The Crafter Follower Issue

One thing that is rather noticeable about all the followers that craft something is how bad of value they get when initially being upgraded:

  • Upgrading them from level 2-9 and level 11-19 does seemingly nothing for almost all of them.

  • Quite a few of them have higher value at level 1 than they do at level 19, only becoming better once hitting level 20 for epic chance.

  • Ore cost increases with leveling, making the level 2-9 progression and 11-19 progression actively make them less efficient than they were at level 1 or 10 respectively.

These factors make it so around half the followers in the game actively lose value when doing their initial leveling.

One of the simplest fixes to this problem would be to make every follower that crafts something be like the Locksmith, where every level increases the chance for a double craft by 1%. That way a level 9 crafter would at least have a 9% double craft chance benefit rather than actively being worse than the level 1 variant.

The more complicated fix would be to give every crafter some form of constantly active passive that goes up every single level. Currently, Eveline is the only follower that both crafts something and has a passive that goes up every level. This concept with different mechanics could be applied to every crafter giving them some form of passive that goes up every level while still having their standard craft.

Some potential crafter passive ideas include:
Armorer: Gives % armor stat bonus per level
Artisan: Gives % resistance stat bonus per level
Mage: Gives spell damage reduction per level
Weaponsmith: Gives % power per level
Locksmith: A 5th mark category when completing dungeons with drop based on Locksmith level
The Runesmith: Increases upgrading material received from salvaging per level
Stable Master: Decreases pet rest time per level
Hunter: Increases chance of finding flux from chests per level

I speculate leveling them will raise the craft chance of high-rarity item, but we lacks the percentage list to confirm this. Make a list will occupy many place, too.
Give them unique passive seems to be the better choice.

My thought:
They shouldn’t give flat stat bonus, since that’s what citadel should do.
Armorer, Artisan, Mage, Weaponsmith, Stable Master: Have a small chance (depend on their level) to improve the drop item of their profession (including the one they craft), raise their rarity by one level. Chance are based on the original rarity of drop item, of course.
Runesmith, Hunter: Chance of double forge (two separate drop instead of an extra copy).

The stats are mostly so there is actually a reason to upgrade them. There are already 3 ways to raise most of those stats, so having a 4th wouldn’t be too big of a stretch (citadel, achievements, and gear).

The problem with not doing passives is some crafters would be useless if the only buff to them is them becoming better at their crafting job. This is most noteworthy for Armorer and Artisan, that even if they were 3x better at their crafting job would likely still be skipped relative to other options. What they do isn’t bad, just everything else is better if there was no incentive to upgrade them for anything other than their craft.

Also, with the exception of power, every stat increase I mentioned for followers either caps via citadel (with the 50 limit), or doesn’t exist on citadel (such as mage’s spell resistance). They would also cap on followers too, since pretty sure they don’t go beyond level 100. It would essentially be a 100 level extension for some citadel perks that likely has the effective growth rate of 33-50 citadel levels in the equivalence through the process of the 100 levels.

Technically, there is already a follower that increases the player’s stats, but it isn’t a passive. Locksmith gives the player exp, which translates to eventual citadel levels, which of course are stat increases. It isn’t a passive in the literal sense, but it is currently the only instance where a follower currently increases the base stats of the hero without a location restriction.

I was going to make a post on this very topic this morning. I’ll add a key observation onto what you have written.

Very true. In the current implementation, players are disincentivized from leveling their followers that use ore at all. Eveline is super-cruel in that she must be leveled up first before everyone else, and she is the primary source for the player’s keys once all of the free keys from story mode dry up. As such, players are actively punished more and more severely for each level up of Eveline.

Compounding this issue is Adhakus’s completely anemic ore generation rate. Currently, it is set to be exactly half of Brie’s food generation rate, which in a vacuum is fine. The problem here is that as each crafter raises in rarity, their efficiency (time needed to craft) improves as well. Adhakus’s level ups match the other crafters in terms of ore consumption, but he cannot match their time efficiency improvements. By Rare level 20, any single crafter can consume more ore than Adhakus can produce per day at maximum efficiency. Beyond level 20, the problem gets even worse. Even if there improvements to the other crafters, they will be just sitting there idly, 95%, if not 99% of the time.

And because of how the game works, that one crafter that is going to be used is almost going to Eveline and no one else.

I personally feel like this is by design so people have to open chests to get ores. I get more ore from chests some days than food from chests.

Miner’s ore rate is pretty funny though. It is so low, that at level 26 miner, it is more ores per day to upgrade Gong to level 10 uncommon and use that honor via 2 pvp tournaments on ores than it is to upgrade Miner those next two levels.

Personally finding Hunter, Locksmith, and Mage to be the crafters I use the most. Hunter is my only follower that has been crafting 24/7 since obtaining. Locksmith drastically speeds up the rate at which Guard can get all of his chest slots filled and allows for less play time on busier days. Mage I use the least of the 3, but it helps getting a wide variety of spells since her drop table is every spell in the entire game including dungeon and class spells for all dungeons/classes.

Even once Eveline gets the diamond key chance (which I believe is at 30 since 20 is ruby), the rate of actually getting the highest rarity one is very low. Contrasting this to something like Hunter or Locksmith and both of those followers have essentially 0 bad drops, with the exception of Hunter getting an uncommon rune.

Locksmith also has an interesting interaction in that it gains chests, which have ores in it, that then can be opened to gain more ores. It is the only crafter that technically can give back some of the ore cost of the craft.

I’m shaking my head at the concept of having a level 26 follower already. I’m presuming you are getting these ore rates through farming Difficulty X skirmishes and dungeons, supplemented by skirmish/dungeon loot tickets, plus the locksmith drops?

If so, you are farming ores with a multiplier that’s at least a full order of magnitude over the ore drop rates from chests for level-appropriate enemies at those follower levels.

There is someone already with level 26 followers, but mine aren’t even 20 yet. It is possible to do the math for any follower up to any point since so far it seems all of them have static gains for both food cost and growth rate.