"Those you’ve chosen to fight alongside you are an interesting bunch. Children after my own heart, flawed in such interesting ways. Eirena is quite vivacious for one with such a burden, don’t you think? I know you agree with me, Kormac. You’d best keep your vows in mind — or maybe you shouldn’t. And that Lyndon. Ha! He makes me laugh. He can warm my bed any night. Reminds me of my second husband, he does."
Followers are the new name of the hirelings that also appear in Diablo III. Unlike their predecessors, they possess customizable skills and new appearances that change by leveling up and being equipped.
There are three followers available in the game — the Templar, the Scoundrel, and the Enchantress. Each have their own reasons for fighting, and a story line that will progress in, but not detract from, the main story arc.
If followers' dialogue are enabled, they will periodically have a chat with the player (a follower's text being mostly the same for all classes, but player's replies will vary). They will also warn the player of approaching danger (elite packs and bosses), comment on key plot events, and shout out loud when they use their skills. In town, idle followers can be sometimes overheard having conversations between themselves.
Only one follower can accompany a player at a time, but even while not at the player's side, the other followers will stay with the player's current level so they can join the player at any time without needing to be leveled up first. With Asheara's Vestments set, one may have all three followers at their side, almost non-stop.
The followers can be customized enough to suit the player's style, depending on which four of their eight skills one decides to develop. Each follower can be equipped with Helm, Shoulders, Chest Armor, Gloves, Bracers, Belt, Rings, Neck, Pants, Boots, main-hand and off-hand weapon, and also a unique class-specific item.
The player needs to be in town to pick up their follower or switch between them, but one can dismiss them at any time. If another player joins a game, the follower automatically leaves in 20 seconds, returning to town, and a window pops up to ask if you want them back as soon as the group is disbanded.
If a follower's health drops to zero, they do not die, and do not need to be resurrected: instead they are knocked unconscious and automatically revive in 30 seconds with full health. While in this state, however, they cannot provide active buffs and aura-like passive buffs.
Should the player venture too far from a follower (for example, being separated by impassable terrain), the follower will teleport to them in 5 seconds.
Followers may accompany the player at any area, except the campaign-only fight with the Prime Evil (they are trapped immediately after the combat starts, forcing the player to fight alone). In Adventure Mode, the Prime Evil can be battled with the follower as normal.
Gear and stats
- The Templar requires Strength to increase his damage.
- The Scoundrel requires Dexterity to increase his damage.
- The Enchantress requires Intelligence to increase her damage.
- Much like normal classes, Strength and Dexterity increase all Followers' Armor, Intelligence increases their Physical and Elemental resistances and Vitality increases their Life.
- Followers receive 2.5 times more Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence and Vitality per stat point.
- You can re-specialize (Respec) your Followers at any time, for free, even in combat.
- Some Follower skills have their effect scaling with the Follower's main stat, reaching the maximum at 25,000 main stat.
- Followers are able to equip Helm, Shoulders, Chest Armor, Gloves, Bracers, Belt, Rings, Neck, Pants, Boots, main-hand and off-hand weapon, and also a unique class-specific item. The Templar can also equip Shields.
- The Enchantress focuses on two-handed weapons, while the Scoundrel utilizes ranged weaponry, and the Templar makes use out of one-handed weapons and a shield. No follower can dual-wield two one-handed weapons.
- No follower starts their journey with an innate Critical Hit Chance, though the Scoundrel can gain some of that through the Anatomy skill.
- Templar Unique Item: Templar Relics.
- Scoundrel Unique Item: Scoundrel Tokens.
- Enchantress Unique Item: Enchantress Focuses.
- Followers share 20% of their Magic Find, Gold Find, and Experience stats from the items with the player.
- Because followers only have access to the two weapon slots, jewelry slots, and their special item slots, players may find that specializing a follower for critical hit effectiveness will prove harder compared to the Nephalem hero. If it must be done, the Templar is the player's best bet, since he can use all item slots allowed. With all possible item slots prioritized for critical hit chance, he can have around 34% Critical Hit Chance. The Scoundrel can sport up to 23.8% Critical Hit Chance, and the Enchantress can have 22% Critical Hit Chance.
- To make matters worse, the Critical Hit Damage stat is hard-capped at 150% for a follower. Once that value is reached, the follower is better off with a higher Critical Hit Chance or Attack Speed. This knocks off the effectiveness of an Emerald in a weapon socket, compared to a Ruby.
- Followers benefit from set bonuses but not from Legendary Gems.
- Most stats are effective on followers, such as elemental damage bonus, cooldown reduction, Area Damage, bonus vs. elites etc. Exceptions are all resources-related stats (as followers simply do not have resources) and movement speed (as followers always move with the speed of the player). Skill bonuses are useless (for obvious reasons), and Elemental Skill Damage boosts are of very limited use (although Kormac may benefit from Physical, Lyndon may have some use for Poison, and Eirena is most likely to benefit from Arcane).
- In the endgame, it is a popular tactic to equip both the follower and the player with a Unity ring and give follower an item that makes them immortal (Enchanting Favor, Skeleton Key, or Smoking Thurible). It effectively doubles the player's Toughness. However, it will only work in single player, as in multiplayer, followers are automatically dismissed.
- Items such as Oculus Ring or Overwhelming Desire will be effective on followers, allowing them to boost the player's damage by special effects. Considering their naturally puny damage output in the endgame, it may be a good option for glass cannon builds.
Kormac the Templar
Kormac is primarily a melee warrior who can be built into a tank to support weaker classes. However, he can also be turned into a healer if you do not require a tank.
The Templar is not a Paladin; he is a new type of righteous warrior in the Diablo universe with differing ethics and ideals.
The Templars are holy warriors, fighting for justice and eschewing the dangers that lead to cultism and demonic possession by espousing self-denial. They do not merely pay lip service to protecting the realm; they are battle-trained and experienced to a man, and the brooding, dedicated Kormac is a paragon among them.
Kormac came to the order as a young man, and was quickly molded into the ideal Templar, adapting naturally to an ascetic way of life. His devotion is particularly unshakable, even for one of his order, and, despite his respect for battle prowess, his disdain for those who don't share his high moral standards is readily apparent.
Though Kormac's ways will not always be your own, your aims and goals align, and so he will fight alongside you to purge the world of the insidious darkness that would hide from the light of Heaven.
Kormac gradually falls in love with Eirena the Enchantress and is in constant conflict with Lyndon the Scoundrel.
Lyndon the Scoundrel
The Scoundrel is meant to be a humorous and sarcastic character, as would suit his title.
Where strife festers, opportunists are rarely far behind. A land caught between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells overflows with rogues and rakes, and both of those words certainly describe Lyndon.
The recent years of his whirlwind existence have been spent running from place to place, conning locals, seducing ladies, and relieving the unwitting of their drink and money. The threat of imprisonment or an armed guard has never dissuaded Lyndon from living a life of larceny.
Dedicating himself to a conflict against an endless stream of cruel demons and rampaging beasts seems out of character for a man so outwardly charming and unhesitatingly selfish. There must be more to Lyndon than his lust for wine, women and wealth. Mustn't there?
Eirena the Enchantress
Eirena is primarily a magic caster, but she will also be able to cast spells on the player to enhance them temporarily.
Eirena’s mastery of enchantments and steely bravery in battle belie her youth – but the truth of her origin reconciles these qualities.
Eirena hails from the distant era of the Mage Clan Wars, where she was part of a clandestine sisterhood of magic-users known as the Hand of the Prophet. When the leader of the sisterhood, the eponymous Prophet, foresaw a great disaster that would occur fifteen hundred years in the future, Eirena and her sisters pledged their lives to preventing the tragedy. The sisters’ pledges were far from mere words, and the Prophet placed the entire sisterhood in a magical slumber to preserve them until the appointed time.
Recently, Eirena awoke to find herself in a world of portents and turmoil, a land vastly changed from the one she remembers. Her sisters are dead, and the Prophet is nowhere to be found.
Despite the shock of her situation, Eirena’s purpose is clear: she has given herself over to a new age in the hopes that she will discover its salvation. Could her uncommon magic prove to be the key that will help you expel demon-kind from Sanctuary?
In-game, a variety of characters join the player as temporary followers at scripted points in the story, in addition to whatever normal follower is assigned. Temporary followers follow the player, attack enemies and can be affected by buffs, but are invulnerable, and will leave and re-enter the party as the story dictates. Haedrig Eamon, Leah, Covetous Shen, Adria, Myriam Jahzia and Tyrael serve as temporary followers at various points in the story, as do the three actual followers in the quests immediately preceding their formally joining the party. Zoltun Kulle is an unusual temporary follower who shows up only when he has something to say, and does not attack enemies.
Patch 2.7.0 introduced a new revamp for the Follower system.
Players can now equip Followers with a total of 14 different item slots which include the Follower Relic Items, Helm, Shoulders, Chest Armor, Gloves, Bracers, Belt, Rings, Neck, Pants, Boots, main-hand and off-hand weapons.
Emanate allows the player to gain the intended effect of certain non-combat Legendary Powers and Set Bonuses when equipped on the hired Follower. The current list of items with Emanate capabilities are the following:
- Broken Crown
- Homing Pads
- Spaulders of Zakara
- Custerian Wristguards
- Nemesis Bracers
- Gladiator Gauntlets
- Gloves of Worship
- Dovu Energy Trap
- Rakoff's Glass of Life
- Avarice Band
- Krede's Flame
- The Flavor of Time
- Sage's Journey (3-piece set bonus)
- Cain's Destiny (3-piece set bonus)
Note that none of these properties will work while the follower is incapacitated, so ensuring with an item that makes them invunerable (Enchanting Favor, Skeleton Key, or Smoking Thurible) is important.
Also note that the only way for a Follower to benefit from Ring of Royal Grandeur is to directly equip it on them, the Follower doesn't gain the ring's effect if it is equipped on the player or in the Horadric Cube.
In an early concept of Diablo III, followers were more akin to hirelings, in that they could be hired, and could be permanently killed.
- 2013-08-25, GamesCom 2013 interview – Josh Mosqueira talks about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Return of Pandemonium Fortress & Necromancers. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2013-09-07
- Diablo III: patch 2.7.0 preview.
- 2010-02-02, Diablo III: Gameplay Trailer. YouTube, accessed on 2013-09-07