Thralls Fighting Wrong Target

Sometimes Thralls will attack the enemies farther away from you than the ones closer to you.

Hello @Trappist01x, the NPC AI won’t always target or re-target the closest opponent, which is an expected behaviour.

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I just think it’d be more helpful for it to focus on enemies closer to you.

It might be “expected”, but it’s not desirable. Ideally, you should be able to tell a thrall if it should act passively (don’t attack anything, ever), defensively (only attack what has attacked you and/or is your current target, immediately stop after the attacker(s) are dead), or aggressively (the behavior as it is now).

This is basic pet stuff that has been in every game that has had pets since, well, forever. Might want to float this on up the food chain.


It’s one thing for the AI to target another member of the same mob, but when I’m in Sepermeru fighting the Bandit Leader & company and Dalinsia sprints away to assault a couple cooks who are minding their own business, that not only shouldn’t be expected behavior, it’s undesirable gameplay.

Also, this isn’t just an X-Box problem, it’s this way on PC (and presumably PS4) as well.


Apologies for not going into much detail in my previous reply, our team is looking into the current reported AI issues and we’re actively forwarding any feedback we get from the forums, as it will drive all future considerations and updates for this system.

Although it’s expected that it won’t always engage the closest target, that’s something that might be changed or improved in future patches.

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I’m guessing the fundamental issue is the game has a very rudimentary concept of threat, and isn’t as comprehensive as what we see with pet systems in MMOs. Thralls and pets don’t seem to assign any internal priority to mobs that you are attacking or who are attacking you. Their logic seems to simply be “my owner is attacking something, what mobs are in my vicinity?” and if there are multiple mobs, they randomly pick one. There’s no form of “threat assessment” in their AI, and to them, all targets are created equal. A boss mob is just the same to them as an elite or a normal mob. They also have no concept of situational awareness, and will gleefully do stupid things like run through lava to try and get to a target.

TL;DR: Thralls in Conan Exiles are as dumb as a sack of hammers.


This feels like a very succinct and accurate assessment of the issue. I wish we knew if the problem was:

  1. endemic to Unreal Engine
  2. a factor of having to ration CPU cycles across so many actors
  3. indicative of unsophisticated AI coding

I feel like #1 is unlikely because UE has used in so many games that surely its not still so lacking after 2+ decades. Heck, the AI bots in UT99 were smart enough to prioritize enemy flag carriers in CTF. If it is a UE failing though, then either we’re SOL, or we might luck out if a support request by Funcom to Epic results in a helping hand (no clue what their contract looks like).

#2 I could certainly believe as UE is (as I understand it) still single-threaded and there are 100s if not 1000s of elements within a single server all vying for CPU time (benches, players fighting, monsters, thralls, decay timers). If this is the problem, it might improve over time if further optimizations are possible, otherwise throwing additional hardware at the problem could help things.

If the issue is #3, then hiring someone with some good AI coding credentials might be advisable as we’re going on 1-year since general release and 2-years since EA. A fresh set of eyes on the issue could help existing staff gain some new insights esp. as Funcom looks to develop future games.

Anyway, regardless of the source of the problem, I hope it gets sorted out as this game and the genre in general holds a lot of promise…


I agree. And to be fair, Conan Exiles does get a lot of things right and it’s still a fun game. But their thrall / pet AI is simply atrocious. There’s no other way to describe it.


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