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Followers are NPCs who assist your hero in his or her battle against the demons overrunning Sanctuary. There are three Followers in Diablo III, each of whom has a unique story, look, and combat style. They are: Eirena the Enchantress, Kormac the Templar, and Lyndon the Scoundrel. There are no additional followers in Reaper of Souls.


Followers are only usable in single player games; they return to town and will not assist you when playing with other players. While the initial plan was for Followers to only be usable through Normal difficulty, fan feedback influenced the developers to revise the system to make Followers viable companions throughout Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno difficulty. [1]


The design theory is that Followers are helpful when playing alone, but not so powerful as to make them mandatory, and not so complicated that players need to constantly attend to their survival. (There is no way to feed them potions, though they do share in the benefit of health globes. As they do not die there are no resurrection costs.)


Contents

[edit] Follower Types

The three followers take on different roles in combat, though they should be roughly equivalent in usefulness, with their style of combat determining which one your character will find most useful.


Each follower has eight unique skills, four of which can be enabled at a time, with two new ones coming online every five levels. Players can retrain their follower at any time afterwards, to use different abilities. See the various followers pages for full details on their skills.


  • The Enchantress Eirena is a mage with numerous powerful ranged magical attacks and a variety of helpful buffs.
  • The Scoundrel Lyndon is an ex-thief and archer who wields a crossbow. He has numerous bow attacks and can debuff monsters, slowing and poisoning them.
  • The Templar Kormac is a heavily-armored tank, ready to act as a meat shield for your ranged attacker. He can take on large groups of melee fighters and draw enemy attention in the toughest scrap.


Followers 3.jpg


[edit] Followers Availability

Followers can only be utilized in single player playing in a game on Battle.net. If another player joins your game, your follower will return to town. Jay Wilson contributes insight to this design philosophy in an interview with Now Gamer.[2]

Followers aren’t in [[PvP]] at all, and in cooperative Followers return to town. We found that having four players and four Followers on-screen all at once was pretty chaotic and hard to tell what’s going on. We logic’d out that a player is better than a Follower, they’re better companionship and they’re certainly more effective than a Follower. We figured any player would prefer to have another player, so at that point we decided to have the Follower return to town. You can always get him back later – if the other player leaves the Follower will return.


If the other people in your game leave you will be asked if you'd like your follower to rejoin you and if you select yes they will instantly appear where you are.


In Adventure mode in Reaper of Souls followers are available instantly, there is no requirement to discover each of them again.[3]


Grimiku: You’ll still need to complete the campaign mode at least once in order to unlock Adventure Mode, but once it’s unlocked all of your characters of that game type (Normal or Hardcore) will be able to access it, even brand new ones.


[edit] Follower Skills

Upon reaching level five, the player can choose one of two spells or skills for the Templar and Scoundrel and again choose between another two spells at level 10, 15 and finally 20. Skills for the Enchantress can be chosen first at level 15 then again at 20, 25 and finally character level 30.


Each different type of follower offers a customizable skillset to either boost the player's effectiveness in a certain area, or cover a weakness in another. Details of those in the skill sections of the Templar, Scoundrel and Enchantress pages.


Followers' skills can be changed at any time by simply left clicking on the new skill you want, the other skill is automatically deselected.


[edit] Experience

Much like the player, followers gain experience, and also benefit from plus to experience items. Followers level up along with the player, in a manner of speaking. However, a follower will never be more than one level behind the hero. Followers also benefit from bonuses such as the Massacre boost which gives bonus experience.


Benefiting from a Scoundrel's items.

[edit] Gear

Any gear or gems you equip on your follower that adds Gold Find, Magic Find or Experience will add 20% to the player's total bonus for those. For example, a Hellfire Ring that adds +35% experience bonus, if worn by a follower, will be worth 7% bonus to the player. The 20% bonus can not take the player beyond the 300% cap for GF/MF however.[4]


Followers can only equip weapons, rings, and amulets (shields as well on the Templar). In addition all three have their own special class-specific item slot too which allows the Templar to wear Templar Relics, the Scoundrel to equip Scoundrel Tokens and the Enchantress Enchantress Focuses. There are no legendary follower-specific items. As different attributes increase the damage they deal many of those items will increase that stat in particular:


  • Strength for the Templar
  • Dexterity for the Scoundrel
  • Intelligence for the Enchantress


Set item bonuses for wearing multiple items from a set do not apply when they are equipped by a follower. As a Blizzard CM clarifies:

[5]

Vaeflare: As it stands currently, in order to receive the benefits of set bonuses, the set items need to be equipped on your main character. Set items equipped on Followers will not contribute to set bonuses.


We’re aware that this isn’t ideal, and we’re looking into some possibilities that would make using set items on Followers a more appealing choice in the future.


Calling all Followers

There is an interesting set, Asheara's Vestments which, when all four items are equipped by a player, has a chance to summon all your followers, fully equipped. They will disappear after a period until the bonus chance spawns them again.


The specifics of what followers add to the player's stats is listed under 'Adventure' in their 'Details' tab, see the image on the right.


Items worn by followers will lose durability and require repairing just like players' items, however each item has to be placed in the repair slot individually for the merchant to repair.


[edit] Buffs

There is no mechanism to feed health potions to your Follower, though they do share in the benefit of health globes, Nephalem Globes. The Followers also possess various buffs and healing spells, which they can use to help your character, as well as themselves.

Any buffs that a player can apply to party members in a multiplayer game will apply to your follower when playing with them in a single player game.


[edit] Follower Death

Followers never die, they simply have a rest for a short while and will automatically return to your side once their health is restored.


[edit] Follower Quests and Lore

The followers, much like the Artisans, are recruited through quests that the player must complete in order to gain their trust and companionship. Once this is done, the Followers can always be found in the town area, where a player may choose one of them to accompany him into battle. Followers have their own individual quests, which shed more light on their back story as well as the overall game plot. A player will need to work through the entire game with each of the followers, individually, to experience their full game plot and all of the quests.


[edit] Follower Achievements

There are a number of achievements players can earn that are related to Followers.

Name Points Description Banner
The Comfort of Strangers
(database)

General
10 Recruit the Templar, Scoundrel, and Enchantress.
Dirty Little Secrets
(database)

General/Conversations
20 Complete the follower conversation achievements listed below.
The Art of Conversation
(database)

General/Conversations
20 Complete the main character, follower, and artisan conversation achievements listed below.
For the Order
(database)

General/Conversations
10 Listen to all of the Templar's conversations.
No Award
Secrets of the Ages
(database)

General/Conversations
10 Listen to all of the Enchantress's conversations.
No Award
To Catch a Thief
(database)

General/Conversations
10 Listen to all of the Scoundrel's conversations.
No Award
A Guiding Light
(database)

General/Exploration
10 Use the Templar as your follower.
Me, Myself & Eirena
(database)

General/Exploration
10 Use the Enchantress as your follower.
Stolen Moments
(database)

General/Exploration
10 Use the Scoundrel as your follower.
Friends with Benefits
(database)

General/Exploration
10 Fully equip one of your followers. No Award
I Got What You Need
(database)

General/Exploration
10 Acquire a Templar relic, an Enchantress focus, and a Scoundrel token.
No Award
I'll Be Your Wingman
(database)

Challenges
10 Let a follower get the killing blow on all of the following enemies.


[edit] Follower Development

August 2008

The development team said they hoped to include full mercenaries as a feature, and that if they do they'll be bigger and better than mercs were in D2. But they gave no details at that time.[6]

Do those NPC's provide abilities to the hero, like a proper party system?
Julian Love: That's also not yet finalised. We're trying to make them definitely a step above the henchmen of Diablo II, but how big of a step is something I can't say yet. Hopefully next time we reveal something I can show you more.


October 2008


Leonard Boyarsky spoke in more detail about their plans for Mercenaries at Blizzcon in October 2008 in an interview with IncGamers.Two types of Mercenaries - IncGamers interview with Leonard Boyarsky, Blizzard Entertainment, 10/10/2008</ref>

We have two different types of mercenaries now. As you saw in the demo, if you got the quest where you could rescue the adventurers or their leader, those guys are a low level and are just along for the quest, or are cannon fodder. You can't really control them or have anything to do with them at all. When you have what we are calling followers, they are the guys you can equip, give them different weapons, you can give them different armor. They will probably have some quests that involve them. Much more than in Diablo II, you could equip them but they were more like a game mechanic in a body of an NPC. Where this time, were making them much more individuals with their own back story and their own reason for being in the world.

Leonard went on to say that there would be different hireables to fill different roles, such as tanks, artillery support, etc.


May 2011

It was said by the Diablo 3 development team for ages that they "weren't ready" to reveal mercenaries in Diablo III, or otherwise they "didn't know" what they would do with them. However, in May 2011, the follower system was indeed revealed, but to the chagrin of Blizzard, it was leaked by the Korean Blizzard official website by accident.[7]

The Diablo community quickly picked this up and accepted it as real due to the superb quality of the presentation of the video. The day after, Blizzard unveiled the followers in an official capacity in a deluge of interviews, information, and new screen shots.[8]


May 2011 - Only Viable in Normal

The initial plan was that Followers would not be viable past Normal difficulty, as Bashiok explained in May 2011.[9]


Well, followers are essentially a flavor bonus to those playing through normal the first time by themselves. It provides some story elements, but more importantly it gets the idea in their head of playing with another person.... They aren't required to beat the game on Normal, even if you're playing by yourself. Feel free to leave them behind if you like. But they are pretty awesome. ...(snip)...


They're also tuned so that they become very weak starting in Nightmare, and then are completely unusable in Hell. Even if you're playing alone, you will probably not be using Followers past Normal. They're there as a bit of flavor, to help get people into the mindset of co-op if they're a bit reluctant, and... that's about it. They won't be usable at end-game, and they'll never replace the abilities and power that another player can bring.


After players talked about finding ways to make Followers viable in Hell, especially for their Magic Find and other item finding bonuses, Bashiok made the developer's intentions even clearer.[10]


Followers will not stay alive easily past Normal, and if they’re not alive you aren’t going to be getting their bonuses. I’m sure people will try to game this, and ideally they will fail. If not we will ensure followers are not part of the end-game MF equation. They are not intended to be, and we will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure they cannot be.


October 2011 - Now Viable in Higher Difficulties


The developers changed that design theory later in development, and announced at BlizzCon in October 2011 that Followers were being rebalanced to remain viable throughout the higher difficulty levels. Bashiok added an update on that in early January, 2012.[1]


A lot of us wanted to see followers become viable throughout the game too, and agree they really add something to the experience as a whole. One of our main driving forces in making this decision was the benefits of the co-op experience, and the disadvantage of playing alone in the Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno difficulties. Followers won’t follow you into co-op games because you’ll already have the superior firepower of your friends to help you, but playing alone you’re going to want to take advantage of their benefits. We’ve made the later difficulties of the game brutally difficult, and we realize that for those attempting to tackle these later difficulties alone, they’re really going to actually want some additional support in the form of the followers.


Some players didn’t like their experience with mercenaries in Diablo II. We took feedback regarding mercenaries very seriously when designing Diablo III followers, and they differ from mercenaries in a few key ways that we think set them apart and resolve many issues. First of all, there is no resurrection or cost to your followers’ deaths, which makes their upkeep far less intrusive. When a follower takes enough damage to “die”, they simply take a knee, catch their breath, and after a few moments are back in the fight. That downtime could potentially have an effect on your own survival, but it’s unlikely to create a situation where you’re worrying about them or constantly working to keep them alive. We don’t want to turn what could be a fun benefit into a punishment by making players pay for their followers’ poor combat choices.


Secondly, when you die, so does your follower. These aren’t characters that can hope to compete or continue on without you. While some players prefer to be the lone wolf taking on the forces of evil, our intent isn’t to dilute the hero aspects by adding more wolves to your wolf pack. We want followers to be an extension of your bad-assery, not a liability. The followers could almost be considered automated buffs/damage skills, but of course with quite a bit more flavor and customization options.


We still have some tweaking to do with the followers, including their skills and end-game balancing. We continue to discover cool little ways to improve how each follower performs and the complements the different heroes. Our intent is to ensure players who take followers along find them to be helpful additions to their single-player experiences.


[edit] Follower AI

The AI and pathfinding of followers in Diablo III is much improved, but it's one-size-fits-all; there are no options to set the Followers in some sort of "aggressive/defensive" mode, nor can players point to specific spots and tell the Followers to remain there.

Jay Wilson spoke about the AI challenges they faced, and what players can expect from follower AI, in an April 2011 interview with Now Gamer: [2]

'''NowGamer''': You’ve talked in the past about improvements to enemy AI – what about NPCs?

'''Jay Wilson''': They were a bit easier because they tend to lean on the monster AI, use a lot of the same things as them. Making the Followers interesting revolved around making our monster targeting systems better. In Diablo II monsters pretty much just targeted whatever was closest to them, which meant if you played as a necromancer, it could be kind of a boring class because you almost never get attacked by anything. Your scouts always moved fast to get in front of you. So we said ‘OK, let’s have enemies that attack in different ways, or choose their targets in different ways’.


Take an enemy that burrows for example – they’re really most dangerous to a ranged class, so that’s what they focus on – they burrow and make a beeline for a ranged character. Whereas a lot of enemies will go ‘I want to attack somebody, but if I can’t reach one of the guys closest to me, or he has a lot of people attacking him already, I’m just going to choose somebody else’. So the attacks get spread out a little more. It makes having a Follower a lot more interesting because they’ll pick up some of the enemies’ focus but not all of it.


[edit] Patch Changes to Followers since Release

Patch 1.0.2b - 6 June 2012

  • Monsters who are charmed by the Enchantress’s skill “Mass Confusion” can no longer kill event NPCs.


Patch 1.0.3 - 19 June 2012

Enchantress Skills

Mass Control
Radius reduced from 15 yards to 8 yards
If Enchantress also has Reflect Missiles trained, Mass Control will no longer accidentally hex the player when both skills are activated
Skill will now correctly target enemies in all circumstances


Patch 1.0.4 - 21 August 2012

  • The last follower a player had active in a single-player game will now be restored automatically after leaving a multiplayer game
  • The frequency of follower dialogue has been reduced


Patch 1.0.8 - 8 May 2013

Templar Skills

Loyalty
Now regenerates 310 life per second (up from 155)


[edit] Media

[edit] Gallery


[edit] Video

This is the reveal video for the Followers released on the 12th May 2011 by the official Korean site before, it seems, Blizzard Irvine was ready to do so.


[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Follower viability - Blizzard CM, 07/01/12
  2. 2.0 2.1 Followers in Multiplayer - Now Gamer interview with Jay Wilson, Blizzard Entertainment, 13/05/2011
  3. Followers in Adventure mode - Blizzard CM, 19/02/2014
  4. Follower Magic/Gold Find - Blizzard CM, 24/08/2012
  5. Set Bonuses from Followers Blizzard CM, 11/10/2012
  6. First mention of Mercenaries - Gameplanet interview with Julian Love, Blizzard Entertainment, 31/08/2008
  7. Follower video leaked - Blizzard Korea, 12/05/2011
  8. Blizzard reveal Diablo 3 Followers - Blizzard Entertainment, 13/05/2011
  9. Followers in Normal difficulty - Blizzard CM, 13/05/2011
  10. Preventing use on higher difficulties - Blizzard CM, 13/05/2011