Ouch, Conan Exiles players are pretty pissed off about Funcom’s PvE Conflict server switcharoo

It’s not every day that an online game changes the official ruleset of whole servers the day after everyone rolled characters, but that’s exactly what Funcom did yesterday in Conan Exiles. As MOP’s Justin reported incredulously yesterday, the studio abruptly changed all of Conan Exiles’ PvE Conflict servers – that is, the servers that are primarily PvE with small windows for PvP – into pure PvP servers. Pure PvE and Pure PvP continue to exist (Fast servers were done away with prior to launch), but that’s cold comfort to folks who thought their server would be partly safe and now isn’t safe at all.

And the playerbase is letting Funcom have it. Steam reviews are bashing the company for the move, accusing Funcom of misrepresenting the game and sacrificing hybrid server players at the altar of bringing more PvP servers online – and that’s on top of the ongoing queue problems brought on by the game’s popularity. And on the Conan Reddit, the front page is littered with angry rants about the topic.

Funcom, for its part, apologized for the move on Twitter but said it couldn’t give any promises that PvE Conflict would be brought back. Funcom community manager Andy Benditt admitted the studio needed to “fast-track as many new PvP servers online as possible” because of the high demand, and it chose to convert PvE Conflict servers.

“From a numbers perspective, our timeline data showed PvE Conflict servers were generally under capacity at many times, which tells us the servers weren’t as popular,” Benditt writes. “There was overwhelming demand for new servers, particularly PvP servers, which data showed were packed at nearly all times. A look at social media or the forums corroborates this!”

In other words, it would rather risk losing PvE Conflict players with an unplanned but still upsetting bait-and-switch than not have room for all the PvP players swarming the gates, but we’re talking about an MMO company with a long history of understanding launch capacity problems, and here we are anyway. PvE Conflict players, after you’ve gotten your refunds, maybe you can commiserate with The Secret World players whose characters were marooned in an abandoned version of the MMO after Funcom turned it into Secret World Legends and didn’t port the toons of its loyal MMO customers.

Update: Funcom just put out a new piece saying it’s “bringing back PvE Conflict servers.” What it means is that it’s going to create new ones, not revert the ones it changed yesterday. Here’s the key bit:

“Since we made this change we have received a massive amount of feedback from players. Your passionate reaction made it very clear that there is significant interest in servers with the PvE Conflict ruleset and we have been looking for solutions to bring them back. In addition to introducing more PvE and PvP servers (which are still in highest demand), we will be also be bringing up new and fresh PvE Conflict servers. We will start with bringing these up in Europe, East and West Coast US, and Russia, and you can expect them to be live before this weekend. We will also be adding PvE Conflict severs in other territories based on demand and as soon as we are able to.”

So that’s great for new folks coming in now, not so great for everyone whose server ruleset changed out of the blue yesterday.

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kalech

Seems like a huge overreaction to me, even as someone who strongly prefers conflict PvE servers. They saw a huge demand for PvP servers, and only a little interest in conflict ones. Makes sense to switch to me. Doesn’t survival games often have wipes and resets as well? I never expect my characters to be permanent on official servers, it really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Is rerolling a char really the end of the world?
That said, I can respect that people are upset about it even if I can’t understand it at all. Hopefully they have better luck elsewhere.

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zeko_rena

This seems so overdramatic, host your own server or jump on a pure PVE server, glad they re-did the PVE-Conflict thing to make people happy but you would have thought they stabbed baby animals or something…

We have like three servers in the Oceanic region, well official ones so I just found a open private hosted server with the settings I thought sounded good.

When I stop being lazy I might turn one of the old PC I have into a little server PC, since you can download the dedicated server stuff, or I might just pay like $8 a month to get a private hosted server for me and my friends.

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Bango on Laurelin

Looks like Funcom wants to learn to hard way.

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syberghost

The likely outcome will be that many of these folks will leave, and then as nearly always happens with the PvP-only crowd, in 6-12 months they’ll all have moved on to another game.

The folks who left won’t come back.

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Neiloch

That’s why they are willing to sacrifice anything to please the PvP’ers. They will only be around for a short time but in force so they have to make as much room for them as possible. A lot of these companies would PREFER if the games only lasted 12 months. Short term, large gains with no worrying about long term service while working for low to moderate profit.

Whole thing just makes me wary of any game that has a large PvP focus while trying to tout some token PvE as well. They burn bight and then die while PvP players keep complaining. “There aren’t many PvP games” when they move like locusts through them. Its because there aren’t nearly as many PvP’ers as they like to think and they aren’t loyal or long term in the least.

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holyavengerone

A pretty sad state of things, I’m very disappointed.

veldara
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veldara

The bigger take away here is that from an industry perspective, pvp is becoming the main format of choice for a lot of gamers and that pve at least in terms of non-single player experiences is being is slowly pushed aside for competitive formats. Speaking from personal experience, a lot of the titles I’ve worked on recently had leaderboard rankings, pvp matches, base assaults, etc as part of the core endgame loop. I ask any of leads why that is, gamers are more competitive than they ever were is kind of the running theme.

A lot of younger players having grown up with competitive games are in their teens and twenties now, pvp is all they know, it’s in their blood and they make the bulk of the playerbase now. That said, I still see plenty of studios still catering to great pve coop content and if you want to keep seeing them, I urge you to support those guys whenever you see them try to self-fund.

Zachdidit
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Zachdidit

I’m 30 and have been playing MMO’s since the days of Ultima. I’ve experienced a wealth of both PVE and PVP in games and I can say I’d flat out choose a PVP environment over a PVE any day of the week. Before I get into it, I want to say that i think Funcom’s switcheroo was hamfisted and those players have a right to be upset.

We can go ahead and check off the list that I’m a male and pretty competitive at heart, but another thing to note is that PVE content in games hasn’t really changed much in the past 10 years. There’s only so many variations of kill 10 rats, grind mindless mobs, or dance around the boss while spamming my rotation that I can do sanely.

I think it’s on the developers to make more varied cooperative content and start thinking out the box again. Because as it stands now, I’d much rather run a campaign of something like Divinity Original Sin 2 with three buddies than grind our way endlessly in an MMO.

veldara
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veldara

I get what you’re saying and it’s one of the reasons why modern MMOs now are using action style play than the tab-targeting controls. This way of play offers a much better way to immerse players and really get them to challenge their skills and reflexes than, like you said being static and going through a rotation.

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Neiloch

Problem is they keep using that action combat in PvP formats. Action combat PvE for online games is a few and far between. I LOVED BDO combat but the bait and switch from PvE to PvP at 50 had me do a 180 on my heels out of there. NWO and Skyforge have a kind of hybrid action combat but the cash shop extravaganza is depressing.

All i’ve been able to play reliably is Warframe which is straight up third-person action and mostly ‘co-op’ focused. I give them money just to show solidarity, I don’t even really want most the things I buy.

A more open world, high-fantasy, PvE ‘Warframe’ would get so much of my money. In the mean time Warframe itself and FF14 get my money.

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Sorrior Draconus

Which really does suck for those of us who prefer pve/less competitive more cooperative experiences. But sadly even formerly single player franchises keep having online/pvp tacks on(i love mmos but mmos and mmo lites like warframe are some of the few games i enjoy online..also i wish more online co op buut i just see so much pvp)

luxundae
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luxundae

Funcom makes good games, but they’ve never met a foot they didn’t want to shoot. Must be running out of feet these days…

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Kepha Naia

I am in shock that ‘Funcom Community Players’ still get surprised by this type of action. Was it not Funcom who decided to “re-launch” The Secret World as Secret World Legends claiming it was a complete new game with a new fighting mechanic!? Except the game is still the same even if they have changed the order on how you get through the story and removed content available in the old version – future ‘new’ content. And the new fighting mechanic – horrible! – could have been introduced in the old The Secret World as a Revamp, word used whenever a game is doing a significant mechanical change to a game. By doing this way, Funcom gave the bird to their player base and indirectly forced them to populate a new server, with possible new players, where you would have to invest new money for things you would have already in the previous version, not counting the many hours to unlock your Abilities Wheel and gearing up.
Lets now speak about Age of Conan, the much older brother of Conan Exiles that is still running. DID YOU KNOW THAT FUNCOM STOPPED PROVIDING NEW CONTENT? No? That is because they never officially announced in 2016 (I think). The only way players found out was because of their Financial problems and avoided bankruptcy. The Finance Report which is public for everyone to see revealed what was indeed planned to happen. This report came as a bomb to players like me, Premium for the next 1.5years, every single day grouping, participating in Raids and Raid Leading. What would be the point to look for progress when you know it is over now? You just look for something new, fresh.
.. For years we were being promised revamps to happen, from Group and Guild PvP to Crafting. The latter was one subject discussed very often and mentioned a few times by the Community Manager through his Newsletter update (haha they are doing again in Conan Exiles) and what was being done by the Devs Team.
Try and guess where all those promises went. Yes, to Conan Exiles. Funcom did not had money for Age of Conan and the other old titles but found a way to “renew” two of their own games at the cost of the player base, while they already had the sketch for the new titles.
They were however very smart as with this business plan came attached some final content that required a lot of farming hours and consistent logins. Age of Conan had introduced the World Boss Event every first week of every month, for a year time cycle, so you could get legendary equipment, plus Raid Finder every day on every week, to get legendary equipment, etc; The Secret World had Issues (stories) added, for higher Purple Equipment.

So my question as someone who played Age of Conan since 2009 and the Secret World since closed beta to all of you is, how surprised are you today?

I am happy that I now have a new title to look for, called Ashes of Creation by Intrepid Studios – thank you Steven!

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NeoWolf

They tweeted earlier they were bringing the PVe conflict servers back..so the moaners have nothing to moan about today :P

ultorius
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ultorius

could be worse. The launcher could upgrade your conan exiles to secret world legends without warning