Building is a huge part of open-world games and Conan Exiles is no different. Funcom showed off how their evolving in-game building through a new trailer and a Twitch stream recently. Creative Director Joel Bylos may have just come up with the perfect tagline for the game, by stating “home is where you keep the hearts of your enemy.”
Conan Exiles players will have three tiers of buildings available. They have only tentative names at the moment, but Tier 1 is obviously the weakest and can be destroyed by Iron weapons or above. Meanwhile, Tier 2 structures can be only be destroyed by Steel Tier weapons and above.
Tier 3 is “guild-level” structures. These require a lot of resources, which must be converted to building materials at different stations such as a metalworking bench, forge, or tannery. However, the Tier 3 building cannot be damaged with conventional weapons made of Iron or Steel. Instead, explosives or even more powerful things like a summoned avatar of a Hyborian god are the only things capable of destroying these toughest of structures.
Most of this sounds fairly standard for open-world survival games and already featured in games like ARK: Survival Evolved and Rust. Funcom has added some welcome additions to building to make things easier for budding architects.
Triangle foundations and roof pieces, which are available in Rust as well, can be crafted by players to build using different angles and shapes. Additionally, Funcom has added the ability to raise or lower and rotate foundations so they can be placed just right.
Building walls can sometimes be an exercise in frustration in other games as the outline of the wall does not clearly differentiate whether the player is facing the inside or outside of the wall. Funcom has simply added text to the outline to make it obvious which side a Conan Exiles player is looking at.
Perhaps the nicest addition is the ability to build structures into the ground or cliff walls (aka clipping). This allows builders to build foundations, ceilings, and walls into the sides of cliffs or walks for an extra layer of protection. Even more interestingly, it allows players to truly build some amazing cliffside structures. Foundations can be placed into the side of a cliff to provide the necessary stability to keep a structure standing.
Pillars are still necessary but building up is not completely dependent on them, unlike some other open-world survival titles. It’s not uncommon in ARK, for example, to see structures build alongside a hill or mountainside and supported by pillars. These pillars are then the vulnerable points for the entire endeavor and can lead to a collapse of strategic parts during an attack. Foundations and ceilings built into a cliffside provide the necessary support for critical structures and makes bringing them down even harder.
One final twist in the whole Conan Exiles crafting system is the use of Thralls. Players will need to capture and subjugate NPCs using the Wheel of Pain to gain access to different structures, weapons, and items. Capturing and turning a Sumerian Blacksmith into a Thrall will give players access to Sumerian weapons even if their character is not a Sumerian.
Thralls can also be used to defend bases or serve as dancers to ward off corruption and provide bonuses. A Thrall priest is also necessary to summon an avatar of one of the Hyborian gods to raid an opposing base or defend against a raid.
Players concerned about their bases being under constant threat of destruction from avatars will have plenty of warning. Summoning an avatar is a lengthy process which produces a beam of light in the sky to signal where a god is being summoned, per Creative Director Joel Bylos in a Twitch stream explaining building in Conan Exiles. Additionally, a server message will be broadcast warning of which player is performing the summoning. This provides time to prepare or attempt to interrupt the summoning.
Conan Exiles is currently targeting a January 31 release into Steam Early Access on the PC. An Xbox One version is also planned for the spring as part of the console’s Game Preview Program. PlayStation 4 owners will have to wait for a full release.
[Featured Image by Funcom/YouTube]