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Developer Blog: Companion System

By Julia (nitocris83) | Mon 18 Mar 2019 07:00:00 AM PDT

Hello once again travelers,

Today we will be covering the new companion system. Many things have changed with the system in Undermountain so I will do my best to cover all of it here.

Active Companion Paradigm and Player Bonuses (formerly known as ACBs)

Active companion slots are things of the past. Currently, these slots primarily serve as containers for ACBs and as such they have been changed to do just that. As a part of this change, ACBs have been rebranded and made into a separate piece similar to mount powers. This new piece is referred to as a player bonus.

Player bonuses can be equipped in player bonus slots and are limited by type. The types are offense, defense, and utility and, as you can guess, they give bonuses that are similar to the type. Some player bonuses can go in multiple slots. The power of player bonuses are based on the quality of the companion they came with. So in order to increase the base effectiveness of a power that companion must be upgraded. The companion does not have to be summoned, just its quality increased.


This is the Zhentarim Warlock’s player bonus at blue quality

Here it is again at orange

Each slot offers a filtered list of available player bonuses.

The types of slots available to the player are based on the character class. The breakdown per class is:

  • Fighter, Paladin, Barbarian
    • Defense
    • Offense
    • Defense
    • Defense
    • Utility 
  • Cleric
    • Offense
    • Utility
    • Defense
    • Offense
    • Utility
  • Rogue, Warlock, Wizard, Ranger
    • Offense
    • Defense
    • Offense
    • Offense
    • Utility


To summarize:

  • Active companion slots have been replaced with player bonus slots
  • Each slot has one of 3 themes (offense, defense, utility)
  • Available slots differ based on class
  • Player bonuses are themed and can have multiple themes attached to them
  • Player bonuses are always active as long as they are equipped


Pet Enhancements

An additional piece of companions are slottable powers known as pet enhancements. These are buffs or debuffs that are triggered when the player uses a power. Of course, in order for this to happen there has to be a companion summoned and in range.

While player bonuses are unique for each companion, the pool of player enhancements is much smaller. So multiple companions can come with the same pet enhancement.


Companion Equipment

The equipment that companions wear are now universal. Gone are the days of having to equip each companion with their specific equipment requirements. Now companion equipment slots allow the player to equip any piece of companion equipment in them. Notice how I said companion equipment; companions can no longer equip player equipment, they are now only interested in companion-only equipment.

On top of this change to equipment, the slots have been globalized. So no matter what companion you decide to switch to, the equipment will apply to the summoned companion.

Runestone slots have also been changed. Since Bonding runestones have become such an integral part of the game, we converted the runestone slots to Bonding runestone slots. These slots have also been made universal so you only need 3 to benefit from any summoned companion.

Note that I am only talking about Bonding runestones. Well, that is because Eldritch runestones are a thing of the past… sort of. Bonding runestones and Eldritch runestones had a talk and decided that Bonding runestones would start to work like Eldritch as long as they could still be called Bonding because Bonding is a much cooler name. This change to Bonding means that both combat and augment pets benefit from the runestones. For those of you with Eldritch stones, we are implementing a trade in so they can be converted into Bonding runestones.

So I bet you are wondering about those other runestones, well with the limiting of the Bonding runestone slots the other runestones have been set free to live in the slots of all companion equipment. That’s right, companion equipment is the new home for runestones.


To summarize

  • Companions can only equip companion equipment now
  • Equipment slots are now universal, meaning any piece of gear can go into any slot
  • Equipment slots apply to the currently summoned companion. There is no longer a need to equip each companion individually
  • Companion gear now only takes runestones
  • Runestone slots are now bonding runestone slots
  • Bonding runestones work like Eldritch stones now
  • Bonding runestones are used by both augment and combat companions
  • Eldritch can be exchanged at the antiquities dealer in PE


Bolstering and Categorization

Over the years some of you have collected many companions. Unfortunately they have had to sit and collect dust unable to provide any support. Thankfully this has changed with the new bolstering system. Now upgrading and levelling up multiple companions in storage benefits any summoned companion in the form of a bolster bonus.

Bolstering increases the combat effectiveness of the summoned companion or the special ratings of an augment pet. The more of a certain type of a companion you have, at higher quality, the larger the bonus.

A companion type is what determines where the bolster bonus comes from. There are 5 types, or categories, that companions now fit in. These categories are fighters, creatures, invokers, mystical, and beasts. Adding companions from each group will increase the bolster bonus. Maximum bolster bonus can be reached if you have at least 5 companions of the highest quality within a category. Which 5 does not matter, the bonus is derived from the 5 best quality companions you have.

To summarize

  • Companions now fit into 1 of 5 categories
  • Depending on the number and quality of owned companions of the same category the summoned companion will be bolstered (Up to 5)
  • Bolstering increases the power of the companion by the percentage displayed in the companion window
  • Combat companions receive increases to their non-rating combat stats for bolstering
  • Augments receive a slight boost to the three ratings they specialize in


Those are the highlights of the companion changes. Along with this update will come changes to how companions scale, their survivability, and from where they get their damage values. The hope is that the player will have more freedom to use different companions without feeling like they are making a bad choice just because they want to use a different companion. Decoupling the direct link to player power and companion combat effectiveness means you can freely explore other options.

If you are curious to find out more please log on to our preview server and check Neverwinter: Undermountain out. IT’S THE BEST!

Salim “Silius” Grant
Systems Designer

nw-news, nw-launcher, nw-developer-blog,

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