Whats up fellow Old Republic nerds? Today, BioWare has released a new Developer’s Diary that gives us some juicy details about the game’s companion system. Companions are something people have grown to expect in BioWare games, because not only are they nice to have with you for tough combat situations, they also progress the story and serve as your moral compass (normally by speaking up whenever you’re being a dick). As you are likely to have heard by now, Star Wars: The Old Republic will be continuing this trend by giving players access to a variety of companions that unlock as you level up and progress through your class story. But unlike previous BioWare games that let you bring along two companions, TOR will only be letting you use one at a time.
What you might not have heard, however, is that, thanks to recent updates, we will be able to fully customize not only the weapons and armor of these companions, but their facial features, hair, and skin color as well. The Developers have begun to realize that players want, and have come to expect, as many customization options as possible (within reason) to make their characters stand out amidst the masses. Companions are going to play a large role in the PvE of The Old Republic, especially in single player questing and instances, but things are different now that BioWare’s companion system is stepping outside the bounds of a single player game.
This is something that Senior Game Designer, William Wallace, points out in the beginning of his article when he asks: “How do you make each player’s companions unique in a world where other people are experiencing the same story with the same companions?” Simple, you give players the same level of customization over their companions as they have over their actual character. Thus, I imagine when players gain access to a new companion (with the first one unlocking between levels 7 and 10), they will be prompted to enter a customization mode that resembles the game’s character creator. Or, perhaps it will be something we can choose to do at any time; although, I doubt we will be able to do it more than once without paying some sort of in-game fee.
Aside from customization, Wallace also goes into details for the different roles companions will be able to take on (tanking, healing, or DPS), and the abilities they will unlock as you advance, which will help them fulfill each role. According to Wallace, we can expect each of our character’s companions to have a full bar of abilities by the time we are high level (the max being 50), which will allow them to lend a hand in a variety of situations.
Personally, I was excited to hear about these new customization updates to the companion system, and I am always happy to read more about the different mechanics within the game. For more details and some videos which give examples of the abilities that unlock as your companions level up, you can check out the full article on the official site. May the schwartz be with you!