A Follower is Diablo III's answer to . Followers can be equipped with a small amount of gear, and spells and skills can be chosen for the follower by the player. There are three basic classes: the Enchantress named Eirena, a ranged magic caster, the Templar named Kormac, a melee tank similar to the Paladin, and the Scoundrel Lyndon, who is a ranged crossbow user.
Followers should not be mistook for hirelings, who serve a different purpose in Diablo III.
Followers in Diablo III
The followers in Diablo III are well removed from the mercenary system in Diablo II. One of the largest differences is in the name itself--followers are not hired, they are recruited through quests. There are three followers in Diablo III, which will all be gained within the first Act.
To see more about the individual followers, visit:
- The Enchantress (Eirena) entry.
- The Scoundrel (Lyndon) entry.
- The Templar (Kormac) entry.
Lore Abiding Citizens
The followers, much like the Artisans, are recruited through quests that the player must complete in order to gain their trust and companionship. Afterwards, they will be available for play and customization. Unlike mercenaries, the followers will be recruited through the storyline in this way, allowing Blizzard to funnel a lot of narrative through the action of the game.
Continuing on that theme, Boyarsky also conducted an interview with Game Planet where he stated:
In addition to this, each quest for the follower is character specific so, as an example, a quest for Kormac involved retrieving holy scrolls stolen by Leoric. While the mercs in D2 had no personality whatsoever, and were very much throw-away expendable characters, the followers have their own sets of motivations, their own goals, and they also react to the world around them. Boyarsky goes into a bit of detail about this in an interview with Ausgamers:
The rather jarring days of having a mercenary step into Hell for the first time, and immediately poking things with a stick without so much as a comment, seems to be over.
Followers in Single and Multiplayer
Followers can only be utilized in single player. If a player joins a game, then the follower being used will return to town. Jay Wilson contributes insight to this design philosophy in an interview with Now Gamer:
Followers do not die in Diablo III. They are simply incapacitated. Part of the reason for this is the general amount of frustration of having to go back to town and pay a gold fee to resurrect a mercenary, and the lack of logic that follows from that. The other reason being that the followers are not mercs, they are NPCs with their own story that is relevant to the overall plot of the game.
When a follower is incapacitated, they will revive after a short time on their own, or the player can revive them by standing above them and waking them up. The process of waking them up leaves the player vulnerable to attack, so it will be best to revive them when there aren't any enemies in the vicinity. While the follower is incapacitated, the player will not receive any bonuses that originate from them.
Beyond Normal Mode
Most who played Diablo II will have not-so-fond memories of their mercenaries running against a wall, or other nonsensical behavior, and they became quite frustrating. Their help amounted to an aura or other passive ability, and the player often struggled to keep them alive.
'''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.
Contrary to popular speculation, followers will not be able to be controlled by the player outside of dictating their fighting style by selecting their skills. There will be no "aggressive/defensive" toggle, nor will the player be able to dictate precise movements of the follower.
The Follower Interface
The interface for followers is separated into three basic sections: Gear, Skills, and stats. The gear portion of the pane lets players equip their followers with items. The skills interface allows the player to assign skills or spells to the follower for each milestone bracket of levels. The stats portion of the interface allows the player to view relevant statistics such as health and elemental resistances.
One of the larger changes from mercs in Diablo II is the ability to assign abilities to the followers, instead of picking a vague type from a list. Gone are the days of useless Flux mercs from Act III!
Upon reaching level five, the player can choose one of three spells or skills for the follower. Each subsequent five levels, up to level twenty, will award an additional choice for the player. Each different type of follower will offer a customizable skillset to either boost the player's effectiveness in a certain area, or cover a weakness in another.
Once the skills or spells are assigned, that is the end of it, unless the players choose to respec them, which will be small in cost. There are no extra ranks of abilities for followers, nor do they benefit from traits of their own. Follower abilities may not be affected by runes.
The player is able to equip the follower with two rings, an amulet, a main-hand weapon, and an off-hand item when applicable, which includes shields and possibly orbs. The locked box in the inventory pane will be an item that is unique to that follower, which is unlockable at level 25. The unlockable item will be gained through completing the follower's questline, and only one special item is known at the moment: Kormac the Templar can unlock a holy book to equip that will aid him in battle.
The attribute section of the interface for mercenaries is gone with the introduction of followers. Instead, the relevant statistics displayed are the health of the follower (current health and maximum health), the range of damage they will inflict with a standard attack, and also resistances. It is currently unknown what effect, if any, equipping a follower with an amulet containing player attributes will have, or if there are restrictions on gear or modifiers that the followers will be able to equip.
Design Goal of Followers in Diablo III
The function of a mercenary in Diablo II was a permanent helper that would scale with their level. Upon release of the expansion pack, Lord of Destruction, mercs gained a lot of power, particularly due to duped runeword items. Many MF characters relied on mercs for defense and damage. This will not be the case with followers. The design philosphy for the follower differs drastically, where the dev team has stated that they want the followers to be a sort of introduction to co-op multiplayer. Bashiok expands on this idea:
It was said by the D3 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. In April of 2011, the follower system was indeed revealed, but to the chargrin of Blizzard, it was leaked by the Korean Blizzard official website on accident. Diablo fans 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 screenshots.
Previous comments by the development team follow:
The team has said they hope 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've given no details yet. 
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.
Leonard Boyarsky spoke in more detail about their plans for Mercs at Blizzcon 2008.
Leonard went on to say that there would be different hireables to fill different roles, such as tanks, artillery support, etc.
No more updated info has since been released, though in April 2011 Bashiok hinted that an announcement was imminent.
|Characters & NPCs Import. Chars Rumoured Diablo 3 NPCs Diablo 2 NPCs Diablo 1 NPCs Minor A-K Minor L-Z Fanmade|
|Diablo III's Possible NPCs|
|NPCs of Diablo II||
Achilios - Adria - Akara - Albord - Aldric Jitan - Alkor - Anya - Arkaine - Asheara - Assur - Atma - Augustus Malevolyn - Baerna - Banagar - Benjin - Brek - Buyard Cholik - Camylle - Celestia - Cornelius - Darrick Lang - Diomedes - Drognan - Edgewulf - Elora - Elzix - Emilye - Fara - Farnham - Fautzin - Galeona - Garda - Gheed - Gillian - Gorst - Greiz - Griswold - Guthwulf - Hagan - Halbu - Hanos Jeronnan - Hargo - Hays - Hratli - Hrothwulf - Humbart Wessel - Hunfrith - Hyram - Icharion - Jace - Jamella - Jerhyn - Jodas - Juris Khan - Justinian IV - Kabraxis - Kara Nightshadow - Karybdus - Kashya - Kentril Dumon - Kethryes - Korlic - Kreghn - Ku Y'leh
Lam Esen - Larzuk - Linarian - Lysander - Malah - Mat Hu-Ring - Meshif - Mirakodus - Mordecai - Natalya - Nefriti - Nellia - Nihlathak - Nor Tiraj - Norrec Vizharan - Ogden - Ord Rekar - Orlif - Ormus - Oskal - Palashia - Pepin - Qarak - Qual-Kehk - Riordan Nesardo - Sadun Tryst - Salene Nesardo - Sardak - Sarnakyle - Septumos - Simon - Talic - Taramis Volken - Tilgar - Tobio - Toko - Tylwulf - Vischar Orous - Warriv - Wirt - Wulfgar - Xazax - Zagraal - Zayl - Zorea