‘Conan Exiles’ Will Have Defenses Against Offline Raiding, Will Use Mounts Differently Than ‘ARK’

The developers at Funcom behind the upcoming Conan Exiles took to Reddit to answer questions from Xbox One fans Monday. The studio shared some interesting tidbits of information about the open-world survival game that is also coming to the PC and PlayStation 4. This includes solutions for offline raiding and some major differences to similar games in the genre like ARK: Survival Evolved.

Fans of open-world survival games are quite familiar with being raided while offline. Players can spend dozens or even hundreds of hours building up their base, collecting resources, and taming wild animals only to lose everything after a rival tribe waits for the player or the player’s tribe to log off for the night.

Different games have various ways to deal with this such as tripwire alarms to alert players when their base is being raided or server settings that prevent offline raiding from occurring. Funcom is incorporating the Thrall system in Conan Exiles to help players defend their bases on PVP servers.

The developer confirmed there will be server options to prevent offline raiding. However, “You can also use the thrall system to train a small army to defend your base while you are offline.”

[Image by Funcom]

For those unfamiliar, the Thrall system in Conan Exiles will allow players to capture NPCs by knocking them unconscious and strapping them to the “Wheel of Pain.” This eventually converts them into Thralls, who can be made to work for you as archers, dancers, crafters, and more, including base defenders while you are offline.

Details on how many Thralls players can own have not been revealed yet. The AI for the Thralls will also be under scrutiny as the problem with games like ARK: Survival Evolved is tamed dinosaurs can either be led away fairly easily if aggressive or have to be set to passive, where they do nothing. If the Thralls in Conan Exiles can be a halfway formidable threat against offline raiders, that will be a boon to players and clans who can’t spend 24 hours a day in the game.

Other defense options mentioned by Funcom are standard for the genre, such as different qualities of walls and traps. However, the deity system promises to be another point of differentiation. Clans will be able to summon avatars of the god they worship to defend their base as well as attack enemies, just as shown in the latest trailer.

How Conan Exiles handles mounts should be another differing factor when compared to its competition. The game won’t have mounts available when it first hits Steam Early Access in January, but Funcom does plan to add them later. However, players should not expect flying mounts as “those tend to make the world too small.” Additionally, mounts won’t be used as “proxies for combat.” Funcom expects “you to fight with your weapons face to face.”

Conan Exiles screenshot of god avatars doing battle.
[Image by Funcom]

Chariots were also mentioned as an after Early Access launch item along with other features. There will be three gods to worship at launch – Yog, Set, and Mitra – with more to come later. Funcom referenced a character creation system that allows for the use of sliders to define facial features along with “several beard options.”

Melee combat will be a big focus for Conan Exiles with the 2006 PC and Xbox 360 title from Ubisoft, Dark Messiah, pointed to as inspiration. This is a game that utilized timing in close combat encounters to force players to think more tactically instead of just mashing buttons.

Funcom explained, “Melee combat is important in Conan Exiles and we’re putting a lot of effort into making it exciting and savage. It is quite a challenge to make Dark Messiah-like combat work well on multiplayer servers.”

Conan Exiles will launch for PC via Steam Early Access on January 31, 2017. An Xbox One release will hit the consoles Game Preview Program later in the spring. A PlayStation 4 release has been mentioned, but it would likely come closer to the official release of the game as Sony does not officially support an Early Access-style program.

[Featured Image by Funcom]