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Companions: a Breakdown of the New Feature by Rich Lambert

  • ccfeeling
    ccfeeling
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    Thank you Lam, I dont have to bet my teammates in every single pug random finally.
  • Nowa133
    Nowa133
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    This game already seemed like a solo mmorpg. Now, i get +1 reason to not come back from ffxiv... which is a solo mmorpg as well, but at least i feel like a proper healer all around.
    Edited by Nowa133 on January 28, 2021 12:34AM
  • red_emu
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    Would be fun to have companions in Cyrodiil. An army of Marys running behind a zerg spamming bow attacks that do 1 damage 😂
    PC - EU:
    Falathren Noctis - AD MagNecro
    Falathren - AD StamSorc
    Falathren Eryndaer - AD StamDen
    Falathren Irimion - AD MagPlar
    Talagan Falathren - AD StamDK
    Falathren Infernis - AD MagDK
    Your-Ex - AD MagBlade
  • magnusthorek
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    but can we romance and marry them >.> if im gonna have a buddy i wanna rp a life with them can we have them walk around our homes as a house guest?
    Y'know... This may sound weird af, but it would be really neat, although I really wanted (a gorgeous version of modded Skyrim's) Serana
    Edited by magnusthorek on January 28, 2021 1:25AM
    I am the very model of a scientist Salarian, I've studied species Turian, Asari, and Batarian.
    I'm quite good at genetics (as a subset of biology) because I am an expert (which I know is a tautology).
    My xenoscience studies range from urban to agrarian, I am the very model of a Scientist Salarian.
  • Red_Feather
    Red_Feather
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    I seem to be largely a Commitment/Drama-Phobe.
  • ccfeeling
    ccfeeling
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    On the other side, I feel worry the compansions AI...

    How the compansions interact with players and game mechanics, ZOS created so many complicated mechanics...

    Ie
    FL golden pads, MHK symbol pads, MHK purple bubble, WW2 floating, COS maze, FV laser, SCP tracking 1 shot, etc.

    You guys really think Dev can solve those coding?

    I dont think so, no doubt AI can't replace good players but it's a good start.
  • RPGplayer13579
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    So does this mean I can take a companion to any place with PVE content? Does this include The Imperial City?
    My Characters.

    Mike Snow - Imperial - Templar - One-Handed and Shield - Tank - Daggerfall Covenant - Commander.
    Catelyn Rivers - Breton - Sorcerer - Destruction Staff - Daggerfall Covenant - Telvanni Magister.
    Ashara Sand - Redguard - Warden - Two-Handed/One-Handed and Shield - Daggerfall Covenant - Heroic.
    Tormund gro-Largash - Orsimer - Dragonknight - Two-Handed - Daggerfall Covenant - Furious.
    Lysa Rivers - Breton - Nightblade - Bow/One-Handed and Shield - Vampire - Daggerfall Covenant - Brassy Assassin.

    Jon Karstark - Nord - Dragonknight - Two-Handed - Ebonheart Pact - Drunk.
    Arya Sand - Dunmer - Dragonknight - Dual Wield - Ebonheart Pact - Assassin.
    Sansa Snow - Impeial - Warden - Destruction Staff/One-Handed and Shield - Ebonheart Pect - Cheerful.
    Jojen Reed-Walker - Argonian - Templar - Restoration Staff - Healer - Ebonheart Pact - Melancholy.
    Alys Karstark - Nord - Nightblade - Bow/Dual Wield - Ebonheart Pact - Swashbuckler.

    Nymeria Woods - Bosmer - Nightblade - Bow - Aldmeri Dominion - Thief.
    Brandon Wings - Altmer - Templar - Restoration Staff - Healer - Aldmeri Dominion - Scholar.
    Lyanna Flowers - Altmer - Sorcerer - Sword/Destruction Staff - Aldmeri Dominion - Duchess.
    Marvolo-jo Riddle - Khajiit - Necromancer - Destruction Staff - Aldmeri Dominion - Treasure Hunter.
    Obara Woods - Bosmer - Templar - Bow - Werewolf - Aldmeri Dominion - Default/None.

  • FrancisCrawford
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    Lysette wrote: »
    "You can set their skills that they use and the order they use them in." I assume this means you can give them a rotation?

    I expect this to be probabilities rather than an order like a rotation.

    I'm thinking priorities.

    E.g., there's AI that makes some kinds of choices without your intervention, but you can give it hints to change what those choices otherwise might be.

    The most obvious place to influence choices is for the sequencing of skills that the simple-minded AI might see as equivalent.

    Of course, a lot depends on whether companions have player-like skill bars (e.g. like Guild Wars heroes) or have sharply limited skillsets (e.g. like Guild Wars henchmen).
    Edited by FrancisCrawford on January 28, 2021 9:05AM
  • FrancisCrawford
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    So, are these things going to fill a legitimate spot in a group, or are they considered followers, like lyris, that just tag along? Are we going to be able to take 12 companions into a trial?

    That's currently the big unanswered question. Can a dungeon group be 8 characters (4 player, 4 companion) or will it be limited to 4?

    Note: There could still be achievements that preclude companions.
  • FrancisCrawford
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    HankTwo wrote: »
    Fata1moose wrote: »
    We're still going through how this all works within the world and figuring out exactly where you can use different companions as well. We know we don't want them used in PvP, so we've taken that option out, but outside of that, we want you to be able to use them everywhere else.

    Don't worry ZOS I can help, this is how it should work for group content/arenas
    • In dungeon finder the player/companion limit is set to four. It will ways match four players but if someone drops you can summon a companion. If you queue for a replacement the companion will automatically be dismissed when a player enters the instance. This means tanks and healers need not worry about losing their fast queue times.
    • If you want to do a dungeon by yourself and a companion simply travel to the dungeon instead of using the group finder
    • Trials work in the same way where there's a 12 player/companion cap just without the group finder feature obviously. If someone drops and the leader invites someone else then the companion will be dismissed once that person enters the instance
    • Solo Arenas: Companions are allowed in normal instances but in veteran instances only the player is allowed. This will help less experienced players experience the content while the rewards for soloing the arena (perfected) and leaderboard integrity are maintained.
    • Group Arenas: Allow them in both normal and veteran with the cap of 4 players/companions. If you have two players with two companions in a vet arena they're likely doing heavy lifting since a companion isn't as effective as an actual player so I see no reason why rewards should be restricted
    • Already confirmed but no companions in PvP

    This! Please no companions in a full 4 man dungeon or 12 man trial group. But having access to a companion while trying to solo a group dungeon would indeed be a cool option, so keeping the 4/12 man player cap and counting a companion as essentially a player is the best suggestion I heard so far.

    That approach worked great in Guild Wars. (I mean the original game, not GW2.)
  • Iccotak
    Iccotak
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    New Article: https://www.pcgamesn.com/the-elder-scrolls-online/oblivion-blackwood-chapter-interview
    Last year there were some really popular new features and systems added, like the Antiquities system. Do you have plans for any new systems or features in that kind of vein this time?

    We do. There will be new antiquities that you can dig up for sure, because that was such a big thing. But I think that the big new system that I’m really excited about is companions. Companions are essentially your permanent adventuring buddies. So, you unlock them in the Blackwood chapter by doing some quests, and once you have them unlocked, you can level them up, you can equip gear on them, and you can assign their roles and their ability – so you can choose for them to be more of a tanky, healer, or damage dealer role. And there’s also a rapport system associated with them, where they have specific likes and dislikes. As you level up through those, you unlock more quests.

    It’s definitely something that we have seen players ask for a lot, especially those that have played Skyrim. Companions were a big part of that. This is our way to give players another avenue to roleplay their characters and develop social bonds without necessarily having to do that with players. You’ll be able to use these companions pretty much anywhere in the world – we’re still doing our tuning and tweaking and performance assessment impact on these things. I’m pretty sure they won’t be allowed to be used in PvP, but anywhere outside of PvP, you can use them. And they would essentially replace a player, so if you and a buddy wanted to do a four-player dungeon, you could do that and have two companions, and you can complete the content.

    We also have a new tutorial coming. So, every chapter, we always build a new tutorial. And this year is a little bit different in that we’re still going to teach you the basics of the game in terms of how to use your map, how to equip abilities, those kinds of things. But the big difference this year is we’re going to let you choose your own story.

    This has been something that players have requested for a long time. So, there’s a point in the tutorial where you get to choose, ‘Do I go to the base game? Do I go to Elsweyr? Do I go to Summerset? Do I go to Greymoor?’ It’s up to you what you want to do, rather than in previous tutorials, which were so focused on the story of the new chapter. That’s going to be a thing that I think our players are going to be excited about.
  • Iccotak
    Iccotak
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    Article with thoughts on the presentation

    to summarize
    the initial presentation was very poor in that it was too vague about important details like companion system and progression.
    However, the after show got me on board with showing off improvements to the game like Champion System 2.0 which is a two year major overhaul of the current system, more details on the Companion system, New armor update, a new streamlined tutorial, and overall some much needed quality of life features
    Regarding PvP, unfortunately, there was little in the way of news concerning performance improvements. The developers are still working on the system and in the next test, later this year, they will disable item set procs in Cyrodiil on the PC to see how it impacts server performance.
  • Vanya
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    I am fine with a companion as long as they give me Dwemer autmanon ,Pahmar-raht or something else unrelated to current 10 races we have
    The Dawn's Beauty compendium - . My personal Saga- Details below and in the links provided.

    https://imageshack.com/my/albums - Over 4000+ Elder Scrolls Images
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    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC8lf0KQfD1U5E7h6Xe_8oA One of my You-Tube channels dedicated to several games. Hundred+ videos of ESO. Updated Weekly.

    “A man is never too weak or too wounded to fight. If his cause is greater than his own life.”
    'However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. Where there's life, there's hope.'


  • Olauron
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    It sounds like unlocking and progressing with the companion will involve at least some questing. Also, assuming they follow in the TES and Fallout mode, Companions will have some unique dialogue for certain locations and quests. If ZOS is smart, Companion dialogue and reactions become a great way to add replayability to older zones for roleplayers and players who get really attached to their companion.

    So I understand the concerns of players who might want to experience ESO with a Companion...but not have that companion ruin the questing experience because they were balanced for group dungeons. That's not answered by a simple "then don't use the companion" solution.

    Since it is possible to change skills and behaviour of companions, I am almost sure that it will be possible to give a companion only self-heal skills and (or) put him into self-heal mode. That way it will be essentially non-combat companion. And if you want to burn through enemies even faster, then give good sets, damaging or friend-healing skills or tank skills and put him into offensive mode.
    The Three Storm Sharks, episode 5 released on may the 4th.
  • peacenote
    peacenote
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    In my opinion, ZOS does a good job adding new functionality like this, so I'll TRY to reserve judgment on this until I see the system. But I'm worried about this one - primarily because it seems to be trying to be all things to all people.

    I think we learned from the solo-only BG complaints that a LOT of people like to tackle content as a duo or small group. I am one of those people. I quest with a friend.

    I am struggling to imagine how ZOS will accommodate questing together (group focus) if the companions actually do develop in a meaningful way with you specifically (single focus). Already the questing system is not that elegant and requires coordination to progress together. "Do you have five? Did you pick option 1 or 2?" The game is incredibly inconsistent about when quest objectives "count" when you're in a group. But you can make it work.

    Now imagine trying to synchronize if companion choices and affections aren't exactly leveled. Oops, I left my companion out when I did a random normal the other day OR I used my companion on purpose to farm City of Ash I for my BSW staff and now when I go back to questing we have different options. My companion is giving me different choices because he loves killing zombies and I killed a bunch when my questing partner was offline.

    Not only does this not seem to fit in ESO but it seems to be in direct conflict with the One Tamriel ideal, where your friends can join you anywhere. It's like building in a huge side part of the game that will be impossible to sync up later if you want to play through the story with a friend. People complain about going through the DLCs out of order but at least you CAN do that if you want. Do Summerset with a friend and go back to Thieves Guild later, that kind of thing. Imagine convincing a new friend to play ESO and having to wait until they completed THE ENTIRE GAME to be able to play the newest story line together.

    Generally solo stuff is either purely solo (like arena) or group friendly (like you can share and sync quests if you want) but this seems like it is a solo-oriented feature that CAN be used in a group but not really because also there is this solo-only progress with the feature?

    Maybe ZOS will build in some nifty stuff like the ability to sync companion progress or reset them. Or a "group vote" on companion quests where a tie picks a random answer so you stay in sync. But I'm not optimistic. Which is why I'd much rather that the hero continues to create relationships through quested stories that can be done as a group, and we be given companions that can fight/ heal/ whatever armed with one-liner quips to make them lively, than this attempt to merge the two into what feels to be like a single- player- game feature.

    I just don't see how a private evolving solo relationship with an NPC fits in without disrupting people who quest as a group activity. I always have thought that the way ESO does this now was kind of clever. There are some "permanent" choices but they are mostly encapsulated but you can feel development with recurring characters. Having multiple companions with infinitely forking choices seems to break that completely.
  • poodlemasterb16_ESO
    poodlemasterb16_ESO
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    There are enough brightly coloured people in my dungeons already. They swarm about the place while I'm trying to solo them, and kinda *** me off. More losers will not help my mood at all.

    Come on folks the game is now dead easy. I was in the beta, it was tough once, and far better in my estimation.

    My silly Dark Elf StamSorc at level 40 has not died in a long time. I solo Dolmens and face roll the content and the game cannot kill my Gloria. She is gonna do World Bosses soon and hopefully one will be able to kill her. The Soul Gems are piling up.
    "Everything. They eat everything, and fear is their bacon bits"
  • exeeter702
    exeeter702
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    Now if only zos could add a system in place that would create a sense of agency and involvement in overland content for fully built end game characters.

    There is no scenario where I would ever feel any incentive to interact with this new feature and that sucks tbh.

    If properly suiting up and building out my companion so that I can survive certain obstacles while doing the one type of content that makes up nearly 80 percent of this entire game, were actually a thing, I would be very happy here. But the fact that overland content is such a joke even for the casual competent player. This just feels like a missed opportunity for me.

    I'm here hoping zos announces something that would make end game characters want to engage with the overland content experience and they add a feature that makes it even easier lol.. But I understand the economics of it at the end of the day, the longer you are a player of an mmo, the less you become the target demographic for it.

    Indont understand zos here. They want to have their cake and eat it. They dont want to devide players by implementing a high level instance of zones and want to unify players but they go and focus on systems like this that further promote playing in isolation for new players. If you are so keen on providing a semblance of a solo experience, then let end game players have an optional version of the overland experience they can opt into.
    Edited by exeeter702 on January 31, 2021 7:26PM
  • Iccotak
    Iccotak
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    exeeter702 wrote: »
    Now it only zos could add a system in place that would create a sense of agency and involvement in overland content for fully built end game characters.

    There is no scenario where I would ever feel any incentive to interact with this new feature and that sucks tbh.

    If properly suiting up and building out my companion so that I can survive certain obstacles while doing the one type of content that makes up nearly 80 percent of this entire game, were actually a thing, I would be very happy here. But the fact that overland content is such a joke even for the casual competent player. This just feels like a missed opportunity for me.

    I'm here hoping zos announces something that would make end game characters want to engage with the overland content experience and they add a feature that makes it even easier lol.. But I understand the economics of it at the end of the day, the longer you are a player of an mmo, the less you become the target demographic for it.

    Fun Fact about what the game USED to do
    For those who weren't here at launch, I should perhaps explain exactly how overland was made so laughably easy. It's not just a matter of the "normal" player-dealt DPS increasing five-fold or more since launch, and it's not just the fact that they made the mobs have less HP and hit less hard. The nerf goes much deeper than that, and no simple debuffs or voluntary crippling of your build can fix it properly.

    The problem is that they both dumbed down and slowed down the AI for all PvE enemies. Regular trash mobs used to employ jumps and dodges, they blocked your blows, they snared you, and they used combinations of abilities which you needed to counter properly to defeat them reliably. Combat with even a single trash mob could be engaging. Two was busy, three was a challenge. Telegraphs were shorter and easier to miss.

    This game used to be quite hard for a solo player. I am not saying it was better, because people rage quit over, say, not being able to progress in the main quest or kill the wretched Doshia in the Fighters' Guild quest. The changes they made to the game have very obviously made it survive.

    In my personal opinion, I'm sad to see this challenge gone, but there is nothing that could bring back that for individual players without changing the experience for everyone else, except splitting the world into different instances depending on some "difficulty" toggle.
  • exeeter702
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    Iccotak wrote: »
    exeeter702 wrote: »
    Now it only zos could add a system in place that would create a sense of agency and involvement in overland content for fully built end game characters.

    There is no scenario where I would ever feel any incentive to interact with this new feature and that sucks tbh.

    If properly suiting up and building out my companion so that I can survive certain obstacles while doing the one type of content that makes up nearly 80 percent of this entire game, were actually a thing, I would be very happy here. But the fact that overland content is such a joke even for the casual competent player. This just feels like a missed opportunity for me.

    I'm here hoping zos announces something that would make end game characters want to engage with the overland content experience and they add a feature that makes it even easier lol.. But I understand the economics of it at the end of the day, the longer you are a player of an mmo, the less you become the target demographic for it.

    Fun Fact about what the game USED to do
    For those who weren't here at launch, I should perhaps explain exactly how overland was made so laughably easy. It's not just a matter of the "normal" player-dealt DPS increasing five-fold or more since launch, and it's not just the fact that they made the mobs have less HP and hit less hard. The nerf goes much deeper than that, and no simple debuffs or voluntary crippling of your build can fix it properly.

    The problem is that they both dumbed down and slowed down the AI for all PvE enemies. Regular trash mobs used to employ jumps and dodges, they blocked your blows, they snared you, and they used combinations of abilities which you needed to counter properly to defeat them reliably. Combat with even a single trash mob could be engaging. Two was busy, three was a challenge. Telegraphs were shorter and easier to miss.

    This game used to be quite hard for a solo player. I am not saying it was better, because people rage quit over, say, not being able to progress in the main quest or kill the wretched Doshia in the Fighters' Guild quest. The changes they made to the game have very obviously made it survive.

    In my personal opinion, I'm sad to see this challenge gone, but there is nothing that could bring back that for individual players without changing the experience for everyone else, except splitting the world into different instances depending on some "difficulty" toggle.

    Most of us who have been here since day zero remember this. The leveling experience was very satisfying. Often the rebuttal ths is brought up is craglorn. But that is an incredibly weak one as there were so many other issues with the core game and its various indecisive aspects of end game at the time.
    Edited by exeeter702 on January 31, 2021 7:36PM
  • Iccotak
    Iccotak
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    exeeter702 wrote: »
    Iccotak wrote: »
    exeeter702 wrote: »
    Now it only zos could add a system in place that would create a sense of agency and involvement in overland content for fully built end game characters.

    There is no scenario where I would ever feel any incentive to interact with this new feature and that sucks tbh.

    If properly suiting up and building out my companion so that I can survive certain obstacles while doing the one type of content that makes up nearly 80 percent of this entire game, were actually a thing, I would be very happy here. But the fact that overland content is such a joke even for the casual competent player. This just feels like a missed opportunity for me.

    I'm here hoping zos announces something that would make end game characters want to engage with the overland content experience and they add a feature that makes it even easier lol.. But I understand the economics of it at the end of the day, the longer you are a player of an mmo, the less you become the target demographic for it.

    Fun Fact about what the game USED to do
    For those who weren't here at launch, I should perhaps explain exactly how overland was made so laughably easy. It's not just a matter of the "normal" player-dealt DPS increasing five-fold or more since launch, and it's not just the fact that they made the mobs have less HP and hit less hard. The nerf goes much deeper than that, and no simple debuffs or voluntary crippling of your build can fix it properly.

    The problem is that they both dumbed down and slowed down the AI for all PvE enemies. Regular trash mobs used to employ jumps and dodges, they blocked your blows, they snared you, and they used combinations of abilities which you needed to counter properly to defeat them reliably. Combat with even a single trash mob could be engaging. Two was busy, three was a challenge. Telegraphs were shorter and easier to miss.

    This game used to be quite hard for a solo player. I am not saying it was better, because people rage quit over, say, not being able to progress in the main quest or kill the wretched Doshia in the Fighters' Guild quest. The changes they made to the game have very obviously made it survive.

    In my personal opinion, I'm sad to see this challenge gone, but there is nothing that could bring back that for individual players without changing the experience for everyone else, except splitting the world into different instances depending on some "difficulty" toggle.

    Most of us who have been here since day zero remember this. The leveling experience was very satisfying. Often the rebuttal ths is brought up is craglorn. But that is an incredibly weak one as there were so many other issues with the core game and its various indecisive aspects of end game at the time.

    Totally agree, it feels like people want things universally as easy as Bleakrock - which is asinine.
    Also Pre-One Tamriel split the player base in like 9 different ways based on zone progression, factions, and level. So asking for one separate instance is hardly comparable.
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