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Why I Hate Followers

Discussion in 'Skyrim Articles' started by imaginepageant, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. imaginepageant

    imaginepageant Slytherin Alumni

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    There he is: the bandit chief I’ve been hired to—ahem—take care of. So close I can hear him mumbling to himself, thinking he’s alone. But he’s not alone. I’m there, but I’m a shadow. A ghost. I’m as invisible as you can get without a spell or a potion. Finally, he turns his back to me—it’s time to strike. I inch forward, dagger held high and ready.

    But as his head jerks up, I know something’s wrong. Maybe my stomach grumbled in protest of not seeing any solid food for a month, or perhaps he heard the hundreds of spare arrows rattling around in my Gallifreyan coin purse (it’s bigger on the inside). Whatever the reason, the bandit chief unsheathes his sword and asks—as if honestly expecting an answer—if anyone’s there.

    No need to panic. I’ll just slip back into the shadows and wait for my next chance to sneak up on him. He’ll never know what hit him.

    But then, behind me:

    “I’LL KILL YOU IF I HAVE TO! RAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!”

    Damn it, Lydia.


    slide.jpg
    What'd I do?


    If this has ever happened to you, you’ll understand my frustration with followers in Skyrim. I was stunned to recently discover that my companionless style of play was not the norm, and can’t wrap my head around the reasons people take Lydia or Farkas or Mjoll on every excursion and adventure. So, I’m here today to make the case against followers.


    STEALTH? WHAT’S THAT?

    I learned very early on that there is no such thing as stealth when you have a follower with you. Unfortunately, this means that companions are more of a hindrance than a help to a stealth-based player. Sure, they’ll crouch when you crouch, but as my experience with the bandit chief should illustrate, their mimicry ends at the smallest sign of trouble. I suppose something can be said for allowing your companion to keep your enemy occupied while you fire arrows at him from a distance, but you can kiss those deadly—and awesome—backstabs goodbye.


    OOPS, SORRY ABOUT THAT...

    Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time keeping track of who’s a friend and who’s a foe in battles. I can’t tell you how many Stormcloaks I’ve accidentally killed during sieges on Imperial forts, or how many times I swung at Karliah or Brynjolf instead of the Falmers we were supposed to be fighting. Everyone moves around so quickly! And it’s always so dark! How am I supposed to focus on killing my enemy when I can’t even tell who my enemy is?

    When I do know who’s who, I still manage to hit friendlies because they absolutely love getting in the way. It never fails: the second you wind up for that power attack, your companion will jump right in front of you and take that axe to the neck. They are your sword and shield... and, apparently, your target practice.


    WATCH OUT!

    Have you ever taken a follower into a dungeon laced with traps? You can tiptoe around those pressure plates all you want, but they’re like magnets to companions. You’re guaranteed to be hit by poison darts or singed by fire no matter how cautious you are, because your companions just don’t care—possibly because they, unlike you, are nearly immortal. After getting knocked off of her feet once by a swinging spiked gate, you’d think that Lydia would know not to step on that pressure plate a second time. Or a third time. Or a fourth time. But she does, and gets back up, unscathed, every time. Must be nice!


    MOVE IT OR LOSE IT

    Companions really like to block doorways, staircases, and narrow corridors. This is the true purpose of Fus Ro Dah, you know. Forget dragons! We need that shout to push our followers out of the way, so we don’t starve to death, trapped in some tiny room we can’t escape because Lydia refuses to move. Those programmers, they’re always two steps ahead.


    JUST SHUT UP

    One of the biggest complaints I hear about companions is that they’re one-dimensional when it comes to dialogue; either they say next to nothing, or they say the same things again and again and again. You can only hear “I am your sword and your shield” so many times before wanting to hurl yourself off of the Throat of the World.

    But my issue with follower dialogue is a little different: they have a knack for choosing the most inappropriate response possible for whatever situation you’re in. This can make for some comical moments, but mostly it just makes me want to rip my hair out. In one memorable incident, I killed a Draugr that was attacking Mercer Frey while we traversed Snow Veil Sanctum. How does he show his gratitude? By angrily shouting, “Hey, watch it!” because I happened to get within sword’s reach of him while saving his life. Sorry, Mercer! Next time I’ll just let the Draugr eat you! This goes hand in hand with the problem of followers throwing themselves between your weapon and your enemy; as soon as they willingly impale themselves upon your blade, they’re snapping at you to be careful. Makes sense.


    MARCO? MARCO? MAAARCOOO?

    It’s a shame that Belethor doesn’t sell leashes in his general goods store, because they’d come in really handy for followers. They have this uncanny talent for getting lost, especially if you happen to be traversing terrain that isn’t completely flat. Which is to say, if you happen to be anywhere in Skyrim. The very few instances I chose to take a follower along on an adventure, the majority of my time was spent making sure they were still behind me, or backtracking to wherever they’d gotten stuck to lead them by the hand around that pesky pebble that was confounding them. A couple of times I noticed Lydia stop dead in her tracks for no apparent reason, only to set off again once a respectable distance of a mile or so was between us. Maybe she’s just antisocial.

    This becomes much more of a problem if you’ve gifted your follower with high-end weapons and armor, or stashed valuable loot on them once you’ve hit your carry weight limit. Then, losing your companion also means losing all your goods, thus negating the one useful purpose companions actually have: being a pack mule.


    YOU’RE STEALING MY THUNDER

    What happens when your follower fights half of every battle for you? You get half of the skill growth. Forget about improving your heavy armor skill if Lydia’s the one taking all the hits from those Draugrs. And you’ll never get your sneak skill to fifty when Farkas is always charging in like a bull. At first, it’ll be frustrating that it’s taking you so long to get that one-handed perk you’ve been itching for, but the real danger lies in the long-term effect of companions stealing your thunder: with your battle skills progressing slower than your other skills, your enemies—who level at the same pace as you—will eventually outclass you in the ability to fight. Good luck fighting Alduin solo when your level significantly outranks your actual battle prowess!


    RIDDLE ME THIS

    In my experience, companions in Skyrim are about as thick as day-old Potage le Magnifique. Why, then, do so many people use them? Have I just had phenomenally bad luck? My biased perspective may be blinding me to the positives of Skyrim’s buddy system, so I’d love to hear what you enjoy about followers!

    I’d also like challenge you to try a few quests without a companion, if you typically take one everywhere. You may find that you prefer being a lone wolf... or, your appreciation for followers may deepen after you find yourself the singular target of a couple of trolls. Either way, it’s great to experience Skyrim from both sides—which is why I will be making an effort to get poor Lydia out of Breezehome every now and then in my own game.

    Let’s just hope we don’t come across any more bandit chiefs.
     
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  2. trekie4ever

    trekie4ever New Member

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    I totally feel you. I ditched Lydia after a while once I got my sneak up. She was great at lower levels when I was getting used to the game but then I kept killing her. I will pick her back up later on just for the heck of it.... but companions just are too dumb for me. I like being able to sneak up on enemies and hearing their little dialogue.

    But one tying in the game is worse than companions nd the complete lack of being able to kill slaughter fish....

    HORSES!!!

    Sent from my Gummy Razr while munching on Ice Cream Sandwich
     
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  3. imaginepageant

    imaginepageant Slytherin Alumni

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    Ah, I'm not a fan of horses, either, though they do seem to be more intelligent than human followers. My biggest problem with horses is the essential time that's wasted getting off of them when an enemy's either running towards you, or already attacking you. Okay, and it is a little frustrating when the horse runs off to attack something else you didn't even know was there, making you spend the next ten minutes searching for them... but somehow that always makes me chuckle. I love how they're all calm and stoic when you find them. It's like, "Oh, by the way, I killed a wolf. Now let's get you to Ivarstead."
     
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  4. Sparkz

    Sparkz Mysterious Creature

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    I totaly agree even though im not a sneaky type,im a mage. i find companions just uttlery stupid.Never staying out of the way or doing something completley retarted like running infront of my flames,sparks or frostbite spell just as i start damaging a mob with these spells..I find my self more than not having to use shouts to move them out of a small coridor so i can get by or just completly nukeing the ... out of them because they just wont stay out of my way.

    Lydia Deaths by my hand.

    Fifteen times​

    Lydia deaths by her own accord

    Six Times.​

    After these deaths via multiple playthroughs i just gave up on ever useing a merc/person you are friends with/dog/house carl as a follower.Unless i absolutly have to so that i can complete an area.

    Only thing that really bugs me about horses if ur attacking a dragon and then the horse sees it and the dragons on the ground and if close enuff to the horse it will go attack it.Like common horse ur not gonna defeat that by just stomping your hooves on its face..Atleast not before it kills you first.
     
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  5. TabiCat93

    TabiCat93 New Member

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    Oh my god, I completely agree with you... I refuse all my requests, and leave my housecarls and wife/husband (depends on which save) home... And I also have a problem killing my friends during a battle... They usually get in the way, even guards when a dragon pops out of nowhere and attacks, then I get bitched at for assaulting a guard...
     
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  6. joephillips03

    joephillips03 Member

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    Has anybody tried giving their companion muffled shoes. I gave the dark elf follower my entire dark brotherhood outfit. We seemed to stay hidden pretty well.
     
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  7. Perkless in Skyrim

    Perkless in Skyrim Bad to the Dragonbone.

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    Followers are definitely a mixed blessing. Some people have mentioned that they have their follower wait nearby in a place that's already been cleared to avoid their tendency to both alert enemies and arrange their own deaths by your hand.

    Personally, I haven't had much trouble with losing a follower and when it does happen, I take a carriage or fast travel and if they're still alive they'll be right there with me.

    There are good arguments for and against having a follower with you and I think it all boils down to personal preference. They make great pack mules, as mentioned, and can pull your fat out of the fire in the early levels. Some of their dialogue wears thin after awhile though, especially chatty ones like Mjoll the Lioness. And I've been in too many fights to count where after the dust settled, my follower was one of the casualties, usually because of me.

    Don't even get me started on dogs and horses.
     
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  8. Jeff31

    Jeff31 Premium Member

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    Yeah ive had the same problem with followers. There walk on the ground with no grace what so ever, and my character is silent like a ninja! The followes are a bunch of noise bumbling
    atrocity's. I just dislike them and they don't even deserve to be in my company not to even carry by baggage!
    I'm not sure why there were put in the game to being with there just a compete waist of anyones time, they will just get you killed when the first moment arises. Also most of these followers don't deal enough damange to even cause a splinter in anyone they may face! So yeah I do not like followers I wish I could put a nicely sharpend arrow in-between each small brained companion, but im just such a nice guy ive yet to act on my wishes ;).
     
  9. imaginepageant

    imaginepageant Slytherin Alumni

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    Ack, yes! I've had to reload many a dragon battle because Dragonred accidentally hit a guard. What kills me is how the guards will then start fighting ME when there's a DRAGON BREATHING FIRE ON THEM. Priorities, people!
     
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  10. Gehenna

    Gehenna Dazed & Confused

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    Congrats on a well-written article!

    I've been playing as a mage for the most part - sometimes I use a sword as well, and without fail all melee followers leap in front of a blast of fire. My solution is to either have no followers or to have mage or archer followers. Mage works better in tight quarters because the archers will grab a dagger and jump in front again.

    There is something to be said for going it alone too though. When the problem becomes carrying all your loot, the solution for me is to either cheat with god mode (no good if you want to level your armor or healing abilities) or to use the console to up my carry weight, or more recently to carry with me at all times a "bag of trash" mod that lets me sell off junk wherever I may be. I think someone has also come up with a bag of holding mod.
     
  11. Gyllenhall

    Gyllenhall Member

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    why not just craft a set of boots with carrying enchantment, or use potions?


    btw, i loved the article! best read in awhile
     
  12. imaginepageant

    imaginepageant Slytherin Alumni

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    Thank you!

    I actually don't run into carry weight problems too often, and I always have a Fortify Carry Weight potion or enchanted ring or necklace on me just in case I do. Early on it can be a pain, because you need whatever you can get to sell for gold. But after level fifteen or so, I don't mind dropping that enchanted axe I picked up to sell in order to make room for potions I'll use.
     
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  13. Stone

    Stone Retired Moderator

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    Why I hate followers:

    • Lydia: Every 5 minutes "I'm swooooooorn to carry your burdens"
    • Lydia: Every 5 minutes "I'm swooooooorn to carry your burdens"
    • Lydia: Every 5 minutes "I'm swooooooorn to carry your burdens"
    • Lydia: Every 5 minutes "I'm swooooooorn to carry your burdens"
    Oh, and don't forget:
    • Lydia: Every 5 minutes "I'm swooooooorn to carry your burdens"
    /facepalm. :d
     
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  14. Panthera

    Panthera Don Gato

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    I never used companions... kinda bad experience with quest related companions.
     
  15. Zoridium JackL

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    I always take a follower, I had a stealth character that didn't have a follower for levels 1-40, but I then realized something, I was REALLY f'ing lonely :sadface:,
     
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  16. Jadesen

    Jadesen New Member

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    I only like my companion because she if from the Dark Brotherhood and is a great fighter. I used to use Sven and realized he was a crap follower when I was about level 12. I decided to use my husband as my follower (yes, I was in a hurry to get married. I regret it now.) And he died. No idea how but I bet you he hated me and let dragon rip him apart. Letting out my rage on people by taking contracts from the Dark Brotherhood and then getting my new follower. She is not the bet I'm sure, and she recently decided to get in my way, get an arrow to the knee all that stuff. I merely use her as a pack mule and for her to take people out if I can't handle them and they've detected me. I usually shoot them before she has a chance to scream at them. And when I'm sneaking and close to someone she says "How may I server you my Listener?" making me think every time she's going to get me caught. I also use her for company. When I was doing the main quest I got lonely in the cavern. I had been looking for a while for a person in Skyrim who was like me. :3 I usually don't use her for a pack mule much besides for dragon stuff, I usually have an almost empty inv about 120 - 150 weight.

    My dad uses mainly mage followers, he uses them for their skills and so they can carry his crap.

    My brother has a house... but carries every single piece of crap he can find. Makes his follower pick things up at random for no reason at all. He's a complete fool at the whole follower thing. He has no one to carry his stuff because he can't just put the crap in his house.

    So for your information, just for carrying things and fighting. Nothing more.
     
  17. DdraigGwyn

    DdraigGwyn Cymru

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    However, I must say that in the earlier stages a follower with complementary skills can be useful.
     
  18. joephillips03

    joephillips03 Member

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    I have used Mercurio from the bee and the barb. Im using a warrior with 2 handed weapons only. So far its going well. I fight on the front line and he just blasts them with spells.
     
  19. Epsilon

    Epsilon Shaun

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    Great article and i mostly agree, i do like having Cicero for his sneak abilities and he is deadly but damn i get tired of his stupid jester jokes non stop when im trying to listen to a npc. Oh and having Cicero out with the spectral assassin double annoying but their so handy im torn. And i just figured out the dungeon problem the hard way last night. Im an archer with not much help and Cicero basically danced on traps killing me while i was in a boss fight, after i died i sent him home and did it alone lol
     
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  20. SilverRhythm

    SilverRhythm Member

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    Thanks for the article, it really expresses all my frustration for followers as well LOL. But sorry to say that i find this article really really amusing.

    The most frustrating part I get with a follower is......when Esbern and Mjoll and my Dog comes together. Esbern shoots countless fireballs at the enemy and also hit Mjoll and my Dog in the process, eventually after smacking the enemy, my Dog and Mjoll comes and smashes Esbern and they start a bloody fight lol. FORTUNATELY, Mjoll was tougher than Esbern and beat the **** out of him and force him into submission. But my Dog......DIED to Esbern =.=

    I tried sheathing my weapons thinking it will stop the fight but it doesn't. Pity my unfortunate dog got slaughtered in a civil brawl lol.

    After that, I decided to send Esbern immediately to Sky Haven Temple and let him sit quietly there before he starts going into another civil brawl with Mjoll for every battle. EVERY BATTLE i repeat lol.
     
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