Too many companions

AuthorMessage
Petty Officer
Feb 10, 2011
97
Dr Zeppers on Feb 13, 2013 wrote:
I mention Beta because it is absolutely relevant to this conversation. Weve been through some of this debate already with developers.I am sorry that they cleared the boards of beta conversations, but the reason it is relevant is that some of what your asking to be changed was already suggested by beta testers. The responses we received from the developers let us know that the challenges we were having were there by design. We were told purchasing training tomes was a luxury. We were told that we should strategize management of companions to best suit our play style. Understanding this was the games design we adjusted our strategies accordingly, and found were not that big an issue in the first place with strategic play.

Strategies many we have shared with players now that the game went live.

Compromise? I see no compromise taking place here on either side of the debate.
Changing it to limit the number of companions is the request, no compromise for those of us that see this as a game breaker. I cant understand why many cant see how such a change breaks the game.
It eliminates one of the only true challenges in the game, companion management.

This is KI's game, its Pirate101. Its not pokemon, or any other game. I applaud KI for trying to come up with new concepts, and NOT just following suit with other MMOs (theres a reason I dont play "other" mmos). Comparison to other MMOs IMO is a losing proposition, I want a game that is unique, with KI style, I have no interest in "others" or how they work, thats why im not playing them. Sorry that KI did not confer with you, not surprised the game is not what you expect.

Here I sit wondering what i'll do if they were to make this change. Companion management was the only challenge I found worth strategizing game play for. The suggested limitations makes companion management way too easy.

I can definately see this as an overall issue as the game moves forward, as they add new content, companions etc. I would hope they already had plans as to how to approach this, we shall see. If they were to allow us to "limit" our companions, I would see it as fair to set this limit the same for all pirate classes, so one does not have to deal with more than another. If it must go this route, to keep the game interesting I would set this limit at something like 16 companions, so there is still some challenge left (6-8 would be no challenge whatsoever).
What I said was to allow there to be as many companions as you like but have a minimum of a certain number.

That is a compromise. It does not / would "break the game."

I said 6 - 8 but even 16 would be ok. So long as it's not the ridiculous system it is now.

As for beta, all of that is the rumors I heard. "It's not a bug, it's a feature" kind of reasoning from the developers. Game design does follow a certain logic, a certain sense of order, structure. Because one company or another chooses not to follow that doesn't make them "right" just different.

But when that need to be different doesn't make a whole lot of sense in retrospect or from other players beside the faithful, then maybe, just maybe it needs to be tweaked.

It's the same with Apple. Apple makes sense to the Apple faithful, but not a whole lot of sense to the non-Apple faithful. Why pay twice as much for half of what something else can do? So people vote with their dollars. The same way I voted with my dollars to stop playing Wizard101 long before I heard of Pirate101.

Every company needs to make money at the end of the day. If enough of their paying customers are requesting a tweak (again, not abolishing, just tweaking) then they need to listen.

They've already admitted, now that the game is out in the "wild," better companion management is on their most requested change list. Maybe if they would have had a wider pool of beta testers, people not already invested in the whole "KI mystique", instead of Wizard101 players, or more thoughtful gamers, the conversation would have gone differently.

I would have been the main person leading the charge. And all I'm saying is the game should be adaptable enough for you to have as many companions as you want, while allowing me to have a more reasonable number based on the companions I actually care about. Allow me to put some (but not all) on the shelf while you are free to run around with as many as you want.

How is that not a viable compromise?

Developer
Dr Zeppers on Feb 15, 2013 wrote:
Although I have yet had opportunity to try it out, from what I have read on update notes, it seems that KI came up with a pretty good compromise to address the situation that should continue to help/work as they improve the game and add new content.

Now it appears (if whats proposed on test goes live) we will be earning an occasional "benchmarker" as we level allowing us to bench a companion we prefer not be involved.

This would appear to offer those wanting to limit their crew an option to do so while as not taking it so far as to break the companion management system.

It will be interesting to see how the level/benchmarkers earned break down is implemented.
We will definitely be making the most of our time on the test server to tweak our solution. If you have access to the Test Realm-- when it is back online-- please play and give me some feedback.

You should not (and will not) be able to pick just 4 characters and take them through the entire game. We have the "Epic Battle" team selection for a reason, and there is a lot of fine tuning in the game to make sure that the best players (a) are able to use a variety of companions and tactics, (b) spend their free companion training points wisely, (c) complete side quests when necessary for extra training points, and (d) if necessary (or desired), spend some gold training up companions to account for the unexpected.

There are not only game balance reasons to consider, there are creative reasons; I would not lightly dismiss the KingsIsle mystique. It is important to us, and you should continue to expect a variety of characters throughout the game and not a homogenized experience where only the A+++ companions get used.

As it happens, the chance of a particular companion appearing drops to less than 1% at 16 companions-- and for all companions following. Expect to see us working around this break point. The final decision has not been made. We'll be watching the Test Realm feedback.

Finally, we want to create the best possible experience for the most players (of course!) As the system stands now, for a certain set of our players, the system is encouraging some undesirable behavior: allowing companions to die, or never picking up any extra companions, or never picking up any companions until you are at the level cap. I understand that for some people, this behavior will continue no matter what we do, as some folks simply enjoy feeling like they've found a way to outsmart the game design. But as designers-- those of us on the technical side as well as the creative side-- we want to do whatever we can to expose the most people to as much of the game as we have to offer.

We have worked very hard to set this banquet-- please enjoy the entire feast.

Community Leader
I am just going to put my position in perspective here.

IMO challenge wise, the companion management system is about 70% of this game. Playing it as efficiently as possible 15%, ship battles 10%, board battles 5%.

Do I want that to change? Not unless they implement a whole lot more into ship battles, pressing the 1,2,3 and 4 keys when timers run out is not much challenge, the random nature of it is the only thing that creates a challenge with them presently.

again.. IMO..
Limit companions to 6-8 and there is no more true companion management, eliminating the majority of this games challenge. I get it that some people dont like this, but thats the games design from what i've seen, and from what JTodd and the developers told us in beta.

This compromise as I understood it, was to change the game the way people not liking the system wanted it, with us being able to make the game harder by choice of retaining lots of companions. The problem with this is, that in playing a game, one of the challenges in ALL games is to play that game in the most advantageous, efficient manner. I dont feel its fair for those that like the current system to have to give up one aspect of the games challenges for another because some dont like the original games design. IMO it simply allows players to take the easy route, skipping past a primary challenge.

No matter.... pirates we obviously be.. lol. lets just agree to disagree.

I like KI's solution to be seen on test soon far better.
Those that did get a chance to try it indicated that a pirate earns 3 benchmarkers by level 50 allowing them to bench 3 companions which may be adjusted but this allows those with some unwanted companions some relief while leaving the management of companions somewhat intact, as well as other challenges many enjoy in the game as it is. Also leaving room for expansion of the game in the future.

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
Community Leader
Thanks for the insight there Ratbeard!
I have approached the system in more than one way, yes having taken some of those options mentioned. I dont think of it as outsmarting the game, more a matter of trying to play it in a manner most efficient to support my style of play. Looking forward to recently proposed changes, and seeing them on test. Hopefully this can be fine tuned to encourage players to proceed through the game normally, and not complain about numbers of companions, killing off companions, or have players avoiding/saving content for later which I am gulty of myself.

Keep up the good work, thanks for listening to us pirates...

I'll bet your glad their looking into changing your 2nd promotion hat some.. eh?

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
Petty Officer
Feb 10, 2011
97
Ratbeard on Feb 16, 2013 wrote:
We will definitely be making the most of our time on the test server to tweak our solution. If you have access to the Test Realm-- when it is back online-- please play and give me some feedback.

You should not (and will not) be able to pick just 4 characters and take them through the entire game. We have the "Epic Battle" team selection for a reason, and there is a lot of fine tuning in the game to make sure that the best players (a) are able to use a variety of companions and tactics, (b) spend their free companion training points wisely, (c) complete side quests when necessary for extra training points, and (d) if necessary (or desired), spend some gold training up companions to account for the unexpected.

There are not only game balance reasons to consider, there are creative reasons; I would not lightly dismiss the KingsIsle mystique. It is important to us, and you should continue to expect a variety of characters throughout the game and not a homogenized experience where only the A+++ companions get used.

As it happens, the chance of a particular companion appearing drops to less than 1% at 16 companions-- and for all companions following. Expect to see us working around this break point. The final decision has not been made. We'll be watching the Test Realm feedback.

Finally, we want to create the best possible experience for the most players (of course!) As the system stands now, for a certain set of our players, the system is encouraging some undesirable behavior: allowing companions to die, or never picking up any extra companions, or never picking up any companions until you are at the level cap. I understand that for some people, this behavior will continue no matter what we do, as some folks simply enjoy feeling like they've found a way to outsmart the game design. But as designers-- those of us on the technical side as well as the creative side-- we want to do whatever we can to expose the most people to as much of the game as we have to offer.

We have worked very hard to set this banquet-- please enjoy the entire feast.
I truly appreciate someone responding more directly to this as it has felt like a one sided conversation at times of trying to make the point to tweak the system, not abolish the system.

However, for the record, I have never requested to go through the game with just 4 companions, I don't know where that number came from but I don't believe it was me who suggested it. I've always felt that at least 6-8, plus the First Mate would be a good minimum, but even 16 (one page) is preferable to the system it is quickly morphing into.

(Although I still don't see the point of dragging around Companions that have a less than 1% chance of showing up, that doesn't make sense to me. And why does the percentage drop off so significantly from the First Mate to the next in line anyway? From 100% to 20%?!? Why not step it down in increments of 5%?)

While I never intentionally "killed" off Companions and never revived them, I have NOT gone on side quests because I did not want more Companions junking up the selection process. And I'm sorry, but not every Companion is fantastic, even though that may have been your aim.

What I like about the game is how attached I have become to most of the main story Companions (specifically Bonnie Anne, Ratbeard, Subodai, Jack Russel, El Toro and especially Sarah Steele), if this were real life, I'd trust my Pirate life to them. Additionally, I have purchased two Crown companions that I think are outstanding and will purchase more if there is a better Companion management system.

However, I don't feel that way about the Witch Doctor (wanna be Jack Sparrow) nor many of the other Companions the game has saddled me with up to and including the Cat Ninja (all that work to get her and she doesn't even get any epic talents! ;(

They are not compelling characters to me. Could something be done to make them more compelling as characters? I sure hope so, but in test, they will be the first to get benched.

And that's all I've wanted to do soon after I first began playing, manage my crew like any Captain would, to set my own "Away Team," that accompany me on quests, to have my "Top "Officers" or "Senior Staff," as they are referred to on Star Trek:TNG, show up more times than not.

I like P101 way more than I like W101. Please continue to keep them separate. No more cheap ports like the Panther mount. I've already posted suggestions for wind or sailing inspired mounts (like a Wind Surfboard or a rowboat or canoe, even Paragliders) as have others.

I like that there will be more to do in the Skyways, but please let us level our ships so they are not disposable. I would really like a Pirate Galleon I can always use in a Pirate game.

Finally, I like the banquet analogy, but please do not make me eat everything that is being served, some of us don't like carrots but love peas.

Please don't try to force one size to fit all.

Petty Officer
Feb 10, 2011
97
Dr Zeppers on Feb 16, 2013 wrote:
I am just going to put my position in perspective here.

IMO challenge wise, the companion management system is about 70% of this game. Playing it as efficiently as possible 15%, ship battles 10%, board battles 5%.

Do I want that to change? Not unless they implement a whole lot more into ship battles, pressing the 1,2,3 and 4 keys when timers run out is not much challenge, the random nature of it is the only thing that creates a challenge with them presently.

again.. IMO..
Limit companions to 6-8 and there is no more true companion management, eliminating the majority of this games challenge. I get it that some people dont like this, but thats the games design from what i've seen, and from what JTodd and the developers told us in beta.

This compromise as I understood it, was to change the game the way people not liking the system wanted it, with us being able to make the game harder by choice of retaining lots of companions. The problem with this is, that in playing a game, one of the challenges in ALL games is to play that game in the most advantageous, efficient manner. I dont feel its fair for those that like the current system to have to give up one aspect of the games challenges for another because some dont like the original games design. IMO it simply allows players to take the easy route, skipping past a primary challenge.

No matter.... pirates we obviously be.. lol. lets just agree to disagree.

I like KI's solution to be seen on test soon far better.
Those that did get a chance to try it indicated that a pirate earns 3 benchmarkers by level 50 allowing them to bench 3 companions which may be adjusted but this allows those with some unwanted companions some relief while leaving the management of companions somewhat intact, as well as other challenges many enjoy in the game as it is. Also leaving room for expansion of the game in the future.
I'd say completing quests is 100% of the game, companion management is a by-product of that, certainly not the main thing.

And I do agree with you on ship battles, I am looking forward to having more to do than sail from point A to point B and back again.

It would be great to get more powerful cannons, faster sails, better armor, even some cool special effects like the Pirate version of the warp drive or even a cloaking device like the "Walk in Shadows" ability Swashbucklers have. Or to be able to lay mines. But it sounds like we will be getting Skyway "Instances" that sound pretty good and are a step in the right direction. Now if they would only let us level up our ships along with our Pirate so we wouldn't have to keep trashing ships when we go to a new world. Or, at the very least, make a Pirate Galleon available in every world. Why shouldn't a Pirate game allow you to have a Pirate ship throughout the game?

I still don't understand why you keep saying I have been suggesting limiting Companions to 6 - 8? I suggested that as a minimum, not the only amount. I would personally have more than 8 that I would keep with me at all times as there are at least 10 Companions off the top of my head I really, really like in this game. I never said only 6 - 8.

And I've always agreed with you about having a reasonable number but not the page after page that it is now. I like having it a minimum of one page (16) with the ability to "bench" the rest. That seems perfectly reasonable to me. I will be very happy with a minimum of 16 Companions.

I do hope it will be more than 3 benchable Companions by level 50. Even if it's one every 10 levels that will at most be 5 and will still mean I will not be accumulating new Companions as I expect new areas will introduce new "mandatory" Companions.

I too look forward to the Test Realm issues being ironed out sooner, rather than later so that I can offer my feedback as well.

Bosun
May 10, 2010
396
Ì am not exactly sure why some people insist that companions are being thrust on us and forced to have page after page of companions. There are actually very limited number of companions that are from main story line, that we must accept. This is probably within 16 companions and I am sure that it is probably much less than that per class.

So, out of 16, now with the new Update, you might get to Bench 3 of these companions. This so far, is not breaking the game and is a compromise. Nobody said you had to do every single side quest and pick up every single companion in the game.

So, if you want to limit the number of your compnanions, simply do main story lines and side quests that do not offer companions as rewards. Then, with the new Bench feature, you can even bench some of the companions that you Dont Like.

Hopefully, KI wont sell Bench markers in the crowns shop to cater to the whining masses, but who knows, if people want to pay to make the game easy for them, it's their money.

Ensign
Feb 13, 2009
29
While I understand that there are companions that people don't like, I don't feel as if those people should be searching for a way to get rid of them. Ranking is there for a reason. Feel lucky that it is even included; KI could have just randomized everything, and you would get whatever companion the game chose. We already have so much freedom with this, and I get that people are already going to want more, more, more, but they can't assume that KI caters specifically to them and no one else. I, for one, like the system; no, love the system exactly as it is.
Companion Management is part of game strategy, and without it I can see much less fun in the game. I realize that it is a challenge, but that's what makes it FUN. What's the point in playing something if it doesn't have that difficult aspect to it? There are ALWAYS going to be a few aspects of any game, or features of a game, that you aren't going to like. Companion Management seems to be a big one. But there are thousands of players in Pirate101, and you have to understand that not all of them are going to share your opinion. If it isn't completely breaking the entire experience for you, then you have to just deal with it (I know that sounds kind of harsh, but that's the nicest way I could think of to say that, honestly).
Taking the other side here, I know how irritating it is to have that one companion in an important fight that you can not stand. So I do see the three tokens idea (by level 50) as a very good compromise. You can get rid of your worst companions, but you still get to keep the Companion Management aspect of the game. But as even this seems like it will alter gameplay quite a bit, the fact that some people seem to be demanding still more control over this seems a bit extreme. Do you honestly have that many ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE companions? I doubt it. I don't think this is meant as a pass to get around all unwanted companions all of the time, so try not to treat it as such.
--Clever Miranda

Ensign
Feb 06, 2010
11
I want the exact opposite...I want to remove the first mate entirely and change the appear rate for all companions to the same number. They need to add an option to completely randomize who shows up in what fight...make it optional sure, but I for one love not knowing who will make an appearance.

Petty Officer
Feb 10, 2011
97
OhMyFish on Feb 21, 2013 wrote:
While I understand that there are companions that people don't like, I don't feel as if those people should be searching for a way to get rid of them. Ranking is there for a reason. Feel lucky that it is even included; KI could have just randomized everything, and you would get whatever companion the game chose. We already have so much freedom with this, and I get that people are already going to want more, more, more, but they can't assume that KI caters specifically to them and no one else. I, for one, like the system; no, love the system exactly as it is.
Companion Management is part of game strategy, and without it I can see much less fun in the game. I realize that it is a challenge, but that's what makes it FUN. What's the point in playing something if it doesn't have that difficult aspect to it? There are ALWAYS going to be a few aspects of any game, or features of a game, that you aren't going to like. Companion Management seems to be a big one. But there are thousands of players in Pirate101, and you have to understand that not all of them are going to share your opinion. If it isn't completely breaking the entire experience for you, then you have to just deal with it (I know that sounds kind of harsh, but that's the nicest way I could think of to say that, honestly).
Taking the other side here, I know how irritating it is to have that one companion in an important fight that you can not stand. So I do see the three tokens idea (by level 50) as a very good compromise. You can get rid of your worst companions, but you still get to keep the Companion Management aspect of the game. But as even this seems like it will alter gameplay quite a bit, the fact that some people seem to be demanding still more control over this seems a bit extreme. Do you honestly have that many ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE companions? I doubt it. I don't think this is meant as a pass to get around all unwanted companions all of the time, so try not to treat it as such.
--Clever Miranda
If KI had randomized everything, I would not be playing the game, it's that simple.

When I first heard about the game, I thought Companions would be able to be put on a shelf and used when you saw fit. I was not in beta so all I had was the information that was reported and some educated guesses. Every other game I've played that has companions that are provided for in game allows you a great deal of control over those same companions. If a game says you only get 3, that's all you get. If a game says you can have many, you get to control how that works. I wrongly assumed KI was going to institute a similar game mechanic. That is obviously not the case.

No one is advocating doing away with the system, from what I've read, I don't know why that keeps working it's way into every reply on this thread. We are simply asking for more control over the companions the game mandates we have.

I've been to test realm, I don't see how the system they have instituted with benching is going to do anything to change player behavior of avoiding side quests or waiting to reach max level before acquiring or promoting companions when you can only "bench" 3 companions.

I have two pages of companions for a total of 19 at level 50.

When I first logged into TR, 4 were listed as 0% chance to appear in battle. Thank you. However, when I benched the 3 as allowed, 3 of the 4 who had a 0% chance to appear, were now listed as 1% chance to appear.

How is that an improvement? I had more "benched" without doing anything.

So what is the point of this so-called "new and improved" companion management system if benching some companions "activates" others?

The companions on my second page were the worst of the worse as far as I was concerned. They were already listed as 0%. There were 3 others I wanted to bring down to 0% as well through benching but it was an either / or situation. I'll live with the ones I only mildly dislike so long as I don't have to deal with the 4 I really dislike.

But I don't see how the so-called "change" has made anything any better.

It's like much to do about nothing since nothing has really changed in how we are (not) able to manage companions.

Ensign
Aug 18, 2011
25
What I find funny about this whole topic is that it seems like people are forgetting that Pirate101 is still a relatively new game. Guys, KI is doing a fabulous job with where they started and they left room to grow and expand in more ways than just Companion Management..

I personally love the way that companion management is set up now and I don't see myself using the "benching" tokens on any of my companions. I love the randomization that comes from the normal "street" battles, especially since whenever an Epic Battle comes into play. I'll always pick the same couple companions(Subodai, Bonnie Anne, Ratbeard, Old Scratch, Sarah Steele) because I know their moves by heart. However, when it comes to a non-Epic Battle I love that I can't control who comes up and I have to think up a new strategy to win. If one of my weaker companions comes in, I try and keep them away from a lot of action as well as keep another companion close to them. That way they can work together and defeat the enemy!

Crafty Kiley

Petty Officer
Feb 10, 2011
97
Crafty Kiley Hawki... on Feb 22, 2013 wrote:
What I find funny about this whole topic is that it seems like people are forgetting that Pirate101 is still a relatively new game. Guys, KI is doing a fabulous job with where they started and they left room to grow and expand in more ways than just Companion Management..

I personally love the way that companion management is set up now and I don't see myself using the "benching" tokens on any of my companions. I love the randomization that comes from the normal "street" battles, especially since whenever an Epic Battle comes into play. I'll always pick the same couple companions(Subodai, Bonnie Anne, Ratbeard, Old Scratch, Sarah Steele) because I know their moves by heart. However, when it comes to a non-Epic Battle I love that I can't control who comes up and I have to think up a new strategy to win. If one of my weaker companions comes in, I try and keep them away from a lot of action as well as keep another companion close to them. That way they can work together and defeat the enemy!

Crafty Kiley
I don't nor am I disagreeing with you. It is a new game and there is all sorts of room for growth and changes.

The only thing I "object" to is the erroneous "all or nothing" approach many who reply seem to be forcing into the discussion. I think what they are doing in Test is great, and I keep suggesting ideas as I can.

What bothers me though are those in this thread who make it sound like there is an outpouring of "get rid of the system!"

There is not.

I think it is a very alarmist position to take to continue to try and frame the discussion as if anyone is suggesting abolishing the companion system. No one has suggested that. The only thing I have seen are requests for tweaks to give players more control in a way that would make everyone happy: those who want unlimited companions showing up randomly and those who want to work with a smaller random pool and don't care so much for unlimited companions.

Developer
The only thing I have seen are requests for tweaks to give players more control in a way that would make everyone happy: those who want unlimited companions showing up randomly and those who want to work with a smaller random pool and don't care so much for unlimited companions.

Keep in mind that what you are requesting, whether you mean it explicitly or not, is to beat the game faster and easier.

Of course we want to please as many players as we can, but that makes it considerably more tricky to solve.

Captain
Oct 15, 2012
539
theHealerGuy on Nov 12, 2012 wrote:
Would like to "deactivate" or archive companions. It is near impossible to keep them all trained and up to my characters' level.

So activating and deactivating specific ones, would be awesome - maybe "send them on vacation somewhere" and bring them back when I'm ready to train them.

The problem is (if they are active), when I get in to a high level battle, they still have a chance of appearing. I can't afford to have them appear in a high level battle, or I will lose.

And to top it all off, they cost too much to train up after character level 43 or so.

Thanks,
Pirate: evan ironside
but where would they go on a vaction to?

Ensign
Aug 18, 2011
25
aaronlightwalker on Feb 24, 2013 wrote:
I don't nor am I disagreeing with you. It is a new game and there is all sorts of room for growth and changes.

The only thing I "object" to is the erroneous "all or nothing" approach many who reply seem to be forcing into the discussion. I think what they are doing in Test is great, and I keep suggesting ideas as I can.

What bothers me though are those in this thread who make it sound like there is an outpouring of "get rid of the system!"

There is not.

I think it is a very alarmist position to take to continue to try and frame the discussion as if anyone is suggesting abolishing the companion system. No one has suggested that. The only thing I have seen are requests for tweaks to give players more control in a way that would make everyone happy: those who want unlimited companions showing up randomly and those who want to work with a smaller random pool and don't care so much for unlimited companions.
I see Pirate101 growing more throughout the years to come, look at Wizard for example. I'm pretty sure Wizard didn't have as many(if any) of the things that Pirates got right off the bat.

As I said before, I have no issues with getting those benching tokens that are in the Test right now. I just don't personally see myself using them. Companion Management is all about personal preference; one person can like the way everything is run, but someone else probably hates/dislikes it. It all depends on pirate!

I'm not saying that these new changes will abolish the companion system, just that whenever I fought against someone where I got to choose who joined me, I always picked the same four(those from the Jade Amulet & Captain Gunn Arcs). Only because I knew what their criticals were and how much damage they can do by heart. So the randomization of the companions gave me an opportunity to actually learn and see what the others bring to the table in a fight and made me think of my next move more carefully.

Petty Officer
Feb 10, 2011
97
Can't we have the easiest solution be every companion on your first page is "Active Duty"?

Every companion on all subsequent pages are your "Reserves"?

Then, by moving a companion from a subsequent page to your first page, you make them "Active" and buy/pay/earn whatever training tomes are necessary to get them to the level the player wants?

I think that would cut through so much of the tension around this topic.

Community Leader
aaronlightwalker on Feb 26, 2013 wrote:
Can't we have the easiest solution be every companion on your first page is "Active Duty"?

Every companion on all subsequent pages are your "Reserves"?

Then, by moving a companion from a subsequent page to your first page, you make them "Active" and buy/pay/earn whatever training tomes are necessary to get them to the level the player wants?

I think that would cut through so much of the tension around this topic.
That forces your solution on everyone, eliminating the ability for those of us to play with all our companions should we want to. You dont want to manage more than 16 companions. I dont want to make special changes if I want to use MORE than 16 companions.

The best solution as far as I am concerned is to throw this management by pages stuff out the window, and go strictly with benchmarks/tokens. Thusly allowing those that want to limit their crew to do so, and letting those of us that want all companions involved to do so as well. A true choice, not forcing a 16 companion active roster on all of us because of some pirates wishs to do so.

The number of benchmarks can be adjusted accordingly, then its just a choice as to whether or not to use the benchmarks.

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
Petty Officer
Dec 09, 2012
53
theHealerGuy on Nov 12, 2012 wrote:
Would like to "deactivate" or archive companions. It is near impossible to keep them all trained and up to my characters' level.

So activating and deactivating specific ones, would be awesome - maybe "send them on vacation somewhere" and bring them back when I'm ready to train them.

The problem is (if they are active), when I get in to a high level battle, they still have a chance of appearing. I can't afford to have them appear in a high level battle, or I will lose.

And to top it all off, they cost too much to train up after character level 43 or so.

Thanks,
Pirate: evan ironside
Luckily for people like you, there is now something to do just that in the new test realm. Don't know if somebody already said that. Oh well. Beside the point, I didn't really like that when I started the test realm, my man was level 50, and in the test realm, he was 42. Anyway, there is something called benching, where those companions won't show up in a fight. You can "wake them up" as it says to bring them into a combat.

Petty Officer
Feb 10, 2011
97
Dr Zeppers on Feb 26, 2013 wrote:
That forces your solution on everyone, eliminating the ability for those of us to play with all our companions should we want to. You dont want to manage more than 16 companions. I dont want to make special changes if I want to use MORE than 16 companions.

The best solution as far as I am concerned is to throw this management by pages stuff out the window, and go strictly with benchmarks/tokens. Thusly allowing those that want to limit their crew to do so, and letting those of us that want all companions involved to do so as well. A true choice, not forcing a 16 companion active roster on all of us because of some pirates wishs to do so.

The number of benchmarks can be adjusted accordingly, then its just a choice as to whether or not to use the benchmarks.
I can agree with that. No problem whatsoever.

If they can give us a more plentiful/flexible benching/token mechanic, I'm all for it. I have no desire to force anything on anyone.

All I've wanted from the beginning is a way for companion management to be more flexible so that players who wanted more direct control over their crew could have it. The concept of having to carry around page after page of Companions that I don't even want, can't decline, and who have the potential to show up at any time no matter what I do, doesn't make sense to me, but that is me.

As I've said, I wasn't invited for beta, so all I had was what was being reported from previews. Using the limited information and screen shots of the game as well as past experience as a guide, it didn't make sense to have Companions that weren't able to be managed as the player saw fit. Declined, benched, bottled, released, something. Even in W101 if you don't like a pet you can "park" it at your house and never be bothered with it again if you don't want to, and that includes school pets!

So imaging my surprise when I hit my first non main story character Companion that wasn't able to be declined

Ensign
Dec 30, 2011
37
Dr Zeppers on Feb 26, 2013 wrote:
That forces your solution on everyone, eliminating the ability for those of us to play with all our companions should we want to. You dont want to manage more than 16 companions. I dont want to make special changes if I want to use MORE than 16 companions.

The best solution as far as I am concerned is to throw this management by pages stuff out the window, and go strictly with benchmarks/tokens. Thusly allowing those that want to limit their crew to do so, and letting those of us that want all companions involved to do so as well. A true choice, not forcing a 16 companion active roster on all of us because of some pirates wishs to do so.

The number of benchmarks can be adjusted accordingly, then its just a choice as to whether or not to use the benchmarks.
I feel you on that Saint, my only issue with the bench markers is that three wont be enough for me. there are more than 3 companions in my privateer roster I would rather be benched than have <1% to join, because then there is still a chance of them joining. I know not everyone who wishes for the benching will be truly happy with just 3 tokens so far, and yeah i can deal with it, but i feel what everyone else is saying that 16 s a pretty good number of companions to wrestle with. IMO if the front page was used to have "active" companions...then if you wanted to use different guys you could just move them to the front. My idea of managing the companions is deciding which ones i want to show up more in a specific area, and being able to swap them between pages would be ideal for me to use who i wanted, BUT i know this will never be implemented. So like i said before i will just have to cope. lets see how these changes go and move on

Alexander Voss 50

Community Leader
Valdrick on Feb 28, 2013 wrote:
I feel you on that Saint, my only issue with the bench markers is that three wont be enough for me. there are more than 3 companions in my privateer roster I would rather be benched than have <1% to join, because then there is still a chance of them joining. I know not everyone who wishes for the benching will be truly happy with just 3 tokens so far, and yeah i can deal with it, but i feel what everyone else is saying that 16 s a pretty good number of companions to wrestle with. IMO if the front page was used to have "active" companions...then if you wanted to use different guys you could just move them to the front. My idea of managing the companions is deciding which ones i want to show up more in a specific area, and being able to swap them between pages would be ideal for me to use who i wanted, BUT i know this will never be implemented. So like i said before i will just have to cope. lets see how these changes go and move on

Alexander Voss 50
The random nature of how the companions is selected (after being ranked) is the genius of this process.

Who would go to the second page and activate a lower leveled, lesser preferred companion?
The idea is they randomly show up, surprise you, and give you a new challenge for the new fight.

It creates a dynamic fighting system that I find absolutely fantastic with ALL the companions.

I think the problem here is that some of us like to randomly see these companions.
Some of us want to completely eliminate that possibility.

They are contradicting perspectives, that dont work together.

I think if players keep asking KI, they will eventually raise the number of these tokens that are available or...

Heaven forbid... they are probably going to start selling extra Benchmarks from the crown shop...

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
Petty Officer
Feb 10, 2011
97
Dr Zeppers on Feb 28, 2013 wrote:
The random nature of how the companions is selected (after being ranked) is the genius of this process.

Who would go to the second page and activate a lower leveled, lesser preferred companion?
The idea is they randomly show up, surprise you, and give you a new challenge for the new fight.

It creates a dynamic fighting system that I find absolutely fantastic with ALL the companions.

I think the problem here is that some of us like to randomly see these companions.
Some of us want to completely eliminate that possibility.

They are contradicting perspectives, that dont work together.

I think if players keep asking KI, they will eventually raise the number of these tokens that are available or...

Heaven forbid... they are probably going to start selling extra Benchmarks from the crown shop...
It is a double edged sword.

In W101, they always said anything that changes the game or "gives players an advantage" would go in the crown shop. However, the current "randomness" is one of the aspects I do not enjoy as much as you. A smaller pool of random I can live with, but not the potential for page after page.

And, as I learned from Ratbeard himself, a <1% still means they have the chance to show up. With whatever voodoo hoodoo statistical algorithm KI instituted, it seemed to favor at least one of those <1% companions being used per non epic battle. That is way too much for me. Doesn't feel like I have any real control over my crew at all.

Ensign
Aug 18, 2011
25
Ugh....

This whole topic is getting annoying... especially since most of the people complaining about the randomness of companions keep bring up the same exact thing. I feel this is starting to become a thing to agree yet disagree with each other.

Everyone has their own way of playing the game; I don't want to be forced to play the game a certain way when I actually enjoyed playing it before the benching tokens came into play. I love the randomization that each non-epic battle gave me. I love having to think and learn how to come up with a winning strategy depending on which companions showed up.

Community Leader
aaronlightwalker on Mar 1, 2013 wrote:
It is a double edged sword.

In W101, they always said anything that changes the game or "gives players an advantage" would go in the crown shop. However, the current "randomness" is one of the aspects I do not enjoy as much as you. A smaller pool of random I can live with, but not the potential for page after page.

And, as I learned from Ratbeard himself, a <1% still means they have the chance to show up. With whatever voodoo hoodoo statistical algorithm KI instituted, it seemed to favor at least one of those <1% companions being used per non epic battle. That is way too much for me. Doesn't feel like I have any real control over my crew at all.
Ratbeard also called this limiting of number of involved companions a shortcut.

Most MMOs charge for shortcuts through their content.

I dont see the issue of who shows up in the battle as an issue of crew control since thats an intended game dynamic. Challenges that the player was supposed to face by design.

I see my selection of their moves as control over my crew.

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
Administrator
Benching Tokens are now implemented in the game, and we've gathered a lot of useful information from this discussion. The time has come to lock this thread. Thank you all for your participation, thoughts, and input.

*One-Eyed Jack, Your Pirate101 Community Manager*