Mercenaries and a new passive skill slot / gold sink

The unique item Melvern’s Writ got me thinking about mercenaries, and I realized they’d make a great passive skill slot, while also serving as a nice gold sink.

Mercenaries are paid soldiers of fortune, which cost money to hire. Why not use the same principle in the game, and let us hire people via a passive skill? Their resource would be gold, and they could cost a fixed amount, or a % of our total gold, per map. They could even run away, wave and us and laugh, or just stand around while we get attacked if we run out of gold and can’t pay them :slight_smile:

Possible node paths in the tree could include include:

  • orphans -> 1 (or more) orphans run around after us picking up things (gold, items, etc), and the more we pay them, the larger their backpacks become. Sounds like a nice loot filter skill (just saying). If we pay them more they could break down anything under a certain total tier without using runes.
  • mercenaries -> hired soldiers. These are the guys & gals that fight with us, but are not controlled by us. They could be range (bows), melee (wack wack), or wizards (pew pew). These guys would be mostly good for trash mobs and folder for boss fights (if they were more then folder for boss fights, they’d be heroes themselves, now wouldn’t they?).
  • clerics -> a nice source of healing and buffs. The more we pay them, the better the heals and/or buffs. Might be a nice source of more mana (drain X gold per second to get Y mana back, but only till we run out of gold).

Might want to limit mercenaries to certain character paths (druids can’t hire mercenaries, because no one wants to work with a bear, void knights scare away the help, paladins get a discount, etc).

Problems this could solve (or at least help with)

  • a secondary gold sink
  • opens the door to passive & cosmetic skill slots (cosmetic skills -> $)
  • adds some humor to the game (having a mercenary laugh at you because you can’t pay them would be a first for me)
  • gives you an in-game reason to have a loot filter (its not magic, i hired an orphan, now you should feel bad for asking why I have a loot filter… :slight_smile: )


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As I said in the other post mentioning the same topic: If I want to play a pet class I play a Pet class. Then again you totaly miss an option for people who dislike pets at all. If they implement mercenaries in any way shape or form I think there is some dire need for some kind of friendly “ghost” never seen or heared of that works as a simple statstick to get rid of all the nonsence an AI controlled minion brings along.
A pet that picks up stuff will most likely not happen but this is the only meaningfull thing so far but still… Dragging arround loot from Invetory B into inventory A sounds like a bit of a hazzle.

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So your a yes for ghost mercenaries?!

If these are as efficent as the other mercs you can hire yeah. If it isn’t interacting or seen why should I have something against it? Only if it pulls crap I don’t want to pull or if it isn’t where i want it to or fighting vs enemys I never told them it should or it standing in osk skills of enemys and I have to ress it every 10 seconds everything is golden ^^.

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You sound like my old raid leader.

You should’ve heard me in good old wow times when hunters weren’t able to control their pets ^^.

I think Van Helsing did a good job with your companion. You’ve been able to skill her in a way to never see her untill you had a cutscene. That was handled almost like I want it to… sadly she never stfu…

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Thank you for your input, everyone has good points.

So, maybe this should be split between utility & combat minions.

Utility Mercenaries

  • skills could include: pickup gold for us, breakdown items under a certain tier level, put look we are looking for inside our chest, and let us know when said chest tab is full, highlight high level tiered items on the ground, etc.
  • cosmetic minions: closest I can think of here is diablo 3 pets. But maybe we could get tings like funny pets (pets that crake bad jokes, or taunt us with monty python quotes).

Combat Mercenaries

  • Just like other minions, but they drain gold instead of using an item or skill slot. They could be used as a short term power boost to help players with boss fights, but would still be mostly used to level alts faster.
  • I like the idea of ‘ghost mercenaries’ @Irrelevant. Maybe one skill branch can be ‘hire ninjas’. They would act as a dot in the game, but would show random shurikens flying across the screen. They could do things like cc (slow, chill, etc) in addition to dot.

The thing to remember about gold is that its account based, not character based. So, having one high level character should get you enough gold to get a nice merc for leveling alts. This would also encourage me to make more alts if I could run though the campaign faster.

That still sounds like you want pets on non-pet classes…

I’d be more in favour of the non-combat pets, though I would be concerned that they might shatter gear that I wouldn’t want them to shatter ('cause I don’t need more than a few hundred protections/armour/etc affixes).

IMO, they could add the “cosmetic pets” stuff to the cosmetic pets they already have in-game, though more/different pets would probably be nice (for people that care about that kind of thing), though I wouldn’t expect it any time soon.

Agreed @Llama8, I doubt any of the suggestions here would show up for a long time in the game (if they do at all), and I’m ok with that :slight_smile:

I got last epoch in May last year, and I’m really impressed with what this crew has done. The rate of deployments seems like a nice sustainable marathon, and I’m always excited to play each patch. That being said, it’s always fun to throw idea out there and see if anything sticks.

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