My Favorite Hireling

For DDO Cocktail Hour’s podcast #68, Lessah asked players to check out the recent wardrobe changes that hit the runways for the hirelings available in game. I jumped all over this! Since I’m not into babies or crafts or horses, fashion is one of the shortlist ‘girly’ things I get enthusiastic about, even if it just boils down to laughing at the mental people on ‘America’s Next Top Model.’ Find your joy, folks.

The thing is, I don’t use a lot of hirelings. If you use a lot of hirelings, you know why. For the most part, a hireling is for when you aren’t relying on AI to be a reasonable and effective substitute for a real person. Having a hireling in your party is a lot like letting an Italian PUG your Caught in the Web on the Cannith server – you just have to let them run around doing whatever they feel like. You don’t speak Italian, and you can’t tell them to quit hitting on the Drow priestesses because they already have two girlfriends and a wife. Goristo pizzeria – you’ve just got to let the Italians be free. Such is the way with hireling AI.

No, for the most part, my hireling use boils down to having Natasha or Miranda sit in the corner while I do Litany of the Dead during TRs. They’re my insurance policy when I drop down the trapped chute on elite. I have 4 DEX in real life, and inevitably the elite run is the one where I completely spaz and start hugging force traps. Cheaper than a rez cake, you know?

I use hirelings in a few other places, too. I’ll pull out the panther when I’m farming The Dreaming Dark for ioun stones, because XP pieces don’t matter there. Flower will pull levers for me if I’m soloing Delera’s part 2.

But as I looked through the retinue of hirelings I don’t use so I could respond to Lessah’s fashion question, I had a gripping moment of post-expansion-changes panic concerning one hireling in particular. What if their abilities had changed after Update 19? What would I do without them in my DDO gaming life? One hireling mattered. OnMikayle hireling brought on the FEELS.

Mikayl the Pious.

Okay, I admit my hireling relationship with Mikayl the Pious started as one of convenience.  I was using him for his dimension doors, which is kind of like dating a guy because he has a fast car. Dimension Door is a really fast car.

So, yeah, at first, I just kept Mike (I call him ‘Mike.’ This is the kind of thing I do. ) around so I could do multiple towers of Wizard King faster and skip a bunch of Fathom the Depths. But later, Mike really came through when it was time to farm House of the Rusted Blades for epic destiny XP pieces. He’s a hireling you can rely on to get you where you want to go and meet your goals. Or quest objectives, as the case may be. That’s when I really got to know who he was as a hireling.

Haven’t you wondered why he’s named ‘Mikayl the Pious’? Let’s face it – I was afraid that dude was kind of a slacker, especially before his wardrobe upgrade. I know I shouldn’t judge, but, I mean, if he’s so pious, why is he a Fighter? Why isn’t he a Paladin? That’s the school all the pious kids go to – Paladin Prep. Was Mike a total washout?

After some meditation ( I knew Zoesha’s monk levels would come in handy!), I came to a realization – Mike has a Druid past life! He’s totally body conscious, and his piety comes from his hardcore dedication to one of those macrobiotic Forgotten Realms diets that’s all the craze nowadays. You know, you eat like people did before the Spellplague and The Time of Troubles. The ‘Get Back To Your Roots’ Diet! (That’s a Druid joke.)

You won’t find Mike downing Dirty Kobolds at The Wayward Lobster. No, he’s a Poached Sunfish kind of fellow. None of that TrogWater you hear advertised in the podcasts or processed mystery rations out of the Cannith Manufactury, either. This man eats clean. A Druid past life will do that to you.

That’s not to say he lacks a sense of humor about his food. As a fighter, Mike knows his way around blade work. He loves a playful garnish. He’ll carve smiley faces in apples, make roses out of cucumbers and carrots, or design tulip tomatoes. He’s crazy about the tulip tomatoes!

So no one panic like I did. Mike still has his Mark of Passage tattoo after Update 20. But now, when he zaps you to the start of the dungeon with his really fast car, you’ll know a little bit more about the man, the legend, and why they call him, ‘Mikayl the Pious.’

5 comments

  1. Micki says:

    :) Very cool. I’ve never used, him, never even paid any attention to the name. But then, I hate soloing, and mostly bring hirelings for heals, so I don’t have to worry about healing myself (even though I do pay attention to my hp). Strangely enough, when me and sis run our druids, the hirelings work well as healers (much better than some player healers), as long as you don’t leave them to get pummeled. But if you do that, you tend to be in trouble anyway.

    • BonnieBew says:

      I tend to solo dungeons or run in small groups where there’s enough zerging that a hireling left to their own devices gets killed because they were left behind. Running past half the trash in VoN3 will do that. :) I also think there’s something to be said for experience using a hireling making a difference. The more you use them, the more you have a feel for their timing and limits, so a person who using hirelings a lot as part of their gameplay strategy will likely have a different experience than someone who doesn’t.

      I left out one other place we’d use hirelings – Devil’s Assault. When someone was farming something like silver handwraps, and we needed to do a lot of Devil’s Assault, we’d park in a lower difficulty DA and let high level hirelings do all the work.

  2. teachersyn says:

    So, when’s the wedding? And where should we send the gifts? Do you have a Rogue? Some may be trapped. :)

    Good to see a new post from you. It’s been ages.

    • BonnieBew says:

      I would totally marry my favorite hireling, except he’d want me to give up all the Festivult cookies I scarf. That’s a deal breaker!

  3. Geoff Hanna says:

    I thought I posted this last week but apparently not. Regardless, it is nice to see you posting again :)

    Welcome back!

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