” and “I need to build something that helps me feed them” or “I have no place for extra mouths” whenever we try to add a thrall to a wheel.

  • Same thing with defense. Want to make sure archers and fighters provide the necessary aid in battle? Make a target practise dummy. Otherwise they cannot maintain their edge and thus they flee instead. Without one our character could comment “My thralls aren’t yet competent enough” when a thrall is placed.

So the point is that every time one may think an upkeep mechanism is needed, ask if this level of a simple feature would suffice instead; a gateway item that is. These are fairly easy to implement and anything in the game can theoretically become one or is already one. Build to unlock, defend to keep, repair to manage.

Let’s keep this idea afloat awhile and see how far we can go with it. Let’s put our deep thought logic on hold for a moment and storm some wild simple inventions, shall we?

3… 2… 1… GO! :orange_heart:


a pot required in order to even catch thralls, because of the necessity of feeding them

Just useless clutter. A largely unnecessary placeable that only adds to the overall amount of placeables on the server, with not really much of a point to it.

It becomes that much worse when you have to keep building more pots to increase your number of thralls. More placeables that take away from useful ones.

Not a good thing at all.

Thralls shouldn’t need to be fed. Players can assume the thralls are keeping fed at a bare level for survival. Anything beyond that (ie, you feeding them), then buffs and empowers them.

target practice dummy

Exact same concept. It’s more clutter that ultimately harms the online servers. Offline players may not notice it, but the online ones likely will.

If you were going to do anything like this, instead introduce feats and level blocks for the amount of thralls.

Lesser Wheel of Pain – You can now claim a total of 3 thralls. (Fighters/Archers only, doesn’t count craft ones)
Wheel of Pain – You can now claim 6 thralls.
Greater Wheel of Pain – You can now claim 12 thralls.

Bonus Feat: Slavemaster
Requires: Greater Wheel of Pain
Effect: You can claim an additional 8 thralls.

Animal Pen: You can have 3 pets.
Reinforced Animal Pen: You can have 6 pets.
Biggest Animal Pen (whatever the name): You can have 12 pets.

Bonus Feat: Beastmaster
Requires: Biggest Animal Pen
Effect: You can claim an additional 8 pets.

That gives you 20 fighting thralls and 20 fighting pets. That should be more than enough for ANY solo player to have a base.

This can be adjusted via slider in offline games to go beyond 20, because offline players need more thralls/pets due to multiple bases.

No extra placeables, no extra lag. It handles the same purpose while being less obtrusive.


I didn’t say that you had to make more than one nor did I imply that they are fed by the respectful example item involved. My point was to design items that behave as mere gateway points, like any other item in the game basically is; ones that unlock behaviour patterns when placed. Serves also as an item of interest and a simple balance variable. Destroy them and the behaviour gets basically locked again since no medium is present to uphold the pattern at that point. Placing an additional item elsewhere, within boundaries, would allow tactical range to flourish and doing multiple in a roleplay server makes a nice target practise range for example.

  • single item needed, no clutter
  • balance variable, destroyable medium
  • place two, tactical element
  • make a range, roleplay element
  • can be placed only on claimed land
  • claimed land size affects quantity (new)

Exactly same concept indeed. I am aware of it. Reason was to give another example of a gateway item. This one would tackle the issue in a recent topic raised by fellow forumer. I was to make a third example as well, but I was tired. I also assumed that the point was simple to grasp so we can brainstorm some more examples together.

I also said that we should put our deep thought thinking on hold. Your reply is a perfect example why I wanted to keep it at the level of simple thinking, coz there’s no need to go beyond this level (also serves as a thread limiter so we don’t siderail beyond the idea). As the OP, I’m going to uphold this variable in the comment section.

Point is to keep the train of thought railing. Do you have any ideas of similar gateway items?

I understand the point. I also got the exact same thought in mind, but I intentionally decided not to delve this far nor involve it. My point is to intentionally keep the discussion on a simple level so that the pace of example brewing isn’t slowed too much. We can do this level of deep design later. It’s bound to happen as you yourself showed, but it isn’t what I’m after here yet.

As a footnote…

Pot and the dummy wouldn’t need upgraded versions coz they simply unlock the ability to have and maintain thralls as long as they exist. Maybe they could have a quantity limitation based on claimed land size. Not to limit thralls, but the items themselves so they aren’t so easily reproduced. I involved already the variable that items can only be placed on claimed land.

We’re online players, actually 2 players active in our clan (PvE-Conflcit).

Considereing (as the game DOES when decide where to purge you) bridges, arcs preventing blocks, stairs, open maprooms etc. as “bases” we have 22 outposts wich need defences

It’s not about solely what we are already doing, but what we are NOT yet doing. Hence not extra.

What made you think the pot would actually feed them? What made you think the target practise dummy would actually help thralls to learn their trade? I never mentioned that the pot would feed thralls. I only mentioned that one would allow us to break enemies. Same pattern with the other example. Target practise dummies would allow us to maintain our edge.

Point is to make gateway items that provide tactical, balance and roleplay value. If this level of a simple and basic feature isn’t viable, why bother doing deeper thoughts in the first place and therefore suggest anything more complex than this? So to all other suggestions out there, you’d say we don’t need any more tactical, balance, nor roleplay value whatsoever?

It’s called immersive narrative management. Whenever the characters are unable to do something, they comment the situation from a realistic perspective coz truth-based commentary would break the immersion. The actual behaviour patterns of the items have a simplified nature.

Same thing here. Immersive narrative management. They cannot maintain their edge if they won’t train every day.

I did explain them upfront.

Here I’m after items that have tactical, balance and roleplay values. I think it might be more probable that you have issues with language translations.


Maybe the target practise dummy’s text isn’t thoroughly thought from me. Instead of the term qualified, we just observe them flee whether they are armed or not.


Point remains the same. Gateway items with tactical, balance and roleplay values. Build to unlock, defend to keep, repair to manage and so on.

Target dummies being required to use archers would be lame. Target dummies letting you level up archers from tier 1 to 2 to 3 would actually be a nice gameplay element, especially if they are selling tier 2 thralls now.

I would like to see a change to thrall behavior. Could there not be a simple plotting mechanic to plot patrol routes for guards? In that way you could have 1 fighter thrall cover the area of 3 or 4. Maybe a mechanic where you can designate an area for dancers where they walk around and don’t just dance in one spot eternally?

Immersive narrative management is a verbal hint system used to guide players toward what they need to do without breaking immersion. Given intel is camouflaged into a realistic form of a comment (a prompt of some kind) that triggers a perception memory response from players, i.e. they proceed to find out which item fits the intel description in this case. The characters could just say they need a Thrall Pot to be ready to break thralls, but that thematic doesn’t fit this specific item so instead they say they have no way to keep them from starving. In this specific case the players would need the pot and the Wheel of Pain. In the case the latter is missing the characters would say they have no method to break their enemies or that they need to think of a way to break them.

Simply said, each line the character says is a hint what the player faces next in the queue of actions they triggered with what they proceeded to do.

Well, at this point I regard my English language skill not a translation any longer, at least most of the time. The only situation I need a dictionary is pretty much when I am unfamiliar of terminologies involved.

It’s an essential way to keep their skill sharp. Put your hand into an archer’s quiver and think how a target practise dummy would help you to survive. The only thing that’s different is the behaviour pattern the item actually answers with; it’s a simple one, coz this is a game and a realistic enough behaviour is perhaps too much to code (unnecessary depth). Hence the simple feature.

I know this type of depth is interesting. However, this thread is not about this level of depth. This is dedicated for the simple level of gateway thinking. If you have an idea of an item that could be utilised on this level, feel free to add it into the comment section. :slightly_smiling_face:

In a way, yes. I don’t know exactly how far the engine provides us (I’m lazy + currently lacking enough interest), but at least one could theoretically design an item (probably an item set is needed) that unlocks a method that we could utilise for this purpose.

How about you @Croms_Faithful. What do you think of the items so far? Do you have some items in mind and what type of reactions should their placement unlock?

Gateway items with tactical, balance and roleplay values. Something akin to simple RTS mechanics; build to unlock, defend to keep, repair to manage et cetera.

@Shadoza makes a lot of sense.

Exiles doesn’t work as an RTS. Trying to splice in RTS mechanics is just not a good idea. It is basically useless window dressing, that ends up forcing you to micromanage.

As you just said, you have to build something to unlock things, and defend it to keep them.

Nobody is going to want to be forced to maintain a bunch of archer or fighter stations, simply to be allowed to have them.

Instead of adding fluff mechanics from other genres, they need to focus on reinforcing the stuff that the game is supposed to be about. Survival and combat.

RTS layer is already in the game. It’s nonsense to say it doesn’t work. Micromanagement length is an inventory issue first and foremost. If this is not a good idea, then the game shouldn’t have the layer as a base to begin with, yes? However, it can’t be taken out coz it would literally break the game.

CE is basically somewhat of a Warcraft III Reign of Chaos copy, but with a main character having a little deeper and wider skill tree, realm having a bit more realistic style, factions having unproduceable variety of specialised units that can only be kidnapped from the field and us looking from a different camera angle (the story is arguably splattered). There are other features, but I think my point is clear.

But the stuff you want to add is not a productive addition to the game.

We should not have to pay “upkeep” by producing placeables in order to keep our thralls.

We are already forced to capture them, spend food resources and time to break them.

And people on official servers are forced to keep them from decaying.

Your idea just wants to add further hassle to that system, by increasing the complexity. And that’s not what Conan is about.

I didn’t say they were productive (beyond what they unlock). I said they were to fill the tactical, balance and roleplay values essentially. Anything that comes on top of them acts as a productive element, surely, but these are simply not discussed here. Not now at least.

This is part of the simple balance value; produce one to keep them at their best. Otherwise the subjects related to them degrade over time and flee when they snap (introduces a vocal breakpoint). Produce two and hide the other from sight so you can maintain advantage; tactical value. Produce many and you can build an archery range for roleplay purposes. Additional products will help maintain the edge, but they aren’t demanded nor frequently enough called for to make them feel out of place. This way we could get as many thralls as we can muster, only to lose them all in a relative instance in time whenever we are foolish enough to lower our guard.

In this case we wouldn’t need food to feed them coz they wouldn’t need to be fed. We would still have to capture them, but that is part of the fun so I wouldn’t touch that yet (if we have to, maybe adding more ways to capture thralls would be in order). Breaking them could be argued about coz it isn’t so particularly imaginative imo.

Putting them into prison-like boxes for example could be viewed as some sort of deposit boxes for unbroken enemies. Place captured enemies there to keep them from fleeing (circumventative element). Once broken, they are subjected to their appropriate restraint points.

They are forced by any viable enough method I believe. However, this particular way we make them stay as long as the appropriate measures are governed and practised. No need to login within mere time-bound intervals.

We also have an opportunity to get creative on a simple level.

Not really. Items mentioned already reside in the game (except the target sign; an example to begin with anyway) and I just tuned them a bit to make them more akin to one another (levelled them in a way); build to unlock, defend to keep, repair to manage et cetera. Simple as making a fish trap I’d say. First we make a crown, then we hide it, then we defend it, then we repair it and should we lose it, we make a new one and / or flee to make a base elsewhere. Complexity will change no matter what we do, so what matters is how close the breakpoints go.

Like I mentioned earlier, this thread is for the width of the game mechanics and not depth (necessarily). At least not at the moment. I don’t mind forumers asking about stuff or mentioning about their visions, but we don’t necessarily have to get on that level yet.

Point is merely to allow more room for simple thoughts to flourish here.

Roleplay values aren’t really necessary in Conan. The game isn’t being marketed as an RP experience. It’s a survival experience.

Balance goes out the window. You require these stations and people are just going to spam the hell out of them. Things would be exactly the same as they are now.

Tactical goes out the window because if you start restricting thrall numbers when these are destroyed, then you are ■■■■■■■ the player base off.

If I have 10-15 of these to support my thralls and a large clan comes along to wreck the crap out of them, what happens? Do I lose my thralls, or the ability to get new ones? Either way I have to painstaking grind/repair all of them back again.

It’s tactical to target them, sure. It also makes for extremely tedious gameplay. And again, that’s going to piss off the players for having to hassle with it.

Thralls should not “degrade” in any fashion. This is basically just enforcing RP onto the players, by forcing our thralls to visibly train. Instead of doing so under the radar. We can’t upgrade our thralls, outside of weapons. There is no reason at all to stick in a system that makes them WORSE in a continual over-time method.

You might need to read up on slavery. How do you think they were broken in real life? They were fed crappy food and put to mindless repetitive tasks. They were beaten if they disobeyed. When they accepted doing the work to avoid beatings, they were effectively broken.

The Wheel of Pain serves this function far more realistically than you might think.

Edit: You could look at it this way. This would only further skew the power gap between larger clans and smaller ones.

A larger clan would be able to have more of the placeables, so it no longer becomes a tactical issue, but one of them simply gobbing more and more of the items such that they would never lose all of them.

Whereas the smaller clans would simply only be able to support fewer ones and losing them.

So in essence, the idea punishes smaller clans and solo (online) players, and further overpowers the larger clans. So it becomes naturally unbalanced.

Survival experience can benefit from roleplay values. I’m looking at this from an admin perspective and what I can provide to my clients. Roleplay is probably not something we can truly rule out in these type of games to begin with so devs may as well embrace them and let the community grow. Of course they can do the same Niantic did and neglect that part, but it will be reflected from their product and the cost is huge.

Spamming is easy to counter. What I’m worried about is the reach instead (engine is told to be at its limits).

On contrary, only those new players who don’t know how to play might (if I understood the white squares correctly). Those who have put enormous amounts of hours into play will know what to do and won’t be intimidated by counterable setbacks.

Tactical value is in place when it comes to the locations of these items. When one is built, specific management elements become unlocked. When second is built, they can be hidden to keep hostiles guessing (good way to make a small retreat hideout too). Building additional items is away from all the rest in the form of materials and time investment (unless we roleplay), so tapping to the gameplay pace will make unnecessary spamming redundant.

Based on the first line, sounds like you’re roleplaying so you’re okay no matter what happens; if you had only one base (high chance that the clan roleplays as well). If you had 5 to 10 bases and the aforementioned 10 to 15 items placed, then I’d say you’re in a good enough clan; rebuilding the base isn’t an issue (shared items). If you’re doing all this by yourself, I’d say you know the lay of the land so well that you won’t get smoked out and you’d only love the given challenge; you have small hidden bases spread across the place.

The answer you seek depends from what balance needs. In some RTS games you won’t lose your units, but they might be unable to utilise certain skills (skill range shrinks) that are researched at specific buildings when they fall. Any new units won’t get the skills although the old units might still have them. Essentially there’s a drawback when you lose an item, but that’s part of everything there is in this game already as well. The one who prepares well enough succeeds.

Not really. Only those who don’t know what they are supposed to do (now even) might feel a nudge. Depends how far the breakpoint needs to go.

Apologies, but I have to return to this subject at a later date. Gotta go to the beach. Bye for now.

Ok Im here now Fable, been pretty busy lately. Im not sure why you would want my take on it, as it is a bit outside of my niche. Im more adept at creative or ‘artsy’ concepts than actual mechanics. Even more so in games such as CE, as I am primarily a Survival Horror player. But sure…ill have a stab at it. Partial agreement only.

Im not really in favour of any new compulsory mechanics such as compulsory thrall feeding or practice. Primarily because as a purely Offline Singleplayer, I am already up to my eyeballs in grinding. However, I would definately get behind a couple of these ideas optional. For example, enhancing their status or somehow levelling them up. It would be awesome if we could level up a T1 or T2 Fighter or Archer by having them practice on a dummy (which already exist in the Highlands) or Archery Target respectively. Perhaps even give them a health and damage buff through correct preference based feeding during their training or thereafter. Perhaps even allow us to train T4 thralls into ‘1 Skull thralls’, like some human bosses we fight against.

I dont know, I think that is the best I can contribute to this idea Fable.

1 Like

You do you. No pressure. :+1:t2::smile:

What type of grind and for what purpose?

I take it that the already broken archer thralls for example could not lose their received education, while any new thrall can’t learn to become more able if there are no archery targets to utilise (yes?); or would the education level stay the same no matter if the archery target is destroyed or not? This is basically an advanced gateway item we are talking about in any case. What I would be interested about is a mix of a simple gateway item and an advanced one. Those that we can’t be without, if we want to progress toward something specific; plus they give some research goals we can divert materials to.

The reason I didn’t want to involve advanced gateway items in the comment section is because I thought that talking about them would be unnecessary at the moment (coz we would focus on those next anyway). This is why I wanted to maintain the topic at the level of simple gateway items first. I think the simplicity can be balanced with less grind, if grind is the issue, so that’s another reason why I wanted to focus on the simplicity part.

The training part is another way to balance out power progression, but I think that we shouldn’t focus on that alone. We may miss something perhaps critical if we do.