Good afternoon lovely spring droplets!
The Funcom marketing and management teams are back from GDC in San Francisco! We’ve had a fantastic week at the event, demoing Conan Exiles and Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden on the show floor, and meeting lots of amazing people at the same time. It was also great to get away from the Norwegian winter weather.
Due to GDC taking up so much time there wasn’t a community newsletter last week, but some of the information from that newsletter will trickle into this one.
Friday the 16th marked another developer livestream. Joel was back to share details about the Map Room, teleportation, Sepermeru’s status as a neutral city, and some changes to armor and perks.
We’re close to wrapping up certification which means we’ll also be moving a new build to Testlive and a new update to Xbox One. Additional details to come when we have more information.
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.
Let’s talk armor changes! Based on your feedback and our own internal testing we decided to modify the armors to make the differences between them more apparent.
Light armor has been nerfed to offer less damage reduction, but at the same time we’ve increased the range and i-frames on the dodge functionality. As mentioned last week, you won’t be able to dodge indefinitely, but dodging will be more effective in combat if you’re wearing light armor.
Heavy armor won’t change, but it will be relatively stronger now that we’re nerfing light armor. Dodging in heavy armor will be slower, with less i-frames than before, since heavy armor is, naturally, heavier. You can still dodge while wearing heavy armor, it will just be less effective.
Perks are being rejiggered. Some of them have been switched out for something new while others have been nerfed or moved around. The level 5 Vitality Perk (which reduced damage by 20%) would make players almost invulnerable if activated while wearing heavy armor. Having dumped 50 points into Vitality you’d have a whole lot of hitpoints, coupled with incredible amounts of damage reduction thanks to the perk and heavy armor. So, it’s been toned down to 10% damage reduction and moved to the Survival branch instead, to make Survival about more than just ingesting food.
Our junior concept artist Sverre has been putting together a fantastic looking artbook for the game’s Collector’s Edition. In this artbook you can see work-in-progress sketches, artwork, renders of game assets and other art from the production of Conan Exiles.
Now that we’re coming up on content lock our artists have been finishing up their workload on all the content making it in for full launch. Recently that’s included things like the adding alters, effects and priest clothing for Derketo, something super-secret for the Swamp dungeon, and more weapons and armor. Weapon trails have also been toned down to be less intrusive. You will still see colors on the weapons to convey the weapon’s effects, but you can also turn these off completely if you want.
This is what the new weapon trails currently look like:
Speaking of revamps, we’re also doing changes to bedrolls! Previously you’d place a bedroll, bind to it, and it would offer you a one-time respawn at said bedroll. It would then disappear. You could place out a near unlimited number of bedrolls, which would result in long chains of them being placed out along the more trafficked routes in the map. This would have an impact on server performance and slow things down.
Under the new system you can respawn at a bedroll an unlimited amount of times, but you can only place one at a time. Anytime you put down a new bedroll the old one will disappear. You also bind automatically to beds and bedrolls when placing them. Beds will work as before, and you can have multiple beds.
As always, the Vanguard are also hard at work on fixing bugs and optimizing gameplay systems. They’ve been implementing the Derketo avatar and returned existing avatars to their full strength, and you’ll get to see Derketo very soon. Keybindings in the GUI are also being made more consistent, meaning you can be assured that a key will always do the same action. Finally, we’re implementing a fix for bodies disappearing on a server restart, eliminating a somewhat popular exploit in the same process.
The Monster Hunters have been adding new attacks for cats, bears, boars and locusts, making them more dangerous in combat. Rhino and elephant attacks have more recovery time. The downtime after an attack has been increased, letting skillful players who were able to dodge out of the way come back with more counter attacks.
In addition to working on creature combat the Monster Hunters are also working on improving human NPCs in combat. A step towards this is letting them use combos, albeit in a more limited form than players. Attack ranges are still being tweaked so NPCs don’t become too domineering.
We launched our new community forums last Friday. We’ve created these new forums to have a more organized and centralized place for our community to engage with us and with each other. Discourse, which is what we’ve built the forums on, is a really good platform for doing exactly that, and is becoming the industry standard for community forums.
One of the main points of feedback we’ve been getting during the Early Access period was the lack of a central hub for information. The new community forums are a response to that. It also allows us to gather forums for all our games in one place.
Friday is a legal holiday over here in Norway so there will not be a regular Conan Exiles dev stream this week. However, Funcom’s community managers are hosting a Community Corner stream where we’ll play some games, eat a giant Rice Crispy treat (tune in to find out what that means), and just hang out, chill, and have a good time. We hope you’ll join us on Wednesday, March 28th, at 5pm CET, on Twitch.tv/funcom.
We hope you all have a wonderful Easter!