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So, what do you think of the new companions? (SPOILERS)

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 4) Not great for a min-maxer, but if they made perfect, god-like companions, not only would it be unrealistic roleplay wise, but it would make your player character look bad. Say your character was a rogue. You'd want your rogue to be better than the companion rogue, yes? 

 

 

 

 

Why not? Developers weren't afraid to do this before. Edwin was a better mage than the PC could ever be, and good luck getting Sarevok's stats without half an hour of re-rolling. And he had more health than legaly possible, too.

Edited by Judicator

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 4) Not great for a min-maxer, but if they made perfect, god-like companions, not only would it be unrealistic roleplay wise, but it would make your player character look bad. Say your character was a rogue. You'd want your rogue to be better than the companion rogue, yes? 

 

 

 

 

Why not? Developers weren't afraid to do this before. Edwin was a better mage than the PC could ever be, and good luck getting Sarevok's stats without half an hour of re-rolling. And he had more health than legaly possible, too.

 

 

*shrugs* Perhaps it's a more modern game design philosophy. All I can say is, if I worked on making an ultimate mage character, and I came across a better companion one, I'd feel a little sad inside. It's kind of childish, but if we can't be childish in video games, then where can we?;)

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*shrugs* Perhaps it's a more modern game design philosophy. All I can say is, if I worked on making an ultimate mage character, and I came across a better companion one, I'd feel a little sad inside. It's kind of childish, but if we can't be childish in video games, then where can we? ;)

 

No one is saying companions should be perfect killing machines (although DoC's background suggests just that). Developers simply shouldn't go out of their way to cripple companions beyond reasonable means of recovery. 

 

The protagonist in PoE already gets some nice unique boosts (Watcher abilities, Priest disposition bonuses, quest talents and abilities, option to sacrifice companion for extra ability boost, etc.).

 

Companions don't need to be utter crap gameplay-wise to make the player feel "special". That is just disrespectful to the players. In fact, companions could be examples of how characters should be designed for a reasonable level of optimisation, so that inexperienced players can look at them and see how they could make a better player character. E.g. "my wizard feels like crap, but Aloth kicks ass, let's see what makes him so special.... Oh, he has great Might and Dex, but dumped Con and Res, maybe I should do the same". Right now it's like "OMG these DPS companions all dumped their primary stats and pumped stats that are useless for their roles... are they stupid or something?"

 

An entirely separate point is restriction on customisation. Non-removable armor (which is the single most important piece of equipment, both stats- and appearance-wise) is a needless and crippling limitation on player's ability to customise companions to suit his or her playstyle and aesthetics. Why developers feel the need to do this is beyond me - perhaps they simply wanted to impose on the player their own playstyle and aesthetic preferences (beyond what is already fixed in the game engine and setting), which goes against RPG spirit and legacy.

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The only thing that makes no sense to me is that her body armor comes with penalties... i mean...it ia her body not something on top of it restraining movements...

 

Cutnit down from 40 to 0 amd we.can talk.. i mean she still cannot use any other armor so she can have only ****ty generic enchants.. 0 speeed reduction would be a unique element of this armor type...

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Where on earth did this "Devil of Caroc's backstory is a perfect killing machine" fantasy come from?

Here is her backstory:

 

1. Born to parents in a village.

2. Trained to trap animals.

3. Lived in the village of Cold Morn most of her life.

4. After her village of Cold Morn was destroyed and family killed by a mob of villagers from other villages in the aftermath of the Saint's War, she devoted her time to tracking them down and killing those villagers who killed her family, but happy enough to kill any other member of the Cold Morn mob and not averse to killing others that crossed her. She did this for some years and earned the name "Devil of Caroc" for some atrocity she committed in the village of Caroc.

5. Captured by villagers in Stalwart.

6. Soul transferred to a bronze body made by Galvino in the village of Stalwart using whatever he could get his hands on, which he was waiting to infuse with a soul, then evicted together with him.

7. Used by Galvino to assassinate criminals near his house and intruders.

8. Joined up with the Watcher.

 

I just don't see anything in her backstory that suggests she is a perfect killing machine. If we look at her backstory:

 

She's a trapper... So she's probably fairly Perceptive (unless she was a bad trapper). She is ruthless and has determination in spades, so she must have high Resolve. She's been physically active for all her life, so probably above average Constitution.  Being physically active all her life and mentally strong, she is probably above average in Might. Having managed to plan and carry out many killings over the years before getting caught, her Intelligence is probably average or above. Dexterity? Nothing we know of her history indicates either high or low dexterity. It could be anything, but probably above average lacking other information.

 

And that gives us her stats based on her backstory. She's not the perfect killer who got her soul shunted into a machine designed for fighting, making her the perfect killing machine, she is a determined trapper who wanted to avenge her family, killed a lot of people, most of them poor at fighting, and got her soul shunted into a bronze body that was not designed for killing.

 

...Just like all the other companions in the game. Make up a backstory and give appropriate stats, don't design companions to optimize mechanics and then try to fit in a story, and make sure that the game can be completed using these characters without optimization.

 

And while I too would certainly have liked from a game mechanics perspective for her bronze body to be of plate armour quality rather than inferior Brigandine, it certainly fits the story well enough. It just happens to be the victim of the great failure that is the armour itemization system in POE, where there is little reason for anybody to choose anything other than a) the heaviest armour available, b) the lightest armour available. Giving somebody an unremovable medium armour does feel like a bad joke.

 

----

 

EDIT:

 

For what it is worth, and answering the original question, I quite like the Devil of Caroc because she has a neat backstory that fits very well into the overall story of POE and has occasional funny comments in a not too annoying voice - much like another of my favourite companions, Eder.

 

Like Eder, the farmboy who went to war, she also has stats that fit her backstory very well.

 

She is about far from being an optimized melee rogue or optimized ranged but competent at both, just like Eder is competent both as a front line damagedealer and tank, but nowhere near optimized.

 

But then, Eder is Eder, not Deathbringer or TankyMcSpank, and the Devil of Caroc, for all her fanciful nickname, is also a person rather than a role.

 

I have her running around with the Hours of St. Rumbalt and the Grey Sleeper, chopping up enemies like there is no tomorrow in my current POTD game, and while she is mechanically inferior in all ways to an optimized melee rogue in this role, she certainly performs well enough.

 

 

I'm having more problems with the monk. This is a combination of a) being supremely uninterested in martial arts as well as the generic fantasy trope of monks being martial arts experts with mystical insights, and b) his personality as presented in the initial encounter and followup discussion.

 

It is entirely possible that I'd open up to a deeper appreciation of his personality if I was forced to adventure with him for some time, but all I came away with after recruiting him and exploring his personal conversation option was, "he's the guy who thought resting in a barrel of fish was a good idea, seeks some long-lost technique of the old masters (yawn), and is a poster-child for why getting high on mushrooms before discussing philosophy or religion is a bad idea.  If I wanted any of that, I'd just reread the Revelation of St. John, for old John of Patmos was considerably more entertaining in his madness, and the writers at Obsidian just aren't up to scratch."

Edited by pi2repsion
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When I said death before dishonour, I meant it alphabetically.

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I like the Devil. The contrast between her "backwoods hick" accent and vocabulary versus the robot voice and body is something that I still find amusing. That and her wicked laugh. One expects an android to be sophisticated or have a foreign way of thinking/processing, but she's really just a simple village girl with simple motivations and drives. It makes for a surprisingly pleasant twist. I do agree somewhat with the "metal body" complaints. She's not inside a combat chassis so I'm not expecting Battle Angel Alita. However, she and Galvino have had 13 years to work out the kinks that hinder her movement (40‰ penalty) and he does send her into combat situations to... aquire... a constant supply of new test subjects. She should be a bit better.

 

I haven't played with Zahua, mainly because this current playthrough is a monk PC, but I will give him a spin soon.


"Walk away, before you get hurt." [benevolent] - Luma Akasha

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This is like a giant list of stupid arguments made by min/maxers.

 

First of all, calling people with other playstyles "stupid" is the kind of ignorant egocentricity I would assume you attribute to "min-maxers". So, pot calling kettle black.

 

 

a) Why would an accomplished killer like DoC have such weak attributes unsuited for killing?

b) Why would a construct body be so weak physically?

c) Why would DoC be unable to put on some armor? She has no trouble putting on helmets, boots, gauntlets and other items of clothing.

d) Why would a killer use farming implements in her criminal career, instead of tools actually designed for the job of manslaying? She doesn't give off the demented Leatherface vibe.

 

 

A: She burned people's houses with them inside; that's not something that depends on dexterity. Notice her super-high resolve? That's both what drove her to murder, and what allowed her to survive the soul-transfer process.

B: Her body is just a body, made of metal and with certain limitations; the dex limitation makes sense when you remember her body is made of ****ing solid goddamn bronze. You also seem to forget that literally *ALL* of her murders were comitted prior to her souls transfer into the golum, when she had a human body, except for the one you help with during the quest.

C: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GameplayAndStorySegregation

D: Because she's a farmer whose only "murdering" those who destroyed her family, not actually a dedicated serial killer, and her form of murder exclusively involved Molotov ****tails through windows, not any form of combat?

 

For a bonus, I'm also going to inform you that I called the ARGUMENTS stupid, not the gameplay style.

Edited by Katarack21

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So far, I like both of them a lot. Devil of Caroc is really well developed and can function as a great caster killer (or even an offtank!) with the right abilities and equipment. I also really love how her personality was developed. The only things I don't like are that she doesn't make that many comments when you're exploring Durgan's battery, and that her personal quest is too short.

 

Zahua is a very interesting character, with some of the more interesting (and amusing) banters. There was one conversation between him and Eder talking about what drugs to feed Durance, which I found particularly hilarious. I've had, however, mixed luck with him in combat. With the right equipment (i.e., tons of deflection), he can dish out decent dps, but requires a lot of attention and micromanagement to use well. Basically, you have to constantly monitor his health while constantly spamming that shock wave ability monks get. I found it a decent way of taking out the spirits in Durgan's battery, though nowhere near as good as Hiravis' chain-fireball spell.

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The Devil at times seems like the perfect complement for Durance: both have no compunctions about speaking their minds and if their words happen to ruffle any feathers… well I guess Durance does not give a used fig for people's sensibilities, while the Devil seems to enjoy the deliberate poking. Just my opinion, of course, but it does make for interesting characters that contrast the likes of Eder, Aloth and Kana. :)

 

As for Zahua, I need to include him more often in the party to gauge him properly, but my first impression was a bit meh… he did not strike a chord the same way the Devil did. It could also be because his background is a bit scarce at the moment (compared to DoC) and he lacks a quest line.

 

On a separate note, today I had Hiravias in the party and was curious to hear his opinions on the two new additions to the group. Sadly, there are no such dialogue options. Is it a case of omitted dialogue lines or a bug at my end?

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I'm not a fan of AD&D monks but Zahua was a revelation in terms of how the PoE monk archetype works. I've found him useful for breaking up enemy mobs and dealing with the results but so far (WM-1) his character has not developed much so I rate him alongside Kana as a companion.

 

 

I think the Devil is a great character, in some ways reminiscent of RFS-81 from Wizardry 8 and as a party member she's very good at finishing off enemy cripples and making sure Aloth is left in peace to cast his spells. I can understand that her quest was kept *compact* so it could be completed in WM-1 however I was very disappointed with the ending. My protagonist is a benevolent cipher with a strong reputation for honesty and took her along to try and find a way to redeem her soul. I was expecting the scene with the wood cutters to give me a range of options, not just lie to DoC or slaughter all the woodsmen (with no reputation penalty it seems), EG:

  • Mess up the dialogue, the woodsmen turn hostile and you either have to kill them (major reputation hit with Stalwart) or run in which case DoC leaves you to pursue her vendetta and you have to track her down.
  • Duel, DoC and her nemesis (possibly with a couple of mates) fight it out, you have to tidy up the mess afterwards and possibly pay blood money to widows and orphans,
  • You lie (badly) to DoC and she turns hostile - kill her - reputation boost with Stalwart (?)
  • All goes fairly well but DoC now wants to kill the animancer… (comes with free *Dozens* badge ;-)
  • Sweetness and light, full reconciliation.

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Zahua rules. Voice acting is also great. I get the impression that he's entirely aware of how funny some of his lines are, he just delivers them in that perfect deadpan style.

 

Not a huge fan of the Devil. Nice concept but somehow fails to get off the ground. Also, I don't particularly care for rogues. But then I don't particularly care for monks either -- aesthetically, not mechanically, Pillars monks are great to play -- but Zahua still rules.


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Seems like opinions are quite divided, but maybe when WM2 comes out, and we can play Zahua's quest, he might become more interesting.

 

I think the main problem now is that he's very unrelated to the plot, so after the initial interesting conversation, you just forget about him.

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About Devil stats: i can understand high Per, it is opening to higher crits and interups, not that it is very optimal way but i can see that.

But that resolve... too much. I am ok with balanced stat distribution for companions making them look more like a human being (no dump stat), but if in character creation devs give hints which stats are important for class then in companion they could more or less fallow own instructions.

 

Armour is another bugger, it could be enhanced and durgan steel. But it is lost opportunity. Generally personal armors have something special on it (like ver good Eder armor with second chance), and Devs lost opportunity to give Devil some fancy armor with special. Like full plate but with Armored Grace on it as bonus. That would cool  be cool.

Or make that boobplate distractive for enemies giving bonus to Deflection, that would also be cool.

 

***

As for character, both are fine. I liked Devil more since Glados type chicks never get old.

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I'm kinda disappointed with the Devil. I like her personality, but her stats are so awful I can't play with her.

Ditto. Character flavor is great but there are a couple companions that make my jaw drop they are so bad.

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Not a fan of DoC either.

 

Love her wit, her voice acting, and her writing but hate her stats, her being forced to wear the equivalent of a run-of-the-mill breastplate, and her character model. I also don't care much for rogues, so after trying her out once to read her dialog and story, I'm pretty much done with her.


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