Well, we got about 20 minutes into the stream and it died. This is an appropriate image. I'm putting in a jump cut just in case you don't want to see spoilers; I'll do systems stuff before the cut and leave the stuff after the jump for story spoilers.
Update: And the stream's back!
Overall, I'm pretty happy with what I saw, even if the team was light on the details (again). Some companion questions were answered, though most seem to have been left open. Still don't know how many companions we can max out at, who's coming back or not (they won't spoil the story for us ... bravo to BioWare for that), specializations for companions weren't talked about either. Musco said there'd be a thread up that you could post questions in; word of warning, they won't be talking about who's dead or who can be killed or anything like that, so don't bother asking.
Systems and Mechanics:
- Developers will not 'punish' players for their work on companions
- All or nearly all companions will return, though maybe not in the way we are used to? I'm guessing not all of them will be summonable companions. Maybe they'll hang around the ship?
- BIG ONE: Companion gear no longer provides stats; it's basically dress-up
- This means that you no longer have to farm gear for comps! You can just pull 'em out and they're the appropriate power level for your character. No more trolling the GTN looking for upgrades for a companion you haven't touched in 20 levels.
- Companions can do all 3 roles now - CONFIRMED
- This prevents players from being forced into 1 specific 'best companion' for their playstyle (think Bounty Hunter and how much you rely on Mako)
- Treek and HK won't be taken away at all
- Any gear on companions that are missing/killed will be returned to you
- Some chapters may lock you into specific companions during the story
I do like the companion changes A LOT. I always felt hemmed in as far as companions went; as a mainly DPS player, I relied heavily on healers like Mako and Treek. There were companion moments I know I missed out on because of my chosen role. This new direction will definitely help alleviate all that pressure to choose the 'correct companion.' Musco stated that they'll be talking more about crafting, pvp, etc etc 'soon.' It better be real soon, cuz we're closing in on 2 months till launch!
SPOILERS BEYOND THE JUMP! YE BE WARNED!