This guide to Diablo 3's Follower system will explore each Follower class and function so that you can get the most out of the revamped system and NPCs you decide to enlist for battle. Taking on Followers isn't required, but trust us -- it's a good idea.
What are Followers?
Formerly known as Hirelings, Followers are NPCs that may be found throughout Sanctuary who are more than willing to accompany you into battle. Not only can they fight on your behalf, but they may also level up, acquire new abilities, and receive new and improved equipment should you choose to provide it. Think of them as aides that you can outfit and grow as you see fit. You may not be able to customize them as closely as your own Hero, but done correctly they can be molded into formidable assistants.
How do I hire a Follower?
Right-clicking on the Follower icon found at the upper-left corner of the screen will open a menu with four options: Talk, Hire, Dismiss, or Retrain. From here you may speak to potential candidates, hire one, retrain a current Follower, or dismiss your current ally. You may hire only one Follower at a time and you may choose from three different classes: the Templar, Scoundrel, and Enchantress.
You may choose to hire additional Followers, but your remaining hires will have to wait back at camp until you return. After you begin browsing through the available Followers, you are given 120 seconds to make your hiring decision. Once you've chosen a suitable companion, your new ally will automatically match your hero's level minus one. Say you've hit level 13 -- your Follower will be at level 12 upon hire. It's prudent to outfit your warrior with equipment that's suitable for their current level and location, as the items they spawn with are completely random.
What happens to Followers in battle?
Your Follower will act as a constant companion in each scuffle, and can be outfitted with weapons and equipment of your choosing. In addition, each class can equip a special accessory exclusive to their lineage: Templar Relics, Enchantment Focuses, and Scoundrel Tokens. They can be healed by special health globes should they take damage, but will not die in combat. Instead, they'll fall to one knee, exhausted. This renders them incapacitated for 10 seconds, after which they will automatically be revived. After the battle has been won, Followers will be awarded XP for the enemies they've downed, but will not be able to pick up gold or equipment.
What does it mean to Retrain a Follower?
Retraining allows you to select new skill sets after you've already established a current path for your ally. It is quite costly to do so, but can be very beneficial should you need an entirely different set of proficiencies for your current situation.
What kinds of Followers are there?
You may choose from three different classes at certain points throughout the game, each with their own specialities and accessories.
Encountered in: Act 1, Reign of the Black King
Templars are renowned as excellent hand-to-hand combatants, and can also carry a wide range of spears and swords, as well as daggers and maces. You'll first meet up with this class in the Cathedral as you make your way through Act 1. The knights sworn to protect the church are powerful allies to your Hero, as they can heal and taunt in addition to slice through any enemies that may stand in your way.
Level 5: Templars may Heal you or themselves for varying life, at the cost of a cooldown for 30 seconds. In addition, they may Intervene, which taunts enemies currently attacking your Hero for 3 seconds, only when the Hero is below 50% of health. Cooldown cost is 60 seconds.
Level 10: Loyalty, an improved version of Heal, regenerates hit points per second for the Hero and Templar. Intimidate will slow enemies by 60% for 3 seconds should one dare to lay a finger on the Templar.
Level 15: Charge will launch an offensive Charge on a target that deals 50% weapon damage and stuns applicable, in-range enemies within 8 yards for only 2 seconds and a cooldown cost of 30. An even more powerful offensive skill, Onslaught, can inflict 200% weapon damage for 30 seconds of cooldown -- quite impressive!
Level 20: Inspire can increase resource generation for any ally the Templar follows. Guardian will send your Templar rushing to the side of a wounded ally, with a knockback of enemies within 15 yards and healing the affected Hero. Cooldown is 30 seconds.
Encountered in: Act 1, Sword of the Stranger
Scoundrels are known as excellent marksmen and can be found in the Fields of Misery. They're fantastic with two-hanged ranged weapons (like bows and crossbows) but unlike the Templar are usually out for blood rather than coming to the Hero's aid. With that said, they're great for offensive onslaughts.
Level 5: Crippling Shot is a ranged attack that can slow down enemies by 60% for 3 seconds, for a cooldown cost of 6 seconds. Alternatively, Poison Bolts deal 40% weapon damage and an additional 40% as Poison damage over 3 seconds.
Level 10: Dirty Fighting will blind enemies near the Scoundrel for 3 seconds, for a cooldown of 30 seconds. Vanish allows an injured Scoundrel to disappear from the fight with a quick puff of smoke, where he will reappear after 5 seconds, having healed himself with varying life. Cooldown is 30 seconds.
Level 15: Powered Shot sends an arrow hurtling toward enemies that explodes upon impact with 25% Arcane weapon damage to all targets in 6 yards. It's also got a 50-50 shot at stunning enemies for 2 seconds. Multishot is a simple skill that allows a Scoundrel's ranged attacks to fire off 3 bolts one at a time.
Level 20: Hysteria allows Scoundrels and Heroes who land critical hits to increase all damage done by 10% for 3 seconds. Anatomy increases the Scoundrel's Critical Hit chances by 3% for himself and any available allies.
Encountered in: Act 2, Beneath the Burning Sands
Enchantresses are powerful Followers with proficiencies in staves, wands, and other two-handed weapons, with access to helpful buffs and protective abilities. Great for keeping up a good defense, especially if you're headed into an area that requires magical displacement or an additional oomph for attacks.
Level 15: The Enchantress can Charm an enemy into joining the fight for you for 4 seconds at a 25 second cooldown. Forceful Push will summon an Arcane explosion that will deal 100% weapon damage (dealt as Arcane) with a knockback to all monsters within the explosion. Cooldown is 10 seconds.
Level 20: Reflect Missiles allows the Enchantress and allies to deflect any incoming ranged attacks or projectiles for 6 seconds for a cooldown cost of 20 seconds. Powered Armor is a useful buff that increases the Enchantress's and allies' armor by 15%. Any oncoming attackers are slowed down at a formidable 30% for 3 seconds.
Level 25: Disorient casts a veil of confusion on a selected pod of enemies, which keeps the poor saps walking around in circles, disoriented, for 2 seconds, at a cooldown cost of 45 seconds. Erosion creates energy that will deal 50% weapon damage as Arcade for 3 seconds, where any enemies caught in the pool will take an extra 15% damage from any attack for 3 seconds. Cooldown requires 15 seconds.
Level 30: Mass Control will send a hex to any enemies within range of 15 yards, effectively turning them into chickens for 5 seconds. Yes, chickens, who can't attack in any offensive manner...you know, because they're chickens. Massive cooldown time of 60 seconds is required for this spell. Focused Mind, on the other hand, creates an aura that will increase attack speed by 3% for any ally within 40 yards of the Enchantress.
There is an appropriate Follower for any situation, depending on the area you're about to explore. All three are outfitted with useful buffs and attacks that should act as useful enhancements throughout your journey. Which Followers are right for you? Let us know which class you keep coming back to and what works in different types of situations during your travels.