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

Sophie The Cat Burglar

Exotic Items Recovery Specialist
All of my epic and legendary characters currently use the third tier Primal Avatar enhancement that makes hires stronger. If there were more hire focused epic enhancements within reach of my characters, I would definitely use them. All such enhancements need not be cumulative.

If permanent Gold Seal Hires were sold in the cash shop or game shop at a reasonable price, I would very probably purchase some. Spending my Astral Shards on one hour rentals does not feel good.

Right now, the tools necessary to make a strong summoner type character are spread over a lot of expensive purchases. If those tools ever become available at a more reasonable price, I will build a summoner type character.

A strong summoner type character would very probably solve my DDO progress problems.

I do not expect anything to actually happen on this matter but that is my vote and those are my observations.
 

NightHiker

Well-known member
Right now, the tools necessary to make a strong summoner type character are spread over a lot of expensive purchases. If those tools ever become available at a more reasonable price, I will build a summoner type character.

A strong summoner type character would very probably solve my DDO progress problems.
Thanks for the feedback, Sophie! With all the lack of generosity we constantly see on the forums, it's refreshing to see it. Your stance on the resources needed to fully benefit from such builds is very fair.

While I used the permanent hirelings as a reason for the changes, because SSG does need to make money, after all, I do think the proposed changes would benefit even those who have no access to them. Even a free to play toon playing on a class with a pet but no access to any perma hires would still have a stronger pet plus one stronger hire to use. Two of those in a party would benefit doubly.

And there are the legendary summons' clickies, which can eventually be obtained for free, and even though are limited in usage, still can be used on the harder fights to better effect once you have such enhancements. I'm sure there are several couples or small families that play DDO on static groups who would like the change, with or without access to the perma hires.

Cheers,
NH
 

Falkor

Well-known member
That is a cool video. I've not seen hirelings actually be useful except for the occasional rez. Thank you for sharing it! I'd ask how you did it but then rather than a buff to summons, SSG would nerf it.

In addition to hires being buffed, It'd be neat to see the actual 'summon spells' make useful summons. ASFAIK, summons are totally worthless. And even though players like you can find utility with hirelings, I find them frustrating and very rarely use them. I also consider it a skill challenge to solo quests without hirelings. It's a skill challenge to r10 with hirelings too!! Well done!

And as for gold seal hirelings ... the community has been asking for the ability to purchase them for years. It's obviously a fiscally responsible choice to completely ignore this request and refuse the money. That's how madlads do marketing.
 

NightHiker

Well-known member
That is a cool video. I've not seen hirelings actually be useful except for the occasional rez. Thank you for sharing it! I'd ask how you did it but then rather than a buff to summons, SSG would nerf it.
Nah, my videos are hardly a secret - you can see a few of them on the page for my build on the Stormsinger forums. The build has been public for a while - there's not really a lot into it, besides using the hires/summons boosts on Primal and Magus, knowing how to use and micromanage them in the appropriate manner, and having good support abilities like CC and heals to keep them alive, plus high threat reduction so they can keep aggro. I actually have a video of them completing Sacred Bounty on r4 by themselves, with me sneaking about and only providing healing as needed.

In addition to hires being buffed, It'd be neat to see the actual 'summon spells' make useful summons. ASFAIK, summons are totally worthless.
Most summons are pretty bad, but the legendary ones and the epic wolf you get from clickies are actually pretty good and can tank some hard hitting bosses once you have those boosts and can heal them properly.

And even though players like you can find utility with hirelings, I find them frustrating and very rarely use them. I also consider it a skill challenge to solo quests without hirelings. It's a skill challenge to r10 with hirelings too!! Well done!
Sure. Soloing without them is also very challenging, perhaps more - they sure add a good defensive layer. But, as you said, using them on such high difficulties is not really a walk in the park either and demands quite a bit of experience. The good thing is using them on high reapers is not the main appeal to what I'm proposing - they can still provide good help for casual to mid level players who would like to maybe level up their reaper capabilities a bit and get some more reaper xp than they can without the hires.

Cheers,
NH
 

seph1roth5

Well-known member
Stats really aren't the issue with hirelings/summons/pets, it's their braindead AI. Healer hirelings charge in and stand on your feet and melee, they cast weak cures when you're near death, and slowass mass heal at the worst times. PM's skeleton is the most survivable, but all of the rest blow in every way other than pulling levers.

The summons in primal avatar t5 are workable because they can't move. They just stand there and spam whatever it is they do. Don't have to worry about them standing in lava or kicking in a door you're not ready for. That's what we need for the rest of them.
 

NightHiker

Well-known member
Stats really aren't the issue with hirelings/summons/pets, it's their braindead AI.
There certainly is a learning curve regarding their usage, and together with the general idea that persists among the player base that hirelings are useless in any context, any difficulty they have with them is usually enough to confirm their biases and prevent them from further trying to improve their skill at utilizing them. They certainly have a limited AI, and we sure should not expect them to behave like an experienced player would, but I am constantly witness to them not being as bad as you claim.

The Muse uses irresistible dances on reapers and champions all the time, providing timely CC for people who don't have any (or can't get their DCs high enough to be fully reliable). As I said before, Albereth is pretty good at healing both me and the other hirelings and even other players, so even a regular one can be useful. The Shield Guardian is the best tank among the perma ones, and the raptor is the best at actually hitting things.

The legendary summons, well utilized, can be farmed for free and can keep aggro and tank bosses for long enough for you to kill them.

I certainly would never be able to complete quests on such high difficulties if they were as brain dead as you say. If you don't solo much or are always on full pugs, then sure, you don't have much reason to invest on learning how to use them better. But for people who solo frequently or play on small parties it's a good skill to have even now, depending on their build, and could be even better with the changes I propose. :)

Cheers,
NH
 

voenixa121

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.
The point of the game is that if you want to do something, you have to build for it. Just making everything great without any investment at all doesn't seem great at all. And hirelings work fine from 1-29.
That's also why I'm very sceptical of this suggestion here. If you want strong hirelings, you should have to take the feats/destinies that make them strong, just like for every other playstyle.
 

Sophie The Cat Burglar

Exotic Items Recovery Specialist
While I used the permanent hirelings as a reason for the changes, because SSG does need to make money, after all, I do think the proposed changes would benefit even those who have no access to them. Even a free to play toon playing on a class with a pet but no access to any perma hires would still have a stronger pet plus one stronger hire to use. Two of those in a party would benefit doubly.

To be clear, I would use additional hire and summons enhancements, if possible, with or without permanent Gold Seal Hires. As an example, the tier 3 enhancement from Primal Avatar makes Luna strong enough to survive Ravenloft at Level 23 such that she provides constant, reliable healing. That is fantastic and makes the game much more fun for me.

More observations from my little corner of existance:

A handful of my characters are strong enough to survive in Reaper Mode 1 when provided with reliable healing from a hire. When a healing hire becomes sturdy enough to survive in Reaper Mode 1, those strong characters can progress. Otherwise, they cannot.

I do not experience most of the hire control difficulties reported by other players. Occasionally a hire will make a bad pull when I am not paying enough attention. Run, run away.

Augment Summoning is very helpful for any character that can squeeze it in. Sadly, the Augment Summoning gem only very rarely drops in Feywild making it a mostly useless addition to the game. It would be very helpful to have more paths to that gem.

Right now, most characters are not viable in epic and legendary quests because they cannot find traps and need the free hire slot for a healing hire. A permanent healing hire would be extremely useful because it would allow a rogue to occuopy the free hire slot, making all those characters viable.

I do not think the people at Standing Stone Games are clueless or stupid. If a suggestion is not implemented, there is a rational reason. However, I will continue to ask for certain things because reasoning can change.
 

Purr

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?
Since hires are a part of so many different classes, this makes the most sense to me. Easiest way to implement a summoner build, I think.
 

Raedier

Well-known member
It’d be very helpful if having more then 1 source of augment summoning would give the improved augment summoning feat.
 

NightHiker

Well-known member
Hey, folks... Thanks again for all the feedback. I'll address some concerns on a single post for concision.
not signed I want less hireling capability not more I want to encourage more live groups
I would love for the game to have a large and thriving community where all players can find groups of all kinds to play with. Unfortunately, that's not the case, and it's unlikely to be so in the near to not so near future, considering all the barriers to entry we've all been very aware of. But even then, the existence of particular gaming personalities is a known fact among game developers, and it means there's no way to coerce all players to play in any given, preferred way. There will always be those who prefer to play solo, no matter how many groups there are. There will always be flower sniffers/explorers who do not feel welcome on the usual speed grinding groups around. There are those who will always only play with friends in static groups. And so on. To provide more players with viable, varied ways to have fun with the game will always be a good thing, in my view.

That's also why I'm very sceptical of this suggestion here. If you want strong hirelings, you should have to take the feats/destinies that make them strong, just like for every other playstyle.

There's a couple of issues with this approach. First, it's not viable with the current state of hirelings and summons in the game. The current feats that are supposed to boost hirelings (augment summoning and improved augment summoning) are virtually useless and a trap for newer and unsuspecting players. They will give hires a couple hundred hitpoints at cap at most. They do very little for hireling survivability and nothing for offense, while making the actual character weaker by replacing a feat that would really benefit them. Even having 3 druid past lives, as I do, doesn't really do much. And that playstyle is already available for a few types of builds that use Primal and/or Magus, so making it available to everyone is just leveling the playing field as far as using hires and summons go.

The second issue is that if you demand too much investment on a build to make hirelings and summons better, you will inevitably gimp that build for any time they play on a group and can't use those hirelings. This will limit, not increase, the ways in which one can actually enjoy the game. You want people to be able to play both solo or in groups if they so wish, not further limit them to only play one way or the other.

This, and the universal tree idea, as a couple of people have suggested, and would bring the same issue of taking points away from a build's viability while playing in groups, would be great in a scenario after some hirelings and summons pass, but right now would do nothing or next to nothing to create a broader incentive to the use of hirelings.

Augment Summoning is very helpful for any character that can squeeze it in. Sadly, the Augment Summoning gem only very rarely drops in Feywild making it a mostly useless addition to the game. It would be very helpful to have more paths to that gem.
It’d be very helpful if having more then 1 source of augment summoning would give the improved augment summoning feat.

For the same reason stated above, the augments do very little - they're better for the fact they're a relatively small investment, but are far from enough. If the goal is to make hirelings more universally viable for all kinds of builds, we'll need more. Adding the boosts to destinies is not the definitive solution for hirelings and summons, as it would do nothing for the heroic experience, but it would actually make a difference at mid to late epics and cap. I believe the benefits outweight the amount of resources needed to implement it, so I proposed it.

Again, I don't really gain much from this, as I already play this way and have all the benefits I'm proposing to be spread to more types of builds (I see no good reason to have them on just two trees, and not the others). I just think it will add more variety to the game, which to me is always a good thing.

Cheers,
NH
 
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Col Kurtz

Well-known member
just fixing the AI manual adjustment would be a win for the playerbase

1>opens hireling AI interface
2>unclicks melee attack on defense and offense
3>closes interface
4>Caster Hire charges in and melees? &after I set him or her to stand in place just outside the next battle too. ***

*usually, I'll have to keep them around the last corner. Really just using for free heals and emergency rez anyway...around lvl 18 and up they just die if you let them into battle.

Love that video though. There's sooooooooo many 'hires are worthless' threads and posts over the years. A screwdriver won't work either if you don't know what end to hold and what end to use.
 
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rabidfox

The People's Champion
There's sooooooooo many 'hires are worthless' threads and posts over the years. A screwdriver won't work either if you don't know what end to hold and what end to use.
Hires/pets/summons are worthless is a valid statement. On the whole, they're bad. My arti dog is a glorified lever puller. Other games do ranger/minion master/necromancer setups with a bunch of pets that work well, nicely, and are fun to play (GW2, Diablo 4, etc.), DDO's stuff barely scrapes by. There's some hires that excel, I've got a list of hires that I hand people on discord (and here on the forums) that perform well and rock for leveling. But for everyone 1 good hire, there's a dozen or more that are really bad (not to mention how bad most summons and pets are). The underlying system is full of issues, sure you can heavily micromanage to various success, spend heavily in certain EDs, & cherry pick only the few good hires and do alright; but it doesn't change that on the whole hires have issues and aren't *FUN* like other games pet systems are (or at least they're not the level of fun I want from a hire/pet/summon system in this day and age).
 

Col Kurtz

Well-known member
Hires/pets/summons are worthless is a valid statement.
geez, can't we just let it be :). Now, there's may be 4 pages of players posting what hires are effective (like in many previous hireling threads)

fox, you're one the most knowledgeable people in the forum, put that big brain to use on some of our real problems;)

*Someone like you could pop up a hire management thread ...ddo could really use one from a serious veteran to inform the newbs. Maybe with an ingame link at the hire vendors? or a clickable npc dialogue? Coordinate w Cordo ,get the thread locked and sticky near to the top of the general forum. List every hire with a rating and usefulness commentary. Many Newby lives would be saved as well as thousands of trees those rez scrollz are written on.
 
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NightHiker

Well-known member
Hires/pets/summons are worthless is a valid statement.
Aw, come on, Rabidfox... I value your opinion as much as anyone's around here, but that is very obviously not a valid statement.

It's an unqualified, unconditional statement. All you need is to show one instance where they are not worthless to demonstrate the statement is objectively false. And you have shown several just on your follow up sentences.

Now, maybe one could argue it's a valid hyperbole - considering hirelings are not useful in most situations, though there's always gonna be a degree of subjectivity there.

How much are hirelings useful, considering all the contexts in which they can or could be used? 1%? 5%? 10%? I can't say for sure, but I'd agree it's a shamefully low number.

Where we seem to disagree is what avenues we can follow to fix this. You seem to defend (and please let me know if I do your take no justice) that either we have some new, big implementation that fixes most, or the majority of contexts where hirelings are not currently useful, or we should not do anything, because any small benefit may prevent this said big implementation from happening.

I, on the other hand, while welcoming such implementation, still think that any other simpler solution that may improve that percentage by any amount, without any prejudice towards a bigger hireling pass, should be welcomed. It's indeed a compromise, but life is full of those - and if we only cared for things when they went exactly how we wished them to go, well... We'd have very little happiness around indeed - which may explain the current state of these forums.

Cheers,
NH
 

rabidfox

The People's Champion
Aw, come on, Rabidfox... I value your opinion as much as anyone's around here, but that is very obviously not a valid statement.

It's an unqualified, unconditional statement. All you need is to show one instance where they are not worthless to demonstrate the statement is objectively false. And you have shown several just on your follow up sentences.
It's objectively valid. Hires(/summons/pets) are bad when looking at the whole picture. Just because a few can function nicely doesn't mean they're good as a system. If only 1 build in the game worked for bows and the rest were horrible to play then I'd call bows bad; the exception to the rule doesn't change things IMO. But it's just how people label things, you simply choose to label the 5% of hires as functional while I look at 95% that are bad for how I label them. I can't currently tell someone, grab any hire and you'll be good, I have to say "grab X hire at Y level and they're decent but don't use the other hires"; I don't like that.

Where we seem to disagree is what avenues we can follow to fix this. You seem to defend (and please let me know if I do your take no justice) that either we have some new, big implementation that fixes most, or the majority of contexts where hirelings are not currently useful, or we should not do anything, because any small benefit may prevent this said big implementation from happening.
I'm not against more stuff for them in epics; I just think the more bandaids they put in there the less the they're likely do in heroics. And the bandaids/fixes really need to be put there. I don't need to be sold on epic destiny stuff being cool by bundling in hire/summon/pet functionality; I want to sold on the whole hire/pet system playing nicer. Take the HP and movement speed buffs from the current EDs and bake them into the augmented summoning feat/etc.
 

Guntango

Well-known member
Aw, come on, Rabidfox... I value your opinion as much as anyone's around here, but that is very obviously not a valid statement.

It's an unqualified, unconditional statement. All you need is to show one instance where they are not worthless to demonstrate the statement is objectively false. And you have shown several just on your follow up sentences.

Now, maybe one could argue it's a valid hyperbole - considering hirelings are not useful in most situations, though there's always gonna be a degree of subjectivity there.

How much are hirelings useful, considering all the contexts in which they can or could be used? 1%? 5%? 10%? I can't say for sure, but I'd agree it's a shamefully low number.

Where we seem to disagree is what avenues we can follow to fix this. You seem to defend (and please let me know if I do your take no justice) that either we have some new, big implementation that fixes most, or the majority of contexts where hirelings are not currently useful, or we should not do anything, because any small benefit may prevent this said big implementation from happening.

I, on the other hand, while welcoming such implementation, still think that any other simpler solution that may improve that percentage by any amount, without any prejudice towards a bigger hireling pass, should be welcomed. It's indeed a compromise, but life is full of those - and if we only cared for things when they went exactly how we wished them to go, well... We'd have very little happiness around indeed - which may explain the current state of these forums.

Cheers,
NH
I don't agree. I understand Rabid's response entirely without rules lawyering him on meaningless definitions. By and large, my opinion is that hirelings are precisely as they should be: just functional enough to help out here and there, just terrible enough to promote the use of the LFM panel.
 

rabidfox

The People's Champion
Some basic thing that'd make me happy:
Add 10% movement speed to hires/pets/summons per druid past life (beyond it's current perk); so they can keep up with me.

Add my reaper HP to hires (this one might be questionable as the devs might not want them to perform well there, but many are way too squishy even for r1 with exceptions of newer gold seals like Teal). But I'd really like my arti dog to be functional in the content I'm running.

Put HP and/or movement speed to hire buffs into augmented summoning.

Give all hires faster cast times; when they sit there confused trying to use a mass cure/heal and don't get a cast off, it's annoying.

Make hires take reduced damage from certain environmental effects like lava/etc. So when they path thru stuff like the fools they are they don't die instantly while I try spamming the teleport to me function.
 
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