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Companion AI Questions for the Casual Player

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So several months ago when I got PoE I got some great advice from players on making a character. I ended up giving up on the cipher simply due to the cheese factor of the class. It's not a bad class and I enjoy the "swordmage/arcane archer" archetype but it felt overpowered (I understand they've been nerfed now and have had their power level adjusted). After trying out the chanter and rogue I finally settled on the barbarian and had some fun. Made it the keep then got about 10 levels deep into the dungeon beneath the keep before I stopped playing and moved on to other games (re: my summer got busy).


My biggest complain about PoE was how my party felt like it was slowing me down and combat became an endless slog of micromanagement. While it brings back fond memories of the old infinity engine games, I've become spoiled by the modern gaming advancements where I can set companion spells/powers and behavior and basically forget about them until boss battles came around. One of the purported changes in 2.0 is improved companion AI and I'm curious if it holds up.


So does the new companion AI work? Or at least well enough for the casual player just playing on Normal? I'd like to play and not have to micromanage Aloth every 2 seconds because he either isn't fighting or being useful (or more importantly not dying every encounter because of the old trope that Wizards have to suck until endgame where they become overpowered).


Tied into that question; I'm seeing a lot of complaints now on the interwebs about monsters ignoring engagement due to their improved AI. Is the companion AI smart enough to counter this? Or will I just end up micromanaging Eder (or any other tank) constantly?

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