The next chapter in Elder Scrolls Online is around the corner and one feature of the Blackwood expansion is outshining everything else: companions.
In a Q&A with creative director Richard Lambert last week, we learnt a whole lot about the upcoming Blackwood expansion and how some of the systems will work.
Currently, there are two companions that will release in Blackwood. Once their quests have been completed, these characters can then join you for pretty much any content except PVP. Ever wished you had a pocket healer, or some extra damage to kill things quicker? Now you can.
Companions use slightly different rules than players when it comes to gear and skills. For example, you can’t just give your companions your old loot, rather you will have to acquire companion only pieces of gear.
Their skills and power level are also pretty different from the players. The companions don’t get champion points and stop at level 20. They also only use one weapon in combat, so they only have access to a single bar’s worth of skills. You pick their skills and put them in their bar and here is where the system will either shine or not. Each skill has a cooldown time, and the companion will use skills in order on the bar. So if you want them to heal you, you better put those heals at the front, so that they will cast them whenever they aren’t on cooldown.
Getting your companion to use different skills or play a different role is pretty easy. Just talk to them and change their skills around as you please. Each companion will lean into a specific class and has their own likes and dislikes. Thankfully if you like stealing and murdering and don’t want to upset your companion, you can just dismiss them and re-summon them once your evil deeds are done. For example Mirri Elendis the dark elf likes pickpockets. But Imperial Bastion doesn’t care much for thieves.
Companions aren’t inventory space for you, so if you were hoping for Lydia to carry your burdens, then you are out of luck. To help with inventory space though, you won’t get companion loot if you don’t have your companion summoned.
Lambert says that the companions shouldn’t cause any server lag or frame rate issues when everyone arrives to a world event with their companion summoned.
He was also quite adamant that companions are not meant to replace other players. While two people with companions could do a dungeon together, the companions haven’t been designed or tuned to complete veteran challenge content. Still, seeing as I only play the game alone or with a friend, this opens up several options to us. Especially seeing as every dungeon finder group is just a complete mad dash run to the end.
And for those worried, companions don’t drain your XP, so it seems like there is no downside to using them, except maybe having your inventory clog up a big quicker. Gosh I wish I had bigger bags.
Elder Scrolls Online launches on June 1 on PC, with Xbox One, Xbox Series, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 getting the game on June 8.