Companion/Fellow Idea

What do people think of a kind of companion or fellow system in this game? I'm thinking in the vein of a combo of FFXI Adventuring Fellow, SWTOR Companion, and FFXIV 2.0 chocobo (and a bit of the weird WoW system these days with followers that come with you in combat).

The system has a lot of flexibility in how it could be implemented, but in keeping with the so-far known systems, I would propose this:
At around the middle of level advancement, or perhaps a bit earlier, the Fellow system unlocks. To participate in the Fellow system, you must travel to a city (of decently advanced development), where you begin a multi-part quest line. The quest line begins by introducing you to your fellow - at which point you go into Character Creation and can fully customize the fellow's race, appearance, and class. Over the course of the quest line, you interact with the Fellow and get to know them, and, due to whatever circumstance, you end up becoming allies.
At this point the mechanic begins. When in a node of town or higher, you can 'call' your Fellow to your side. Your custom Fellow appears and essentially acts as an NPC party member, operating off of AI to assist you in combat. The Fellow can only be used in solo play (or perhaps duo), which provides solo players an extra level of utility and protection - a Mage might choose a Tank Fellow to defend them, or a Ranger might choose a Cleric to heal them, etc.
This helps to balance out encounters, allowing higher difficulty encounters in the wild that would otherwise be deadly. It also aids players who are typically non-combatants (in PvP) - fights are a bit more fair if each side has access to defensive, healing, and offensive skills.
Fellows would have content restrictions, such as no dungeons, no siege participation, etc. in order to maintain the importance of group play.

I think I saw somewhere that Bodyguards were being toyed with, but I think a more dynamic and interactive Fellow system would be much more of a draw. The Fellow has the benefit of an accompanying story and personality to explain why they're helping, rather than a nameless meat shield. It also provides an interesting counterpoint in the game from a thematic standpoint: in an unknown, dangerous, and mysterious world, you go it alone - but you have an ally with you to brave the storms together.

It would be really fun and challenging to have to maintain the Fellow's gear, while also bearing in mind their AI patterns and how they play differently than a PC would. I would also love the ability to place them into a freehold or housing plot as a kind of decoration, adding an element of immersion and establishing a deeper emotional connection to that space.

The system could always grow more complex than what I've laid out. Perhaps during Fellow creation you also choose a personality, which then influences their dialogue, or even their quest line. Perhaps personality is determined by their class, which may also determine a quest line. Perhaps you can even have multiple Fellows, carefully selecting who will come with you based on the situation - which would be great to alleviate concerns of "Mages' light spell shows traps?! How can a Tank explore safely?".

Overall I think this would be a fun, immersive system that ultimately does wonders for game balance, as well as the game's thematic content. The system could be barebones, with just an ally with an introductory questline to help out, or as complex as multiple Fellows with their own classes, quests, and personalities who each have a niche role.

What do you all think? Do you think this would come into conflict with other systems? Do you think it fits thematically into the game? Do you think it's not worth the trouble of implementing?

Comments

  • a companion would be a great idea i think a familiar will make the whole MMO RPG more fully immersive. :)
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