Happy new year, everyone! We hope you all had a great holiday break and are ready to take on 2018 with both vim and vigor. Let’s also take bets on how long it will take us to get used to writing “2018” instead of “2017”. From what we hear most people need to get through at least January to write the correct year.
We’re fully back in the swing of things at the Funcom office. Time to get cracking on content updates, patches, and bug and exploit fixes in between watching some amazing Awesome Games Done Quick speedruns. We’re also looking at the milestones we need to hit before launch to make sure we actually have the resources and time to actually make them.
Of course, a new year means a new run of weekly newsletters. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin!
Now that we’re back we’ve been working on a hotfix for PC to take care of some issues we’ve been able to solve quickly. We patched Testlive with a build to take care of the loot bag freeze bug and there is a new build on Testlive today that adds some changes to the temperature system and fall damage. The plan is for this patch to go to Live server next week.
Looking forwards we’re moving towards a feature complete version of the new combat system, which we expect to deploy to Testlive servers in the middle of February. We have invested a lot of time into the new combat system, and we will need your feedback to tweak the balance and improve fun factor before launch.
As you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, there’s a volcano area and jungle biome being added to the game, and both of them come with new monsters, dungeons and more content for you guys to dig into.
Finally, we’re aware of a bug/exploit that allows players to walk through walls, which we’re currently investigating. If you have any knowledge of how this is done (or any other exploit you’ve seen), we’d love to hear about it though our Exploit Hunters page. Feel free to link us videos there as well.
Next up for Xbox we’re bringing Update 32 to the console once we’re done with stability work and it passes cert. Update 32 will bring weapons and armor modifications, the new weather system, ladders, ceiling hatches, weapon racks, and new tools, weapons and armor to Xbox One, in addition to fixes to the Thrall inventory system we introduced with Update 31.
Every Friday, the development team meets up to highlight and talk about what they’ve been working on recently: New content and features, bugs that have been fixed, and things to come down the pipeline. To not make this newsletter overly long we’re only sticking to the highlights. Even if something isn’t explicitly mentioned things are still being worked on “behind the scenes”, and we’ll mention these when they’re relevant.
Team Vanguard is back on their bug fixing train, plugging away at issues both big and small in order to make the game better. We’ve now set up a whiteboard outside their office which is updated after each patch with top community issues and tasks that need to be a priority. Improving the decay system, making avatars craftable with on Xbox (coming in Update 32), fixes to fall damage and the Wheel of Pain desync issue are examples of issues being worked on.
The Berserkers are putting the finishing touches on the new combat system. They’ve added the ability for players to dodge out of hit stuns, sacrificing stamina to escape chained attacks, and different blocking and stagger animations based on which weapon the blocker is being attacked with. We are planning two internal tests over the next weeks to test the new combat system in PvE and PvP scenarios. The first test is with the devteam and the second test includes devs from other teams. The third test will be in the middle of February (as mentioned above) when we invite you guys to check out and give feedback on the new combat system on our Testlive servers.
Our artists are working on finishing up their remaining tasks for the game, creating weapons, tools, armor and other items as needed. The biggest of which is Conan’s Royal Armor, which is being remade from the original concept for Conan Exiles. It’s looking incredible already and we’ll make sure to give you guys a glimpse at it when we’re able. Existing armor, weapons and character models are getting some polishing and updates. Because it makes them look much better and they deserve it.
In terms of creatures and monsters our animators are also working on giving them new emotes and idle animations so they’ll look and feel more lifelike.
Over on the Terraformers side, the team has begun putting the finishing touches on the Volcano area and new dungeon, and adding more content to the jungle biome. There were also a few textures which the team felt it could improve to lift the visual quality and so this is also being done. Team Terraformers have also been experimenting with a new tool which lets them generate heightmaps faster as well as iterate more quickly when doing changes. This removes some of the tedious work (map cleanup and bugfixing) and lets the artists focus more on the creative aspects like making interesting locations for you guys to play.
The designers on Team Terraformers have started on what we call the “content rebalance project”. While we strongly believe the new combat system will improve the moment to moment gameplay in the game, the new combat system cannot be introduced in isolation. The “content rebalance project” involves tweaking the ecology (NPC population) and changing lots of small bits and pieces with the aim of providing a more diverse and challenging experience. We will go into more detail in a later community update.
In case you missed it on Friday, we announced the winners of our Holiday Screenshot Competition! The grand prize winners each get a Collector’s Edition of their choice and a canvas print of the banner you’ll see in this newsletter. The second-place winners get that same canvas print, and the third-place winners each get a Barbarian Edition T-shirt. Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to everyone who participated in the competition. If you didn’t win this time, don’t worry, there’ll be more!
For those of you curious about the dev streams we can say right away that they will continue. The next Conan Exiles developer stream is planned for the 19th of January, so tune into our Twitch channel at our usual time (5pm CET) for some fun shenanigans.
Thanks for reading, we’ll see you next week!