GregoPeck gives this a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
GregoPeck gives this a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
This winter, I played Conan Exiles. However, I neglected to write a post about it, so here it is (assuming I can remember it well enough).

I first noticed Conan Exiles on YouTube. There were a few channels that I follow that had game play of it. I began to watch the first video in a series, but didn’t finish the video. Something about it just didn’t look appealing. It was pretty much the UI. So initially, the game didn’t look like something I’d be interested in, so I ignored it for a while.

I did notice some of my friends on Steam were playing it. I eventually decided to watch the series posted by Sl1pg8r that I had started. I ended up watching the whole series and yet I still was unsure about whether or not I really wanted to get the game. I think part of that (or maybe most of that) was because I didn’t feel like paying full price ($60) for a game. So, I put it on my wish lists and waited. Eventually, I found it for about half price (on Humble Bundle, I think), so I decided to get it. I don’t regret doing that and am glad I saved some money.

Just from the sound of it, Conan Exiles actually sounds like a game I would be into. It contains crafting, building (a base), fighting, survival, boss fights, tiered gear (weapons, armor, and tools) taming (or slavery in this game), and boss fights. It sounds similar to the Minecraft, Terraria, and Ark: Survival Evolved formula that I’ve come to love and desperately want more of. In hindsight, I think it actually fits well alongside those games.

The game can be played in single player mode or online with friends on a server. I played single player mode, as is my norm. The single player game is a little more difficult, but not impossible. There are levels of difficulty you can choose. If you select the easiest one, you will not drop all items when you die. However, if you select a more difficult one you will, although you can actually edit a config file and toggle the drop all items upon death penalty.

There are a few different races you can pick. There are also a variety of religions, I think they each have their own bonuses or characteristics. You’ll spawn in the desert at the beginning, naked (if you selected that option) or mostly naked with nothing. Conan comes to take you off the cross/stake you’re hanging on and then leaves. From here you want to gather some resources like stones, sticks of wood, and twine (or fiber). You will use these to craft your first equipment (outfit/armor, weapons, and especially tools). You’ll find your way out of the desert easily enough and reach an area that some players call “Sanctuary.” There’s a river here, but there are also monsters, people, and animals (like crocodiles).

From there, you’ll want to find a good spot to call home. You’ll want to craft your first straw bed (or mattress) to set a (temporary, I think) respawn point, otherwise you’ll respawn in the desert where you started. Then, you’ll want to use the tools you’ve made to mine and harvest more materials so that you can get started on your first base. Once that’s done, you’ll have shelter and be safe during sand storms.

As I mentioned there are some “monsters” around. There are some that look kind of like humans or zombies, they’re not incredibly dangerous, but if one spots you, it will attack you. You may also run into some people, but these people are not your friend. There are a variety of people all over the map that, again, are not friendly. This, however, is where the taming (slavery) aspect comes in to play. You can actually knock them out and drag them to a Wheel of Pain, which will break their will and bend them towards yours. Once they’re “tamed” (enslaved) they become thralls and each has a specialty. For instance, some are Armorers, which can be added into a slot in your armor workstation and boost production or quality of armor. There are others and they come in different levels. Level 4 thralls are the highest and they are named. These are the ones you really want, but they are the most difficult to get and find.

Depending on some game options, or level of difficulty, you’ll eventually have to fend off hordes of thralls or creatures attacking your base. I played on the easiest level of difficulty and had this feature turned off, so I can’t speak much of it from personal experience. This event is apparently one of the most common ways to find those named level 4 thralls. You can also spawn them in if you use the command console.

Your armor, weapons, tools, and workstations can be upgraded over time. Well, “upgraded” is the wrong term to use, more like “replaced with something made of better material.” It’s kind of like in Minecraft, Terraria, and Ark where you start out with wood and make your way to iron (although that’s not specifically what happens in Conan Exiles, it’s just a game play example). As you progress, you’ll find different materials and be able to use them to craft better things.

There is also experience and levels. You also have traits you can unlock (similar to Ark’s engram system). However, you won’t have enough points to unlock everything, so it’s helpful to have others around who’ve learned different abilities. However, you can make a potion to reset these attributes.

There are a variety of points on the map you can discover. There is an achievement for discovering all of these, which I have completed, although this task is kind of difficult even with a map because there are (or were at the time) some bugs. However, there is at least one mod that remedies this and a command you can use to teleport to any of these areas. You can find different materials in different areas along with different creatures. Some places you may revisit, while others you may never visit or go back to. You’ll discover many of these just within your regular game play. There are a few different zones that are basically different biomes, such as the jungle, frozen area, volcano, and deep desert. These also contain different things like resources and creatures.

Since I mentioned a bug, it’s a good time to bring that topic into this discussion. There are (or were when I played) some bugs in the game (and I don’t mean the large ones that you can kill lol). There are, however, some ways around these bugs. Development of the game seems to be on-going (at least the last time I checked) and you can report bugs or find them via Google, usually on the forums. As I said, there’s also at least one mod that remedies a bug, but you might run into more and you can of course report them. I had an achievement I was trying to get where it says to “cripple an enemy.” I read that one way of giving this debuff was by shooting them in the legs, so I did and the enemies I shot were crippled. However, this is not the way the game wants you to accomplish this. It requires you use a power attack (instead of regular attack) with a certain weapon (sword, I think). Power attacks use more stamina, but they can add debuffs to your enemies.

As I mentioned development, there are actually two versions of the game that you can (or do) get. One of them is called a “testlive client” in which the developers will add features or fix bugs and those that wish to test that fresh build of the game can do so. Otherwise, you’d have to wait until something is done with their testing phase for it to make it into the base game. This might be something some people are interested in as new features (and possibly bugs) come as soon as the developers have created something. They can report on bugs or give feedback to the developers, who will eventually publish these new things to the base game. Different games have something similar to this, but usually you have to subscribe to the beta.

A quick note, I did like the music in the game. Now, there are bosses and they can be difficult to tackle alone, but they’re not impossible. They can give you new things. One boss grants you the ability to learn how to craft the armor it was wearing, for example. There are also kind of mini bosses in the world that are more difficult than their regular counterparts. There’s a white tiger, an elephant, a rhino, a giant spider, a giant snake and more. If you defeat these, they will drop a key. You then use this key to open up certain treasure chests in the world, which will give you a random Legendary level weapon (I’m not sure if they give tools an armor, I don’t think so). If you want to collect them all, you can wait for the creature to respawn, defeat it again, get another key, and open the chest again (after it kind of respawns). It is slightly annoying that what you get is random. I liked using one-handed swords, so I was looking for the Legendary one. I think I eventually got it (and the shield), but before that I got duplicates of everything else. This is a challenge to complete, but it’s quite satisfying when you figure out the right strategy to defeat the mini boss. One actually spawned in with a duplicate of itself (a bug). However, I was able to beat them both by circling around the area and attacking them while they were slightly above me. For the white tiger, I learned (other than having good armor and a good weapon) to block, attack, block, attack, and repeat that until it was dead. That thing is quick!

There are resources spread out all over the map, so it is wise to have multiple bases. Maybe you want to collect some yellow flowers for a potion, you’ll want a base closer to them. Or maybe you’ll looking for a level 3 or 4 thrall, you’ll want to make a base closer to them and wipe them out until you find what you’re looking for or wait for them to respawn if you don’t (they respawn rather quickly). There are some dungeons, not too huge, which contain different enemies (like skeletons) and bosses.

I think that pretty much covers it (from my memory). I think it’s a good game and I enjoyed playing it even though I stumbled upon a few bugs. If you don’t want to pay full price for it, then put it on a wishlist and wait for it to go on sale, so you can get a better deal. Is it worth full price? Yeah, I guess so. I don’t think I would have regretted paying full price and I easily could have, I just didn’t feel like it.

Oh, I’d also like to mention that there are some tricky areas, like the frozen area and volcano. I’s really hot in the volcano, so you have to make sure you’re wearing the right kind of armor to keep from overheating. There’s a set you can also wear to reduce the amount of stamina you use while climbing (yes, this is similar to Breath of the Wild). There’s also an area where it’s freezing and, again, you’ll want to wear appropriate armor. There are a few areas of water you can get into. One of which is a great place for finding gold.

Also, I’d like to mention some of the higher tier resources. One of them is very difficult to get, because you have to wait for meteors to fall in the frozen biome. You then have to use explosives (or lots of fire) to break open the shell to reveal the material you need to mine. There are also a couple of forges in the frozen and volcano biomes you’ll need to visit if you want to craft certain pieces of gear. Obviously, again, you’ll want to go prepared to survive the temperature and creatures within.

Oh! There’s a new game called Conan Unconquered. I don’t know much about it, but it seems to be a strategy game that’s kind of (like or basically) a tower defense game where you have to defend your base from hordes of creatures. I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll get into, but if I do, perhaps I’ll let you know eventually.

Anyway, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask or share them in the comments section below.

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