Companions could use some attention

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Reiksmarshal

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVC
After playing dozens of campaigns you start to notice some of the underlying issues with the current companion system. Here are some of the issues I have experienced.

1. Starting number of companions - sometimes a culture will have as many as 7+ while others only have only 1.

Solution - Have each culture start with at least 5 at the beginning of a campaign.

2. Duplicate Companion Types - For example I had 5 companions available to my culture and 2 of them had the Fish name and the same stats.

Solution - If a certain type of companion is alive then a duplicate can not spawn.

3. Companion listed at a location but they are not there - Some companions are listed as staying in a location but are no where to be found.

Solution - Probably a bug and needs further review.

4. Companion Experience - Companions barely level up during a course of a campaign.

Solution - Look at how companions are gain XP and adjust the amount they get including perks that give companions XP.

5. Unique Static Companions - Have a few unique companions that are not random that are high level with good gear. These would be the elite mercenary companions with epic stats and gear that cost a small fortune to hire. Maybe some of them could come with a few unique troops.

Any thoughts?
 
On 2. There had been a bug preventing the use of expanded companion names (like “fish” “the alone” etc.). And I think someone had uncovered it and perhaps @Duh_TaleWorlds had ended up fixing it? While I think I see more variety now than previously, I still come across duplicates within the first year of the game. Maybe there’s a need for even more wanderer titles, if this is now working as intended?
 

Lord Irontoe

Master Knight
I'd be fine with the companions as they are now, if they also added unique static companions with interesting stories and maybe their own questlines.

Then the current wanderers could just be utility guys who you hire when you need someone with some skills to do a job for you. And since they're dynamically generated, why not add way more of them and put them all over the world? Let them work for other lords, or lead bandit groups or their own merc parties. They could act almost like little mini-bosses to spice up battles a bit.
 
Ah. I’d also love if we’d be able to pair a companion or spouse with the head of a party. So one NPC supporting the lead NPC of a player’s clan.
 

vym

Recruit
4. Fix with mods and enjoy.
6. Inadequate randomly stupid prices for hiring companions. Some bum with 70/90/80 skills can ask 3800 when another companion with 130/150/120/150/130 will ask 580 gold.
7. All companions are freaking naked in bathrobes with some trash sword only. Devs are too lazy to diversify their weapons and equipment.
8. Companions still keep dying in battles!
 

Bjorn The Hound

Grandmaster Knight
WBVCNWWF&SM&B
Companion Experience - Companions barely level up during a course of a campaign.
I don't know how I feel about this. In Warband, I remember the first thing I was doing when I started a new campaign was gathering my companions and fight bandits only with them until they reach some okayish level. If I am reaching 30 level or so after a long campaign, I expect my companions to reach 20-25 level. Correct me If I am wrong, as far as I know, they are gaining xp like player right now and because they are so worst at killing people they don't level up. Maybe a little boost would be good, It would be cheating but let's see how that play out.

Current features :

  • Caravans that are lead by a companion earns XP on each town visited. They recruit troops when the number is below their max capacity and gain a bit of leadership for each new recruit. Steward affects caravan party size (at a lower rate than regular parties). Leader hero gain Steward XP depending on the party size, scouting and tactics XP too.
  • Governors earn XP each day depending on the stats of their town or castle. Skill affected are trade (only towns), steward, leadership, charm and engineering.
  • Scouts affects the success chance to infiltrating a city. They earn Roguery XP if your party carry prisoners.
  • Surgeons earns Steward XP if you have pack animals.
  • QuarterMaster earn Charm XP if you have high moral, they can help you recruit prisoners. Talking to your quartermaster give you the option to make him manage your food supplies automatically.
  • Wanderers can spawn in cities the player never visited. If many are packed in a single city, they are moved to cities without any wanderers.
  • All parties have a slight boost in their carry capacity depending on Steward skill of the quartermaster or leader hero. (Bigger bonus for caravans). Prisoner limit is increased by the rogery skill of your scout.
  • Fixes various issues with wanderers are solved.
  • Tournaments gives the XP rewards to heroes winning as it does to player.
  • Player's parties can have their inventory managed by speaking to the party leader.
  • Wanderers of useful types (scout, surgeons, quartermaster and engineer) spawns a lot more during the first few weeks of a new campaign.
  • New option to deal with bandits hideout, success depends of Engineer's engineering skill and scout's roguery skill.
There is this mod, for example. I did not play long with this mod but it feels good to see they are earning some extra xp.
 

WhyAmIHere

Only need to play one campaign to notice the biggest issue: The companions have less personality than a carboard cutout. But I've raged on this point plenty of times in detail before and feel no need to do so again.
 
I can think of several good changes for them, any of would be a big improvement.
1. NO MORE RANDOM STATS Devs, figure out the role and advantage of each type and have them spawn with the attributes and FP to perform and grow in that roll! They already have non-random SKill levels, but they need the FP and attributes to back it up or they stagnate and can't progress at all!

2. Let player reset thier perks! SO many of the wanderer only have a chance at 1 or 2 actually good perks anyways, having a 50% chance of missing it anyways is just too much! Give us a chance to flip em to perks we need!

3. Enhance and balance skill growth! I know it's being worked on, but it can't be here soon enough! Both player nad NPC clan members need to be able to raise all skills in a useful amount of time! It's a big problem for instance, you start a game and get a willow bark wanderer with 60 medicine, years later scholar spawns with 120 medicine and your poor willow part only went up to like 65 medicine, she gets kick out for the higher skill medic because it TAKES SO LONG . And it's of course not just medicine, leadership, tactics , roguery WHATEVER SKILL you put on them needs to raise raise raise constantly in your party or what was the point?

4. How about something fun like let player create and submit a wanderer and you can augment or replace the randoes with the kind of companions player's actually want! Or even just add a similar function in the game for a price, the player can make a custom wanderer!
 
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CrazyElf

Veteran
3. Companion listed at a location but they are not there - Some companions are listed as staying in a location but are no where to be found.

Solution - Probably a bug and needs further review.

This one is a big issue IMO - having to travel to towns only to find them not there.

Maybe a warning mechanism (ex: how long will they stay and where will they go). Companions are different than AI because they want to be hired in a sense - most have debts or some other need for the money if you go through their stories.
 
I want “white” companions, I mean someone with level 1 to grow him/her as I want even if it toke longer.

More or less like your kids but without waiting them to grow up.
 

Lord Irontoe

Master Knight
I don't know how I feel about this. In Warband, I remember the first thing I was doing when I started a new campaign was gathering my companions and fight bandits only with them until they reach some okayish level. If I am reaching 30 level or so after a long campaign, I expect my companions to reach 20-25 level. Correct me If I am wrong, as far as I know, they are gaining xp like player right now and because they are so worst at killing people they don't level up. Maybe a little boost would be good, It would be cheating but let's see how that play out.
Yeah, warband companions got xp from kills just like the player, but they also had an xp-multiplier to make up for the fact that they get fewer kills overall than the player. I think companions got around 3x the xp that the player got. BL companions should also get some kind of multiplier as well.

Even if the xp rates were improved, though, there are still problems with Companion leveling that no amount of fiddling with the xp formulas will fix. Like the fact that only your designated Surgeon or Scout or Engineer can gain xp in those skills. There's no way to train a backup so you have to start over from scratch whenever one dies.

Most of the frustration over leveling would be resolved if they just gave you a few free skill points to spend wherever you want every level, just like how you used to get the 10 free proficiency points per level in Warband.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
[...]
Most of the frustration over leveling would be resolved if they just gave you a few free skill points to spend wherever you want every level, just like how you used to get the 10 free proficiency points per level in Warband.
+1 to this ☝️ 😌
giphy.gif
 

Bjorn The Hound

Grandmaster Knight
WBVCNWWF&SM&B
NO MORE RANDOM STATS Devs, figure out the role and advantage of each type and have them spawn with the attributes and FP to perform and grow in that roll!
This is the most annoying thing about companions right now. You get a scout with 60 scouts skill points and then you find out that their cunning attribute is just 1.

they also had an xp-multiplier to make up for the fact that they get fewer kills overall than the player.
I did not know that. So xp multiplier for companions would definitely be good addition.
 

AJAJP_Juan

Knight at Arms
Like the fact that only your designated Surgeon or Scout or Engineer can gain xp in those skills. There's no way to train a backup so you have to start over from scratch whenever one dies.

Well you can technically send them in caravans so they dont eat up party slots and will get both surgeon and scouting passively (along other, less interesting stats). Yes that's especially bad for medicine, but when talking about that skill everything is.
 
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