Conan Exiles - Community Manager (Jens Erik)


Good morning, you fluffy little interweb puppies! Welcome back to the community newsletter.

This week we’ll be taking a brief dive into Update 34 (Pets, Midnight Grove, Jhebbal Sag), commenting on mod compatibility, talking about our newest DLC (The Savage Frontier), and discuss what’s going to happen in our next livestream.

Let’s get to it:

Update 34: New Pet System, Dungeon, Religion

As you may have noticed, we’ve released the 34th update to Conan Exiles. This completely free update rolled out the Pets system, the Midnight Grove dungeon, the Jhebbal Sag religion, off-hand weapon combos and the new specialist arrows. We've written extensively about what you can find in this update, but if you haven’t been keeping up with our newsletters you can click on this link to learn more.

https://youtu.be/YSCXHXpgMpc

The first chunk of content (new dungeon, religion, off-hand weapons combos and new arrows) were rolled out last week, with pet rearing activated yesterday. After the first rollout we had a couple of bugs and crashes to fix, which were then included when the pets system was activated fully. Thank you to our great community for reporting these issues to us.

At the time of this writing the full update is available on PC, with rollout on consoles planned for later this week.

Midweek Madness Sale

We’re on sale this week in Steam’s Midweek Madness promotion. Right now, you can get Conan Exiles on PC for 50% off. With the recently released free Pets Update there’s never been a better time to jump into the game. Maybe buy a copy for a friend so you can play together?

Mod Compatibility

One of the things that came up after Update 34 was the question of mod compatibility. Depending on the nature of code changes done in our patches, players and server admins who use mods may experience compatibility issues when trying to play the game immediately after a new patch. These can be anything from not getting access to their chosen server to placeables disappearing and the game crashing on start-up.

To fix these compatibility issues we have to release a new dev kit so the mod creators can update their mods. We try to have a new dev kit ready as quickly as we can after rolling out a patch and we are usually able to release it no later than 24 hours after the patch came out. With the latest patch we were able to have a dev kit ready when the patch was fresh, causing little downtime for modded servers and players.

Since we cannot always guarantee that existing mods will be compatible with a new version of the game, we are recommending that you disable mods when you encounter an issue right after a patch has gone out. That way you can confirm that an issue is caused by an incompatible mod or if it’s a bug that we have to patch.

Missing Building Pieces

We know that there is currently a problem with building pieces disappearing from player structures in online play. At the moment, we’re working on creating reproduction cases, but it’s been difficult. This is why we’ve been updating the in-game Event Log. It will assist both us and the community with more information on what happens in a server.

We can more easily dig information out of the server database and you, the players, will have access to more information in-game as well. This will help us build a repro case for the disappearing building pieces.

The Savage Frontier Pack

In addition to the Pets Update we also rolled out our next paid DLC: The Savage Frontier Pack. It comes with all new content inspired by the savage boundaries of civilization, where the ferocious and ruthless Pictish raiders use brutal beasts to do their bidding. At the time of this writing it is available on PC, with a rollout on Xbox and PS4 planned for next week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlkQOlmVr7w

We’ve done a few out of the ordinary things with this DLC pack. In Robert E. Howard’s original Conan stories, the Picts are a conflation of the historical Picts and the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The Pictish Wilderness is the last remnant of the great uncivilized West that remains after the Hyborian invasion.

Picts are a primitive, tribal culture living in leather tents and thatched huts. Not really the type to build huge stone fortresses. As such, we decided to make building pieces inspired by Aquilonia's frontier, where inhabitants build to repel the savage raiders.



Since they’re a practical race they also don’t make a lot of decorations beyond warpaint and the odd shrunken head, which is why we didn’t include the usual set of placeables. Instead we had our creature designer whip up some cool looking pet skins, so you have a unique looking pet at your side.



For the outfits the art team incorporated a lot of fur, bone and feathers into the look and feel of the clothes. These Picts clothe themselves in the animals they slay. In making these clothes the art team significantly improved how they make and render fur and feather textures, letting them catch and reflect light in a more realistic manner.



Friday Dev Stream

It is stream week once again so come Friday you can catch us on our Twitch and Mixer channels for another developer stream. This week we'll once again be exploring the Midnight Grove, but from a different perspective than before. Senior Designer Alexander will be joining us to discuss the design of the dungeon, its monsters and how we approach dungeon design as a whole.

So, join us: Friday afternoon at 5pm CEST (11am EDT, 8am PDT) for our deep dive into dungeon design.

Sincerely,

Funcom
Conan Exiles - Community Manager (Jens Erik)
Experience all new content from the savage boundaries of civilization, where Pictish warriors summon brutal beasts to do their bidding.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlkQOlmVr7w

Build your settlement and fortress from the new Frontier set of building pieces, made to repel ruthless Pict raiders in the frontier lands of Aquilonia. Equip yourself with brand new Pictish armor sets, like the Pictish Wizard armor.

Craft a set of new Pictish weapons, adorned with mystic runes, fur and the skulls of wild animals. Get five exclusive pet skins which can be used to change the appearance of animals tamed in the new pet system and adorn your body with new decorative warpaints.

The Savage Frontier Pack contains:

  • 39 new Frontier building pieces: A full set of building pieces with the same stats as existing tier three.
  • 15 new armor pieces in three sets, such as the Pictish Warchief Heavy Armor: Light, medium and heavy sets with an epic end-game version of each.
  • 9 new fearsome Pictish weapons: Same power as iron weapons with an epic end-game version of each weapon.
  • 5 all new pet skins which can be used with the new pet system: Have your own exclusive looking wolf, bear or panther pet.
  • 5 new warpaints in Pictish style: Cool looking warpaints of the crocodile, snake or raven.
  • All the new content from The Savage Frontier Pack is exclusive to this DLC and adds a host of new visual options but does not give any in-game advantage in power. All the new items have comparable stats to existing items.

The Savage Frontier Pack DLC is optional. You do not need to purchase this to get the Pet System. The Pet System is already in game as of October 9th. :)

Conan Exiles - Community Manager (Jens Erik)
The latest free update to Conan Exiles lets you raise and tame the wild beasts of the Exiled Lands. Pets will fight for you, defend your settlements and produce valuable resources while confined to their pet pens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSCXHXpgMpc

Read more about this update in full on our dev blog

---
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT MOD COMPATIBILITY

This update includes several code changes from the previously deployed version. Depending on these changes, some mods built with the previous dev kit may or may not work as intended. Mods are less likely to break as they did in the [last patch](https://forums.funcom.com/t/pc-update-34-04-10-2018-the-midnight-grove-and-jhebbal-sag-religion/38589) as this is a smaller update, and a new dev kit will be rolled out as quickly as we can after the patch is release.

---
HIGHLIGHTS
  • New pet taming system
  • Fixed 2 critical server crashes reported by the community
  • The north-western corner of the Frozen North is accessible again!

Pet system and taming
You asked for it and we are happy to deliver:
From today on forward you will be able to tame and raise your very own pet(s). Explore the Exiled Lands with your trusty companion by your side or build a farm to have them produce materials for you.



You will want to start your career as a Beastmaster by building an animal pen for your new future friends. These shelters come in three different tiers and have 5 available pens to hold your animals.

Following this, you will need to obtain a baby or an egg. These can be found in the world, and on certain (rare) vendors so keep your eyes open while you travel! You’ll be able to place your baby pet version into the pen and have them grow into an adult and trusty companion over time.

However, don’t forget to feed and treat them well or you might just end up with a carcass!



While you have a baby animal in your pen, the type of food you offer it will influence your chances to have your baby grow into a greater pet version: A rarer, more powerful and special looking variation.

The new pet system will also introduce the mechanic of thrall feeding. Special Feed boxes and Thrall Pots are available for easier, automatic food distribution to several pets or thralls for those of you who are planning for bigger armies of two and four legged friends.

While keeping your pets happy and fed they will eat any type of food that they can digest. However, feeding them their favorite snacks will grant them temporary buffs.

Very conveniently, live animals will also produce dung, which is used to create compost for your planters.

Even in the sad and unfortunate event of your pet's untimely death, you can still make use of them. Placing dead pets inside a Liquid Separator will grind them down into blood, bone and hide resources.

---

Patch notes

New Server Settings
The following new server settings controls pet and thrall hunger:

Setting
ServerSettings.ini Name
Description
Enable Hunger System: Thralls
ToggleHungerSystemThralls
Toggles the hunger system for thralls
Enable Hunger System: Pets
ToggleHungerSystemPets
Toggles the hunger system for pets
Food Nutrition Value
FoodNutritionValue
The amount of nutrition the companion gain from eating food
Starvation Time In Minutes
StarvationTimeInMinutes
The amount of minutes it takes for companion hunger gauges to go from 100 to 0
Starvation Damage Penalty Cap
StarvationDamagePenaltyCap
When a companion’s hunger gauge reaches 0, they start taking damage to their health. This value determines how much health can be removed in total, given in percent where 1 means 100% of the health
Animal Pen Crafting Time Multiplier
AnimalPenCraftingTimeMultiplier
Multiplies the speed of crafting in animal pens
Food Container Range multiplier
FeedBoxRangeMultiplier
Multiplies the distance that Food Containers can feed your companions
Exclusive Diet
ExclusiveDiet
Determines whether companions exclusively eat items listed on their diet. Disabled means they will eat any food item, in addition to their diet.


QoL Updates
  • Food will decay very slowly when placed in pet Pens. The higher the tier of the pen, the slower it will decay.
  • Food will also decay very slowly when placed in food dispensers.
  • Added pet and thrall hunger system server settings to the admin panel
  • Pet feeding screen can now be opened from the radial menu
  • We taught the Locust Queen how to fight!
  • The Camel pet is now the proud owner of a backpack
  • Animal pen dung production is now more stable with different pets
  • Fixed several issues with pen crafting
  • Potion of Midnight now has 30 sec decay and cannot be stacked

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed a crash related to the Volcano boss fight
  • Fixed an attack problem with werewolves
  • Fixed an attack problem with Gorilla boss
  • Fixed a collision problem that would deny access to certain areas in the north
  • Fixed a server crash related to thrall crafting queues (Please note: This will cause your thrall conversion timer to reset, but it will only be a one-time thing)
  • Fixed a bug where the Sunder debuff would remain permanently on a player
  • Fixed a bug where the Avatar of Jhebbal Sag would remain active for longer than set Avatar Lifetime

Working as Intended
  • Rhinos can be tamed in a T1 pen
  • You can open the pen from any angle.
Conan Exiles - Community Manager (Jens Erik)
Gather 'round everyone, for on this day, October 4th, we're releasing the next update for Conan Exiles! Well, sort of.

We're releasing half of the Pets Update, meaning you're getting the Midnight Grove, the Jhebbal Sag religion and thrall hunger system. The pets system will be released at a later date and we're currently aiming for next week.

The Midnight Grove & Jhebbal Sag Religion

The Midnight Grove is where you learn the Jhebbal sag religion path, the sixth and final religion in Conan Exiles. You have to traverse a labyrinthian maze, facing down many dangers along your path before you make it to the end and discover the final challenge: Jhebbal Sag’s champion.



Defeating the werewolf and consuming its flesh will give you the knowledge of Jhebbal Sag’s altars and religious items. Followers of Jhebbel Sag are all about controlling and hunting beasts. Special bloodletter knives allows them to extract blood from their victims and sacrifice it to their bloodthirsty master.



They are also able to craft special lures that attract animals and other beasts to wherever they’re thrown, making them deadly and implacable foes out in the wild. The magical Mark of Jhebbal Sag will offer any creature caught within it up as tribute to the Lord of Beasts. In return he may send one of his champions to see if you are still worthy.

Reaching the highest level of worship with Jhebbal Sag will grant you access to the deadly Claws of Jhebbal Sag. This devastating weapon allows you to truly tap into your inner beast and unleash furious swipes with razor sharp claws, much like like Jhebbal Sag’s champion.

Thrall Hunger

As part of this update we're rolling out thrall hunger, which requires you to feed your thralls in order to keep them alive. The objective of this is to add nuance and flavor, not grinding, and we've gotten a lot of valuable feedback from our Testlive audience when tweaking the numbers. We feel we've arrived at a reasonable balance for this mechanic, but we always welcome more feedback.

  • The amount of time a companion can go on without eating, from fully fed to hungry, will be 7 days
  • Companions will be able to eat pretty much anything that's even remotely edible
  • If you match thrall's preferred diet, they will gain a bonus buff. This way, if you do care about the specifics of each companion type, you can get a temporary short-term advantage. You can still feed them whatever you want to prevent them from decaying. This also means you can buff your companions right before battle. A server setting (disabled by default) will allow you to make diet matching mandatory if that's what you prefer
  • Food dispensers (Thrall Pot for thralls and Feedbox for pets) will push smaller amounts of food to each companion before moving onto the next companion. The net result of this is that all your companions will be more equally fed and you'll need smaller amounts of food to reach them all
  • Food will decay very slowly when placed in food dispensers
  • There will be server options to enable/disable the feeding system separately for thralls and pets. There will also be server config parameters to adjust other aspects of the system, including if your companions should die when they are hungry or only be reduced in health. This means your server can adjust the system to a level of commitment/consequence that you want, including disabling it entirely

Known Issues
  • We have been getting reports that some players with mods installed are experiencing crashes when placing thralls. Disabling nameplates will fix this.

---
Server settings

Private server admins should be aware of the following:

  • StarvationDamagePenaltyCap=n where n is the percentage of maximum damage that a thrall can take if going hungry for 7 ingame days
  • StarvationDamagePenaltyCap=0.0000 would mean taking max 0% damage over time
  • StarvationDamagePenaltyCap=1.0000 would mean taking max 100% damage over time and potentially killing the thralls

Changelog:

HIGHLIGHTS
  • New Dungeon: The Midnight Grove
  • New offhand combat mechanics
  • New Specialist Arrows: Light Arrows, Tar Arrows, Poison Arrows, Ivory Arrows, Explosive Arrows, Healing Arrows
  • New thrall hunger mechanics

THRALLS/AI
  • Fixed a bug that would cause thrall health to reset to 100 HP
  • Thralls have now 50% increased health. That is to bring them in line with some of the greater pets and also make it more interesting to take a thrall out for exploration/hunting
  • Entertainer Thralls now provide buffs after having been on follow mode
  • The Crocodile boss near the N'batu's Pack is no longer stuck and attacks the player
  • Fixed an issue where NPCs would stop aggroing after a player teleported several times.
  • Pets and Thralls that get stuck will now teleport back to the location they were deployed.

PURGE UPDATES
  • Optimized database cleaning to remove inactive clans
  • Better randomization for Purge spawn options
  • Distracted Purgers will no longer get sidetracked by random Points of Interest.
  • Set initial purge countdown to 15 minutes

NEW CONTENT
  • New Dungeon: The Midnight Grove
  • Added Werewolves
  • Added Nightvision Potion, allowing players to see more clearly when it's dark
  • Added new offhand combat mechanics
  • Added new Specialist Arrows: Light Arrows, Tar Arrows, Poison Arrows, Ivory Arrows, Explosive Arrows, Healing Arrows
  • Thralls will now need to be fed in order to survive. Place food items into their inventory to feed them, or use the Thrall Pot to distribute food automatically. It will take a companion about 7 days to go from filled to starving
  • Added the option to visually remove text on signs made by people outside your guild. You will only see it if you click on it.
  • Added the option to visually remove text from all signs. You will only see it if you click on it.
  • Beehives now require Queen Bees to produce honey

ANIMATION UPDATES
  • Added new combat animations
    • The Sword/Axe/Mace and Shield heavy chain will now incorporate shield bashes
    • Throwing axes are now a part of your heavy chain combos when wielded with Swords, Axes and Maces
  • Added new attack to the Spider Tarantula Boss
  • Added new attack to the Crocodile Boss
  • New knockback setup and animations for monsters
  • New Rocknose animations
  • Added new idle and threat animations
  • Updated surface swimming to work with a glowstick

GAMEPLAY CHANGES
  • We have added the ability to use bait to force a specific result in fish traps. For example, if you want Unappetizing Fish, you can force that outcome with insects. Grubs will catch Exotic Fish. No bait means you get a random fish, which is the way they work in the Live servers.
  • Preservation box's inventory space is increased. Food will not decay in them if there's ice in the box
  • Beehives behave differently: They still collect honey over time, but Worker Bees and Queen Bees will produce a lot more honey than an empty beehive

UI CHANGES
  • Moved Sunder debuff to the right side of the nameplate, where it belongs
  • Darkened the opacity on the background panel for container inventories
  • Added button to the server list where players can report downed servers
  • Added coordinate grid to the in game Map
  • In-game Map can now be zoomed out further
  • The menu can now be accessed during Character Creation
  • Implemented a confirmation prompt upon exiting game from Dedicated server
  • The map navigation is no longer inverted when inverting the Y axis on a controller
  • The "Cycle Filter" button no longer becomes unresponsive when cycling through all filters
  • Solved an issue with password protected servers not being displayed properly
  • Fixed an issue where resetting Video settings to default wouldn’t apply changes to Windowed mode and resolution
  • Fixed an issue where the in game map would be cut off in 4:3 and 16:10 aspect ratio

BALANCING
  • Vaults have now much lower hitpoints and will decay faster
  • Vaults max inventory size increased from 200 to 300
  • Glowing Standing Torch should now have the correct HP when placed down
  • Added more building and climbing blockers to areas where players aren't supposed to build/climb:
    • The City of Votaries of Skelos
    • The Exiles' camp between the Sandswept Ruins and Drifter's Rest
    • NPC village in Deckswab's Retreat
  • The Epic version of Conan's Atlantean Sword is now more durable than its Mid Grade equivalent, as it should be
  • Fixed swapped ingredients for Ugly and Unapetizing Fish Tropies
  • Re-balanced armor bonuses to stats
  • Acheronian Longsword, Spear and War-Axe should no longer be more powerful than Star Metal equivalents
  • Fixed Corrupted Spiders so they're not killed in one hit with Star Metal Greatsword
  • Avatar special attacks now damage buildings with the correct amount of damage. This is not a total fix for avatars as they are undergoing additional changes and updates as part of the siege system re-balancing. Set is still being difficult!

GENERAL BUG FIXES
  • Fixed some bugs related to NPC patrols around camps
  • Bossonian Bow can be repaired again
  • Status effects, journey steps and crosshairs should now be temporarily removed when cinematics trigger
  • Fixed an animation bug where animals would turn away from you after attacking
  • Fixed a bug where the player character would clip through solid structures when re-logging after sitting in a chair
  • It should now be possible attach fence foundations corner-to-corner at a right angle
  • Fixed a bug where Reinforced Wooden Awnings couldn't be placed
  • All sloped wall pieces now detract the same amount of stability
  • Aquilonian Braziers, Hanging Braziers and Khitan Lamps should no longer be placeable underground
  • Fixed a bug where the sound of footsteps in water would play when walking on the edge of the Large Water Well
  • Fixed Iron Brazier in Deathwhisper Camp so it doesn't float anymore
  • Fixed a bug where low tier items would lose all durability after having damage kits applied to them
  • Fixed a bug where the Noxious Gas debuff would wear off, even when standing in gas
  • Hatch Frames now snap to walls, door frames and frame pieces
  • Statues of Refreshment can now be placed near any of Mitra's religious buildings
  • Giant Snakes and Alpha Snakes should now drop Reptile Hides when harvested
  • You should now be able to harvest Crimson Lotus Flower with Sickles
  • Jungle Birds now drop heads
  • Glowing Sticks should now be usable underwater
  • Fixed a bug where the expiration timer on Purified Flesh would display a negative value
  • Players should now be able to place walls next to stairs
  • Fixed an issue where the Witch Queen could be engaged behind the magical barrier
  • Fixed a bug where gamepad and mouse would lose functionality after controlling an avatar
  • Ostrich egg clutches under ground in the middle of the desert are are now above-ground
  • Fixed an issue where placeables would disappear if the base of the item was slightly below-ground
  • Fixed a bug where you could override the corruption limit by drinking Corruption Brew
  • Fixed a bug where bedroll map marker would disappear after respawn
  • Helped a Shaleback out from inside a tree by moving his spawn point
  • Fixed a bug where you wouldn't do damage when jumping on another person's head
  • Fixed a bug where the Palisades' placement brush would give the "Spikes" debuff and cause lag issues
  • Fixed a bug where The Kinscourge would lose aggro if the player stands on a balustrade
  • Fixed an issue with re-binding the CTRL key
  • Fixed a bug where dismantling a Wheel of Pain would cause it to drop an unlootable loot bag
  • Fixed a bug where Star Metal Pickaxe cost 0 points to unlock
  • You should now be able to change fuel type with a controller
  • Avatar Lifetime option is no longer missing in a single-player game
  • Fixed an issue where the clan member sub-menu wouldn't appear on a 4K monitor
  • Carpets should now disappear when foundations are destroyed
  • Fixed an exploit where players could push themselves under the map using ceilings and climbing
  • Fixed a bug where the UI would disappear for the host of a co-op session when a client summons an avatar
  • Corrected HealthPool l for Hyenas and Shoebills
  • Fixed an issue with wolves not using all their available attacks
  • Fixed an issue where it wasn't possible to refresh the server list
  • Fixed an issue where it wasn't possible to queue crafting processes
  • Fixed a tooltip issue when a player character is unarmed
  • Fixed an issue with Sandstorms damaging players in the Swamp Area
  • "Show your religious Zeal' Journey Step now unlocks at Jhebbal Sag altars
  • The player can no longer climb into the model of the Palace of the Witch Queen
  • Fixed an issue where after unlocking a new arrow type, the arrows wouldn’t be used up when used from the radial/quickbar
  • Brought item requirements for building the Altar of Ymir in line with the other Altars
  • Fixed additional issues where the player could get stuck in terrain
  • Njoror Battleborn should now spawn as intended

EXPLOIT FIXES
  • Fixed an issue where thrall inventories could be exploited to carry more items than intended
  • Fixed a bug where Archer Thralls would produce infinite amount of special arrows.

QoL UPDATES
  • Merchants now have names and are marked as "Merchant", rather than "Fighter"
  • White placeholder icon for teleportation buff is now no longer visible
  • Various audio fixes
  • It should now be easier to place items on the Wall Hanging Shelf
  • Planters are no longer semi-indistructable when attacked with a trebuchet
  • Archpriests of Yog should now use the correct weapon rather than a Yog Cleaver
  • Removed the ability to apply Weapon Damage Kits to torches as it was causing bugs
  • Fixed missing collision on chests placed on the roof of The Well of Skelos
  • Items that are currently being used as ingredients in a crafting process will no longer be displayed as an available resource
  • Honey now stacks up to 100
  • Attempting to clan invite a player that is already in a clan will not trigger a popup with a warning
  • Fixed a bug where NPC's hairline was not textured correctly (hairlines are important!)
  • Warpaints now also cover forearms
  • It is now possible to clear your Admin Password
  • Implemented SFX for highlighting Finalize Character in Character Creation

SOUND IMPROVEMENTS
  • Added SFX for looting via the inventory preview
  • Fixed an SFX issue on the difficulty screen
  • Added SFX to Reset Attribute button

DEDICATED SERVER LAUNCHER:
  • Reduced the size of the button to open the log folder, allows the log window to be larger
  • Added a button to open the folder containing the ini files
  • Added a button to copy the mac/hardware address to the clipboard (useful when trying to do port forwarding on a web interface)
  • Added a combo selector for the server region
  • Added an edit field for the maximum number of players allowed on the server
  • Added a check: If settings have changed, the launcher will ask to confirm about losing changes when starting the server
  • Added a startup check: If we find a running server process that happens to not be the one in our sub-folder, display a message and quit
  • Changed the deployment/update/starting/stopping sequence to make it easier to know what is happening (icon changes and messages in the status bar)
  • Added support for switching between the Live and TestLive branch
  • The revision and snapshot information is now extracted from the Dreamworld DLL and displayed in the UI
  • Removed the tray icon
  • Added an option to force validate the server installation
Conan Exiles - Community Manager (Jens Erik)
Good morning, you beautiful perfumed Internet ducklings and welcome back to the Conan Exiles community newsletter. We hope you all had an amazing weekend and was able to relax and forget about your troubles for a while. Given recent events we wouldn’t blame you!

Last Friday was our regularly scheduled stream day. Lead designer Oscar and community manager Jens Erik sat down for an extended Q&A stream on our Twitch channel. Questions were taken from the forums and the community came through in a big way, with tons of great questions about the current state of the game and what we’re looking to do in terms of future development.

We covered everything from the updated bow mechanics, potential future weapons, AI fixes, future dungeons, and how we’re tackling thrall AI and behavior.

We’ll most likely use this format going forward in future Q&A streams, but if you have any feedback please give us a shout on social media.

You can catch the VOD below. If you’re unable to set aside an hour and 21 minutes to watch it, community member Multigun has written an extensive summary of the stream. You can find that on the forums by clicking here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1PgB_wAnqo

Stream feedback

Two weeks ago, we asked for your feedback about our livestreams and what you wanted to see on our Twitch and Mixer channels in the future. The feedback we got was very enlightening and the community team is working out a streaming plan that aims to incorporate as much feedback as possible and combine it with some of the things that we want to do on the streams as well.

Meet a dev
For this week’s newsletter we’re going to try out something different again. We’re calling it “Meet a dev”. The name sort of sums it up, really: it’s a quick interview with someone from the development team about what they do, how long they’ve been at Funcom, and some of the things they enjoy about their work. We figured it would be a good way for the community to get to know the members of the Funcom family.

This week we’re talking to Gavin Whelan, our fantastic art director and Funcom veteran:

NAME:
Gavin Henry Whelan

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
Ireland.

JOB TITLE:
Art Director

EDUCATION:
I spent 5 fantastic years at the Irish School of Animation, This was back before there were any colleges offering game development/design courses. I was lucky to have a lot of great teachers who demanded professional standards and discipline from their pupils. Hard work, long hours and being creative under stress.. perfect for the games industry!

WHEN DID YOU JOIN FUNCOM?
I have actually had the pleasure of working for Funcom twice in my life. The first time was way back in 1995, and only for a year, (I joined back when Funcom had an office in my home town of Dublin). I rejoined in 2004 after working for a few different studios around the UK and have been here in Funcom Oslo ever since.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE GAMES INDUSTRY?
Back in the early 90's you had to be able to do it all.. Concept, level design, animation etc.. I was an artist (indie developers will know what I am talking about).

WHAT DO YOU DO DURING A WORKDAY?
My first coffee of the day is at 7.30 am at my desk.. The first few hours of the day are my most productive, I try to do all my planning/direction before anyone else arrives in the office. Then I have a series of meetings with management and individual art teams (concept, Environment etc). This usually lasts 'till lunch time. Lunch is spent with a bunch of the artists, then more coffee (I drink way too much coffee). After lunch I have one on one meetings with any artist who needs further direction or wants feedback. and then maybe, just maybe, at the end of the day I get the chance to be an artist again, put on my headphones and do some concept work.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
It's a secret, sorry.. stay tuned! I honestly cant say any more.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT WORKING ON CONAN EXILES?
The same thing I enjoy about working on any project: It's the people I work with. Game developers, despite all the bad press, can be some of the nicest people you will ever meet, no matter their age, sex, or color of their skin. No matter where you are in the world they are all the same: Open minded, fun loving, argumentative gamers who wanted to spend their lives doing something they love.

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT MAKES IT INTO THE GAME AND WHAT DOESN'T?
We always try to see the game from the players perspective. We listen to what the players are saying because you never know where the next great idea will come from. We also try to make the games we ourselves would want to play, we are gamers too. And while we don't always get to add the things we all want to, we do try our hardest to make them work.

Sincerely,

Funcom
Conan Exiles - Community Manager (Jens Erik)
Hey everyone,

We've released a quick hotfix to take care of some abused exploits reported by the community.

Changelog:

  • Fixed an exploit where players could duplicate items using thralls
  • Fixed an issue where shooting a particular placeable would crash the server
Conan Exiles - Community Manager (Jens Erik)


Good day you fiery glowing pixie sticks! Welcome to this week’s community newsletter.

We’re still working on finishing up the Pets Update, specifically we’re working on fixing bugs, tweaking mechanics and sorting out the last couple of things we need to take care of before we feel comfortable with rolling it out to live.

The team working on the Pets Update have been playtesting the pets, the new weapon combos and the new dungeon to ensure it’s in working condition.

Once again, we want to give a huge shout out to the Testlive forums for helping us out with feedback and bug reports on the preliminary version of the Pets Update. Of course, it would be very remiss of us to not also thank everyone playing the regular, live version of Conan Exiles on PC, PS4 and Xbox, for continuously providing us with feedback and bug reports. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you.

Speaking of Testlive, we’re going to be separating the Testlive branch into its own client on Steam. This means that everyone who owns Conan Exiles will be able to download Testlive builds separate from the main game and you won’t need to switch back and forth between branches in Steam. Due to some technical difficulties we haven’t done this earlier, but thanks to Steam we should now be ready to go very soon.

Other than that, there’s a bunch of stuff going on behind the scenes that we, unfortunately, can’t tell you about just yet.

Combat animations and the mocap process

As mentioned previously we’re rolling out some new weapon combos in the Pets Update. Throwing axes and shields are being better integrated into the combat system and followers of Jhebbal Sag will have access to a new weapon that gives the user the power of a ferocious beast.



We figured we could talk a bit about our animation process and what goes into creating combat animations for something like the Claws of Jhebbal Sag.

The first step of the animation process is figuring out what type of movement they need to make. In this case it’s an attack used in combat. Designers and animators work together to figure out what how many attacks in a combo, what they’re generally going to look like, and how the character using the attack should look when attacking. Once these details have been finalized, the animators prototype the idle poses, what the character will look like when not attacking, to get a general sense of how the character will move and look.

During this entire process they’re working closely with the game’s art director to make sure the animations and poses will fit the game’s overall theme and style. When the prototypes are approved by the art director, it’s time to head to the mocap room.

Motion capture is exactly what it sounds like: capturing and recording motions and movements. Actors wear a full body suit with white rubber balls (markers) attached to their joints. The markers reflect light which in turn is captured by cameras placed out at key points around the room. When several cameras see the same marker, they will map out its position in 3D space and we can see the movement as a 3D stick figure and record it.

When we do motion capture at Funcom we can record an entire set of movements in one go or record each “piece” separately and then stitch them together. It’s mostly a matter of preference of the animators. Recording the full set will let you more easily see how momentum carries from one motion to the other. The flow between each move will also be better. Sometimes constraints force you into doing one over the other. If you have a mocap room that’s too small to do record an entire set of movements in one go (say, a running dash and then a leap forward), you’re forced to record each movement separately.

So why do we use motion capture? It saves us a lot of time when creating new animations as the animators don’t have to build a full set of motions from scratch. They can just use the human body’s movement to make it for them. It also allows them to create secondary animations practically for free, I.e. how you shift your body weight from one foot to the other when doing an attack.

Post-motion capture session an animator will do whatever tweaking and cleanup necessary to finalize the animation. They will change the timing between each movement, speed up or slow down the animation, or create more exaggerated and dramatic poses. All mocap, no matter how amazing, always needs some extra changes.

The Javelin jump attack needed plenty of tweaking on the poses the character goes through during the jump. The feet’s positions were re-arranged to make it feel more heroic and confident, instead of looking like a regular person trying to perform several motions at once. The height of the jump was also increased.



Once the process is complete and the art director has given their approval we add in sound effects, particle effects and other details as final touches.

Friday afternoon stream

Rejoice, for it is once again stream week! This week we are opening the lines of communications to take your Q’s and turn them into A’s. That’s right, it’s a Q&A stream with lead designer Oscar and community manager Jens Erik.

We’re going to opening a thread on the forums on Thursday where you can submit questions (please keep them polite, short, straight and to the point) and we will pick out a selection to answer during the stream. We will, of course, still take questions and comments from the chat as needed.

Time and place are the same as before: Twitch and Mixer at 5pm CEST/11am EDT/8am PDT on Friday, September 28th.

Sincerely,

Funcom
Conan Exiles - Community Manager (Jens Erik)
Hey folks!

We’re releasing a quick hotfix to PC to take care of a recently abused exploit.

Changelog:

  • Fixed exploits used to circumvent damage restrictions
Conan Exiles - Community Manager (Jens Erik)
Greetings and salutations, you bodacious breaths of fresh air and welcome back to the Conan Exiles community newsletter. This week’s recap includes some news and some other things that I don’t know yet.

Friday was stream day and this time we tried, with varying levels of success, to do a blind run through the Midnight Grove, a dungeon meant for a party of several high-level players. The result was a fun romp through a difficult part of the game with the odd death here and there.
We especially don’t recommend challenging the Bull with only 50% health:

https://clips.twitch.tv/LittleBreakableEagleTBTacoRight

Check out the full run in the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av_cdX-7nWc

The Midnight Grove is where you go to learn the Jhebbal sag religion path, the sixth and final religion in Conan Exiles. You have to traverse a labyrinthian maze, facing down many dangers along your path before you make it to the end and discover the final challenge: Jhebbal Sag’s champion.



Defeating the werewolf and consuming its flesh will give you the knowledge of Jhebbal Sag’s altars and religious items. Followers of Jhebbel Sag are all about controlling and hunting beasts. Special bloodletter knives allows them to extract blood from their victims and sacrifice it to their bloodthirsty master.

They are also able to craft special lures that attract animals and other beasts to wherever they’re thrown, making them deadly and implacable foes out in the wild. The magical Mark of Jhebbal Sag will offer any creature caught within it up as tribute to the Lord of Beasts. In return he may send one of his champions to see if you are still worthy.



Reaching the highest level of worship with Jhebbal Sag will grant you access to the deadly Claws of Jhebbal Sag. This devastating weapon allows you to truly tap into your inner beast and unleash furious swipes with razor sharp claws, much like like Jhebbal Sag’s champion.



Future Funcom streams

Speaking of the streams, we want to get your feedback on our current live stream content and what you’d like to see in the streams in the future. At the moment we’re using the Funcom Mixer and Twitch channels to showcase upcoming game content, celebrate the community’s accomplishments and creations, and sometimes play a game or two with members of the community. Beyond that, the world is our oyster and we want to expand and improve on our streams.

Is there anything you feel is missing in terms of streaming content? More different games? More chill streams where we play whatever we like and interact with chat? Maybe more focus on community creators, streamers and mod makers? Or maybe you’d like to see us do playdate streams where we play games with the community?

Leave a comment on the forums or drop us a line on Twitter or Facebook and let your opinion be heard, not just about the Conan Exiles streams, but any and all streaming content you'd like to see. Any kind of feedback is most appreciated.

Testlive and other fixes

As you may have noticed, we dropped another Testlive update on Monday. This particular build was focused on bug fixes and smoothing out some extra issues that have popped up during testing. The Midnight Grove bosses should now spawn as intended, we’ve balanced the building costs for the Altar of Ymir and fixed a couple of UI bugs.

There have also been some Purge fixes implemented on Testlive previously, so if you’re one of our intrepid Testlive players please let us know how these changes work for you.

While we’re mainly working on finishing up the Pets update we will also address critical issues and bugs as they appear on the live branch. Going forward we’re refocusing our efforts on improving AI and thrall behavior while also working on new and existing bugs and new content. We know this is an area that requires some additional polish and we’re dedicated to putting in the work to improve.

Sincerely,

Funcom
Conan Exiles - Community Manager (Jens Erik)
Hello, you eternally smooth-skinned angel feathers. Welcome back to the community newsletter, where this week we have some news from the Testlive trenches, an updated map and some combat gifs.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin!

First off, we wanted to take a quick moment to talk about our patch schedule. Obviously, we would like to roll out fixes for the game as soon as we can, but we will also be the first to admit that we have been guilty of patching too quickly in the past. We’ve tried to learn from this to avoid creating frustrations for you, the community.

Going forward, our plan is to patch Conan Exiles every 4 to 6 weeks, with one possible hotfix within that 4-6 week period if needed. This way we have time for extensive bug fixing, tweaking and testing, in order to make sure that a patch is as ready and as stable as it can be. It also gives us more time to take your feedback into consideration.

We aim to patch all platforms as close together as possible, hopefully the same day. TestLive will be updated more frequently to incorporate ongoing bug fixes and testing as needed.

We hope this will add to our ongoing effort on improving our patching process as well as closer communication with all Exiles players.

Call to Arms event

Last weekend we ran another Call to Arms event on our Testlive branch to get more eyeballs on our most recent Testlive build. Anyone participating in the event who reached lvl 40 would be eligible to receive a DLC key of their choice in a post-event raffle, if the community as a whole reported over 50 unique bugs.

As expected, you all came through in a big way and helped us find some previously unknown bugs and issues. We’ll be getting in touch with everyone who qualified for the raffle, but keep in mind that we have several hundred people to send individual keys to, so please be patient.

Among all these Testlive updates happening on PC we know our console audience is wondering if a similar testing environment is possible on consoles. Unfortunately, it’s not, due to the nature of deploying builds to consoles versus PC. When selling a game through Steam we can easily set up a beta branch that players can switch over to through the Steam client. Here we can deploy builds fairly quickly without needing to go through a certification process.

On consoles, it’s a different story: Setting up a separate testing client is possible, but every build we deploy to said testing client would need to go through the certification process every time we wanted to roll out a new build. Players would also have to download an entirely separate client, which would be the same size as the regular game.

However, that doesn’t mean that players on consoles don’t benefit from what we do on Testlive. Any and all changes, bug fixes and updates on the Testlive will eventually make it to the live builds, on both PC and consoles.

Map coordinates
As we mentioned last week, we’re updating the map to include a grid and coordinates system to make it easier for players to navigate and find each other. You will also be able to zoom the map out much further than before.



The new map is already available on the Testlive branch and will be rolled out with the Pets update.

Off-hand combos
We've been sharing a couple of gifs of some new combat animations over on our Facebook and Twitter channels. If you missed it, we’ve been tinkering with ways of integrating off-hand weapons into the combo chains. Specifically, shields and throwing axes are now part of the heavy chains when paired with swords, maces and axes.

A sword and shield heavy-combo usually looks like this:



But with the new animations, it will look like this



We’re also really into the new double axe spin attack:



Using a mace and a shield will let you uppercut your enemies with your shield



These are just a small sample of the new weapon combos we’ll be rolling out alongside the Pets update. You can watch Oscar and Jens Erik discuss the off-hand combos in a video on our YouTube channel:

https://youtu.be/2ImFNN6CkoQ?t=8m2s

4x XP PvP event
This weekend we’re starting up a month-long event on our official PvP servers, on all platforms. On Friday morning, when the servers restart at 5am local server time, players on all official PvP servers will gain experience points at 4 times the normal amount. We’re doing this to help new players get a fighting chance on a fresh server more quickly.

Be aware that this will only affect our PvP servers, not PvE or PvE-Conflict.

As always, community feedback is important to us so please let us know if this is a decision you support.

Friday live stream
It is stream week once again, so we’ll be live on http://www.twitch.tv/funcom and http://mixer.com/funcom at our normal stream times: 5pm CEST / 11am EST / 8am PST. This week we’re going to be running the new Midnight Grove dungeon to see what dangerous creatures we meet there and how many bosses we’re able to take down. Will we die a lot? Probably. Will Jens Erik once again be wearing a funny T-shirt? Most definitely!



We can’t wait to see you on Friday.

Sincerely,

Funcom
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