The tutorial for Skirmishes shows you how to train your first ally, a Soldier, but doesn’t make it very clear how to train your ally from there on. Obviously, you talk to the Skirmish Trainer, and it’s pretty simple to see that you can spend your Skirmish Marks with them to train skills. There’s more to it than that though – how do you get new skills for your ally? How do you change the ally’s role?
I actually ranked my ally as a Soldier (the DPS class) for several ranks because I didn’t understand what the Skirmish Captain was offering me. The easiest way to explain it is to think of your ally as a blank canvas. They only have attributes when you slot the role into their traits panel. Just as you manage your own traits at a bard, you control your ally’s traits at the Skirmish Captain.
The Attribute tab allows you to define the role of the ally. You can choose a different role at any time by going to the Skirmish Trainer and buying the role for Skirmish Marks. Here’s the bit which might catch you out: by default, the tick box ” Only display earned traits” is checked, which means that trainers will only show roles or traits that you have already bought. You don’t need to earn or discover roles in any way other than unchecking that box and buying the new role or trait.
That refers also to new skills and training. If you think you’ve chosen the wrong skill, simply buy and rank up a new one.
Your ally can only have one role attribute slotted at any one time. You can’t combine the Archer and Healer, and likewise any class specific traits you level for them are only available if you have the right role slotted. The additional “Attribute” slots for your ally are for cosmetic changes. They make no difference to ability, sadly.
It’s incredibly important to choose the ally role that best complements your character, so a tank needs a healer or DPS, while a healer most definitely needs the Protector. It’s then equally important to choose the right Skills and Training, and to consider your Personal slot carefully. The personal slot gives a trait that buffs your own character, only in Skirmishes. Taking the Minstrel example again, with the Protector as an ally, it makes sense to slot a buff to the outgoing healing, so you have a tank ally whom you can do maximum healing on.
Just as with your own traits, the ally gets new trait slots that open up, the first most useful one opening up at 43 when you get a new Training slot. Don’t forget to make use of these new slots as they open up.
You don’t need to visit a Skirmish Captain to see what traits you have slotted, which is just as well as talking to one will have the same effect as talking to a bard and remove your own buffs, which you have to re-apply. Instead, if you don’t want to make a change, just check something, press Ctrl-K and click on the Traits tab.
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