[Insert Companion Name Here] is Weak!

I do a bit of reading on SWTOR’s official forums here and there.  A common thread for the various classes asks the question “Which companion should I use?”  Responses then generally say “This one rocks, but that one is really weak, so don’t use that one.”  Further drilling down as threads on this subject get longer, plus other threads that have people complaining of weak companions reveal the answer to be a bit more nuanced, though.  Generally, the “best” or “strongest” companion will be the one that most complements your play style.  For example, a Sage Seer is usually best served by a tank companion that it can heal when needed.  But a Kinetic Shadow is probably better served by a healer companion to keep it up while it takes all the aggro.  Or maybe even a dps companion so they can burn the mobs down quickly.

For the Trooper, it seems that the most liked companions are Elara Dorne (healer), or the one you get toward the end named Tanno Vik (melee tank).  Yuun (melee dps) and Aric Jorgan (ranged dps) are well regarded too, but the ranged tank M1-4X seems to generally be regarded as “weak” or “bad.”  There’s an occasional shout out for him saying that if you keep his gear up to date that he’s really good, or that those who think he’s bad aren’t using him right or something along those lines.

Since my Trooper is a Cybertech crafter and this includes the ability to make droid parts/armor, I decided to see what I could do with 4x, since I like how the thing looks.  Plus I’m spec’d as a full Combat Medic healer, so in my eyes having any kind of tank companion should work well.  I was already level 30 on Nar Shadaa before I got far enough in the story line to get him as a companion, and the “full set” of gear for that level range needed level 31, so I didn’t start using 4x until I got to Tatooine.  And I love him to death and think he’s quite awesome.  He grabs aggro like a champ and then keeps it.  He can take quite a bit of damage, but. . . I’m a healer, so damage isn’t really that big an issue.  His dps is decent also.  Groups of “weak” mobs I can still AE down before 4x picks a target.  Strong mobs he can solo, and Elite mobs we can take down together usually without me needing to heal, though sometimes I will if he seems to be getting unlucky with his avoidance chance.

As for results, well, check the screenie to the left there.  That’s a Champion difficulty mob designed to be difficult for a group of 4 to take down.  For comparison, group quests usually have a boss at the end with about 30,000 HP — this mob had 78,000.  But yeah, it’s dead in the picture after having been hit up by the tank/healer combo.  It was a long fight, and I did spend a lot more time healing than dps’ing so 4x did all the real heavy lifting as far as the killing went, but he was just fine.  I also killed a few other Champions that were around the Dune Sea, though they were all in the 30K hit point range again.  Got a nice Codex update for the Scyk to boot.

Down in the screenies at the bottom of the page, I have a shot of 4X’s tank stats vs my Shadow’s tank stats.  Their levels are different so the HP totals reflect that, but the actual tank stats themselves look to be quite comparable when both tanks are fitted out in blue gear, though the Shadow’s still got a couple of pieces at the level 23 upgrade range, so once I get her to 31 and fully upgraded, her armor rating would probably be much nicer, especially since the 4X shot was taken while in combat with him having his 20% armor buff active.  So yeah, player tank better than companion tank, but you’d really expect that wouldn’t you?

***

On the game play front — I’ve made it past Tatooine and am now on Alderaan, in case the 1st 2 screenshots didn’t let you cotton to that fact.  I’m so over level already that I’m breezing through it and when I stumbled in to a “Heroic 4” area and thought I was pulling a single gold that turned out to be a group of 3, I still managed to CC one of them, and 4x could tank the other 2 just fine, so that worked out.  Though I still don’t plan to try to solo that quest.  That’d just be a pain.

Anyway, my plan now is to push through Alderaan as quickly as I can in order to finish Act 1 and unlock my legacy stuff.  I was going to simply do the story quests and more or less skip the planet, but I’m enjoying the exploration too much, plus the gear I’m picking up from quests and kills and such I can send back to my alts so that they have gear appropriate to their level, rather than to the area they’re questing in.  So yeah, still doing all the quests and thus still way over level for the area, but. . . such is life.  Happy Gaming!  And enjoy the other screenies that follow —

Belt by Batman?

I thought the Sarlacc was just big enough for a stunt man to fall into. This looks a bit too big. . . .

Sith are flashy!

Shadow Tank Stats

Companion Tank Stats

My latest BFG and M1-4X too

Posted on January 16, 2012, in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I think you’re right to a point. Personally, I am totally unhappy with how my Gunslinger’s tank alt (Corso) is working out. At 29, fighting elites in Alderaan (Thul Cryo-Troopers and the War Apprentices in one of your screenshots), he takes way too much damage, in my view. On one pull, I got two of them (the patroller and the static) and while I tanked one (and killed it), he got killed by the other and only did about 40% damage to it (and I finished it off). There are many reasons why my Vanguard adores Elara. In that same area, he basically plowed through the 5 elites needed for the quest AND the bonus objectives AND the Paladins quests. There’s a reason why so many Sith Warriors (especially Juggernauts) roll with 2V (ship droid) instead of Vette. Healer companions are universally useful (even to healer PCs since you can switch them to DPS mode and still get the heals). His gear is at level (crafted by my Gunslinger, except the non-visibles) and above what the quest rewards for Alderaan are (which is why I have so many comms). My Vanguard has to go farming for more mats to make me more prototype tech med kits (the PC & companion heal + HoT medpacs) because I go through them so much, trying to keep Corso standing.

    I’m not saying he’s ‘weak’ since I know plenty of people who get good use out of him. But comparing gear sets, for the most part, I’m okay. Couple that with the fact that I am UNDERlevel for my class quest (group of guildies ran through a bunch of missions, a few of which were my class missions. Now I’m 29 with a level 32 class quest) and it’s going to be interesting the next few levels with Corso. I’m going to gear up Bowdaar to see if maybe he turns out better. Hopefully I can find a style that works best to keep the companion alive (we rarely wipe but Corso dies frequently to -1 elites and/or multiple strongs. Force forbid we get adds!).

    All that to say, I see and understand (and agree) with what you’re saying. But being in the position of possibly uttering the ” is weak” line, it’s hard to resist it when you get results you’re not altogether happy with.

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