My wife and I recently returned to Conan exiles to check out the Isle of Siptah DLC now that it is fully released. We decided to start from the ground up to see what a new player’s experience is like on the new map. While we are enjoying the experience, it isn’t without issues.
The Isle of Siptah map is designed well for new players. After making my character, I spawned in one of the two less dangerous locations offered out of the four starting options. Around me were multiple shipwrecks and the bodies of the crew strewn along the beach. I could see a large ruined wall stretching into the distance. It provided a great visual that sets the tone of the island. As I began to build my base, the magical storm would appear in the sky occasionally, reminding me that there was something more to explore toward the center of the map.
Between the debris and bodies, I quickly gathered crafting resources. By scavenging the beach a new player has everything they need for tools and building a flotsam base, one of the two new building sets.
The initial starting area is a great experience. With a bit of exploration, I could easily find pockets of other resources tucked along rocky walls. One thing that players will need to be aware of is that the starting area is very compact. Wander too far in one direction or another without the right equipment, and you will die to undead enemies or something worse.
Base building is nice and snappy. I am not a big fan of the flotsam set, but it fits well with the theme of having been shipwrecked on the isle. I noticed that the grass still pops up through the foundation pieces. When placing walls and roof tiles, it can be finicky to get them right where you want each one. Thankfully with the various options to adjust a building piece, they can eventually fit into just the right place.
The combat is still decent in Conan Exiles. It won’t win any awards, but the sword swings are satisfying. Of course, being in the Conan universe dismembering your enemies add something extra as well. My main complaint is as your character swings a weapon repeatedly, they step forward with each swing. I tend to overshoot my target quickly because of this and am reorientating my character during combat constantly.
One of the first new features I enjoyed with the Isle of Siptah DLC was when I went hunting for my first set of thralls. Not far from our first encampment, I located an NPC encampment and managed to knock out a cook to drag back. While there, I encounter my first Taskmaster. It was a tough fight, but along with the other items, he dropped a key. I use it and unlock one of the two cages in the camp with an imprisoned thrall inside it. Doing so gave me a thrall that I didn’t need to break on the wheel.
Game/server performance was good for the most part. Playing in single-player and co-op, I did notice a bit of ground slide for my character and the enemies. This issue mainly occurred when coming to a stop after making a short step or walking forward. While this issue was still present on our dedicated private server, it was much less frequent.
I also found mob pop-in was a problem in single-player and co-op. At times I was able to walk into areas unchallenged and then had everything spawn behind me. On a dedicated server, again, this was not nearly as much of an issue.
The game’s UI is pretty snappy, and switching between menus is quick. I noticed that when purchasing feats, it sometimes wouldn’t immediately register in the UI. The feat was added but didn’t show as purchased until I change the UI menu screen or bought another feat.
Crafting is robust and works well for the most part. I would have liked to see a way of searching by armor type (light/medium/heavy) rather than clicking on each style or search by typing a word. The only minor crafting bug I ran into so far is when I clicked to start crafting. Sometimes it will instantly complete using all the materials in the station. So not a bad thing, just odd. The first time it happened, I thought all the materials I had collected just vanished.
There were a few other technical issues. My wife and I both got stuck on the rare piece of terrain and experienced some rubber banding when this happened. It was mainly an inconvenience since you could back up and go around those small areas. NPC pathing for thralls is also still an issue. They tend to get stuck on terrain and other objects frequently.
I also had the game completely freeze on me twice. I had to go into the task manager to shut the game down and restart. Both crashes left my character running forward in-game, which quickly got me killed. When I logged back on, it was to be greeted by a corpse run.
While there are several bugs and the rare game crash, we played for hours at a time with only minor issues interrupting our fun. Unfortunately, these issues feel like they should have been patched during early access.
As a returning player to Conan Exiles, the Isle of Siptah DLC gives a decent first impression. The initial starting area is a great experience so long as a player keeps in mind that it's compact and that the more challenging enemies are just around the corner. Starting resources are easy to find, and the environment feels more mysterious/mystical out of the gate when compared to the original map. I am looking forward to diving into the Isle of Siptah DLC’s high-end content next to see if more bugs continue to appear or/and if the experience improves.