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.
“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.