Diablo 3 will have three new NPC character classes which will assist adventurers on their journeys. These ‘Follower’ classes will act somewhat similar to the mercenaries from Diablo 2, but with much more depth and customization, along with certain limitations.
Diablo 3 Followers will be much more viable and interesting than the D2 Mercs, but they are not intended for use during the later stages of a character’s journey. Followers have been implemented to get players used to cooperative gameplay early on, while many players are still learning the ropes in single-player mode. Once a player has completed the game in Normal difficulty, then that character’s Followers are essentially retired.
Players will be introduced to the Followers early on — during points of the game where their varied storylines, lore and agendas will come into play. Each Follower character will have their own backstory, as well as their reasons for wanting to aid you in the fight against the besieging forces of evil.
Players will acquire Followers much in the same way they will recruit Artisans — by completing a series of quests in order to gain the Follower’s trust and loyalty. Once a Follower has been recruited, they will become part of the player’s Caravan. Only one Follower can be used at a time, but players will be able to switch through them freely – choosing the Follower that will best compliment your character depending upon the given situation or encounter.
The Three Follower characters:
Kormac the Templar
Kormac is a powerful warrior of the Templar Order — an armored knight who fights with a spear and shield. Kormac is a melee character suited for tanking and melee DPS, but can also be talented so as to serve as a healer and protector.
Eirena the Enchantress
Eirena is a sorceress who attacks mostly from range, possessing spells very similar to that of the Wizard’s — namely spells drawing from unstable Arcane power. Eirena can also provide offensive or defensive buffs, as well as an increased ability to find magical items!
Lyndon the Scoundrel
Lyndon is a ranged attacker who fights mainly with his crossbow, similar to the Rogue mercenary in Diablo II. Lyndon also has a few other tricks up his sleeve, including crowd control abilities such as blinds and slows, as well as an enhanced ability to scavenge valuable items from fallen foes, such as: gems, runes and crafting materials.
Followers are intended to be an integral part of Normal difficulty as a means of introducing players to multiplayer gameplay. However, as mentioned earlier in this post, they are not intended for use past Normal difficulty. Followers are designed so that they will scale along with your character in Normal difficulty, reaching a maximum level of only 25. Because of the level 25 cap, Followers are not at all usable past Normal difficulty.
Blizzard has stated that players can ‘try’ to use their Followers in Nightmare or Hell difficulty, but they will find that they become continually incapacitated (more on this below) and are essentially unusable. Furthermore, if Blizzard does start to discover players coming up with creative ways to keep their Followers alive past Normal difficulty, they will implement fixes to prevent it. Blizz has emphatically stated that Followers are only to be used in Normal – as a vehicle to get players used to cooperative gameplay – and are not meant to act as a substitute for another live player when tackling tougher content.
Follower Death, i.e, Becoming Incapacitated
Rather than ‘dying’, Followers will become ‘incapacitated’ once they’ve sustained too much damage and are out of health. Once a Follower has become incapacitated, they will be out of the fight for a short while – eventually reviving themselves and returning to the fray when ready. When a Follower is incapacitated, players will lose all buffs and passive benefits given them by the Follower.
It will be possible for players to revive incapacitated Followers, but the process of waking them up causes players to become vulnerable to attack. Hence, it may often be advisable to wait for the Follower to revive on their own, or to wait until all nearby monsters have been neutralized before reviving an unconscious Follower.
Followers do not benefit from health potions, but do benefit from Health Globes.
Followers will be able to equip gear in the following slots:
- Main Hand
- Off Hand
- Rings (2)
In addition, there is a special ‘locked’ item slot which is unlocked once the Follower has reached level 25. The item which goes in the equipment slot is unique to each Follower, and can only be obtained through a specific quest.
Followers will also have a 3-tiered visual upgrade based upon level progression.
Followers will gain access to various skills at levels: 5, 10, 15 and 20. Players will be able to choose 1 out of 3 available skills each time a new skill tier is available – allowing Followers a total of 4 skills at level 20. Follower skills cannot be modified by Runes and are only 1 level.
The Follower skill system is in place to allow players to customize their Followers based upon their character type and play style.
If you wish to re-talent your Follower later on, they can be taken back into town for a respec… for a small fee, of course.
Diablo 3 Follower Video Preview
Well, there’s a brief overview of the new Diablo 3 Follower system. I hope you enjoyed the article and are looking forward to this new mechanic as much as I am. 🙂