There’s been a lot of SWTOR in the news lately.Â Pictures of vehicles, talk about classes, and now even more (albeit only a scratch on the surface) info about the companions.Â I wrote about Companion Characters last year and how I felt they were a bit nonsensical.Â I have not wavered from this stance at all; in fact I have become even more skeptical as details remain unclear.Â In an article written over at IGN, comprised of an interview about these companions, we see a few key marketing points being pushed quite hard.
Companions augment the storytelling with their own commentary, plot decisions, and quest lines pertaining just to these companions offer rewards.Â Companions offer rewards and additional strategy for players.Â They play a role in combat as “DPS” , “Tanks” and even “Crowd control”.Â Companions can even become love interests.Â Companions get stronger and better the longer you develop them.Â These companions can even be given gear to use.
This sounds really neat.Â This is going to be a fantastic RPG.Â Oh, wait.Â It’s not a RPG.Â It’s a MMO.
I don’t mind the characters being a dynamic addition to the storytelling, but I start to take issue with them when they cross over into the gameplay as far as it appears they’re going.Â Reading this interview, it would seem that a great deal of the game is being devoted to the implementation of these companions as a core system.Â This means that they’re going to be mandatory.Â In a sense, every class is now a pet class.Â I can’t possibly imagine playing without one if they impact my character’s development that much.Â If I don’t use one, I won’t get the quests or the rewards.Â If I don’t use one, my story won’t be nearly as dynamic or full of intrigue.Â And quite possibly worst of all, if I don’t use one then I will be at a disadvantage in combat.Â What about PvP? What about group content and the role of these companions?
There’s a lot of “look how cool these companions look and what they can do” but there really is not one bit of how these companions will actually work with MMO mechanics.Â These are the tough questions because you can’t BS them without people knowing seeing them for what they really are and not for what we’re being told to see them as.Â Cut the crap and speak plainly already.Â When is someone finally going to speak up about how these companions are really going to work?Â We know how they worked in Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and Dragon Age but this is a MMO and the more questions you leave unanswered, the more I’m beginning to lose faith that this isn’t more than a multiplayer RPG and just a way to charge a subscription for the exact same thing Bioware has been selling for years.