Below Need, above Greed. Companion Need.
I really like the companion need idea but it seems as though there are mixed reviews. Why not add a monetary penalty or a compensation to the group for rolling Companion need?
For example: you roll companion need on an item the game automatically takes double what the player would have received if they sell that item to the vendor and divides it evenly amongst the other players in the group if the players companion is not present. If the player does not have enough credits the companion need option will be greyed out or simply not available.
I think this would discourage ninjas and the other players in the group that helped you get that gear would get some sort of reward for helping you and the player would get the loot for there companion. Also a player should not have to pay if there companion is present in the group because obviously the companion contributed to getting that gear by auto attacking or healing what ever.
In 2 man groups with both players having a companion present there would be no monetary penalty for selecting the option.