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SWTOR Companions. Love or Hate?

It has been known for awhile that SWTOR will be utilizing companion characters to aid in a players story.  Visible shoulder angels and devils to help us decide or feel the consequences of our decisions a little more effectively.  While at first I saw them more as interactive pets, it seems that they will be much more part of the game than I originally speculated.  Not only will they be helping your story progress, but you will return the favor.  Some will challenge you and others will be your ‘tank’.  You will be able to upgrade their gear and strategies.  You will also have multiple options as you progress through the game as to who your companion character is.  Awesome!

The more and more I read about this system, the more and more I love it.  I’m finally starting to see those KotOR-esk gems appear in SWTOR, and that just gets me even more excited. Companions are taking on the feel of Mass Effect or KotOR squad members.  Key roles along your development, but also personalities to be developed/explored on their own.  The newest information snack from Bioware also mentions the possibility of developing your companions into love interests.  I have to admit, that is one of my favorite parts to their single player titles.  Sure the action and missions are great, but its the love sub plots that usually keep me playing the first two thirds of the game.  I just like spreading the love, be it hitting on alien babes or carebearing opposing factions.

All of this info has really strengthened my feelings about SWTOR.  I am trying not to hype up and ruin the game for myelf though. One thing this update really shows me is that the immersion into the world is being taken very seriously.  I’d go as far to argue that the squad interactions in the Mass Effect and KotOR series, made the games.  Well, the stories made the games, but the immersion provided by getting to know the characters, made the story.  This is my favorite part of Bioware.  Its also worth mentioning (as the article does) that this is not only congruent with Bioware, but also the Star Wars IP.  Almost every character in the original movies had their companion character.

Companion characters wont be some ‘pet’ that you occasionally talk to, but seemingly an interactive part of each player’s development and story progression.  We will have the chance to hate them, love them, and undoubtedly get them destroyed by angry wookies. Which is a huge sigh of relief for me. To top it off, they will be assets to a group providing minor healing or tanking. Just one more check in the box that shows us Bioware going the distance to put their trademark story telling right in the middle of the MMO world.

Im really looking forward to seeing the immersion it creates.  What do you all think about the idea of companion characters?  Are you like me looking forward to the choices and depth they give to your story?  Or do you feel that they will be just another element of the mmo needing micromanagement and providing irritating cut scenes?

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks for reading.

Yogi

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