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  1. #1
    Community Member wolfy42's Avatar
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    Default How good/bad are summons/companions?

    Me and my friends are just starting to play again. I have played alot in the past, and do have 1 epic character. I have never reincarnated though.

    Curious if the defender for Artificers, Wolf for druids or Skelly for Pale masters can actually get fairly decent at all.

    Is it every worth taking augment summon for instance, especially as an artificer who gets so many feats (pale master gets alot too).

    We will probably be doing all the quests with just 3 of us, so it would be useful to have decent backup companions.

    I may also run (if we don't end up playing them in our party) a solo (mostly) artificer, going dragonborn and Spell based (lightning), so having a defender that can tank and do some physical damage would really help (figure I'll use a repeating xbow as backup on lightning resist/immune enemies).

    We might go with 3 pale masters (all with auras) for instance, which in theory will heal the skelly's we summon from all 3 auras...helping them (and us) stay alive. Question becomes is it worth it to grab feats that boost our summons at all.....or do they just become worthless later on?

  2. #2
    Community Member nolifer1's Avatar
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    companions are usless, cleric hirelings are handy but completl usless end game, i only use hirelings to pull levers that are trapped or 2 levers that need to pull same time, there is also 1 handy hireling with ddroor. but taking augment summoning feats are complete waste to your character (even as arti or wizard), way to gimp your toon, there are more important feats. only place augment summoning is handy is hound of xoriat raid...but nobody runs that anyway
    summons companions on raid are alwys trouble they aggroing stuff or killing stuff that is not needed( shroud crystals or titan pillars) summons have literally 0 dps, exept very low levels barb hire can actually kill stuff
    Last edited by nolifer1; 06-22-2018 at 04:24 PM.
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  3. #3

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    No, no, not get Augment Summoning feat or its derivative.

    Either use an item or get 3 druid past lives. Those are better than the feat.

    Summons/Companions can be useful depending on what difficulty you and your team play. if you play on Elite or Reaper then you can pretty much forget them. They can be probably tank if you equip them well; but be ready to re-summon them often.

    Also, you cannot put any equipment on any summons or the PM skeleton. Only the druid dog and artificer mechanical dog can have equipment and feats.

    ... and welcome back!

    P.S. you can try this build here if you are really into summoning.

    With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

  4. #4

    With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

  5. #5
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    Default Experience with pale master summoner / charmer

    I am playing a pure wizard pale master summoner / enchanter build at the moment, and have it up to L11. Have maxed out Skelly in PM tree, have one past druid life (+2 to summons), taken augment summoning, and the summons enhancements in the Harper tree. I am being true to the flavour, using only non-damaging spells (with the exception of the death auras, which are also for healing) - mix of charms, holds, webs, depending on quest and who I am running with.

    At very low levels, your melee hires will be potent, and Skelly not so much. By L11, the good news is that Skelly is pretty resilient and can cope with quite intense mobs. Also, the toon itself is pretty survivable, as you are keeping away from aggro, and have the auras ticking loads of heals. The bad news is that Skelly DPS is fairly feeble. Summoned creature / summoned undead adds a bit, but not much. Solo, the trick is charming and letting the mobs fight it out - can work, but real SLOW. Pugging, my only real contribution is crowd control.

    In brief, if you go wizard, its quite nice to have Skelly along, but its is mainly an extra. Multiple PMs can work well together, but you definitely need a mix of damage spells, some kind of melee, instakill, as well as summons and CC.

    I haven't played a summons oriented druid or artificer, but from what I have played of those classes, the common view on the forums that summon build don't really work in DDO, unless you want to go all out for the flavour, seems right to me.
    Last edited by SpiritofAlba; 06-22-2018 at 05:45 PM.

  6. #6
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    I've found in lower level non-elite difficulties that the artificer dog is nice if you just use him for the passive repair for constructs. A guildie that I run with on Thelanis loves Artificer, but the closer we get to epics, he always stops spawning his dog unless he needs a lever puller, so take that for what it's worth.

    Hirelings are decent if soloing and you make them stay put until you need a heal. Even then you have to watch them because if you get low health and your hireling is on "stay" and "defend", they will suddenly ignore the 'stay' part and try to run to you. So you have to make them passive.

    ymmv

  7. #7
    Forum witchdoctor Hobgoblin's Avatar
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    not saying its bad, but would rather have ana or coyle right now then most of the hires......
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  8. #8
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    Also if you are an enchanter running reaper, I would think the augment summons might be a consideration. Given that charmed monsters gain the benefits of augment summons while under the effect. This would include reapers,

  9. #9
    The Hatchery Enoach's Avatar
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    Here is my take on the summons/companions and the accompanying feats/enhancements

    First I'm going to say this - They are NOT I repeat NOT useless, as some would have you believe.

    That being said I will also state they are not going to rival a player character in power either.

    As a Note when I'm not in the mood to deal with other people I will regularly do a R3 or R4 with 5 Hirelings, they don't complain about me leading the kill count, or link what they think is uber gear that everyone should have or talk about how everyone else is playing the game wrong hehehe

    Also, on my wizard and artificer I have used the pets to "tank" quest bosses.

    Now things to understand...

    1. Hireling AI has its flaws. Understand them, be willing to micro manage them. If you don't enjoy micro-management then hirelings/pets will not be a fun playstyle for you
    2. Feats/Enhancements that boost Hire/Summons also boost creatures under charm effects. This is important to understand in how you utilize these boosts. Now there are some items/gear in game that can provide the Augment Summon Feat and if your build is "Feat Poor" these are options for getting around that.
    3. This investment couples well with a build that works around Charm/Control (It can be fun to charm all the additional mobs in a boss fight and watch them kill the boss for you, while you loot and scoot )


    My advice with hirelings/pets use them to supplement abilities you don't have or have easy access to. Use them like "red shirts" in a Star Trek episode. Don't use them as your core.

  10. #10
    Community Member wolfy42's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great responses.

    I can switch out a feat later, if I did take augment summoning now, but so far I have needed all my feats.

    It sounds like investing in summons might not work over all, or at least only one of us should do it, and that one should focus on charm etc as well (so that the charmed monsters get boosts).

    Am really enjoying Artificer, but mainly for the SLA spells. Did not know that augment summon could be gotten from eq...that is aweomse, thanks!!

  11. #11
    Community Member Zenako's Avatar
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    Playing most in Heroic or Normal Epic quests I find the Arti Dog quite useful as an attention sink and it can take a pounding while I shred the enemies. Similar obervations with the Druid Companion. Since I do not run Reaper, cannot speak to how they work in those settings.
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  12. #12
    Community Member Antheal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrande View Post
    Either use an item or get 3 druid past lives.
    Oh, just get triple completionist and triple racial completionist and max out your Reaper points. Problem solved.

    Right?
    I wonder what he meant by "Oh no, not again"? Ah well, it's probably nothing!

  13. #13
    Community Member kmoustakas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antheal View Post
    Oh, just get triple completionist and triple racial completionist and max out your Reaper points. Problem solved.

    Right?
    I am actually in the process of getting 3 druid past lives combined with 3 pdk past lives. My main is an artificer and I find the dog absolutely fantastic as a support partner. The pet is not meant to be dps or tank or any role that a player would cover. It's there to help you do what you do. With augment summon, 3 druid past lives, ship buff to hires/pets and harper boost to hires/pets the artificer dog along with the summon from chronoscope docent and the level 1 barbarian wf hire or later the level 6 bard warforged hire, you have a party that matches most pugs. Plus you can use activate every lever/rune in the game.

    I'd also point out that I use ooze repeater and legendary ooze repeater a lot and that schews my oppinion heavily. Still don't have an epic wolf whistle though, still trying.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antheal View Post
    Oh, just get triple completionist and triple racial completionist and max out your Reaper points. Problem solved.

    Right?
    Maybe pets & summons should share the benefits of my Reaper points?
    Quote Originally Posted by Vargouille View Post
    As a general rule we don't intend for a single spawn area to cause any dungeon alert, and certainly not red dungeon alert. This basically isn't ever a goal in our designs

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy42 View Post
    Curious if the defender for Artificers, Wolf for druids or Skelly for Pale masters can actually get fairly decent at all.
    It depends on the difficulty you're running, of course, but with a lot of investment, pets can get all the way up to "OK". They are still squishy and do stupid things, though. Hirelings the same. They're worth using if you have them as class features, but don't expect too much.

    I guess you're not actually asking about monsters from Summon spells, though? Because it seems like they're nothing but a 1-hit speed-bump no matter how much investment in buffing them you have. I maybe summon one just before I rest at a shrine, but I don't really expect it do live or do anything but be a brief distraction to the enemies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vargouille View Post
    As a general rule we don't intend for a single spawn area to cause any dungeon alert, and certainly not red dungeon alert. This basically isn't ever a goal in our designs

  16. #16
    Community Member HastyPudding's Avatar
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    Hmm. They're not useless, but they're not that useful.

    Hirelings - In low levels the fighter, barbarian, and paladin hirelings are useful enough if you can keep them alive (a few of the wizards and sorcerers are decent). Cleric and favored soul hirelings (and a few of the bards) are useful throughout heroics but take a severe drop in usefulness in epics. Rogue hirelings are useful if you need a trapper, as they have almost fail-proof trapping abilities for quests around their level, but for damage they're pretty horrible as they don't know how to manage threat and hostility.

    Summons - Semi-useful in the lower levels, useful for a few hits and a distraction in upper heroics, and nothing more than cannon fodder in epics. The magister summons are only slightly more survivable than the spell summons.

    Companion Pets:
    The iron defender for artificers is fairly tanky, but tends to bug out very quickly and do nothing but run up to enemies and stare at them, hovering in mid-air. I use mine on my artificer but only because it provides a minor repair aura around it and gives me spellpower, so I put it on passive and occasionally use it to pull switches and levers. If you really push for it, it can have a pretty surprising amount of hit points and survivability, but its damage is always going to be terrible.

    The druid's wolf pup is less survivable than the iron defender and doesn't provide much in the way of damage, although it bugs out far less. It's useful in the lower-mid heroics, but once you hit 14 or so it starts to become more a hindrance than a helper. I usually stop summoning it around level 15~17 as it dies too quickly.

    The wizard's skeleton knight is tanky, but lacks damage and has a pretty bad AI. It's useful for a distraction but really doesn't provide anything meaningful other than pulling levers.
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  17. #17
    Community Member wolfy42's Avatar
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    Thanks!!

    I have been playing around with my defender. He has the repair aura (heals both of us...which is nice, no random healing from me needed, just emergency healing). This makes him extremely tanky (also gave him all the enhancements that add AC/DR/Reflex saves and max hp.

    I'm running on Reaper 1 mostly and while he can take down a single enemy one on one pretty fast, I found giving him a bunch of, do damage when hit or missed) effects works the best. He runs around and gathers all the enemies for my spells to obliterate that way as well hehe.

    I must be lucky (knock on virtual wood) as he hasn't bugged out on me yet, or at least, I didn't notice (perhaps everything is dying too much), also perhaps since he is doing so much damage from being attacked, I wouldn't even notice it.

    Right now on level 9 quests on elite/R1, he seems very useful, and I don't have augment summon or anything. Between his self healing, buffs I give him (50 over max hp, bulls strength, bears endurance etc), Ship buffs, his eq bonus, resist spells etc....he can really take a beating.

    I can see how that won't end up improving much though, while the enemies will do more and more damage.

    No way I can take any of the epic bonuses to summons (already feat starved in epic levels), so not gonna waste a feat boosting his stats a bit more, it's such a small difference compared to what he already gets from everything (buffs etc), that it doesn't seem like it would be worth it at all. I do take the enhancements though because it also gives me spell power, so that may be affecting things some.

    Love his healing aura though....it's not really that slow...and we kill most things before they can hurt us...but it sure is convienent not to need to top yourself off all the time. Saves a ton on SP although honestly in reaper 1.....I am always on full between super cheap SLA's and getting those 25 sp orbs all the time, even if I cast a few non-sla's with max/empower/quicken on them....I top off again after the fight.

  18. #18
    Community Member voxson5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy42 View Post
    Thanks!!

    I have been playing around with my defender. He has the repair aura (heals both of us...which is nice, no random healing from me needed, just emergency healing). This makes him extremely tanky (also gave him all the enhancements that add AC/DR/Reflex saves and max hp.

    I'm running on Reaper 1 mostly and while he can take down a single enemy one on one pretty fast, I found giving him a bunch of, do damage when hit or missed) effects works the best. He runs around and gathers all the enemies for my spells to obliterate that way as well hehe.

    I must be lucky (knock on virtual wood) as he hasn't bugged out on me yet, or at least, I didn't notice (perhaps everything is dying too much), also perhaps since he is doing so much damage from being attacked, I wouldn't even notice it.

    Right now on level 9 quests on elite/R1, he seems very useful, and I don't have augment summon or anything. Between his self healing, buffs I give him (50 over max hp, bulls strength, bears endurance etc), Ship buffs, his eq bonus, resist spells etc....he can really take a beating.

    I can see how that won't end up improving much though, while the enemies will do more and more damage.

    No way I can take any of the epic bonuses to summons (already feat starved in epic levels), so not gonna waste a feat boosting his stats a bit more, it's such a small difference compared to what he already gets from everything (buffs etc), that it doesn't seem like it would be worth it at all. I do take the enhancements though because it also gives me spell power, so that may be affecting things some.

    Love his healing aura though....it's not really that slow...and we kill most things before they can hurt us...but it sure is convienent not to need to top yourself off all the time. Saves a ton on SP although honestly in reaper 1.....I am always on full between super cheap SLA's and getting those 25 sp orbs all the time, even if I cast a few non-sla's with max/empower/quicken on them....I top off again after the fight.
    If you want some lols, pick up Larafey when you hit lv 15

  19. #19
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    DISCLAIMER = I'm a poor player, with health issues, frequent AFKs, dismal learning curve, and low play time. I only do Casuals. If you don't struggle soloing on Casual, then this post isn't for you.

    Counterpoint the people here.

    I find Hirelings very useful (but dumb as a post, as some have said), for soloing.

    I bought the top tier expansions purely for the permanent hirelings. Those owlbears saved my life more times than I can count. I'm waiting / hoping for a 75% sale in a year or so for Ravenloft because $130 is too pricy for me.

    The expansions allow for permanent fighters. You can buy clerics for plat. If, like me, you play a rogue, you got a full party right there.

    Heck, I even got the starter Catacombs pack for a permanent L3 cleric lever puller for those times when the rest of the party has to fight while levers are pulled.

    I saw a difference with Augment Summonings. If/when I TR, it will be a Druid / Rogue combo 12/8 or something like that for the extra +6.

    NOTE = Owlbears have trouble knowing that a door has been opened. Presumably, non humanoids don't understand about doors (or the graphics render means they think they can't fit) so be prepared to summon them when you go through doors...

    ...each...

    ...and every...

    ...single...

    ...time.

    Other than that, they are great... for people like me... on Casual.

    TLDR = Situationally, Hirelings are great for soloing on Casual if you can't group with others and have poor skills like me. If you're totally fine with Normal+ content, see the above posts.

  20. #20
    Community Member Niminae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy42 View Post
    Me and my friends are just starting to play again.
    Welcome back.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy42 View Post
    [snippage]
    Curious if the defender for Artificers, Wolf for druids or Skelly for Pale masters can actually get fairly decent at all.

    Is it every worth taking augment summon for instance, especially as an artificer who gets so many feats (pale master gets alot too).

    Question becomes is it worth it to grab feats that boost our summons at all.....or do they just become worthless later on?
    There has recently been a change to Druids and Artificers so that there is no longer any HP or mana loss when the homunculus or wolf dies. So at least now there is no harm is having them out. And they have also increased the number of free raises from 1 to 3, so when they do die they can be revived for free more often.

    That said, I still spend almost all of the pet AP on defensive and aggro avoidance abilities, so that they function more like a very low damage DOT. The devs also threw a band-aid in itemization out there for the pets with Ravenloft loot, so you can equip them with a piece of armor that increases their unconsciousness range by a few hundred HP. Check out the Kindred Spirit (there's an identical Docent, but the Kindred Spirit can also go on an Iron Defender or a Wolf, so why keep two around?). And there is a L29 version also if you've got a pure build. It's a bit sad that you'll have that ML10 item on the pet from 10th through 28th, but there's no other way to get +400 effective HP for the pet, so there it is. The pet will do it's thing as a DOT, and if it eats a cleave or is in the AOE of some spell it'll just lie there and recover in about a minute, and then go back at it. Even that won't prevent them from dying, but it makes them require a lot less attention and resources.

    IMO it is not worthwhile at all to spend a feat on Augment Summoning, or any AP on hireling/pet/summons boosting effects.

    All the above is in the context of playing on Elite or higher levels. If you play on Normal or Hard the pet will be a lot more durable and useful, but IMO will still not be worthwhile spending feats or AP on to improve. Spend those feats and AP on making your character more effective, that will go a lot farther in the long run.

    -
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    PS: When you log on, summon your pet. Then hit the ammenity bar on your guild airship. The pet will automatically pick up all of the airship buffs. The pet can also use the resistance amenities in the cargo hold. All of them go away if the pet dies and is raised (or more commonly, bugs out and has to be dismissed and resummoned), but they don't go away if the pet recovers from being knocked to -1 through -400 HP and recovers.
    Last edited by Niminae; 06-25-2018 at 04:04 AM.

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