Dec 062012

A girl and her cat
A Girl and her Panther

I am strongly ambivalent about cosmetic companions. Very strongly.

I love them. I hate them. I covet them. I dislike them. I am cool with them. I wish they would die.

Ack, enough! Time for one of those “Pros versus Cons” tables to see how I really feel about them:

Cons Pros
  • They often cost Turbine Points
  • They don’t actually do anything, they just sit there
  • I suspect (but cannot confirm) that they lengthen load and zoning times
  • Even though their sole purpose is appearance, each one looks just like every other one of the same type – no customization
  • Did I mention that they don’t do anything? Anything at all?
  • Some of them are kind of cute


Maybe not all of the bad things are really bad. And maybe the one good thing is good enough all by itself.

See? Even after all of this, still ambivalent.

I have five or six of them. All named, and all except the spider (Ick! It’s a spider!), assigned to characters. When that character is in play, so is that companion. Apparently I like them enough to let them out of the box, regularly.

I don’t buy tricks but each pet comes with one or two and somehow I’ve acquired a couple of others. Each character that “owns” a companion generally has the best trick on a hotbar, ready to command, and sometimes I do. When the party is waiting to assemble, or waiting for an AFK character or even a disconnect. In other words, any time I might /Dance/Dance2 or Grease I might instead PetTrick.

I guess that is valuable, in a way, sort of. I have Grease clickies on most of my characters for purely entertainment reasons. This is similar.

I know there are people who seriously like their companions. I always see newly-released companions on some character or another, on the very first day they are available; clearly someone is willing to buy them. That’s a plus, it supports the game I love without me having to do anything.

Do they add to lag? I doubt it, and if so I imagine it is only client-side lag which really isn’t lag at all.

Do they look weird when I am swimming or featherfalling? Oh yes, very weird.

Do I wish they actually did something other than follow me around? Cast some trivial but useful spell? Attack for 0 or 1 hit points of damage? Jump up on my party members and annoy them? Yes, I wish they had some function or feature beyond the ability to /follow.

Even with all that, I think they do add something to the game, if only for a (small? large?) percentage of the players. And at no significant cost to the rest of the player base.

So keep ’em coming Turbine, I’ve always liked the miniature Clay Golem in the quest Repossession. Go ahead and companionize him. That one I might even buy.

Who am I kidding, no I won’t. But I will admire him as he trails along behind others who are a bit more open with their purchasing habits*.

๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ™‚

* Yes, I know I am the guy who used a Raise Cake in a second-level quest. But still, at least that is an in-game effect for my Turbine Points unlike companions which have no in-game effect. Got to draw the line somewhere. Don’t I?

  5 Responses to “Cosmetic Companions: A Love/Hate Experience”

Comments (5)
  1. I like them. Depending on my mood i will have one out (or not) and play with it as people are buffing or in the case of @tobril crashing….

    Like you i think they could have some minor minor minor benefit, but l get why they didn’t.

    And yes i buy a lot of them. not all of them but between my wife and i we have most of them.

  2. Wait, you died in a 2nd level quest! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry, just kidding, not being serious.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *points finger at you* ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been told that they add to lag in raids, but I don’t know if that’s true. I bought the red bat, because he’s just too cool. Only one I really wanted. And yes, I often play around with one of my pets while waiting for my party to gather. I’ve got 4 pets; spider, winter wolf, spotted wolf and bat. Except for the bat, they’re all named after raid/ quest bosses. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. It would be cool if every cosmetic pet gave an untyped bonus to a certain skill so they had a point. maybe a sahagiune pet that gave a +2 to swim, or a Bear that gave +1 to fort saves, something like that effect.

What do you think?

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