Although the “Choose Your Side: Jedi Knight Versus Bounty Hunter” video above got the bulk of the attention from the community this Friday, there was a developer blog continuation of note as well. It’s been a few weeks since the last Companion developer’s update, so it was nice to see this Friday’s developer blog pick up where the first part left off.
The blog notes that Companions originally have an AI that took on a life of their own, with little player control, but that after testing feedback, decided to go the route of more player control, similar to player-controlled combat pets we’ve gotten used to in other games, like World of Warcraft.
we’ve taken a page from other BioWare games and added AI toggles to each ability to control whether the companion should decide on their own when to use them, or whether they should be manually activated by the player. Players who are not interested in managing their companion can leave the default toggles on and let them run on autopilot. Skilled players can take complete control of the companion by expanding the companion bar onto their screen and using the abilities directly as though they were player abilities.
The blog goes on to note that you can choose to “disable some area-of-effect abilities when using crowd control or when fighting tough single enemies”, which rocks. It’s incredibly aggravating when a combat pet wreaks havoc on your CC.
It will be interesting to see what the most effective way will be to strike the balance with effectively managing your companion’s activities while not neglecting attention on what your character is doing as well. I’ve yet to get any BETA play time, so I’m not aware of if we’ll be able to write macros as a method of controlling their activities, or if it will be muscle-memory of hot keyed abilities that will make us successful in this area. Guess we’ll have to wait and see…