Summoner companions.

AuthorMessage
Ensign
Nov 18, 2011
4
Is it just me or do the summons your companions get (like Old Scratch's Bone chant and the Crab hermits Summon Crustecean Crawlie) become utterly pointless after L15 or so? I never paid much attention until tonight. I'm Level 28 and Old scratch is L26. Was doing the duck of Death fight on boot hill brought in Old scratch for some relief summoning to help with all those mobs that are in the fight. Summon up the skeleton and in the firrst round it takes one hit and dies. So I made him first mate and the next fight I summoned the skeleton. ITS level 9??? So the summons don't scale apparently? I mean seriously at least my Skarakeet pet levela and at level 28 and has enough health to last a couple rounds.

I'm not looking for a free companion for every fight but the summons creature should scale to the summoners level health wise at least if not damage wise. The only thing I used these summon's for early on was a free target for the enemy to draw fire from my compaions to do the real damage. Now thier useless because a L9 skelton or crawlie basically gets 1 shot.

If nothing else the spell should be change to a better version when the companion gains a promotion.
Am I the only one annoyed with this? and if this has been posted before my apologies.

Community Leader
It has been posted before, but I agree with you. The developers say they kept it this way because they felt you could still use the summons later in the game, but as more of a distraction for a single turn than anything else. With Old Scratch, you get another summons when you complete his second promotion and, where I think his first skeleton is lvl 6, the next one is lvl 16 or something and you don't get it until he is in his mid 30's.

If the dev's made it so that the skeleton scaled, but was much lower level, like say, 10 levels below the caster for rank one and 5 levels below for rank 2, it would still feel like you could use it. Maybe he could only take two hits, but he'd at least survive long enough, if he wasn't focus fired by the enemy, to get a single hit in.
I think the real issue is that when you first get your summons, it is very useful and, especially with Old Scratch, after a few levels, you don't really get that same usefulness again. If there was an at-level replacement at each promotion, this wouldn't be such a problem, but that doesn't seem to be the way they designed it.

Host of the Talkin' the Plank Podcast, where we talk about Pirate 101 every Friday!
Petty Officer
Nov 28, 2008
82
Recently hit 50. Even my very best summoned bone-drake was almostkilled in a single hit. Truely, the usefullness is none and not based ion the talked about hitpoints/survivability. I stalled the fight "waiting" for him to actually hit something. At his low level, even making contact is doubtful. That doesnt even address the lower level ones. I have pulled the shooter minion (middle level) out a few times now. Its almost comical to watch. Then I become annoyed at the delay of time and regret pulling him out.. lol

Community Leader
Agreed with Talkin the plank.

The summoner/minion abilities for Witchdoctor quickly become obsolete and not of much use.
Sure they can be used as cannon fodder, but if they dont last more than one turn, then the turn used to cast them was wasted in the first place.... nothing gained.

Dr Zeppers (aka Silent Sam Stern)
Piratey parodies I like to make.
I be a crazy pirate for goodness sake!
Artist & Admin of Skull Island TV
Developer
Two points:

First, I'm in Mooshu now, level 50. I have no trouble with the summons as is-- if you summon the new unit behind your own guys.

If you summon him into the middle of the enemy, which is probably how you trained yourself to use this spell, of course he's going to get annihilated.

By summoning him behind your own guys, he will take a turn or two to catch up to the battle, which means that your normal troops are much more likely to have gotten the "aggro" of the enemy mobs.

This means your wee summon can catch up and do what he is supposed to do: provide consistent, annoying, but slowly cumulative damage that can tip the fight. He'll also spoil epic talent triggers on the enemy and, yes, eventually, he'll pull an attack that would otherwise have struck you.

Second point-- that will all be moot soon.

Because I've requested some tech changes to make summons scalable.

As always, be careful what you ask of ol' Ratbeard: you might just get it.

Bosun
Sep 08, 2008
388
Ok just out of curiosity, Ratbeard.

You are a developer, basically, you helped create the game from the ground up, from programming to graphics, right?

Again, just out of curiosity... you said you requested tech changes. Does that mean that you, as a developer, do not have the actual authority/power to change things yourself as long as it is ok with everyone else?

I assume to have to speak to the actual creator of the game, have board meetings, etc. But, making changes in the game, as a developer, should seem to be easy. Well, the way it seems to me now is that it is a huge run about progress that takes an eternity.

Again, this was just out of curiosity.

Community Leader
Ratbeard on Nov 28, 2012 wrote:
Two points:

First, I'm in Mooshu now, level 50. I have no trouble with the summons as is-- if you summon the new unit behind your own guys.

If you summon him into the middle of the enemy, which is probably how you trained yourself to use this spell, of course he's going to get annihilated.

By summoning him behind your own guys, he will take a turn or two to catch up to the battle, which means that your normal troops are much more likely to have gotten the "aggro" of the enemy mobs.

This means your wee summon can catch up and do what he is supposed to do: provide consistent, annoying, but slowly cumulative damage that can tip the fight. He'll also spoil epic talent triggers on the enemy and, yes, eventually, he'll pull an attack that would otherwise have struck you.

Second point-- that will all be moot soon.

Because I've requested some tech changes to make summons scalable.

As always, be careful what you ask of ol' Ratbeard: you might just get it.
Thank you for listening, Ratbeard! While I can see your point that the summon can still be useful, I think this change will make it more fun to use

Host of the Talkin' the Plank Podcast, where we talk about Pirate 101 every Friday!
Petty Officer
Mar 18, 2009
81
Thanks Ratbeard, even though I was using my summons in the matter you described it become frustrating after it seemed the enemy was purposely targeting my one hit skelly summon to not only take out "the annoying little damage," but get a free Bladestorm/Double Tap/Mojo Rising in the process too!!!

The extra little damage the summon was doing wasn't worth the wasted turn to summon and still get hit for normal damage!!!

That's when I had to stop summoning them, since unfortunately the majority of the summons don't stay behind the front lines, but rather they immediately seek them as soon as they are summoned.

Maybe I haven't fully figured out the aggro mechanic yet, but it sure seems like summons and pets are able to attract the enemies with plenty of Rank 2 or Rank 3 Loud players standing next to them.

Community Leader
Ratbeard on Nov 28, 2012 wrote:
Two points:

First, I'm in Mooshu now, level 50. I have no trouble with the summons as is-- if you summon the new unit behind your own guys.

If you summon him into the middle of the enemy, which is probably how you trained yourself to use this spell, of course he's going to get annihilated.

By summoning him behind your own guys, he will take a turn or two to catch up to the battle, which means that your normal troops are much more likely to have gotten the "aggro" of the enemy mobs.

This means your wee summon can catch up and do what he is supposed to do: provide consistent, annoying, but slowly cumulative damage that can tip the fight. He'll also spoil epic talent triggers on the enemy and, yes, eventually, he'll pull an attack that would otherwise have struck you.

Second point-- that will all be moot soon.

Because I've requested some tech changes to make summons scalable.

As always, be careful what you ask of ol' Ratbeard: you might just get it.
Gotta admit, it never would have occurred to me to summon up Scratch's pirate behind our own lines instead of out front. Thanks for the suggestion!

Thanks too in advance for letting them scale up with us, at least to some degree.

Chatroom Moderator - Pieces of Eight Radio
Developer
Oran of Urz on Nov 29, 2012 wrote:
Thanks Ratbeard, even though I was using my summons in the matter you described it become frustrating after it seemed the enemy was purposely targeting my one hit skelly summon to not only take out "the annoying little damage," but get a free Bladestorm/Double Tap/Mojo Rising in the process too!!!

The extra little damage the summon was doing wasn't worth the wasted turn to summon and still get hit for normal damage!!!

That's when I had to stop summoning them, since unfortunately the majority of the summons don't stay behind the front lines, but rather they immediately seek them as soon as they are summoned.

Maybe I haven't fully figured out the aggro mechanic yet, but it sure seems like summons and pets are able to attract the enemies with plenty of Rank 2 or Rank 3 Loud players standing next to them.
Maybe I haven't fully figured out the aggro mechanic yet, but it sure seems like summons and pets are able to attract the enemies with plenty of Rank 2 or Rank 3 Loud players standing next to them.

This is an over-simplification, but it should point you in the right direction:

Aggro is created by dealing damage; a unit with Loud will produce more aggro per point of damage dealt (and the converse for the Peaceful talents).

Otherwise, everybody comes fresh out of the gate on an even footing. In this case, the enemies are going to prioritize (a) nearby units and (b) units they can kill quickly.

So... you know... you can probably imagine what happens when you summon a wimpy skeleton right next to the enemies...

Bosun
Sep 08, 2008
388
Ratbeard on Nov 30, 2012 wrote:
Maybe I haven't fully figured out the aggro mechanic yet, but it sure seems like summons and pets are able to attract the enemies with plenty of Rank 2 or Rank 3 Loud players standing next to them.

This is an over-simplification, but it should point you in the right direction:

Aggro is created by dealing damage; a unit with Loud will produce more aggro per point of damage dealt (and the converse for the Peaceful talents).

Otherwise, everybody comes fresh out of the gate on an even footing. In this case, the enemies are going to prioritize (a) nearby units and (b) units they can kill quickly.

So... you know... you can probably imagine what happens when you summon a wimpy skeleton right next to the enemies...
Oh, I get it. That makes sense. I was wondering why enemies would try to hit me at the start of combat. They try though ... they try... they just end up missing me.