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Companion assist abilities


Edgecase

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Companions are one of SWTOR's greatest strengths, and a unique mechanic that sets it apart from its competition. However, after spending 49 quality levels with our companions, we never see hide nor hair of them again at 50 except when they drop crafting loot in our bags. We can give them gifts to raise their affection bars, but to what end?

 

Instead of throwing away a lot of potential value, I'd like to suggest that dismissed companions should instead provide "assist" abilities in combat.

 

For instance, the Smuggler companion Corso Riggs (ranged tank archetype) could say, "Got your back, Captain!" and drop a 1k shield on the player. C2N2 could provide a small, generically useful insta-heal (and annoying metallic "You're welcome, master!"). The other healing companions could provide a HOT, and so on.

 

To leverage the current "why bother" affection and companion gearing systems, the potency of these abilities should scale with both the companion's affection level and their primary stats from equipped gear. Gear scaling also enables the companion assist abilities to continue scaling as players level.

 

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tl;dr: Companions should have "off-camera" assist abilities to aid the player when they are dismissed.

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Players would not gain all six companions' abilities simultaneously. Only the currently active (but dismissed) companion's ability would be available.

 

A suitable cooldown for this ability might be 3 minutes. It should provide flavor and minor utility, not a major gameplay mechanic (except for hardcore players, who will no doubt milk its tiny utility for all it's worth).

 

As a general rule, all assist abilities should be over-time or delayed-action in order to prevent them from becoming part of the PvP alpha strike. A sniper companion, for instance, should fire a round after 1-2 seconds of targeting rather than drop instant damage.

 

To prevent additional hotbar clutter, the "assist" ability can merge into or take the place of the current 10m companion ability (e.g. Call on the Force, All In) when the companion in dismissed.

 

To avoid a performance hit from extra models on screen, all companion abilities should be performed with the companion "off-camera". Shields can just pop up, sniper rounds can come from over horizon, lasers can fall from the sky.

 

Companions who are on crafting missions could be considered ineligible, or could simply be considered dismissed and their assists would be available.

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Is there any use to maxing all companion affection after you reach 50? Is it impossible to get additional storyline at that point?

 

You can still do the affection-unlocked storylines, but they'll all be grey and make you feel like you ran ten miles for no good reason. Plus after spending that much time helping everybody's grandmas and little sisters, it might be nice if they didn't just disappear into the bowels of your ship for the rest of time.

Edited by Edgecase
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You can still do the affection-unlocked storylines, but they'll all be grey and make you feel like you ran ten miles for no good reason. Plus after spending that much time helping everybody's grandmas and little sisters, it might be nice if they didn't just disappear into the bowels of your ship for the rest of time.

 

Hmm yeah I hear you, still glad that it has its use though so I dont miss out on all those quests. I did go back to the Usurper quest on Alderaan that I skipped. I couldnt delete it. But mobs 10 levels below you cant hit you at all. It was quite borring...nice scenery though.

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