Good morning you precious little creatures of the night. Welcome back to the Conan Exiles community newsletter! We hope you’re doing well and that the week so far hasn’t been too much of a struggle. We’re all about that positivity over here, after all!
This week we’re going to quickly recap our latest dev stream, talk extensively about the new specialist arrows, and give you some more details on the upcoming Conan Exiles Halloween event, the night of Lost Souls.
What’s Been Going On?
Last week we rolled out the remainder of the Pets Update for PS4 and the full Pets Update for Xbox One. We also rolled out a hotfix for PC to patch out a nasty exploit related to pet names. Our coders have also been working on some inventory optimizations, building optimizations, and further development on the Event Log, the fully revamped version of which we’ll be rolling out very soon.
We are aware that the thrall icons have gone missing, but please know that we’re working on a fix. We are also trying to track down a bug in the Greater Wheel of Pain that’s causing it to not finish the thrall conversion process. Any information you can provide on this topic will be of help.
Dungeon Design with Alex
Last week was our regular Conan Exiles stream week and we decided to give the community a look into how we design and create the various dungeons you can find and explore. Our senior designer, Alex, sat down with Jens Erik to chew the fat and talk design. We also took some questions from the community during the stream.
If you head to our forums you can find a full recap of the stream or you can check out the full archived version of the stream below:
This is super exciting for us to able to share. We’ve been planning out the first ever Conan Exiles Halloween event and now we’re finally ready to reveal our plans.
On Halloween, the Night of Lost Souls will descend on the Exiled Lands. The sky will darken as perpetual dusk falls upon the landscape, casting it in black shadows and blue light, tearing at the boundaries which separate the world of the living from the realms of the dead. The clouds will part. A new face will appear upon the moon’s surface. It is the face of death, keeping watch over whatever might stir on the ground below.
During the Night of Lost Souls, stones will fall from the sky in multitudes, striking the earth in a flurry of colored smoke and debris. Adventurous exiles break open these stones with whatever tool they have available. Inside, they will find a plethora of crafting ingredients, both rare and common, doled out at random by the spirits lingering inside the stones, anything from Plant Fiber and Meat to Explosive Glands, Arrows and Steelfire. It all depends on the spirit’s goodwill.
Inside the fallen stones you will also discover the Potion of Lost Souls, a special brew only available on this hallowed night. Imbibing the Potion will grant you certain benefits at random. Drink one and see what happens, but don’t drink too many or your body will suffer the consequences. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
After the Night of Lost Souls has passed, the sun will once again rise on the Exiled Lands. The restless spirits will once again be calm, yet their gifts will remain with those who received them.
Specialist Arrows and Their Intended Use
We rolled out a bunch of new arrows alongside the Pets Update and we’ve gotten a lot of feedback about them in the time since. Some of you think they’re cool, some of you were baffled by them. Lead designer Oscar took the time to write down the intended use and design that went into each arrow type and how they interact with each other.
We originally envisioned Fire Arrows as a utilitarian type of arrow that would provide a bit of light while flying and enable fire interactions with the environment, but alas those elements were not implemented until this latest revision of “special arrows”. Now that that role is encompassed by Light Arrows and Explosive Arrows, we are turning fire arrows into enhanced iron arrows - really just a cosmetic change - which should remove any confusion about implied gameplay that was never there.
Explosive Arrows :
Explosive Arrows will detonate gas fields (including those created by Gas arrows or Gas Orbs) and oil fields (made by Tar Arrows and Oil Arrows). Fire Arrows won’t because they are only “fire” in name but not in function. The cost of explosive arrows is very high because it has to match their very high level of power. While it’s true the main function of explosives is PvP, it is not the only function. They do not have to be cost effective in every situation as long as they are in some situations.
Light Arrows are meant to act as a way to illuminate environments at a distance. They are not really damage tools. Perhaps this function is too niche, but we thought it would be a cool touch to add them and expand a little on the concept of “Alchemy is easy going Sorcery” (Science!). We considered other niche options too, like i.e. Whistling Arrows for signaling or Flare Arrows, but we feel that Light Arrows are a good start. Not every element of the game must have a competitive or purely functional purpose and having toys/roleplay elements is also an important aspect of a sandbox environment. We will reduce the crafting cost of Light Arrows to better reflect their impact on gameplay.
Snake Arrows are an example of an arrow type that is too good for their cost. Not only were they basically free to make (which we addressed recently), but also due to the limited range of damage that arrow progression encompasses, they do equivalent damage to arrows that are much higher in the progression. Most of the archery damage comes from the bow and attributes/perks, not from the arrows themselves. We are looking at what we’ll do with Snake Arrows, but it’s likely that they will become mostly poison delivery tools and lose most of their physical damage potential. Bringing poison to a fight dramatically alters the fight’s dynamics and we feel Snake Arrows create that scenario without requiring any sort of sacrifice.
We are looking into the issues the community has reported regarding Blunted Arrows. There was a bit of a technical hurdle we needed to bridge in order to fix those. The intention is that they act as ranged truncheons, letting you knock enemies out from afar.
Cost, Weight and Realism
We hear your feedback about the worth versus the cost of special arrows, but we are being cautious about tweaking those values. Special arrows are extremely powerful compared with other aspects of gameplay of equivalent cost. This is something we will tweak over time as we obtain more data about the player dynamics around these items.
The weight of special arrows is going to be reduced across the board. We want special arrows to be special and not something players spam instead of normal arrows, so certain elements are desirable there: i.e. limited stack sizes, high cost/power and weight. We see how we might have pushed this concept in too many ways at the same time, so we are going to reduce their weight.
On the topic of realism, we do want to create a sense of pseudo-realism in the game (because we feel it enhances the experience by making it easier to understand and relate to). Likewise, we are constantly striving to both deliver the evocative scenarios in Howard’s work and to honor them and show them to you in all their glory. We love the setting and we’d like more people to be exposed to it and appreciate the richness in it. Many aspects of the game’s design have been shaped by this way of thinking, including elements of cultural diversity, background lore and the connections to other authors of the time, concepts of the recurring rise and fall of ancient civilizations and even down to tropes and popular culture references from the stories, characters and movies. The reality of game design is that quite a few of aspects of the game must be gamified to be any fun. It’s always a fine line to tread for us, but ultimately gameplay intentions and the overall gameplay experience will dominate discussions around realism.
If you’ve been keeping up with our forums you may have noticed that we now have a Purge primer up and running. In this thread we’re breaking down how the Purge works, server settings, Purge difficulty and some known issues.
You can find the full rundown by clicking this link.