Driving your Hireling Healbot

While leveling my fighter I have gotten fairly good at giving my hireling orders. Most of the TR lives that I have done on Samius I can easily handle my own healing. But around 11 or so hams and pots can only do so much and only be helped by having someone near by that can throw a heal.

And after watching some other people struggle to run their hires lately, I thought I would throw out a hint or two.

Think like a hireling: You have 3 main mods to switch between. Kill, defend, and pick nose.

The Kill mod I think most people understand. In this mod the hire will attack what ever target it feels like; controlling what it attacks is a matter of working the agro list. That control of its agro list is not real easy to manipulate, but is doable by standing in the right areas and letting it take a swing or two while you control the mob.

Defend is a little less clear. It means protect its “owner/controller” aka you. And they will use any actions at their disposal to try and do so. This does not mean healbot me like most of us really want it to be.

Picknose, is fairly simple too. Don’t do a thing I don’t tell you to. That means is wont heal you, or party members, itself nothing is nothing.

Stay/follow can also be thought of as a “mode” but I think of it more like a teaching a puppy to heel/come. It might stay where you put it but you don’t really know what kind of trouble it is getting into and half the time it will run to you if it wants too. And if your let it come odds are good it will be in your lap all the time.

Now that you can put yourself into the mind of a hireling; how do you make that work for you?

You have to really watch/know 2 things at any given time, “Were is your hireling?” and “What is it doing?” When you can get that spatial awareness you can toggle modes and give direct orders to the hires to make them fairly helpful party members.

Some basic tips and these are for healbots.

If your hire is in the same room as you and there are hostel mobs you need to have all the mob agro for sure. Or your hire should be invised and on nose picker mod. The last thing you need is to have your healbot empty its blue bar on a room full of trash leaving you with no heals at an important time.

Leave them in cleared rooms and fight in door ways or other choke points. Once you have your spacing down you can set them fairly far back. Far away enough that they won’t attack the trash but close enough that they will run to you anyway and heal you even though they were told to heel. This might be always around a corner or down the hall.

Buff them well. Unless it is wearing a suit of armor that gives a permanent resistance assume it needs one, like if your in a dungeon with lots of fireball throwing mobs get it a fire resistance. Same goes for Blur and other key buffs assume it is full of fail. Invis and nose picker mode are your friends.

Go ahead and assign a quick key for a main heal. I use “y” for their first on demand action. And that is often a heal for healers.

The last big tip is when you call them to you they will try to run to you as quickly as possible and then port to you if they can’t get to you soon enough. Hitting the come here key over and over just slows them down as they will try and repath every time you hit that button. If you want them to come to you jump off something. If you are moving over one height to another when you call they port to you right away. I will often climb a few stairs or jump on a barrel or something then jump off just to summon them right away. After a few tries you will have it down.

Take care of them and they will take care of you.

7 thoughts on “Driving your Hireling Healbot

  1. 🙂 What about times when they bug out and just don’t do anything at all? Or when you tell them to use a shrine and they just keep running to the wrong one? 🙂 I’ve been there many times when the hire just won’t defend/fight/follow. So basically I just make sure to not be too dependent on him/her.

    • @Micki

      If they bug out move them around. Odds are they are trying to clear their order commands and are having issues. Moving them sometimes puts a new order on the stack and helps it clear.

      As for using the wrong shrine that is often an pathing to the hook error. Again you need to move them around some to get them in to better position to path to the hook.

  2. Nice tips! The jumping from one height to another thing is total gold. I love that trick, if you can get your timing down you can even do it while in battle.

  3. 🙂 yes, good post and good advice. I get it, I need to think of the hires as threads (mobile objects = thread) with order lists and hook points 🙂

    Actually sometimes hires can be very useful. When I solo’s catacombs with my first monk (elite on level), I managed to die, and then I had the hire fight her way to the shrine (loads of mobs and two closed doors), by moving her away from the mobs to heal, and the fight – back and forth until she was able to kill enough to get to the shrine. 🙂

  4. @Micki: Also – you might try changing the current mode and then back. Often by going from “defensive” to “active” (or “passive”) then back to to defensive will “trigger” something and they will straighten out.

    …for a while.

  5. Good advice as usual mate. I get annoyed at people who whine about bad healing from their hireling when I have watched them pull their hire into a pile of mobs and then expect them to just heal. A hireling that is getting beat up by mobs won’t heal.

    Here’s another ‘hire saves the day’ story for you. We were short-manning epic Lord of Dust. I’m playing my FvS and popped my Onyx Panther for a laugh. It was doing a great job surviving, even into the end fight. Then -god’s truth- we wiped on the end boss due to lag… except for the panther who had about 50 hp left. I got the cat to pick up my stone and it did it without getting any agro even though we were really close to the boss. So I had the cat drag me to the shrine, I rezzed the party one by one and we finished.

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