This suggestion is for post-launch (scheduled for May 8, 2018)… Right now, players can capture thralls, ‘domesticate’ them, and set them to work. And currently, a player can order a Thrall to ‘follow’ providing assistance during one’s adventuring. So I was thinking, what if it could be taken a step further…?
What I propose is allowing a player to not only command a Thrall to follow, but to develop a single Thrall as a sidekick, companion, henchman, or whatever term works. I’m sure some mod-maker would work on giving players multiple such Thralls, but for multiplayer purposes, a player can only have one Thrall companion (at a time).
Such Thrall companions could be customized to the player’s liking:
- customize appearance (applying the character creation tool to the Thrall, the player can alter the appearance to one’s preferences)
- customize armor and weapon choice (this feature is pretty much in game already)
- customize attributes (a Thrall companion would have strengths and weakness like a player character; how many points I would leave up the developers to decide with game balance in mind, but allow players to make meaningful choices). This way, players can ‘design’ a Thrall to fulfill a specific combat role (such as putting points into Accuracy if that Thrall is to use a bow/crossbow or putting points in Strength if that Thrall is to use a melee weapon or putting points in Encumbrance if that Thrall is to be a ‘pack mule’)
- customize feats (a Thrall companion would have a few ‘optional’ recipes and techniques that may help during an adventure)
- customize AI tactics (a Thrall companion would be controlled by the computer, but the player would be able to set the Thrall to offensive-melee, offensive-ranged, defensive-melee, defensive-ranged, or passive stances).
- able to ride a mount (when mounts get to be introduced)
- able to command the Thrall companion (follow/assist, wait here/stay, move to, attack) - that way if a player is playing ranged, he can command the Thrall to ‘tank’ for him or if the player is playing melee, he can command the Thrall to cover from a distance with a bow/crossbow… I would also suggest allowing a Thrall to cover from a short, medium (default), or long distance so players can choose what works best for their playstyle
Thrall companions would match the player’s stance as much as possible when following/assisting. For example, when the player draws a weapon, the Thrall companion draws a weapon. When the player sheaths their weapon, the Thrall companion sheaths their weapon. When the player walks, the Thrall companion walks. When the player stops walking, the Thrall companion stops walking.
Thrall companions, in hard mode, would also require rest/sleep, food, and water. They would also suffer from the environmental effects (heat, cold, sandstorms, etc.). Thus, a player would have to take care of their Thrall companion just like they would themselves. I suggest this in ‘hard mode’ so that there would also be the option to turn this part off (since not everyone would enjoy micromanaging an NPC).
I’m sure there’s more that could be done with Thralls, but I hope that helps get the ideas flowing.