Influence is an interesting subject to tackle. Depending on your point of view, it's either an interesting experiment, useful for Crew Skills, or a complete waste of time.

The same rules also apply twofold to story Companions. Senya, Koth, HK-55, Kaliyo, and Aric can all depart as part of the Fallen Empire storyline - notably, three of them are Romance Companions which sadly most likely leaves Vette and Torian as the 'de facto' sacrificial romance options for Eternal Throne since neither Lana nor Theron are ever going to die (sadly) and they can't feasibly make either Aric or Kaliyo part of yet another choice - so grinding Influence with any Story Companion is regarded as very very risky.

Amusingly, some people have taken this to an entirely new level and quit Chapter I: The Hunt early solely so that they could keep Darth Marr and grind his Influence up.

Because I'm beginning to run out of things to talk about in the run-up to the next Expansion (I always have this trouble), I figured I'd finally turn to those Companions whose Influence I myself have ground up to 50, even if it does make me look like a pathetic individual.

Hey, people need something to laugh at, right?


Across my entire Legacy, I currently have twenty Influence 50 Companions. Yes, twenty. I know the picture only shows eighteen, but I'll get to the other two in a moment. These are currently spread across four characters, who are as follows:

  • Ak'ghal Usar
  • Blizz
  • Eckard Lokin 
  • HK-51
  • HK-55
  • Nexu
  • Nico Okarr
  • Pierce
  • Probe Droid
  • QO-77
  • Senya Tirall
  • T7-01
  • Talos Drellik
  • Xalek
  • Bowdaar
  • Gault Rennow
  • Guss Tuno
  • Nico Okarr
  • Vette
  • ZO-OM
  • Choza Raabat
  • Guss Tuno
  • Kira Carsen
The keen-eyed among you may have noticed that the missing two are Kira and Nico. Kira's absence is simple: I wanted a picture of all the Companions in their solid forms on my Sniper, so a hologram wouldn't do at all. Nico's absence is also simple, but for a very different reason. 

I managed to forget to include him even after going back and adding Lokin, Xalek, and Zeeyo who also managed to go walkabouts, and at time of writing I don't have time to go back and add him. Yay for annoying short-term memory issues!

So, the question remains: why get all these Companions to 50? I know that some people have raised their eyebrows at Pip's three Influence-50 Cartel Companions already, since they can't craft at all.

First and foremost, it's primarily because I like to duo Hard Mode Flashpoints with a friend - both of us mainly as DPS and providing either a Tank or a Healer Companion - and a very high-Influence Tank is the only thing neither of us can pull off very easily. It can still be done, but it's much harder to pull off a 50 Tank than it is, say, a 23 Tank. 

This in turn is also why Pip has so many who are (or were) primarily Tanks (Ak'ghal the Khem rip-off, HK-55, Pierce, Senya, and Xalek) simply to allow for variety of which Companion was the Tank. Currently, the Nexu sits in primary-Tank spot. Lokin and Talos are the Healers of her selection.

Indeed, Tanking variety was also why T7 was boosted to 50 only for him to be relegated to DPS because Droids such as he don't have a leap in Tank stance. They just sit there at 30 metres shooting only their max-range ability without ever thinking to move in to use their 4-metre range ones...

The DPS ones got up there mainly because I wanted to see what they could do, but when the aforementioned friend uses their Healer, that's when they come out to play in Flashpoints.

Because I went massively overboard with Pip's Companions (for example: given her in-universe work with Droids she'd never actually willingly take Blizz on board, and Nico doesn't exactly fit an Agent character), I have since levelled up only those Companions who actually make sense with the respective character, with possibly one exception. Calph has been really fortunate this time around, getting Bowdaar and Guss back, whilst Gault, Nico, and Vette all make perfect additions to any Smuggler's team.

Zeeyo, of course, makes little sense for a Smuggler who has no interest in spy-games or infiltration (although she'd probably be made to use her replication ability to help with heists), but she was levelled to allow me to experiment with her unique Healing abilities. Since she's the best Healing Companion in the entire game, Guss has since found himself without a job. 

Sorry, buddy.


Expansion Boons

Eternal Throne is going to be the first Expansion since Influence - and all its benefits - came live. Given that Influence significantly increases crafting efficiency, people with multiple high-Influence Companions are certainly going to have a significantly easier time this time around with re-grinding Crew Skills to 600 than in any other Expansion. Doubly so if they actually get around to increasing the amount of Companions that can be sent out (although I doubt that this increase would encompass Pip's 11-man Crew Skill squad!).

Not only this, though, there's an additional aspect to Eternal Throne which should make High-Influence Story Companions worthwhile.

If it's done properly, Master Mode for Fallen Empire and Eternal Throne should be tiered towards those players who have high-tier gear at Level 70 and a high-Influence (if not max-Influence) Companion. I'd wager that people who laughed off getting Senya or Koth's Influence any higher than 10 would probably rapidly come to regret this decision if this is the case, of course. 

If this is going to be the case, then on the whole I'll be set for Companion Influence. With Lana and Koth both in the 30s and 40s respectively for her, Pip will be able to do Chapters I - IX and XV in Master Mode (although the spacebar boss for Chapter IX Master Mode will be brutal) with the Companions that she has at 50 (having both T7 and HK-55 at 50 will certainly help with Chapter VIII), whilst Calph will be able to do Chapter XIII with both Gault and Vette at 50.

Granted, gear is definitely going to be an issue to get around to begin with (I certainly don't think I'll be able to complete the final fights of Master Mode Chapter VI in 224 Gear), but this shouldn't be that hard to workaround if the Priority Ops system is staying put. 

I am curious to see how they'll handle Chapters like Chapter VII and Chapter XIV, though. Those are far more open-world than other Chapters with only part of the Chapter in an instance; I am presuming that the open-world will not be scaled to the difficulty of the Mode you do but rather the base-level of the Planet. It would be interesting if they could scale up an open-world to suit your preference, but I don't think they'll be doing this.

So technically anyone should be able to do at least part of Master Mode Chapter XIV, then! 


As I've previously said elsewhere, I really like the change to the Companion system. Actually making Influence mean something is a really good idea, and I look forward to seeing exactly what max-Influence Companions will be able to do for us in the new Expansion.


  1. *Jaw drops* You know, I don't even have 1 at influence 50! I suffer from grind intolerance. If I don't absolutely *need* to grind (such as in LOTRO, where I need to grind essences in order to be able to participate in tier 2 group content) I stay far away from it.

    Also... "since neither Lana nor Theron are ever going to die (sadly)". :O *makes note about Calphaya's dark side attunement* :P

    "If it's done properly, Master Mode for Fallen Empire and Eternal Throne should be tiered towards those players who have high-tier gear at Level 70 and a high-Influence (if not max-Influence) Companion."
    I'll have to disagree here. I would love Master mode to have varied and challenging encounters that require skill rather than brute forcing through it with gear and companions. Of course you'll need some measure of gear to complete it, but if it *only* revolves around that, I'll be disappointed.

    Currently, SWTOR requires relatively little grind, and I love it that way. Means I can spend more time doing other, more varied things. :)

    1. Don't worry, Rav, I'm with you in the "no influence 50 companions" camp! :D

      Based on the title of this post I was thinking that it might be about what an influential blogger you've become... OK, not really, but it would have been a cool twist!

    2. Oh, I agree, Master Mode should have its mechanics tuned up as well as harder-hitting numbers (since hard-hitting numbers can get incredibly annoying), but it would feel a little silly if they made all the fuss of the increased difficulty modes only for people to cope effortlessly with a very low-level Companion.

      Just bad wording on my part, I guess. :P

      Yeah, Lana and Theron are far too domineering throughout the story for my liking, Lana especially. Maybe I'll get around to doing a detailed post on my dislike of her at some point...

  2. Assuming we can "rteplay" story content in higher difficulty modes. I'd love to be able to do so myself, but there would be a lot of complications

    1. I think it's same to assume that they will be replayable; if you do indeed need a high-influence Companion and gear then this isn't something which most players will be able to do the first-time through.

      We'll have to wait and see, though, eh?

    2. Since I've been asking for a "mission replay" terminal for a while now, I can be assumed that I want them to be replayable at different difficulty levels.