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How much in terms of Lore/Story/Content will I lose by not recruiting Companions?


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Hello POE forums! 

 

How much in terms of story/content will I lose by using mostly custom companions? I made it to Caed Nua, and recruited all of them on the way and the only one that piqued my curiosity was Aloth.

From meta-gaming a bit and reading forums and such, I think the only one who will interest me from the ones I haven't yet encountered will be the Grieving Mother.

I'm using a self imposed limit of 4 characters so maybe Aloth, GM and 2 custom ones. Why? Because RP>Combat for me, and I also hate micromanaging companions. In any game that revolves around a party, I mostly control my character and leave the followers on AI if possible, or take as few as possible if not.

 

I'm going to reroll anyways (mucked my attributes, whole different story).

 

 

Also, on an unrelated note, how much resolve is needed to succesfully pass most of the checks? I find that resolve answers most of the time match my perceived character's personality.

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The companion with the backstory the most relevant to the plot's background is Durance. He will provide you a very... colourful first-hand testimony on events that have quite the bearing on the current situation. The other companions will mostly give you an insight into and put a face on what it is to live in various parts of Eora, be a certain race or face the most troublesome events in Dyrwood. Each has their own take on a certain god or on animancy and souls, etc. It is worth noting that Aloth is the only companion whose backstory has very tenuous ties to your own quest in the game. The factual value of the exposition the companions provide can also be found in the Cyclopedia and in in-game books.

As far as content goes, you will miss on a few encounters tied to their quests (which are not extensive, though Durance's and Grieving Mother's require a lot of talking and rests while in your party) and on a few comments and interjections (with a very irregular distribution companion- and time-wise), but that's pretty much it. The main things the companions bring to the game (and these are good) are a way to relate to the setting on a personal level, a way for your PC to express a personality (when they ask for your input) and a way for the writers to echo the themes of your PC's main quest.

 

So I'd just invite you to experiment and roll with the companion(s) that strike(s) your fancy. I think travelling with them adds to the experience but they're definitely not necessary to it.

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which are not extensive, though Durance's and Grieving Mother's require a lot of talking and rests while in your party

 

 

This is my main issue with Durance. I know his story is quite valuable i terms of exposition, however, the spending time with the group requirement is putting me off, as I had plans for a custom priest of my own creation.

 

Otherwise I could just pull off a bioware and keep him in the Stronghold and just do his quests here and there.

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My two cents -- I found none of the companions story really all that engaging (GM was the most engaging, but that's not saying much).  I really don't think that you are missing out on anything significant if you just generate your own party.

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You can grep the conversation files to see what the stat requirements are for conversations.

 

At first glance the wiki seems accurate, though.

 

I think it's pretty essential to bring at least some npc companions along for atmosphere.

 

You can bring different companions on different playthroughs, though.

Edited by Daemonjax
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You probably won't miss out on much lore, per se, but I found the majority of companions to fairly entertaining, and I think the game would have been quite a bit more bland without them. 

 

Well, I'm not planning to go completely without them, GM and Aloth I like and will definitely grab!

 

Now that I think of it, it could also add to replayability, not taking all of them. 

 

 

Thanks a lot for the answers!

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Also, on an unrelated note, how much resolve is needed to succesfully pass most of the checks? I find that resolve answers most of the time match my perceived character's personality.

 

Well, I'm actually counting the dialogue requirements. I could have missed one or two, but at the very beginning of act 3 this is what I have seen for Resolve (metagame spoilers):

 

 

 

Attribute: number of times required

 

12:  5

13:  3

14: 12

15:  1

16:  4

17:  1

18:  3

19:  2

 

 

 

So I'd say 14 is pretty good, but 16 would get most of it.

 

Notice that you can raise it with items (and food/potions?).

sign.jpg

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Also, on an unrelated note, how much resolve is needed to succesfully pass most of the checks? I find that resolve answers most of the time match my perceived character's personality.

 

Well, I'm actually counting the dialogue requirements. I could have missed one or two, but at the very beginning of act 3 this is what I have seen for Resolve (metagame spoilers):

 

 

 

Attribute: number of times required

 

12:  5

13:  3

14: 12

15:  1

16:  4

17:  1

18:  3

19:  2

 

 

 

So I'd say 14 is pretty good, but 16 would get most of it.

 

Notice that you can raise it with items (and food/potions?).

 

 

Ah, the character I've made has 16 so I'm good then! I was worried because it wasn't 18.

 

Thanks!

 

(Also a fellow Bleak Walker :p)

Edited by Marthenil
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I'm enjoying the companion stories, though it might have been more fun to save some of the companions for subsequent playthroughs.

 

There's one brutal resolve check. However, you can manage to pass it by using resting bonuses, equipment and consumables if you have at least 12 to start, I think. I turned off Qualifiers in the menu because it's better for RP.

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which are not extensive, though Durance's and Grieving Mother's require a lot of talking and rests while in your party

 

 

This is my main issue with Durance. I know his story is quite valuable i terms of exposition, however, the spending time with the group requirement is putting me off, as I had plans for a custom priest of my own creation.

 

Otherwise I could just pull off a bioware and keep him in the Stronghold and just do his quests here and there.

 

 

For first two chapters you only need him until he gets a 'dream sequence' (you'll know when you get it), after that you can safely put him into Stronghold, and in 3rd he should be a proper powerhouse, so you can safely place him along your priest to double the effect.

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If you leave out NPCs, I don't think you'll miss out on much except for flavor, but if I were you I'd do a full playthrough with the standard companions, then another (possibly with hard or other difficulty options) with custom ones.  Or you could always try the opposite.  Finish a playthrough and if you want to try another, use the default ones you skipped.

 

You will have to micro-manage at least a little.  The AI isn't anything to brag about, and I often have to nudge companions during combat.  There are minor pathing issues, and occasionally I'll realize that one of the party has stopped attacking, or won't run around a group to reach an opponent.

 

For resolve, there are a couple of ways to temporarily boost it, and often you'll have other special options competing with it in dialogue.  There were only one or two times in the entire game that I used it for speech.  OTOH, on my second game, I used it a fair amount, just because I'd skipped it the first time around.

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You can grab the IE mod from nexus and use that to re-level the NPC companions into what you want and still enjoy the role play and interactions. This also gets rid of the temptation to rush to get the companions before they make a bad talent choice.

 

A few simple console commands will allow you to change a class, change a clerical god, change a paladin order, de-level to zero to allow for full control of skills and abilities. Changing the stats is a bit more clunky as you have to assign the base score which then gets the racial modifiers. You also have to keep track of the total points allocated as the method will give you unlimited stat points, you just need to self-regulate.

 

One thing I found is that Eder has an extra free ability when you get him. Un-leveling him removes the free ability. Another is that changing Aloth's spell picks requires him to spend money to learn the new spells that you gave him, just like what happens when you find a new grimoire.

 

With this you could make some truly un-believable characters like Aloth the Barbarian but for replays I could see Durance as a monk or a paladin,  Eder with the Soldier weapon focus, Sagani using warbows instead of hunting bows, being able to trade Aloth's arcane blast for arcane veil, changing Durance's +will talent for the Magran special sword and arguebus talent.

 

The reason to go custom adventurer is to have full control, using the IE mod gives you that flexibility AND lets you continue to use the companions that have the banter, plot and atmosphere. Just like with the level one NPC mod in BG you can break immersion by making Korgan the Paladin or Aerie the Assasin, but in the end it is up to you to decide what is cheese and what is awesome sauce.

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I would say Durance is the only one you should play with at least once. He just gives too much info you can't get other ways.  The next most appropriate one is Eder, though his quest isn't that interesting.  But his reactions tell you a lot about the world.

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@Zwie, that's... not entirely true. There is Companion AI it's just basically defensive AI from IE games. They'll attack something with whatever weapon they're currently using if they get attacked them selves. Once they're attacking something they will switch targets (usually). I find them switching targets once there targets dead is more likely if you tell more then 1 to attack at once.

 

THAT is technically companion AI, and is close to what I used in IE. I wish I could set basic aggressive levels though with an AI toggle on/off. Mostly an easy of use thing, liked to set my fighters to offensive and use the AI toggle to determine when they would just 'go at it'. Ultimately just means a little more micromanaging on my end, or waiting for the enemy to hit them (which I do sometimes if Im creating a line at a choke point).

 

Either way, there IS companion AI, it's just suuuper basic and stuck in defensive mode from past like-games.

 

-edit-

As an aside, sometimes the AI derps up if there 'direct' path is blocked. For some reason they're a bit helmet-special when it comes to going 'around' companions. It's weird, you can be in a massive, open space and they'll run INTO other companions, freak out and then give up. But second you plug up a choke point and a melee wants to get through they'll spend 10 minutes running back and forth trying to figure out a way through when there obviously isn't one.

 

Lots of ways to get around? Must not be away, give up.... no way to get around? Maybe if I try just a little harder ill find away.... The AI is there, it's just not very smrt (yes, s, m, r, t).

Edited by Adhin

Def Con: kills owls dead

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I find Durance to be really annoying, RP-wise.  He's preachy and holier-than-thou and at the same time he's such a naive moron.  And whore this whore that, god it gets old fast.  And the ET thing with his staff is just embarrassing.  I haven't completed his quest yet so can't comment on that 100%, but it's kinda boring so far.

Edited by Yosharian
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I've liked each of them, though I've spent the least time with GM so far.. You wont miss out anything essential obviously but I do think they all sort of help to flesh out the world.. and I do like the fact that the companions have a lot to say and comment on a lot of things. I was surprised by the amount of comments and conversations the companions provided, it's a really nice touch.

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I find Durance to be really annoying, RP-wise.  He's preachy and holier-than-thou and at the same time he's such a naive moron.  And whore this whore that, god it gets old fast.  And the ET thing with his staff is just embarrassing.  I haven't completed his quest yet so can't comment on that 100%, but it's kinda boring so far.

 

I felt exactly the same way about Durance until I got more into his story and understood more about the history of the Godhammer and the wars. Now I'm glad I put up with him, but I don't actually like hanging out with him. I'm into Act III now and feel like I'm finally getting a grasp on the various gods and factions. I don't think the game would be as immersive if I hadn't brought any of the companions with me.

 

I'm more interested in story than combat, so for me, it's important that companions are part of and contribute to the world in which the story takes place. 

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