How does the game know I or a thrall are running agi or str build?

Is it just which number is higher in stats? It doesn’t seem to be weapon choice. What if the str & agi numbers are the same?

I was running a relic hunter and realized, even after leveling it to 20 on strength food it still had much higher agility, so I converted and rerolled.

Side question: why are the choices for agility weapons so poor for thralls? There’s nothing to equal the effectiveness of a 1h mace or 2h sword.

Other side question: are the hits that thralls throw completely random? Seems to be.1h mace and 2h sword do well in part to mostly having wide strong hits to choose from

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There is a randomw “move set” assigned to various thralls and tiers. There is no rhyme or reason, but just a random pull of different combo attacks, light, light, heavy etc.

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It is determined by the weapon itself. Every weapon has a strength and agility damage modifier.


For strength weapons, strength gets full bonus, agility gets 10% bonus.

For agility weapons, agility gets full bonus, strength gets 10% bonus.

Tools and focuses are balanced.

NPCWeapon includes all weapons used by pets. This is highly notable because it has a 0 modifier on agility. This means agility does nothing for pets. Even pets with ranged attacks still use NPCWeapon. Mounts are the only pets that get any benefit from agility, which is to make using a bow while mounted easier.

Thralls use normal weapons that you give to them, so they get the same bonuses players do. Their primary attribute gives full bonus, their secondary attribute gives 10%.


Thank you very much, makes perfect sense!

The funny thing is, the choices of agility weapons for players is nearly as bad. I say nearly because we can make on the fly adjustments and intuition that a computer never could to compensate for the weaknesses.

But the short answer is that agility weapons lack hyperarmor. Meaning the attacks of thralls frequently get interrupted. Players can time our attacks to mitigate that. Thralls never can. They have no clue what their target is doing, only where it is.

The long answer… is a little more insidious. So I’m going to try and explain why this is, but I admit up front I’m not an expert on this. There’s modders with a far better understanding than I have who could probably give better specifics (so far they haven’t corrected me on the issue, so I assume I’ve not done too badly explaining this in the past, but I’m aways going to put that caveat up until I’m more comfortable with these tables).

But how it works is there is this table NPCs pull from to tell them to use Light, Heavy, or Offhand (kick, block, throw, leapback, or special attack… all depending on what weapons are equipped). Assuming PC mouse and keyboard controls, whether they Left Click, Right Click, or use Control (default controls).

Here’s what that looks like:

The entries we probably want to look at are 1hsword, Mace, WarAxe, 2HHammer, 2HPike, Dagger, 2HSword, Ranged, Fists, and Javelin. More specifically we want to think about what is NOT on that table: Short Swords, Katana, and 2-Handed Great Axes.

These weapons use a set of combos either from another weapon, or the generic ones listed near the top. The issue of course, is these weapons have unique combos and you can’t just use regular weapon combos with them. For example the Short Sword has a combo that uses Heavy, Light, Light, Light, Light, Light. Where you lunge forward with a slash and then stabby stab in quick succession.

You will never see a NPC do that, of if they do, its not often and they don’t do the full set of stabs (since the combo is longer than the normal 4 hit combo). Same thing with the Katana, you won’t see them do the old multihit dash special… or dash attacks in general. Here’s why:

To do the normal dash you hold special and then light attack. There is no hold special then light in the ComboPresetTable. There’s no special (called offhand in the table) then light to even do the dash. Now I’ve seen modded thralls do it, but I assume those mods add their own combos (which makes sense since they add new weapon types that their NPCs can also use).

Now let’s look at the two handed sword real quick:

We can infer from this entry that a thrall using a Two Handed Sword will do the following Combos:

Light Heavy Light
Light Heavy Heavy
Offhand (Overhead swing)
Light Light Light Light
Light Light Light Heavy

It will randomly pick one of those attacks. Now those of you with a keen eye will noticed there is Bas and Adv versions of all the listed weapons. Generally speaking, these are combo sets available to Tier 1 and 2 thralls (Basic) and Tier 3 and 4 thralls (Advanced). But I only know that works on wild NPCs. I don’t know how it works for converted thralls. The weird thing is each NPC has two entries, one for one handed weapons and one for two handed and they use only those two for everything.

Unfortunately my power flickered while writing this, so I no longer have the devkit open to show this.

Finally the part I want to talk about is Offhand. Remember this activates Block, Kick, Throw, Special Attack, depending on what weapon.

You’ll notice in the screenshot above, that Offhand is in by itself. Its like this for every weapon type. This means regardless of what is happening, they will randomly pick that for their attack. So if they have a shield, they are blocking instead of attacking. If they are using daggers they leap back. Etc.

This is why thralls with shields are bad. If they don’t have a shield on, but have a one handed weapon on, they may kick. But the kick is over quickly and they will shortly choose another attack. If they have a shield, they may stick to blocking for a while. If they choose it again (RNG sucks sometimes) they will just stand there and block. There’s also the chance of their target dropping off the agro list while blocking and they get stuck (either from a bug or the target being killed by you). Its a bug that randomly happens.

Two handed swords are okayish because the overhead swing is a ton of damage when it connects. And if they have agro, the target will be in their face. So not bad. Normally. Sucks when a big attack is coming and they get nailed, even if you’re trying to tell them to move back. Thralls only respond to commands once their combo is over. Yep, like players, thralls cannot cancel animations. Never have been able to.

The worse offender is throwing axes. Since its a random special attack used in a melee combo. Thralls will never use these properly at range. They will use the new combos when coupled with a sword, mace, or axe. But they won’t use the special combos (like the whirlwind attack). Or if they do, not correctly. There’s no special entry for these as you can see.

To put is shortly, thralls are dumb. We all knew that. But now we have a little more understanding to why they are dumb. As for the AI being improved, there’s no AI to improve. They simply attack hostile targets and randomly use combos. There’s no ifs or buts about it, or in programming terms no if than else. Just pathfind to the target and execute combo after combo until something dies.

Wild NPCs follow this logic too. So any improvement to followers will improve them too. I don’t think this is a bad thing. But someone might who isn’t in the know if that ever happens. Hopefully it does. But any improvement would be an undertaking and a half.

They could do minor improvements by giving some of these new types of weapons their own entries. Assuming… thralls don’t just inherit the base NPC attacks for their type. I was looking at the SpawnDataTable before my power flickered and noticed that NPCs have only the two entries mentioned.

If this applies to regular thralls, then the myth of thralls favoring certain weapons has some merit. But its mitigated by the fact that the attacks they use aren’t really nuanced anyway. And with most weapons it doesn’t matter. It only really matters for weapons with unique special combos.

But at the end of the day, you just want them to use One Handed Maces for the hyperarmor, or 2 Handed Swords for the area attacks and its the least derpy of the two handed weapons. You can kinda get away with Daggers for an agility weapon. Thralls aren’t terrible with them. But if they pull agro, they won’t be doing much damage.


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