On Mercenaries and Companions

Legend

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21/02/2018
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I believe there may be a way to greatly improve the mercenary system.

Basically, my idea is that a mercenary has an upfront payment (that would probably be much higher than it is currently) and a secondary payment when the player wants to bring them with them. When the merc died, they would respawn back at the city they were hired in or the Player House, Tremadan Tower, or Hired from the City Tower. They could also be provided with equipment, leveled, and healed without losing the items you give them but without making them unbalanced

Their dialogue would look something like this:
"Hello friend, I am a mercenary looking for a work. For a small fee, say, 500g I can join you in your travels, or I would be happy to join your group permanently for 10,000g. Although I'd still require about 100g per trip for travel expenses."

It'd be nice if the golden hand could teach an ability to lower the cost of mercenaries and another to allow you to take more mercs with you in your travels. A cleric could teach the ability to restore health to their mercs (50% the first time, 100% at lvl 2) the warrior could have an 'inspiring leader' perk for them etc.

This all might be too complicated for the game, right now; but what do you guys think? Any other ideas?

Edit: Wizards Guild could have a special ability that allows them teleport hired
mercs to them from the city they are in, and Seventh House could have one that allows them to take the items off the merc's bodies after they die
 

VDX_360

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That pretty much sums up mercenaries.

I -think- the original idea way back in the beta days was for mercenaries to be further developed but the idea was nixed in favor of more developed companions. If I remember correctly, mercenaries predate Companions?
 

stonedwolf

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06/02/2019
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If development were still going Mercs need changing. At the moment they're not useless they're worse than useless: they're useless with a GP cost.

It might not take much to improve them. Perhaps very small inventory list where you can drop (same as lose, no returning) weapons, shields, armor and health potions. That way you could upgrade them and kinda hopefully keep them alive as they drink health potions to keep going.

At the moment they're too squishy and mortal. But, again, we're fantasising over things that are NOT going to happen.
 

Billhuggins

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17/08/2020
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Interesting comments here...

Early game, I find them VERY, exceedingly useful. Of all that I spend $$, they are by far the best.

But, only of you get the expensive ones.

They should be a level above you.

They seem to not have elemental resistance. So, as soon as that is a significant part of the game (ghosts, mummies, spiders, goblins with fire, frost wolves, etc), they start to turn into paper. But, for normal damage, if you get the expensive one that is higher level that you, they work amazingly well.

In my current play through, when I was level 8, I hired the "expensive" one, and it was level 7, the normal price was 6...and those are useless.
 

Billhuggins

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At level 9 I hired some mercs, and their levels were the same as at level 8. That is, the cheap were level 5 and the expensive were level 7. This doesn't seem like a design issue, it seems like a big...assuming they're supposed to get stronger. Otherwise, they should not cost more gold. I'll test more as I level up.
 

Billhuggins

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Level 11, the expensive mercenary is still level 7.

I'll post again as I level, but...
Is this a known thing?
Is this a bug? This doesn't look like an issue of mercenaries not working well. It looks like they're broken. Broken is a bug. Right?
 

VDX_360

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The questionable value of mercenaries is well known. In the early game, they help a little, but cost a lot. In the mid-to-late game, they don't last long against strong enemies. Think of mercenaries as an expensive buff potion. It helps a little but don't really count on it.

For iorny, through, on my last play-though, I hired a mercenary to fight the Unweakened Undermother. I expected him to take one or two hits. He ended up surviving the fight, doing more damage than my Companion and getting the killing blow when I was stunned locked. It as a long battle of 1 damage hits by the mercenary.

My Companion, a shield Gris, was stun locked almost the entire fight, making her a chew toy while I and the mercenary attacked.

So sometimes mercenaries can give that little extra boost to get over the edge.
 

Billhuggins

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I disagree completely about the early game. I think they are by far the best use of money. Hands down, no question. It was for me anyway, on my rogue and mage. Specifically before getting a companion, and even after. Till level 5 or 6 I think. But only if you get the expensive one, and even then you should upgrade. Mercenary should be above your level. Oh, yeah, and don't use for areas with an elemental component. They fold fast. But there's almost none of that in the early game.

That said...
I'm level 14 now, and the mercenary (expensive one) is still level 7.
I'm not debating if the mercenary is good or not at this level. I'm saying the mercenary is bugged. This looks like a game bug.
 

DavidBVal

Developer
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Mercs are an aid for the early game, they're not bugged. It would not be a good idea for the game balance to keep leveling them up indefinitely. Not sure if I'll ever upgrade them, but it's not on the table right now.
 

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