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Companions Q&A

  • Treselegant
    Treselegant
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    Snamyap wrote: »
    [*] Previous companions such as Bastian and Isobel provided unique buffs and debuffs that stacked with Major and Minor effects (such as Bastian's Searing Weapons providing a unique 15% damage buff to Light and Heavy attacks rather than providing Empower); however, Shap-as-Night and Azandar provide named buffs and debuffs such as Minor Vulnerability. Why was this change made and will the older companions be updated?

    I have mixed feeling about Searing Weapons. I like my heavy attack builds, but Bastian is my least favorite companion. He also doesn't fit thematically for me: I like to combine heavy attack builds with vampirism since it pretty much negates the increased resource costs of non vampire skills. Having this goody two shoes commenting gets on my nerves. "I thought you gave up thieving?" Whatever gave you that idea?!

    To be fair his moral inclinations are spelled out clearly in his companion bio and it's the same for Isobel. If you get ask him what he does and doesn't like he's pretty clear there. I don't think much else can be done to get that across.
  • flubber77
    flubber77
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    I want Noshir Dalal in as an voice actor for one of your new comapanion. MAKE IT HAPPEND :D
    Still a grudge, only to see false what u want and nothing less.
  • Erissime
    Erissime
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    I do have a question about one of these companions in particular: What happend with originality and lore?
    Al-Cybiades? Really? You do not allow people to borrow lore names for their characters, but you shamelessly COPY historical names and think just by changing a letter and putting a line in between will look ... ok?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcibiades

    So much about originality. Now to the lore part.

    I have read the recent biography of this same character and I had to scroll up twice in order to make sure what I'm seeing is a Redguard - because everything about his story hints of altmer. Meanwhile you have denied us altmer companions and houseguests since start, while all the other races have at least two representatives in all of these functions. Why do you push so hard human characters in a lore clearly belonging to fantasy and deny so hard one of the most magical races you have belonging to your OWN lore? For let us face it, humans... are humans. And the redguards inspiration, no matter how fantastical it may be, is clearly .. human.

    So in conclusion - despite the efforts made into creating these characters, for which I congratulate you honestly - I am not happy to see so much shallowness in the creation of their stories. I refuse to rp with people who put this little effort into their name character choices and you as a company actually pull this and expect it to go unoticed?

    Beyond these notes, I at least hope the upcoming content will be free of bugs and general issues, so that we may at least enjoy the game - but story wise? You really need to choose your writers better.
    Edited by Erissime on May 24, 2023 8:23PM
  • SatanicSister
    SatanicSister
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    Erissime wrote: »
    I do have a question about one of these companions in particular: What happend with originality and lore?
    Al-Cybiades? Really? You do not allow people to borrow lore names for their characters, but you shamelessly COPY historical names and think just by changing a letter and putting a line in between will look ... ok?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcibiades

    So much about originality. Now to the lore part.

    I have read the recent biography of this same character and I had to scroll up twice in order to make sure what I'm seeing is a Redguard - because everything about his story hints of altmer. Meanwhile you have denied us altmer companions and houseguests since start, while all the other races have at least two representatives in all of these functions. Why do you push so hard human characters in a lore clearly belonging to fantasy and deny so hard one of the most magical races you have belonging to your OWN lore? For let us face it, humans... are humans. And the redguards inspiration, no matter how fantastical it may be, is clearly .. human.

    So in conclusion - despite the efforts made into creating these characters, for which I congratulate you honestly - I am not happy to see so much shallowness in the creation of their stories. I refuse to rp with people who put this little effort into their name character choices and you as a company actually pull this and expect it to go unoticed?

    Beyond these notes, I at least hope the upcoming content will be free of bugs and general issues, so that we may at least enjoy the game - but story wise? You really need to choose your writers better.

    Al-Cybiades isn't after the historic greek guy. It means from Cybiades (that's an island near Sentinel).
    "If we are going to play the waiting game, the guy who has been around for 10000 years is going to win."
  • Erissime
    Erissime
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    Erissime wrote: »
    I do have a question about one of these companions in particular: What happend with originality and lore?
    Al-Cybiades? Really? You do not allow people to borrow lore names for their characters, but you shamelessly COPY historical names and think just by changing a letter and putting a line in between will look ... ok?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcibiades

    So much about originality. Now to the lore part.

    I have read the recent biography of this same character and I had to scroll up twice in order to make sure what I'm seeing is a Redguard - because everything about his story hints of altmer. Meanwhile you have denied us altmer companions and houseguests since start, while all the other races have at least two representatives in all of these functions. Why do you push so hard human characters in a lore clearly belonging to fantasy and deny so hard one of the most magical races you have belonging to your OWN lore? For let us face it, humans... are humans. And the redguards inspiration, no matter how fantastical it may be, is clearly .. human.

    So in conclusion - despite the efforts made into creating these characters, for which I congratulate you honestly - I am not happy to see so much shallowness in the creation of their stories. I refuse to rp with people who put this little effort into their name character choices and you as a company actually pull this and expect it to go unoticed?

    Beyond these notes, I at least hope the upcoming content will be free of bugs and general issues, so that we may at least enjoy the game - but story wise? You really need to choose your writers better.

    Al-Cybiades isn't after the historic greek guy. It means from Cybiades (that's an island near Sentinel).

    Not good enough of an explanation. Change the prefix! The similarity is far too great to suffice! And in case you wonder why - well the greek guy and all of its history existed long before anything eso lore did. So how do I know that island name isn't inspired by that same thing? Though far more subtly done and worthy of the idea of inspiration. This name? - pure copy.
    Edited by Erissime on May 24, 2023 8:18PM
  • FayJolyn
    FayJolyn
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    • Is there any interest in doing a part two of the companion story line at some point?
    • How/why did Bastian get all those tattoos? They surprised me when I first saw them. It feels like such divergence of his character. He's such a goody two-shoes type. I'm itching to know this backstory. Pretty please *_*
    • How did the writing process go for the two new companions and how did you settle on the perfect choice for Brandon Keener as Sharp-as-Night's voice actor? <3
    • What tribe is Sharp originally from?
    • I also would like to know his Jel name. Did he even have one in the first place?
      • How did he get captured? Was he already an adult?
      • His personal letter is lovely, he's has a soft & thoughtful side to him. What kind of person would he have been if he would never have been captured?
      • (not an easy question, but an interesting one. I hope it will get shared at least internally) In the original version of Sharp-as-Night questline there was the suggestion that Sharp might also have suffered from SA from his former master. The questline got adjusted after feedback, with now all references removed. This choice however also disappointed another group of players who just dislike seeing quests get censored, and/or those who would've like to see darker themes get explored, be it in a mindful way. As the topic can be both heavy but meaningful. Wil the team ever consider using something like trigger warnings or something else in the future so that darker themes like these can still be explored?
        I really connected with Sharp, and was disappointed in the current solution. This also ties in for me with the first question in this post, that I hope to see a possible chapter 2 for the companions one day.
        BTW: I thought his introductory letter was really lovely. *clutches heart*
    • Will I ever be able to fish together with Sharp with both of us doing the fishing animation?
    • Wil we ever be able to let companions and houseguests do animations inside our home? I would love to have them just eat and sleep or spending some quality time like fishing/cooking/ just chilling.
    • When will our companions ever be able to carry our burdens, aka, carry their own gear at least. ;)


    Edited by FayJolyn on May 24, 2023 8:55PM
    Zha'ishii - Kahjiit nightblade (main) PC-EU
  • Parasaurolophus
    Parasaurolophus
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    Are there any plans to disable companion trophy bonuses? Many of them greatly degrade the quality of the gaming experience for us.
    PC/EU
  • ZOS_Kevin
    ZOS_Kevin
    Community Manager
    Thanks everyone for your questions! We have closed down the Q&A and will taking some time to answer your questions. We'll be back with answers later in June!
    Community Manager for ZeniMax Online Studio and Elder Scrolls OnlineDev Tracker | Service Alerts | ESO Twitter
    Staff Post
  • ZOS_Kevin
    ZOS_Kevin
    Community Manager
    Hi everyone! Thanks for your patience regarding these answers. We had the opportunity to get some of your questions answered from our companions team, comprised of the following ZOS Devs:
    • Tom Murphy, Zone Lead
    • Philip Draven, Lead Systems Designer
    • Janet Priblo, Senior Content Designer
    • Juli Comstock, Writer-Designer
    • Carrie Day, Systems Designer

    To get the most answers possible, some of your questions were combined if they covered similar ground. So below, you will see community questions noted with a “Q:” and dev answers noted with their initials. For example, Tom Murphy’s answers will be noted “TM:.” We also got the following questions and answers translated, so more community members can enjoy them too. You will see the translated version of the questions and answers below, linked.
    We hope these answers help give some insight into the development process for systems like companions! Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer questions. We look forward to reading your feedback here. Without further ado, to the questions and answers!
    German/DEUTSCH
    French/FRANÇAIS
    Spanish/ESPAÑOL
    Simplified Chinese/中文
    ***

    Q: Not a question... more a very big THANK YOU to ZOS for realizing that companions are a huge deal for many of us players, and we look forward to new companions and other (hopeful romance) options added for them later.
    I also want to thank you for adding the Telvanni Efficiency set to Necrom, because this will be a big deal for many of us. (This is a good one to respond to just to show that positivity will be met with a positive response for us.)

    PD: You are extremely welcome! We had an absolute blast making the companion system and all the different characters within it. We are really proud of it and excited to continue to grow both the roster of companions and the system itself in the future.
    ***

    Q: I know early on when the Companion system was announced that one of the devs claimed they'd be fully new characters instead of old characters from sidequests. Are there any thoughts on diverting from this?Secondly, has a non-humanoid companion ever been thought of? Perhaps a non-humanoid Daedra, or a wild animal (dual wielding Warden bears anyone?) or even just a doggo! It'd be interesting to see ESO writers come up with interesting stories for taming an animal, or binding/"befriending" a Daedra!

    PD: We are very interested in exploring and expanding the types of companions we introduce over time but there are a number of thematic and technical challenges associated with certain directions. Making companions of existing characters runs into situations where you can have an active companion on a quest involving another version of themselves. This gets even trickier as we often have characters reappearing in new content (and sometimes meeting a final end), all of which complicates companion use further. Having companions be newly introduced characters gives an opportunity for both us and the players to form a new relationship without preconceptions or past experiences coloring or limiting the dynamic.
    Non-humanoid companions are an interesting avenue to explore, but in many cases would radically limit the amount of customization and combat options available, so it’s something that will take more investigation and potentially even expansion of the system to fully realize.
    ***

    Q: What is the team's stance on vampire/werewolf companions? Are there any plans to introduce more than 2 companions per year?

    PD: Vampire and werewolf companions are not off the table for future companions. There are no plans to increase the companion release rate at this time. (They take a lot of work from a large number of talented developers, and we want to make sure we’re taking the time to get them as good as they can possibly be.)
    ***

    Q: Is it possible to get a Companion that isn't one of the playable races? Like an Atronach or Arox even?

    TM: We don’t necessarily feel we have to hit every player race and class in our companion designs before we can do stuff off the beaten path, like a Maormer or Dremora. What we care about, first and foremost, is creating compelling characters that players want to adventure with. That said, we see a lot of requests for companions from player races that we haven’t represented yet – like Altmer, or Nord – and there’s a ton of compelling characters we can make with those backgrounds.
    So to answer the original question, it is absolutely possible! I can’t promise anything, but it’s something we’re constantly discussing.
    ***

    Q: I just want to give them a hat so they don't look the same as everyone else... any thoughts on changing your stance on this?

    TM: We do have discussions about the level of flexibility we want to give users on a Companion’s appearance “from the neck-up” – like hats, or different hairstyles. One of the early design considerations with companions was the balance between "identity" and "customization" for each companion. We wanted to give players as much freedom to customize their traveling companion, while at the same time keeping the identity of the companion the same. We ended up with "no hats" on companions because it hit that sweet spot - where players can make them look any way they wish, but the character and identity of the companion doesn't change because you always see their face.
    ***

    Q: why are companions account wide unlocks (collection menu) but still required to be unlocked per character?
    Why are the unlock quests getting significantly longer if we are required to unlock it per character? or can we get some way to bypass them if we have already unlocked them?

    PD: This ties back into potential issues of bringing Mirri to unlock Mirri, but also, we know many players establish different relationship dynamics with their companions on a per character basis and the introductory quest is a key part of that, so at this time there are no plans to change that.
    On the story side, there hasn't been any mandate or push to make these quests longer. The stories we want to tell are the determining factor. This is great feedback though and something we will make sure to take into account going forward.
    ***

    Q: Will we ever be able to let companions and houseguests do animations inside our home? I would love to have them just eat and sleep or spending some quality time like fishing/cooking/ just chilling.

    TM: That sounds awesome! I’ll be sure to bring that idea to the team!
    ***

    Q: How does the team decide which class skills to copy for companion skills? Previous companions such as Bastian and Isobel provided unique buffs and debuffs that stacked with Major and Minor effects (such as Bastian's Searing Weapons providing a unique 15% damage buff to Light and Heavy attacks rather than providing Empower); however, Sharp-as-Night and Azandar provide named buffs and debuffs such as Minor Vulnerability. Why was this change made and will the older companions be updated?
    Bastian and Mirri have thematic Ultimates (for example, Bastian is implied to have anger issues and his Ultimate is called Unleashed Rage). However, later companions do not. Were Bastian and Mirri's Ultimates intended to be thematic and if so, why have the other companions' Ultimates not been?

    TM: Typically, we like to work with the combat designer who worked most heavily on the given class and who really knows the ins and outs of it. They take a look at the class abilities and put forward a list of what they think is a compelling kit for the companion, modified to suit the specifics of companion combat. We talk through the choices and make tweaks and substitutions until everyone is satisfied. We also monitor companions after launch to make sure our assumptions about certain abilities were in line with how players actually use them. We do have a list of items we want to address regarding our previously released companions to keep them relevant.

    For your second question – All the companions have unique Ultimates and we try to make sure they feel like a natural fit for their respective companion. That said, I think that’s clearer in some cases more than others – Bastian having a temper has a natural synergy with what a Dragonknight ultimate might be. I can say it’s something we’re discussing with our newest companions, so we do try to keep theming in mind.
    ***

    Q: Why can't we have more control over their actions? Specifically things like roll dodge with certain weapons.

    PD: One of the goals with companions was to avoid having the player need to micromanage them in combat and for most of the decisions to be made in the equipment and ability loadout beforehand. That being said, we’re always evaluating ways for them to perform more consistently and competently without oversight.
    ***

    Q: Will old companions ever get their letters given as furnishings? Does the storyline influence the way the companion looks or vice-versa? If so, why isn't Bastian a Breton?
    Who is currently the most used companion? Which is your favorite?

    TM: Great Idea! We will absolutely investigate the achievement furnishing idea. I think it depends a lot on the companion in question. We had a strong idea of Bastian and Mirri as characters before we started outlining their companion quests. The process for Isobel, Ember, Sharp and Azandar were all a bit idiosyncratic – in some cases we knew more details about them as companions before we really knew what their characters and stories were like. As an example, the first thing we knew about Azandar was that he’d be an Arcanist. Everything followed from there.
    ***

    Q: My main question is, will we ever possibly see fully customizable Companions? Basically just a blank slate character we can make look however we want, give them any hair style, tattoos, etc that we own in our collections? Including polymorphs and personalities?

    PD & TM: There are no plans to build companions without robust unique identities at this time, but that is an interesting idea to explore. That said, one of our favorite things about our Companions is how they have a history, a personality, and opinions that provide different lenses to see Tamriel through.
    ***

    Q: Would the team consider adding a "stand here" command to companions that makes them stand on the spot for 60 seconds?

    TM: We do talk about ways to improve the player experience. There are trade-offs to systems like these that we don’t find to be net positives, so we’ll continue to investigate.
    ***

    Q: Are there any plans to disable companion trophy bonuses?

    TM: Not at this time, but we’ll certainly discuss it!
    ***

    Q: Will older companions (Bastion and Mirri)) ever be updated to have more dialog and quests?

    TM: I can’t go into too much detail regarding our future plans, but I can say that we have big ideas on how we can expand the Companion system in the future, and those ideas certainly involve revisiting Bastian and Mirri!
    ***

    Q: How/why did Bastian get all those tattoos? And what is the meaning behind them? They surprised me when I first saw them. It feels like such divergence of his character. He's such a goody two-shoes type. I'm itching to know this backstory. Pretty please *_*

    JP: He got his first tattoo after a particularly raucous night while on business in Stormhold. Instead of being dismayed after his headache dissipated, he found that he loved it, and it was a reminder of a really fun night. The tattoos became an occasional outlet for processing his own frustration or unhappiness or as reminders of fun times and interesting places. The tattoos make him happy.
    ***

    Q: How do you decide on rapports for the companions like Bastian hating cheese? (Cheese! All hail uncle Sheo!)

    JP: If we can come up with something that seems like an interesting or fun quirk to a character we are developing, and that feels like it fits in with who they are, we love to add these small bits of character flavor. We need to make sure it can work with the companion system, to allow the companion to make relevant comments or reactions.
    ***

    Q: How did the writing process go for the two new companions and how did you settle on the perfect choice for Brandon Keener as Sharp-as-Night's voice actor? <3

    JC: Brandon Keener really is perfect, isn’t he? 😊
    Writing companion quests isn’t so different from writing any other quest. Where it differs is in systemic dialogue: combat barks, rapport triggers, off-quest conversations, etc. I loved writing these for Sharp, which is good because we have to write a LOT of them.
    I took over Sharp from another writer right as character concepts and quest designs finished and writing first drafts began. I really owe it to content designer Janet Priblo, loremaster Michael Zenke, systems designer Carrie Day, and zone lead/companions product owner Tom Murphy for helping me find Sharp’s voice once I joined the Companions team. I was also fortunate enough to get some thoughtful guidance and edits on Sharp’s story from former loremaster Leamon Tuttle, which I’m incredibly thankful for.
    Sharp’s story and development were heavily influenced by the zone we introduced him in. I’m positive there’s room to introduce another Argonian companion someday who doesn’t have slavery as a centerpiece of their past. That said, I’m very proud of the story we ended up telling with Sharp. To me, the questline is about little flames of hope enduring in the darkest of times and finding out who you are by choosing who you want to be.
    As for casting: I’m the one who put forward Brandon Keener’s name for consideration. Our amazing audio team secured some great auditions for Sharp, but I’m lucky we picked Brandon because ultimately his voice was the one I had stuck in my head while writing.
    Brandon came to the first day of recording with a deep understanding of the character and a voice more informed by traditional Argonian dryness than I had prepared myself to ask for. There’s very little Sharp gets to keep from his tribe in terms of identity; him retaining much of that deliberate Saxhleel vocal style was a development that was all Brandon, and I’m eternally grateful for that choice in his performance. He was a delight to work with, and I’d love to write for him again someday.
    ***

    Q: What tribe is Sharp originally from? I also would like to know his Jel name. Did he even have one in the first place?

    JC: Sharp's tribe and Jel name were details I had planned but ultimately had to cut from the questline to strengthen the story we wanted to tell. I imagine discovering these things would carry some life-altering gravitas for the character, and Sharp needs a reason after his questline to stick around as a summonable companion. He gets to choose his place in the world, and right now, he's content exploring it with you in his tribe of two.
    ***

    Q: Will I ever be able to fish together with Sharp with both of us doing the fishing animation?

    JC: We love this idea and this was the original intent when designing Sharp’s non-combat perk. Unfortunately, there are some tech limitations that prevented us from accomplishing it. Fun fact: we knew from pretty early on that Sharp would have positive rapport triggers from fishing. When the Systems team provided a sample of possible non-combat perks, I was drawn to the one we ended up calling Sharp’s Patience. Thematically, I loved the idea that after all his years alone, Sharp finally had a friend to fish with, and players had a buddy to help us chase that Master Angler title. Sharp’s release also coincided with the QOL update for multi-fish fileting, a facet that according to zone lead Tom “tipped the scales” in our choosing this perk. 😉
    Edited by ZOS_Kevin on August 14, 2023 2:08PM
    Community Manager for ZeniMax Online Studio and Elder Scrolls OnlineDev Tracker | Service Alerts | ESO Twitter
    Staff Post
  • elinien
    elinien
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    ZOS_Kevin wrote: »
    Q: why are companions account wide unlocks (collection menu) but still required to be unlocked per character?
    Why are the unlock quests getting significantly longer if we are required to unlock it per character? or can we get some way to bypass them if we have already unlocked them?

    PD: This ties back into potential issues of bringing Mirri to unlock Mirri, but also, we know many players establish different relationship dynamics with their companions on a per character basis and the introductory quest is a key part of that, so at this time there are no plans to change that.
    On the story side, there hasn't been any mandate or push to make these quests longer. The stories we want to tell are the determining factor. This is great feedback though and something we will make sure to take into account going forward.
    ***

    My long standing request for this isn't to automatically unlock them, but make the quest like the Cyrodiil tutorial (or crafting certifications)... give us the option to bypass it and immediately unlock the companion. It would take a lot of the annoyance away from having to do the same quest up to 20 different times, and wouldn't necessarily hurt the role playing aspect.
    Edited by elinien on August 14, 2023 9:25AM
    PCNA/EU since 2015
  • ESO_Nightingale
    ESO_Nightingale
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    i like that sharp isn't a hippie that wants you to stop hurting animals and plants the moment you defend yourself from a bear or pick a flower. he's a calm, reserved and practical guy.
    Edited by ESO_Nightingale on August 14, 2023 10:13AM
    PvE Frost Warden Main and teacher for ESO-U. Frost Warden PvE Build Article: https://eso-u.com/articles/nightingales_warden_dps_guide__frost_knight. Come Join the ESO Frost Discord to discuss everything frost!: https://discord.gg/5PT3rQX
  • Treselegant
    Treselegant
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    Thanks for this @ZOS_Kevin and companion team. Some really good and interesting answers in there :) . Confirmed a few of my theories, allayed some concerns and piqued my curiousity as to where things are going in the future.

    Love that the tattoo question has been answered: lots of wild theories have been thrown around in fan spaces about that one since Blackwood :D.
  • Erickson9610
    Erickson9610
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    ZOS_Kevin wrote: »
    Q: What is the team's stance on vampire/werewolf companions? Are there any plans to introduce more than 2 companions per year?

    PD: Vampire and werewolf companions are not off the table for future companions. There are no plans to increase the companion release rate at this time. (They take a lot of work from a large number of talented developers, and we want to make sure we’re taking the time to get them as good as they can possibly be.)
    ***

    I'm glad to hear that there is a possibility of getting a werewolf or vampire companion in the future! It makes sense why we wouldn't be able to turn our existing companions — most of them wouldn't accept those curses.

    Reading that each companion's Ultimate is unique to their personalities has me wondering how a werewolf companion would be implemented on a technical level. Companions get their Ultimate at Level 20, so would a werewolf companion just not transform until they're done leveling up? If a companion's Werewolf skill line follows the trend of having 3 skills rather than 5, would a transformed werewolf companion lose access to 2 of the skills on their bar, given that they are locked into using only Werewolf skills while transformed?

    In comparison, a vampire companion sounds leagues easier to implement. They'd naturally always look like a vampire, they'd have access to a new companion Vampire skill line, and they don't need to use an Ultimate to look or fight as a vampire.

    Regardless of technical and thematic challenges, I hope that the teams involved will be able to implement new werewolf and vampire companions in a way that makes each companion interesting to travel with and effective in combat.
  • Katzenzunge
    Katzenzunge
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    Q: My main question is, will we ever possibly see fully customizable Companions? Basically just a blank slate character we can make look however we want, give them any hair style, tattoos, etc that we own in our collections? Including polymorphs and personalities?

    PD & TM: There are no plans to build companions without robust unique identities at this time, but that is an interesting idea to explore. That said, one of our favorite things about our Companions is how they have a history, a personality, and opinions that provide different lenses to see Tamriel through.
    ***


    I really like this answer tbh. One of the things I love most about the companions is their "personality". Likes, dislikes and the fact that they are not just some mannequin to drag around. I don't have any feelings towards the hat/no hat issue, but I like the illusion of them being characters, not accessoires.
  • phaneub17_ESO
    phaneub17_ESO
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    Alrighty. Deleting ranged weapons then. No point in holding them if I can't control their reaction to mobs walking in their face and rolling away immediately.
  • Necrotech_Master
    Necrotech_Master
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    elinien wrote: »
    ZOS_Kevin wrote: »
    Q: why are companions account wide unlocks (collection menu) but still required to be unlocked per character?
    Why are the unlock quests getting significantly longer if we are required to unlock it per character? or can we get some way to bypass them if we have already unlocked them?

    PD: This ties back into potential issues of bringing Mirri to unlock Mirri, but also, we know many players establish different relationship dynamics with their companions on a per character basis and the introductory quest is a key part of that, so at this time there are no plans to change that.
    On the story side, there hasn't been any mandate or push to make these quests longer. The stories we want to tell are the determining factor. This is great feedback though and something we will make sure to take into account going forward.
    ***

    My long standing request for this isn't to automatically unlock them, but make the quest like the Cyrodiil tutorial (or crafting certifications)... give us the option to bypass it and immediately unlock the companion. It would take a lot of the annoyance away from having to do the same quest up to 20 different times, and wouldn't necessarily hurt the role playing aspect.

    yeah that answer was a bit disappointing

    i completely understand they dont want the companions from running into each other on a quest, but there are already a few problems with that as it currently stands:

    there is nothing stopping 20 players from having mirri out and being in the same area, how is that any different from taking mirri on the "intro quest" for mirri?

    and they didnt really answer the last part about adding in an option to "fast track" the quest for those of us who have many multiple characters, such as the cyro tutorial as you pointed out, or the tribute tutorial (you still have to do the tutorial on each toon but you dont have to waste the time in the intro match)

    but if this is the stance going forward, i wont be unlocking the companions on more than 2 characters (my main to enjoy the story, and then a dps im going to ignore the story and speed the quest as fast as possible so i can powerlevel the companion)
    plays PC/NA
    handle @Necrotech_Master
    active player since april 2014
  • Napalm_Death32
    Napalm_Death32
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    I would like to see server wise unlocked companions doesn't need the intro quest and can just summon them on a new character on the server its been unlocked on
  • Ilsabet
    Ilsabet
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    Love that the tattoo question has been answered: lots of wild theories have been thrown around in fan spaces about that one since Blackwood :D.

    Heh, I wrote up a headcanon for this a few days ago and was debating whether or not to post it. I actually wasn't too far off, but I'm still not sure how to feel about the scenario I envisioned being more or less debunked. :D I do appreciate knowing our boy's official story, though. Maybe I'll still post my thing for giggles. (Edit: Here it is cuz why not.)

    ZOS_Kevin wrote: »
    Q: Will older companions (Bastion and Mirri)) ever be updated to have more dialog and quests?

    TM: I can’t go into too much detail regarding our future plans, but I can say that we have big ideas on how we can expand the Companion system in the future, and those ideas certainly involve revisiting Bastian and Mirri!

    Big ideas liiiiike... adding romaaaaance? :*
    Edited by Ilsabet on August 14, 2023 8:37PM
    Ilsabet Menard - DC Breton Nightblade archer - Savior of Pretty Much Everything, Grand Overlord & Empress Nubcakes
    Katarin Auclair - DC Breton Warden healer & ice mage
    My characters and their overly elaborate backstories
    Ilsabet's Headcanon
    The Adventures of Torbyrn Windchaser - Breaking the Ice & Ashes to Ashes
    PC NA
  • BretonMage
    BretonMage
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    Loving the detail in the answers. Thank you, Kevin and devs!

    I do love having companions with robust, unique personalities (and professional voice acting), even if it means they're not always to my taste. I recently started playing modded Skyrim again with my customised followers, and while they look fantastic, they do seem a bit bland compared to ESO's companions. Always happy to return to Bastian with his quirks.
    ZOS_Kevin wrote: »
    TM: I can’t go into too much detail regarding our future plans, but I can say that we have big ideas on how we can expand the Companion system in the future, and those ideas certainly involve revisiting Bastian and Mirri!
    ***

    Trying not to get prematurely excited, and failing spectacularly.
  • DragonRacer
    DragonRacer
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    This was an absolute delight to read. Thank you ever so much for pulling it together, @ZOS_Kevin !

    Very cool to get the story about Bastian's tattoos and love hearing he and Mirri will eventually get more content. They are so lacking compared to newer companions and I felt Bastian's storyline, in particular, could really have fun places to go past its current "ending".

    Chalk me up as another person saddened that Sharp can't animate fishing beside the player. I'm actually going to bother with chasing Master Angler now simply because of him, but it felt a little sad/awkward to be fishing and he's just standing there watching. Where's your fishing pole, buddy? :smile:

    Love the suggestion of more things for the companions to do inside houses. I'm especially interested because I adore some of the companions/houseguests so much that some of them, I have built dedicated rooms or entire houses for. Arox has a nice little pad at Hammerdeath Bungalow, Caska's living the pampered Khajiiti life in a room adjoining my Tales of Tribute Gaming Hall (packed with all sorts of special guests from Brahgas to Rigurt to even Mai'q!) at Linchal Grand Manor, and most recently I completed a house for Sharp at The Ample Domicile, complete with a fishing setup outside, a stocked fountain, smoked fish drying and cooking, a ToT table, a loaded alchemy station and storage area, a live fish tank inside, and some furnishings and food in the manner of Murkmire. It would be cool if he could actually interact with the dinner table and grub kebabs, sit at the ToT table pondering cards, watch the fish swimming in his aquarium, and fish in the small pond area outside. Or even just sit on the bench by the water watching and contemplating, perhaps hoping to see a few birds visit the Druidic gourd bird feeder hanging from one of his palms, even if he's given up on trying to accurately sketch them. :wink:
    PS5 NA. GM of The PTK's - a free trading guild (CP 500+). Also a werewolf, bites are free when they're available. PSN = DragonRacer13
  • FayJolyn
    FayJolyn
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    Aaaah I was so looking forward to this. Whoooo! Great to see a bunch of my questions got chosen! Thanks so much for that!
    Many of my questions had Sharp as the focal point since he's my absolute egg bro now for my Argonian Arcanist.

    I'm so glad to hear that you liked the idea of animations for companions inside our homes too! As for fishing together with Sharp, I completely understand that it sounds like a coding nightmare to get functioning. But I'm happy to read you guys thought about it and considered it. :D oh well, I guess I'll have to use my imagination for now. Sharp has captured me the moment I met him on PTS, I actually went looking in Valenwood for the spot where might had arrived at after he got freed from Sondivel's grasp. That's what good stories do. They make you itch to know more to fill in the blanks.

    Bastian's raucous night in Stormhold, huh? xD Oh boy. Haha, this will not stop the rumor mill and you guys know it, haha. I'm glad he likes them at least.

    I liked the answers, just enough info to tickle the imagination. And of course the tease of more companion content in the future in whatever shape that might be. Whatever you guys are cooking up over there, I am looking forward to it. (romance please)
    You guys should do more of these QA thingies. I want to hear you guys talk and be enthusiastic and geek out about your work, and I like having this kind of interaction.

    Lastly little note to @ZOS_Kevin, tag the answers for the dev tracker! It deserves to be seen by as many people as possible! :D Would be a shame to see get lost in the void too soon.

    Thanks for all the work in putting this together!
    Zha'ishii - Kahjiit nightblade (main) PC-EU
  • ZOS_Kevin
    ZOS_Kevin
    Community Manager
    @FayJolyn Thanks for the call out about the tracker. We had it tagged before. Anytime we make an edit to a post, it reverts the dev tracker tag. :( But thanks for the follow up. It should be added now.
    Community Manager for ZeniMax Online Studio and Elder Scrolls OnlineDev Tracker | Service Alerts | ESO Twitter
    Staff Post
  • NotaDaedraWorshipper
    NotaDaedraWorshipper
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    Some of these answers were very disappointing honestly.

    Some aren't even answers and others it feels like they missed the point. Such as the question about unlocking companions. Many just want a bypass/skip thing when talking to them so we don't have to go through their unlocking quests on every damn alt.
    Q: I just want to give them a hat so they don't look the same as everyone else... any thoughts on changing your stance on this?

    TM: We do have discussions about the level of flexibility we want to give users on a Companion’s appearance “from the neck-up” – like hats, or different hairstyles. One of the early design considerations with companions was the balance between "identity" and "customization" for each companion. We wanted to give players as much freedom to customize their traveling companion, while at the same time keeping the identity of the companion the same. We ended up with "no hats" on companions because it hit that sweet spot - where players can make them look any way they wish, but the character and identity of the companion doesn't change because you always see their face.
    This is just as disappointing and lacklustre answer as their reasoning comment about hats was the first time.
    Companions aren't losing their identity because they are wearing a damn hood or hat. Like isn't Isobel's identity about wanting to become and be a knight? Yet she can't wear armour—which includes a helmet—like one? What manner of knight wouldn't protect their head. It's still the character with their identity even if they wear a helmet for protection, or a hood or hat against the weather. I don't want hairstyle change or such for them, just to be able to give them some proper armour or clothing.
    [Lie] Of course! I don't even worship Daedra!
  • LalMirchi
    LalMirchi
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    I wonder if we will be able to see (& track) the combat statistics of the companions. This does not seem to be exposed in the U39 API.
  • Kaelalas
    Kaelalas
    Soul Shriven
    Some of these answers were very disappointing honestly.

    Some aren't even answers and others it feels like they missed the point. Such as the question about unlocking companions. Many just want a bypass/skip thing when talking to them so we don't have to go through their unlocking quests on every damn alt.
    Q: I just want to give them a hat so they don't look the same as everyone else... any thoughts on changing your stance on this?

    TM: We do have discussions about the level of flexibility we want to give users on a Companion’s appearance “from the neck-up” – like hats, or different hairstyles. One of the early design considerations with companions was the balance between "identity" and "customization" for each companion. We wanted to give players as much freedom to customize their traveling companion, while at the same time keeping the identity of the companion the same. We ended up with "no hats" on companions because it hit that sweet spot - where players can make them look any way they wish, but the character and identity of the companion doesn't change because you always see their face.
    This is just as disappointing and lacklustre answer as their reasoning comment about hats was the first time.
    Companions aren't losing their identity because they are wearing a damn hood or hat. Like isn't Isobel's identity about wanting to become and be a knight? Yet she can't wear armour—which includes a helmet—like one? What manner of knight wouldn't protect their head. It's still the character with their identity even if they wear a helmet for protection, or a hood or hat against the weather. I don't want hairstyle change or such for them, just to be able to give them some proper armour or clothing.

    My impression, if I read correctly, is that they are considering allowing hats or different hairstyles, but have not committed to anything yet. Still, I agree with you that the answer was a tad disappointing. Wearing a hat or changing one's hairstyle doesn't magically change their personality or identity anymore than changing their clothes, mounts, etc. I simply don't understand what's keeping them from reconsidering their original stance given the community's feedback and the incredibly flawed logic of not allowing us to customize these things. I can totally 100% understand companions having fixed race, gender, faces, personalities/quirks, etc., but hat/hairstyle customization ought to be enabled.
  • SpiralStorm4
    SpiralStorm4
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    Ilsabet wrote: »
    Love that the tattoo question has been answered: lots of wild theories have been thrown around in fan spaces about that one since Blackwood :D.

    Heh, I wrote up a headcanon for this a few days ago and was debating whether or not to post it. I actually wasn't too far off, but I'm still not sure how to feel about the scenario I envisioned being more or less debunked. :D I do appreciate knowing our boy's official story, though. Maybe I'll still post my thing for giggles. (Edit: Here it is cuz why not.)

    ZOS_Kevin wrote: »
    Q: Will older companions (Bastion and Mirri)) ever be updated to have more dialog and quests?

    TM: I can’t go into too much detail regarding our future plans, but I can say that we have big ideas on how we can expand the Companion system in the future, and those ideas certainly involve revisiting Bastian and Mirri!

    Big ideas liiiiike... adding romaaaaance? :*

    This would be the best idea for the Companions, right now. I have a real girlfriend, who is not only cute, but also just really super-nice to me! And if Z0S can make all of those Companions even a little bit like her, I'll definitely keep on playing this game. :smiley:
  • BretonMage
    BretonMage
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    Regarding the helmet/hairstyle issue: I don't think that wearing a helmet alters the character's identity, but it does impact their recognisability for other players. It's not important to me, but maybe ZOS feels that is important for some reason. Hopefully that will change as a lot of players seem to really want this feature.

    As for hairstyles, I do feel that both face and hair are an important part of a game character's identity. I mean, can you imagine Geralt of Rivia in a bowl or buzz cut? I'd support helmets/hats for companions, but not hairstyle changes.
  • elinien
    elinien
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    BretonMage wrote: »
    As for hairstyles, I do feel that both face and hair are an important part of a game character's identity. I mean, can you imagine Geralt of Rivia in a bowl or buzz cut? I'd support helmets/hats for companions, but not hairstyle changes.

    Did you not visit the barber in Witcher 3? :D

    They already strip companions of their identity to other players by just calling them "so and so's companion" to avoid the weirdness of having multiples in the same location.
    PCNA/EU since 2015
  • elinien
    elinien
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    ZOS_Kevin wrote: »
    Q: Why can't we have more control over their actions? Specifically things like roll dodge with certain weapons.

    PD: One of the goals with companions was to avoid having the player need to micromanage them in combat and for most of the decisions to be made in the equipment and ability loadout beforehand. That being said, we’re always evaluating ways for them to perform more consistently and competently without oversight.
    ***

    It doesn't have to be all or nothing. A choice would be nice, even if more complicated to implement. There are a lot of companion systems out there in the wild that allow the player to decide how much micromanagement they want to do... from zero to obsessive. Some people enjoy that type of thing, and some people don't.

    I personally find the companions to be a pain in the neck to take into combat because they run wild, and I know quite a few people who don't bother. They are like the worst possible pug member. I still keep trying because I really do want to like them. Simple commands like "stay" or "don't go more than X meters from player" would be an improvement. Allowing those who want it to have more control - without burdening those who don't - would be a very nice addition.
    PCNA/EU since 2015
  • KlauthWarthog
    KlauthWarthog
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    I started trying to use companions again a couple days ago, and... yeah. We need a "don't take the enemies all the way to the next town" flag or something of the sort to make ranged weapons useable on them. As it currently is, I ended up just slapping a 1-handed and shield on all of them and called it a day.
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