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View Full Version : Endgame Hirelings - Customizeable and Levelable



droid327
02-11-2014, 04:22 PM
In terms of underdeveloped systems that are low-hanging fruit for improvement, I think Hirelings rank pretty high right now. Since character level is going to presumably permanently cap out at 30, there's also going to be a need at endgame for ways to improve your gameplay potential outside of leveling. I think adding dimensionality to the Hireling system would be a way to add a whole additional layer of development to endgame, and possibly earlier.

What I'm envisioning is a Hireling system more like Arti/Druid pets, paired with an independent Hireling XP to advance. You should be able to hire an "endgame hireling" of a basic class template, which would grant you a "Summon Hireling XXX" skill instead of summoning from a contract item. This hireling, accessible through your Character panel, would have a slot for armor, cloak, helmet, and a mainhand/offhand slot you could equip as appropriate for their class (TWF, THF, S&B, etc.), only with weapons/shields/armor they're proficient with.

They would get a percentage of whatever XP you would normally earn, advancing through maybe 10-20 "Hireling levels", and unlocking, essentially, Hireling APs you could use to choose various skills in a Hireling Enhancement system, just like class pets. Some of these would be active skills or new spells you could assign to their 4 hotbar slots, some would be passive skills, but they would let you improve the efficacy and customize the speciality of your hireling. Hireling Enhancements would be fairly one-dimensional and straightforward, compared to player class trees - Cleric hirelings might have a simple "healing" line, and a "DPS casting" line, for example.

The XP curve would be much higher than for players at the uppermost levels, so it would not be a very trivial thing to get a hireling from, say, 80% to 100%, but it wouldn't be a complete grind to get a hireling that was 80%. A max-level hireling should be comparable in power and survivability to a single EE white-name mob, while at 80% should be comparable to an EH white-name mob, and at 0% should be only slightly below an EN mob.

Ultimately, it should let you have a hireling pet you can bring with you in endgame content without their being a liability. It will give a reason to continue to accrue XP at endgame, once you've maxed your Destinies. And it gives more slots to equip, driving more demand on the AH/for raiding.

The_Human_Cypher
02-11-2014, 05:47 PM
In terms of underdeveloped systems that are low-hanging fruit for improvement, I think Hirelings rank pretty high right now. Since character level is going to presumably permanently cap out at 30, there's also going to be a need at endgame for ways to improve your gameplay potential outside of leveling. I think adding dimensionality to the Hireling system would be a way to add a whole additional layer of development to endgame, and possibly earlier.

What I'm envisioning is a Hireling system more like Arti/Druid pets, paired with an independent Hireling XP to advance. You should be able to hire an "endgame hireling" of a basic class template, which would grant you a "Summon Hireling XXX" skill instead of summoning from a contract item. This hireling, accessible through your Character panel, would have a slot for armor, cloak, helmet, and a mainhand/offhand slot you could equip as appropriate for their class (TWF, THF, S&B, etc.), only with weapons/shields/armor they're proficient with.

They would get a percentage of whatever XP you would normally earn, advancing through maybe 10-20 "Hireling levels", and unlocking, essentially, Hireling APs you could use to choose various skills in a Hireling Enhancement system, just like class pets. Some of these would be active skills or new spells you could assign to their 4 hotbar slots, some would be passive skills, but they would let you improve the efficacy and customize the speciality of your hireling. Hireling Enhancements would be fairly one-dimensional and straightforward, compared to player class trees - Cleric hirelings might have a simple "healing" line, and a "DPS casting" line, for example.

The XP curve would be much higher than for players at the uppermost levels, so it would not be a very trivial thing to get a hireling from, say, 80% to 100%, but it wouldn't be a complete grind to get a hireling that was 80%. A max-level hireling should be comparable in power and survivability to a single EE white-name mob, while at 80% should be comparable to an EH white-name mob, and at 0% should be only slightly below an EN mob.

Ultimately, it should let you have a hireling pet you can bring with you in endgame content without their being a liability. It will give a reason to continue to accrue XP at endgame, once you've maxed your Destinies. And it gives more slots to equip, driving more demand on the AH/for raiding.

What you describe is basically what Neverwinter online has with its Companion system. Companions are permanent hirelings which can be geared and have their own XP development track. Companions have varying level caps and buffs which they place on their owner when active. We already have permanent hirelings from the expansions (Onyx Panther and Owlbear Defender), so the kind of hirelings you describe could be sold in the DDO Store and/or included with future expansions.

Irenae
02-11-2014, 06:19 PM
Or, instead of hirelings, why not an NPC companion you can call as much as you want, can equip them and level them the same way you do. You could only use it when solo however, and of course you would only get 1. Think of them like a permanent hireling that you can change equipment on and have control of their levels, allowing them to be able to be splashed for min/mixing purposes.

waryJerry
02-11-2014, 06:45 PM
My question is why can't we have customizable hirelings that level with us from the beginning? Why should it be an endgame shiny?

bwnunnally
02-11-2014, 09:53 PM
I like the idea of evolving hirelings.

How about a DDO-store single-use item that would let a player hire a copy of one of his alt toons as a hireling? In other words, on current logged in account your Wizard Thomas could "hire" your alt Rogue Lefty as a hireling for 3 hrs for 50 tp or similar. points go to DDO Store; What you get is current copy of Lefty w current gear etc with hireling Rogue script AI as a hireling to assist your Wizard on a quest.

droid327
02-12-2014, 01:40 AM
My question is why can't we have customizable hirelings that level with us from the beginning? Why should it be an endgame shiny?

That was my original thought, and the logical extension of the idea..but then I thought of some counterpoints, as well...

-It'd make existing hirelings obsolete
-It'd be overpowered for current non-endgame content, which is balanced for static hirelings
-It'd be a much more complex system to balance, making it a harder request to implement
-Wasn't sure how to work it into TRing...do you have to buy a new one every time? Does it reset on TR? Or can you park prebuilt hirelings at various levels to twink with?
-It loses its point as "endgame content" if you arrive at endgame with, effectively, an already fully-leveled hireling, leaving you with the same "nothing left to improve" problem you get now.
-It essentially becomes a "second class" you can take, because you're effectively earning XP and gaining levels and accessing new skills as you level up. Keeping it at endgame makes it more of a third tier of character advancement, after Heroic Levels and Epic Destinies, rather than a parallel advancement to Heroic.

doawithlife
02-13-2014, 08:55 AM
With dungeon scaling I don't see much of a point.
It would be helpful endgame for mediocre chars running EH, but it would never be functional for "endgame" players running WGU on EE(endgame players are those that are at least completionist).

I guess I don't have any real issue with the idea, it would work but not for the reasons you say.
The focus with something like this should be an avenue for young characters to catch up, not an extension of your growth. For "endgame" players, this would be a nifty toy and nothing else. If these hirelings could become powerful enough to handle high tier EE quests, they would be game breaking. To equalize that out, you have to do something like limit their gear - at which point they become useless to true endgame chars.