Thrall AI - Fighters and other such things

I’m loving the new patch much.

I am noticing some weird things regarding Thralls. I am not sure it is a bug so I posted it here to see of others were noticing some of the same Quirks.

  1. I play an Archer so this might have something to do with it.

I have noticed that when I ping an arrow off of an NPC or monster from range my thralls will attempt to engage. Obviously I begin with a power shot so I know the thrall wont go out of the follow range. That is a given.

But: I use my bow heavily in Melee range or daggers should I need too. It looks as though my followers are running past the enemies and not actually engaging.

Spinas - will engage if I use a melee weapon to strike. If I use an arrow he needs to think about it. He might not even draw his weapon. Vathis does the same. Both use 2 handed swords. I switched Vathis to a sword and board and she seems to want to help more.

Snowhunter still wants to kill everything and everyone. But again. If I hit with an arrow as I enjoy doing, Even in moderate range she has to decide if she’s in the mood.

Freya…does not bother doing anything with her bow. She just models.

Now…the fun part. Luba the Luscious. I gave her the posion daggers.

I shoot something and she will engage. She will attack anything. Everyone. It’s mother.

She wants to hear the Lamentation of peoples women and then kill all of the Lamenting Women. All of them. Sure she occasionally does the dagger flip back for 0 reason but then she gets right back into it. She killed an entire Defari camp. I just watched in horror as she mutitaled them.

So my question is if other archers have noticed that if they hit with an arrow it confuses the thralls. And only Melee tends to trigger them.

This also happens to pets by the way. The reaper queen being the derpiest thing in the entire exiled lands.

The bear however is much like Luba. It just wants to slaughter everything.


The Captain from Sepermeru seems fine. I shoot something, and she runs to engage. She then attacks it and kills it, and then proceeds to kill the next thing that may be harboring a grudge against me, even if it hasn’t been aggroed yet. She tried to attack the darkness in the Unnamed City because there was a sneaky skeleton lying down who hadn’t bothered to get up and fight while we beat up its friends. Only when I got very close did the skeleton get up and got summarily un-undeaded by the Captain.

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Hmmm. Wondering then what it could be
Seems odd. Mine seem lethargic and slow to react…if They decide to react at all. They will run to the enemy
But then run past them without a weapon drawn. Wondering if it is something I am doing

I’ve seen other players commenting that their thralls seem to fight best with the same type of weapon they had when you first put them out into the world. But not attacking so reliably if you have changed them.
Eg a thrall that emerges from the wheel with a one handed sword and shield continues to fight better with that or an upgraded sword/shield … but if given a spear will become less reliable about attacking
So by any chance have you swooped our the type of weapon they have?

I’ve tended not to change the melee weapons of any of my thralls and they are unrelentingly vicious to the two crocodiles who live close to me.


I definitely feel like some of my thralls are more apt to fight than others. But there’s even a day to day difference with the same thralls at times. I do have one Cimm 3 fighter, I know I didn’t change her weapon, and she is consistently an absolute murder machine. She’s at my thrall wheels near the mounds and she will buzzsaw half the camp even if I’m just doing something like gathering wood. I had to lock her indoors so people could go thrall hunting.


I guess I’m going to have to deploy a Captian tonight and see how she compares to my beloved Zerker, Conan VI. If you hear sorrowful moaning on the wind, know I’ll be eating roasted Elk King tonight.

I try to keep consistent. But even putting back their chosen weapon has not really changed much.

I had two Captains finish cooking overnight, so I decided to take them for a test-drive.

The first one I initially tried equipping with Blade of the Adventurer (even though he spawned with a spear) and he just didn’t seem to do much, so I swapped him into a Vaulting Pole instead, and he did admirably. That is until I gave him a steel truncheon. With trunch in hand, he would strike a menacing pose and follow about a step behind whomever I was Lovetapping, but never actually swing. Even when I would climb a building, he would never attack with the trunch.

However, the second Captain (who also spawned with a spear), performed exactly as I would have expected. When I handed them a Vaulting Pole, they soaked the sand with blood, and when I gave them a truncheon, they got the whole town knocked up.

The one weird thing I noticed though, is both Captains seemed to have a hard time staying on the ground. In base, they kept sinking into my floor foundations upto their chest (at which point they’d just run in place), and even in the Unnamed City, they were sinking into the floor by the Red Dragon near the Spawning Pools.

Thankfully, both Captains proved capable of executing weapon combos with the spear, so they definitely earned their keep, just annoying that one of them doesn’t believe in taking thralls.

I submit the two-hand-proficient use blunted arrows quite well. :dart:

This is one of those gems that makes me smile like a Cimmerian donkey. I was waist-deep in skellies beside a Darfari Fighter 3 to whom I’d given a greatsword. She was unresponsive, just jogging along. Her native weapon is a 1H sword, so I waded in, took the damage and traded out the 2H for my Telith 1H. She instantly went to work like a windmill. All that was left was some dust and bones.

Like i have described in the bug section, after my different testing, i see thralls perform mostly best with same or similar weapons they come with.
So if they come with a 1h sword, give them a sword, axe, mace, but no 2hander, no bow.

2-handers seems mostly handle well all 2h-sword, spears, but mostly also daggers.
Archers act best as archers, even if coming now again with some melee weapons.

Engaging with an arrow isn’t a good thing after my tests. You can do it well alone, but with a following thrall, this disturb them more than doing well. Like you described it well, they will run toward the target, look at it, maybe ever take some damage, but only enter in action when you draw you own sword and hit first.
Also some fighters are prompter and happier to fight than others, that’s a fact. Why it’s so, no real clue yet.

Using truncheons works mostly very good with fighters, 1h and 2hand fighters. They will of course not combo, it’s a truncheon ! Berserkers do mostly a very good job here.

Tested and awesome: if you want to catch high-hp thralls who can take the residual damage of a conventional weapon, I suggest placing a top-tier blunted fitting on a set of daggers for your recalcitrant 2-hander.

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Intriguing, I’ll have to give that a shot… :slight_smile:


Sounds fun. In your experience, would you recommend higher-damage daggers or lower-damage daggers for non-lethal stabbage? That is, does the base (lethal) damage increase the blunt damage too, or does it just make it easier to kill your target by accident?

I used mundane Yamatai for my first tests. They do low damage, yet they’ll bleed out anybody who’s Captain level or lower.

To be really test-worthy, I took my one-handed-proficient Darfari Fighter 3 to the Galleon. I gave her a mundane Pictish Club with the T3 blunted fitting, and in three short combos we captured a female version of the Captain. This is to simulate losing your high-end truncheon, and having only a lower-damage mace plus a blunting kit.

Finally, I took the new Captain (2470 HP) to the Mounds. With blunted Yamatai knives she is able to subdue 3-5 Cimmerians before I need to give her a break to heal. She usually does a three-slice combo, two to three times, to knock out a T3 Cimm.

I am of the opinion that thralls prefer certain types of weapons, it may not be the weapon they were using when you captured them. I have found most melee thralls do like 2h swords but that does not mean it is their favorite weapons. I found Mei the Blade likes 1h sword and board but her shield skills needs some AI work but she does serious combos with the 1h sword. Snowrunner is a beast with 2h sword.

Giving them good food for buffs helps a lot. You will need to experiment with your thralls to see what they like.

I feed still my thralls, and ever the lower exiles named ones become good killer-machines, of course food will give them a buff in fight, you can see it above theyr head while fighting wiht them. Giving them haunches is mostly fine, and last long, but if not set on diet, all will work, like for us. I gave them ever human flesh, they eat it to, again, if not set to diet.

Weapons, i think they prefer 2handers mostly because they don’t get confused like some with sword and shield, or other mixt. I give them like said several times now still mostly the same or similar weapons to what they came with, but of course stronger, and with some blunts or so.
And after all, it’s fun try different weapons to see how they act. I like also the daggers of course for some, and some hight weapons are working very nicely to. :laughing:

I do not have that much experience with taking thralls with me, but what I observed is this: I had Lian with me, and I had given him the Kingslayer polearm although he originally came with a one-handed weapon.
He fought well, once engaged, but after the fight he tends to hold the polearm in the right hand alone, so maybe he is used to one-handed weapons…

That’s just the way thralls carry their two-handed weapons if they forget to sheathe it after combat. They lose the combat stance but not the weapon, and the game doesn’t seem to have a stance for carrying a (two-handed) weapon out of combat, so the pole just sort of sticks out of their hand. It looks silly.

This happens with thralls who are used to two-handed weapons, too.

Aaaah, OK, thanks for the clarification :smiley: