Diablo 3 Follower System Gives You a Better Class of Companion
Except this time the companions might be worth having around.
You can be joined on your quest by either a Templar, a Scoundrel or an Enchantress, although once unlocked, you’ll be able to swap the three of them around as you please.
I never much cared for The Mercenaries in Diablo 2. They tended to die at the drop of a hat, so whenever a bunch of Oblivion Mages turned their burning gaze my way, I knew I was in for a hefty resurrection fee next time I was in town in order to get my mute buddy back.
The investment in time and money never seemed to be worth the benefits of having a merc around. Their effectiveness in combat, while it wasn’t terrible, wasn’t great either. Even when they levelled up, they simply became fractionally better, without any sort of customizable skills or talents tree.
Aside from this, they didn’t advance the plot or even have any lines of dialogue. You never really cared about them, they were just a relatively pricey way to kick out a little extra damage and haul around a few more bits of loot.
In short, Diablo 2 mercenaries came with all the problems of needy children, but none of the benefits. You had to handle all the costs, but with none of the payoff of emotional attachment or any sense of satisfaction when they learned new things.
Fortunately, word around the campfire is that Blizzard have addressed all of these negative points when designing the Diablo 3 Followers.
While The Followers will still be completely AI controlled, you will have greater direction on how to utilize them. Each of them will have access to 12 different skills which you can pick and choose from to have any 4 active at any one time.
In an interview with IGN, Blizzard lead content designer Kevin Martens explained that each Follower can be customized to suitably complement whatever class you choose to play. So just because you’re a ranged class like the Demon Hunter, that doesn’t mean that you’ll have no use for the Scoundrel or Enchantress. Each class will be able to get something out of each Follower, meaning that you will have ample reason to explore all three types.
This is especially welcome news since The Followers won’t be simple mute mercs this time around. With hundreds of lines of dialogue, they’ll form an important part of the Diablo 3 story, making you more inclined to have them around… and hopefully more inclined to try and keep them alive!
Oh, and if they lose their hitpoints, they won’t “die” as such, they’ll simply be incapacitated, allowing you to revive them once the immediate danger has passed. No pricey resurrections, it seems.
So, companions will be making a return appearance in Diablo 3. They’ll be cheap, talkative, engaging and above all, useful. Basically, they should be everything that their Diablo 2 mercenary ancestors were not.
Provided that these chatty new Diablo 3 followers don’t start giving me hassle about my style of demon slaying, then I think we’re going to get along just fine.