Diablo 3 Followers Mechanics

  • #1
    Yesterday we were privileged to a "sneak peek" of the new DiabloWiki.com - Followers Followers system that will be used in Diablo III. Unfortunately, this leaked video left us with only the basic construct of the system and left room for plenty of speculation. Well, today comes with a slew of interviews from DiabloWiki.com - Jay Wilson Jay Wilson and DiabloWiki.com - Leonard Boyarsky Leonard Boyarsky. They go into some detail about just how the system is working and how we will interact with these newly added characters.

    First, some nitty gritty about the characters themselves. We learned yesterday that the three Followers are the Enchantress, Scoundrel, and Templar, but just who are these characters? Each one will have their own unique story and personality to add to the game. As you play through the main story arc, you will run across these characters in need of some form of assistance. After helping them through their own journey, they will lend their abilities to you. As they venture with you, you will explore their backstories. They will make note of particular instances or comment on something that is going on. They will help tell the story to the player while they are out fighting demons instead of having to sit and read some books.


    Beginning with the Templar, named Kormac, he is a stoic character with righteousness on his side. His order is actually trying to retrieve scrolls and books that Lazarus had taken before the story of DiabloWiki.com - Diablo I Diablo I. Betrayed by a corrupt member, you will find Kormac locked up in a dungeon. After you free him and slay the corrupt order member, the Templar will offer his services of protection to you. Kormac has a varying play style that will be valuable no matter what class you are playing. If you need a tank character, he will be able to fill this role very well. However, if you are already a melee oriented character, the Templar can offer healing and other supportive abilities.

    After finding and rescuing Kormac, the next Follower you will run into is Lyndon the Scoundrel. Lyndon is a dark humor type character with a questionable sense of morality. Once belonging to a thieves guild, Lyndon was disgraced and thrown out of the guild. Perhaps motivated for more personal gain, he will join you for opportunities to obtain better riches and items. Lyndon is a sort of throw back to the Diablo I DiabloWiki.com - Rogue Rogue. His focus will be on ranged attacks with the use of a bow or crossbow. However, if a ranged damage dealer is not something you are interested in, he also has a variety of other skills that are more focused on his Scoundrel title like helping you get more gold.

    The last Follower you will run into, about a third of the way into the story, is the Enchantress Eirena. Her story is a bit more shady and will unravel as the story continues. All we know when we meet her is that she is following a Prophet who has the ability to control people. In the midst of a fight, she is trying to protect some people and needs your help to save them. After doing so, she will follow you on your heroic journey. Offering magic-based ranged attacks, Eirena will be able to cast from afar to deal damage. However, thanks to her skills gained from the Prophet, she can also offer you services in helping control your foes for you to kill.


    Moving past their stories, we go into the mechanics of how this system will work. First and foremost, it is important to note that the Followers system will only be available to those playing in a game by themselves. If another player joins the game, the Follower will head back to your caravan. However, if you find yourself alone again in this fight, the Follower will come right back to aid you. This was done to help players who want to play by themselves but decrease the clutter if multiple people are in one game. Along with this, despite having all three Followers at your disposal, you may only use the services of one at a time. But do not worry, all three will gain experience regardless if they are being used or not. This will allow you to use them when you want to and not because you have to in order to level them up. You can also switch them out whenever you want to aid you best in different scenarios. If a follower "dies," you will not have to go back to town resurrect them. This is how it was originally planned but Blizzard felt like it took too much time away from fighting and caused players to not even use them. Instead, the characters will be knocked out temporarily. After about 15-20 seconds, they will regain consciousness and rejoin the fight. If this is too much time for you, you can channel on them and help revive them sooner. To help keep them fighting longer, they will also gain the effect from any health globe you pick up.

    Each Follower comes with their own unique skill set to choose from. Every five levels up to 20, you will gain access to a new set with three different choices. You can choose one from that set to help cater to your liking. Along with skills, you will be able to customize your Followers with some gear. One amulet and two rings will be able to be equipped by them to help customize their stats to the play style you have planned for them. Along with this is a weapon slot. Each Follower will have a distinct group of weapon choices that they can equip but there will still be some variety. Perhaps a heavy damage dealer is what you want for your Templar, so you give him a two-handed weapon. But if you are looking for a tank, then you can give them a sword and shield. The last item slot, which can be seen in the inventory screenshots, is for a class specific item. The only one we know for sure is the Templar's tomes. Speculation for the other two may be a satchel or quiver for the Scoundrel and perhaps some off-hand orb for the Enchantress. These unique items will only be for each particular Follower. These characters were purposely left with a limit to their customization and stats to help lighten the load of these characters. Blizzard did not want players to feel like they were leveling a second character. Instead, you are able to help design this person who will fight along with you when needed.

    Moving on to the last part, the way the Followers function in a game is very important. Their are no direct controls for your Followers. Meaning, you cannot tell them to attack a particular unit or to heal you whenever. Instead, this will all be handled by the advanced AI system that has improved since the previous game. Player control is more based on the skills you give them. An example that was given of the AI is the Enchantress' energy bomb skill. A massive AoE, the Enchantress will use this skill when the player is low on health to help clear out some demons and hopefully get some health orbs. Healing and other support skills will be used similarly to best help your character in the fight. Now, there are a lot of people who are afraid that these Followers can be used to do all the killing for you while you just stand and wait; this will not be the case. This is handled in two ways. First, monster AI is improved. Back in Diablo II, you could just stand back as all of the demons would attack your hireling. Now, monsters will not just target the player closest to them. Certain monsters are programmed to go after the person in the back first while others will go after the biggest threat at the moment. Players will constantly have to be on their toes this time when fighting hordes of enemies. If this is not enough for you, then each Follower can be managed to not steal kills from you and instead just help you kill them more easily. If you do not want to spec you Follower with damage skills, then you can focus on more crowd control skills so you can still do all of the killing, or even choose more passive bonuses like extra magic or gold find. Either way, they have designed these Followers to not be a necessity to the game but will just aid you if you would like. Keep in mind, that they will also still level with you even if they are not being used so if you decide you want to use them later, you will not have to go back to re-level them.

    If you would like to read any of the interviews that were conducted, you can check out the links below. You can also check out the official Diablo3 site page.

    Interviews:

    Find any Diablo news? Contact me or anyone else on the News team  

  • #2
    First and foremost, it is important to note that the Followers system will only be available to those playing in a game by themselves. If another player joins the game, the Follower will head back to your caravan. However, if you find yourself along again in this fight, the Follower will come right back to aid you. This was done to help players who want to play by themselves but decrease the clutter if multiple people are in one game. Along with this, despite having all three Followers at your disposal, you may only use the services of one at a time. But do not worry, all three will gain experience regardless if being used or not. This will allow you to use them when you want to and not because you have to in order to level them up. You can also switch them out whenever you want to aid you best in different scenarios. If a follower "dies" you will not have to go back to town resurrect them. This is how it was originally planned but Blizzard felt like it took too much time away from fighting and caused players to not even use them. Instead, the characters will be knocked out temporarily. After about 15-20 seconds, they will regain consciousness and rejoin the fight. If this is too much time for you, you can channel on them and help revive them sooner. To help keep them fighting longer, they will also gain the effect from any health globe you pick up.


    Some pluses to counter the minus'. But is it really enough to peak the interest of players to even use them? Maybe to see how their game mechanics work and if they like them, but IMO, why bother? Then again, I may change my mind when I'm actually playing the game.



    Recruiting for East Realm
    Also recruiting for Sc2 on both EU and NA servers

    Bod home Page

    Like us on Facebook!
  • #3
    Huh? They can't be used when other people are in the game? Really??

    That is a pretty major change from D2 and one i'm not particularly happy with. I guess it's hard to understand how the game is going to be balanced against the much smaller party sizes, but I'll miss having a bunch of characters with all of their hirelings running around with them...

    Overall the followers sound cool, but it seems odd that we can't have them with other people in the game. I'm convinced I won't even really use my followers that much because I intend to play with my friends. It's basically a game system that I won't get to play with nearly as often...
  • #4
    Quote from Nektu

    First and foremost, it is important to note that the Followers system will only be available to those playing in a game by themselves. If another player joins the game, the Follower will head back to your caravan. However, if you find yourself along again in this fight, the Follower will come right back to aid you. This was done to help players who want to play by themselves but decrease the clutter if multiple people are in one game. Along with this, despite having all three Followers at your disposal, you may only use the services of one at a time. But do not worry, all three will gain experience regardless if being used or not. This will allow you to use them when you want to and not because you have to in order to level them up. You can also switch them out whenever you want to aid you best in different scenarios. If a follower "dies" you will not have to go back to town resurrect them. This is how it was originally planned but Blizzard felt like it took too much time away from fighting and caused players to not even use them. Instead, the characters will be knocked out temporarily. After about 15-20 seconds, they will regain consciousness and rejoin the fight. If this is too much time for you, you can channel on them and help revive them sooner. To help keep them fighting longer, they will also gain the effect from any health globe you pick up.


    Some pluses to counter the minus'. But is it really enough to peak the interest of players to even use them? Maybe to see how their game mechanics work and if they like them, but IMO, why bother? Then again, I may change my mind when I'm actually playing the game.

    For me the biggest drawback in D2 was that if a follower dies, every time you need to resurrect them. While they are dead their level is stuck and they slowly fall behind you no matter what you do. Keeping them alive was always a hassle. Having permanent followers that level up automatically and having the game not balanced around them being required sounds great. Having a follower that offers some CC and extra gold find or magic find? yes please!

    Removal of the penalty for not keeping them 100% up to date makes them truly optional, and available to try out at any point in the game, drop them, or even just use them for a few specific zones/bosses. I love it.
  • #5
    My biggest disappointment: I play Diablo for the storyline, and they stated that the followers can flesh out the storyline.. So, you're telling me that I have to sacrifice storyline to play with my girlfriend? That's a major Thumbs Down. Honestly, It's already more EFFICIENT to Magic Find as a group in D3 now. Everyone gets their own drops, that means if you magic find with a group of friends, the chances of ONE of you finding something that one of you needs/wants is much higher, instead of soloing constantly to get magic drops. They state clutter is the reason, but honestly... If I play with my girlfriend, it will be just the two of us... two NPC's following us won't clutter the screen, and I want my storyline comments, damnit.

    Also, did anyone else notice the Templar in the "leaked" video uses a spear and sword? He's more like a hopilite than a templar.
  • #6
    i think they should make it at least possible for followers to join you when there's only 2 players in the game, if they just have to keep the 4 player limit. Im planning to play with a friend or 2 casually, but since everyone's got their own schedule a game with 2 players and no followers just feels a little empty.

    btw nothing's mentioned what will happen to them when you go from normal to nightmare and to hell, a new set of followers in each new difficulty like in diablo 2? probably you'll only meet them in normal
  • #7
    So its either:

    1) If I play solo , the follower system is valid and I get to know the storyline (aka. the extra story that they give)

    2) If I play with a friend, the follower system is invalid and I don't get to know the extra story (aka. i don't get the extra story from these followers)

    This is a disappointment, i want to utilize this follower system, but if i play with someone else then its gone!?
  • #8
    I think I'm going to stop reading comments before my head explodes...
    I love all loot fest kind of game! I will be playing all of them for the next few years. Loot fest games I'm looking forward to: LotR: War in the North, Torchlight 2, Borderlands 2 and of course Diablo 3.
  • #9
    Quote from Auluaden

    My biggest disappointment: I play Diablo for the storyline, and they stated that the followers can flesh out the storyline.. So, you're telling me that I have to sacrifice storyline to play with my girlfriend? That's a major Thumbs Down. Honestly, It's already more EFFICIENT to Magic Find as a group in D3 now. Everyone gets their own drops, that means if you magic find with a group of friends, the chances of ONE of you finding something that one of you needs/wants is much higher, instead of soloing constantly to get magic drops. They state clutter is the reason, but honestly... If I play with my girlfriend, it will be just the two of us... two NPC's following us won't clutter the screen, and I want my storyline comments, damnit.

    So its either:
    1) If I play solo , the follower system is valid and I get to know the storyline (aka. the extra story that they give)
    2) If I play with a friend, the follower system is invalid and I don't get to know the extra story (aka. i don't get the extra story from these followers)
    This is a disappointment, i want to utilize this follower system, but if i play with someone else then its gone!?

    Well from how it was described, you will still run in to and rescue each follower even if you are playing with a friend. Other than that you're just 'missing out' on them saying 'Oh that instance looks creepy' and stuff like that. The majority of their story will probably come from when you rescue them, and possibly a few other moments, in which case it will be easy to go back through those select moments where the follower's story is fleshed out a bit more.

    Also, magic find (last we heard) only applies to the person who has the magic find item/skill/etc. Not to mention that the names of some of the followers skills seems to imply they will boost your MF as well.

    btw nothing's mentioned what will happen to them when you go from normal to nightmare and to hell, a new set of followers in each new difficulty like in diablo 2? probably you'll only meet them in normal

    There wasn't really a new set of followers in each difficulty. It was really only that they had a higher level, and since these followers keep their level ups even if they 'die,' it won't really be necessary to introduce a new list of higher level followers.


    Find any Diablo news? Contact me or anyone else on the news team.
    DiabloFans: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Live Chat
  • #10
    Quote from Gouki289

    So its either:

    1) If I play solo , the follower system is valid and I get to know the storyline (aka. the extra story that they give)

    2) If I play with a friend, the follower system is invalid and I don't get to know the extra story (aka. i don't get the extra story from these followers)

    This is a disappointment, i want to utilize this follower system, but if i play with someone else then its gone!?



    maybe at multiplayer u still have the quests about the followers but once u complete they go to town, so u can hire them when u play alone

    at my humble opinion blizz took the best approach with the followers
  • #11
    I don't know about you guys, but I love this!!! This has got to be one of the best day for Diablo since Blizzcon!
    "All generalizations are false, including this one." -Mark Twain
  • #12
    Quote from CherubDown

    I don't know about you guys, but I love this!!! This has got to be one of the best day for Diablo since Blizzcon!

    Oh yea. What probably excites me most about it is the fact that the Followers are part of the same "caravan" that the Artisans are. I can't wait to see what other people you'll have travelling from town to town with you.


    Find any Diablo news? Contact me or anyone else on the news team.
    DiabloFans: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Live Chat
  • #13
    Quote from Jackzor


    Also, magic find (last we heard) only applies to the person who has the magic find item/skill/etc. Not to mention that the names of some of the followers skills seems to imply they will boost your MF as well.

    If you re-read what I wrote, I didn't say anything about increased magic find %, but simply stated you'll get more drops TOTAL, spread among four people, instead of one person doing magic find runs, like we did in diablo 2.
  • #14
    Thank you for writing this informative article ScyberDragon!

    I must say I already knew most of this since I read all of the interviews :P but I know a lot of people have not or haven't really understood how this game system will work!

    So job well done I have to say :D

    +1 (I'll add rep when the next day begin) o.O
  • #15
    And... ACTION!


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Well, followers are essentially a flavor bonus to those playing through normal the first time by themselves. It provides some story elements, but more importantly it gets the idea in their head of playing with another person. You come across each of them pretty quickly in Act 1, and then they help you throughout the rest of the game if you'd like. They aren't required to beat the game on Normal, even if you're playing by yourself. Feel free to leave them behind if you like. But they are pretty awesome.

    They're also tuned so that they become very weak starting in Nightmare, and then are completely unusable in Hell. Even if you're playing alone, you will probably not be using Followers past Normal - - you can try but they're going to just be one-shot back to back. They're there as a bit of flavor, to help get people into the mindset of co-op if they're a bit reluctant, and... that's about it. They won't be usable at end-game, and they'll never replace the abilities and power that another player can bring.

    It provides some story elements. That's right. The companion doesn't add any more story than is already provided. Instead, the character adds color to the situation.


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Followers will not stay alive easily past Normal, and if they're not alive you aren't going to be getting their bonuses. I'm sure people will try to game this, and ideally they will fail. If not we will ensure followers are not part of the end-game MF equation. They are not intended to be, and we will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure they cannot be.

    They're also tuned so that they become very weak starting in Nightmare, and then are completely unusable in Hell.

    They are not intended to be [used outside of normal], and we will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure they cannot be. In other words, this is JUST A FLAVOR MECHANIC FOR NORMAL DIFFICULTY.
    "All generalizations are false, including this one." -Mark Twain
  • #16
    I was afraid this system was going to be horrible and the followers would just feel out of place but the fact that they will be flesh out the story line makes it a lot better. I don't think that people should freak out about missing out on story if you do multiplayer. I see the followers as a bonus bit for people that enjoy playing alone. There aren enough solo-able online games like this so thumbs up for giving the solo people a boost!
  • #17
    Do we know if having a follower will decrease your experience gain rate? I am pretty much not goign to use them if they take away from my EX PEEEEEES
  • #18
    I've always critisized Blizzard for taking so long to release their games....
    Now look whats happend, they've wasted so much valuable time creating a system that is cool in design but in reality, only fraction of people will use. Are they encouraging co-op play? or singe play?

    It turns out their late release is not justified at all
  • #19
    Quote from Auluaden

    Quote from Jackzor


    Also, magic find (last we heard) only applies to the person who has the magic find item/skill/etc. Not to mention that the names of some of the followers skills seems to imply they will boost your MF as well.

    If you re-read what I wrote, I didn't say anything about increased magic find %, but simply stated you'll get more drops TOTAL, spread among four people, instead of one person doing magic find runs, like we did in diablo 2.

    Oh, I wasn't disagreeing with that at all, but I was just explaining that in D3, MF doesn't work the same as in D2. So unless you have a group of friends to MF with, playing with randoms won't get you anything more than MFing while soloing.

    Do we know if having a follower will decrease your experience gain rate? I am pretty much not goign to use them if they take away from my EX PEEEEEES

    They definitely won't.

    And... ACTION!

    Bashiok quote

    Which also makes it very easy to experience their story for anyone wondering about that, seeing as playing through Normal will take about .5 seconds.


    Find any Diablo news? Contact me or anyone else on the news team.
    DiabloFans: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Live Chat
  • #20
    I think people are underestimating how many people will play solo once in a while. Us solo players (me included) aren't that few, and most people will want to play alone once in a while ;).

    I don't think there is any point for followers in 2-player game (you get to do the quests probably anyway, so you won't miss out on any lore). As Bashiok said, they're there for the lone wolfs.

    Sanctuary is too small for more than one hero at a time (tm).
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.
Posts Quoted:
Reply
Clear All Quotes