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In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system?

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by AxeX, May 14, 2011.

  1. AxeX

    AxeX Diabloii.Net Member

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    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?
     
  2. raveharu

    raveharu Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    I stopped reading after this sentence. It wasn't done poorly.


     
  3. AxeX

    AxeX Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    Then why are people angry over it? SP'ers are mad that they're being screwed over and others feel it was wasted time and resources. I'd call that done poorly. Remember, its not just how the system works, but also how its implemented.


     
  4. konfeta

    konfeta Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    ...

    Wow. That is different. A fully fledged bot system in an ARPG. That's actually a fantastic idea, would love to see one attempted elsewhere.

    Personally, I am a fan of mixing up the Bioware approach with current Blizzard one, mechanically speaking. Fully fledged, unique characters as mercenaries. Their own complex skill sets, passives, ability to specialize them into becoming sub classes. Perhaps even unique mechans. With a decent system for directing their actions, without turning them into second PC classes. Useful at any stage of the game.

    On top of it, I would have also wanted an alternative system to using them. Like, if there was a build I envision for whom a permanent pet doesn't quite fit in, I want a competitive non-pet option. Maybe special equipment slots, ability to use unique spells, etc.

    Unfortunately, that dream dies under its own ambition. This is literally impossible to balance and would end up in a constant cycle of overpowered and useless crap.
    People are angry over it because they have self-entitlement issues. It is, fundamentally, resources aimed explicitly and exclusively at players other than them. Understandable, but childish. Consider this - 90-95% of the players won't play the game long enough to reach Hell difficulty. Is all of the content exclusive to it wasted time and resources?
     
  5. cacophony

    cacophony Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    Which is what's sparking a lot of the outrage. It looks like a really cool system that is planned to fail after Normal.


     
  6. raveharu

    raveharu Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    Also, until you and they have actually tried the game.


     
  7. AxeX

    AxeX Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    I never could quite get into Mass Effect's systems, I liked 1 enough to beat the game a few times, but could never quite get into 2. The storyline itself was a complete turn of for me as well as the hugely dramatic change in the combat/party mechanics and whatnot.

    Yea it does seem like it would inevitably fail before it even took off, but then thats why its called wishful thinking =P

    No, its not. My belief is that there is probably a better way to entice players into MP without having to ruin what could of been a great optional system for all players.

    EDIT:

    This is also what I was trying to say.


     
  8. konfeta

    konfeta Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    Are there? Perhaps yes. But this decision eliminated two major concerns - balancing a historically broken mechanic that very much doesn't appeal to everyone (necessitating to balance an alternative system so people don't feel mercs to be forced on them); visual clarity in high player count games.

    And, come to think of it, tuning followers is actually a purely casual system isn't that bad of an idea. You'd be hard pressed to come up with something better given the objective.

    Personally, I would love one. But I don't want a balance repeat of Diablo 2. If Blizzard feels they can design a better end-game without mercs, more power to them. They just better deliver on the promise.

    http://forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=27808220764&pageNo=1&sid=3000#11

    You are in the wrong here. Sorry :(.
     
  9. AxeX

    AxeX Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    Obviously you didn't get the hint at what this thread was all about. Also, its not bull**** unless you hate having fun in general. Just from the 2 posts I've seen of yours, that seems to be the case.

    Well I tried, was hoping this wasn't going to get derailed into another debate about what is currently implemented in the game. I just wanted to see how differently this could of been done.


     
  10. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    my opinion would be no mercs at all or usefull mercs til you hit max level. you can use your max level as a story point to remove the mercs "you are so powerfull it is obvious you no longer require my services" or something. in a ARPG i want less micromanaging and more point and click kill fest so no mercs is the best idea for me
     
  11. Leugi

    Leugi Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

     
  12. Sass

    Sass Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    In an alternate universe...


    I'd have the "make it so it's not possible" in relation to following in NM and Hell to be the ones to kill them. They can't be killed by other players (as they aren't there), but still have the option. The party is preventing it, but then it's cut off and they attack. Secretly evil, different views, whatever it is, they are no longer able to follow (cuz deth). Loot the body and regain inventory.
     
  13. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    Axe's opening post is so lengthy and detailed that it kind of derails further discussion/proposals. No one else is going to throw out some half baked idea after that opening.

    That said, I'm of the camp that Blizzard has crafted a very nice upgrade to the mercs of D2, and it's more or less inexplicable that they'd design all these cool features and then gimp them to be useless after normal. Which they've designed to be so easy that you don't need a merc to help you through it anyway.

    I get that they want to entice nubs into the deeper game, and into higher difficulty levels, and into playing MP, and they think followers will enrich the early game experience. They're probably right about all that.

    Except for the part about enticing nubs to play into NM... since that awesome follower the player has come to appreciate during normal becomes useless -- just as the game becomes difficult enough that a merc would really be useful. Bit of a head-scratcher, that.
     
  14. Draconaught

    Draconaught Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    I have to agree. While I haven't looked into the new follower system too in depth I will say I really like the concept and what they're trying to do as far as encouraging multi-player. Unfortunately I don't see it quite working out as well as they'd like it to. I think newer players to the Diablo series if anything could end up being confused and frustrated as to why their follower who was so awesome for the past X levels is now getting insta-gibed by the stray glance of a quillrat.

    Think its a great idea and can really appreciate what Blizz is intending to do. But as they say "The path to Hell is paved with good intentions." (pun intended)
     
  15. Sass

    Sass Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    You're almost there, but need to follow your logic to the next step.

    From previous reiterations of the systems, a higher difficulty is a goal in D3. Easy-outs no longer exist, and damage avoidance is a thing of the past. Now, we have mercs, but are not able to be reliant on them in the end-game. In D2, we could sit back and the merc clear /p8 (with end-game stuff like Fort, Vamp Gaze, Tomb Reaver / elite base Insight, etc). In D3, it's up to the player.

    From what they've said, the mercs are for norm, where a majority will play anyway. It seems like a lot here since we're all essentially "hard core gamers" in that we'll power play up to and beyond the end of Hell mode. While we have a big playerbase here, it's a drop in the bucket of a projected multimillion playerbase (just based on D2 sales, and D3 *might* end up with more).

    The same merc-filled feel exists, but is there for the majority. Later difficulties are where the big challenges are, and we do it solo (or MP if the player desires, but it's not as heavily encourages as in Norm). Moreover, they have hinted at a big end-game design that entices play after max level. From what it sounds like, we'll get more than just boss runs ad infinitum.


     
  16. ThomasJ

    ThomasJ Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    Why not make them part of the multiplayer experience. Since according to some so many like to solo I think it would encourage more soloers to hop onto battle.net if they were allowed to bring followers with them. They can still set their game to invite only and have them and their friends bring their followers as well on multiplayer.
     
  17. konfeta

    konfeta Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    Bashiok said that 4 players + 4 followers = visual cluster****.

    But.. they could at least allow them in 2 player games.
     
  18. ThomasJ

    ThomasJ Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    Well I find that hard to believe because in Guild Wars heroes which are almost like followers work wonders in a party for people. My guess is that they are steering away from as much complexity as they can. Whatever... LOL :)
     
  19. Sass

    Sass Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    Visual complexity*

    They've already loaded on plenty of other complexity.
     
  20. ThomasJ

    ThomasJ Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: In an alternate universe... how would you do a follower/companion/merc/pet system

    Yes I 'm sorry, it is far too difficult to understand Diablo 3 the way they have it now. My bad!


     

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