Knights of the Fallen Empire is Bioware's latest addition to the Star Wars universe. It featured a new array of additions and changes to the 3.0 system. The biggest change was to the companion NPCs that supported your adventures. In Knights of the Fallen Empire (KOTFE or "4.0") companions are very powerful and made the game somewhat easier than previously. With this change it also unlocked new content for players who previously could not access group content. It allowed an average player to work through heroic content that wouldn't have been available if companions weren't so powerful on their own.
Groups were always difficult to form in SWTOR because of the sheer lack of interest and I don't have time to wait all day for group finder!
The 4.02 patch decreased the effectiveness of the companions by a significant amount. Way too much! Now I barely survive herorics and struggle with some of the single player content. Dailys are a chore because the change effectively double or triples the amount of time to do the same content at 4.0.
On the SWTOR forums the community manager has asked for feedback and this is my response:
Your level 65 Roughly Average Item Rating 208 Discipline Sorceror / Lightning Companion Lana Companion role Tank: Struggles to tank when taking on 2 or more elites plus trash. Barely survives against Champion without support / assistance. Fails to pull agro 50% of the time especially ranged attackers. Before the patch I could use all three roles. After patch only the Tank. Damage: Got me killed a lot. I pull agro and die in seconds from spike damage. Healer: Worst than tank role. Can't heal enough to sustain me through spikes. Companion Influence level 25 Which Mission or Star Fortress are you playing (Solo Mode? Heroic Mode?) Solo and H2 SF was enjoyable prior to patch. Companion was great, tanked like a boss, and the tedium of slogging through multiple waves of mobs and runs of solo/H2 SF was made tolerable because I could switch my brain off and do the content at ease. Your personal experience while playing this content Before patch i had a lot of fun. I only have a couple of hours per week to play since I work nearly 60 hours a week. I joined a few months prior to 4.0 to play the class missions that i missed, and the 12x exp made it very quick and enjoyable. After 4.0 landed i thought the changes to companions were great and I liked being able to pick the role of the companion rather than being locked with just one class. I really liked Lana and being able to choose the role to match my class was great. I would have loved if the game continued that way. I could never do heroics before 4.0 because group finder and LFG takes too long, and I don't have time to wait for groups. In the first week i got through all of the planetary heroics solo and they took between 5-10 minutes each. As an average player in non-raid gear this felt sufficiently enjoyable and some progress was achieved. I still couldn't participate in raids because I dont have time for that but at least I could enjoy the story/daily grind. Each night i could probably do 5-6 H2s before calling the night (roughly 1 hour) so committing to that schedule I could get the weekly done with a few extra hours and help on the weekend. It was fun and i felt like i was progressing enough despite the limited time to play. Post patch. It takes about 20-30 minutes to do one planetary H2. My companion and I are dying a lot more and waste time running back to the place that i previously died only to realise monsters have respawned). I tried throwing CCs and stuns after seeking advice from guildies but planetary H2s have just become a hard, tedious, boring grind fest. In conclusion, post patch is not fun at all. I understand if you intend the game to be challenging for some people who want hard mode, but I'm afraid I don't enjoy it. With the arrival of new games I'm definitely dropping the subscription and picking up another game worth my time. I mean, the last three months was terrific, but the latest patch is a killjoy. To put things into perspective I am about 2 weeks to the end of subscriber status and was considering the 180 day renewal. I certainly won't be doing that now.
I don't think the companions should be at 4.0 strength, but they definitely shouldn't be as pathetic as 4.02. There is a fine balance between making the game difficult as intended, and making it so darn frustrating that most casual players cannot enjoy the game. I think the 4.02 change will hurt them in the long run and from what I've seen on forums a lot of people are unhappy with the change.