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I guess I didn't really choose to pick many followers because they would usually run straight into battle and ruin my stealth tactics, as well as get in the way of my arrows. Perhaps if I had a follower who used ranged attacks, they would've been more beneficial.
Certain followers are more stronger than others based on what level you are when you recruit them. Lydia is the first follower to be recruited when most people are at lower levels. For example my character was anywhere from level 6 to 10 when I recruited
Lydia.(Vaguely remember the level exactly) Lydia stayed a level 6 - 10 for the remainder of the game thus explains why she dies more often when I reached level 20. Mjjol the Lioness is the only NPC I know of that is tagged "essential", she can neither die
from enemies nor from your own characters attacks. I'm not sure if the NPC's carry weight is tied to the level you are at when you recruit them. But I can no longer bring Jordis as she struggles to carry a Deadric sword and ebony bow with the Saviors Hide
and Orc Shield must be she is level 28. But for your followers to have a fighting chance I will recommend waiting till lets say level 25 to pick your second follower if you have not already. Currently I'm at the Mage college and recruited Breylna the Dark
Elf mage at level 61. With my guy being a warrior/mage and her abilities I have little to no trouble against smaller to medium tier enemies but dragons still do alot of damage.
A question about that. When you say recruited a follower do you mean first ask them to "come with me"? I have two housecarls but have never asked them to leave the house. I think this incarnation of Lydia beatup the thug outside Dragonreach maybe but I haven't
taken anyone with me though J'zzargo and the other Khajit are both available should I ask and Breylna, too.
Yes, when you say "come with me" is what I meant. =)
I've heard some say when you ask them to join you whatever level you are at the moment is the level they are set at, while others say it is determined when you first encounter them. I had Jordis from level 28 to level 61 and she held her own due to I gave
her armor that had a higher protection rating but she still suffered from tougher enemies from time to time. I'm not exactly sure if either asking or the encountering is what sets the level. But I did take notice, I was thane of Riften at level 32 and spoke
to Iona but did not ask her to follow me till I was level 45. I noticed she had little to no trouble fighting Drauger Overlords and Ancient Dragons, so based by my experience I think their level are set when you ask them to join you. I could be wrong, but
this is what I noticed. You can ask any follower you desire to join you, just be sure to give them armor that will be of good to great protection. For example for Breylna I switched her mage outfit to fur armor of either 85 or 95 armor protection. With that
armor she can hold her own. I hope I gave you the answer you were seeking. If you need anymore help, a lot of information I've got were from elderscrolls.wikia.com/.../The_Elder_Scrolls_Wiki and
personal experience. =)