The % problem with negative stat thrall perks

You’re missing the point. As I stated, I am only talking about the top four Factions here. And even those that have a 0 to start in a skill will end up rolling out of the <10 points required to get the +5 in the ones I am saying are unachievable by 15, most definitely by 20. They will also definitely be in the range of the 9-99 stats (undesirable) by 15 or 20.

Also, leveling any stats that you don’t want (via food) you’d be putting yourself in a much worse position anyway, as nearly every stat will be over 11 by level 19, but if it’s a stat you don’t want (Accuracy on a fighter) and you enhance it you put yourself in range of getting the +10 at 20 that you wouldn’t want instead of not letting it climb and avoiding that outcome.

In addition, I completely disagree about not leveling your thralls in PvP. I’ve raided since the update, and a few level 20 Votary Fighters can shred unleveled thralls in no time, whereas leveled thralls provide a much better defense.

The point is that the ranges required, even on a thrall with 0 in a stat and as low as a 50% growth chance, make the better perks unachievable at higher levels, and the level caps make them unachievable at lower levels. While I think they intended to have a larger selection of better perks available with a few “penalty” perks thrown in for “interesting” RNG, the restrictions they put on them cause a loss of a set (+5) and allow the other sets (-3) to be pulled at levels they probably shouldn’t.

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I agree with your overall point that people should pay attention to growth chances right from the start, which is something I realized only after I already leveled a couple of thralls. I’m betting most people are in the same boat as I was – they don’t realize how random the growth chances can be.

However, there are a few points where I disagree with you.

The phrase about the system punishing you for using it is the one I use frequently, and I would have hoped that by now it was clear what I meant: getting a negative perk at level 20 can be (and often is) a punishment. If my fighter gets -5 str and +8 acc at level 20, it’s a net negative.

Is my thrall suddenly useless? No. Should this happen? Well, let’s get to the next point:

At this point in the whole discussion, this just makes me want to say “yeah, screw that”. I understand the use of RNG in games. And the only games where unconstrained RNG is considered completely normal are the games of luck and chance.

I understand that it’s easier and cheaper to use RNG to balance certain things. And that’s fine. I don’t like it, but I understand why it happens and it can be acceptable. But when people point out two completely reasonable things – that certain stats are absolutely useless for certain thralls, and that getting a negative perk at level 20 can result in a net negative that cannot be fixed – and that gets a bunch of other people to fight this observation tooth and nail, that is something I can’t understand.

So in general, I agree with you and I find @LostInTim’s math a bit confusing and suspect at times (more on that in a separate post), but I really wish people would stop portraying the criticism of lazy game design as something unreasonable :wink:


I have put down ~15-20 thralls after the update. I leveled 5. NONE had 100% anywhere. Highest was 90% (which got the -5 STR at lvl20).

I can try and get a perfect Erii, as I have >60 of him. But I dont have that many Dalinisa to waste. So I level them up.
Same with Female Cims and RHTS… There are other things the reason, why I level them up :smirk: :grimacing:

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I only realized the extent of the randomness when I placed two Dalinsias and one had 70% str and 85% vit chance, while the other had something like 45% or 50% str and 70% vit (don’t remember the exact numbers, can’t check because I “recycled” her).

I don’t need 100%, I’m fine with 80% or 85% :stuck_out_tongue:

My one Dalinisa which I leveled had 80% in vit and str. All perks were either small vit perks or vit+agility perk :confused:
She still has 56STR (with a gear which grants her +8 STR)…

Let’s do some math, shall we?

For this example we’ll use a volcano fighter, which starts with 15/3/10/2/15.

At level 10, your only choice of perks (due to level restrictions) are the “Level 0-10” set (+1/2/3 to all stats) which are good, the “Level 0-15” set (+3/+3 to stats, should probably include Thick Skull but doesn’t and shouldn’t include Relentless but does) which are good, the “None” set (+3 to a stat) which are good, and the “STAT 9-99” set (-3/+5) which could be good if you got -Acc or could be bad if you got -Str.

Note that in the 9-99 set:

  1. You are eligible for the -Str and -Surv perks at spawn
  2. There are 2 -Str perks and 2 -Agi perks, but only 1+Str reward
  3. Even at a 50% chance to increase you will likely end up with 9 or higher Agility because 50% of 10 is 5, and 40% of 5 is 2, so you should average 7 points and plus the 3 you get at spawn you will likely have 10 or higher Agility without food buffing it
  4. You might be in the range for the negative Accuracy perk, but since you only get 2 at spawn and assuming the same averages that would only put you at 9 so you might also miss it.
  5. Of this set, 4 are a bad outcome since you lose Agility or Strength, while only 1 is a good outcome.

Chances are tho, at 10 you will get a decent perk, since the desirable outcomes outweigh the undesirable outcomes by quite a bit.

At level 15, you have lost the “Level 0-10” set and have picked up a second set of “9-99” perks with a -5/+8 chance, and while there are 2 -Acc perks there is now a -5 Vit perk, which is not something you want on any thrall. So you’ve lost the ability to gain 3 good perks but picked up the chance for 3 bad ones and 2 good. By level 15 you will almost definitely have a 9 in each stat, and in no way could you be over the 99.

You really aren’t eligible for the “STAT 3/5-10” set, since you lost the ability for +5 Survival, Strength, and Vitality at spawn (by being at 10 or higher) and by 15 you would have gained an average of 10.5 to every stat (15 x 50% = 7.5, 7.5 x 40% = 3), so unless you rolled a -5 to Accuracy, you would always be well over the 10 point barrier regardless of what you boosted with food, even if you were at a 50% chance of growth. So the only possible perk you could even get from this set is +5 Accuracy, which doesn’t hurt but isn’t really a good outcome either.

Notice so far that the % increase of any stat has not at all affected what you will get (we’re assuming 50% in any stat with no food boost) except possibly Accuracy so I guess you would recommend boosting Accuracy via food on a fighter?

At level 20 you lost the “Level 0-15” set, which were all good perks, in order to pick up the “11-99” set, which you will always be in range of because you are gaining an average of 14 points in any given stat so you should be well over the 11 but well below the 99 cap.

Still failing to see how the % chance for increase, boosted or not, has any effect since you very rarely get anything under 50%, but if you want to believe that it does, feel free.

I didn’t mention the perks that give you +15 Vitality, since a volcano fighter has a base health of 4950 so isn’t eligible for the first 2 and might roll the third but it’s pretty rare, given the sheer number of options you still have at level 20.

TLDR: Your chance to get a bad perk increases at higher perk levels, while your chances at a good one are pretty much cut in half, and the % chance to increase don’t make a difference in the perks you get, food boosted or otherwise.


Could it possibly be that it’s because this is the only thing we can all agree is a real problem? Pick any 10 detractors of the current system, ask them what they think the problems with the system are, and I’m willing to bet that they’ll have 10 different opinions that share one bit: there are attributes that are useless for certain thrall classes.

As long as the AI is as buggy as it is and there are still fighter thralls that won’t equip a bow no matter what, that argument is not nearly as strong as you think :man_shrugging:

Look, I can agree with you on some of your arguments and disagree on others. But just as you find it frustrating that everyone is fixated on getting accuracy on fighters (and strength on archers), everyone else finds it equally frustrating that you would insist to defend something that is a demonstrable flaw in the system. Sure, we might have different opinions on how problematic that flaw is, but it remains a flaw – and one that can be proven through testing.


Just a quick note, but even games of luck and chance are often built upon managing those marginal RNGs to be ever so slightly in your favor / your opponents’ disfavor.

That doesn’t mean richer/more complex games (like virtually all video games, certainly something like Conan Exiles) should be satisfied with “RNG with a slight chance to influence it”, but it does mean that going “eh, f–k it, we’ll just go full RNG” is certainly NOT acceptable.


By the starting definition that OP laid out, it’s generally correct. Digging into what you’re talking about would probably require a lengthy thread and some consensus on ‘what is advantageous’ and I don’t think anyone needs a crystal ball to know that such a consensus wouldn’t happen. I had pondered running a multi-tiered analysis, but my investment isn’t that high.

This is true, and for some people this may be the exactly flaw in the system. If I’m leveling for strength, that means I’m okay with other stats being lower or ‘medium’ and really want this particular thrall to pump out damage. If I manage to get to lvl 20 and then take a hit to strength, sure my thrall isn’t ruined beyond repair, but it does make for a disappointing experience. Given that thralls like Snowhunter are a rare spawn, the time investment gets ridiculous. Find one, knock her out, wait for her to be done and then pull her out (a process that you might do repeatedly at level 0 if the % chances are crap). Then you manage to get one with leveling chances that you can live with, go through multiple hours of leveling, only to get perks for that thrall that can be ‘meh’ at best.

Yes, but how does that pan out overall? Sure, they might get the strength +10 perk, but if its ‘cost’ is 20 pts in strength through the leveling process, it can be argued that it’s not a bonus but a bandaid.

Eh, I wouldn’t say confusing, but it is a bit counter intuitive. If I capture a fighter thrall, I’m expecting to build a fighter. Same for archer and bearer. The only thing average players are going to look at is base stats and % chances and they will probably look at those in a relative sense. “Do this/these stats that I want have decently higher chances than the ones I do not want as much/at all?” What the average player probably won’t do is look under the ‘hood’ at all of the modifiers/faction differences/perk details’, so spending pumping x stat only to take a hit at ‘perk’ levels is not going to be a welcome surprise.

Yes, there is definitely a certain point, especially with high tier thralls that we’re playing Who’s Line Is It Anyway? and the points don’t matter, but I wouldn’t make that point in favor of this system. In fact, I would say, at least for PvE it becomes a massive flaw. Why bother taking the time to level thralls at all when a.) I don’t need to and b.) I could end up with perks that I don’t like on a thrall that I do like?

(Btw congrats on the Brutes with vitality, I’ve yet to be able to get vit perks on low vit thralls. Chance seems p. rare.)

Also, I don’t think pointing out how other activities are more beneficial than leveling thralls is a plus for the leveling system as a whole either. That may be factually true, but doesn’t that just hint that the leveling and other game issues are so out of whack?

This is not an unfair take, but again, I think you’re relying on ‘under the hood’ information that we are not given in the main screens of the game and I think that is a very important distinction to consider. Would you go for ‘well rounded thrall’ if you didn’t know how the perks work? Also, I find the food with the mixed stats HIGHLY situational. Very rarely have I captured a thrall/tamed a pet where the foods with 2 stats would be beneficial and I’ve to get one where the triple stat foods would be of use. The chance spread is just typically way to varied for the stats the foods will affect. Usually, I have to go for food that raises stat x only and then switch to one that raises stat y. I don’t mind that part because it’s still manageable.

All of that said, and while I do agree with you that the negative stat hits are generally not a huge issue, the receipt of one can sour the experience. How many people, besides the highly dedicated, will level enough thralls to get the payoff? I know I probably won’t and I play fairly regularly. So, I and those like me get left with a mediocre experience unless they get lucky.

Is the system horrible overall? No, it needs some tweaks and I doubt we’ll see major changes to RNG for one big, big reason. One of the devs said in a stream that it’s possible to have low tier thralls be “better” than high tier. If that is part of the design goal, then that’s going to necessitate great perks that only low tier thralls can feasibly access (such at the vit perks) and/or perks that have a higher potential to ‘lessen’ high tier thralls.

This is, understandably, going to ruffle a lot of feathers. Not everyone likes the RNG experience if it feels punishing and if the day comes that thralls get nerfed due to fixing of other issues/rebalancing, then I suspect - if the thrall leveling stays the same - people will be even less tolerant.

I ask that all the time lol. Especially when they released the OG dismantle bench. A simple extract to CSV would have told them they have some exploitable numbers :slight_smile:

The problem most have is that if i get a desirable roll % lay out on placement of thrall, the stat that one is leveling will eventually have a higher chance to roll (-) perks. The system seems to try and nerf a stat if one is getting lucky rolls, with is counter intuitive for the time (esp on PVE) spent. Gaming is about fun. And CE is about progression. from player level 0 to level 60, to progressive recipes, etc. Yet progression is fought by a RNG number meant to undo some of your work. IE, if i get 100% on a STR and roll 20 points added, there are 2 perks that kick in that can make it a 12 instead. Yes, is it stronger, but the last 8 rolls of the STR i got will be undone, which is where the majority of my time is spent leveling it.

Back to player leveling, what if the 4th and 5th perks available were RNG’d and more than half were (-) effects to you? that is what is happening with a thrall from level 15 thru 20.


Lol, I was going to respond but it looks like everyone else made my point.

But I do love how you went from pointing out how great Cannibal Brutes were for their health bonus (which is obviously broken, they shouldn’t be getting 400/Point any more than Teimos should be getting 300/Point) to pointing out how bad their damage is regardless of their strength.

If anything comes of this thread, I would just hope that the devs would sit down and look at the pool of available perks at each level, and balance them a little better so that as you get to the higher level (and far more XP intense) perks you wouldn’t be losing as many good ones and still retaining the ability to get the negative perks available at 10 in your level 20 slot.

That right there is arguably an even bigger problem with the leveling system than the unconstrained perk RNG or the uselessness of certain attributes.

The way the system is implemented, you can’t compare the attribute values for two different thrall archetypes in any meaningful way. For example, if your Janos has 59 strength and your Dalinsia has 40 strength, you still don’t know how much damage each of them will deal with the same weapon. Not unless you’ve dug that info up using the devkit. Or, I guess, unless you watched Firespark81’s video, which will become obsolete the very first time a patch changes the thralls’ hidden multipliers.

So how exactly are we supposed to reason about thralls? Back before the leveling system, things were relatively simple: we knew that factions can be arranged in a progression from worst to best and that was it. The only number we could compare was the health. The rest was hidden, but that didn’t hinder our reasoning.

Now, we have a whole bunch of numbers to work with. Naturally, we want to reason about thralls in terms of these numbers, but we can’t. A Kisthis is always going to have better base damage multiplier than a Janos, but you can’t know that without the devkit. And now it matters, because you’re trying to make an informed decision about whether the next thrall to level should be this Erii or this Janos or this Cimmerian Berserker, and you can’t without the information that’s hidden from you. And it’s an important decision – the closer you are to your follower cap, the more important it is.

I actually suspect that those numbers didn’t come from the dev kit, but rather from a little messing with the system and editing things.

If you notice in the beginning of his video, all of the volcano thralls are edited to have 0 Strength instead of the 15 they should spawn with. What my clan mates and I theorize happened is he edited all thralls to have 0 strength (removing the bonus melee damage), then created a predatory blade that does 1k damage, jacked his health up, and let them hit him once. That way the amount of damage done could be divided by 1000, and used as the base damage multiplier, which could then be checked against the numbers of a thrall with strength and a lesser damage sword. Just a theory, but I’d bet that’s how he got them.

But yes, damage numbers on the thrall stat page would go a lot further towards increased understanding of thralls.

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Sounds plausible and reasonable. So it might be info we can extract without the devkit, but it still requires a bunch of fiddling in singleplayer and, optionally, some modded content. The barrier to knowledge is still there :confused:

For PvE, because I’m sure it would/could matter in PvP for min/maxing against human opponents, I’m okay with some things being hidden as long as what I can see and reason is suitably informative and the content I face doesn’t demand that kind of fine tuning for thralls. If we ever get content that requires that level of thrall building, then I would wholly agree.

For example, assuming that an archer thrall is base level better than a fighter thrall with bows, and assuming that a t2 is better than a t1 and a volcano archer will be superior to a Dogs archer, I’m okay with not knowing those exact values - as long as I’m not constantly fighting RNG in all other areas. I’m not against some RNG, I can see the benefit in making unique thralls and in giving lower end thralls at least the possibility to compete with higher end. I can also understand why ppl want to know that information too.

What I don’t like is RNG all over the place.
1.) %chances are RNG and there doesn’t seem to any rhyme or reason to them. The number archer thralls I’ve gotten that have like 80s-90s percent to level other attribs and 40s to low 50s to level accuracy (and same for fighters but replace accuracy with strength) is just out of whack. I went through 20 thralls - 10 archers and 10 fighters - and finally I got one of each that had decent percent chances. That was several hours of gameplay just to get a thrall that had a starting chance of leveling the way I wanted.

2.) The %s can still screw you over. I’ve got a thrall with a low AGI (44%) and much higher in ACC and VIT (80-90s that I boost more with food) and yet, after 6 levels, she’s gotten more points in AGI than VIT and more VIT than ACC. Is she worthless? No, but it’s still frustrating to have my one decent archer not level up with some consistency in the skill that will affect her damage the most.
If this keeps on, she’ll be a high armor damage sponge that hits like a wet noodle. Again, hours of game play for frustration.

3.) We’ve gone over the RNG of perks enough that it doesn’t need to be recounted.

So tl;dr, I mostly agree on most points and only slightly disagree on one.

In the last week or two we’ve done over 40 archers, since I’m still holding out hope that Funcom makes the “Archer” tag mean something instead of leveling 40 Fighters with high accuracy and having them end up being junk if they ever change the Archer stats to what they should be, but I digress…

Point is that a lot of the Archers I was leveling were RHuTS, and they seem to spawn with a pretty low % chance to increase Accuracy, despite having a 20 starting stat. Take this with a grain of salt since there is perception bias involved and it’s a relatively small sample size and I didn’t keep exact stats on it, but the interesting thing was the the 45% thralls seemed to end up getting more points in Accuracy (excluding perks) than the 60% ones (steady diet of cooked fish for all).

Now like I said I didn’t keep stats, I may run back through and check the 40 we kept to see what the Accuracy increase (minus perks) ended up being in relation to the % increase. I mean I understand how percentages work, and on a population of 40 it’s not like I would expect to see them exactly 15% higher on the 60% ones, but overall you would think that the higher percentages would generally end up a little better.

Mine is a T2 Black Hand archer. Unfortunately, she’s the only archer I’ve gotten that had percentiles that were overall favorable and thus the only one I’ve bothered to level. I’m at the point, where out of sheer curiosity, I’m about to just start spawning in a crap ton of thralls in my SP game and doing research for y’know science.

I was wondering what will happen if they ever and I say that loosely ever fix these messed up Thralls?

All the ones we have spent a month leveling, will they all be no good again and all the stats change will we all need to throw them out and start again.

We have many wanting them fixed but just how bad will that be for those of us who have spent a month trying to get decent thralls. Will they all become useless like the legendary thralls we all lost with this update. I was thinking of that as I was reading down though this forum.

The only thing I can come up with is to fix the issues which do not get me wrong they need fixed and now would be good but I think it will again break what we have done so far. Kind of depressing!!

The only thing I can say to give a shred of hope is that the nerf they applied to thrall damage was retroactive, even thralls deployed and leveled before the patch had their % damage increase reduces, so maybe future changes will work the same way (probably not perks tho).