I searched the forums but couldn't find a real official thread for all the infos about D3 (only the official can not wait thread
). Also they are old non-active thread. Let's start a new one! As of now, I hope you all know the 5 classes
News for today, the follower!
The world of Diablo is a hostile one. You can't seem to take more than ten steps outside of a town without being mobbed by spiny imps, fanged horrors and singed by spheres of hellfire. It's a tough life trying to cut through all these beasts alone, so Blizzard's implementing Followers to help out.
There will be three Followers in Diablo III: the Templar, the Enchantress and the Scoundrel. They essentially take the place of the mercenaries you could hire in Diablo II. Only one Follower can be brought out with you into battle in Diablo III, and each will have different motivations for joining with you, hundreds of lines of dialogue and unique abilities that can be switched around depending on how you want them to play. You won't be able to directly control the Followers, but they'll at least provide some extra buffs and damage as you slaughter untold numbers of fiendish demons.
Blizzard lead content designer Kevin Martens says the Followers will be active participants during your journey, often commenting on quests and environments, conversing with townsfolk and offering up hints. You can bring one Follower with you outside of towns, and each will have access to 12 skills, four of which can be active at a time. Their armor will upgrade over time and change in appearance when it does, and you can slot in rings, amulets and weapons. Each Follower will also get a distinct special item slot that lets then equip gear nobody else, including you, can.
"[The Followers] are not just a sack of somewhat expensive hit points," says Martens. "If you're not actually playing with a friend, you've got the next best thing with these people because they're very active story-wise. Beyond what the mercenaries did [in Diablo II], you can spec [the Followers] to match how you play your class. I think that any three of them can work with any class depending on how you spec them, and they're also free to take with you. There's no cost to taking them. So we do expect and kind of want people to switch them out whenever they feel it's necessary. They might take the Enchantress because she's got useful debuffs when they know they're going to fight a certain boss. Or maybe they'll take the Templar as a Wizard and spec him so he's got more resistances and hit points and a heal ability and turn him into their tank. That I think is a huge advantage. I also hope that people will just take them because they like the personalities as well, whether it's perfect for their build or not."
Even though you won't have direct control, Martens says the artificial intelligence will be smart about combat. Hopefully that holds true. "[The Followers] will do their own thing depending on what their build is. I'm not a huge fan of the pet bar control thing anyway. I think that the AI is actually quite good. They'll choose contextually the right thing to do. The descriptions of the skills make it obvious how their AI works. For example, the Scoundrel and the Templar both have a heal and it tells you right in the description they'll do it automatically as soon as you get low hit points. If you don't want that skill, take a different one. Then pathfinding-wise, they'll keep up with you if you ever manage to get too far ahead of them. If you die, they'll just warp over to you."
But what if the Followers die? "The penalty is very minor," says Martens. "Previously we had them go back to down and the penalty was that you had to go back to get them. We changed that recently to be easier for the player in that they just get stunned. They don't actually die, they just get knocked unconscious and there's a timer on that which I think is currently 15 to 20 seconds. You can revive them if you can get over to them in time, or you just wait until the timer's done and they'll come back to life. You don't have to worry about these people too much."
If your game becomes a multiplayer experience, the Followers will be disabled, which Martens says cuts down on distractions. "We felt that when you're playing with other people the Followers become something you no longer really need. The Followers, with the amount of talking and interaction they do, become actually more of a distraction than a use, in my opinion. You know, you want to talk to your friend, shut up Scoundrel, hold on a second." Followers will also not be available in player versus player modes.
Earlier in the development process Blizzard considered building in parts of the world that could only be accessed by having a specific Follower tag along, but after testing tossed aside the idea. "Everything they do is good for you, and there's never any disadvantage to having one or not having another," says Martens. "Whatever you can find randomly in the world is accessible to anybody with or without a Follower."
So what do you think, do you know which Follower might suit your style? Or are you just waiting to see if you can get into the beta that's supposed to launch this fall?