This Week's Poll: Followers

A few days ago, we received what seems to be a hint from @Diablo that there will be some form of follower system in - Diablo III Diablo III, and after that - Bashiok Bashiok let us know that followers have been a part of the game since before it was announced:

Official Blizzard Quote:

We're not quite ready to talk about our approach, but I will say it's something that's been a part of the game since before announcement. We have a very solid direction for them.
However, even though we know followers will be present in the final product, there are still plenty of unanswered questions about the follower system, and you certainly don't have to agree with their implementation. Below is a summary of how hirelings worked in - Diablo II Diablo II and what we know about the follower system in Diablo III.

In Diablo II, there was a different type of hireling for each act, with the exception of Act IV. The first act gave you access to a ranged - Rouge Rouge mercenary after defeating Blood Raven. Once you progressed to Act II you were allowed to enlist the help of a Desert Mercenary. After that, Act III gave you access to the Iron Wolf mercenaries. Without the Lord of Destruction expansion, hirelings could not equip items, did not level up, and were only available during the Act they were bought in, but all of that was changed with the expansion. Lord of Destruction also added a Barbarian mercenary in Act V. Hirelings could be selected from long lists of many different options, for example the Rouge could fire arrows imbued with different elements depending on your selection. However, despite these options the only noticeable differences were between hirelings from different acts.

In Diablo III, the hireling system has gone through an overhaul. They are now called followers, and they have been split up into two different groups. The first type, as seen in the announcement video, are temporary followers.

Official Blizzard Quote:

As you saw in the demo, if you got the quest where you could rescue the adventurers or their leader, those guys are a light level, where they are just along for the quest or they are just cannon fodder. You can't really control them or have anything to do with them at all.
Clearly these followers clearly aren't full replacements to the hirelings of Diablo II, but they are the only ones that we've seen in action. Temporary followers could surely prove valuable during hard quests or dungeons, but they offer very little in the form of interaction.

The second type of follower seems to be closer to the hirelings we know from Diablo II.

Official Blizzard Quote:

When you have what we are calling followers, they are the guys you can equip, give them different weapons, you can give them different armor. They will probably have some quests that involve them. Much more than in Diablo II, you could equip them but they were more like a game mechanic in a body of an NPC. Where this time, were making them much more individuals with their own back story and their own reason for being in the world.

[There will be different types to hire but this time they will be] much more specific. They were very interchangeable in Diablo II, they just had different skills. These ones are going to be much more geared toward certain gameplay types you'd say. Depending on how you play your class...I might be a barbarian, so I don't want another tank, I want a range or, I might want another tank.
Clearly Blizzard has ideas for a more expanded system than what we saw in Diablo II, and hopefully there will be good backstories to go along with these more permanent followers. As Boyarsky explains, these followers seem to be something of a replacement for another player at your side. From this description, it seems as if they are capable of filling in as a tank for a character that has to avoid damage, and the choices will go beyond small skill changes. However, it should be noted that these quotes are from 2009, and as a result the system could have changed by the time it is revealed, but as of now it is the only information we have on followers.

So now that you know how hirelings worked in Diablo II, and how they are expected to work in Diablo III, which system do you like more? Would you like Diablo III to feature a system similar to the previous game? Do you just want temporary followers, or do you not want followers in Diablo III at all? Vote in the poll above and express your opinion in the topic below

Last week's poll was essentially a split decision between people who will strike a balance between PvE and PvP (29%), those who will PvP once in a while (27%), and the most popular choice was "Maybe once I'm done with PvE" (31%). If you would still like to vote in that poll, or just want to talk about PvP, head over to the thread in the link above.


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