Stillman’s Slab #45: Templar’s Might


Stillman returns. Once a month, he will close his eyes and dissect another body. Click through after the first paragraph below to learn about the necessity of cutting things, especially extraneous game systems.

Templar’s Might

Who could forget Templar’s Might, an exciting item drop in Diablo 2 that turned out useless? Some say Diablo 3’s new follower system including the heal buddy Templar resulted in equally exciting anticipation yet equally useless functionality as the algae green sacred armor. But can follower design do better in Diablo 3, or did developers make the most of an inherently crooked system that threatens the end game? Enter my laboratory, but avoid the chair with titanium restraint bands. I reserve that one for the follower with weight issues amongst others: the Templar.

Ah, the Knights Templar. In real life, their historical fame lives on after getting tortured to death. Do we really want to watch these poor bastards get burned to a crisp like child-roasted marshmallows again, over and over like the mercenaries of Diablo 2? And do we want our new heroes to hold responsibility? There already exists an extra lame story with Templars called The Da Vinci Code. Instead, the Diablo 3 Templar, named Kormac, will have a well developed story and lively character to replace the taciturn suicide watch experience of Diablo 2 mercenaries.

The Templars (and we) get spared their humiliating Groundhog Day style slaughter by not following us into higher difficulty playthroughs of Diablo 3. Well, they could if you want that option, like if your Mom is an S&M dominatrix and you like seeing chain mail clad men curling up voluntarily on the ground to get flogged. Up to you.

So the Templars and other followers will instead hang out in Normal mode with the noobs casual players. Here, they will enjoy a glorious adventure of never losing. Bottle feeding them potions won’t work, and they can’t even die anyway! Rather, followers become ?incapacitated? until you coach them back to health. Everyone wins in the Special Olympics (i.e. Normal mode). And I say to you, fellow elitist pigs, do these mercenary replacements not deserve this idyllic retreat after all our maltreatment from Diablo 2?

Now, you may ask, ?Can’t better AI allow followers to journey alongside us in Hell mode?? and ?Why didn’t you open with the prettier Enchantress?? Well, maybe this picture of the Templar scratching his groin will hold you off until I ?incapacitate? the Enchantress.

Addressing the first and less important question, I think any amount of follower AI will look asinine in Hell mode, especially with expectations from today’s fastidious players. Only constant player fed instruction would end the annoying meanderings of followers. This would overwhelm us as babysitters in a fast paced game with smarter foes where depressing the right mouse button for spam won’t work anymore.

Besides, I know the kind of hero I want to play:

 

Remember how it looked in Diablo 2?

 

Don’t deny it. Too many people want glow stick holders, servile meat shield chowderheads and magic find actors in a cheap exploitation movie. I don’t trust any of you guys with a follower for a single second! You’ll do it again, I know it. You’ll find a way. Yet, you may posit, exploring all those tiers of follower skills seems like a waste of players’ time. It amounts to nothing later, right?  SHHHHHH! Don’t tell the casuals about the poison eye candy!

Yes, followers emerge as a sort of gateway drug to get kids hooked on multiplayer. Provided they get crushed in the gate, the system seems cool with me. The followers getting crushed, I mean, not the kids.

Ok, the kids too.

The jewelry slots, tempting healing skills, the choice between three amigos, their waste of time quests (probably), their collector sets of babblings, and unnecessary pampering for Normal mode all form a friendly trap of time wasting. How convoluted and useless! The Follower system looks so close to perfection, forever banishing those yucky, inevitable problems of player exploitation and doomed AI. If only more ways to incapacitate them could manifest. 

Then I learned that Followers cannot participate in PvP or multiplayer games…in a game that revolves around incentives to go multiplayer. Sounds perfect?if you follow me.

Opinions expressed in columns and guest articles are those of their authors, and not necessarily those of Diablo Incgamers.net.

Stillman’s Slab is where all Diablo characters are dissected and examined piece by piece. It is written by Nicholas Stillman to reintroduce Diablo series topics in a new light or put forth novel themes that have not been fully explored in the forums. Slurry collected from the centrifuge will always contain something new and unheard of at the time of publication. Post your comments below or directly.

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