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Replaying PotD, an argument for custom attributes for NPCs


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Haven't played White March yet, back when pt 1 came out I decided to wait for pt 2.

 

Came back to the game recently, with intent of going through the game with an Off-tank Chanter and all pre-made companions.

 

So far, I am not enjoying this approach. It feels Aloth/Eder/Durance all suck dramatically at any role you attempt to mold them towards.

 

Since I made my PC an off-tank support character, I had no solid damage output or reliable control to carry them.

 

___

 

 

The changes to perception(giving it +accuracy) were probably good. But NPC attributes weren't tweaked along with them.

 

Aloth has 12. A wizard's primary role is crowd control. Landing limited per rest spells is of utmost importance. He should really have 19. Instead he has 12. At least he's a Wood Elf but still I found him lacking.

 

Eder has 12 as well, and 16 might. 16 con, 13 res. Doesn't know whether to be tank or damage output, but of the NPCs he's probably the best suited for tanking. Which means that 16 might is wasted. He also misses his knockdowns fairly regularly. I'd love to give him at least 15 perception and resolve.

 

Durance...oh my. 9 perception, 18 resolve. What is going on here? Basically half his arsenal feels missing. I have a hard time even allowing him to take any offensive talents.

 

___

 

I'm leaning toward making a full custom party at this point. I really would like to take the pre-made companions, but they are too awful. I'm sure I could still get through the game with them, but looking at their attributes is just too cringey for me. If I were rolling with a DPS PC, sure maybe it'd be bearable, but my chanter tank feels like he's supporting a group of storm troopers right now. Missed shots all over the place.

 

 

 

 

This is just one player's experience and possible in the nitpick territory for other players, but it's definitely making it harder to replay the game for me.

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Equipment and talent choice is much more important in this game, and it is expected that your accuracy is bad at the beginning of the game on PotD. Even if you change the attributes around, your combat performance will stay more or less the same if you use the same tactics - a boost of 5-10% hit chance won't turn your game around if you start at 40-50% to hit in the first place.

 

The following is not meant to brag or imply you are a noob, just to get you some perspective on the necessity of optimal stats:

I'm being very lazy at the moment and run through the game with a group of melee companions from the story, no casters, and I let the AI handle most parts of the fights from act 2 onward. I'm not using consumables or unique weapons and all my characters wear robes and the game is still very manageable, apart from a few reloads where I let the AI handle too much instead of acting myself.

 

Other people have soloed *all* optional content on PotD.

 

It is just the first act that is hard, the more items you get, the less of a difference it will make if your attribute spread is suboptimal (as long as you choose proper talents). Custom companions will give you an edge in the first act, especially for the end of act 1, but they are not worlds apart from the story companions in terms of combat power.

Edited by Doppelschwert
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Equipment and talent choice is much more important in this game, and it is expected that your accuracy is bad at the beginning of the game on PotD. Even if you change the attributes around, your combat performance will stay more or less the same if you use the same tactics - a boost of 5-10% hit chance won't turn your game around if you start at 40-50% to hit in the first place.

 

The following is not meant to brag or imply you are a noob, just to get you some perspective on the necessity of optimal stats:

I'm being very lazy at the moment and run through the game with a group of melee companions from the story, no casters, and I let the AI handle most parts of the fights from act 2 onward. I'm not using consumables or unique weapons and all my characters wear robes and the game is still very manageable, apart from a few reloads where I let the AI handle too much instead of acting myself.

 

Other people have soloed *all* optional content on PotD.

 

It is just the first act that is hard, the more items you get, the less of a difference it will make if your attribute spread is suboptimal (as long as you choose proper talents). Custom companions will give you an edge in the first act, especially for the end of act 1, but they are not worlds apart from the story companions in terms of combat power.

 

 

The problem is that the benefits of different attributes is not even close to equal use for different class/builds.

 

 

In general, you tend to see much more benefit from maximizing 2-3 important attributes than you feel the penalties for minimizing less important ones.

 

Durance is going to use his 18 resolve probably less than 10% of the time because he's not going to be in melee or even taking ranged damage if I'm playing my cards right. He will be penalized by his 9 Perception probably a good 60% of the time in combat or more.

 

Higher con scores for low base endurance classes are also a bit of a waste.

 

___

 

For me, this all means that fun parties are out if I play with companions. You cannot build interesting+effective companion builds because they're held back dramatically by poor attribute spread. In some cases no matter which direction you take them, they're gonna be mediocre at best.

 

I can't think of any good reasons, OTOH, not to let players alter the companion attributes. Maybe for a price if needed, but I'd gladly play that to have the best of both worlds - an enjoyable and capable party synergy in combat, and the extra dialogue that companions offer outside of it. If forced to choose between one or the other, I find myself just kind of not wanting to replay the game at all.

 

___

 

I know you can get through the game on PotD without mix-maxing(my first playthrough was PotD with 4 companions and just 1 hired), my point is just that it's not very fun that way and makes the party composition aspect of the game dull.

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So you're playing the game on PotD but want the game to be easier? Seems like a contradiction. Where's the pleasure of playing the game in PotD if you can have the best stats on every single character?

 

It's not about easier, it's about having builds that are interesting to play and being able to shape them into a cohesive party.

 

Having mediocre stats in all attributes prevents companions from shining in any particular role in a party with any actual synergy. 

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Balanced/mediocre stats are alright, companions don't need to be minmaxed, I'm fine with Eder, Aloth or Pallegina. The issue with Durance in particular is that he is min/maxed, but in the completely wrong way. Another notable outliner is Devil, really no dex on a rogue?

Edited by falchen
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Balanced/mediocre stats are alright, companions don't need to be minmaxed, I'm fine with Eder, Aloth or Pallegina. The issue with Durance in particular is that he is min/maxed, but in the completely wrong way. Another notable outliner is Devil, really no dex on a rogue?

 

Honestly Devil's single greatest offender is being stuck with -40% recovery speed. -25% if you have some glue and durgan steel. Gloves can also grant a reduction to armor penalty but that means you're stuck using those instead of simply wearing armor befitting a rogue.

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Option 1: if you're not interested in achievements, or you've already unlocked them, there's nothing stopping you from doing anything you want to your companion's stats. Rearrange them however you want, or even set them all to 500.

 

Now if you want to unlock achievements then that's not going to work, but here we have an alternative: use custom companions. You can make a party of 6 perfectly optimised characters and unlock all (or at least almost all) achievements this way. What do you miss out on? Well banter and a few minor quests (though the latter you can probably switch in companions one by one to do). If this loss is super important to you, then perhaps option 1 is for you.

 

If you want to do both then you're out of luck. Personally I don't understand the interest in ticking off achievements, and it's also very easy to do one of two runs to knock off the achievements if you do care.

 

EDIT: also, as mentioned, attributes are not that important.

Edited by JerekKruger
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I'm running a 100% POTD playthrough now with my PC Barbarian with max str and int and going for 2h build. Forgegloves early on and soulbound weapons towards the end game.
Been using Aloth, Eder, Durance, Kana and Pallegina.

Eder is my main tank and Pallegine works as off tank/secondary melee dps, Kana and Durance and Aloth are all range, though Aloth is the powerhouse as far as range damage goes.

Worked well so far, just finished White March part 1 and done everything but the last part of the act 2 main story. So far its been pretty easy as far as fights go.

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It's not about easier, it's about having builds that are interesting to play and being able to shape them into a cohesive party.

 

Having mediocre stats in all attributes prevents companions from shining in any particular role in a party with any actual synergy. 

 

 

Exactly.

 

I don't get why every time someone brings up the fact that people want to be able to change named NPC companions' stats there's a lot of people who talk about how it doesn't really make much of a difference, why bother, you don't need it etc ...

 

It's a feature. Some people like to craft and test their own builds with their own relative strengths and weaknesses to see how they work and that's one of the main things that keeps them coming back to the game; but, they also like the story/humour that you get from bringing named companions along for the ride.

 

It's about variation rather than power.

Edited by Livegood118
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people are way too concerned 'bout poe attribute scores.  while attribute scores have value, they are less determinative o' success than in a majority o' crpgs. with the exception o' barbarians who is so integral linked to carnage, we can find success and enjoyment in a wide range o' attribute distributions for characters o' any class.

 

that being said, the poe joinable npcs actual had their attributes changed en masse once already.  late in the beta, the perception accuracy bonuses (which were 'bout twice as significant as they current is) were removed.  somebody didn't get the memo 'cause the poe joinables typical were more perception focused than they is in their current state.  kinda quixotic, no?  now we got folks wanting the joinables changed again?  

 

am not particular caring as a couple attribute point +/- ain't near as important as folks seem to believe. that being said, there is precedent for a change.  would be kinda amusing to see obsidian return the companions to their original attribute spreads.

 

HA! Good Fun!

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Then use console commands and change their builds as you see fit. You only miss out on achievements which, if you're "coming back to the game" you probably have mostly.

Problem is, as of the latest patch, named companions' attribute scores reset when you load a save or load a new area, making it a pain to do this.

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Not that I care, but at least in some cases former attribute spreads were more adequate for the characters, and are much more viable right now. The head example is Grieving Mother, who's definetely very perceptive, but doesn't seem to be specially intelligent. After the perception bonuses change, her former stats are at least as good as the present one. And same goes for every companion - the former stats are more in line with their personality, and just as good as the present. Well, maybe except Hiravias. But it would be hilarious to see them switched back xD

 

EDIT: I've just realized that Sagani had her stats changed twice, so there is a precedence xD

Edited by Baron Pampa
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The change to GM never really made any role playing sense; it was made back when PER was useless for casters to make her attribute spread less terrible.

 

Companion attributes weren't changed when PER switched to Accuracy just like the rest of the game was not rebalanced around that. If Aloth could do CC earlier, he still can.

 

Edér is pretty decent at DPS if built right, and can take quite a beating with his CON score. Companions aren't min maxed but they are perfectly viable on PotD (as people mentioned, talents and abilities are a lot more important than attributes in this game.)

 

If you don't like them, why not hire mercenaries?

 

Oh, and by the way: Durance isn't min maxed. No stats below 9 and his demeanor bespeaks RES in spades ;)

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Haven't played White March yet, back when pt 1 came out I decided to wait for pt 2.

 

Came back to the game recently, with intent of going through the game with an Off-tank Chanter and all pre-made companions.

 

So far, I am not enjoying this approach. It feels Aloth/Eder/Durance all suck dramatically at any role you attempt to mold them towards.

 

Since I made my PC an off-tank support character, I had no solid damage output or reliable control to carry them.

 

___

 

 

The changes to perception(giving it +accuracy) were probably good. But NPC attributes weren't tweaked along with them.

 

Aloth has 12. A wizard's primary role is crowd control. Landing limited per rest spells is of utmost importance. He should really have 19. Instead he has 12. At least he's a Wood Elf but still I found him lacking.

 

Eder has 12 as well, and 16 might. 16 con, 13 res. Doesn't know whether to be tank or damage output, but of the NPCs he's probably the best suited for tanking. Which means that 16 might is wasted. He also misses his knockdowns fairly regularly. I'd love to give him at least 15 perception and resolve.

 

Durance...oh my. 9 perception, 18 resolve. What is going on here? Basically half his arsenal feels missing. I have a hard time even allowing him to take any offensive talents.

 

___

 

I'm leaning toward making a full custom party at this point. I really would like to take the pre-made companions, but they are too awful. I'm sure I could still get through the game with them, but looking at their attributes is just too cringey for me. If I were rolling with a DPS PC, sure maybe it'd be bearable, but my chanter tank feels like he's supporting a group of storm troopers right now. Missed shots all over the place.

 

 

This is just one player's experience and possible in the nitpick territory for other players, but it's definitely making it harder to replay the game for me.

 

I'm not sure if by "custom attributes for NPCs" you mean that you want to the devs to allow players to change Companion attributes or not.  Personally, I would oppose that idea.

 

HOWEVER, you do make a very fair point about how the Companion's attributes were not adjusted after the change to how PER is used, and how much more important it is now than it was when PoE was first released.  I'm not suggesting that the Companions should be min-maxed.  But it does seem like a VERY good idea that the Devs should take another look at the Companions' attributes and tweak them to better function within the "PER affects Accuracy" model.

 

 

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Having mediocre stats in all attributes prevents companions from shining in any particular role in a party with any actual synergy. 

 

The companions play a vital role in the story and setting of the game and thus they don't "comprehend" your power gaming stat expectations. They are simply a virtual versions of would-be characters of that specific time and space, having flaws just as everyone else in real life. Build your own adventurer party if this makes you dissatisfied.

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It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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I'd like to use the Story companions also on my next playthrough - which I want to do on PoTD - 'cause I like them better than the hired ones (their quests, dialogues etc.. all add to the story and immersion); but I'd also like their stats to be up to the task. I'll see if they are or not, and if the latter is the case I guess I'll mod them.

Some - thinking Pallegina and Aloth in particular - are badly put imho...

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I literally cannot understand peoples' problems with this request.

 

If you don't want to mod NPC companions' attributes for RP reasons then that's great, don't do it in your game. The choice is completely open to you.

 

What I don't get is that there are some people that don't want other people to be able to do it – even when it has absolutely no consequence on their experience of the game.

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I literally cannot understand peoples' problems with this request.

 

If you don't want to mod NPC companions' attributes for RP reasons then that's great, don't do it in your game. The choice is completely open to you.

 

What I don't get is that there are some people that don't want other people to be able to do it – even when it has absolutely no consequence on their experience of the game.

 

See, this whole "create your own custom adventurers to replace original companions if you don't like them" is exactly the option for all you guys who want to have characters with stats that you desire. Creating a tool that will specifically alter the stats of original companions is in my opinion unnecessary.

 

Yeah, I would totally skip that part if it was ever implemented (just as Big Head Mode), but I guess more ideas would emerge? Soon there might be requests like "I want Thaos avatar to be replaced into a xaurip" or something like that. "If you don't want Thaos to be a xaurip for RP reasons then that's great, don't do it in your game. The choice is completely open to you."

 

Okay, now I'm just teasin' with ya mate ;)

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It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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I literally cannot understand peoples' problems with this request.

 

If you don't want to mod NPC companions' attributes for RP reasons then that's great, don't do it in your game. The choice is completely open to you.

 

What I don't get is that there are some people that don't want other people to be able to do it – even when it has absolutely no consequence on their experience of the game.

 

See, this whole "create your own custom adventurers to replace original companions if you don't like them" is exactly the option for all you guys who want to have characters with stats that you desire. Creating a tool that will specifically alter the stats of original companions is in my opinion unnecessary.

 

Yeah, I would totally skip that part if it was ever implemented (just as Big Head Mode), but I guess more ideas would emerge? Soon there might be requests like "I want Thaos avatar to be replaced into a xaurip" or something like that. "If you don't want Thaos to be a xaurip for RP reasons then that's great, don't do it in your game. The choice is completely open to you."

 

Okay, now I'm just teasin' with ya mate  ;)

 

 

Part of the reason for my salt is that it is a feature that WAS in the game that I used frequently which has now been removed, and it's unclear why that's the case.

 

Also slippery slope argument etc ...

 

I guess my main point is that I want the best of both worlds: the ability to vary my characters as I want to experiment with different builds, strengths and weaknesses and some nice story/banter as well. I don't think that's too much to ask, nor will it lead to Thaos becoming a Xaurip.

Edited by Livegood118
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I literally cannot understand peoples' problems with this request.

 

If you don't want to mod NPC companions' attributes for RP reasons then that's great, don't do it in your game. The choice is completely open to you.

 

What I don't get is that there are some people that don't want other people to be able to do it – even when it has absolutely no consequence on their experience of the game.

 

See, this whole "create your own custom adventurers to replace original companions if you don't like them" is exactly the option for all you guys who want to have characters with stats that you desire. Creating a tool that will specifically alter the stats of original companions is in my opinion unnecessary.

 

Yeah, I would totally skip that part if it was ever implemented (just as Big Head Mode), but I guess more ideas would emerge? Soon there might be requests like "I want Thaos avatar to be replaced into a xaurip" or something like that. "If you don't want Thaos to be a xaurip for RP reasons then that's great, don't do it in your game. The choice is completely open to you."

 

Okay, now I'm just teasin' with ya mate  ;)

 

NO.  the difference is that the companions all have storylines to go with them... created characters from an Inn do not, obviously.

 

seriously, the OP is right on.  WHY does it bother some people SO much to even have the option?  what is it with you people that make you feel you need to control everyone else's view of how the game should be played?

 

why?

 

it's literally no skin off your nose.

 

smh.

 

that said...

 

there is a person on Nexus Mods who is making custom companion builds for people.  you can just download the ones you like and use those for your game.

 

they also take requests.

 

here's the link:

 

http://www.nexusmods.com/pillarsofeternity/mods/107/?

 

 

Alternatively, you can do what I did and use the "freerecipestoggle" console command, then enchant armor to make up for whatever stats you deem are too low.  It's not perfect, but it's easy and you can quickly change stats a few points as you see fit at any time (you can stack as many different buffs as you like... the toggle removes the enchant cap as well).

 

 

 

Edited by Ichthyic
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I literally cannot understand peoples' problems with this request.

 

If you don't want to mod NPC companions' attributes for RP reasons then that's great, don't do it in your game. The choice is completely open to you.

 

What I don't get is that there are some people that don't want other people to be able to do it – even when it has absolutely no consequence on their experience of the game.

 

seriously, the OP is right on.  WHY does it bother some people SO much to even have the option?  what is it with you people that make you feel you need to control everyone else's view of how the game should be played?

 

why?

 

it's literally no skin off your nose.

 

smh.

It is not true that implementing this won't affect me.

If you go to the bug forum, you see that it is a bug that you can not set the companions attributes to different values persistently via cheats.

Lets see what the devs have to say about that  in the corresponding thread :

 

Hello Everybody,

 

Unfortunately this bug is not the easy fix we were all hoping for. It proved to be more difficult trying to get this to work as it did previously. I am sorry to say that we will not be fixing this bug at this point in time.

 

Thank you all for your support and understanding in this matter.

What can we take away from this:

- If it is not easy to implement the cheats, it's obviously not easy to make a option for retraining.

- If they were to implement it, it would cost them a lot of ressources.

 

Also, additional information includes:

- As people have already commented in this thread, there are workarounds to adjust the companions attributes.

- The companions have never been able to retrain their attributes before without cheat codes if I'm not mistaken.

- There are still many bugs in the bug forum to be taken care of.

 

If you get your 'best of both worlds', that will cost ressources. But the game will only get a couple of more patches until they will drop support, since WM2 was the last content provided and ressources are finite. It is very likely that not all bugs will be fixed.*

 

*EDIT: That's not because I would think Obsidian can't cope with bugs, but rather because I expect every major game to have some small bugs which were either noticed after patching or stopped or just weren't common enough.

 

Feel free to draw your own conclusion, but mine is that as long as there are still bugs around that break items, talents, spells or general game mechanics, companion respec has a very very low priority on this list. I can't make a fix for the bug of losing several damage multipliers I have at the moment, you can fix your issues. Giving your stuff priority has the potential to be detriment to my future playthroughs through lack of patching of other stuff I actually might encounter, so you can bet I will openly disagree with your wish, even though I understand it. It's not even like people tried to be impolite.

Edited by Doppelschwert
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