I’ve stated before that, for me personally, I’d much rather be playing SWTOR cooperatively in a duo or trio than solo. I think the leveling content is simply more enjoyable with some friends on voicechat (we use Skype).
I’ve also written more than once how much I like the companion system in SWTOR overall. It offers a great way to fill an undersized flashpoint group and an extra layer to the class story cutscenes. I also like the little one-liners the companions give as ‘background noise’ to your current location. Companions make duo or trio play a lot more viable than it is in other MMOs, you don’t have to resort to overgearing or overleveling everything.
But there are complications to group play that are hard to avoid; these are logistical issues mostly. There’s the need to swap companions around just to compare new gear – usually all three of us will get a mission reward that’s worth checking and then as a group we have to stand there swapping companions in and out for a few minutes. Also only one of us gets to gain rep (or lose it!) with our active companion during any non-class missions since the group is full. It’s a shame we can’t “holo-in” the missing companions for cutscenes!
I suppose the upside is that we don’t have to rely on companions that we really don’t like – solo you pretty much have to use them regardless. Other than the odd mandatory appearance for a class mission custcene, we haven’t really used Khem at all. I’m growing to actively dislike Mako as well as she seems far too ‘goody-two-shoes’ to have survived growing up in and around bounty hunters on Nal Hutta…