I’m really going to agree with Werit’s sentiments about SWTOR: Knights of the Fallen Empire and BioWare’s relative silence on talking up this game-changing expansion — especially in regard to the issue of companions.
Seriously, I’m OK with a lot of what I’m hearing here: a story reboot of sorts, a new enemy that unifies old foes (and puts everyone on the same story path), a monthly episodic rollout, choices that matter. But BioWare’s been either quiet or relatively unclear about how SWTOR will feel and function come two months from now, and that’s a problem. It’s a very serious problem when you roll in the question of companions.
I would say to many — maybe most — SWTOR players, companions matter. They matter in both a storytelling and a combat assist capacity, and over the years and levels we’ve formed some strong attachments to them. One companion outright costs money (unless your legacy level is quite high) and another one requires a planet-hopping scavenger hunt to activate. We’ve invested time in leveling up companions’ affection to see their own stories play out and gotten used to them fighting at our side.
So BioWare — how is this going to change in October? Because we really, really need to know.
We’ve been told that as the game shoots ahead five years into the future, we’ll be put in carbonite freeze and our companions will be scattered. We’ve been told that we’ll be able to re-acquire some of our companions as well as new ones. We know that if we sub up now, then we’ll get a new gunslinger companion in October. And we know that our choices may result in companions leaving and/or dying.
What we DON’T know is even greater. Will we be able to get back ALL of our former companions? If not, what happens to their gear? Their stories? Can we jump back in “time” to play with them? Is BioWare trying to give all players mostly the same companion set? Is it too difficult to get all of the voice actors back to record new lines? How much warning will we get if one of our choices will result in a permanent companion discharge? Will BioWare allow us to get rid of Treek and HK-51, which some players paid actual money for? Will the affection system endure? What about romances with certain companions?
I want to know. I REALLY want to know. Should I even bother getting attached to my Bounty Hunter’s companions as I level up right now or should I be prepared to never see them again after October?
I hope we’ll have the option to retain any companion we like. I would be rather put out if some of my Agent or BH’s companions never came back and would probably hold a grudge even if the new companions were great.
I’m a little concerned. A little worried. And if BioWare would just talk about these things, then maybe I could put those anxieties to rest while preparing for some serious fun.