Funcom and Conan Exiles Creative Director Joel Bylos took some time Thursday to look back at how far the open-world survival game had come since its launch into Steam Early Access six months ago. More importantly, the studio is looking ahead to the changes coming during phase two with the release of the free Frozen North expansion next week, plus the Xbox One Game Preview launch.
Conan Exiles launched on Steam Early Access in March as a game full of promise, but it is in need of a healthy amount of features and content. Funcom started the process of fleshing out the game with features like a dye system, base defense against towering Avatars, siege engines, and the recent climbing mechanic. The developers also squashed numerous bugs and fixed over 40 exploits with the help of the community.
Still, there is much work left to do as Conan Exiles pushes towards its official release date of early 2018. Bylos introduced some of the changes coming with the Frozen North update in a livestream Inquisitr covered last Friday. The Creative Director expanded on those details and revealed new ones in a letter to the community and a video.
Funcom plans to wipe the Conan Exiles official servers when the Frozen North expansion releases on August 16. The servers will return with different progression rates for both PVP and PVE servers. Both server types will use “Normal” for the same character progression that is used today, along with “Fast” servers for increased progression. There will also be a “Mayhem” server type for PVP servers with even faster progression.
Other changes to servers include a reduction in maximum clan size to only 10 members. Private servers can still choose to run with whatever size clan they wish.
Additionally, some objects will no longer be locked to their owner. This includes chairs, beds, campfires, and machines.
Single-player is still an option, of course, but Funcom has added three difficulty level presets – Civilized (easy), Decadent (normal), and Barbaric (hard). Players will be able to adjust the settings from any of those presets to further customize their experience.
How Conan Exiles handles loot has been changed to go along with changes to some of the creatures in the game. Lower level creatures will provide fewer resources than before while more difficult creatures will give more when harvested.
Loot from humans has been redone as well. Armor and weapons will drop more often, but players will need the crafting knowledge to repair those items.
As previously covered, some combat changes are coming to Conan Exiles. One of the most controversial changes already is the removal of sprint from combat. Bylos acknowledged the controversy, but he feels it is necessary to move combat away from players sprinting and swinging at full speed.
Sprinting will cause the character to automatically sheathe their weapons. A wield and unwield button has also been added to allow players to move swiftly in and out of combat.
On a positive note, Funcom is moving the heavy and light attacks to their own separate buttons, versus sharing the left mouse button by default. This is to make attacks more responsive and allow the introduction of a combo system for combat in a future update.
Similarly, dodging and blocking have been updated in Conan Exiles. Dodging will cancel any animation the character is in and can only be used for defensive purposes. This means dodging to the sides and away from an attack but not towards the attacker. The ability to charge and other special attacks will be added at a later date.
Meanwhile, blocking will cancel the recovery time on attack animations and stagger mid-sized to small creatures. The durability of shields has also been increased so that they will take more than a couple of blows.
The Frozen North marks the start of a significant AI overhaul in Conan Exiles. NPC camps are now more dangerous as the various factions have had their difficulty adjusted based on their location and weapons.
Funcom has gone further than that though by revamping the Human NPC AI to be more challenging. Archers will fire faster based on how close players are to them, and the NPCs will be more relentless.
The AI will continue to be expanded to use the same combat combos for Human NPCs as offered to the players. Meanwhile, monsters will receive a similar AI update plus a “more robust animation and attack set.”
Conan Exiles has been a survival game that hasn’t seen much of a fight against the elements since its release. The Frozen North update will add a temperature system that scales based on being too cold or too hot, as detailed here:
- Freezing I – Increases your hunger, requiring you to eat more often.
- Freezing II – Decreases your maximum health and adds visual impairment.
- Freezing III – Decreases your consciousness (which will become more important with both drinking alcohol and eventually being able to knock out other players)
- Frostbite – Players take damage over time.
- Overheating I – Increases your thirst, requiring you to drink more often.
- Overheating II – Reduces your carrying capacity and adds visual impairment.
- Overheating III – Reduces your stamina regeneration rate.
- Heatstroke – Players take damage over time.
Xbox One Controls
Finally, it is important to note the Xbox One version of Conan Exiles will not have a hot bar. It will use a radial wheel for quick weapon and item selection instead.
This same control scheme will be available on the PC version by plugging in an Xbox One controller. The game will switch back to the traditional hot bar once the player starts using the mouse and keyboard again.
[Featured Image by Funcom]