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Neverwinter Companion Guide

Updated Wed, May 08, 2013 by gunky

Neverwinter Companion Guide

Companions and combat pets are fast becoming a standard in MMOs. Neverwinter makes good use of this system, giving every player a free companion when they hit level 16, and selling high-quality unique pets through in-game vendors and the Zen Store. But choosing your first companion can be a bit tricky - you only get the one freebie, and picking one that doesn't complement your class or playstyle means that you may have to fork over some real, actual cash to get a good one.

Never fear! We have a handy rundown of each of the companions to help you with your selection, and information about the more advanced companions you can earn later in the game, or buy with cash.

Founders Companions

Players who bought one of the pre-order Founders packs start out with a combat pet. Hero of the North owners get a purple-quality Panther, and Guardian of the North owners get a purple-quality Vicious Dire Wolf. Purple-quality pets can train to higher levels than standard, white-quality pets - Rank 30 instead of Rank 15. They are usually also quite a bit tougher and stronger than standard companions, and at low levels, the Founders' companions feel pretty over-powered. When running with a Founders' companion, most fights present next to no danger, and boss fights only slightly more.

This OP-ness wears down after a while, but the purple-quality pets are still pretty badass compared to regular pets. These are primarily damage-dealing companions. The Panther is rogue-like, gaining combat advantage from special attacks. The Vicious Dire Wolf is my personal favorite, however, because of its Vicious Bites attack, which knocks enemies back a few steps and interrupts their inductions. My Guardian Fighter's wolf, Blaidd Drwg, has saved his master's bacon many times with that move.

Level 16 Freebies

When characters reach level 16, they are automatically given a quest to acquire a new companion. This quest shows up in the "New Unlocks!" panel, and sends you to Protector's Enclave to speak to Bael An Ashrock at the Grand Emporium, a big building near the markets.

Neverwinter Companion Guide - Level 16 quest
Automatically receive quest at level 16...
Neverwinter Companion Guide - Bael An Ashrock
Talk to the tiefling guy all the way in the back at the Grand Emporium in Protector's Enclave, the big building beside the job board just outside the market area. Pick your new pet...
Neverwinter Companion Guide - pet inventory item
Double-click the inventory item to add the new pet to your character record. The inventory item has three little boxes along the left side.

These "freebie" companions are nothing to sneeze at. In some ways, they may be superior to the purple-quality Founders' pets, which cannot heal or buff or pull aggro or CC.

Bael An Ashrock gives you the choice of one of four different companions. Each type will best suit a particular style of play.

Type: Man-At-Arms
Role: Defender, tank
Best For: Devoted Cleric, Control Wizard, Trickster Rogue
Description: This guy, a human male who constantly flexes and acts tough during downtime, is a pared-down version of the Guardian Fighter. He spams threat-generation, and works well with characters that aren't built to withstand a lot of physical punishment.

Type: Cleric Disciple
Role: Healer, buffer
Best For: Guardian Fighter, Great Weapon Fighter
Description: A human female who heals, buffs and does a tiny bit of damage. Her Rank 1 skills are both heals, and can enable a physically-hardy character to go longer spells between heal potions and campsites. This companion tends to generate a lot more accidental threat than most other pets, so be prepared to defend her vigorously. Probably the single most useful companion of all. 

Type: Wayward Wizard
Role: Controller, AoE Damage
Best For: Trickster Rogue, Devoted Cleric
Description: A drow male who points and laughs at random things for no apparent reason, this companion is a good fit for characters with strong single-target damage. Generates a fairly high amount of threat with area-effect attacks, but this can be advantageous despite the companion's relative frailty.

Type: Dog
Role: Striker, single-target damage
Best For: Any
Description: Essentially a white-quality version of the Vicious Dire Wolf, with very strong single-target attacks. This type of pet works well with any class - it can tank for squishy classes, bats clean-up for AoE-damage classes, and gives strikers even more punch.

Companion Merchant

A merchant at the Grand Emporium sells additional companions for gold and other currencies. There are two tabs on her list, Common and Exotic. The Common pets all cost 2 gold, and are the same as the level 16 freebies, plus one additional companion: 

Type: Sellsword
Role: AoE Melee fighter
Best For: Guardian Fighter, Devoted Cleric
Description: A poor man's Great Weapon Fighter, in the form of a young human woman swinging a gigantic sword in wide arcs. A good companion for the squishy classes and for lower-damage classes who want a boost to their DPS.

Exotic pets are more unique, and are purchased with currencies other than gold. These will be far-less-commonly encountered than most other pets, as these currencies take kind of a long time to accumulate. Some of the more affordable ones can be found on the Auction House, where they can be purchased with Astral Diamonds instead of the currency listed here.

Type: Ioun Stone of Might
Role: Buff, stat-increaser
Best For: Any
Quality: Uncommon (green)
Cost: 1,000 Tarmalune Trade Bars
Description: Ioun stones are small magic stones that orbit the head of their master. They are not damage-dealing pets, but bestow attribute bonuses on the wielder. 

Type: Dancing Shield
Role: Defender
Best For: squishy classes
Quality: Rare (blue)
Cost: 850,000 Astral Diamonds
Description: Literally, a shield that dances around the owner, occasionally bashing foes. Evidently capable of generating a high amount of threat, it's a meatless meat-shield.

Type: Dancing Blade
Role: Striker
Best For: Low-damage or AOE-focused classes
Quality: Rare (blue)
Cost: 900,000 Astral Diamonds
Desription: A sword that dances around the owner, hacking at enemies. This is a single-target damage-dealer, like the animal pets, and is probably pretty decent for any character class.

Type: Cat
Role: Buffer
Best For: Trickster Rogue, other characters built around Critical Strike
Quality: Rare (blue)
Cost: 980,000 Astral Diamonds
Description: Some kind of cat that improves the owner's Critical Strike and Recovery ratings while summoned. This is ideal for a Trickster Rogue, but any class that uses a high-crit build would benefit.

Type: Wererat Thief
Role: Striker
Best For: Any
Quality: Rare (blue)
Cost: 200 Seals of the Drake
Description: A stabbity-stab wererat with a decent AoE knockback and a poison damage-over-time attack. 

Type: Jagged Dancing Blade
Role: Striker
Best For: same as Dancing Blade above
Quality: Rare (blue)
Cost: 14,000 Glory
Description: Basically the same deal as the Dancing Blade, except jagged, and costs Glory.

Type: Angel of Protection
Role: Healer, buffer
Best For: Any class
Quality: Very rare (purple)
Cost: 360 Ardent Coins
Description: An angel that intercepts incoming damage and heals wounds. Ardent Coins are earned by invoking the gods at campsites, which can be done once an hour, but you only get one coin per day; it would therefore take around 360 days of gameplay, plus/minus a few hours (sometimes you get cool bonuses from invocations, but don't count on it), to accumulate 360 Ardent Coins. 

Type: Fire Archon
Role: Striker
Best For: Any
Quality: Very rare (purple)
Cost: 1000 Tarmalune Trade Bars
Description: A flaming flameball flames along beside you, burninating your enemies.

Neverwinter Companion Guide - lots of companions in one spot

There are 9 companions in this picture, and only one player - my Trickster Rogue, partially masked by the wall of Men-At-Arms.

Zen Market

The Zen Market carries a few unique companions as well. At an exchange rate of approximately 1 Zen = $0.01, this means these pets range in price from 15 - 35 bucks each. You can occasionally find some of these pets on the Auction House for very high prices.

Type: Galeb Duhr
Role: Defender
Best For: Any
Quality: Very Rare (purple)
Cost: 3000 Zen
Description: Galeb duhr are semi-sentient rocks with legs. These ones also have fists and taunt enemies.

Type: Ioun Stone of Allure
Role: Buff, attribute-enhancement
Best For: Any
Quality: Rare (blue)
Cost: 2000 Zen
Description: An orbiting stone that somehow makes the owner appear more shmexy.

Type: Acolyte of Kelemvor
Role: Buffer
Best For: Any high-damage melee class
Quality: Rare (blue)
Cost: 2000 Zen
Description: A blonde elven lady that buffs the owner with shields and crazy Life Steal. Suposedly built to fight undead, but that Life Steal buff could be handy lots of places...

Type: Hawk
Role: Striker
Best For: Wise shamans
Quality: Uncommon (green)
Cost: 1500 Zen
Description: I'm not certain if the art of falconry includes hawks or not. Regardless, you get a hawk to dive-bomb your enemies and claw their eyes out, and to underline your tidbits of Chief Dan George-like wisdom  with its piercing cry.

Type: Honey Badger
Role: Striker
Best For: Any
Quality: Very rare (purple)
Cost: 3500 Zen
Description: A savage, surly mustelid that bites hard and is tough to kill. Like most "beast" pets, it makes a suitable companion for anybody. 

Type: Slyblade Kobold
Role: Striker
Best For: Any
Quality: Rare (blue)
Cost: 2000 Zen
Description: A yipping kobold companion that works kinda like a cheap rogue, with backstabbery and pots of glue. It's no Deekin, but it's the closest you're gonna get in this game.

Type: Wolf
Role: Striker
Best For: Any
Quality: Uncommon (green)
Cost: 1500 Zen
Description: An Uncommon canine companion that fills the gap between the common Dog and the Very Rare Vicious Dire Wolf. 

Others

Store-bought pets and quest-reward freebies are not the only companions available in the game. You can also luck out and find a Very Rare one in a Nightmare Lockbox. Currently, the only lockbox pet I've seen so far is the Phoera. If you are weighted down with excess amounts of Astral Diamonds, you can find loads of these for sale on the Auction House for outrageous prices.

Type: Phoera
Role: Striker
Best For: All who would oppose Voldemort
Quality: Very rare (purple)
Description: A phoenix by any other name is still a phoenix. It's a flamey version of the hawk, and it deals AoE fire damage. The fire thing is really the only important phoenix-like aspect of this pet, though - all companions miraculously rise from the dead after the fighting stops.

Companion Care and Feeding

While Neverwinter's companions may not be as complex as the companions in, say, SWTOR, they do require some care and feeding. As you adventure with them, they become more skilled and require more specialized training, which requires them to be sent off for ever-increasing amounts of time. The first training session, from Rank 1 to Rank 2, takes about 30 seconds, but at later levels it can take several hours to complete training. And while your companion is off training, you are forced to make do without its contributions. For this reason, it's usually a good idea to have at least two active companions, and to alternate between them as you level.

For my own companions, I typically let them get at least 2 rank increases before I send them off for training. My Trickster Rogue's Vicious Dire Wolf is due for Rank 18 training, but since I use him a lot, I will hold off until he reaches Rank 19 before I send him off. He'll be off traning for several hours, so during that time I'll be using my Wayward Wizard instead.

As companions reach higher ranks, they can begin equipping new kinds of gear. Initially, they can only equip runestones, which add small bonuses to their combat abilities. Eventually, they can equip different items - wolves can equip amulets, wizards can equip talismans and rings, etc. They can use any unrestricted items of the required type that you find lying around. An Uncommon ring that does nothing for you might be awesome for your Panther or Wayward Wizard, for example.

At later levels, you start finding massive amounts of runestones - fuse these together to make higher-ranked ones whenever you can, and equip them whenever possible. The dadgum things accumulate quickly, and they're not used for anything else. You can try selling them on the auction house, but they're quite common at later levels, so you might not get rid of many of them that way.  I ended up vendoring a bunch on my Trickster Rogue, just to clear up the bag space, and then found 3 more almost immediately. 

Companion AI is perhaps somewhat lacking in the "I" part, and they will occasionally fall in battle. In some cases, it's possible to revive your pet mid-fight, but it can require careful planning and timing. It's easy for a Trickster Rogue - drop a Bait and Switch, pop stealth if you need to, and you should have all the time in the world to get your pet back up. Classes without awesome stealth, CC and distraction techniques will have to take other measures - wait for the enemy to use a skill with a long channel time, for example, and bounce across the room. When they do get up, they come back into the fight with very little health, so don't bother burning all your cooldowns on this task unless you absolutely need your companion back in the fight. And make sure he's not coming back up in the middle of a big area-effect zone where he'll just go right back down again.

Companions are a fun part of Neverwinter, and having the right hireling on your team can have a dramatic impact on your overall enjoyment of the game. What's your favorite companion and why? Let us know in our comments!


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