So last night my group of friends and I decided we were going to run Aetherian Archive but we were down a few of our normal players. So we decided that rather than ask for perfect strangers to join, we would let our companions fill in. We were actually pleasantly surprised with how well the companions held up against trash mobs, and even bosses. They did a fine job of pulling aggro and taking some heat off the tank, and other DPS. They worked really well as paper mache stand ins for actual players.
But then it went bad. When we got to the room where everybody has to stand on floor plates we realized that moving companions was like herding cats. They were fiddly and really difficult to manipulate into place. But after some fussing and griping we got them centered squarely on their platforms and we got all the players centered squarely on theirs and nothing happened. And we waited, and waited, and still nothing happened. We wasted another 10 minutes fiddling with the positioning of companions to see if it was user error but obviously it was not. We were unable to progress. What a disappointment, Devs.
The group and I discussed this at length and we all came to a consensus that companions are essentially useless in overland questing. Because, let's face it, overland question can be done by a level 20 in trash armor with one hand tied behind their back. It is the pinnacle of catering to the lowest common denominator. It is primarily good for leveling up, and providing a classic roleplay experience. Which I love! I am a role player at heart, and even though Mirri is next to useless overland because I destroy trash mobs instantly, I use her anyway because I think it's fun to listen to her quips, and to dig deeper into that role play experience. But they're totally unnecessary overland and for CP leveled characters, serve as a colorful backdrop and gracious nod to earlier Elder Scrolls games.
But they were really useful in that trial! Until they weren't. So, as a longtime player, and on behalf of my trial group, please give companions the ability to trigger floor plates! I know this could pose problems in normal dungeons, so maybe the ability can be toggled? Or better yet, it switches on automatically in instanced dungeons where the player cap hasn't been met.
Second, please give us the option to move companions. Or at least have them stay in an area that you designate. It would have been super helpful had we been able to ask them to stand on the switch plates, rather than having to just manipulate the mechanics until they happened to be standing on the switch plates.
My third, and final request (at the moment) is to add the ability to have them shadow another group member in an instance. Being able to have them shadow another player would allow us to divide their skills more evenly. So if group A needs another off healer, we could have the Bastion from group B shadow the DPS from group A. It might also be useful to be able to have a couple of companions shadow a weaker DPS to provide more targeted support for the group.
Anyway, thank you for putting your time and energy into creating a fun game. (Even though PVP in cyrodiil is incredibly screwed up right now, but that's another post entirely) Tamriel is still my favorite place to go when I want to get away from this world. It's so cool to see how seamlessly all of the other elder scrolls games are blended into this huge, open world journey. And if you ever get PVP fixed I will be ecstatic!!
Anyway, deepest thanks, and I'll see ya in Auridon!