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Companions: The ultimate review


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#1
Messier-31

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There's been some pondering here about the importance of companions in the story, about their advantage/disadvantage to custom adventurers, which quest is the best or worst, which companion is Your least favourite, and so on, yada yada yada. This is why I decided to gather all of these things together in an attempt to make a reasonably fair review of all of the above. But I don't feel confident to write about how good they are in combat and tactics, because I never play above normal.

 

So, without any further ado, I proclaim this thread open!

 

*applause*

 

Thank you, one person.

 

 

**************************************************************************

 

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Aloth Corfiser - wood elf, wizard

 

Subjective moniker: The Wizard

Reason for joining: At first it seems quite allright that he seeks company of another stranger in this new land. Later it is revealed that there was a hidden agenda, and there is more than meets the eye about this elf. The implication may become fatal for Aloth, because rejecting him after his confession lead to his untimely death.

Personal quest: There is some irony that Aloth seeks the attention of a watcher or animancer to help and/or better understand his problem with Iselmyr. After all he was/is a member of the Leaden Key, so animancy isn't his favourite topic. But for what it's worth, Iselmyr is the best.

Overall rating: 9/10 - well written classic elven wizard with some interesting personality(ties)

 

 

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Edér Teylecg ​- meadow human, fighter

 

Subjective moniker: The Farmboy

Reason for joining: ​It makes sense, as most inhabitants of Gilded Vale would see him dead for picking the wrong faith.

Personal quest: This is a classic "what happened to my [insert relative here]" quest, but the investigation is interesting. The most things I like are multiple ways of getting the record from the First Fires and the vague ending. Vague for Edér that is, because he doesn't get to know what really happened with Woden. It's kinda sad, but well written. But better luck next time (Deadfire)!

Overall rating: 10/10 - generic fighter that likes to pet animals and gets to be the best friends with the main character

 

 

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Kana Rua ​- island aumaua, chanter

 

Subjective moniker: The Giant

Reason for joining: ​This one is okay, because as long as you're gonna descend into the Endless Paths he would be more than happy to tag along because of his quest. So it makes sense!

Personal quest: Tanvii ora Toha is out of his reach, so this is similar to the outcome that Edér gets, as no happy ending for him also. The quest is awfully short though, and I have a headache when trying to tie Kana's endings with your interactions with him.

Overall rating: 5/10 - he seems off (strange class for a towering big guy like him), and his singing irks me... but his scholar banter is really OK

 

 

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Durance ​ - meadow human, priest of Magran

 

Subjective moniker: ​The Hobo

Reason for joining: ​I'll be honest with you - I don't get it. He notices you being a watcher and rambles about some trials, yada yada yada. Gibberish to me.

Personal quest: This is quite a lore-dump, but I appreciate the fact he is one of the Godhammer engineers. Too bad most of his stuff written by Chris Avellone got cut out, I'm sure it could've been better. Reading through his dialog is cumbersome, but it gets better towards the end (e.g. Council of Stars).

Overall rating: 7/10 - great voice acting, interesting personality and banters, kinda repulsive (as meant to be)

 

 

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Sagani ​ - boreaf dwarf, hunter, pet fox Itumaak

 

Subjective moniker: The Mom

Reason for joining: Absurd. Even if her quest made sense, it was far fetched to put your hopes in a stranger, even one being a watcher. But maybe she was just desperate enough at that point.

Personal quest: The investigation is interesting, the ending gets even better. I like the fact that in terms of roleplaying I can tell her how stupid and meaningless her pursue is. Yes, that didn't end well in the ending slides.

Overall rating: 4/10 - your typical dwarf character opposite, boring for most of the time

 

 

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Pallegina mes Rèi ​ - ocean human avian godlike, paladin of Frermàs mes Canc Suolias

 

Subjective moniker: ​The Woman

Reason for joining: She joins you because *reasons*, not a single common thread between the two of you was given that day.

Personal quest: It has impact, I'll give 'em that, but I was feeling some insufficiency (it's a quickie). There was more soul in her talk with Hylea.

Overall rating: 6/10 - there is a great background here and I like her concept *a lot*, but sadly she lacks significance

 

 

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Hiravias - hearth orlan, druid

 

Subjective moniker: The Joker

Reason for joining: Once again a bloke wants to travel together just for the fun of it. Maybe his exile was the reason to be a member of a larger pack, but it feels slightly imposed. But who am I kidding? Wael works in mysterious ways...

Personal quest: ​I seriously don't see a connection between his pursue for anserws about the Autumn Stelgaer form and finding his soul-brother on the Burial Isle. I honestly think this has next to nothing to do with it and the quest makes a U-turn upon encountering Scathden. Witty remark at the end makes me chuckle so.

Overall rating: 8/10 - despite the 'meh' quest he is a great caster and has a lot of clever things to say on our journey

 

 

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Grieving Mother​ - meadow human, cipher

 

Subjective moniker: ​The Ghost

Reason for joining: ​The woman wants to be hidden, so when a watcher makes it clear that he/she can see what is going on, she ends up following you. What better things she had to do anyway? It's not bad, but people seem to put a lot of faith in watcher abilities helping them in their own problems.

Personal quest: One more lost potential from Chris Avellone cut content. Uncovering her story is good, but still there there is little to it. But hats off for making at least one character that may permanently leave you (either by doing her quest the "wrong" way or Simoc's quest the "cruel" way).

Overall rating: 7/10 - she is a fantastic cipher, has great interjections in some quests (Edér's personal, Skaen temple), love the sound of chimes, but her being such a loner is slightly unsatisfactory

 

 

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Devil of Caroc ​- construct, rogue

 

Subjective moniker: ​The Robot

Reason for joining: Good thinking on her behalf, because she wanted both: to find Harmke and search the Durgan's Battery for a way to restore her (but that was just a hint after the Harmke thing and it was never mentioned again)

Personal quest: Plain and easy in design, but has this little dillema that most of us like.

Overall rating: 5/10 - she is quite allright, but I don't like my rogues like I like my cofee: in a plastic cup (I mean the bronze golem body is cool, but would rather see it on a different character concept)

 

 

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Heihachi Mishima Zahua​ - savannah human, monk

 

Subjective moniker: The Junkie

Reason for joining: Jumping out of a barrel full of fish seemed legit at the time?

Personal quest: Let's have some shrooms and... whoooooaaaaa, the colors have shapes now...

Overall rating: 2/10 - his background is interesting, but personally I diss "Karate Kid" Mr Miyagi wannabes in fantasy

 

 

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Maneha​ - coastal aumaua, barbarian

 

Subjective moniker: ​The Derp

Reason for joining: Asking to join a stranger that may or may not happen to find the place you're looking for is asking for trouble.

Personal quest: ​She wants to forget her past life, but for the most of the time we forget that she is a Giftbearer of Ondra. In my opinion this might be a more interesting path to follow than searching for a pool of blissful water. She makes a lesbian comment about being attracted to Pallegina, this is also never mentioned again.

Overall rating: 3/10 - her class (companion-wise) was the last to get into the game and the character feels rushed and poorly prepared


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#2
Pope

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Zahua was awesome!

I also quite liked the concepts behind Devil and Maneha, but thought their overly done American accents really hurt the characters.

 

Overall though, I felt that PoE's companions left much to be desired.


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#3
Zidster

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I feel like I'm the minority in this but I actually like none of the standard companions. I love that I'm able to build a custom party. To me, they all lack something deep. Aloth and Eder are ok, but from then on it goes downhill. I hire them untill I have the money to build a complete party by myself. The WM companions were even worse. I liked the Devils story, but she is so quiet and doesn't do anything. I also noticed that there was some lost potential with her hopes of finding something in the Battery. But even worse is the fish guy. I just looked at him and retreated. "Nope, nooooope, not today sir, not today" And Maneha. Why the hell is she just STANDING in the middle of the road? I laughed hard when I read your subjective moniker "Derp" - that's fitting!


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#4
Messier-31

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BONUS - temporary companions

 

 

 

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Calisca - meadow human, fighter

 

Subjective moniker: The Doodad

Overwiew: The reason for joining is trivial, she is just a tutorial help, but makes sense story-wise to help you find them berries. She has the same voice-actress as Sagani, and her american broad accent is unbearable (same as Odema's), but at least we get to meet her sister in Gilded Vale, thus having a substitute for a companion related quest.

Overall rating: 3/10 - best thing about her is that she gives the best possibility to talk about our character's background, period

 

 

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Heodan - meadow human, rogue

 

Subjective moniker: The Dean

Overwiew: The Dean stands for James Dean, as I see him as a young rebel (part-time vendor) who died prematurely. He isn't a bad-ass but had potential to be a really interesting rogue. Time he had in the game was short and negligible as he became the victim of Obsidian's "tutorial-companions-are-left-behind" policy.

Overall rating: 7/10 - the forecast is that he could've been a better rogue character than Devil of Caroc



#5
KaineParker

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Not having an animancer companion was a tradegdy. The only two pro-animancy companions we got had some weak justifications for it and with animancy being such a big deal that was a shame.
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#6
Arsene Lupin

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You're nuts, Sagani and Pallegina were awesome. Easily the top-tier companions, along with Eder.


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#7
Gnomic

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"Nobody expects the Magranish inquisition!"

 

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3/10 missed opportunity.


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#8
Blades of Vanatar

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Hirivias was absolutely hilarious. My fave companion. Eder was a close second also followed closely by Durance. His disdain for his goddess I thought was very well done. WM companions were cool but not fleshed out enough, save for Devil. But she was not built to be super effective in the late game.

Edited by Blades of Vanatar, 24 October 2017 - 04:00 PM.

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#9
The Sharmat

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What's with all the hate for southern accents in this thread? It suits the setting. Fantasy games don't all have to be voiced by Canadians badly faking an RP accent y'know.

 

Anyway, I'll do one.

 

Aloth Corfiser

 

Story: Actually quite integral to the main plot, and the world building around awakenings. However the twist of his character and his leaden key associations takes way too long to be relevant, and some important conversations with him in the late game have bizarre and easily missed triggers which can make his endings seem strange. 5/10

Mechanics: He's a wizard, and he's built fairly well for the debuff and status anomaly stuff. He also excels at AOE implement based builds. 9/10

Voice acting: It's the same guy that does Edér, doing three characters. The guy is good. Aloth and Iselmyr sound quite distinct despite being the same person, and both have a lot of personality with not much dialogue. 9/10

Banter: Aloth being the party butt monkey gets a bit old but Iselmyr is fun. There's a woman can do some damage when she squeezes her legs together. 7/10

Overall: 7/10, would have in party. Glad he comes back. Hope to see a lot more out of him in Deadfire, in particular if Obsidian can do what no one else has ever done and make save imports meaningful.

 

Edér Teylecg (Where the hell did you find his last name?)

 

Story: Edér is a down to Earth farmboy at heart, and so his story is a very human one you don't often see in these bombastic fantasy epic scenarios. He's not directly relevant to the plot, but intimately entangled with the themes the plot is used to present. What do you do, when the most important questions have no readily apparent answers? Edér just gets up and moves on. He's also the relatively rare deeply religious character that's not presented as a close minded bigot or insane fanatic, which is refreshing. 10/10

Mechanics: He's a decent but not spectacular fighter, particularly if you don't fall into the tank trap and actually make him a damage dealer. Where he really shines early game is the fact that with his unique Saint's War armor he simply will not stay down. Otherwise, he's unremarkable. 6/10

Voice acting: See above. The voice work has range and heart. His reaction upon finding his quest is a dead end is moving. 10/10

Banter: Edér always lightens the mood even in fairly dark periods of the story, and his interactions with other companions nonetheless never cross the line into pure comedy. It's always grounded with something relevant to the characters and situations. 10/10

Overall: 9.5/10. A standout NPC for RPGs and video games in general. If you want a deep character without resorting to the very alien in a fantasy setting, Edér is how you do it.

 

Kana Rua

 

Story: Secretly quite relevant to the plot, since the Endless Paths stuff is linked to all the shenanigans the Engwithans got up to that set up the game's scenario. However the developers seem to have been afraid to make an optional dungeon tie into the main plot too much. His central conflict is interesting enough, but little is done with it due to lack of interaction with other NPCs, or with anyone he'd recognize from back home. That said the player's influence on his endings is very subtle, complex, and well done. 7/10

Mechanics: He's a decent damage dealing chanter with Dragon Thrash but man his opening picks suck. Those skeletons are useless even if you pick him up as early as possible on hard, much less Path of the Damned. 5/10

Voice acting: A jolly fellow, with a distinctive and pleasing voice. Sadly he's a bit one note. The only emotions you get to see besides jovial curiosity are when he discovers Gabrannos, and it's over all too quickly. 7/10

Banter: More of the same. It's not bad, but it's not fantastic either. 5/10

Overall: 7/10

 

Durance

 

Story: Along with Aloth, Edér, and the Grieving Mother, he is one of the companions that feels like they belong. Again, he is absolutely core to the heart of the game's plot and the theme's being presented. He covers a lot of the same ground Edér does, but showcases the absolute opposite reaction. His plot line is a lesson on how to have a character influenced by a PC without being pure power fantasy. The choices leading to his endings are well executed and logical.

Mechanics: Nothing special here but he's a priest. In this game that's an automatic 10/10

Voice acting: Tied with Edér for the best acted companion in the game. The blustering crazed street preacher act works, but it also clearly conceals something deeper. The voice actor excels at the duality. 10/10

Banter: FIERY WHORE/10

Overall: 10/10

 

Sagani

Story: Honestly has a lot of overlap with Edérs. It's nice and touching in its own way, and the "you can't go home again" theme is handled well enough. But it just doesn't shine in comparison with the others. However it is at least another example of how to show a player's impact on a companion subtly without a forced influence system or obvious binary choices. 6/10

Mechanics: Good DPS if you build her right but I'll be damned if I can ever keep Itumaak alive. 7/10

Voice acting: I like her voice. Lots of character. But she doesn't get a chance to show a lot of range. She's too often the straight man for other NPCs. 6/10

Banter: See above. 6/10

Overall: 6/10

 

Pallegina mes Rèi

Story: You can really tell Sawyer was more focused on the game design than the writing. The core of Pallegina's story is fine, but what's in the game feels like a hurriedly implemented outline. Her reasons for joining the party are nonexistent, and her Godlike heritage rarely gets any play at all. Her personal character quest is short and hinges on a couple of conversation choices. I can only hope Deadfire salvages her. 3/10

Mechanics: Meh until recent patches. Now Wrath of the Five Suns/10

Voice acting: Fun accent. The actress does a good job of injecting range into what little she's given, and pronounces her fake language expertly. Still sounds a bit too much like the Adra Dragon. 8/10

Banter: At least she actually gets some characterization here, but it's too little too late. 5/10

Overall: 4/10

 

Hiravias

Story: Honestly I still don't "get" the whole Autumn stelgaer thing. Maybe I'm just dumb or didn't pay much attention. Anyway, he joins for no real reason, barely raises any objections to the party regularly breaking his most intense taboo, and mostly just exists as a lore dump from the Glanfathan's perspective. 2/10

Mechanics: He's a druid. 'Nuff said. 9/10

Voice acting: Good voice, barely any range. But that may be the script's fault. 5/10.

Banter: The cloaca bit automatically ending the conversation is funny. Otherwise, a bit too random monkey chease for my tastes. 3/10

Overall: 4/10, because he's a ****ing druid.

 

Grieving Mother (Because Avellone simply cannot give anyone a real name)

Story: Seemingly the most connected to the main plot of all companions, but perhaps due to cut content doesn't have as much to say about any of it despite the hefty word count in her interactions. The philosophical query over the value of memory and self is interesting I suppose, but I think it's probably been done better elsewhere. 4/10

Mechanics: Bog standard cipher. Kind of frail without power gaming. Alright at crowd control. 5/10

Voice acting: Not to be harsh, but it sounds like they told the actress to do the hokeyist TV psychic voice she could and gave her no further direction. I half expected little "OOOoooOOOOOs" to be interjected at random in between her floaty weird rants about cauls and wombs. Script as much at fault here as the actress. The imagery encases it wet, red and dripping, like a newborn, and I just want to cut the cord. 2/10

Banter: N/A. I get the excuse but ****, it just feels lazy. Even Thaos doesn't notice her. 0/10

Overall: 2/10. My least favorite vanilla companion.

 

Devil of Caroc

Story: Like the other two White March companions, she represents one way of dealing with the past. Like Maneha and unlike Zahua, her story basically feels rushed and unfinished. She does give us a new perspective on existing backstory with the Cold Morn stuff, which is nice. The basic concept of a soul stuck in a golem is interesting, but barely touched on. Her motives are believable enough, i suppose, but she lacks any reactivity to anything outside her (very short) personal quest.. I also liked that this is one of the few things in media where persuading her NOT to get revenge actually leads to a less fulfilling ending. But overall, sadly wasted potential. I kept waiting for patch notes that said "Devil's story finally actually in the game". But it was not to be. 2/10

Mechanics: She's not as bad as everyone says, especially if you give her that item that lowers cooldown times between actions and upgrade her chassis with Durgan steel. But that's about the best I can say about her. I still bring her with me all the time anyway because I just like her. 2/10

Voice acting: I absolutely love her voice. It's unique, cool, and has the right emotion whether she's giggling madly at a critical strike or breaking and describing the horrors in her backstory. 9/10, because I think objectively Edér and Durance are better, but for me, she's a 10/10

Banter: Her saving grace. Her interactions with other characters, when they come up, are always great fun. "Just a little closer, Durance..." Have I mentioned I like her voice acting? 9/10

Overall: 4/10. She's actually one of my top three companions, but looking at it objectively, she's pretty bad.

 

Zahua

Story: Represents the ideal we're supposed to take of how to deal with the past from the White March. He doesn't run from it, but neither does he cling to it obsessively. He learns what he must from it, accepts what can't be changed, and does what he can to make the future better. The story is presented well, if a bit all at once with the vision quest. He's the only White March companion that feels like Obsidian actually got what they wanted out of him. 9/10.

Mechanics: I personally never quite got the hang of monks but I know he can be a real beast if you do it right, and it's fun sending him to wreak havoc in the back lines. A shame being the Anit-lei is such a crap bonus. Still, 8/10

Voice Acting: This guy's great at both the humor, the tragedy, and the philosophizing. A pleasure to listen to. One of the only times I've actually liked the wise old monk archetype. 10/10.

Banter: Manages to be funny without succumbing to lol monkey chease or the temptation of lmao 420 smoke weed every day,and usually brings out something about the other characters. Pretty good. 8/10

Overall: 9/10

 

Maneha

Story: I mean, I guess she's more fleshed out than the Devil of Caroc. Barely. Her reasons for joining are among the most nonsensical of the group. Her theme is interesting but even the Grieving Mother did the memory stuff better, and Ondra herself overshadows basically everything Maneha brings to the table thematically. She's also pretty damn easy to influence away from core tenets of her faith for an Ondrite priestess. 3/10

Mechanics: There are worse barbarian builds, but ****, she doesn't even start with frenzy. 4/10

Voice acting: This is very subjective and I have trouble judging because frankly, I absolutely despise her accent. It's like nails on a chalkboard for me. I guess she does an ok job besides that, but nothing special. 4/10

Banter: She brought the terrible black shadow of shipping to PoE. May she be cast into the fiery pit of the Bioware Social Network for eternity. 0/10

Overall 2/10. By far my least favorite companion. Weird she was written by the same person that wrote one of my favs, but that's how things go sometimes.


Edited by The Sharmat, 15 March 2018 - 07:39 PM.

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#10
Messier-31

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Edér Teylecg (Where the hell did you find his last name?)

 

IIRC it pops up while searching the Defiance Bay archives for his brother, Woden.

 

Aaaaand it's right there in the official wiki: https://pillarsofete...ars_of_Eternity



#11
Boeroer

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Two things about mechanics:

 

- The Devil of Caroc is not only slightly better than most people think, she is way better. She has all the immunities of a construct: Dominated, Sickened, Confused, Unconscious, Charmed, Disease and Poison. Every paladin who likes his defenses would kill for those advantages. Because of this, one can build very effective party synergies with her. For example she can't get hit by your Malignant Cloud or Noxious Burst... She's also not affected by Lagufaeth Blowdarts. 

 

- Zahua's Anitlei is actually a very good ability. Because it stacks with every other speed buff. Since most speed buffs stack multiplicatively (IF they stack) this can have a big impact on his dps. For example: Anitlei is the only way to reach 0 recovery when using fists as weapons (without using random Gauntlets of Swift Action or consumables) or - if you find Gauntlets of Swift Action - to use Vulnerable Attack with fists without losing 0 recovery. That's +5 damage without speed loss which is the equivalent of a +40% additive dmg bonus (when using fists).


Edited by Boeroer, 16 March 2018 - 12:36 AM.

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#12
The Sharmat

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Two things about mechanics:

 

- The Devil of Caroc is not only slightly better than most people think, she is way better. She has all the immunities of a construct: Dominated, Sickened, Confused, Unconscious, Charmed, Disease and Poison. Every paladin who likes his defenses would kill for those advantages. Because of this, one can build very effective party synergies with her. For example she can't get hit by your Malignant Cloud or Noxious Burst... She's also not affected by Lagufaeth Blowdarts. 

 

- Zahua's Anitlei is actually a very good ability. Because it stacks with every other speed buff. Since most speed buffs stack multiplicatively (IF they stack) this can have a big impact on his dps. For example: Anitlei is the only way to reach 0 recovery when using fists as weapons (without using random Gauntlets of Swift Action or consumables) or - if you find Gauntlets of Swift Action - to use Vulnerable Attack with fists without losing 0 recovery. That's +5 damage without speed loss which is the equivalent of a +40% additive dmg bonus (when using fists).

I never considered that about the Devil, or knew that about Zahua. Very informative.


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#13
huang

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I disagree with the rating of every single character. :D


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#14
Messier-31

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I disagree with the rating of every single character. :D

 

Very informative :)

I encourage to write your rating, the more the better.



#15
Boeroer

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I think The Sharmat wrote some decent review - I don't have to agree to every point in order to acknowlegde the work and thoroughness.



#16
Tarlonniel

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I must be the only person in the universe who's "meh" on Edér and sorta really hates Iselmyr :lol:


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#17
The Sharmat

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Well Iselmyr is a bit one note so if you don't like that note you won't like her. What about Edér though? Just a bit too non-fantastical for you? I could see how his appeal for me might actually be a negative to someone else. I like some pretty out there companions too like G0-T0 or One of Many or ME2's version of the Geth, but I can also appreciate the opposite.


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#18
Juodas Varnas

Juodas Varnas

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Well Iselmyr is a bit one note so if you don't like that note you won't like her. What about Edér though? Just a bit too non-fantastical for you? I could see how his appeal for me might actually be a negative to someone else. I like some pretty out there companions too like G0-T0 or One of Many or ME2's version of the Geth, but I can also appreciate the opposite.

I also really like the weirder companions in most RPGs (Legion is probably my second favorite companion in Mass Effect series, after Jack), which kinda makes me wish we had gotten something like a Vithrack or even a Xaurip companion in the roster.

 

However, Eder is the best and i have no idea how can anyone be 'meh' about him!



#19
Tarlonniel

Tarlonniel

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It's not about being non-fantastical, because Sagani fits that category too and I love her to bits. There's just nothing about Edér which hooks me. He sorta wanders into the story, talks about his brother for a bit, then wanders out. Maybe it's his lack of passion; Sagani is immensely dedicated to her family, her village, and her culture, while Edér barely seems to care about anything. Except petting stuff, of course, which was amusing, but he doesn't seem to care about the animals themselves so much as their pettablity. Oh yeah, and the racism was lovely.



#20
The Sharmat

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Edér is one to try to subdue his personal pains with humor. He cares about what's happening and the fate of his brother immensely. But the acting can be a bit subtle at times. Which fits the character completely. But if it doesn't come through to you, it is what it is.

 

He's not really particularly racist either, especially by the standards of the setting. They certainly could have hit that heavier if they wanted it to be a big part of his character instead of a one-off poor choice of words around Hiravias. Honestly, would have added extra depth to his character. But I don't blame them for not wanting to touch the idea of a sympathetic character with deeply ingrained racist views with a thousand foot pole. It's a tough concept to write and I can only imagine what the reaction would be by the audience when relatively minor stuff like Edér's faux pas or Mass Effect's Ashley and her suspicion towards aliens gets them up in arms.


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