Conan Exiles: Isle of Siptah preview - Enthralled by thralls

Conan Exiles' first expansion continues to improve with update 2.4.


Conan Exiles offered a different take on the survival game genre when it launched back in 2018, though failed to experience monstrous success due to a variety of factors. First, the game was not easy to pick up and play for total newcomers. While it was full of cool systems and mechanics, discovering and using them was not as intuitive as it could have been. Second, some players preferred the PvP experience over the PvE experience, leading to a community split. Finally, many gamers simply confused the game with Funcom’s Conan MMO. 

The development team continued to work on the game and granted access to a new expansion, dubbed Isle of Siptah, last fall. While it offered a new map to explore, the expansion’s design pushed heavily in the direction of PvP and made some of the mechanics that were prevalent on the original map tough to work with. As with the original release, work continued on Isle of Siptah and we now sit on the eve of Update 2.4. This release brings countless improvements, adjustments, new armor, weapons, building items, and more. I got a guided tour from some nice folks at Funcom that walked me through some of the coolest new content on deck for Update 2.4.

Island hopping

The most noticeable alteration to Isle of Siptah is the expansion of playable areas. The map is now larger than it was last fall and includes a trio of new biomes to inject some flavor into the environments. The Ashlands, Floodlands, and Savannah biomes play host to new NPC camps, wildlife, and vaults. Speaking of NPC camps, Update 2.4 overhauls Siptah to include as many as forty new camps or points of interest, allowing players to interact and loot across a landscape that was nearly barren of content in prior builds.

As you move through these new NPC camps murdering people and stealing their excess Glowing Essence, you’re likely to encounter one of the two new factions: Stygian Mercenaries, Black Corsairs, and The Accursed. Like other factions in the game, these bring along their own distinct armor and weapon variants, offering more to collect and craft for players who spec heavily into Armorer or Archery Knowledge Points.

Another big change ends the days of hiding from conflict in water. Players can now equip and use certain weapons while swimming. LARPing as a pirate is now possible as you can chase people off of docked ships and lunge at them underwater with your one-handed weapons. On-ground combat also gets some new wrinkles with running attacks being integrated into the combat system. 

Folks that played Isle of Siptah early on undoubtedly ran into issues acquiring thralls (Conan Exiles’ term for enslaved NPCs). With the lack of NPC camps and thralls only appearing during Surges, assembling a mini-army of laborers for your camp was an incredibly tedious affair. Update 2.4 tips the scales back towards a balance of fun and challenging. You can now rescue thralls from NPC camps (maybe they’ll be happier working for you instead?) and Purges are now possible on Siptah, providing an additional source of labor.

The fun wouldn’t be complete without a new religion to go along with the established followers of Crom or the cannibal gods. In Update 2.4, The Cult of Zath is the new religion to spec into. These weirdos worship spiders (of course they do) and should you manage to work through the cult’s tiers, you have the opportunity to summon the spider god Zath. I got a chance to see Zath in action during my guided tour. Imagine if Godzilla was a spider that can tear apart a player fort in minutes. If that wasn’t enough, Zath also allows his summoner to dispatch regular spiders against their enemies. Heads up, guys—if you aren’t Australia-tough already, you better start training.

Pillaging the Exiled Lands

There are more new features in Update 2.4 than you can shake a stick at. Single-player offline mode, character transfers between servers, and a new lighting overhaul are the obvious headliners, but you’ll have to dive in yourself to see it all. Loads of well-balanced content is the name of the game with Update 2.4 and the progress the team has made bodes well for the eventual release of Isle of Siptah out of Steam Early Access. While no date for that has been set, you can jump into Update 2.4 starting April 22. It’s time to grab some friends, oil up your muscles, and survive.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola