I mentioned this idea in the past but think it’s an interesting one considering that we now have seasonal buffs in Diablo 3. But I feel that for the next season there should be a buff that allows us to hire all three followers. Make the theme the season of followers.
Rather than having new class sets, I would like to see other, useless sets revisited and perhaps re-examining how certain legendaries work for followers as part of this seasonal theme.
The first set to look at is Ashera’s Vestments. For the most part, the set is practically worthless as the only notable feature is the 4 piece bonus of “Attacks cause your followers to occasionally come to your aid.” However, in the age of GR 150s and Torment 16s, no one in their right mind is going to ever use this, even if it’s the only set they have available.
What I’d like to see is this becoming a generic, any class type of high powered set that operates in a way similar to using the Legacy of Nightmares or Legacy of Dreams, complimenting whatever items or skills you have. However, this would buff followers by revamping the bonuses here.
Some ideas would be the 2 set unlocking all skills and increasing follower damage along with being able to hire all three followers. The 3 set would be to automatically allow a Unity-like defensive bonus with the Follower death immunity effect of their relic spots (thus giving the player a 50% damage reduction). The 4 set bonus would be a damage amplification buff to followers.
Now, I did say useless sets. So the other set I had in mind is Blackthorne’s. For the most part, Blackthorne’s is a defensive set with one notable bonus for the 4 piece: “You are immune to Desecrator, Molten, and Plagued monster ground effects.” Right now, I’m thinking of combining this set with Ashera’s and a Ring of the Royal Grandeur effect to be a weird hybrid set.
The idea would be to make Ashera’s mostly offensive focused and Blackthorne’s defensive and crowd control oriented. It would put the player in the background as a CC person with high defense, similar to a zDPS support character. Blackthorne’s could continue to employee the ground effects immunity but do things like increase the duration of CC effects, improved cooldowns and perhaps party buffs.
In turn, items like Ice Climbers or one of the damage immunity amulets would be valued in this situation. Then it becomes avoiding physical damage as the game style along with careful CC tactics and positioning.
Perhaps, this playstyle will encourage other legendary gems to be used too like Iceblink or another defensive gem. Also, revamp the relic slots for followers or add new ones. Maybe weapons and rings for followers will make them more interesting.
Another idea I had was to make it so that a 4-way Unity between your followers and you would not only split the damage, but make it so that only 1 follower would be required to wear the fatality immunity relic. In turn, two other followers could free up their relic slot to use the other relics that aren’t normally popular.
Also, for Unity, I thought about making it so that not only damage can be reduced but the effect of one of the effect immunity amulets can be used here. I’m dead sure that the bulk of followers use The Ess of Johan for crowd control/gathering. So we could add some variety by combining it with less used amulets.
Or we could convert Unity into a semi-set like ring. It would be a new type of set where rather than having different pieces, you would have additive effects as you add more Unity rings to followers. 2 Unity rings would be reduced damage, 3 would allow a damage immunity amulet and 4 maybe a 2nd damage immunity amulet.
Perhaps, another idea to allow for the future hiring of all followers is a special item, maybe in the relic slot that would permit all three to be hired. Then one follower can use the cannot die relic and the remaining one can be free for any other type of relic.
What about followers in parties? I don’t mind because Ashera’s technically allows followers to come. However, I think to balance out a 4-man group, you would need certain restrictions such as the limits on Unity rings such that the affects only apply to you and followers (when followers are present)
How about weapons/shields? There are a few popular ones that I’ve seen in Thunderfury, Windforce, Azurewrath, Freeze of Deflection and Maximus. Most of them seem useful in CC situations. But I think other weapons that do not currently have any type of unique property should be retrofitted so they can boost the unique offensive properties of a follower. Same goes for rings just to make non-Unity or Oculus ring more viable.
Lastly, I would like to see a bit of new content for Followers. Like some story lines being wrapped up. Or story lines that lead to an item like the hire all followers feature. Maybe even a new boss for them.
At any rate, I think Followers should be a major thing in the next season. It’s one of the last things that remain untouched almost since Reaper of Souls had come out. It’s about damn time something is done to bring out more usefulness and desire from them.