First off, I love the Thrall Leveling concept. However, there are some things with it that I at least feel are not optimal. Some of it feels more like a bug than an intentional choice (“Archers” with zero Accuracy for example), but I decided to wrap the whole thing up as a suggestion, since there’s definitely parts of it that are not objectively faulty.
TL/DR: Make all factions viable as endgame thralls.
In the following, I am only talking about “T4”, ie named, thralls. I am perfectly okay with the current system for “run of the mill” T1-T3 thralls. If I use “tier” anywhere below, I mean “tiers within T4”, since it’s always been the case that the visible tier (I, II, III or named/T4) meant way less than “faction” or zone of origin when it came to thrall stats.
I had hoped that the Thrall Leveling system would put T4s from all factions on a more even footing, eventually, with the “lower level” T4s requiring more effort to reach their maximum potential (to offset the relative ease of capturing them), but alas it was not to be.
There’s various ways this could be achieved, for example:
having “harder to capture” thralls start at (say) level five or ten, ie closer to their end-potential, while lower-tier nameds would require all the work of starting from level zero (don’t get hung up on the numbers)
having high-end T4s gain less per level-up, meaning they start out stronger at level zero, but end up in a similar place at level twenty to low-tier T4s. The downside there would be the added risk of “dying young” which the low-tier T4s would have to deal with until they got enough levels under their belt, which would in turn mean you’d have to level them slower if you wanted to ensure their survival.
something much better that I haven’t thought of
Am I way off here, or what are people’s thoughts?
I love it. I never cared for the volcano only meta, leaving all lowbie t4 unused and unwanted. Hell, i only ever used female berserkers, and even them was strong enough for anything that the game might throw against them. I am currently enjoying Mei the blades company thx to the leveling. She’s now more then enough. Next up will be Anna rhe reaver or what ever shes called. But then again, i dont care about using non meta thralls, others might not want to miss out on the uberthralls.
Yeah. There are lots of cool named people in the lower-tier factions, and it would be great if we could make them useful in late-game as well, especially with a limited number of thralls available per player/clan. I want N’Batu, Sully and Conchaka of Hyrkania to be worth “recruiting”.
But there’s a flip side to this coin, too. If we could train, say, T4 Exile fighters to be on the same end-game level as Volcano thralls, it could give people too easy access to end-game companions in early game. I mean, if as soon as you get the level to make a lesser Wheel of pain, you go and knock out a named Exile fighter spawning at the Shattered Bridge, then train him/her up to level 20, you could have a world boss killer before you’ve ever crossed Noob River.
Now, I would be fine with this, but I can understand that it may go against Funcom’s design philosophy.
Aye, that’s a concern, and something that would need to be handled - perhaps by having low-level enemies stop giving XP past a certain level (a tried and tested method to prevent exactly this problem in lots of games).
I guess the truth’s somewhere in-between. It would take away from the sense of achievements one gets by obtaining the hard to get ones from volcano, or berserkers, if every single one would end up the same at level 20. What would be the point in going anywhere if several guaranteed named spawns are within easy reach and final result is the same? Different leveling curve is an incentive, but not sure if it’s enough; people apparently max out new thralls in a day or so (I took longer in UC, still trying to figure what’s the difference and try the route suggested in that topic, but I trust people that it’s possible).
On another hand, yes, there’s no incentive right now to get those lower-tier named fighters - even in bulk, for base defense, Relic Hunters aren’t that much harder to get, not enough to justify going for weak named fighters from under Shattered Bridge instead. It would be great to give such incentive, but I’m not sure if manipulating the progression curve (and making end result the same) would do the job.
Maybe there are some auxiliary perks to be given to those T4s to make people want to have them. I’m still trying ot think of best ones, but, just off the top of my head - say, a few extra inventory slots would make for a desirable “hunting companion” (unless they’ll decide to make bearers worth something again) to go out and hunt rhinos and elephants. Make Backstabber have good damage bonus to attacks from behind (would make him a good choice for those who like to tank bosses themselves), Beastmaster good against beasts and give Kruth One-Blow a chance to land a critical strike. That, and maybe some decorative perks - give Howler a trademark battle howl and let Cannibal Brute stay a giant after conversion. ^^ Maybe that would make them ‘collector thralls’ desirable to have.
Hmm, yes, well sure. Though the flipside of the coin is that with the current system, 90-some percent of the game’s NPCs are functionally useless, since they’ll never be even close to viable at endgame which, let’s face it, is where most of us spend the majority of our time.
There will always be those who blaze through new content in a heartbeat, the same goes for new dungeons, mechanics, areas (when those were still coming).
I’m not sure either, I’d be very interested to hear other ideas on how to make more T4s viable at endgame, without making the harder areas pointless. Different progression is just one way, probably the easiest/laziest (certainly not best) way.
Like the idea !
and what about new high grade consummables / potions for thralls ?
unlocked via new recipes, which would require rare ingredients
or/and only craftabled via T4 named thrall from specific faction, on specific workbenck (altar, torturer’s workbench ?)
A taskmaster or a priest from New Asagarth could craft a special something with a nordheimer heart for example, which would give a named thrall of lower faction a boost in stats.
They could decrease spawn rates… not the best option… i like the idea of adjusted perks. Or while not making them quite as strong as volcano thralls make them maybe a tier lower or somewhere in between
Bad idea as many low faction T4 fighters or archers have FIX spawns…
I had an army of NBatu protecting my base until I was volcano ready…
Maybe lower factions should level faster… Like really faster (or needs way less XP).
But a Level20 crim, RHTS or volcano should always be stronger than a level20 exile, pirate or dogs of deserts.
And maybe differate between this 3 end content thralls. RHTS are rather easy to get… Even for low levels, so I would more or less:
Strongest: Volcano/Votaries of Skelos
2nd: Cims/Forgotten tribe
3rd: RHTS/relic hunters
4th: New Asagarth/Heirs of the north
5th: Dogs of desert
6th: black hands
8th: Darfari cannibales
The Top 4 could switch if we are talking about archers. There would be RHTS/relic hunters #1.
Love it. I think a combination should be nice. That is, some named can be captured and are say lvl 5 already. Those named are the already famous ones, like sully near the ship. Perhaps add some lore about them in the world that explains what they are famous for. Also, have the second idea, high-end T4 start stronger but will end up the same strength as a low end T4 at lvl 20.
The volcano is wierd for me. People living in an active volcano? Lizard people, ok, but regular people? Imo the volcano should be reworked.
I think aloud there, but if I try to dig into my previous idea…
Imagine a sort of internal meta-level for factions :
With the right conditions (the right ritual, a particular consumable, etc.), the thrall can gain a “faction level” and a permanent boost in its stats.
Or all thralls could start more or less with the same stats (or a significantly reduced gap), but this faction level would determine the maximum level reachable by the thrall:
Example: faction T1> max level 4, faction T2> max level 8 … to faction T5> max level 20.
Once again unlocked with the right conditions.
So your N’batu level 8 (max level for faction T2) might need a volcano rare drop to unlock the faction T5 (and continue to progress).
And the process could be as long as capturing a votaries of skelos thrall.
I imagined a “special recipe” for altars or torture tables to raise their interest at the same time, but it could be anything.
I like the idea of faction levels. Or perhaps having faction perks. Named has the possibility to adding three to four faction perks that is unlocked with the right condition. The right condition can players find out by reading lore dropped by that faction. I like the idea of collectable perks, perhaps that this N’Batu gets an unique battle call or combat move with a faction perk.
It has always bugged me that it is possible to capture a multitude of, say, N’Batu to enslave. But that is for a different discussion.
Good ideas iit. Faction specific perks could be an elegant way to give all T4s worthwhile stats and still have the harder to get thralls be worth the effort. However, having different factions start at different levels would only be worth it thralls took a long time to level, which could be a massive disincentive to getting low level thralls and bring us back to where we currently are with the race to the volcano.
The real problem isn’t really balancing the thralls against each other, it’s balancing what a thrall offers the player vs how hard they are to get. Right now, harder to aquire thralls offer inflated health and damage numbers, which is currently far more important than anything else.
Maybe faction thralls could get a perk granting a damage boost vs creatures from their region? That would make the exiles around noob river better at fighting off crocs than the Votaries, giving them a reason to remain relevant.
I have the same feeling
From my singleplayer rp perspective, i can collect t4 thralls to decorate my city/fortress if i’m in the mood to build something, but I am more eager to “recruit” unique companions through the course of the game (to have some kind of Razma / Braga experience) with the volcano as a final step.
But of course, with different playstyles is not that simple…
less RNG, maybe with some special perks, seem a good beginning for named thralls.
One tactic i use is to fill thralls with special fish. I cannot say for sure that it does something diferend but for sure the thrall is using them. Another thing that i notice is that when i remove the weapon from the thrall it seems tha it is holding exactly what i have in my hands at the time. That make me thing that the experience that your thrall takes is parallel to you. Most of the times we use bow to bring the enemy close and after this at the time of the fight we use bow to heal the thrall. I believe this is the reason our thrall takes the accuracy perk. On the other hand when i was training an archer i was fighting and tanking all the fight and my archer took the perk of strenth. I would be very happy if someone else noticed something like that to prove my theory. Thank you
The perks idea would be the easiest to code. It would be a different table based on tribe. Maybe tie it to our 5th perks.
Str-- Blood-mad Berserker
whenever thralls hitpoints fall below 25%, they deal 50% more melee damage.
Agi–stolen from survival Bronzed Physique
all direct combat damage you take is reduced by 10%.
Vit-- Gluttonous Gains
eating food now counts as a healing potion, and provides a 10HP healing burst at the beginning of the regeneration effect.
every headshot deals 50% more damage.
Srv–4th Antidote of One
invulnerability to poisons and diseases. Strength of detrimental status effects are reduced by 20%. (Immune to: Noxious Gas, Gas-Orbs, corrupting attacks, Alcohol Poisoning, Food Poisoning)
And maybe a few others
Str-- Slice and Dice
each light attack you do inflicts 10% more damage.
each heavy attack now deals 25% more damage.
increases the healing effect of consumables and dancers by 100%.
Acc-- Steady Hands
all ranged and thrown weapons do 10% more damage.
Crevice in the Armor
increases the armor penetration of any weapon you wield by 30%
tie the best 5 to each tribe, then the others as your RNG lows. These are rolled at Level 20 instead of the normal perks and only for named thralls.
I got me a Archer Thrall from the Purge yesterday and cooked her. What a surprise to see Accuracy at 0 and 54% chance at level so here a Purge Archer better with a weapon than a bow. Then another sad blow when hit level 10 and got -3 Str and +5 to Survival. They should get experience by what they doing and what weapons and shields carrying during that level period. I shot a bow repeated should see higher Acc, if I weapon attack see Str, if I use shield see Agi you get my point I hope. I agree with random but as a trainer I should be able to train to an area and improve by training than random still doing affect of my training.
I personally wouldn’t want it to be tied directly to how they leveled, because then everyone would just meta bow their thralls. Plus how would you force a thrall to survival /agility /vitality grow?
I do believe their type should matter when getting the base, or at least let us know what a thralls base is. For all we know the damage from bows by archer may be 4 x a fighters, and the % then really helps, even at low end (10-20). right now all we see is 40% melee and 20% bow.
It could be 30 melee dmg + 40% = 42 ttl dmg
and 60 bow dmg + 20% = 72 ttl dmg.
WhatMightHaveBeen would it matter if every player preferred bows, I think not but myself I like more bow base guarding with fighter in front of a bow or two. While running around I like to have a fighter doing quest stuff but to level bow you have to use them in your travels as I have done with Freya. It would be fair either way as all player would be under the thrall development code on how it work. NOTE you can just keep getting thralls until you have your blend as I dumped a lvl 15 thrall as not like stats.