Which of Pillars of Eternity”s companions are must-haves in your party, and which aren”t worth the slot?
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Pillars of Eternity was released in 2015 and was the highly anticipated spiritual successor to the brilliant if aged Baldur's Gate and similar isometric RPGs. The game captures the traditional elements of isometric RPG gameplay and tasks you with putting together a party capable of dealing with problems arising in the world of Eora. Along the way, of course, the team will be bonding and throwing around all manner of entertaining banter.
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Your choice of companions in Pillars of Eternity is important, as it will shape your overall experience with the story and the many combat encounters. Each companion that can be recruited comes with unique strengths and weaknesses, as well their own personal flavor that will shape your journey through the game's vast world.
Hiravias is an Orlan druid who had the ambition to be a great hunter but unfortunately fell short of his dream. Instead, he was offered the opportunity to train as a druid. Even as a druid, Hiravius had trouble mastering his training and he will join your party while doing his own soul-searching to improve his connection to nature and druidism.
Overall, he falls into the jack of all trades, master of none category, and may require a lot of optimization to compete with some of the other potential companions.
Just think robotic ninja assassin with a wicked-looking grin on her face and you have the Devil of Caroc, a construct rogue who is available for recruitment in the White Marches DLC. Her persona lives up to her name: she contains the soul of a murderer and, as her name suggests, previously committed horrendous crimes in the village of Caroc. She's not so bad once you get to know her though.
The Devil of Caroc appears as a bronze golem. Similarly to Hiravias, she is a rather balanced character and unfortunately, her above-average defensive ability makes it more difficult for her to excel despite the usefulness of having a rogue in the party.
Sagani is an incredibly capable dwarf hunter from the southern island of Naasitaq. One of the best things about recruiting her is that her white fox Itumaak is included as a package deal. She has a great (though a bit dry) sense of humor and seems to amuse some of the other party members.
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Sagani is a good at dealing ranged damage using bows, especially early in the game. She is great at burst damage at the beginning of fights but becomes lackluster in longer fights after her abilities are spent.
Zahua is a human monk hailing from the far north. He is part of an order of monks known as the Nalpazca, a group that practices many types of martyrdom on their path to seek enlightenment. Available for recruitment in the White Marches DLC, Zahua can be found hiding in … a basket of fish.
If you can get past that smelly introduction, Zahua is a decent damage dealer and can be used as an unarmed fighter or one wielding weapons. Unfortunately, his survivability is not great without using heavy armor, which can really let him down.
Pallegina is a paladin and one of the avian godlike, a race blessed by Hylea, the goddess of birds and the sky. She exemplifies the persona of the no-nonsense warrior that you want at your side when things get rough.
Pallegina can come across as a bit arrogant, but this makes for some very entertaining party banter with some of the other companions. She can be a decent tank or healer, but to really excel at either of these roles she may need to have her build re-optimized. As a result, she can be rather awkward to use.
She may be creepy but her skills as a cipher can be very useful to your party. The woman known only as The Grieving Mother offers excellent crowd control spells (powers), which can really help in some of the more difficult fights in the game. Also, some of her advanced-level cipher powers have the potential to deal huge amounts of damage.
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Overall, the concept of a psychic caster with damage-dealing potential and utility is quite appealing. However, one drawback of having her in the party is that she has very limited options for party banter, due to her secretive personality.
Maneha is an Aumauan barbarian who dual-wields axes, one of the toughest companions you can recruit in the White Marches DLC. Despite her formidable combat prowess, she is actually quite pleasant to have around. She follows Ondra, the goddess of loss and mourning, not only in order to cope with her own horrific past (some of the best RPGs have intriguing and multi-faceted stories, after all), but also to help others do the same.
She can be an excellent damage dealer, but maust be used strategically in order to avoid her taking lots of damage on the front line.
Durance is a human priest and one of the first companions who will agree to travel with you. He is happy to join you after taking great interest in the protagonist. He believes you can truly make the world a better place, and it is inspiring to see a broken person fight to make the world a better place not only for himself but also for others.
One thing that makes Durance special is that he wields an enchanted staff that deals extra fire damage that can be useful in the early stages of the game. In addition to his melee damage capabilities, he can provide solid healing to the party.
Kana Rua is an Aumauan Chanter. Despite his fearsome appearance, he is actually one of the more sensible and personable companions you can recruit. An academic at heart, Kana Rua has a whopping three college degrees. As a chanter, Kana Rua can invoke ancient magic using simply the power of his words and song, granting boons to allies and damaging enemies.
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In this support role, Kana Rua is handy to have around during some of the harder fights. His utility, combined with the fact that he can also be built as a solid tank, makes Kana Rua a solid companion choice.
Eder is a human fighter (who has much in common with Dungeons & Dragons' Fighter classic Fighter class) and is introduced very early in the adventure. He is an excellent tank, but can also be built to be a formidable damage dealer. His utility as a tank lasts throughout the game and he pairs well with powerful damage dealers like Aloth.
Eder agrees to help you in your quest in exchange for your aid in finding his older brother Woden. He comes from a humble background and it is inspiring to see him become a part of something much bigger during the story. Also, some of his dialogue with Sagani is priceless. The combined elements of his backstory and uses as a tank make him one of the overall best companions in the game.
Aloth is a wood elf wizard and the first companion you meet in the game. He works for the mysterious faction known as the Leaden Key to stop use of Animacy. His spells pack a huge magical punch (think the best wizard spells from Dungeons & Dragons). Just make sure you have a tank in the party if you intend to use Aloth to the best of his ability as a potent damage dealer.
Aloth also has some interesting personality quirks that make him one of the most entertaining party members to have around. His unique personality traits and capacity to reliably deal a ton of damage make him incredibly fun and useful!
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