Thinking about Bearer thralls

The aim of this post is to avoid recriminations and just focus on the information. I think it could be useful for the devs to understand why many of us dislike the idea of the change to Bearers’ HP by examining how we use them.

Obviously, the first category of use, and the only one that some players use, is as mobile storage - clearly (based on this change if not before) Funcom’s primary intended use for them. That’s fine - although making them too flimsy (especially with the Flee function not yet operating quite right) will make them somewhat limited even in this capacity. If the intention was to strictly limit them to this role, it might have been better to lock them as non-combatants, like horses (though I do not believe that option would please the majority).

The other primary way in which they were used was as ‘combat thralls’ - and I wonder if maybe there has been some misunderstanding here on the devs part about what this means and why. It has not been uncommon over the past couple of years that many of us, if asked, would list bearers among our favourite combat thralls. Similarly there have been videos about why they are one of the best combat thralls. That could give the devs the impression that Bearers were considered powerful in combat, but that is not really what was meant.

A good (powerful) fighter thrall (such as berserkers or volcano types) could and still can handle pretty much any PVE content with little to no player input. (While a ‘bad’ fighter thrall tends to have such low HP now that they are simply too flimsy.) (Obviously this all assumes they fight at all - but AI issues are a different topic.)

An alternative, of course, is to go solo - but that can make combat, especially group fights, extremely punishing - a situation that is exacerbated by the recent increases to enemy targetting accuracy and the removal of hyper-armor.

Bearers represented a third option - weak damage output, but high survivability - that was valuable to many of us - it allows us to have an extra body in the fight to split the aggro, that we can rely on to survive while we (the player) get on with doing the actual fighting. This seems a good alternative, and more options are generally desirable in a sandbox game. (I can understand why the old old bearers, that also had good damage output, needed toning down - they were out of balance - but since their damage output was reduced they seemed to be in a pretty well-balanced spot.)

@AndyB I normally try to avoid tagging you, since I know you are busy - but I wonder if you could perhaps expand on why it is that the development team is not “happy” with bearers having high HP? Perhaps if we better understood why the change is desired, we might be more able to accept it.

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