Diablo 3 Follower System Gives You a Better Class of Companion

Friday 13th, May 2011 / 12:22 Written by
in Gaming
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.

 

Diablo 3 Monk

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.

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About the author

I've been writing fiction (mostly Sci-fi and Heroic fantasy) for the past five years and creating articles for Gnews since July 2010. My favourite aspect of the job is covering the gaming news stories and reviews as I am an avid gamer in my personal life. RPGs and RTS are my chosen speciality with the odd FPS or puzzle game thrown in.

View all articles by Tom Murray

6 Comments on “Diablo 3 Follower System Gives You a Better Class of Companion

  • The armor looks way too bright and cartoony like it was ripped straight from World of Warcraft. I think Diablo should be keep more of a dark and gothic style, not jump into being World of Diablo. Lame art style.

    Reply
  • Act 1: Rogue
    Act 2: Desert Mercenary
    Act 3: Iron-Wolves Magi
    Act 5: Barbarian

    I don’t want to contradict your entire article, but the community manager Bashiok has pretty much said that outside of normal mode on single player they will be entirely useless…

    Reply
    • Tom Murray Post author

      Thanks, I’m aware of the real names of the different types of Diablo 2 mercenaries. What I was trying to convey was that they were so forgettable and lacking in character that you could break them down to the very briefest of descriptions.

      Not sure how this contradicts the entire article, which describes what The Followers could be like, not where and when you will get to use them.

      Reply
  • Odd, I found the mercenaries in LoD very helpful and, while not with the most character, were awesome for their time. The type of character I had would be nothing without use of the Act II mercenaries: they have auras which are very benificial to your character’s defense/health, and they can hold weapons which can give some awesome boosts (mine had a blade which virtually eliminated enemy resistances). The only time I had trouble with him dying in hell was Act IV, the oblivion knights casting the damned iron maiden all the time. Other than that, he was a gem.

    Great article, can’t wait for the followers, they seem to be a huge improvement. I just needed to stand up for Akkar, my AII mercenary :P

    Reply
    • Tom Murray Post author

      Thanks for your comment, I sympathize with you about the Oblivion Knights, seems everyone hated those things!

      Perhaps I didn’t experiment with the Mercenaries enough to get the most effectiveness out of them. Diablo 2 was a long time ago but I have distinct memories of getting so annoyed by the constant deaths of my mercs that I decided to just leave them behind and save my gold.

      I usually used a ice caster Iron Wolves mage and to be fair he did a decent job of freezing stuff, but I could never keep him alive long enough in the later acts.

      Maybe this says more about my Diablo skills than the game’s design. Still, glad to hear you like the look of the new Followers and hopefully they’ll be the all round improvement that I’m hoping for.

      Reply

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