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Minion Formation Interface

An idea I’ve always wanted to see in games with summoner archetypes is the ability to assign your minions into various strategic formations around the player.

If, for example, you’re playing a Necromancer with an abundance of minions and you want to have some more organisation in your army of undead, having the ability to open up an interface where you can assign permanent minions to occupy specific positions in a hexagonal grid around the player would be awesome. And you would have information about the minions at your disposal readily available, dynamically updating with skill nodes, items and other sources such as;

  • “Removal of Skeletal Archers/Warriors”
  • +X Maximum Skeleton (Skill nodes, Hollow Finger, Chest affix etc)
  • Summon Skeleton Vanguard (From various skill and passive nodes)
  • Summon Skeleton (Bone Minions from Transplant nodes, only applicable if the Purgatory node is allocated—which makes Bone Minions permanent)
  • Etc

You could place a frontline of Skeletal Warriors in front of the Necromancer, serving as the guards, while Skeletal Vanguards move behind them and can attack past the Skeletal Warriors with their reach advantage while designating your two twinned golems to stand guard at each end of the line of warriors.

And to compliment the frontline you then have the possibility of Skeletal Archers and Mages to join you in the backline where you can fire from relative safety.

While moving through an open field, the army would march in the formation they’re assigned, only breaking formation should a passage be too narrow or if there are too few enemies for the formation to be useful, e.g. when dealing with a boss.

A hotkey to quickly swap between “Formation Mode” and “Attack on Sight” mode would help with any target acquisition issues that might arise from a melee frontline being soft-locked in place while being battered by ranged enemies, releasing them from “Formation Mode” letting them run off to start beat up those pesky enemy mages, while the press of a button would recall them to march with and defend their master for that ultimate “Commander of the Army of Death” fantasy.

And while this all sounds great and amazing on paper (especially as someone that loves RTS games as well), I of course have to admit I have no idea how well it would perform in the actual game. But I would at least love and appreciate if its viability was considered, to rule out whether it would be awful or not lmao.

Thanks for reading.

And in hindsight, various “attack modes” while in “Formation Mode” could also be a thing, perhaps “Aggressive Formation” means minions march with you in formation but once enemies enter their line of sight, melee minions are allowed to run off at their leisure, while “Defensive Formation” locks the melee minions in place and only has them attack enemies that come within attack range or some degree of leash range like 1 or 2 metres beyond their reach is how far they will move to engage in combat.

“Strategic Formation” could be a bit more of a hassle to implement, but the idea being that the AI is smarter with how target acquisition happens; melee minions will stand their ground and defend the player if there are nearby melee enemies but if they cannot attack anything in range, they will move forward to get into melee range of ranged enemies so they don’t just stand there and get slapped with spells or arrows.

Dont recall the formation idea being thrown around here before so thats a new suggestion. Seems a little overcomplicated to be honest, but I can see the benefit for multi-minion builds.

The “attack modes” as you call them have been asked for numerous times and are not limited to your examples of minion formations etc. There are many instances where changing the default stances of minions/companions/summons would be better. Agressive, Defensive, “strategic” etc. all asked for in some way or another on the forums. - e.g. having a manifest armour running around on the screen attacking everything except the mob attacking you is an example of where a defensive stance would be more useful.

A lot of the issues could also be affected by improving the minion/companion AI more. Its much better than it was a few patches ago but minions still tend to do odd things in certain situations that, if fixed/controllable, may indirectly address/affect the need for your suggestions.

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It probably has. At this point I don’t think there’s anything new under the sun.

If the AI could cope with knowing how the player wants to best use the minions then formations (like a shield wall of Skellie Warriors) would be nice.