Conan Exiles is heading into the second phase of Early Access with a new expansion, The Frozen North, due to launch on August 16.
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Where Conan Exiles’ initial aesthetic was characterised by deserts and wastelands, the Frozen North extends the game into tundra. An entire new land with all-new dungeons and creatures has been added, making the game 70% bigger, and a new temperature system deepens the survival gameplay: you’ll need to think about what you eat, drink, and how you dress to keep from freezing to death (or, presumably, drying out in the original desert environment).
The Frozen North will launch with a massive free update to thoroughly polish and extend the game. New features include:
- Reworked combat with an improved “feel” – light and heavy attacks have been separated, and dodges now cancel animations.
- Improved AI for humanoids, so raider camps should provide more of a challenge, but equally your own thralls should be more competent when defending your fortress.
- Speaking of which, building materials are now cheaper, so it should be easier to build the Barbarian Lair of your dreams. Crenellated walls, siege cauldrons, and traps and mines have all been added to deter attackers, as has a Dome of Protection for defence against hostile Avatars.
- On the flipside, attackers now get trebuchets.
- Hundreds of new items, including weapons, armour, and furniture, have been added since launch, with another 300 coming in The Frozen North. These include orbs, which are”based in practical alchemy,” sayys creative director Joel Bylos. “That is, the ability to mix together volatile chemicals in a glass orb.”You can mix chemicals to produce gas, oil, or explosions to destroy objects in the world.
- A new Journey System gives you goals to pursue in the world, lending a little structure to your adventuring, but these are entirely optional if you like to roam.
- A new religion dedicated to Ymir, the Lord of Storm and War, which means a new Avatar (see below).
“I am very proud of the team and the work they have done so far in Early Access,” says creative director Joel Bylos. “They have really been working their arses off fixing bugs, squashing exploits, improving core features, and they have also added entire new features and content such as siege warfare, climbing, dungeons, and much more.”
Conan Exiles is still scheduled for its full release early next year. You can learn more about The Frozen North at its updates page.