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  1. #1
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    Default Customize Hireling Behavior?

    Is there a way to change hireling behavior? I've tried clicking and altering the "AI" settings, but those have no effect and when I open the panel again, all the boxes I unchecked are still checked. It feels like my UI panel is missing the "save settings" button. I've looked about for a way to "save" the settings, but can't seem to find one. Is it just plain missing and the panel does nothing?

    Hireling AI seems to be coded to prefer AE attacks on packs of CC'd critters that will own it in one round. They need an absolute prohibition from doing anything that might break CC. Alternatively, turning off all AE abilities would at least reduce the scale of the problem.

  2. #2
    Traveler of the Skies Frogger1234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bjond View Post
    Is there a way to change hireling behavior? I've tried clicking and altering the "AI" settings, but those have no effect and when I open the panel again, all the boxes I unchecked are still checked. It feels like my UI panel is missing the "save settings" button. I've looked about for a way to "save" the settings, but can't seem to find one. Is it just plain missing and the panel does nothing?

    Hireling AI seems to be coded to prefer AE attacks on packs of CC'd critters that will own it in one round. They need an absolute prohibition from doing anything that might break CC. Alternatively, turning off all AE abilities would at least reduce the scale of the problem.
    Hireling AI generally ranges from bad to horrible. And it varies quite a bit between hirelings. You can park them out of the way with the stay/follow switch in block 1 of their hotbar. Most of them more or less obey, a few will wander half way across the dungeon aggroing mobs as they go. You can also set them to passive (block 5 in the hotbar, looks like a sitting person). If you really don't want them doing anything , set to stay and passive.

    For Korthos, the barbarian Byron Scoutsword can almost solo it for you, they go downhill from there. Though the FVS Larafay Do'rret is fun to watch until she runs out of mana.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frogger1234 View Post
    If you really don't want them doing anything , set to stay and passive.
    Heh. If I don't want a hireling to do anything at all, why summon them? My own particular case is about the free Scarecrows from the expansion pack. They have g/cleave, which makes them not only unusable, but actively dangerous to summon, since they don't include the standard discretionary behavior most games have been giving pet-AI since EQ1; ie. don't wake CC, don't attack stuff I don't touch unless ordered, etc..

    BTW, I'm assuming there's no way to "save" or otherwise make the UI choices in the AI panel take effect? That's too bad if so. It means the only hirelings that won't actively kill me by breaking CC are pure-healer hirelings. I suppose that's somewhat of a mixed blessing -- will definitely save on DDO points!

  4. #4
    Traveler of the Skies Frogger1234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bjond View Post
    Heh. If I don't want a hireling to do anything at all, why summon them?
    It's situational. Not something I use a lot, but sometimes you just don't want them to do anything for the moment. Since it's on their hot bar, you can change between active and passive pretty quickly.

    Control over hireling AI is pretty coarse-grained, and does not save between summons. If you customize the behavior, you have to remember to do it every time you summon them.

    At least some of the healer hires do attack things, either melee or with spells like searing light. There may be a way to turn that off in their customization interface.

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    I just spent about ten minutes yelling at my screen because my four gold contract hirelings did *NOTHING* but stand there and die. Did not fight back. Did not attack when I clicked attack. The cleric might rez, or might have some coffee as arrows wiz past her head. So glad I spent the points on those contracts!

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    Community Member psykopeta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montegue View Post
    I just spent about ten minutes yelling at my screen because my four gold contract hirelings did *NOTHING* but stand there and die. Did not fight back. Did not attack when I clicked attack. The cleric might rez, or might have some coffee as arrows wiz past her head. So glad I spent the points on those contracts!
    good thing is 4 gold hireling scale as 1 player (0,25 each, 0,5 for non gold ones)

    and contribute less than a lvl 1 first lifer in a lvl 30 r10 quest XD
    psykopeta is finally baconpletionist because there isn't anything to delay it more - thelanis, where the gimps claim to be pros and noobs claim to be pros, no newbies allowed(unless they claim to be pros), we have enough drama w/o them. PS: I post only in the latest thread shown in main page, in the weird case u want something from me, feel free to send pm

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    I find they mind fairly well when I order them to remain at the vendor...

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    I realize this is all a fantasy and would never be implemented--maybe even someone else said it already--but I would like to see fully customizable hirelings which leveled along with us. Get a hireling at level one, choose its race, class, sex, and look and fit it with your spare gear. And then it grows in experience as you do and you can choose what spells or moves best fit your own play style. I know this would probably never be implemented but other games have hirelings or companions that do work something like this so it isn't a pie-in-the-sky idea.

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    Community Member NemesisAlien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montegue View Post
    I just spent about ten minutes yelling at my screen because my four gold contract hirelings did *NOTHING* but stand there and die. Did not fight back. Did not attack when I clicked attack. The cleric might rez, or might have some coffee as arrows wiz past her head. So glad I spent the points on those contracts!
    Was one of them a dumb as rocks dreaming bard?

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    Quote Originally Posted by waryJerry View Post
    I realize this is all a fantasy and would never be implemented--maybe even someone else said it already--but I would like to see fully customizable hirelings which leveled along with us. Get a hireling at level one, choose its race, class, sex, and look and fit it with your spare gear. And then it grows in experience as you do and you can choose what spells or moves best fit your own play style. I know this would probably never be implemented but other games have hirelings or companions that do work something like this so it isn't a pie-in-the-sky idea.
    One of the things I always liked about the old Bioware Gold-box / NWN / etc. series was how easy it was to 100% customize the NPCs. It wasn't a feature, but they were trivial to hack into anything you wanted and keep the nice RP/banter along with it. "Go for the eyes, Boo!" It would be fun to have this in an MMO, but that's a rather vast undertaking.

    SWTOR has this in a minor way. You can collect companions that level with you, gear them, and skin them. Their AI (for a game-controlled NPC partner) is actually VERY well done and each one comes with a detailed backstory quest for acquisition. This little tidbit of SWTOR combined with how they implemented skins in game was just 100% marketing genius. The companions use the same skins as players. You can collect multiple companions per player character. So, every character wants at least 2 nice skins (pc & main npc) and likely 5+ to skin them all. And, the game focuses on replay with alts. So, 12? alts to see all the stories X 5-6 skins per alt == $$$. It creates a huge demand for pure purchased fluff that doesn't alter game balance in the slightest and requires minimal development effort (one new snazzy skin every month or so).

    The best part was the skins were account-wide if you collected a full set and each one had multiple parts you could mix & match, which put another wheel on the alt-engine. You'd finish a set and not have a char to put it on. So, you'd make a new one and then see you didn't have skins for ALL the companions and so you'd have to acquire skins for them, too ... it was a bit of a vicious cycle, but because it was *just* skins, it didn't feel like you were being forced to pay for basic necessities. The mix/match thing let people be creative despite near-zero character appearance customization (about like DDO's). So, most characters had very unique appearances due to all the potential skin-part combinations.

    --

    BTW, back on the DDO topic, I seriously dislike spending on ephemera -- aka gold-seal rentals. I'd definitely spend for significant / permanent / account-wide -- ie. for a 100% out-right purchase of a BTA gold-seal, but unless I completely run out of plat for a regular one, I'm not renting anything from the store.

  11. #11
    Community Member Annex's Avatar
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    In a recent Live Stream, Cordovan spoke for a few minutes on the subject of Hire behavior. If I recall correctly, he said that more than one developer has attempted to improve them, without much success, and that they are considered, "Cursed". However, he also said a current developer is _considering_ working on them.

    To my knowledge, no Hire respects crowd control skills. They all fire or swing away, having a merry old time, regardless of the situation.
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  12. #12
    Traveler of the Skies Frogger1234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annex View Post
    In a recent Live Stream, Cordovan spoke for a few minutes on the subject of Hire behavior. If I recall correctly, he said that more than one developer has attempted to improve them, without much success, and that they are considered, "Cursed". However, he also said a current developer is _considering_ working on them.

    To my knowledge, no Hire respects crowd control skills. They all fire or swing away, having a merry old time, regardless of the situation.
    There is one - I think it's the level 8 bard Gilwen Marridor - who mostly stands in one spot and does nothing, no matter what you command him to do. Even with the "come to my position" command. Then, if he feels like it, he sort of obeys with a ten second or so delay.

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    Community Member kamimitsu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frogger1234 View Post
    There is one - I think it's the level 8 bard Gilwen Marridor - who mostly stands in one spot and does nothing, no matter what you command him to do. Even with the "come to my position" command. Then, if he feels like it, he sort of obeys with a ten second or so delay.
    And then you have the polar opposite, Larafay D'Orret, who will go through her entire mana bar spamming Cometfall and Destruction in the first 2 fights. She absolutely owns quests with lots of shrines between fights, and I've seen her beat real humans in the kill count. Just don't expect many hjeals.

    I'd really like to see the following things for hirelings: 1, access to all of their spells and actions via the toolbar (flip to toolbars 2, 3, etc. as necessary?). 2, actual control over precisely which spells and activities they may take with access/toggles per point #1. 3, working "pin downs", if I pin my hireling I don't want them moving, at all, for any reason. 4, control over the length of the "leash". I usually want my hireling to stand a few paces farther back than they do. Close enough to heal me, but far enough that they don't get splash damage. 5, trap awareness.

    I think 1, 2, and 3 are practically necessary if hirelings are to be truly useful. 4 and 5 are perhaps a bit of wishful thinking.
    Last edited by kamimitsu; 01-11-2019 at 12:30 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frogger1234 View Post
    There is one - I think it's the level 8 bard Gilwen Marridor - who mostly stands in one spot and does nothing, no matter what you command him to do. Even with the "come to my position" command. Then, if he feels like it, he sort of obeys with a ten second or so delay.
    If I recall correctly, a few weeks ago, Lynnabel stated that the recent Bard update broke Bard Hires and a fix was in the works. Perhaps that will provide the impetus for a more comprehensive update. Probably not.

    Quote Originally Posted by kamimitsu View Post
    And then you have the polar opposite, Larafay D'Orret, who will go through her entire mana bar spamming Cometfall and Destruction in the first 2 fights. She absolutely owns quests with lots of shrines between fights, and I've seen her beat real humans in the kill count. Just don't expect many hjeals.
    Larafay and Caraneth are perhaps the best Hires for base defense in Kobold Challenges. They stay put and handle guard duty remarkably well, all things considered.

    Quote Originally Posted by kamimitsu View Post
    I'd really like to see the following things for hirelings: 1, access to all of their spells and actions via the toolbar (flip to toolbars 2, 3, etc. as necessary?). 2, actual control over precisely which spells and activities they may take with access/toggles per point #1. 3, working "pin downs", if I pin my hireling I don't want them moving, at all, for any reason. 4, control over the length of the "leash". I usually want my hireling to stand a few paces farther back than they do. Close enough to heal me, but far enough that they don't get splash damage. 5, trap awareness.

    I think 1, 2, and 3 are practically necessary if hirelings are to be truly useful. 4 and 5 are perhaps a bit of wishful thinking.
    Those would all be lovely, especially spell control and leash length. How awesome would it be to have a Healing Hire who stays at range and just heals? I would add one more--the ability to control orientation to character--lead or follow. As a dedicated thief, I detest how hires always run up and block the trap control box. I agree that Trap Awareness will _never_ happen.
    Last edited by Annex; 01-11-2019 at 12:59 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamimitsu View Post
    And then you have the polar opposite, Larafay D'Orret, who will go through her entire mana bar spamming Cometfall and Destruction in the first 2 fights. She absolutely owns quests with lots of shrines between fights, and I've seen her beat real humans in the kill count. Just don't expect many hjeals.
    Destruction Queen Larafay. With all the buffs you can put on pets, at that level, she can get no-fail DCs.
    I have a huge love/hate relationship with her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamimitsu View Post
    And then you have the polar opposite, Larafay D'Orret, who will go through her entire mana bar spamming Cometfall and Destruction in the first 2 fights. She absolutely owns quests with lots of shrines between fights, and I've seen her beat real humans in the kill count. Just don't expect many hjeals.

    I'd really like to see the following things for hirelings: 1, access to all of their spells and actions via the toolbar (flip to toolbars 2, 3, etc. as necessary?). 2, actual control over precisely which spells and activities they may take with access/toggles per point #1. 3, working "pin downs", if I pin my hireling I don't want them moving, at all, for any reason. 4, control over the length of the "leash". I usually want my hireling to stand a few paces farther back than they do. Close enough to heal me, but far enough that they don't get splash damage. 5, trap awareness.

    I think 1, 2, and 3 are practically necessary if hirelings are to be truly useful. 4 and 5 are perhaps a bit of wishful thinking.
    I never ever understand why caster hirelings like to go melee when they use up their sp bar There is no way, absolutely no way they will survive a melee...

  17. #17
    Community Member Avenir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamimitsu View Post
    And then you have the polar opposite, Larafay D'Orret, who will go through her entire mana bar spamming Cometfall and Destruction in the first 2 fights. She absolutely owns quests with lots of shrines between fights, and I've seen her beat real humans in the kill count. Just don't expect many hjeals
    A friend of mine in game calls her "bombs away Larafay"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamimitsu View Post
    And then you have the polar opposite, Larafay D'Orret, who will go through her entire mana bar spamming Cometfall and Destruction in the first 2 fights. She absolutely owns quests with lots of shrines between fights, and I've seen her beat real humans in the kill count. Just don't expect many hjeals.

    If only we could get hires to eat Reaper spell point orbs...


    Devs, just give us a Larafay for each level.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamimitsu View Post
    And then you have the polar opposite, Larafay D'Orret
    ...
    She is also great because she actually does what you expect with reliable tenacity. Probably the best hireling if you don't need heals.

    Quote Originally Posted by kamimitsu View Post
    I'd really like to see the following things for hirelings:
    1. access to all of their spells and actions via the toolbar (flip to toolbars 2, 3, etc. as necessary?).
    2. actual control over precisely which spells and activities they may take with access/toggles per point #1.
    3. working "pin downs", if I pin my hireling I don't want them moving, at all, for any reason.
    4. control over the length of the "leash". I usually want my hireling to stand a few paces farther back than they do. Close enough to heal me, but far enough that they don't get splash damage.
    5. trap awareness.

    ...
    These all sound good, but before any I would at least like hirelings to still do stuff when pinned. At the current time they just go brain-dead when pinned. They won't heal and they rarely res (even when asked).

    I'd also add:

    6. Add Quicken to most of them. Painful to watch a "Mass Heal" continuously being interrupted.

    7. Give all Clr/Fvs some common basic spells: Heal, Mass Heal, DW, Mass Cure, Cure etc. Add other stuff for flavour (like heightened Destruct & Commet Fall on Larafay; Restore, Panacea etc for more healing focus etc).

    But, of your suggestions, 1 & 2 are most appealing. For (3), I am less sure...so long as they only move if set to attack mode and/or are attacked. At the end tho, they MUST return to their pin if it is safe.

  20. #20
    Community Member NemesisAlien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjw View Post
    She is also great because she actually does what you expect with reliable tenacity. Probably the best hireling if you don't need heals.



    These all sound good, but before any I would at least like hirelings to still do stuff when pinned. At the current time they just go brain-dead when pinned. They won't heal and they rarely res (even when asked).

    I'd also add:

    6. Add Quicken to most of them. Painful to watch a "Mass Heal" continuously being interrupted.

    7. Give all Clr/Fvs some common basic spells: Heal, Mass Heal, DW, Mass Cure, Cure etc. Add other stuff for flavour (like heightened Destruct & Commet Fall on Larafay; Restore, Panacea etc for more healing focus etc).

    But, of your suggestions, 1 & 2 are most appealing. For (3), I am less sure...so long as they only move if set to attack mode and/or are attacked. At the end tho, they MUST return to their pin if it is safe.
    Actually they do cast spells occasionally that is not in their bar, which leads me to suspect they are fully rolled toons like us up to the current level, only they got only a few spells scripted to activate.

    Example sometimes my healer cast cure light wounds on me, or remove curse or remove disease or remove paralysis, all not in the hotbar.

    Or I had a wiz hireling here, no magic missles here but he keep spamming it after he run out of sp.


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