FAQ about Thrall/Pet Leveling and Limiter

Posted on November 8th, 2019 07:53 AM EST
Dear exiles,

On Tuesday, we announced that we're rolling out Attributes, Perks and leveling for pets/thralls in a future update. You can read the full announcement in this post.

The TL;DR is that this new feature will make individual thralls/pets more powerful and also makes engaging with them more rewarding.

At the same time, we're implementing a limit on how many thralls/pets you can own at once. The details about this limit can also be found in the post we linked to above.

Naturally, a lot of you had questions about pet/thrall leveling and the limiter. We addressed these in a livestream on Thursday, which you can see below, but if you're not able to sit through an hour-long video we've posted an FAQ below the video. You can also check out Multigun's thorough summary of the stream in this thread[forums.funcom.com].



FAQ about thrall/pet leveling and limit:
How many pets/thralls can I have following me after this update?
  • Still just one

Thrall/Pets Limit
Will there be a “grace period” where players can remove unwanted Followers without killing them? How, specifically, will removing old thralls work? Which thralls/pets will take priority when being removed?
  • We are planning to allow for such a grace period when this rolls out, where players can remove old pets/thralls using the Break Bonds command so their total number of pets/thralls moves below the maximum allowed number.
  • When the grace period is over the system will periodically delete a random active pet/thrall. At the moment this happens once every 30 minutes, but it might change before the feature goes live. Remember that pets/thralls in crafting stations (or in storage boxes) won't count towards the max limit and will not be removed.
  • Break Bonds will remove the thrall from the world and leave behind a loot bag with all their old equipment, so you won’t lose those resources.

When does the system start removing thralls?
  • The length of such a grace period hasn't been decided yet, but we will announce this once we've decided.

How was it decided to limit a full clan to 100 followers?
  • The limit was decided after talking it through with programmers and designers and reaching an agreement that would allow for enough protection for a decent sized based and still be a viable gain in terms of performance.

Can you turn this limit off in a single-player game or on a private server?
  • Yes, absolutely. This was mentioned in the post we put up on Tuesday.

Current numbers mean that in a 10 man clan, you can have 10 Followers on average per person. Wouldn't it be better for that clan to disband and have everyone run solo, thereby discouraging large base builds and clans?
  • You can of course do this – but there are other gains for being in a clan than just thrall limits. You won’t be able to help your friends out in PvP situations, etc. The amount will not be increased.

Let’s say we’re a clan of 10. If one of us leaves the clan, will we suddenly lose 5 random thralls? How soon will we lose thralls/pets?
  • The periodicity is set up as a server option. The period is one thrall being purged every 30 minutes (at the moment)

Will PvE and PvP have separate Follower caps? PvE rarely has people covering the whole map like in certain PvP scenarios. The cap seems low for PvE.
  • Official servers will all have the same cap. Private server admins can set their cap to whatever they please. We won't distinguish between PvE and PvP modes.

Will this limit address the thrall decay system and the fact that it only seems to work intermittently? Some PvE servers have a lot of orphaned thralls remaining from departed clans.
  • The limit itself does not interact with the decay system as such; they’re separate systems. We also want to remove orphan thralls but this system does not specifically target them.

Is there going to be a tab available in the inventory/anywhere where we can monitor and view how many thralls/pets the clan owns?
  • Not in this patch, but we have considered doing that in the future (for example, being able to view this through the Thrall Pot and Clan UI)

Will the ability to order thralls and pets to stand down/be passive be implemented as well?
  • Not for this patch.

Will mounts be counted in the Follower limit? What about dancers?
  • Yes and yes.

Will a private server be able to lower the number of Followers even further?
  • You can, yes.

Old Thralls/Pets vs New Thralls/Pets
What happens to my old thralls/pets when the leveling system rolls out?
  • So called "legacy followers" (pets/thralls) that have been placed out in the world will have 0 in all Attributes and 0 potential for growth. The leveling system will not apply to them.

Will “stored” Followers be considered part of the “old system”, or once placed, after this update goes live, be useable under the new leveling system? If I have unbroken thralls “cooking” in the Wheel of Pain, will I be able to level them if I keep them tucked away somewhere until after the update?
  • If you have a thrall/pet tucked away somewhere, and then place them out after the leveling system goes live, they will be able to level up and gain grow their attributes.

Why can’t the leveling system be added retroactively to old thralls?
  • It is technically a much more difficult task to do so because the stat system would need to be split into two separate progressions that would read from separate tables. Additional resources and time would need to be spent on maintaining both new followers and legacy followers. We felt our efforts were better spent on adding new content and systems into the game than spending those resources on legacy followers.

Will I have to “re-farm” all my thralls?
  • Yes, unless you have some tucked away in a box somewhere (or you want to keep the old ones for some strange reason).

How many thralls/pets will I have to farm in order to get the stats growth I want?
  • That’s hard to tell, but the thralls that are currently worthwhile are still worthwhile getting. If you want the absolute maximum super-uber mega-combo of death and health, it’ll take a while longer because you’ll be wanting a maximum growth rate for certain attributes as well as the right perks if you’re going for “pure perfection”.

When you say that old followers will be less powerful, how less powerful? For example, if I take my actual Spinas and I capture a new Spinas, will the level 1 new Spinas be as strong as the old one, or a bit better or worse? How much stronger will a fully leveled Spinas be?
  • Your old thralls will not compare at all. The reason for this is simply put that the system we are putting in is not compatible with already spawned thralls, so they cannot gain access to bonuses from growth or things of this nature.

As with Pets, I would like to also name my Thralls. Can I do that after this update?
  • Not yet, but we want to implement this.

Stats/Stat growth/Leveling
Followers won’t have a Grit stat at all? Can’t you give them Grit but give it a new purpose like increased Health regen out of combat or something?
  • We did discuss it and there simply wasn’t enough time to pull that through. The same goes for Encumbrance incidentally. Also – looking back at it now, it might’ve been a good thing; this way we focus more on the stats that matter more.

What level would non placed thralls/pets be? Like when I pull one out of a Wheel of Pain or an Animal Pen?
  • They all start at level 0 and max out at 20, so you have 20 level-ups. That goes for admin spawning as well.

Does the thrall have to make the killing blow to earn exp? If the thrall has a truncheon does knocking out other potential thralls count for exp?
  • No – the thrall does not have to have the killing blow, but they have to be following you when something dies near you in order to earn XP. Knocking out does not count for XP in terms of kills.

If I kill something does the thrall get exp? If so, how far is the range of the exp the thralls get? Do they simply have to follow me, or can they be stuck somewhere and get exp before they teleport to me if I am killing something?
  • Yes, as long as it follows you, the distance shouldn’t matter

Will equipment that has bonus stats increase the thrall’s stats? Like an axe that gives +5 strength, will the thrall get +5 or a lower amount or none? Same question goes for armor bonuses
  • Yes and yes – you can finally pump up your thrall by putting on actual stat armors and weapons.

Can you get a follower with perfect growth in all stats?
  • No – however, you can get followers that have very very high growth in stats you care about. A perfect 100% growth chance for all stats cannot be reached.

Is the growth system completely random?
  • No – it's based on faction and tier. There is some randomness on top of that. Darfari always start out with some basic points in Survival as an example, and they are generally more prone to have a higher growth for Survival, but you MAY get a Darfari that has a very high growth chance in Strength or Vitality instead (or both)

Are there still going to be “thrall tiers” depending on faction, etc? Are Volcano thralls still more powerful than others or will those differences be evened out?
  • Yes, and yes and yes and no. Tiers still matter – but you MAY encounter a lower tier thrall that – by pure random growth chance – has a higher potential than a higher tier from the same faction. Volcano thralls are still very powerful, as are Relic hunters. We have had cases internally however where I’ve run around with a Tier 2 Exile with 5000 hitpoints simply because the gods blessed him with good genes (perks).

Will Purge Followers be unique from T4 Followers?
  • Not to start off with – we may do this after we see the system live for a while.

How will the leveling system impact pets? Pets are largely less effective than Thralls, as thralls can equip armors and weapons. Will a level 20 elite pet be weaker than a level 20 Tier 4 Thrall?
  • Pets will be – on average – on par with thralls. Their base attacks are modified by their level and strength same as thralls, and in addition, they gain more armor than thralls from base progression since they cannot equip armors.

Will a regular pet be able to “evolve” into a Greater pet?
  • No – however – basic pets can become on par with a greater pet (and in some cases, given enough luck, better) with this system. You may encounter situations where a normal Rhino will beat the snot out of a Greater Rhino (although this is admittedly rare).

Will this in any way alter the equipment decay for thralls? Maintaining armor decay on 10 thralls doesn’t sound like fun
  • Thralls to my knowledge do not lose equipment durability unless someone shoots them with acid arrows.

Will Potion of Bestial Memory also reset the Follower attributes?
  • No

Will followers be susceptible to temperature?
  • No

How will the witch doctor pets that you create in the firebowl cauldron be affected by the new system? Will they still have bleed and poison immunity like undead NPCs? If they do have immunity how is the Survival stat dealt with when they level up, because they would have no use for it?
  • They still have immunity to poison and bleed. Survival still affects them for other things like cripple, or other over-time effects

Perks
The perks that come along with leveling new followers, will they be selectable or are they fixed for a given follower?
  • Randomly selected from a range available to the race – so no, you can’t select which perk to get

Unless I read it wrong, it sounds like perks aren’t guaranteed? Are perks randomized across the board or per Follower class/type?
  • Perks are guaranteed at specific levels (typically level 10, 15, 20). The specific perk your pet gets is not guaranteed.
  • One may get “Jack of All trades”, “Unfliching” and “Bestial Strength” while another gains “Paragon”, “Unholy Strength” and “Bird Brain”.
  • Perks are given out based on the race of the follower – Birds, Reptiles, Humans, Apes, Undead, Canines, Felines, etc.

Are the perks like player perks?
  • No, the perks are stat modifications (so far). We would like to make more perks that alter the gameplay of pets and thralls but it’s too much work for this patch.

Are any of the perks non-combat related?
  • I would say they are all combat related, given that we focused on making stats from pets and thralls be centered around combat.

Others
I play Solo/Co-op on PC. At end-game, I use the keystone to replay (reroll.) The new character uses the old map with all the old buildings, crafters, and followers in place, but they are hostile to the new character. How will this system treat those ‘abandoned’ followers? Will they still be there for my “mock raiding” on old bases? Will they be considered as my new character’s followers in the total count?
  • Abandoned thralls do not count to your new characters maximum. Decay may be a factor but if you’re playing in singleplayer, there are options for that in the “server” settings.

You mentioned in the article that the system will be moddable? Would that include the possibility of player’s choices in which stat to increase for their followers? I don’t understand why this is not an option already.
  • We didn’t want players to be able to pick and choose. Think of perks as flavor that adds a spectrum of random bonuses to followers. The system behind the tables is in code, but levels, specific perks, stats and suchlike are fully moddable.

Will private server admins be able to break bonds with thralls belonging to any player?
  • Only the owner of the thralls can break bonds. Admins can get rid of thralls by Shift-Delete.

Might we see a return to thrall feeding out of necessity?
  • Unlikely. The reason we took that away was that it also produced a certain server framerate overhead, given that it had to keep track of thralls. However. You can now heal your thralls and pets by giving them food from their diet table. Doing so will heal them over time.
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