The Current State of Conan Exiles
Conan Exiles came out of the gate swinging at the end of January this year. It had quite a bit of competition across the gaming industry but made headlines and impressions nevertheless. The survival market is still an active consumer, and it was easy to see the pure potential that Conan Exiles was bringing to the table.
Funcom recouped its development costs in a few short weeks, netting $1 million dollars of that within the first hour. While the high-quality marketing trailers and first-of-its-kind dong slider surely had a lot to do with these numbers, the promise of a free building and harsh survival world drew in plenty of doe-eyed and hopeful PC gamers.
Unfortunately -- as with many Early Access titles -- the $30 Conan Exiles had its fair share of issues on release. Lag spikes, several easy exploits, unbalanced God summoning and an eerie resemblance to its prehistoric predecessor, Ark, quickly tanked its ratings across the web. The developers have been thankfully very active, and a couple months have made some difference.
Since the initial release, several new items, weapons, and thralls have been introduced, exploits fixed and combat improved. Most recently -- and long awaited for players on official servers -- the Ruin system will begin erasing unused structures. The decay can be turned off on private servers but will keep clutter build up on Funcom's official servers.
Weapon damage has been re-hauled and scaled to tier, making the resource commitment worth the final product. While Funcom is under some heat for releasing a patch that broke portions of the game right before the weekend, the new dye system seems to be working as planned.
The real beast, or the reason many have given up on the game until further notice, still requires attention. The game is arguably unplayable as a PvPer, with some serious performance and exploit issues that need to be addressed. The lag issues seem completely arbitrary, sometimes only enough to allow a hyena pack gnaw a lonely adventurer to pieces, other times sling-shotting the player completely underneath the terrain.
Funcom is also executing an "Exploit Hunters Program" to help spot and eradicate their cheater infestation. This combined with a regular patch schedule should help eventually curb the official server epidemic.
A mount system, siege machines, sorcery and end game NPC armies are still slated for 2017. With a commitment from Funcom to put $5-10 million into the fledgling survival RPG before the end of the year, it's likely we'll see these additions and some significant optimization.
As with the rest of the game's features, Funcom has dreamed up some really interesting additions. For instance, one of the siege machines will be corpse launcher that allows players to rot bodies and launch them at enemies' bases to spread corruption. Another highly anticipated content patch will be an end-game mode or "The Purge." The game will start spawning masses of NPC armies on the border of the map. Players will have to prepare for all out war, and possibly capture the most powerful NPCs for their own base.
2018 will see Conan Exiles ports on PS4 and XBONE.