I have played survival games quite a bit and have recently started playing conan exiles again. My conclusion is that the game is actually quite fun despite some of its issues and I would like to say congratulations to funcom.
In the spirit of what will, hopefully, be the continued success of conan exiles I would like to type out a few of my thoughts/suggestions on things I would like to see in the future and hear your guys opinions on them.
Raiding/building: I feel like this has been done to death so I will keep it rather short. Currently I feel that the tier one building items are far too cheap and far too weak to be truly functional. Im playing on an official server and basically anyone who has tier one is instantly raided if they dont exploit cliff building and demo stairs. I am somewhat worried this will end up being too intimidating for new players to actually get into the game when stonebrick is locked behind level 20.
Additionally, and I have mentioned this before, I think players shouldn't be raiding with weapons but actually with specific tools. The devblog certainly showed a step in the right direction with the trebuchet and im happy to see that. Players should be forced to choose between making raid tools or making other things like weapons. If the raid tools are expensive as well then funcom could certainly replicate that adrenaline fueled feel of raids in in a game like rust.
Combat: Combat is rough around the edges but honestly, once you start to get into depth and fight alot, its still a pretty fun system to use. Additionally I appreciate, what i think is, the design philosophy around combat. It feels like the devs were attempting to give each weapon a specific role (sword and shield keeps you alive longest, hammer controls the field and opponents, spear hits from further range and keeps opponents away, ect.) I just think the devs didn't have enough time to give combat the attention it deserves so the system feels a little rough. Im excited to see how they expand/update it but here are some of my suggestions regarding the fighting and weapon system.
Daggers- Obviously meant to be fast but what edges a dagger out over a sword? and why even dual wield something with one? I suggest that dagger damage should stack off a different stat then strength (I.E. agility or accuracy). This gives players a reason to use daggers over swords if they intend to focus on ranged weapons. Additionally it could be cool to have dagger heavy attacks apply a stacking bleed. Thus the player using daggers is inclined to hang back and support his friends by refreshing bleeds on their opponents and getting out to shoot from range.
Hammer: obviously the crowd control weapon but it could use a few tweaks. Personally I think the throw distance from the hammer heavy should be doubled. First this might prevent the hilarious stun locking tactic people use but it also helps further cement the hammers role as a crowd control weapon used to push enemies away.
Pike: Honestly the pike seems fine but I haven't used it much. I noticed it seemed to push enemies away just a little after each hit. Maybe this push could also be increased slightly with a smaller hit box? That way skilled players could use the pike defensively to keep their enemies from damaging them while they slow damage their enemies.
I dont know what to say for ranged weapons or weapons like javelin? What do you guys think though?
Stats and attributes: I have always been somewhat uncomfortable with skills and the like in games like CE. However it doesnt seem to be terrible to me so far. For example im focusing on accuracy and my friend is focusing on strength. It seems like theres only maybe a difference of one or two hits to kill something with the same weapon despite my friend having 10 more strength then me. That being said I still think new players picking up the game will see a system like this and find it pretty daunting. Im not suggesting throw out the stats system entirely but perhaps it would be cooler to change into more of a class system. If the plan is to give players some choice let them choose at the character creation screen? For example each class would have stats built around their role. An archer class might have high accuracy and grit whereas a barbarian class might have high strength and vitality. Each class would serve different purposes but no two archers would be different for example. This gives players choice while also keeping advantages pretty equal between players, helps avoid a kind of meta stat build where someone makes a video and everyone ends up running the same statline, and opens up plenty of possibilities for more specialized classes. For example funcom could add a craftsman class that has a terrible statline but crafts items much faster and with greater efficiency, or even a rouge class that also has terrible stats but has stealth abilities that help it avoid npc detection when crouching or even pickpocket npcs.
Player capture/thrall system: The thrall system is really neat to be honest. Ive so far really enjoyed trying to find the proper thralls and getting into stupid adventures/situations along the way. I did see that the developers where thinking about adding a player capture feature? Correct me if im wrong but thats what i thought I had heard.
If that is the case I would like to make some suggestions here. I wouldn't, personally, force players into engaging with this system however perhaps some incentives could be provided to do so. I was thinking that if a player is captured by another group of players the captors would have two options. They could either attach the rope to the player who is unconscious (which would immediately kill them and replace their character with an npc assigned a random thrall designation) or they could place some item (for example an iron collar) in the unconscious players inventory. If they choose the collar option then when the captured player awakes he can either run off to get himself killed or remove the bracelet to kill himself. If he does this then his game more or less continues as normal. However if he wants to work for his captors he could be given some benefit for doing so. The captors, for example, could assign a resource to the collar with a predetermined value (i.e 1000 stone, 500 iron stone, 800 fiber ect. ect.) the captors would not be able to pick the specific value or resource but could only choose from a few selections. Once they have done this the captured player could choose to gather the resource assigned to his collar and if he does then he could pick one item (known by the person who made the collar) to temporarily unlock for one hour. For example player A captures player B, player A assigns stone to the collar and puts it on player B's unconscious body. Player B then wakes up and gathers 1000 stone for player A. As soon as player A picks up this 1000 stone gathered by player B player B can then choose to unlock one item for one hour of play time. This could even help fix the building issues I talked about above. If player B is new and is constantly getting his sandstone base raided he could turn his capture into a boon and unlock the tier 2 building for one hour, at least enough time to potentially get a stonebrick 2×2 up.
I think a system like this could be kind of neat. It could help new players deal with building troubles, or experiment with stronger items, while also not really forcing anyone to take part in the system if they dont want to. If the devs want to add some way to capture other players in the game I think this is the best way to do it. What do you guys think?
Thats about all I can think of for now. What ideas do you have for the future of conan? What tweaks would make to mine? Could be great to hear what other players are thinking.