It’s more than likely that Star Wars: The Old Republic players have come across a companion that they personally liked but didn’t fit into their play style. Well, The Old Republic update 4.0 is going to address that issue by streamlining companions.
Artificial barriers to companion usage are being eliminated by allowing more versatility. With the new release, all companion characters can now switch between each of the three primary combat roles: tank, healer and damage dealer. These roles can be changed at any time when a player is not actively involved in combat.
“Are you a Jedi Consular who dreams of nothing but galactic adventures with Qyzen Fess, only to be foiled by the fact that you want a healer Companion? Your longing has come to an end!”
In addition to not having to worry about companion class restrictions, gear is also getting a rework. Now all companion gear is purely cosmetic and its combat stats scale with player level. Having to equip both the main character and companion was frustrating for many players, according to the developer blog.
Additional power for companions now comes from building influence instead of gathering equipment. Companion Affection has been replaced with Influence, which builds when a player makes meaningful decisions with their companion. This will always increase, but does not determine if the companion likes the player or not. As players build influence with a companion the influence rank will increase, which grants a scaling bonus to Presence.
Finally, all companion-specific bonuses to Crew Skill performance have been removed. Apparently, these bonuses restricted companion diversity for players because one or two companions were always the best choice for any given job. This removal will allow players to have multiple characters that can equally perform the same task.
Source: BioWareRelated: Bioware, MMORPG, Star Wars The Old Republic, SWTOR