After some ups and downs this afternoon — everybody loves the “try again later” message, right? — Valve’s summer Steam sale is finally underway and stable. Here’s what we’re looking at in our corner of the gaming world.
Get ready to watch the world burn. Well, part of the world. Conan Exiles is wiping official servers this morning. Well, part of them.
“We’ve started a partial wipe on all official servers. Buildings and inventories will be removed, character progression stays,” Funcom tweeted this morning. “We’re wiping official servers per community requests to solve problems with the decay system and in anticipation of the climbing system.”
PvP Blitz servers are also being taken offline for repurposing, which sounds ominous!
The good news is that Funcom plans to double the experience-gain rate on all official servers for the next two weeks, which ought to help you get caught back up.
Officially, the reason behind the region blocking in Conan Exiles is to make sure that players are always on a server that can support similar ping rates and fair gameplay. Whether or not you believe that idea is immaterial; people have gotten around the region block regardless, and so another layer of blocking is being put into place with the new MaxPingAllowed system on the game’s official servers.
Players with a ping rate over 140 will not be allowed on the servers with a maximum ping set, so players outside of the appropriate region (or those with particularly bad connections) will now be automatically blocked by the server. Some official servers will still have no ping maximum, so players can still play without region blocks if they want, but the majority will be limited to servers with a low ping rate and other players with similarly low ping.
Funcom Lead Designer Oscar Lopez Lacalle and Community Manager Jens Erik Vaaler helmed an E3 recap livestream for Conan Exiles on Friday, and if you missed it, it’s worth a quick look now that the E3 hype is dying down. During the convention, Funcom announced big moves for Conan, including a date for its Xbox One launch (August 16th), a planned Xbox One X launch (sometime after November 7th, we gather), and a big freebie expansion for the game, which doesn’t have a name just yet but will go live alongside the Xbone preview release.
In the meantime, however, the devs showed off new tree modeling, climbing — including monkeybar animations — and the exploration system previously teased. As the two wander around the game, players see an old-school type of “you have discovered” pop-up indicating the point of interest they’ve just bumbled into. “There’s a lot of spots in the world which are significant because they have good vistas or because they are places of power or places where there are camps of foes or capital cities or many different interesting locations to find,” Lacalle says. Turns out you get “generous” experience for exploring too, and it’s based on how many spots you’ve discovered in total — explore a lot, and you get more XP per spot. “It is a pretty significant source of XP if you’re into exploration.”
There are many dangers in Conan Exiles waiting to kill Massively OP’s MJ, but hopefully the lag monster is no longer one of them! The server has moved, and hopes for a smoother experience are high. Of course, there are still plenty of things that want to devour her even then, so survival is certainly not guaranteed. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. as MJ continues her life as an exile.
What: Conan Exiles
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 16th, 2017
Funcom has taken the hustle and bustle of E3 to tease a new expansion and put a date on its Xbox One Conan Exiles pre-launch. It’s coming to the Xbox One X, too, “at a later date.”
“Funcom today announced that Conan Exiles, the open-world survival game that sold half a million copies during its first month on PC, will be crushing its way into Xbox One Game Preview on August 16th 2017. The studio is also excited to announce that a free expansion update will launch on both PC and Xbox One on the same date.”
The expansion doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s clearly the long-awaited snowscape biome, and yep, it’s free: “As the game is still in Early Access, everyone who has already bought or decides to buy the game while it’s still in development will get access to this massive update at no extra charge.” Expect more in the lead-up to the simultaneous launch on August 16th.
There’s a trailer and thankfully new pics for the expansion too!
That tall wall or cliff face that in other video games would represent an impassable barrier is nothing more than an adult-sized playground in Conan Exiles.
On Friday, the Conan Exiles dev team showed the first iteration of the game’s climbing system. As it exists in the most recent build, climbing allows characters to jump up and latch on to a vertical surface while doing a Spider-Man all of the way up. Of course, if you don’t watch your stamina, you could find yourself enjoying the existing gravity system with a vengeance. The team said that climbing uses the grit skill as well as a factor in how fast you use your stamina.
The team also posted a written Q&A yesterday on recipe filters, the July rebalancing patch, new effect types, the admin panel, elevators, and splash damage.
You can get a preview of the new climbing system after the break (the Tarzan antics begin around the 35-minute mark).
I have been head-over-heels for Elder Scrolls Online since One Tamriel, and the Morrowind chapter has only added to my enthusiasm for the game. I understand that this game now feeds into the things that I really like in my MMOs, but it didn’t always. And I know that other people clearly have different tastes from mine
What I would like to attempt to do today is to face some of the desires and questions people have for MMOs, to examine some of the common pitfalls afflicting MMOs to see how ESO Morrowind fares and avoids those it does. I’ll attempt to imagine that I am looking for a new MMO and stumble upon Morrowind – what am I going to look for and what are some other people going to look for in the game?
Funcom doesn’t want players to think of their Conan Exiles towns as nothing more than a “protective box for their assets.” That’s according to a new Q&A penned by Lead Designer Oscar Lopez, who takes a stab at explaining the point of the city life update.
“The general design philosophy is to allow players to create interesting setups for their towns. Stuff like centralized resource storages, upkeep/wages, automatic chain production, job scheduling for thralls, sleeping quarters, thralls automatically opening drawbridges, operating siege cauldrons, repairing your walls, serving your bar and so on,” he says. “All of those and more are on the table and we are looking forwards to get our hands on this system.”
Lopez also covers nonsensical animal drops, the upcoming Highlands biome, camera options, stamina drain from climbing, chat progress, custom equipment hotkey sets, and hardcore servers. Helmet-hiding isn’t on the table, and there are no plans for boats or rafts yet, but maybe soon: “It’s a cool vehicle type that’s very likely to make it if/when we add biomes with larger areas of open water. Right now, we are focusing on land mounts.”
This time last year, I polled the Massively OP writers for their opinions on which MMOs had had the best year, or half year, up to that point in 2016 — which games were the most influential and important specifically in that time period. I was pretty surprised at the spread of answers too. Since we’re nearing the midpoint of 2017, I thought we should renew that question and see whether anything’s changed. So as last time, I’m asking everyone to pick three games that represent the MMORPG zeitgeist, using whatever combination of criteria they wish – revenue, playerbase size, hype, anticipation, update cycle, and so forth. What should we be paying attention to? Which games are a sign of the times? And just who is dominating now in 2017?
Today marks a special occasion for Conan Exiles: Its 27th early access update. Hey, you only get to 27 once, after all!
There are a lot of new toys for builders and attackers to enjoy with this patch. Elevators, drawbridges, crenelated walls, and boiling siege cauldrons can all be used to customize one’s home base, while explosive orbs offer player barbarians a way to get that lovely grenade-like experience.
Perhaps the most interesting addition is that of avatars of the gods. These are giant, Godzilla-sized protectors that will be attacking player towns. It’s a good thing that defenders can whip up shields to keep them at bay, isn’t it?
Conan Exiles has another new Q&A thread up on Reddit over the long weekend, and the first takeaway is invest in a coat and some sunscreen. Funcom’s Joel Bylos says the team is still working on the weather system, including new weather types in the new biome and maybe some fixes to sandstorms. “Weather will affect temperature, and Exiles will need to start worrying about temperature in the next biome,” he explains. In fact, the new biome has a lot of new content; expect things like fishtraps, crabtraps, beehives, and fiber harvesting tools.
Bylos also promises custom stamps, shoots down a foundation placement request, gives advice on how to defend against climbers, and reminds players that Funcom isn’t making a “community consensus” game. And then there’s this from a player:
“What are you going to do about the game? Its so riddled with bugs, and exploits even the RPers are leaving. Most of the servers are at 0/0 people logged in, some are shutting down. Even viewer count on twitch is low. You’re game is basically dead and its not released. Content is coming to slow, bug fix’s too slow. For a game that saved your company, you sure are royally screwing it up.”
Some days Massively OP’s MJ has a detailed plan she wants to execute. Other days, she just wants to wander around and explore. Today is an explore kind of day in Conan Exiles. There are still places MJ hasn’t investigated yet, so MJ is going to just wander a bit — and try to stay live in the process. You never know what wondrous sights or scary dangers she might discover! Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for her latest walkabout through the exiled lands.
What: Conan Exiles
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 22nd, 2017