The setting of the Exiled Lands is compelling, but stagnant

First off I’d just like to say that this topic isn’t meant to be a dig at the game or it’s story in any way- quite the opposite, I think the development team did a great job creating a world that felt interesting and deep and fun to inhabit. I’d say that it’s the main strength that sets it apart from other games in the survival genre, the fact that there’s lore to uncover and there’s a main quest line and there’s interesting NPCs to talk to.

The problem is simply that pretty much the entirety of the story and lore of the game was added years ago, and hasn’t been developed any further. I mean it’s been 5 years, and we still can’t actually find the serpent ring of Set, so technically the main quest line has a huge unresolved plot thread just sitting there unaddressed. (For anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, there’s dialogue suggesting that we were going to go on an adventure for another artifact but for some reason it was never added.) The Isle of Siptah had cool cutscenes about the history of the island in the vaults, but it also had only one had NPC on the entire island you could talk to. The actual tower of Siptah, in the middle of the island, with the giant maelstrom around it, you would think that has to have some cool lore and story in it right? You finally battle your way inside, and it’s an empty room with a gacha system for unlocking items.

I understand that this a sandbox game, but what makes the game cool and unique is the world it’s set in-that is the literal sandbox. Mounts and sorcery and stuff like that are all really cool additions, they’re fun toys to play with inside the sandbox, but after 5 years of continuous development it seems like the sandbox should be bigger and nicer by now.

Just for a random example: when you first talk to the exiled Pirate Queen of the black hand, she tells you a bit about the black hand, she tells you that her first mate betrayed her, and she mentions the map room with a giant map with gems all over it. This is pretty good, and it sets stuff up- you learn a bit about the black hand, it points you in the direction of the map room and the main quest, solid, but as a player when I first hear all this I assume “Okay, I bet that if I go and kill her first mate and come back there’s some kind of reward, and I bet if I go to the map room and come back she’ll have new dialogue open up about it.”

Obviously, no. It’s a cool and well written character, it expands the setting a bit, but it just cycles through the same dialogue with no reactivity to anything the player does, as all of the characters have for 5 years. It seems like there’s a bit of story added to Mek-Kamoses in the age of sorcery, and the whole eclipse thing and just generally having stuff actually happening is all very cool, but it’s unclear if that all will even be accessible once the age ends and the game moves forward. If there’s no way for players to actually interact with this stuff at a later date, then the story and the setting are actually still not being developed over the long term in any way.

I actually am completely fine with the fact that Conan Exiles has a bit of a haphazard story structure, where you have to go all around the map finding lore stones and journals and talking to NPCs all over the map to get a clear picture of what’s going on. Games like Dark Souls and Elden Ring have proven that you can tell a really cool and engaging story that way, and this game has proven it too-but the story feels a bit half baked still, and even those Fromsoft games with their vague quests that you need to read a walkthrough to understand “do” actually have quests and the world actually reacts to the player somewhat.

At this point, after 5 years, it feels like we should have gotten that last dungeon or boss fight or whatever so that we can actually get the serpent ring of set and unite all the artifacts, and we should have a whole separate adventure of the same scale as the original main quest to play through. Or at the very least, if developing a whole new storyline is too much development time, just add in a little side adventure here and there and develop some of these characters. Throw in some more of those Siptah style cutscenes in the Exiled Lands, those were cool!

Again, the whole age of sorcery storyline is awesome, I’m elated that the game’s setting is being developed and new stuff is being added, but it seems like it’s being rolled out more as like a Fortnite season where it’ll be here for a bit and then it’ll be gone and then there’ll be the next thing-that’s not really “adding” anything if it’s just a temporary addition. I may be wrong, and actually somebody who plays the game after this age is over will still be able to experience that story, in which case that is great and actually a perfect model for expanding the game’s setting out and adding in new gameplay features and making money off it through the battlepass all at once.

I would really implore the development team to not forget about expanding the story and setting of Conan Exiles as they focus on expanding it’s systems and exploring new monetization models. You’ve really done a fantastic job adapting fantastic source material, and it’s a real strength of the game that has kept me coming back to it for years. I think you’ll be doing yourselves a disservice by dismissing it as unnecessary and pulling focus from other aspects of development going forward-the original Conan stories were written nearly a century ago and people still love them, that’s a secret weapon no other competing game has, and you clearly have talented writers on staff who can use it well.


This one worries, with the new journey system, they may be moving entirely away from the story as it was, that story may never be complete…

But we have the Story for the Age of Sorcery.
It is dynamics ot does change. True, it was only a few places in the Exiled Lands, but if every “Age” does that, then eventually much of the map may be replaced. So the Exiled Lands will have a more lived in feel.

As for Siptah… This one just laments. This one very much suspects it’s current incomplete form is all that it will ever be. There was a comment about not adding more to DLC some years ago in response to complaints about certain build pieces being absent from some build sets. Something about no financial incentive to add to the already sold package.
By that standard, Siptah is an already sold package and done.
The Age of Sorcery was half present. As in, the Khitan mercs and sorcerers were added. They reference Mek and Toth… Who are not present on Siptah.
So much potential, and yet the tower will likely remain hollow for the foreseeable future.
They learned from it, with the statement that future hypothetical maps would not be pay gated like Siptah is.
Yet the next step, of removing that pay gate from Siptah (and repackaging the Stormglass Build set and Slave Forged armour as either a culture pack, or Bazaar offerings) seems a step too far. Ignore that other games in the same vein have added previously paid maps as included content some years after the update cycle that introduced them. But again, so long as Siptah is a DLC, and especially with transfers down, it can be safely kept on life support in it’s premature birth state.

1 Like

I think the main problem with the EL story is the illogical aspect of it. If you want to complete the game, you got to leave it all behind. Yes that’s good fiction as greed and freedom internally combat and John Milton quotes go rampant but makes horrible sense in a survival game. So what purpose would it serve to add to it.

I agree with @LostBrythunian that the center story is probably not going to be fleshed out more and instead work on these dime novel types of stories in the ages. However I think this is better as wasn’t Conan pulp fiction content? These sorts of one shot ages fit Conan better IMHO.


I’d like to point out that given the timeline of Conan Exiles’ story currently. We’ve known where the Serpent Ring of Set is for around 90 years (given that Phoenix on the Sword was written in 1932). Its held by Thoth-amon who resides in Stygia. We’ve accepted that we’ll never actually obtain the Serpent Ring ourselves.

But as for the other concerns, the story in Conan has changed and been added to quite a bit over the last few years. If one has been playing the entire time, it seems relatively small. But I’ve had many friends who had played a earlier patch and come back and actually get overwhelmed.

Personally I think the story is good as it is. I have a very big complaint about overly story and dialogue dependent games. They’ve became way too common and have been used as an excuse to pad a game that doesn’t really have a ton of gameplay in most circumstances. Or worse they actually do have good gameplay but lock it behind story (like FFXIV).

When I play a game, I’m not intending to read a story. I have books for that. When I play a game, I’m not intending to watch a movie, I have streaming clients for that. When I play a game… well is it so controversial to say that I want to play a damn game?

I come from an era of video games where story elements were quite limited. Even the jRPGs at the time were limited on dialogue. Where the text on the screen took up valuable sprite space. The dialogue they could show had to be meaningful and served to move the gameplay along, rather than be its own focus. The majority of stories were in the game manuals.

Nowadays dialogue is some of the cheapest forms of padding in a game and many developers make great use of that. But not all of them. I’ve played some great games that use dialogue or narrative to supplement the gameplay. Where they can tell the story in the events happening while you are navigating the game.

Conan Exiles does a good job of this, even if it is muted by comparison. Like the OP said, you can talk to NPCs at your leisure and figure out why things are for a people or area of the map. You also have various notes and writings in Long Descriptions that tell you more about the world. I’ve read them all. Because in the down times of the action and when I’m waiting for a batch of ore I need to cook, I can sit back and read these pieces when I want to.

If only more games would do this.

I feel like those who grew up on padded video games accept it out of ignorance rather than any actual real positive shifts in game development over the decades. It just doesn’t make much sense that people should be fine with putting down the controller in the middle of the climax of a video game.


Dennis addressed the mummy of the ring as a “dangling thread”.

1 Like

I do remember the disappointment on my first days! Starting the game with fear of leaving the starting area and manage to reach Sepermeru was a great achievement. Finding Conan in a tavern, a friedly person was a huge relief, suddenly i felt alone no more and above all, i had a purpose, to find Razma! So when i finally find Razma i went to the tavern again… At least he could say something different now, like… Hey, well done exile, thank you for finding her, here take an ale, cheers…
Instead of this, i had to listen the fixed dialog that made me look after for her :confused:.
So i said, it’s still “under construction”.
5 years after this skyscraper it’s still “under construction”, the funny thing is that they place the decorative in some rooms that have no water and electricity yet.
I believe “in game” quests are important and a proper ending as well!


Normally, yes. And that’s why sandbox games are a separate genre, because they don’t fit this norm.

Just like children playing in an actual sandbox won’t have anyone write or tell a story for them. No-one to make rules for their toy car races or toy soldier battles, except the children themselves. Yet the kids will find endless hours of fun playing in the sandbox.

Just like we do, building our sandcastles and fighting mock battles with our toy soldiers in the Exiled Lands.

1 Like

I, also, would like little changes to dialogue once things have been done: find Razma, Conan acknowledges. Defeat Kurak, Mek-kamoses says something. Just little flavor texts, nothing more, to make the world feel responsive to the player without fully directing them or guiding the entire experience.

I’d also really like a Codex of some sort that when you find lore, it keeps track/unlocks it. So you know what you’ve found. “Have I read this tablet, I think so, maybe?” “Oh, it looks like there’s 25 notes scattered in the world, I’ve found 20 of them, will have to keep looking”. Doesn’t tell you where it is or what it is, just keeps track of found ones vs total overall.


Trying to make this game into every other immensely aggravating story/cutscene/text/linear “RPG” game. No thank you!

I think only people NEW to the game that don’t fully grasp the sandbox concept, come looking for directing NPCs, a linear story to “finish” and for the game to be 49% movies and reading.

The Conan Exiles we play is a survival sandbox, build an empire from scratch, creative building, possibly roleplaying, open-ended, interact more with other players than NPCs, game. :woman_shrugging:

As a long time player with an embarrassing amount of hours logged in this game, at almost no point have I even cared about a linear storyline. :woman_shrugging: Unless this ring you speak of will give me gnarly buffs to stack, or make me invincible, or unlock some sweet building pieces, I’m not seeking it lol…

Don’t try to make this game other games. Go play the other games and let us have our wonderful sandbox, survival, pvping and building adventures with strangers from around the world.

True like Obelisks say “already attuned”, or some recipes, all ready known.

I wish I could reveal the mystery surrounding both the Exiled lands and the Isle of Siptah.
I’ve learned what they are and they are rich as they are deep.
But this would be the most abominable of spoilers and all I can say is …
keep searching. Don’t give up.

1 Like

Why can’t we just enjoy Conan by playing it. Why does everyone have to pick pick it apart. I play Conan just for fun. Because ladies are gentlemen it is just that a fun game to play.

1 Like

Many of us do. But we’re kinda hated for it for some reason.

1 Like

Ys we are hated for it. But I for one will still play this game
AND GUESS WHAT? I will enjoy it.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 7 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.