In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system? While this thread is mainly for me to convey how I would of liked the follower system, I do encourage everyone else to speak up how they'd of like the system done as well. The ideas presented here aren't meant to try to convince Blizzard to change the current system, but more like just insightful brainstorming and wishful thinking :crazyeyes: As such, please respect others ideas and of course, have fun with your idea! So the Follower system seems to be almost cemented, with maybe some things changing before release (and indeed maybe some changes after). But for the most part everything is set in stone. Most of us are pretty much scratching our heads at the system, wondering why it was done so poorly. I thought why not share how we would of had it done, if it was up to us. While I'm sure the obvious first choice would either be "go farther with the current system" or no system at all, I want to hear some of the more outlandish or generally different ideas. I think for me, I don't even want a follower or mercenary system in Diablo 3. While some may argue against it saying it doesn't fit the game or story, I would of liked a system more closely related to how another games' NPC helpers work: Left 4 Dead (or 2). The reason I would of liked something like this is Diablo is purely a Co-op game, but Co-op doesn't necessarily mean with people (though for the most part it is). I also think that something similar to Left 4 Deads bots could help to keep a more consistent game pace when going from SP to MP, and vice versa. This sort of system could and would satisfy many needs, such as SP gamers having help if they want it, and MP gamers be able to round out the group either for balance or until a friend shows up. But of course, as with the follower system, they won't be available in PvP. The biggest downside to a system like this in comparision to the follower or mercenary system is of course there'd be hardly any, if none at all, customisation. I see this as a necessary cost though. The three followers Blizzard announced would of course be the three "bots" in this system. The character level would be both random and not random. The level would be close to the average of all human player levels. So if there is a level 20 and a level 30, the NPC characters' level would be a random level between 24 and 26. Once this is determined randomly selected (but appropriate for level and class) gear will be chosen. The skills would be chosen at random as well, but extra care would be taken to make sure its as consistant as possible, as well as making sure no skill becomes too powerful to where players feel they require one or several of these characters in all their games. From here the AI Blizzard originally will be using with the Follower system will now kick in. Another aspect thats not totally randomised is which character the followers will be. It'll be similar to how some fighting games allow players to choose their character, in that once a character has been chosen, it can't be chosen by another player. When you create a lobby on Battle.Net, the game creator will be able to choose whether or not they want these or not. When the game starts is when the followers are chosen and their randomised parts are generated. However, this is not set in stone. If a player leaves the game, another follower will join. They of course will be one of whatever character isn't already in the game. Also, if a player joins the game (replacing one of the followers) and then subsequently leaves the game, and the newest follower happens to be the same character as before, that follower will still be randomly generated, being different then the one from before. Lastly, there will be another, in game option to either add or remove these followers. The only difference here would be that it'll be voted on by the current human players instead, with either all players voting the same or the majority vote wins. When followers are added or removed in game, the same rules from above still apply. Now to how they affect you and your game. Firstly, these followers were never intended to be as strong as a (competent) human player (just like the original system is planned). As such, they do increase the difficulty when they're in the game, but not by as much as a human player would. While I'm sure the number would be different, my best guess would be that they'd either increase the difficulty by 50% or 75% of what a human player would. The experience gained and the loot recieved will also fall under similar terms. The experience system will be just like the difficulty, while the loot system will be similar, but instead the followers get no drops. With it done like this, single players will feel they get a great and balanced experience, while Blizzard can still encourage those single players to try out multiplayer (and the difference in playstyles is way smaller too, making players not feel so shoehorned into it). Lastly, these followers were ment to be a fill in (but a good one) for real human players, as such they won't be as strong or have the same benefits as human players. Even so, they should still be able to do some things on their own. Of course there will be the AI Blizzard had intended which will (if they can) throw buffs on you or heal you. I also strongly believe they should also be able to do the whole resurrection thing if you happen to die nearby. With all this in mind, the biggest difference between them and real players is that they do not have a mind of their own, and as such cannot travel on their own. The best way to do this would be to have them randomly follow one of the human players (and this player being followed can change if it needs too). But, they will not follow closely, only loosely. if you happen to move off of what would be their screen, they'll try to move closer but will still also keep attacking whatever it is they were attacking. They will follow you into a dungeon or building right away, though they will stay out in the field if you go to town if there is another human player out in the field as well. If they die nearby, they will wait for resurrection. If they don't die nearby, or die at a boss, they'll walk back instead. Speaking of which, their attack priority is simple, but not stupid. They will prioritize Bosses over all monsters, and ranged over melee. And last but not least, they will try to back off and recover when low on health, but, they will not have any overly tactical strategy to employ at will. That about wraps it up I think. My belief is that this system should reinforce the Co-op centric gameplay without enforcing the old standard of what Co-op is (that is, with human players only). I also am one of the people that believe Blizzard never made a unique one of a kind game, only that they refined everything from other games to near perfection. As such, I believe examples from other games should always be looked at to either learn from mistakes or learn a new way to do something, and I think this fits in that. So, in an alternate universe... how would you do the follower system?