This blog is part of the series I am writing for the A to Z Blogging Challenge.  The idea is to write a blog that somehow fits with the letter of the day.  It can be about anything that the writer feels is fitting.  I have decided to use this challenge as an opportunity to write about Diablo III (and the “universe” it exists in).  Those that are participating on Twitter are using #AtoZ when posting their blogs.

F is for Follower.   No, I’m not talking about Twitter followers, or how to get more of them.  For this blog, I am going to focus on the three Followers that players unlock as they make progress through Diablo III.  In order to avoid any potential “spoilers” that may, or may not, be a part of Act V, I will restrict this topic to my first impressions of each Follower.  I’m also going to remark about whether my initial feelings about each follower changed (and if so, why).  All of the artwork in this blog came from Battle.net.

The first time I found Kormac the Templar was when I was playing the beta for the original Diablo III.  At the time, nobody knew much about the game, so I had absolutely no idea what I was about to get into.  I clearly remember walking into the room where the Templar is stuck, hanging in the air, by the force of whatever magic the menacing looking robed people were using.  Players are supposed to rush down the stairs and kill the mages (at the time, I thought they were mages).

Shortly after you slay some of the “bad guys”, Kormac yells “I AM FREE!”.  This concerned me.  What, exactly, did I just free?  I was fully prepared to fight him!  Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary.  I’d never played a video game that gives the players Followers before, so this was a new and interesting experience.

The thing I liked best about the Templar was that he could heal.  Bringing him along provided me, a new player (everyone in the original beta was new to Diablo III by default) with a sense of security.  I was learning how to play, and making the type of mistakes that go along with that process.  If the Templar could heal me, that meant I would last longer before dying (or avoid death all together).

The Templar yells “Can we find more like that?” after the player kills off a gold monster or a mob of blue ones.  At first, this amused me.  He was as ready to slay demons as I was!  As time went on, I sometimes find that phrase of his to be annoying.  Often, I find myself thinking “Hold on there, Kormac, we barely survived that mob.  How’s about ya use that healing skill of yours first, hmm?”

Overall, I find that the Templar is a good choice of Follower when I am starting up a new character (or working on leveling one that is very low level).  That healing skill comes in handy.  He’s also good to bring with when I’m playing my Demon Hunter because the Templar will rush into battle and give me time to shoot all the things from afar.

I’m going to be honest.  I strongly disliked Lyndon, the Scoundrel, upon meeting him.  He seemed so skeezy!  The way he treated Sasha, the innocent farmer’s daughter he was with, bothered me greatly.  First, he convinced her that he was in love with her and seeking marriage.  Next, he talked her into stealing the valuable relic that her family owns.  She abandons her family and travels with Lyndon, certain that they shall be married.

Players quickly learn that the relic wasn’t nearly as valuable as Lyndon thought it would be.  It also becomes clear that he doesn’t value Sasha at all – he abandons her.  Poor girl is left standing in the middle of the slain bodies of the thieves guild, far from home.  Lyndon never had any intention of marrying Sasha.

Another difficulty I had with the Scoundrel is that he continuously hits on female player characters.  Its uncomfortable, and annoying, and I kept waiting for my Demon Hunter to get fed up and shoot him.  Male players, who choose to play a female character, might not have found this so uncomfortable.  As a female player, who was playing female characters, it felt just plain icky to have Lyndon trying to hit on the character I was playing.  My solution was to leave him in town.

Eventually, I decided to give the Scoundrel another try.  What made me reconsider him was the fact that he uses a ranged weapon.  I thought that would pair nicely with my Barbarian (who rushes into the middle of battle).  The combination worked well for me.  Over time, Lyndon kind of grew on me.  I actually find him amusing now!  Somehow, it felt less threatening to bring him along with my female Barbarian, who could easily pick him up and throw him across the room if he got on her nerves.

I remember when this artwork of the Enchantress was first released, people thought it was a glimpse of what the female Wizard class would look like.  People were extremely displeased.  Instead, this art turned out to be a drawing of Eirena the Enchantress.  My very first impression of her had more to do with her accent than her appearance.  I couldn’t place what that accent was.  She certainly didn’t sound like any of the other non-player characters (NPCs).  Things started to make sense when we learn that the Enchantress had been asleep for centuries.  People must have sounded different back then, I suppose.

I liked that Blizzard gave us a female Follower, since the other two were male.  It was really fun to have my female Barbarian take the Enchantress along as her Follower on the quests that also sent Leah along with the player.  Finally, an all female “team” of characters that was directly involved in the action that took place in a video game!  We’ve come a long way since player’s only options were Mario and Luigi, and the only female character in the game was the Princess they were trying to save.

For whatever reason, I seem to find really powerful weapons for my Enchantress.  This makes her a good choice of Follower to bring along, and I often chose her instead of the Scoundrel (since both have ranged attacks).  By my third or fourth trip through Act II, I got really tired of  “Look! There are more hidden footprints!” and I ended up swapping her out for one of the other Followers.  Later, I found that if you bring the Enchantress through other parts of the game, she will tell you a lot about the history of the area.  That’s very interesting to me!

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