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Flashpoint 2-manning and companion woes

Rieverre's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 03:17 PM | #1
... so, myself and a friend have been trying, with varying degrees of success, to duo flashpoints with just us and companions. And no, not at level, but before they turn grey on us.

The conclusion we drew from doing so is - Flashpoints may be successfully 2-manned _if_ one of the PCs is a healer. Sadly, I play Assassin, he plays Powertech, so healing is left up to companions. And it works most of the time, except when it suddenly doesn't, which inevitably leads to mounds of frustration.

Vide, Athiss and the homing fire mechanics of the last boss encounter.

Similarly, for some reason during the 2nd boss encounter in the Foundry (you know of whom I speak, meatbags), companions who were otherwise perfectly content with sitting on their asses and keeping our health up suddenly and inexplicably decided to try and close with said boss. Whereupon said boss wiped first one, then the other, with AOE before we could as much as Passive them back and away.

Either case could have been avoided if only there were some way to actually _direct_ the companions other than simply setting stances and whether they're to follow (in which case they quite leisurely _walk_ towards you, in mid-battle ...) or attack a particular target/use an ability. Something as simple as being able to set a single waypoint for them, even.

Well, it's just something to consider. As for me and my comrade, we'll probably end up grabbing an actual healer from somewhere for our next attempt, but we're sort of bummed about the fact that we'll have to.

Does anybody else have companion woes relating to FPs to share?

Dekallo's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 03:29 PM | #2
If you're a healer your companion won't attack what your other group member is attacking unless you direct them to with the attack command (which requires stopping your heals on your group member, selecting the mob, pressing attack, reselecting the group member...), and when that one mob is dead, your companion will forget about the rest of the fight half the time and walk back to you very slowly.

But yeah I've noticed my healing companion is pretty bad at healing me, especially in harder scenarios like flashpoints where you need constant healing. My companion would rather shoot at whatever I'm attacking (even though all his damage dealing abilities have autocast off?) than heal me half the time.

Not to mention the fact that if you don't switch their crowd control off they'll chain cast crowd control abilities on bosses that are, in fact, immune to crowd control instead of doing anything useful like... healing.

Affirmation's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 03:46 PM | #3
As the healer in my 2-man group, I would absolutely love a RTS-type system for companions. If my only job during a fight is healing, my companion will not attack anything unless I specifically tell it to, or if I attack first, and then it will only attack the mob that I've attacked and no additional ones after the first one dies. Constantly telling my companion who to attack takes away from very valuable healing time. If I could somehow queue up targets (like in a RTS), it would make things so much easier. Also, like the OP suggested, being able to click-to-move my companion around and out of the range of aoe would be very helpful. Companions are always oblivious to aoe, making them more of a liability than a help.

Another complaint I have is that companions often ignore crowd controlled mobs. They'll never attack directly, but there have been many times where I cc a mob, the companion uses an aoe, and the cc breaks, usually wiping us. I could micromanage all my companion's attacks, but again, that takes away valuable time that should be used for healing, especially if the fight is difficult enough to have to use cc or wipe.

I understand that companions are not meant to be a replacement for a real, intelligent human, but they should NOT be a hinderance and a liability.

DeathDiciple's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 04:00 PM | #4
Add the fact that e.g. Khem needs his AOE abilities disabled again and again every time you change zone/sometimes on resummons too...

Companions were fast to die at Athiss end boss and similar cases to us too, fortunately did not rely on their healing so we were able to complete. I'm not sure I want to know how would duoing stuff go when neither of the classes are capable of healing at all.

'Healer' companions need some mode switch or something that makes them stay in place and just heal, not aggro anything or try to come closer (healing causing aggro is one thing, but them shooting random mob i am not currently fighting or breaking cc is really getting old). I swear the lower my hp gets the higher the chance Mako decides to shoot something instead of healing me. Way they work now is fine for thrash but whenever you encounter decent difficult situation they do all in their power to mess things up.

Rieverre's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 04:23 PM | #5
The sad thing is, Bioware already _did_ something close to what we need, at least where targeting and ability usage is concerned, in Dragon Age.

I would love to be able to set target priority to 'enemy with least HP' or 'weakest enemy' (so they prioritize normals over strongs and strongs over elites, etc.). I would love to be able to set them to always target my current target. And so on.

Basically? The Dragon Age tactics system. And the Mass Effect 'move there' mechanic.

ADPowah's Avatar

01.09.2012 , 10:54 AM | #6
Agreed, when positioning is important having such "dumb" companions is a bit silly. I'm sure AI isn't easy but they are companions not pets and we have plenty of other BW games that do better than TOR at making them feel viable.