Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Blaugust the Tenth: A Companionable Discourse

Hagu commented on Syp's recent Bounty Hunter post
If, sometime in the future, you could pick five companions, who would they be?
It's an interesting question—partly because everyone's answer would be so different. Hagu, for instance, clearly has favorites that I would leave on a cold rock as far from the bright center of the universe as I could. Of course, Hagu is perfectly entitled to those opinions. And I am sure some people's preferences coincide not only with their personal playstyle (e.g., I tend to prefer healing companions) as well as how the companion meshes or doesn't mesh with the player's story and Light/Dark choices. I haven't actually met all the companions but I definitely have my preferences. And in light of players' uncertainty regarding the future of our companions, this list may become a poignant one.

A Band of Brothers (and Sisters):

Kira Carsen (Melee DPS, Jedi Knight) — Between her sass and her looks (OK, so I'm being a bit superficial), Kira is at the top of my list. Things are heating up between Kira and Zarzamora (my very grey Jedi). She's got some Dark baggage, but she doesn't let it drag her down, while not blindly following Jedi orthodoxy either. She presses ever forward, and makes Zarzamora want to be a better man.

Elara Dorne (Healer, Republic Trooper) — Ah, Elara, so by-the-book, trying to prove yourself to the Republic. You have nothing to prove to me. Too bad they don't have SSM possibilities in the vanilla game, else Achillea would be all over you. I may role a male trooper just so I can romance you properly.

Aric Jorgan (Ranged DPS, Trooper) — Jorgan can be a bit stiff, but he's passionate about tracking down the defectors in the Trooper Story, making him almost as personally involved as Mako is in the Hunter one. I could imagine us being friends.

Khem Val (Melee Tank, Sith Inquisitor) — I'll admit Khem didn't appeal to me on my first run through of the Inquisitor story. But I did feel bad when he went off to pout when Tollkirche picked up Andronikos on Tatooine. I have come to appreciate him while going through the Inquisitor story again, both on my own and vicariously through Scooter. His tanky-ness fits the Sorceror mechanic better than the Assassin anyway. And who wouldn't want a fiercely loyal, Force-eating bodyguard out front, taking the hits.

Lieutenant Pierce (Ranged Tank, Sith Warrior) — Just as he is an effective foil for the wet-blanket Malavai Quinn, Pierce would complement by-the-book Jorgan and Dorne. On the other hand, being Special Forces, he might just fit in perfectly with Havoc squad. Even though he's a "Hulk" (Body Type 3), Pierce is definitely the Dwarf of my little band: hard hitting and hard drinking.

I'm a little surprised at myself that I didn't pick any of the Agent companions as must haves. But the truth is I only have really strong feelings about one of them, and they are not positive, as you'll see below. For various reasons, I also ended up with a balanced little group. Freeing me to fill any role I choose for myself. If only we could all adventure together.

One of the minor problems with SWTOR vs. BioWare's SRPGS is that you can really only have one companion with you at a time; something especially ridiculous when the Trooper rallies Havoc to battle, and there's only one other squad member there. The companions never really play off of each other, and the only way to gain their affection is through gifts rather than organic gameplay.

If only I had a bigger ship:

M1-4X (Ranged Tank, Trooper) — Forex just barely missed the cut, and mostly because I realized that he'd make the third companion from the Trooper Story. But his unabashed patriotism (that thankfully does not devolve into jingoistic bravado) and enthusiastic loyalty make him an amusing character. (A little like Buzz Lightyear before he realizes he's a toy.)

Raina Temple (Ranged DPS, Imperial Agent) — The only companion I have at max affection, Agent Versteckt married Temple, who was a breath of fresh air after the some of the others. She was his exclusive companion after he picked her up on Hoth.  I just wish it had been sooner, since their romance felt rushed.

Mako (Healer, Bounty Hunter) — Ah spunky little Mako. I like Mako, but it's a little weird to romance her since she seems really young, especially compared to the basso voce male Hunter.

Vette (Ranged DPS, Warrior) — Vette's fun, too, though I have to run with Quinn since he's the healer for my partnership with Scooter's Inquisitor.

Gault Rennow (Ranged DPS, Hunter) — No one's quicker with a funny quip than Gault, plus he's one of the "Halloween store" aliens from the (One and Only!) Cantina.

Talos Drellik (Healer, Inquisitor) — Another companion I picked up on Hoth (Inquisitor) that I wish had come much sooner. I think it's funny that Drellik is always a bit surprised that we've won a fight.

Vector Hylas (Melee DPS, Agent) — Vector is just a little weird. But I liked his companion story, and he was the first companion that I noticed using Force-ish abilities (Assassin/Shadow) while never explicitly using the Force.

Where's the nearest airlock?

Kaliyo Djannis (Ranged Tank, Agent) — I praised the RP aspect of  SWTOR at the time for evoking such strong opinion of the anarchist Rattataki. However, eventually she was just too grating, and I longed for a another companion. One I didn't get until Vector joined me on Alderaan.

Corso Riggs (Ranged Tank, Smuggler) — I cannot stand this overgrown boyscout. And Nar Shadaa (where I pick up Bowdaar) cannot come soon enough.

I'm beginning to see a pattern here, because I'm not overly fond of T7-01, who is also a Ranged Tank for the Knight. I don't hate him (it?) but it's difficult to read his droid code on the fly, and that quickly becomes annoying. I dropped him from my away team as soon as Kira came along (the earliest of the second companions), so I never developed the extreme dislike of him that I have for the other two. I haven't made it through all the stories, but even of the ones I have, none of the rest of the companions have made much of an impression. I wish they came sooner, partly so I could be sure to have a companion that fills the role I need, but also so I could get to know them better.

Having all those companions makes sense in a single-player like Dragon Age, where you have multiple companions filling out your party and playing off of each other during conversations. But in SWTOR, some of them only seem there to have one of each role, I can't imagine getting really attached to any of the final two companions, even the ones that are romancible. And I did romance Temple on my Agent, but only because Kaliyo annoyed me so much.

How about you? If you have played SWTOR, how would you fill your roster of companions? Let me know in the comments below, or link to your own post if you choose.
If you're interested in joining the madness (Vloggers are welcome, too!), Belghast has a set of rules for qualifying for any prizes at the end. Your second stop should be the Blaugust Nook, where Bel is keeping track of everything and community members are sharing encouragement and ideas.
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  1. I ended up leveling a male trooper just to romance Elara and it was totally worth it in my opinion. Her romance is really adorable and sweet and I really loved how it was built on the trooper supporting her and not just a snarky flirtfest 24/7.

    1. That's cool. I think I will do just that. I'm kind of wondering about KotFE and how it will affect the original stories, if at all.