An Experiment in Companion Training

AuthorMessage
Community Leader
After all the discussion elsewhere about the cost of training companions, purchasing training points, gold farming and the nerfing of same, I decided to conduct an experiment.

With my main character at level cap, I don't want to go any further with her until the next expansion*, so I started leveling my secondary character in earnest, but with one deliberate difference: I don't train companions unless I can get two levels for each point I spend. (The only exception was when, at level 8, I spent some extra points on Bonnie Anne to get her to her first promotion quest. Hey, I needed the firepower.) That means waiting to train until my character was at least five levels above her companions.

At this point, I'm at level 30, Bonnie Anne and the main story companions are now level 27 and I have 33 unused training points in my pocket. By the time I'm ready to train again, between level gains and quest rewards, I'll have a lot more.

The only real trouble I had was early on. At lower levels, leaving Kan Po at level one until I was level six was really difficult. In fact, to get anywhere early on, I had to have a higher level friend help me out in spots.

Experiment result: It's a totally viable way to go, if you don't mind getting bashed about in the beginning, or watching your first companion get used as practice dummy for every troggie and cutthroat on the island. I'll post back later if there are any new developments.

So there, Ratbeard. How's that for profligate?

*Yes, yes One-eyed Jack, (silly rabbit) I know what you said about there being plenty of xp with the next expansion, but it just weirds me out and feels wasteful to finish quests now when I know that I won't get the xp listed.

Petty Officer
Mar 18, 2009
81
What class is your secondary character? I ask, because I have already conducted this experiment with a Buccaneer, Swashbuckler and Privateer. Even waiting to use a training point to train two levels....you will run out of training points with a Privateer and Swashbuckler in early Mooshu. The Buccaneer will not (since they don't get as many companions and companions usually start off at a higher level).

However, this still isn't a problem. With the amount of gold I've amassed, I'm restricted on the amount of training points to purchase in a single sitting, rather than the money to buy them.

Additionally, I only acquired the storyline companions (those you have to take).

I would certainly advise all players to at least wait until a companion can be trained two levels before using a training point (if you are trying to save points/gold). The companions still hold up fine in fights lagging behind the extra level. You might even be able to wait until 3 levels, but I have not tried that and I'm not sure on the effectiveness of the companions.

Developer
One-Eyed Jack pointed me to a thread over on Pirate101 Central where the poster never spent a single training point. He would just slot in his newest, highest level companion every time he got one.

I believe he was in Cool Ranch when he posted his screen shots, but I have no doubt he'll be able to complete the game.

Bosun
Sep 08, 2008
388
Oh, I am the exact same way. In wizard101 I stopped what I was doing as soon as I hit the level cap. I left all quests unfinished until a new expansion was released.

As for the companion training, that is exactly what Darthjt shared with us back when we all played in the alpha.

I for one thing, still prefer the 1 point per 1 level method. Meaning, every 4 levels you gain, your companion(s) get 1, instead of every 5/6 levels. That way, when you first start out, you will actually end up gaining more points and saving some up even if you spend them a lot earlier.

However, I did not necessarily stick to that with my pirate. Since we are able to buy points, and due to their "cheapness" at low levels, I had always kept my companions at cap. Now that I am level 43, of course that is a lot harder to do. All my companions now are at level 40. At level 44, I can use a single point to train a full level for each companion I have.

What I probably recommend as a 'happy balance' is to spend 1 point per companion whenever they get a full level out of it, but then when it gets to the point where you spend more companion points than you earn (due to a build up of companions) you simply wait until each point gets you 2 levels. Since at higher levels, a companion being 5 levels behind may not necessarily cripple you as much as in the very early levels. Although, don't get me wrong, I would try my best never to let companions fall behind that much.

Gunner's Mate
Oct 22, 2011
210
I did the same thing with my Privateer, and she's currently L50 (and I'll keep going to finish the game with her).

When I started, I moved my companions up when I could use 1 tome to upgrade 2 levels. By the time I hit Cool Ranch, I decided I would not level up my companions until I could use 1 tome to upgrade 3 levels (OMG). This was certainly a challenge, because to move them up 3 levels, you have to be 9 levels above them.

This has gone pretty well, until I hit Deacon in Motherlode (Haunted Skyway), where I was almost creamed, until a friend ported in to help at the last minute (DarthJT).

Once I got to Mooshu, I had 57 tomes. Now, you have to understand, that a Privateer gets the most companions in the game. I currently have 17 companions (through main quest line), 2 crown companions (can't live without Wagyu and Keisuke), so that makes 19 so far. I have not turned in quests for the side companions, which total 7 right now (another, OMG). I expect more side quest companions to come up (like the Ninja Cat), but 7 is the current total.

Since I just turned level 50, I was able to up my companions for the last time for 3 levels (they were L41). So, that leaves me currently with 38 tomes, 19 companions, and 7 side quest companions (which will be above L50 when I turn them in).

I have not purchased any tomes throughout the game. I capped on gold several times, and was able to re-specialize some of my companions (a good idea once they reach L41), which costs gold, plus I was able to purchase a Samoorai Frigate one day, and the next day I was able to purchase both the Royal Navy Frigate and the Royal Navy Galleon.

I have not purchased any clothing/gear, since I have other pirates that have finished the game, and I passed down gear that was no longer used, plus, I have not purchased any ship gear, since I was able to farm on my other pirates for what I needed to pass down to my Privateer and lower level ones.

I think the experiment is a good one ..... Good luck to you!

Administrator
Ratbeard on Nov 25, 2012 wrote:
One-Eyed Jack pointed me to a thread over on Pirate101 Central where the poster never spent a single training point. He would just slot in his newest, highest level companion every time he got one.

I believe he was in Cool Ranch when he posted his screen shots, but I have no doubt he'll be able to complete the game.
Ah yes! Thanks for reminding me. Here's a link to the thread good ol' Ratbeard mentioned: click

*One-Eyed Jack, Your Pirate101 Community Manager*
Community Leader
Oran of Urz on Nov 25, 2012 wrote:
What class is your secondary character? I ask, because I have already conducted this experiment with a Buccaneer, Swashbuckler and Privateer. Even waiting to use a training point to train two levels....you will run out of training points with a Privateer and Swashbuckler in early Mooshu. The Buccaneer will not (since they don't get as many companions and companions usually start off at a higher level).

However, this still isn't a problem. With the amount of gold I've amassed, I'm restricted on the amount of training points to purchase in a single sitting, rather than the money to buy them.

Additionally, I only acquired the storyline companions (those you have to take).

I would certainly advise all players to at least wait until a companion can be trained two levels before using a training point (if you are trying to save points/gold). The companions still hold up fine in fights lagging behind the extra level. You might even be able to wait until 3 levels, but I have not tried that and I'm not sure on the effectiveness of the companions.
Witchdoctor. I also have a weensie little Musketeer with whom I'm starting the same experiment. I've only bought one crown companion on each and that's Lucy Sterling.

Bosun
Aug 21, 2009
358
BrynnerOfReign on Nov 26, 2012 wrote:
I did the same thing with my Privateer, and she's currently L50 (and I'll keep going to finish the game with her).

When I started, I moved my companions up when I could use 1 tome to upgrade 2 levels. By the time I hit Cool Ranch, I decided I would not level up my companions until I could use 1 tome to upgrade 3 levels (OMG). This was certainly a challenge, because to move them up 3 levels, you have to be 9 levels above them.

This has gone pretty well, until I hit Deacon in Motherlode (Haunted Skyway), where I was almost creamed, until a friend ported in to help at the last minute (DarthJT).

Once I got to Mooshu, I had 57 tomes. Now, you have to understand, that a Privateer gets the most companions in the game. I currently have 17 companions (through main quest line), 2 crown companions (can't live without Wagyu and Keisuke), so that makes 19 so far. I have not turned in quests for the side companions, which total 7 right now (another, OMG). I expect more side quest companions to come up (like the Ninja Cat), but 7 is the current total.

Since I just turned level 50, I was able to up my companions for the last time for 3 levels (they were L41). So, that leaves me currently with 38 tomes, 19 companions, and 7 side quest companions (which will be above L50 when I turn them in).

I have not purchased any tomes throughout the game. I capped on gold several times, and was able to re-specialize some of my companions (a good idea once they reach L41), which costs gold, plus I was able to purchase a Samoorai Frigate one day, and the next day I was able to purchase both the Royal Navy Frigate and the Royal Navy Galleon.

I have not purchased any clothing/gear, since I have other pirates that have finished the game, and I passed down gear that was no longer used, plus, I have not purchased any ship gear, since I was able to farm on my other pirates for what I needed to pass down to my Privateer and lower level ones.

I think the experiment is a good one ..... Good luck to you!
17 companions at level 50.... I have twice that I'm pretty sure. That many tomes won't level up your companions much when you have 30 something of them to contend with. From 46 to 47 takes 2 tomes, 47 to 48, 2 tomes, 48 to 49, 3 tomes, 49 to 50, 4 tomes each companion.

Gunner's Mate
Oct 22, 2011
210
seasnake on Nov 27, 2012 wrote:
17 companions at level 50.... I have twice that I'm pretty sure. That many tomes won't level up your companions much when you have 30 something of them to contend with. From 46 to 47 takes 2 tomes, 47 to 48, 2 tomes, 48 to 49, 3 tomes, 49 to 50, 4 tomes each companion.
That's 17 main quest companions at the time I posted the message. I now have 19 main quest companions on my Privateer, and 8 side quest companions I haven't completed yet - but can now, because they will all be above 50 when turned in, so I won't have to use any tomes on them.

Of those 19 main quest companions (those you have to get if you want to continue the storyline), 3 or 4 are 50 or above when I got them (no tomes used). All others are 47 to 49 at this time, and I still have tomes left over (not many!).

All other companions that will be picked up or turned in for the remainder of the game will be higher than level 50, thus, no training tomes are wasted.

On my Musketeer, out of 23 companions on that pirate, all are at level 50 or above, except for the bottom 6, which are level 49.

On my Buccaneer, I think I have 10+ that are level 50 or above (I haven't worked this pirate in a while), the rest are level 48 to 49.

Dead-eye Devin Devereaux L50
Inky India Innsbrook L50
Lazy Lenora Leech L50