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Companions worthless ???

kelryonlorkelryonlor Member Posts: 7 Arc User
So I'm a few months into this game so still pretty noobish I guess. I made a bard on day 1 of mod21 and I love the class. At first I was using Wulfgar or Bruenor as companion because I thought being "tanks" that maybe they would intimidate and keep mobs off me so I could use my attacks and not worry about how squishy I am. But they dont tank at all. All the mobs would ignore them and come around me.

Once I had beaten back a bunch of enemies with Bruenor. There was one enemy left and Bruenor went after him. They sat there and hit each other over and over again while I sat back and watched. Bruenor did ZERO damage to the guy. He was hitting him and you could see numbers but the enemies life meter never went down. It stayed full. After over 5 minutes I finally got tired of watching and I went and killed it real fast. But it made me realize that the companions actually do NOTHING. In fact they generally hurt you in battle more than help. While you have a mob around you they run off and find another mob to attack you. This is really absurd.

So by the time my bard hit level 12 or so I finally decided since ill be doing all the damage and all the fighting there was no use having a tank companion. I scoured the web looking at multiple videos to find the best healing companion. Most had a general consensus of the top 3 or 5. I went into the game and got on the auction house and bought the blue scaled cleric dragonborn. I upgraded it to purple quality and have been running with it ever since. But it NEVER heals. It usually only attacks the mobs. It wont heal me until after the fight is over. I have lost count of the number of life scrolls I have gone thru because mobs defeat me either so quickly I cant use a potion fast enough or Im stuck in a song animation or attack animation and die not being able to heal myself. All the while my cleric is happily just attacking them or running around drawing other mobs to me. Why bother having companion in the game if they don't do what they are needed to do ?

Is there any way to adjust them so they only do what you need or are they just stuck with their idiot AI ? Any advice to how to make them do what I need ?

Comments

  • greywyndgreywynd Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 6,214 Arc User
    What runestones do you have on your companion?
    I'm not looking for forgiveness, and I'm way past asking permission. Earth just lost her best defender, so we're here to fight. And if you want to stand in our way, we'll fight you too.
  • kelryonlorkelryonlor Member Posts: 7 Arc User
    greywynd said:

    What runestones do you have on your companion?

    The gear I have is the gear they give you upon leveling which is the lost ring, necklace and belt of the companion.
    In the necklace i have a profane runestone rank 15 and a profane rank 8. Basically again what they gave me while leveling.

    In the ring I have empowered runestone rank 8 and a profane runestone rank 8. Againa what I got as rewards. I have yet to buy any gear stuff anywhere in game.

  • armadeonxarmadeonx Member Posts: 4,903 Arc User
    edited August 14
    Well their effectiveness is heavily dictated by their level and the gear & runes they have on them. Your summoned companion should always be as high as possible, preferably mythic.

    If you're playing a dps role or soloing you should generally have a dps companion summoned and only use support companions when you're playing a support role but you have to be picky and try not to double-up (e.g. if you're a healer running a healing companion) unless you know what you're doing and have made a deliberate choice. E.g. my pally will run a Harper Bard in group content but use an Air Archon for soloing.

    If you find you're taking too much damage when soloing then you can significantly increase your companion's dps (and threat output) by slotting Indomitable runestones - there are also companion bonuses which increase the outgoing dps of your companion.

    The most practical use of a companion is for Combat Advantage, where you fight an enemy while your companion is on the opposite side of them, giving you a purple marker on the floor at the enemy's feet (you should've gone through this in the tutorial).
    Post edited by armadeonx on
    Please Do Not Feed The Trolls

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    Xane De Armadeon: CW
    Zen De Armadeon: OP
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  • plasticbatplasticbat Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 9,822 Arc User
    1. They are not worthless.
    2. Yours is not strong enough.
    The game can read your mind. If you want it, you won't get it. If you don't expect to get it, you will.
  • armadeonxarmadeonx Member Posts: 4,903 Arc User
    edited August 14
    Please Do Not Feed The Trolls

    Xael De Armadeon: DC
    Xane De Armadeon: CW
    Zen De Armadeon: OP
    Zohar De Armadeon: TR
    Chrion De Armadeon: SW
    Gosti Big Belly: GWF
    Barney McRustbucket: GF
    Lt. Thackeray: HR
    Lucius De Armadeon: BD


    Member of Casual Dailies - XBox
  • kohanaskohanas Member Posts: 19 Arc User



    I scoured the web looking at multiple videos to find the best healing companion. Most had a general consensus of the top 3 or 5. Why bother having companion in the game if they don't do what they are needed to do ?

    Is there any way to adjust them so they only do what you need or are they just stuck with their idiot AI ? Any advice to how to make them do what I need ?

    If you want a strictly healing companion, get an Apprentice Healer. Get him to purple and he's pretty effective. He has an AoE Radiant attack that hits all nearby enemies while healing you, and he'll throw a healing buff on you that does a heal over time.

    The Man-At-Arms companion is a good tanking companion. He draws the aggro to him. I've even seen him take aggro from other PC tanks.
  • mentinmindmakermentinmindmaker Member Posts: 1,261 Arc User
    edited August 15
    There seems to be several issues here.

    * A tank companion is not able to nor intended to do significant damage. It is intended to pull the mob attention away from you. It seems to me that worked well.
    * Healer companions DO heal, but their healing level generally is so low that it is not very significant. That is just the way it is, Cryptic does not want companions to compete with player healers. For solo operations, healing potions is the way to go.
    * At level 20 most people run with a dps companion, that DO have a noticeable damage level. In particular when backed up by indomitable runestones and +companion dps insignias.
    * In a solo setting, the most useful part of a companion is to use it to get Combat Advantage, when it is at the opposite side of the mobs from you. Much of the dps from a companion in solo comes from enabling your CA.
    * Some companions also provide very valuable buffs and debuffs, that could be the reason to run a companion with lower dps.
    * If there is a companion that you can afford to buy at level 12, be very sceptical. The good companions that people actually use cost from 2-3M AD and upwards. Check out Xuna, Cold Iron Warrior, Succubus/Incubus, Air Archon. Xuna seems to be the most general all-around dps companion, which is reflected in her price.
  • rockster#6227 rockster Member Posts: 790 Arc User
    Hi @kelryonlor and welcome to Neverwinter. Or what's left of it.

    First thing I would say is that you don't have to be in an actual battle with live enemies and all that entails to test-out what damage a companion does to enemies, you can use training dummies for this purpose. Find some training dummies (there's some in your Stronghold to use but if you aren't in a guild because you haven't found one yet or don't want to be in one, there are some in Protector's Enclave, head up the stairs to where the main Invocation area is and if you go as far left on that level as you can you will find a little area hidden there around a corner which has I think 4 of them which you can use) and once you are at the dummies make sure your companion is summoned. Hit a dummy a couple of times with your at-wills then just stop. Your companion will then keep attacking the dummies forever until you dismiss it. You can just stand there and watch it run through its rotation and see the damage floaters coming up from the dummy to see how much damage it does, how often it crits etc. You need to wait and make sure it has done all it's stuff because it will hit several times and do it's minimal damage with what amounts to it's at-wills, then it will eventually come to it's 'encounters' and you will see the greater damage float up from those. You get to see how frequently they perform these larger hits and what value they are, for some companions it's also more often than others and some companions also have damage over time abilities (like poison on the Black Scorpion) which tick away nicely and you can add these up in your head to get a rough idea of what the total damage would be in a fight. From my own observations, it doesn't matter what rank the companion is as to how much dps damage it does (green, blue, purple, orange or teal), rank affects the companion buffs and bonuses you get but not the actual damage they do to enemies. This means you can rotate through all your current companions and see which ones do the most damage no matter what rank they currently are. What will affect the damage is the gear and enchantments you have slotted for them, but as these do not change when you summon various different companions, you will get comparable damage no matter what rank the newly summoned companion is.

    I did this recently to choose which companion I wanted to have as summoned for DPS and see which one did the most damage, I have quite a few companions in my collection by now so what I did was this... Summon the first one on your list, hit the dummy a couple of times and stop and watch. When you are sure it has done everything it's going to and you don't see anything different happening and you have seen the general ballpark of its damage and how frequent it is (this is pretty important imo, especially the larger hits, because some companions have much larger pauses between their big attacks than others), dismiss it and summon the next one. Hit the dummy and do it again, rinse and repeat through your entire current list from top to bottom until you have run through all your companions and have found the one you currently own which you think does the best damage.

    As a side note on Xuna for anyone else reading, I have a purple one on a character I never play which I got as part of an event pack so went and tested her out and while she did fairly decent damage overall, her larger attacks were pretty spaced-out and took too long to happen for my liking, her smaller normal attacks were pretty underwhelming in damage value so compared to other companions I decided she wasn't all that impressive. She also seemed to have too many pauses just standing there doing her combat pose for too long and over time this could potentially amount to less total damage than others who hit more frequently but for less. Just my opinion of her. I prefer Cold Iron Warrior for DPS (he has a very powerful AOE of his own anyway when they're bunched-up together (the spin) and while people seem to like Xuna for the AOE, he has one of sorts just she moves further distances around, but yea she doesn't do it often enough for my taste) and I like Iron Golem for mobs because while his damage is not the greatest he disables good-sized areas constantly and stops mobs from attacking which imo is much better in lower-level groups who have less defense to mitigate damage to everyone from trash mobs. If they're disabled they can't hit anyone.

    OK, what kind of companion to choose. Well first you should be collecting and keeping any and every companion you come across dropping for you in the course of your game no matter what it is, just for the bonuses and buffs. What I do personally is if I get a companion drop somewhere, if I haven't already got it, I bind it and equip it even if I think I will never use it, just to be on the safe side. Only if I have it already do I sell it on the Auction House. This is independent of what you think you should have as your active summoned one. While some companions have the same bonuses, sometimes they slot in different places on the tile list (attack, defense, utility and dual combinations of etc) which makes them valuable to have because it can mean you have better choices in what bonuses you can set-up with more flexibility, plus they all add up to help your stats on the backend.

    For your summoned companion it's really whether you think you want damage the most, or some other ability like disabling or tanking and this choice can be influenced by whether you are playing solo or in a party. For parties I think that your focus should always be on helping the team as a whole and is a different decision to what you need solo so I like to equip either a high DPS one to help polish-off mobs faster and help the team clear everything quicker or as I said earlier, the Iron Golem in lower level dungeons where there may be lower level players with less defense who would appreciate the mobs being disabled often and it will help them take less damage overall.

    For solo it really is up to you as to what you personally find the most useful and what works with your class the best and this comes down a lot to whether you are ranged or melee. For ranged fighters who can hit from 80ft away and most of their attacks are ranged anyway, a tank companion works really well because you hit the mobs from a large distance to engage them, your companion then rushes ahead to them while you stay back and holds them in place far away and keeps them there while you hit from safety. The basic Defender companion from the Emporium does this very effectively. But if you're mainly a melee fighter this would not work so well because you need to get right up to them to get any hits-in and once you do that they know you're there and lock onto you. All enemies have a programmed radius around them which if you stay out of they don't see you, but once you enter that area they will attack so for melee fighters where they already know you're there, tank companions would probably not be the best choice. Their aggro is competing with yours and yours will probably win. So being melee you would ask yourself what action would best help me, bearing in mind that whatever companion you use will not be so effective that it's game changing, they can help a bit, but they're not everything. For melee you might want to finish them off faster (quicker deaths of enemies mean less damage to you) so you could go DPS companion (Black Death Scorpion isn't bad imo, has a good damage and a good frequent poison tick, not a bad choice if you can't afford Cold Iron Warrior or the other top DPS companions), or you could disable them or control them in some way so they do less damage to you in the short term while you're finishing them off yourself, as I said earlier I like the Iron Golem for this role, he's very good, disabled mobs do no damage while disabled which means you take less damage while killing them, or you can go healer companion so that you last longer without dying and hopefully finish them off before you do. A good healer companion not mentioned is the broom called Splinters and you can find it on the Auction House, it also removes negative effects from you as far as I am aware, another one called Lillend does party heals, there are other healer companions people seem to think are good also.

    Augment companions used to be very good in the game but are now useless because the programmers have trashed them and I would never recommend anyone use one today. They used to add loads of stats to you and while they didn't do any damage themselves, greatly increased your own and made it very worthwhile to use one even with the lack of active damage or other ability. Now though, they add virtually nothing, just a couple of measly stats you can do without anyway, it's far better to have an active ability from a companion in combat. The only use now for an augment companion is to keep your normal stats and IL maintained (assuming it's the same rank as your usual summoned companion) but swap to a companion who does not hit anything. In endgame dungeons sometimes there are times when you all need to temporarily stop hitting the boss until something else has been done first (for instance in Lair of the Mad Mage final boss at times or it gets worse for everyone), in which case it makes sense to swap to an augment for that section because a DPS active companion keeps hitting and doing damage when no-one is supposed to be. But for any other reason other than some cosmetic visual you like to have hanging around with you while you fight, nope, augments are a waste of time.

    At the end of the day always bear in mind that besides the buffs, bonuses, bolster and IL they afford elsewhere, a companion when summoned is just there to help a little bit and you shouldn't expect too much of them. And in answer to your question on their AI, no, it's not adjustable or trainable or in any way customizable, they do what they do and are programmed the way they are and it is what it is. The best thing to do is remember that each one is programmed slightly differently even if they do the same thing, so if one doesn't perform well enough you can search around and find another one which does the same role or action but just does it better. It just takes some looking around, research online maybe, asking people ingame and testing of your own by actually getting it and using it to find the ones you like the best.
  • rockster#6227 rockster Member Posts: 790 Arc User
    edited August 15

    greywynd said:

    What runestones do you have on your companion?

    The gear I have is the gear they give you upon leveling which is the lost ring, necklace and belt of the companion.
    In the necklace i have a profane runestone rank 15 and a profane rank 8. Basically again what they gave me while leveling.

    In the ring I have empowered runestone rank 8 and a profane runestone rank 8. Againa what I got as rewards. I have yet to buy any gear stuff anywhere in game.

    Undermountain has good companion gear, I'm still using mine after a really long time, make sure when you eventually are able to, to go to Stardock and do the questline there. From memory I also had a selection of different items with different stats I wanted from a box when I was rewarded. The IL on these are quite ok and do me fine.
  • mentinmindmakermentinmindmaker Member Posts: 1,261 Arc User
    edited August 15

    Hi @kelryonlor and welcome to Neverwinter. Or what's left of it.
    Hit a dummy a couple of times with your at-wills then just stop. Your companion will then keep attacking the dummies forever until you dismiss it. You can just stand there and watch it run through its rotation and see the damage floaters coming up from the dummy to see how much damage it does, how often it crits etc. You need to wait and make sure it has done all it's stuff because it will hit several times and do it's minimal damage with what amounts to it's at-wills, then it will eventually come to it's 'encounters' and you will see the greater damage float up from those. You get to see how frequently they perform these larger hits and what value they are, for some companions it's also more often than others and some companions also have damage over time abilities (like poison on the Black Scorpion) which tick away nicely and you can add these up in your head to get a rough idea of what the total damage would be in a fight.

    @rockster: While you are on the right track, assessing companion damage manually is not very easy. What you should do is install ACT and let ACT do the dps math for you. Just let the companions hit the dummy a few minutes and let ACT calculate dps from the logs.

    Also be aware that there is a difference between single target and multitarget attacks. Some companions rocks for single target, others got their strengths in multitarget attacks.

    So the number of test dummies in the combat area matters a lot. Unfortunately I have found no test area with 3-5 dummies close enough together to accurately test multitarget dps. But also make sure you do not have other dummies close if you are testing single target dps as occasional multitarget attacks would skew the results.

  • rockster#6227 rockster Member Posts: 790 Arc User
    Fair enough, but the OP was checking in actual combat so I thought it was a better way for them to get a rough idea of how companions performed in a safer situation, that's all. Better than worrying about getting attacked while watching floaters. :-)
  • fademist#5406 fademist Member Posts: 56 Arc User

    Hi @kelryonlor and welcome to Neverwinter. Or what's left of it.
    Hit a dummy a couple of times with your at-wills then just stop. Your companion will then keep attacking the dummies forever until you dismiss it. You can just stand there and watch it run through its rotation and see the damage floaters coming up from the dummy to see how much damage it does, how often it crits etc. You need to wait and make sure it has done all it's stuff because it will hit several times and do it's minimal damage with what amounts to it's at-wills, then it will eventually come to it's 'encounters' and you will see the greater damage float up from those. You get to see how frequently they perform these larger hits and what value they are, for some companions it's also more often than others and some companions also have damage over time abilities (like poison on the Black Scorpion) which tick away nicely and you can add these up in your head to get a rough idea of what the total damage would be in a fight.

    @rockster: While you are on the right track, assessing companion damage manually is not very easy. What you should do is install ACT and let ACT do the dps math for you. Just let the companions hit the dummy a few minutes and let ACT calculate dps from the logs.

    Also be aware that there is a difference between single target and multitarget attacks. Some companions rocks for single target, others got their strengths in multitarget attacks.

    So the number of test dummies in the combat area matters a lot. Unfortunately I have found no test area with 3-5 dummies close enough together to accurately test multitarget dps. But also make sure you do not have other dummies close if you are testing single target dps as occasional multitarget attacks would skew the results.

    ACT=?
  • rubytruerubytrue Member Posts: 556 Arc User
    If you have Bruenor and Wulfgar, it sounds like you purchased the Companions of the Hall pack; if that is the case, as a bard, Regis will help you out immensely even without a lot of runestones. Regis is seriously under-rated and is pretty cheap considering that he is account wide. You won't need healing with Regis; he just goes in and kills everything with his Whirlwind of Blades.
  • mentinmindmakermentinmindmaker Member Posts: 1,261 Arc User
    edited August 16
    Post edited by mentinmindmaker on
  • kelryonlorkelryonlor Member Posts: 7 Arc User
    Thank you all for the helpful suggestions. Last few days Ive spent looking through what companions I have and what i could possibly afford. Xuna is definitely out of the question sadly enough. I simply do not have millions of AD. Only a 300k. And i am leaning towards looking for a companion that can threaten and hold some aggro while I use combat advantage to hit from the back with some AOE attacks. If there any good "threat" companions or good dps companions that i can maybe get from the zen store or trade bar store thats good and worth it to help me survive longer ?

    Also quick question. I have 5 mounts. And all 5 have 3 insignias in them and all show the bonuses immediately to the side. Am i getting ALL those bonuses or just from the mount i currently have equipped ?

    Thank you again for all the replies. This really is one of the best communities of any MMO ive been a part of.
  • plasticbatplasticbat Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 9,822 Arc User


    Also quick question. I have 5 mounts. And all 5 have 3 insignias in them and all show the bonuses immediately to the side. Am i getting ALL those bonuses or just from the mount i currently have equipped ?

    What you equipped have nothing to do with the insignia bonus. You can equip a mount that is not in stable. You have all 5 insignia bonus shown in the stable.
    The game can read your mind. If you want it, you won't get it. If you don't expect to get it, you will.
  • pitshadepitshade Member Posts: 5,269 Arc User
    Tanking pets don't hold aggro and haven't for a long time. They used to have hard taunts but they were removed. However, it is not necessary to be behind a mob to get Combat Advantage. You only need to be on the opposite side from where your pet or another player is.
    "We have always been at war with Dread Vault" ~ Little Brother
  • rockster#6227 rockster Member Posts: 790 Arc User
    edited August 20

    Thank you all for the helpful suggestions. Last few days Ive spent looking through what companions I have and what i could possibly afford. Xuna is definitely out of the question sadly enough. I simply do not have millions of AD. Only a 300k. And i am leaning towards looking for a companion that can threaten and hold some aggro while I use combat advantage to hit from the back with some AOE attacks. If there any good "threat" companions or good dps companions that i can maybe get from the zen store or trade bar store thats good and worth it to help me survive longer ?

    Also quick question. I have 5 mounts. And all 5 have 3 insignias in them and all show the bonuses immediately to the side. Am i getting ALL those bonuses or just from the mount i currently have equipped ?

    Thank you again for all the replies. This really is one of the best communities of any MMO ive been a part of.

    Re mounts, mounts are split into sort of two separate unrelated sections. One section is what you have equipped to your stable, this is where you see your insignia bonuses. Each mount available in the game has a certain selection of insignia bonuses which are different combinations from the same overall total list and they vary according to the individual mount as to the choices you get, so it's worth checking all of the mounts you have when you have them equipped to your stable (you have to have it there to see the bonuses available) to see if you have the bonuses you most like and also are not doubling-up with another mount in your stable which already has that bonus enabled. Just swap your available mounts in and out of the stable to check all their bonuses and choose, but make sure you take out the insignias first because you can only remove them and put them in if they're in the stable and if you remove a mount from the stable to look at or use another one, it takes the insignia with it. The insignia bonuses you set-up all apply to your character regardless of what mount you are riding around on or what mount combat power you are using.

    The other section is where you choose what skin the mount has ("appearance"), how fast it runs and what mount powers it uses in combat and does not affect the insignia bonuses you have set-up in the stable. It's kind of a mix and match system where in one part you have abilities and buffs from mounts but you can also separately choose to use the appearance of any mount (even if not in the stable) you own.

    edit:
    Also, not sure if others agree but it's what I do, I rank-up mounts based on knowing that the insignia buff I have chosen is one I want to keep, regardless of what the mount is or looks like. I want an insignia bonus list which has the best choices for me and once set-up that will not change for me, so the bonuses I choose from the mounts determines which ones I need to keep in the list and then the rank of those mounts will need to go up as high as possible to increase IL etc.
  • rockster#6227 rockster Member Posts: 790 Arc User
    @kelryonlor for what it's worth, this is a spreadsheet which I found a long time ago and used to use myself to check which mounts had which insignia bonuses, it's out of date now but still maybe worth something. Use the drop down extreme top left to sort through the various options. https://two30.github.io/neverwinter-insignia/?1
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