The hype train continues as we roll into Patch 1.4.0 station before continuing on to Steeltown. Is that our final stop? No, it won’t be, but it’s a nice place and we recommend getting out and stretching your legs. In addition to the Crafting system we’ve already outlined coming in this next (free) update, we have some oft-requested features to make managing your animal companion coterie a real cinch.
Animal Companion Kennel
Chief among the new animal companion-focused changes hitting in Patch 1.4.0 is the Animal Companion Kennel. This is a safe, warm, and nurturing environment that all of your furry and spiky friends can hang out when you’re not using them to murder clown gangs or robots.
Right now, animal companions don’t hang around if you dismiss them, but with the Kennel they’ll have a home they automatically return to. That lets you build up a cadre of canines and cats, and pick and choose as you need… or just collect ‘em all!
Not only do your furry friends return to the Kennel when you dismiss them, but if their owner leaves the squad (or permanently dies in battle) their animal companion will automatically return to the Kennel next time you zone to a different level. Of course, that’s assuming they survive the combat themselves.
If you’re not particularly fond of a companion, you can release them back into the wild from the Kennel too, but we honestly don’t know why you’d ever do that. They need you and it’s cold out there.
One last note, any animal companions that have run away before this update won’t automagically reappear in the Kennel—they’ll have to be tamed again, where possible.
Companion Type Limit … Gone!
What’s with those pesky companion type limits, anyway? One wolf, one pig … ONE cat!? You need at least three cats. Rules be damned, we’re opening the floodgates of fur and horns! With Patch 1.4.0, you’ll be able to bring along whatever animal companions you damn well please.
Animal Portrait & UI Improvements
We’re also upgrading our character portrait system to show what pet a specific Ranger has with them, and a health bar so you can keep tabs on their condition. This should greatly help in keeping track during combat.
You can also mouse over the pet icon to get a tooltip of current stats.
Polly Want a Crack-their Skulls Open?
Rounding out the list of animal-related changes, we let the shackles off the writing team (who we definitely don’t really keep shackled so please don’t look into it) and had them seriously upgrade the smack-talk of our favorite foulmouthed featherbrain. Polly now has a brand-new Demoralize ability in combat, replete with many, many blasphemy-laden insults he’ll lob your enemies’ way. It’s as fun as it sounds—here’s just a taste of the full repertoire.
Warning: Not Safe for… well… pretty much anyone, anywhere.
Last, but not least, we’ve put the kibosh on some annoying bugs that would sometimes cause non-animal followers (Provost, Party Pal, etc.) to vanish during gameplay. They can still get their brains splattered or bolts smashed if you’re not careful, but there should be less chance of them getting lost during your post-apocalyptic adventure.
Oh, and incase it wasn’t clear, non-animal companions are not animals and aren’t stored in the kennel.
We hope you’re excited for Patch 1.4.0 as we close in on its release in the next couple weeks. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the Crafting article we’ve published, and keep an eye out for more Patch 1.4.0 and The Battle of Steeltown feature previews as we roll toward launch.