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Isn't Aloth suppose to be like this? Just like the official game guide?

 

The guide is describing how to make a generic 'AoE Control/Damage Build,' not giving Aloth's stats.

 

This. It gives suggested races, culture and attributes for the PC or a custom hireling. 

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Well most remarks about companions being "sub-optimal" are right on the money, as most have a rather strange talent/attribute distribution, but TBH it doesn't matter that much, so long as you are not playing on PoTD dif (ironically, the first time I started a game I tried it on PoTD...).

 

I built a fire godlike monk for DPS/off tank role (some tankines is needed since monks have to take dmg to deal dmg) and went with 19 might, 10 con, 13 dex and 16 resolve... I got as far as Temple of Eothas 2nd floor at lvl3 with Edar and Aloth, before asking myself WTF am I doing with my 1st playthrough...

 

So I restarted on hard and that monk I built... Well he steamrolls most encounters, as dmg output is just insane. So far I'm fine with my main being way overpowered compared to other companions, as game would be boring if I had 6 chars built to same standard, therefore I don't use hirelings.

 

However on PoTD, as far as I can tell from that short playthrough, you actually need companions that are optimized, at least to a certain degree, in order to avoid turning most encounters into a nightmarish tactical chore.

 

A mod could certainly fix all companion issues and atm you can do it yourself using cheat console, but I belive some "official" NPC tweaking would be perfectly fine. Some suggestions on my part:

 

1. let all of them start at lvl1 when recruited and let player lvl them manually

2. for attributes, give them a set but ballanced distribution, so players can choose from several build options when lvling them up. So in the worst case scenario they are slightly sub-optimal compared to the main character, but not OP.

"We must all fear evil men. But there is a kind of evil we must fear most and that is the indifference of good men!"

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Aloth sure does look a lot better in the guide.

 

Wonder why they decided to not only ruin the guide but also make him into a completely useless companion

 

Again those are not Aloth's stats, from the guide.  That is the guide's recommendation on what you should put points into if you are creating their suggested 'AOE Control/Damage build' Wizard.

 

I will say that I have been thinking about this a lot and we should not have to choose between a companion with a fleshed out back story and an effective character.

 

In the IE games, while those companions were usually not optimal, the attribute system was not point-buy.  It was random.  And frankly, if you just took your first dice roll on a character you created in an IE game your stats would be on par with the average IE game companion or, likely, worse.

 

This is a point buy creation system so all of the companions should at least be optimal for a viable build within their class.  And I would be a big fan of having the companions be level 1 when they join, regardless of when they join, with an appropriate amount of experience so that you can guide their Level 1 to X advancement.

Edited by HozzM
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It seems that the companions builds takes into consideration their personalities and backgrounds, not their efficiency in combat.

 

That only works if you go by what the attribute is called rather than what it really does.

 

If the attributes worked the same but were instead called, say: power, health, speed, dodge, magic, evade, would you still argue they are alright? Or from another direction, there's no logical reason why being more intelligent would makes a priest's spells last longer, rather than getting that from being mighty or resolute. The relation between attributes and their effects is arbitrary.

Edited by falchen
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Well, well, this is the most stupid topic I have seem in a few years. So, you backed PoE but you are a power gamer? do you want a "Nuke"? (where is this word from? WoW?). These companions are not good builds because they are just common people. If they will accomplish something big, is because of you. They are not leaders of a country of a militia. They are not High Wizards, just average Joes. Are you in real life the smartest man? Are you the weakest man because you "don't need to be strong"? Do you have the best stats nature could offer to do your job? These companions were not MADE by the gods to help you. They will not complete you or complete a party in the best way possible, maybe not even in a good way. They are guys and girls who choose to be by your side. 

 

Mechanically talking, this is made due to factors:

First, You should be stronger than your partners. Because it is not cool for players to say "damns, I suck, my companions could soloing the game and I cant", because of the story (someone with high stats could be a leader, not following you).

Second, if everyone has good builds and high stats where they need high stats, the complete thing make no sense. I mean, if every Mage has 20 int, is like "all spells are casted with maxed AoE and maxed duration" and remove Int stat. Same for everything in the game. 

 

Finally, they did an option for power gamers: Go to the tavern and do your own builds. 

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Am I the only one who thinks that stats really don't make that much of difference?  I'm playing PoD right now using only story characters and some fights are challenging but in general I haven't hit anything I couldn't handle.  I much more concerned about poor skill selection but that can be mitigate by just grabbing characters early.  Although I have noticed that it seems that you get bonuses for NOT grabbing certain companions early.  Example: Kana, if you grab him at level 2 he starts out with normal chants, if you wait until level 3 he gets  Lo, Their Endless Host, the Harbingers Doom, which normally chanters can't get until a higher level.

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Aloth just popped level 6 for me, in a party with only one hireling (a warrior I made before I found out where Eder lived and was desperate for someone in a steel suit).

 

I thought the Perception thing was curious but he's never felt useless to me.

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Step 1: Kill the premade. 

Step 2: Loot Body.

Step 3: Inventory check.

Step 4: Sell anything not useful. 

Step 5: Hire useful companion.

Step 6: Profit?

 

Step 7: Lose all NPC specific interactions (for some, like me, that is a very important part of the game). 

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Step 1: Kill the premade. 

Step 2: Loot Body.

Step 3: Inventory check.

Step 4: Sell anything not useful. 

Step 5: Hire useful companion.

Step 6: Profit?

 

Step 7: Lose all NPC specific interactions (for some, like me, that is a very important part of the game). 

 

Well pretty sure if you can't already, you'll eventually be able to mod all premade companions to have the perfect Min/max stats.

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I have been testing some, trying to determine how soon I can get the companions. Since their attribute stats matter less to me than their actual skills, I could solve some of the issue I have with them, if I got them soon enough to correct any bad skill picks.

 

Aloth, Eder, Durance, and Kana I can all get at level 2 by rushing past as many enemies and quests solving as possible. Sagani, Pallegina, Hiravias, and Grieving Mother unfortunately require me to get past Caed Nua and fix the road East, and the battles there kind of need a level 3-4 party unfortunately (don't know if a level 3 party could do it to be honest as I haven't tried that).

 

In addition I am somewhat vary of rushing to Pallegina and Grieving Mother and the character triggers a lot of NPC conversations rushing past NPCs in Defiance Bay and Dyrwood Village. I am unsure whether content is lost this way though.

 

A change from the developer making it so any recruited companion start at level 0 letting you do all the leveling would fix the entire problem (of course would fix the attribute issue, but I don't mind that part personally)

Edited by gnoster
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Even without considering extreme minmaxing, I remember reading what was basically the exact same thread but about Baldur's Gate's companions in various different boards way back when.

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Step 1: Kill the premade. 

Step 2: Loot Body.

Step 3: Inventory check.

Step 4: Sell anything not useful. 

Step 5: Hire useful companion.

Step 6: Profit?

 

Step 7: Lose all NPC specific interactions (for some, like me, that is a very important part of the game). 

 

Well pretty sure if you can't already, you'll eventually be able to mod all premade companions to have the perfect Min/max stats.

 

 

Again, a lot of people don't seem to read what most who don't like the pre-made NPCs are saying. We're not asking for min/max NPCs, we just want decent NPCs, let's take Aloth for a specific example, I don't want 18 Might, 18 Dex, 18 Int with dump stats like 3 Con but, let me just swap the 16 Per and 12 Might and I'll be happy.

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Am I the only one who thinks that stats really don't make that much of difference?  

I hope so.  My custom druid 'only' has a 16 Int, and the difference in AoE between her and Hivaris is massive.  She can burn out entire encounters without touching the party and he has a tiny silver of additional AoE that isn't worth squat.   It honestly means he can't hit several enemies every time he casts a spell, at least not with also hitting the party.

 

Grieving Mother's poor intellect makes ciphers seem pretty mediocre because her paralyze and dominate don't last at all. 

 

Eder can be made to be a good tank from fighter abilities and talents, but if he were actually built for it, it would have made a huge difference in a couple fights.  A crystal spider grazed him, and got a lucky petrify, which allowed his bigger buddy to do 120 damage, taking him out of the fight.  If he'd had 10-15 more points of deflection, that wouldn't have happened.  

Edited by Voss
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Am I the only one who thinks that stats really don't make that much of difference?  

I hope so.  My custom druid 'only' has a 16 Int, and the difference in AoE between her and Hivaris is massive.  She can burn out entire encounters without touching the party and he has a tiny silver of additional AoE that isn't worth squat.   It honestly means he can't hit several enemies every time he casts a spell, at least not with also hitting the party.

 

Grieving Mother's poor intellect makes ciphers seem pretty mediocre because her paralyze and dominate don't last at all. 

 

Eder can be made to be a good tank from fighter abilities and talents, but if he were actually built for it, it would have made a huge difference in a couple fights.  A crystal spider grazed him, and got a lucky petrify, which allowed his bigger buddy to do 120 damage, taking him out of the fight.  If he'd had 10-15 more points of deflection, that wouldn't have happened.  

 

 

The comparison very much depends on the role and the stat.

 

Is there a huge difference between 17 and 18 int?  No.  There is a huge difference between 10 and 18 and it does matter.

 

 

For defenses/accuracy though there can be a huge this is not a matter of "think" or opinion its just a mathematical fact that at the high even just few points of deflection or Fortitude can make a literally gigantic difference.  Some people see a statement like Voss has here where he states 10-15 more etc. and to them they are think oh he is just being anal retentive its just a few points.  No those few points have a huge effective difference because the defense mechanics are exponential and not linear.

 

 

When it comes to tanking and defense this not a matter of opinion, at the high end of the spectrum every point of deflection, fort etc is gigantic.

 

Now for stuff like Int yes this is a matter of degrees.  15 can be fine.  A Cipher with 10 int does in fact suck but a cipher with 16 instead of 18, meh whatever.  This is not true for tanking even that small difference can be huge but for int its just 10% difference.  Its not pure min maxed but its not even close to cutting sizes in half.  Now there is a non linear effect with AoE since you are not increasing the area by a linear amount but all in all as far as effect its somewhat marginal in the above example.

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I have a very even spread of stats on my main character (a cipher), I didn't see the point to min maxing, on hard at least it really isn't necessary.

 

15 10 15 12 14 12

 

So far I've had no issues whatsoever, likewise, the 'poor' stats the npcs have don't seem to have impacted my ability to take on encounters, and I don't rest particularly often (at most once per map, often less)

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Those saying that IE games had bad characters as well are forgetting that we had those wonderful spells and items that would raise their bad attributes so in the end you could fix a lot of those guys. You don't have such an item or spell in PoE that can fix the dwarfette for example.

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Step 1: Kill the premade. 

Step 2: Loot Body.

Step 3: Inventory check.

Step 4: Sell anything not useful. 

Step 5: Hire useful companion.

Step 6: Profit?

 

Step 7: Lose all NPC specific interactions (for some, like me, that is a very important part of the game). 

 

Well pretty sure if you can't already, you'll eventually be able to mod all premade companions to have the perfect Min/max stats.

 

 

Again, a lot of people don't seem to read what most who don't like the pre-made NPCs are saying. We're not asking for min/max NPCs, we just want decent NPCs, let's take Aloth for a specific example, I don't want 18 Might, 18 Dex, 18 Int with dump stats like 3 Con but, let me just swap the 16 Per and 12 Might and I'll be happy.

 

 

Right. I can optimize these classes and races, sure. Just because I can doesn't mean I am. I simply want characters that are efficient at what they are meant to do and actually are effective in a combat heavy game. You can tout "Roleplaying!" all you want, but this isn't Myst, where you run around without getting into combat solving puzzles. You try moving around outside of a city, and you get pounced on by wolves, bears, bandits, shadows, etc. You need to be able to defend yourselves. 

 

The way these companions are setup and built just doesn't make sense within this system. The way they are built basically forces you to make a damage based PC which can carry them on anything beyond Easy or Normal difficulty. As they aren't made to deal damage, or heal, or hit things fast, or mitigate damage for you. >.< Putting the weight of doing all of that on your PC, while attempting to keep the companions alive. A simple shuffling of which attribute points go where, and selecting different talents goes a very long way in their ability to survive, contribute, and be effective. 

 

Can I use these characters and succeed in the game on Normal? Yeah, I can make a PC that carries them. That's not the point though. If they were just normal people off the street, they should be at home baking bread or making shoes. Not fighting shadows in a dungeon. They should be able to pull their own weight in a fight and help me out if they offer to join me on my quest. They aren't bakers and cobblers. They are priests and fighters and rangers. 

 

Not everyone jumping into playing this game has experience playing RPG's, or previous games like IWD/BG/Planescape. Also, put simply, not everyone has the time to just reload fight after fight hoping for your companions to survive bad engagements. Having simple, efficient and effective companions who's attribute and talent choices are actually in sync with their class role would help these folks out. There is a marked difference in swapping Sagani's Perception for her Might in how effective she is. Changing Kana's chants to something else goes a long way. Aloth swapping his Resolve to his Might goes a long way as well. These are simplistic things that just flat out, make sense. 

 

Why do all of these people have incredible Resolve and Perception across the board? When Might or Dexterity make more sense for the class they are? Why does Kana start with a move speed chant, when it makes more sense to have one that reduces damage from slashing and piercing weapons instead at level 1? Simply put, -10% damage from swords and arrows is far, far more useful in keeping your party alive in the early levels paired with armor.

 

Why does Durance have a crazy Resolve? Resolve doesn't let him cast his spells any better, as opposed to Wisdom in DnD, which was the basis for priests to cast their spells. Might and Intelligence are the things you base his spells off of. If we are going to base his stats off of DnD Resolve=Wisdom for RP purposes, then at least make Resolve be beneficial to casters. It's not though. That was switched to Might and Intellect in this game system. So, distributing his points to Might and Intellect as opposed to a high Resolve just makes sense. It thematically fits any magic user in allowing them to do their job. That's the long and short of it. Mechanical, and RP aspect. If you are a priest, or a wizard, in this game system, its imperative you have a good Might and Intellect. However, the Priest and Wizard in this game prioritized Perception and Resolve. That's a failure on the part of the developers.

 

Claiming that everything is fine because you can cope doesn't change the fact these characters, while having interesting dialogue and stories are just built poorly using this system. Poor builds are a detriment to the enjoyment of the game. As it doesn't allow the majority of your party to do their job. Putting pressure on you to micro manage more and more as the game progresses to compensate for their inadequacies. If they were at least adequately capable in their class abilities, not char-op broken, just adequately capable. I wouldn't need to make a stink regarding this. However, they aren't. 

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I understand the concern, but considering I am progressing through the game just fine on the highest difficulty level only using pre-made companions I am not sure what the fuss is about the level of optimization required here.  (I have two concurrently running saves, one with a tank specced chanter, the other with an arabalest using rogue).  If you absolutely NEED to have the most optimized party possible make your own characters, but I think you can probably complete the game on POD using only story characters (although to be fair I haven't finished the game yet, so maybe there are some endgame encounters much harder than the Spider Queen which I will not be able to complete).

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