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[Guide] Companion Optimization, Gearing and Tips

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
[Guide] Companion Optimization, Gearing and Tips

KevMeup's Avatar


KevMeup
09.03.2013 , 07:14 PM | #1
This guide should be a good starting point for people who want to get more out of their companions. If you have any more suggestions or comments let me know.

Updates:
June 26th 2015: Added Links to Suggestion Posts for fixing companion DPS and Legacy ability imbalances

June 14th 2015: Updated companion parse data and rechecked Legacy abilities. Added Healer Parses! Removed Old HK part info. Added notes on Nico Okarr.

June 9th 2015: Added Devoted Allies companion gear info. Expanded Presence section. Added note on player debuffs.

Oct 9th 2014: Added Companion Battle section and alacrity note.

July 20th 2014: Swapped Tank aug priority. Shield > Absorb.

July 19th 2014: Added DPS Parse summary.

July 13th 2014: Added Parse Examples/results, check out Vector!

July 12th 2014: Minor corrections. Added parse info on all Heroic Moment Skills!

Jan 12th 2014: Updated Gearing section with differences, augs and improved recommendations. Couple more notes on HK and Treek.

Dec 29th 2013: Updated Parse section with Parsec data. Added HK Droid part Mat list.


Presence:
Presence affects your companions Health, Heals and Damage. Health being the largest improvement you'll see.

Youíll get +100 legacy presence from unlocking the human species. If you have not yet, you can find it under legacy and just purchase there.

How much your companion likes you has no effect on itís combat capability. It will help you unlock presence or character bonuses though. Finish all your companion quest conversations. This means get their affection to 8000-10000 and talk till they are worn out. Youíll get a +10 permanent presence bonus for each companion. This can add up to 200 on imp and 200 on pub side.

Datacrons also give presence. Itís not legacy though, so I wouldn't rush to get them unless youíre bored.

Drinks from cantinas give a stack-able presence bonus.

Crafted Gear with Command give a bonus to presence and there are also presence augs. I would not recommend either of those unless you're doing companion battles as a hobby or something.

The legacy bound relics from the rakghoul events give a very nice presence bonus and I'd highly recommend them for leveling.

Command stims are also available, but they won't stack with other stims, so it's rare you'd use one.

Class Buffs:
Your companions benefit from class buffs, just like you do. Make sure they have them on before battle. Finish your chapter 2 with all 4 classes and youíll have the legacy class buffs for all your characters.

Unity:
This skill reduces the damage you and your companion take. You can purchase it, or get a lightside character to unlock it for your legacy. This skill is easily forgotten but can save your hide in a tough fight. Use it often, it's CD is much less than heroic.

Sacrifice:
I have not found a good use for this skill.

Heroic Moment:
This skill heals you and your companion for the duration as well as enabling any of the cool heroic moves you have unlocked (Chapter 3 with any of the 8 classes). Since these are heavy hitting abilities, plan them out as well as possible. You may want to use a stun before your channeled abilities like flame thrower or orbital strike.

Damage comparison of heroic abilities at level 60:
Legacy Orbital Strike: 20k
Legacy Force Choke: 17k
Legacy Flame Thrower: 13k
Legacy Force Sweep: 5k
Legacy Lightning Storm: 5k
Legacy Dirty Kick: 5k
Legacy Project: 4k
Legacy Sticky Grenade: 2k
(numbers listed are without crits or misses)

Turn on skills:
By default any AOE damaging attacks are turned off so that your companion doesn't break CCs. Turn them on ASAP! Vette's grenade makes her a beast at low levels.

Enable the correct stance:
All companions (except HK) have 2 stances. Healers have a Heal stance and a DPS stance. Tanks have a tank and a DPS stance. Treek has a tank or a Heal stance. Sometimes they will turn themselves off (bug), make sure you have one on. For melee DPS, The Damage over Time stance seems to perform better than the Armor piercing in my parsing. For Ranged DPS, Iíd go for the AOE damage buff most of the time and use the single target for harder or single mobs, depending on your playstyle.

Player Debuffs:
Please post if you have information here. In 3.0 there are a lot of new player skills, some may help companions, while others do not. Vector has 3 attacks that deal internal damage, they benefit from 1 player debuff. His attacks are not tech though, so they don't get that bonus. Ashara benefits from both of the sorc debuffs though (force and AOE) which takes her parse from 1700 to 1850. The best possible dps companion in the game would be Akaavi Spar from the smuggler based off having heavy armor and being able to use all player debuffs. I'll test once I can.

Gearing:
How are companions different?:
Spoiler

Devoted Allies Free Level 55 Companion Sets:
You can now get a free complete set of 192 gear for all of your companions. It's also legacy so you can pass it to alts. Although a couple stat choices might be slightly off what I'd prefer, every piece uses the higher quality set piece stat budget so most people will be perfectly fine using this gear indefinitely. You can color it or aug it, you just can't change mods.

To obtain the gear, complete the story line for Rishi and Yavin 4. Then go back and do the weeklies on Yavin 4 for the mainhand and gear. For the offhand, do the 3 part quest for Arankau in Rishii village.

The main and offhand do not come with color crystals, so be sure to add one in for some extra power.

Devoted Allies Stats:
DPS/Heals:
2892 Endurance
2892 Mainstat
584 Power
555 Surge
555 Accuracy
732 Crit
(Recommended augs: Power)

Tanks:
3552 Endurance
2316 Mainstat
588 Defense
777 Shield
684 Absorb
333 Accuracy
(Recommended augs: 8 absorb, 4 shield)
{2793,{defense->588,shield->1025,absorb->1180}}

General Gearing:
For Heals:
Power first.
(Optional) Crit up to 300.
Surge to 400
Alacrity (OR Accuracy if you want additional DPS from them. May be preferred if you're tanking)
Augments: Power, Mainstat if sharing gear with player.

For DPS:
Power first.
(Optional) Crit up to 300.
Accuracy to 97%
Surge to 400
Accuracy
Augments: Power, Mainstat if sharing gear with player.

For Tanks (If you're healing):
Absorb
Shield
(Optional) Defense up to 300
Endurance
Augments: Shield > Absorb > Fortitude.

For Tanks (If you're not healing):
Endurance
Absorb
Shield
(Optional) Defense up to 300
Augments: Fortitude > Shield > Absorb.

Legacy Gear:
Unless you REALLY want to put a skirt on your Mako or Ensign (canít blame you for that), Iíd recommend using Legacy gear any chance you get. This way you can gear up your companion well and then share that gear with any of your other characters or alts. This is especially valuable when you aug a set of gear (around 2 mil).

Treek:
This girl is amazing. She can be a tank or a healer and one legacy set of Aim gear can now be passed between every one of your characters for her. Blaster riffle or Blaster pistols work. Make sure youíre using a generator instead of a shield generator if you have her healing as well as the correct stats. For tanking, as far as I can tell she doesn't have an AOE taunt, but she will use her single target often as needed and her AOEs do generate a lot of threat. She does a bit more damage in tank stance also. Treek Customization is 300 cartel, and then 50 per to unlock for your legacy. Nice to have if you use her a lot.

HK:
The ultimate Single Target Ranged DPS. Heís the only DPS with a kill shot, a combo, a CC, Agro drop and 30% heal. If youíre fighting a lot of trash his dps might be lower with the lack of AOE. Heís a great set and forget dps, you can ignore him and heíll usually get himself out of trouble without any micro management. HK can use aim OR cunning, if possible split his gear between both for best results. Although he can use a blaster riffle, you'll get a little higher DPS from sticking with a sniper rifle. (The blue MR-38 or red MR-39 are my favorites right now and cheap). I'm a big fan of the Legacy Bound HK customization on Zcerka vendor if you havn't seen it yet.

Nico Okarr:
New gunslinger companion for subscribers given July 31st 2015 as part of Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion. At this point, I'd expect him to be a standard ranged DPS companion like Ensign Temple or Vette.
Image of Nico here

New Fallen Empire Companions:
There will be new companions, I'll update with any info I get. Hopefully with new skills.

Healer Skills:
All healers except consulars have to stop healing to channel their CC, so turn it off! If youíre in a hard boss fight, you can click it to use as an interupt. Also, they usually have one channeled attack and one DoT attack. Turn off the channeled attack always and the dot attack if you plan to CC things.

Tank Skills and Tips:
You may want to micromanage some tank skills if youíre a squishy healer. Their AOE taunt has a LONG cooldown and if a comp jumps in and uses it right away, it wonít do much to hold agro. Let them jump in, start fighting a bit and then if mobs start to stray have your comp use the AOE taunt then. For ranged tanks, I often start a fight using a their melee attack, that way they get up on the mob before starting a fight. The pub droid tank has a grapple, I turn that off so that he runs to them instead of bringing the mobs closer to me. If youíre a sorc/sage, bubble your companion before telling it to attack, that little change will save a lot of agro issues.

Leveling Gear:
Most people have a ton of basic coms on their characters, they are great to use for gearing up while leveling just go to the outside ring in the supplies section on fleet. You can mail the mods and enhancements to other characters too.

If you're short on basics:
Usually you can buy a near full set of greens off the GTN for like 25k. Get them with the right stats and for your level and you should cover most your gearing needs. If you want to be well geared, Iíd recommend doing your daily flashpoint, which will get you orange gear that you can mix and match mods from. Remember pre-50 you can put an armoring from one slot into any other type of piece or a barrel from an offhand into a mainhand.

PVP:
Expertise does affect companions as well, so itís nice if you can use pvp gear on your comps.. Heals is least important as long as heís not getting focused. Also remember when you stun a companion, the resolve is shared with the player, so you might want to turn off CCs on your comp. Keep your heroic moment and unity handy, it can make a big difference.

Parsing:
Parses done with 1000-1007 presence and full Yavin 4 companion gear and level 60:
Melee DPS in DOT stance 1710
Melee DPS in AP stance 1300
Gault in Single Target stance 1180
HK 1065
Treek in DPS gear and Tank stance 1030
Ranged DPS in Single Target stance 1000
Treek in Heal Stance 940 (drops to 610 if healing)
Dr Lokin in DSP stance 850
2V-R8 in heal stance 800 (drops to 385 if healing)
Tank in Tank stance 770
Healer is DPS stance (and carb off) 730

Revan Fight Parse:
Melee DPS DOT stance 2500-3131 (depends how fast you are and if you use class debuffs)
Gault in Single Target 2250 (pyro spec player)
HK 1700

Healer Parses (on sorc with heal buff consuming, no debuffs on dummy, Carbonize off):
2V-R8:
DPS: 385
Heals: 1450
E.Heals: 1045

Talos:
DPS: 290 (goes to 408 if you turn OFF Dot and Powershot)
Heals: 1420
E.Heals: 1010

Treek: (with blaster riffle)
DPS: 610
Heals: 1130
E.Heals: 750

Parsec is really great for giving instant updates to the damage your comp is doing. Torparse has a bit of a delay but will let you see the damage breakdown by skill.

Keybindings and Interface:
You can rebind any of your companion skills. Control + whatever can be a pain. Especially for healers, youíll want to make sure your companion is attacking anything thats trying to hurt you.

As heals, if you use operations frames instead of Group frames, you can set your group memberís companion as Focus Target (Alt F) so itís easy to keep track of itís health during a fight.

Companion Battles
This is a great use for your guild flagship or guild headquarters. Meet up, duel and tell your companions to fight it out.

Remember to bring your presence buffs (cantina drink, command stim) and if you're really crazy you can craft a full set of command gear and aug for presence The rakgul vendor has some great presence relics as well.

Decide if unity, heroic moment or skill micromanagement is legal before you start.

HK's special skills really shine here and he can often beat a melee DPS companion with lower gear. I'll update this section as I get more data.

Final Notes:

I hope you found this guide helpful. Please add any questions or comments. I'll edit and clean up along the way.

Please support these suggestion threads:
Balance Companion DPS
Balance Legacy Heroic Abilities
Kevgent - GuildMaster of <Show Me Your Crits> - The Harbinger
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Guild Thread | Companion Use and Optimization Guide

EyelessOne's Avatar


EyelessOne
09.07.2013 , 02:08 PM | #2
Stumbled on this by accident through Google. Excellent info - thanks for the nice summary!

AzlanWhite's Avatar


AzlanWhite
09.07.2013 , 03:43 PM | #3
Agreed, this definitely gave me a foothold on how to start gearing up my comps. (Especially for tanks and dps companions)

Very nice work bud.

EspadaRojo's Avatar


EspadaRojo
11.03.2013 , 05:51 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by EyelessOne View Post
Stumbled on this by accident through Google. Excellent info - thanks for the nice summary!
Same. Thanks for putting something together, there's amazingly little info on the subject.

And everyone says, "Check the Codex," when the Codex basically only says "Main stat: Aim. Secondary Stat: Endurance" which is incredibly worthless, given Endurance is kind of a constant on gear.

Sivn's Avatar


Sivn
11.21.2013 , 02:20 PM | #5
I guess this is still the way to go?

Power, Surge, crit, forget alacrity and accuracy unless your companion is in top raid gear?

Elainya's Avatar


Elainya
11.21.2013 , 08:56 PM | #6
Your guide looks great! Good info!
Torezz ~ Guildmaster of Imperial ~ The Shadowlands
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ellenbec's Avatar


ellenbec
11.30.2013 , 03:20 PM | #7
The only question I have is HOW is crit bugged?

Oh, and Treek is female also.

Good write up besides those two points.
Khuri-PT Operations Lead Covenant Shadows - The Ebon Hawk (US East) Armory Link

Gault: "I'd like to take this moment to remind you that you are not, in fact, a hovertank - no matter how much you dress like one."

KevMeup's Avatar


KevMeup
12.16.2013 , 08:40 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Sivn View Post
I guess this is still the way to go?

Power, Surge, crit, forget alacrity and accuracy unless your companion is in top raid gear?
Yup. Power, Surge over 60%, after that I don't think you'll see major changes. I'll post though if I find anything conclusive in future tests.
Kevgent - GuildMaster of <Show Me Your Crits> - The Harbinger
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Guild Thread | Companion Use and Optimization Guide

KevMeup's Avatar


KevMeup
12.16.2013 , 09:03 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by ellenbec View Post
The only question I have is HOW is crit bugged?

Oh, and Treek is female also.

Good write up besides those two points.
Thank you!

I updated wording for Treek.

I will look into rewording the crit part. The devs are not happy with how crit performs in 2.0. Comps take a further hit to their stats since they don't have skill tree bonuses. I don't think I'd ever prioritize crit over power for a comp. Up to 300 crit isn't bad though, HK's parts give him that, and Cunning/Power/Accuracy on everything else works well.
Kevgent - GuildMaster of <Show Me Your Crits> - The Harbinger
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Guild Thread | Companion Use and Optimization Guide

ellenbec's Avatar


ellenbec
12.16.2013 , 10:48 PM | #10
I would definitely say that crit isn't broken, but it has a much higher conversion rate from rating to % than surge, accuracy, or alacrity even before you get into any kind of Diminishing Return. The Devs gave it such a big value during Beta because of how good it turned out for every DPS and Healer.
Khuri-PT Operations Lead Covenant Shadows - The Ebon Hawk (US East) Armory Link

Gault: "I'd like to take this moment to remind you that you are not, in fact, a hovertank - no matter how much you dress like one."