Just a heads up to any new or newish players out there. I have been TRing my main guy for 3 years now and im on life #7 currently. I use hirelings often thru my builds and have found some of them to be quite good. I primarily play Melee builds as they are the ones who need a hire mostly.
As i have found, in general, Some hirelings perform MUCH better then others. Some hires are very lazy or their priority code seems to be messed up. But other hirelings work Hard to keep you and the group alive, even performing better then actual players at times.
Generally speaking, a FVS will have more mana then a Cleric hireling and will have a slightly more aggressive spell selection. One of the Clerics best way to heal groups is with Aura Bursts (with the Radiant Savant Prestige Class), so hireling Clerics do not have this ability so they are by nature weaker at healing. The Favored Souls can heal for more for a longer time due to their larger mana pools when the Cleric Aura Bursts are removed from the table.
However that is not saying that FVS are defiantly better then Cleric hirelings. There are some very good Cleric hirelings as well.
Another thing to consider is the Aggressive (Crossed Swords on the hotbar) and Defensive (Sheild on hotbar) commands. The Aggressive command makes the hireling interact with enemies and players more often. They should continuously be looking for a target to interact with in Aggro mode, be it a Cometfall or a Heal. This mode often burns mana faster then the defensive mode due to continuous casting. Toggle this on when ur fast paced and need extra actions to assist the party and mana is not an issue (like there is alot of Shrines, such as Gwaylan's Stand).
In Defensive mode, a Hire should only act if a party member or its self is interacted with first. And often healing or cureing with be the first thing they will do, followed up with maybe a damage spell. This is the "Sit back and take care of me and the party" mode. Mana will last longer as the hireling is reactive instead of proactive. Use this mode when u want the hire to conserve mana and u need them for the long haul (like Tears of Drakkan).
PRO TIP: Call your Hireling to you Often! YOU are in control. In the end, they are just Pets. They sometimes get into trouble and stand their ground when they need to run, or get busy doing something else. CALL them and make them run to you so u can protect them or reset their actions. This is the biggest mistake i see anyone doing to their hirelings. Bad players expect them to be 100% effeciant on their own, this is False. A Hireling is merely a controllable Pet, treat is as such.
I will list the hirelings i use as i level as i have found them very responsive and useful to the group. (Note: Under Level 7, Cure Serious Potions will heals for similar amounts as Divine spell healing.. Buy a stack of healing pots and use them as u run quests in between fights to assist with survivabilty)
Level 3 = Marduk Whitegrave. Favored Soul. He has alot of mana for his Level and in Aggro mode he uses Command often keep opponents down. Makes killing easy. Responsive on the Healing also.
LV 5 = Aunidil Tor'val, Favored Soul. A GREAT Agro healer. She is prolly the first "Good" hireling, drops Command and Soundburst often to stun enemies making them easy kills. She can solo Waterworks on her own given enough time. She also is responsive with healing. She is rather overzealous with her mana and burns it quickly if u let her. Switch between Aggro and Defensive to save mana.
LV 5 = Kendra Estleton, Cleric. A great Healing hireling. She often takes care of my whole party as they rampage thru zones. She has a good spell selection for keeping a party healthy. Keep her in aggro mode, she has limited damage spells so they will not eat into her mana much, but she will continuously take care of the group.
LV6 = Arias Oreth, Cleric. A good balance of aggro and defenisive from a cleric. Uses soundbust to AE stun and then usually turns to healing as needed. Keep in aggro mode.
Lv 8 ..... Nimeth Celibel, Favored Soul. ... This hire is one of those Amazing Hirelings. She Soundbursts, Commands, Smites, Heals, Damages, Stays away from the fight (she is a Archer i think), Cures and Lesser Restores. BEWARE tho .. she guzzles mana. Often I keep her on Defensive and turn her to Agrro when i need the extra Kick in a big fight. She also has high stats in Wisdom and Charisma. She can do both runes in Elite Drakkan and runes in Xoriate Cypher. Awesome. I'd take her on a date if i could.
LV 10. Fayden Maeleth, Cleirc and Ruthok Hourig, FVS. Both of these hires do a good job. Responsive and with good stats. In a turn of events, Fayden is who I will actually use in a Agressive roll with just spamming Call and Flamestrike. Then allowing her to heal after the bad guys are turned to ash. Ruth is a good healer with a large mana pool. Got to watch him tho as he likes to melee (Call will keep him close).
LV 12 ... Tanya Brightstone, another great Favored Soul. She is like Nimeth's older sister. She uses Smite and Greater Command to immobilize whole groups of baddies as you and your group pound them into the ground. Or use her Blade Barrier to chop down groups as they come at you. Backed up with Heals she brings alot to the table. Again tho, She uses a lot of mana, it has to be managed in long distances with no shrines.
Lv 14. Beleth Voric, Cleric. A good healing hireling. In Aggro mode she watches over the group well with her Mass healing and Heal. Calling her to you and then Cometfalling is a good tactic also.
Level 15 Favored Soul.. Larafay Do'rret. Probably the Best Hireling in game. She is a walking death machine that casts 300+ point Heals liberally as she wrecks the battlefeild with Destruction (insta kill spell) and Cometfall. Often out Killing players in my PUGs thru Giant Hold, she is a force to be dealt with. Only issue with Lara is her 2600 mana (1800 base + 4 mana pots) often are not enough to state her bloodlust. Use Shrines often lol! Again, putting her in Defensive will slow her down some... but F that! Kill em all Lara!
Lv 18. Merenon Lior, FVS. Actually Mer is a good Melee Divine. He has good stats with HPs and AC, which allows him to hold his own in a fight. Casting Mass Heal as needed to keep the party alive. I usually Call him to me alot as in Aggro he will attack any bad guys he sees.
Lv 19. Caraneth Myar, Favored Soul. Man, whats the deal with these upper teen FVS? They just outclass the clerics! This is another nice responsive aggressive divine that gets the job done. Cara being loaded with Implosion is huge. Put her on Aggro and Spam it for insta-death to most of the baddies within Vale. After she turn all the opposition inside-out, she will go about dropping Heals where needed. Implosion, Firestorm and Efereet Pet make her nice in RR and IQ.
These are who I use as I've been on my TR train. I have not experimented much with the Epic level hireling, but i hear some are quite good also. I hope to correct that as I cap out both Fury of the Wild and Legendary Dreadnought on my Fighter/Barb this life.
Hope this helps out any new players or any questions of how to use/select hirelings. Anyone who wants to add any information is more then happy to.