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    • Good morning swarthy soul pods and happy Valentine’s Day! Please note: This is not the blog post with a list of launch features. That’s to come later this week. We have finished the Gold Build! It has been sent off to Microsoft and Sony for the first leg of the submission process. This is essentially the same as the certification process we had to go through when patching Xbox: Microsoft and Sony will check our submitted build to make sure it follows their set requirements and standards. Stability, branding, GUI consistency and responsiveness (among others) have certain requirements that we need to hit. This is to ensure that the experience is consistent across games. The build might get rejected, but if it does we’ll get a list of everything we need to fix and then we’ll resubmit as quickly as we can.  To reduce risks and ensure we find all critical bugs, our external QA partner, Testronic, has switched to double shifts and doubled their number of testers, giving us QA coverage 16 hours per day, 7 days a week. Over in combat land we did another playtest on Friday. The American Funcom office in Durham, North Carolina, got to check out the combat and content revamp, providing us with some great feedback. A lot of issues were reported for GUI and control, especially related to gamepad support. As a direct consequence we’re assembling an internal strike team to remedy as many of these issues as possible for launch. We’re doing another round of playtesting very soon. This time around we’ll be bringing in an external focus group to give the game a spin. It will consist of both experienced and inexperienced Conan Exiles players, so we can see how they respond to the game. After this we’ll do whatever changes we need to do based on their feedback. Once all that’s over with we’ll move the whole thing to Testlive to get critical feedback from the community. We expect this to happen before March. Due to the Gold submission taking time and priority we know we are sliding a bit from our previously stated deadline (mid-February), but we think it will be worth the wait. This will only make the game better. In the version coming to Testlive you’ll be getting all the new combat changes and the content revamp, which changes the placement of NPCs, creatures and resources on the map to improve progression. You will also get the new Perks system. The Jungle/Swamp biome or the Volcano is not included in this build. If you travel to these areas, you’ll only see a flat texture. We’re keeping them back so we can do additional rebalancing and updates before rolling them out for launch. WHAT THE TEAMS HAVE BEEN WORKING ON IN THE PAST WEEK:
      Every Friday, the development team meets up to highlight and talk about what they’ve been working on recently: New content and features, bugs that have been fixed, and things to come down the pipeline. To not make this newsletter overly long we’re only sticking to the highlights. Even if something isn’t explicitly mentioned things are still being worked on “behind the scenes”, and we’ll mention these when they’re relevant. MONSTER HUNTERS
      We have a new team, Monster Hunters, made up of a designer and three creature animators. They’re the people in charge of the creature revamp we mentioned last week. Monsters and animals need to be updated to fit in with the new combat system, so we’re giving them new attack animations with a greater focus on telegraphs and anticipation time in order to make creature combat more tactical. PvE is just as important as PvP in Exiles and we want the new combat system to feel good when fighting both creatures and humans. Their work has already started. They’ve been laying the ground work for what needs to be done the coming weeks. Maybe you’ll see some gifs in the next couple of newsletters? TERRAFORMERS
      The big thing coming out of the Terraformers team this week are changes to how you unlock weapons and armor in the game. Essentially, we’re redoing everything to put the different kinds of armors and weapons on more of an equal footing. In the old system you’d unlock new types of weapons, armor and clothing as you leveled up. You started with very low-end stone weapons and light armor, incrementally moving onto slightly better and better stuff as you leveled up. We’d condition you to think that the final weapon and armor unlocked would usually be the best. This is what all players would use when reaching the level cap. A lot of it had to be unlocked separately too! Unlocking weapons and armors still happens when leveling up, but we’re trying to create a better balance between the different things you unlock. We’ll break it down to armors first, then weapons. When you reach level 10 you can unlock the “Armorer” Feat. This gives you the recipes for basic Light, Medium and Heavy Armor. The only thing stopping you from making these armors immediately is your access to resources. If you want to just use those three sets you can spend your Feat Points on other things and never look at another armor set again. After unlocking Armorer, you also have the option to unlock additional armor archetypes every 10 levels. They give you access to new sets or armors, from light to heavy. These are based on the different Hyborean cultures and are just as viable as the basic armors. We’re balancing the different armor types by giving you buffs to different things based on which armor you’re wearing. But wait, there’s more! Once you reach level 60 you can unlock Epic Armors. The Epic Armors feat lets you craft Perfected Lining and improved versions of the basic armors. If you have additional Feat Points left you can unlock Epic versions of any culture armors (without needing to unlock the original), to craft a more powerful set. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to unlock all armors, so spend your points wisely. Certain faction and special armors will be locked behind a thrall or a recipe found out in the world. Armorer thralls will also be able to make Exceptional and Flawless versions of their cultural armors. We’re doing similar Feat groupings for weapons and removing a lot of the prerequisites needed to unlock things. Melee weapons are grouped into three basic categories: Warrior, Bruiser and Skirmisher. Warrior unlocks the Stone Sword and Club, and is required if you want to make swords, axes, clubs and maces. The Bruiser Feat is for heavy weapons, unlocking the Stone Maul, Stone Pike and Two-Handed Stone Sword, and further iterations down the line. If you have your eyes on a Steel Hammer you’ll need this first. Skirmisher is the basis for making daggers, javelins and throwing axes, letting you unlock the Stone Daggers and Stone Throwing Axe at first. Once any of these Feats are unlocked you can get the recipe for any weapon in their specific subcategory. You just need to meet the level and Feat requirements. Here’s an example: At level 16 you can unlock the Stygian Khopesh if you have the Warrior, Blacksmith and Journeyman Craftsman Feats. There’s no need to unlock any swords. If you then want to craft an Iron War Axe at level 28 you just unlock the recipe, without needing to have unlocked any axes previously. Then, there are the Legendary Weapons. These can be found in specific chests hidden away around the map. Bosses will drop keys that you then use to unlock the chests. Legendary Weapons are broken when you find them, requiring you to use a Repair Kit. Once it’s been repaired you can use it to your heart’s content. Finally, we’re making it easier to unlock recipes by giving players more Knowledge Points and combining several Feats into one. You still won’t be able to unlock everything (unless you cheat), but you should be able to unlock about 50% of all recipes. BERSERKERS
      More combat updates coming in from the Berserkers team! This is also a perfect time to clear up some stuff after last week’s newsletter. As mentioned last week, we’re forcing a third person perspective whenever you climb or equip a weapon in Conan Exiles. This includes bows. You’ll be allowed to harvest, build and craft. The weapon trails you saw in the stream can be turned off, if you choose, but we advise keeping them on just to be safe. It’s our main source of communicating attack information to players. They’re getting a visual pass, meaning we’re re-examining how they look in order to change them. Our art director is working on concepting trail styles that look different for the various status effects. It won’t just be a color change. With these visual changes we can tone down the saturation and presence of the trails without losing the ability to communicate the difference between attacks. We’re also looking at how the camera moves and behaves during combat, both when locking on and aiming freely. This was also something we got feedback on from the community. Speaking of bows, they’ve gotten some changes this past week. The Berserkers team has taken steps to make them feel more responsive when playing. Shots have a higher apex than previously, resulting in a somewhat greater shot distance than before. Arrows are shot in the same direction every time, regardless of distance to target. This is to force players into becoming more skillful with the bow. The intention is for arrows shot while using target lock to hit the torso, not heads or legs. If you want to do headshots or crippling shots you would need to aim manually. We’ve also been working on improving client/server stability to make sure bows fire properly and hit their targets. Another piece of feedback we saw after the combat stream was on the Attributes system. Some players felt that bows weren’t being prioritized to the same level as melee weapons and we want to take a moment to address this. The main focus of the game has always been melee combat. Bows were intended to be included, but we knew that players would need to go in for a melee attack sooner or later. Enemies will usually come directly at you. However, with a decent bow at your side and a high Accuracy stat you can do a significant amount of damage before something reaches melee range. You can pull enemies and kite them from far away, doing decent damage along the way, but you should always carry a melee weapon with you, just in case. FINAL WRAP UP
      Keep in mind that a lot of the changes and updates we’re mentioning in these newsletters still haven’t made their way to the live game just yet. So far, they’re only in our internal builds. We’ve also done changes to things like client/server stability, how we collect crash reports and updated the game code. To put it visually, this is how our builds are laid out: Live (2.5 month old code) Testlive (Newer code) Internal dev (Internal Stable) Internal dev (Internal Unstable) On top is the Live build, which is what the community is playing. Underneath that is Testlive, where we roll out updates and patches for additional testing before moving them to Live. Then there are the Internal Dev Stable and Unstable branches. The further down you go the newer the code and build. Internal Unstable is what we’re currently developing in and we move builds from Unstable to Stable when content has been locked in. Then we start optimizing and stabilizing that build to then move it to live.  This isn’t a 100% correct representation, there are some details we’re living out, but we wanted to give a brief peek behind the curtain to see our process. Lots to take a bite out of in this week’s newsletter, so we hope you enjoyed it. The blog post with all the launch features is still set to come out this week, separate from this newsletter! We’re streaming again on Friday and we will be taking some time out of the stream to talk about our launch features. The main part of the stream is a mod creator highlight, where we’ll be talking to Joshtech, the man behind the very popular Pippi Mod. We hope you’ll join us on Twitch.tv/funcom at 5pm CET on Friday. Sincerely, Funcom https://www.conanexiles.com/blog/weekly-community-newsletter-armor-weapon-revamps/
    • Good afternoon, great and shimmying heartbubbles! We’re still crunching and working overtime in order to get everything submitted for the Gold Build deadline. It’s just a couple of days away! Bugs are being fixed, gameplay is being tweaked and content is being added on an almost constant basis. As mentioned in previous newsletters, the Gold Build is what’s making it onto the discs you can buy in stores. Just because we’re submitting a Gold Build does not mean our work is done once we’ve submitted. We still need to patch Update 32 to Xbox, which we hope to do in March at the earliest, and we will also patch the new combat system to Testlive, aiming for mid-February. On launch-day there will be a patch including the Jungle, Volcano, additional features and plenty of bug fixes. If you’re interested in seeing all the changes we’ve been doing to combat you need look no further than our YouTube channel. We did a livestream on Twitch where we talked about how we’re revamping combat and what players can expect from the new system. We hope you like it. WHAT THE TEAMS HAVE BEEN WORKING ON IN THE PAST WEEK:
      Every Friday, the development team meets up to highlight and talk about what they’ve been working on recently: New content and features, bugs that have been fixed, and things to come down the pipeline. To not make this newsletter overly long we’re only sticking to the highlights. Even if something isn’t explicitly mentioned things are still being worked on “behind the scenes”, and we’ll mention these when they’re relevant. VANGUARD
      The Vanguard are busy fixing bugs and doing general gameplay improvements to the game. Our systems designer is working on making the sandstorm do damage to players, which is a key feature of the game. Other fixes include making sure death, respawning and the death markers work as intended and taking care of various lag spikes. Improvements include things like making sure NPC weapons don’t “hang” in the air after a server restart. There was also a problem with arrows getting stuck in the air if there was a collision problem between the shield and arrow models. Finally, if you’ve gotten shot by multiple arrows you might end up looking like a pin cushion because arrows will be stuck in your character. We’ve now made it so that rolling around will break the arrows. If you primarily play the game in single-player mode this next section is useful for you. We’re adding a change to make it so you don’t automatically have admin rights when starting a single-player game. This is to encourage players to play the game as designed. Getting admin rights is very quick and easy, though: you just click a button and you have the power of a server admin. ART
      Our artists have been knee-deep in playtesting this past week. Now that we’re approaching one of our development milestones we’re trying to get in as much internal playtesting as possible to root out additional bugs and other things that needs fixes. It’s also good for the artists to see how their creations play out in the game. They can see how it impacts performance, how it moves and changes depending on various situations, and then do the whatever changes are necessary. The 3D artists, who are the people creating item models, are getting some character artist training down the line so they can help out with making creatures and clothing and armors. The end goal is to ease the load on our character artist and have more people capable of transitioning between different artist roles. Over on the animation side, there’s a creature revamp in the works. The new combat paradigm isn’t just meant for PvP, but PvE as well. As such we need to adapt our monsters and animals as well. We’re adding in new attack animations, with a greater focus on telegraphs and anticipation time in order to make creature combat more tactical. Another part of the creature revamp is making animals and monsters feel more realistic. They’re getting more emotes and idle animations that will play out as they go about their business in the Exiled Lands. Expect to see hyenas munching on deer carcasses, while feline creatures and Shalebacks might lie down for a nice rest. While it might seem like a minor update it adds more realism and makes the game world feel more alive than previously. If you joined us for our combat stream on Friday you may have noticed the updated HUD. We experimented with over 4 major and 20 minor HUD variations (insert your weed joke of choice here) when designing the new HUD. What would be the best way for us to convey information at a glance? Revamp the circles? Replace them? With what? Bars? A radial menu? Or do we design something that looks like the bracelet the Exiles wear around their wrists? Finally, we ended up with something that combines the lot. Another part of the HUD is the Journey GUI. You’ve seen this before if you’ve ever hit the J key. The Journey GUI is made to teach the player the game’s mechanics and push them to explore and figure things out. Now we’re making the Journey GUI stand out a bit more. Players are given a list of three tasks that will be switched out automatically whenever you finish a task. This way we’ll be able to give players a more directed game experience. BERSERKERS
      The Berserkers team has been planning out the workload for the remaining combat fixes before everything goes to Testlive. We’ve also gotten a ton of feedback from the community after the stream. Thank you to everyone who reached out. Although we might not be able to respond to everything we do read what you have to say. This week we’re also doing a playtest over in the US office to get some fresh eyes on the combat changes. Everyone over in Durham, NC, are usually working on Secret World Legends, but will help us out with playtests and feedback if needed. We do the same for them, obviously. Then we’ll address the critical feedback, then we roll out on Testlive. One of the things remaining on the combat roadmap is deciding what to do about first person. When the new combat rolls we’re forcing you to switch to third person when you equip a weapon. This is because we’re intending for Conan Exiles to be played in the third person perspective with the new combat system. Having said that it will be possible to do pretty much everything else (harvesting, building, crafting, exploring) in the first-person perspective. We know a lot of players prefer first person and we want to accommodate them as much as we can. FINAL WRAP UP
      There will be no Conan Exiles stream this week, but we’re working on our plans for a stream next week that we think you’ll like. We’ll also working on a list of features that will be available to players at launch. While we did plan to have it ready to go out this week it looks like we’ll need to shift it back to next week instead. We need to get it translated into all languages supported in the game and translation work takes time. Sincerely, Funcom https://www.conanexiles.com/blog/weekly-community-newsletter-funny-quippy-title/
    • Hello Northgardians! Today, we’re incredibly proud to introduce you to the first part of our Campaign mode! 
      CAMPAIGN MODE - RIG’S SAGA The first five chapters of Rig’s Saga are now available for you to test! As for the servers, you have the possibility to fill out a form, giving you access to a “campaign-beta” version of Northgard. This BETA will grant you access to the first Act of our campaign! You’ll be following Rig, son of the Vikings’ High King. The High King is murdered and his REGAL HORN is stolen by a man named HAGEN.This event kickstarts a saga that will take RIG and his right-hand man BRAND through the new continent of NORTHGARD, where he will make new friends and foes and discover a much greater threat than HAGEN, and the reasons behind his father’s assassination. Check out our Campaign Teaser:   You can now fill out this form, and at the end of it, you’ll get the code to access the BETA! At the end of the form, you will get a campaign-beta code, that will allow you to test the beginning of our Campaign
      Once you get your code:
      1- Right click on Northgard on your Steam library
      2- Click on Properties
      3- Open the BETA tab
      4- Enter the code you received and choose "campaign-beta" in the drop-down menu
      5- Wait for the Download of the update (you may have to restart Steam)
      6- Start Northgard and enjoy the Bgining of Rig's Journey :-) Any trouble, just follow our "How To" video!
      hey guys! If you have problem joining our Campaign BETA, just follow the instructions Have fun!
      Disclaimer: for now, the campaign is only available in English, but do not worry, it will be translated in many more languages :-)
      DEDICATED SERVERS The dedicated servers are now officially launched (they are now available on the "default" and the "campaign-beta" version)! The Beta we launched two weeks ago allowed us to identify and fix the large majority of bugs that were reported! This is all thanks to you! We had more than 4 000 participants to this BETA
      => As always, you’re the best ;-) Disclaimer: We currently have 8 servers at our disposition, each of them can host a few dozen Northgard games at the same time (more or less depending on the number of players in those games). 
      As we carefully monitor the servers activity, we’ll be able to add more servers in case we are going under capacity. If the servers become too crowded despite that, you’ll automatically switch to the original host system as a backup!
      UPDATE CHANGELOG As always, we’re always trying to make the game better for you, and we changed a few things in this update too! This is available on the default version of the game!
      Townhalls now harbor 6 villagers, increasing the maximum population when starting a game by 1.
      Happiness is now display with different colors and texts if you’re over or under 3 .
      When going for Trade Victory, you’ll get the amount of Commercial Influence displayed in your resource bar .
      When trading with other player/AI, information about this whos is trading what with whom is now displayed next to their name.
      When one of your ally is attacked, the Warning pop-up will now display “Your ally is under attack”.
      When a Raven Clan launches a mercenary raid, every player having scouted the targeted area will now be warned of the launch of this raid.
      We added Polish language translation (not for the campaign). Other languages will come for the official release. As always, thank you so much for your support, you’ve been the best community we could ask for! We trully hope you’ll enjoy playing Rig’s Saga as much as we loved imagining it! http://steamcommunity.com/games/466560/announcements/detail/1673519471570984437
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