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Discussion in 'Site News' started by Jon, Apr 23, 2012.
Great post, I'd like to get some good discussion on this.
Personally, I think followers have no point. Followers don't die unless the character dies, why would the Scoundrel need a self only heal?
The goal should have been to augment your character in three ways using Followers: Offense, Defense and Control. It seems that the Scoundrel and Enchantress have failed miserably leaving the Templar the only Follower worth carrying around.
That being said, there is one niche that was not touched on in the article, and that is that followers are also item mules. By equipping followers with items that might give auras, magic find, proccing buffs, group healing ability, damage increases, AE debuffs, or any other modifier, Followers now add that extra dimension to a character, to buffer its weaknesses.
Again, this is mostly gear related, and has next to nothing to do with the Follower itself. So long as they are buffing your character directly or indirectly, the Follower will play a role as a few extra gear slots.
I recall Bashiok saying at one time that their roll would be mostly tank, minor support, and a few extra gear slots. The only thing I really find value in is their tanking and the couple extra gear slots - I can't for the life of me figure out when the Templar will heal me...
EDIT: Found this is the forums from November of last year:
It would seem that Followers are meant for solo magic finding to boost your stats up to above group level averages, to make up for the lack of bonus you get when multiple people are in the game.
Past that, we can't honestly expect to use Followers for Offense right? In D2 there was the ability to enchant your minion, but even if he was 1-shotting trash, hirelings almost always died on bosses. I can't see it being any different in D3.
Even the bonuses for followers are nerfed - you only get 20% of your follower's MF/GF/XP+ ...
Apparently not... Like I said above, Bash indicates they will be mostly tanks...
I loved the Holy Freeze merc from Act II Nightmare in D2 - he was the best and I could almost always get him through Baal runs in Hell.
Baal Runs were one thing, keeping alive through Diablo or Uber runs was very challenging for a heavy offensive hireling.
That being said, Hirelings were mainly used for the ability to produce Auras for your party. One necromancer build I had was with Bramble + Edge. He ended up being a poison/summoner hybrid which wasn't very efficient but it was pretty cool to see all your skeletons doing lots of reflect damage.
I'm praying that there is some sort of aura mechanic in D3 that we just haven't seen yet. It made 1.10 and 1.11 into great sandboxes for theory crafting. If not, then I can't imagine stacking anything worthwhile on a Follower for tanking...defense? armor? thorns? Nothing really jumps out at me as that beneficial for making your Follower a reliable tank.
Then again, 95% of the game is a mystery to me.
Given they were only redesigned late last year, they were probably never intended to be a big part of the game. The self heal is a good example of how they might be a bit ignored/rushed and not thought out very well.
I can't see any reason to use them while playing a standard character but why would you use them as a mule or for auras when you get bigger benefits from grouping with others? I'm not going to deck out a follower in valuable gear that rarely gets used either. It's probably the reasoning behind removing the mystic so that you can't solo and use the mystic follower to mule your goods back and forth.
I think their only real benefit is for hardcore players who solo from time to time but that is more an accident than what they had in mind when they improved their capabilities for beyond normal mode.
It's less about being a "mule", suggesting that they just carry your gear, and more about augmenting your gameplay solo.
Since the MF debate is still raging on, (and I think i'm on the side of those who are against the Averaging of Magic Find), playing solo you retain all of your Magic Find, and gain 20% from your follower. This is far more favorable than most situations in co-op play (unless everyone is stacking more MF than you, and in essence "raises" your MF anyway).
From a gameplay standpoint, hirelings in D2 were devastating when correctly used with certain builds. A Holy Freeze Templar wielding Infinity made any Sorceress elemental build insanely powerful. It was night and day when compared to not using one. For solo play, they need to be at least this useful to have any use at all. After all, no one played with the Rogue, Barbarian or Wizard hirelings unless their gear actually made up for the lack of utility (e.g. a bow granting an aura could be used by a rogue to give your main character an extra ability).
I did want to add in, that Blizzard multiple times has tried to make co-op play the secondary option (but viable) while catering to the casual soloer more. Perhaps Followers are a way to spotlight solo play, without actually giving it real appeal.