Suggestion: Spread boosts to Hirelings and summons to more Destiny trees.

NightHiker

Well-known member
Hey there, folks in general and specific devs or producers that might read this,

It's been common for years now to treat hirelings and summons in DDO as meme material, and not in a good way. As one of the few people who have been trying to fight this notion, I'd like to advance the idea that it would not only be good for the game as far as promoting more playstyles goes, but also very financially savvy, while requiring minimal resources, for SSG to spread some more love to hirelings on the current destiny trees.

I have been playing a hireling friendly/focused Stormsinger build for years now, and have shown this type of playstyle can extend even to r10 quests, with proper planning and knowlege. When properly boosted and smartly employed, legendary hirelings and summons are no joke and can be very useful for soloers and people who usually play with just one or two friends on static parties.

It also happens that legendary hirelings are one of a select few items that are used to entice people to buy the largest expansion packs. However, right now only the Primal and Magus Destiny trees have boosts to both the survivability and the offensive capabilities of Hires and summons, making the number of builds that can actually take advantage of them very limited.

If SSG were to spread hireling and summons boosting enhancements to more trees, it would make their appeal much broader and maybe entice a lot more people to buy the largest exapansions, including older ones. And it would be very simple to do so:

1 - Have the mantles of other trees share the player's spell power or melee power (depending on the type of tree) and procs with hires and summons - this tech already exists so it should not be hard to implement.

2 - Add an enhancement somewhere on the lower 2 tiers that gives hires more health, defenses, utility, etc. "But what about finding space for them on trees that are already full?", you might ask. Well, Tonquin has already provided us with a solution to that with the latest Magus pass, in which he made Great Summoner share a multiselector with Impregnable Mind. Just add similar, lore friendly hire boosts to like enhancements on other trees as multiselectors, so people can decide to trade a small bonus to themselves for a boost to their hires, if they so wish.

Nothing about this would demand any actual rework on hireling behavior or AI, or anything else, really, since I and other have shown they can already be useful in their current state. Sure, a future pass that would add even more usefulness to hires during the whole level up process would be great, but we can already bring a lot more of playstyle variety to a good number of players, with significant potential financial benefits, and at very low costs to implement. And people who still don't want to bother with hirelings or summons would remain completely unnafected. EDIT: Even though this would benefit people with more than one permanent hireling more, it would still benefit even people who do not have access to them - there are the level 30 hirelings, and this could also encourage SSG to ass a couple more of those from different classes.

Sounds like a win-win to me! So, what do you say about adding a hireling pass to Destiny trees, since you already currently have plans to keep looking at and fine-tuning them anyways?

Cheers,
NH

P.S.: I leave, as a teaser for what this may bring to a lot more players, this small video of a fight between my puny Stormsinger and his army of hires against a couple of Dooms and other mobs in r10 Legendary Sharn Welcome, where the hires both save my bacon when I fall incapacitated and help with tanking the Dooms:


P.S.2: I expected this to be clear, but perhaps it was not: I don't mean to use this video to suggest anyone would be able to solo r10s with hires if they implemented those changes - It's mostly the best possible counterpoint to people who say they're useless - they clearly are not. I don't even suggest people could do it right now with the same build I use - using hires demands experience not only about how to best use them but also about the quests and how to use the environment to your advantage so they can function as a good defensive layer. But they can and would allow people to maybe run quests on a couple of difficulties higher than they'd be able to by themselves.
 
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NightHiker

Well-known member
I largely agree with the sentiment. However, I'm not a fan of gating entire play styles and builds, on whether or not one purchased the Legendary or Collector's edition of an expansion.
Well, people would still be able to use regular hirelings (plus the summons, which are not part of collector's editions), albeit to a lesser effect. And nothing would change in regards to how gated the playstyle is, considering it already exists - the only difference is there would be more types of builds able to benefit from it, making it, in a sense, less restrictive.

Cheers,
NH
 

Ying

5000+ hours played
Shares video of R10 completion centered on hirelings.
Asks for more hireling power.

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rabidfox

The People's Champion
Make hires (and summons & pets) good without requiring epic destinies to barely make them better. Needing to be epic levels to boost hires is about as a bad & annoying as needing whirling wrists at level 26 to make throwers feel okay; I want my stuff to feel good from level 1 to cap. And they shouldn't need a special tree in heroics either; they're a base part of the game that just doesn't function well.
 

NightHiker

Well-known member
Shares video of R10 completion centered on hirelings.
Asks for more hireling power.
Dude, I don't know why you decided to enter this apparent crusade against me, but this is getting ridiculous.

First you mischaracterize what I wrote, considering this would not really give hirelings MORE power, just make the power they already can have if you use particular builds available to more builds.

Second, there are already people who solo r10 content without hirelings, and in both cases (mine and those), they represent a very limited portion of the player base. It's obvious to anyone who does not read my post with malicious intent that this would not allow people to just start to solo r10s.

This would benefit a big portion of the player base which is composed of casual players and people who play on low to mid difficulty settings.

Just do us both a favor and simply put me on ignore, please.

NH
 

NightHiker

Well-known member
Make hires (and summons & pets) good without requiring epic destinies to barely make them better. Needing to be epic levels to boost hires is about as a bad & annoying as needing whirling wrists at level 26 to make throwers feel okay; I want my stuff to feel good from level 1 to cap. And they shouldn't need a special tree in heroics either; they're a base part of the game that just doesn't function well.
You know I would love for them to get more support. You also know that's likely to not happen any time soon, though. What I'm proposing does not impact anyone who does not like to use hirelings, but gives more options for those who do, even if just at epic levels. I don't see anyone losing anything with this.

By the way, I already play this way, this would not benefit me any more, since it already happens that my prefered build is the one most suited to this playstyle - I just wish to share the benefits I already enjoy with more people.

Cheers,
NH
 

FaceDancer

Olde Wurm
I don't always agree with Ying, but it is a bit to point (or amusing at the least). That being said I definitely (still) agree that our support critters are needing more help (in so many ways!) And just because it can be done on R10 doesn't mean it's easy. 💀
 

NightHiker

Well-known member
What about a dedicated tree for hireling/pet/summons stuff?
It could have a mix of passives and activatables, like a big action boost type of thing but only works for hirelings/pets/summons?
The problem with the dedicated tree idea is that with the current state of the hires, this would still likely result in a less than optimal build, gimping the toon's actual abilities. The idea is to boost hireling play without demanding any huge investment in enhancemend or destiny points.

I believe the dedicated tree idea would be great, but just as a companion to a hireling/summon pass.

Cheers,
NH
 

rabidfox

The People's Champion
You know I would love for them to get more support. You also know that's likely to not happen any time soon, though. What I'm proposing does not impact anyone who does not like to use hirelings, but gives more options for those who do, even if just at epic levels. I don't see anyone losing anything with this.
I think the second they put faster movement speed and other functions for hires into epic destinies, it gave them an out from baking those into hires from level 1 onwards (my hires should have the same movement speed as me at all times not just from an ED while in a mantle). I think that the more EDs offer hires, the less they have to think about hires before then. Look at whirling wrists, it's been a long standing crutch that makes throwers great at cap yet they're horrible to level (that attack speed should be baked into them).
 

NightHiker

Well-known member
I don't always agree with Ying, but it is a bit to point (or amusing at the least). That being said I definitely (still) agree that our support critters are needing more help (in so many ways!) And just because it can be done on R10 doesn't mean it's easy. 💀
My intention in postingt that video was to pre-counter the people I knew would come by to say that my idea was bad because hirelings are useless no matter what, that this would be a waste. Of course, those same people just come in now to say hirelings are too good. One just can't win, it looks like.

Cheers,
NH
 
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NightHiker

Well-known member
I think the second they put faster movement speed and other functions for hires into epic destinies, it gave them an out from baking those into hires from level 1 onwards (my hires should have the same movement speed as me at all times not just from an ED while in a mantle). I think that the more EDs offer hires, the less they have to think about hires before then. Look at whirling wrists, it's been a long standing crutch that makes throwers great at cap yet they're horrible to level (that attack speed should be baked into them).
I really do share the sentiment. But I invite you look at this from another angle:

Right now people look at hirelings as useles - so it will always be unlikely that SSG ever uses as many resources as it would be needed to get a proper hireling pass going. If people start to use hirelings more, even if just at epic/legendary quests, they will start to see they can actually be useful, and there will be broader support among the player base for a pass that would improve their use on more contexts, including from level 1.

I see it as one step in a good direction, which demands relatively few resources, and not one that would prevent an actual pass to happen.

Cheers,
NH
 

FaceDancer

Olde Wurm
The problem with people is they are an exceptionally contrarian lot.
Arguably these forums are a prime example of how things can be at extremes. 😕
 

NightHiker

Well-known member
Look at whirling wrists, it's been a long standing crutch that makes throwers great at cap yet they're horrible to level (that attack speed should be baked into them).
Oh, just one more point I'd like to address...

We've had other examples of playstyles that were always a pain to level up, but had great use at cap, like bow users, for example, exactly because of destiny enhancements. One could use a similar argument that those destiny enhancements would be a crutch and prevent them from being looked at overall - and we just got a significant ranged pass that added AoE effects and made leveling up a bow user a lot easier. Throwers are still a bit behind, since they do not benefit as much from the ranged pass, but who knows, they might get some love next, Whirlind Wrists notwithstanding.

Cheers,
NH
 
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Ying

5000+ hours played
First you mischaracterize what I wrote
How so? You're petitioning devs to inherent qualities like melee power from players. That's asking for more hireling power. You demonstrate the ability to "solo with hirelings" an R10 quest, something the majority of players can't do with a full party of real people.

You say you've been playing for years, but maybe you haven't figured this out yet. When devs ask for feedback about something, it's for a limited time. The ED revamp with U66 has come and gone, and devs have moved on to other things. At best you might get something that's bugged in an ED fixed. But looking back at the U51 ED revamp and how much was broken until U66, I wouldn't hold my breath. Asking for EDs to be further modified to include more hireling stuff is gonna fall on deaf ears. They're already working on the expansion. There's no dev sprint for "let's go see what the players want and implement that".

I wish hirelings and pets were useful. The artificer iron defender, the dark hunter wolf and the druid wolf are cool but fail to live up to the rule of cool. They fall apart in R1 difficulty. Showcasing the ultimate edition hirelings, which everyone knows are way better than any pet or hireling in the game, doesn't garner you the interest you think it does to support your post.
 

NightHiker

Well-known member
How so? You're petitioning devs to inherent qualities like melee power from players. That's asking for more hireling power.
See, now this is a proper argument, even if misguided. My point is hires already have this power, in the way of shared spellpower and procs from the Primal and Magus mantles. I wrote in "melee" power because it would obviously not matter for a melee character to have a melee mantle add spellpower to hires. So it would not be "more" power, but the equivalent of the power they already get from the two caster trees that already boost them.

You demonstrate the ability to "solo with hirelings" an R10 quest, something the majority of players can't do with a full party of real people.
Again, the video was to show that hires can be useful - I thought it was obvious that this would not simply allow people to start to solo r10s - but maybe let a casual to mid player solo r1s to r4s - this will actually help them diminish the gap with the players who already play at higher reapers and let them accumulate some more reaper xp than they would otherwise - again, I can't see how that's a bad thing. And if you're so against "gatekeeping", I can't see why you would either.

When devs ask for feedback about something, it's for a limited time. The ED revamp with U66 has come and gone, and devs have moved on to other things. At best you might get something that's bugged in an ED fixed.
Actually they didn't say they were done with tuning the Destinies, EVER. If I'm wrong, I'd appreaciate you pointing me out to any post from devs where they said they were "done" with it.

Also, I never implied this would have to happen NOW, or even this year - that assumption comes from you. Maybe it's something they might be willing to look at next year, for example. But it would not be smart to wait till next year to suggest it - since you seem to know so much about game development (I actually work in the field, and I'm currently a creative director and game designer for a gaming studio here in Brazil, but thanks for the info on how games work!), I'm sure you're aware those things can have long development cycles, and the sooner they come to attention, the better.

Showcasing the ultimate edition hirelings, which everyone knows are way better than any pet or hireling in the game, doesn't garner you the interest you think it does to support your post.
I find it really interesting again, how someone who likes to accuse other people so much of "gatekeeping", doesn't shy away more from telling people what others, besides them, think. By the way, I also use Albereth, and he's one of the most useful ones (if not THE most, because of his heals), as you sure saw if you watched the video (which does not include a completion, by the way, so I don't know if you actually did). This would also allow a group of two or more players, but no healers, to have both level 30 healers up and use them to great effect. And there have been people, even recently, asking for more level 30 hirelings - so it's not that hard to imagine they could introduce a couple more together with a pass like this. So, while yes, permanent hirelings give the most advantage for allowing you to have multiple of them, this would also help a group of two or three people to benefit much more from the regular ones.

All of this involves things you could have concluded on your own if you had a little more generosity and a little less contempt on your interpretation.

Cheers,
NH
 
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rabidfox

The People's Champion
By the way, I also use Albereth, and he's one of the most useful ones (if not THE most, because of his heals)
Unless they did something special for the AI for Albereth vs other hires, you're likely better off using the lvl 19 healer Caraneth Myar. That's from the last time I messed with a hire army build; hires that have mass cure/heals as active abilities have poor response times for getting heals off.
 

NightHiker

Well-known member
Unless they did something special for the AI for Albereth vs other hires, you're likely better off using the lvl 19 healer Caraneth Myar. That's from the last time I messed with a hire army build; hires that have mass cure/heals as active abilities have poor response times for getting heals off.
The problem with other hires is survivability. With the last pass the level 30 hires got, and the much higher health, together with the boosts from Primal and Magus they can actually take a hit, and be survivable enough to be closer to the fray (Albereth gets to around 3.5 K health). I still need to be careful managing him when he gets too aggressive and decides to melee a champion or reaper, but I usually leave him on "defensive" stance, while all the others stay on "agressive", and he stays behind far enough to still contribute with the DPS, but not take as many hits.

Maybe this one you mention is quicker (I wouldn't know), but it would not be survivable enough at just a fraction of the health, even with the buffs. And if you watch my videos, you'll see he's actually pretty quick at healing me, so maybe he got better since you last used him? He generaly launches a heal at me in less than a second of me being hit - funnily, he's actually a better healer than some players I've grouped with.

Edit: as an interesting anedote, I had a friend from the guild join me recently, who I had never played with, playing a melee toon, and he explicitly said he was honestly surprised at how good the hires were at keeping him alive, with both maintaining aggro and healing him as needed.

Cheers,
NH
 
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