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Blizzard on Follower Strength

Posted 10 Sep 2012 by

A couple of Blue posts this morning about Followers don’t provide any new info, but one brings up an issue worthy of debate.

I’m sure this has been talked to death, but are there any plans to make the followers not ridiculously worthless? Even when equipped with a good weapon, the followers still do like 1/15 of the damage you can with the same weapon. All they provide is a meager stat boost.

I remember the followers in D2, where if you gave them the right weapon they could match your dps, or provide an incredible buff (Insight or Infinity). At the very least, though, they would provide a great damage boost, and if geared right would make an excellent meat shield.

Vaeflare: Never fear! We’re actually actively looking into the relative strength of followers. :)

They spend the entire time with you, chatting, helping out, adding their magic find to your pool. All they really want is to help defeat the Prime Evil in the final battle. But then they get denied. Is that really fair? I mean, I’d be really disappointed if I spent all that time working towards something and then never being able to realize the dream.
Vaeflare: I think that they were glad to offer their services to support the hero on their quests and adventures in any way they could, and I’m sure that they, like Tyrael, indeed yearned to join in the fight. They also had their own stories — some of which were resolved in-part by the end of Diablo III, while others were left open. But I also think that part of the hero’s journey is realizing that some fights must be tackled and overcome alone, and in this case, only your hero was strong enough to push forth and face the Prime Evil mano-a-mano.

Eirena enrichs your playing experience?

Ignoring the silliness of the second one, how about that first point? Should Followers be stronger? A legitimate source of damage and assistance in Inferno? This would be a big change, since the way Followers are now is by design. Players who weren’t around pre-game probably don’t realize it, but Followers weren’t even going to exist past Normal difficulty, in the original concept.

The D3 team felt they were too strong in D2, and that having a well-equipped follower was almost essential, so their design theory in D3 was to make them purely a source of minor buffs and witty banter. (Check the DiabloWikiFollowers page in the wiki for a ton of blue quotes on this balance issue.)

The D3 devs succeeded surprisingly well at that balancing, but that doesn’t mean you approve of the current system. So what do you guys think? How about a vote…

How strong should Followers be in Diablo 3?

  • 2) I want a return to the D2-style of big damage Followers. (56%, 1,712 Votes)
  • 1) I like the current buffs-but-low-damage design. (31%, 964 Votes)
  • 4) No opinion/not sure/something else. (8%, 232 Votes)
  • 3) I want Followers out of the game entirely. (5%, 153 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,061

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Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Diablo: IncGamers Votes, Followers