GameSpot posted anÃ‚Â interview with Game Director James OhlenÃ‚Â about companions inÃ‚Â Star Wars: The Old Republic. Mr. Ohlen revealed that companions will function similar to other classes in the game, leveling up alongside the player and unlocking skills as they progress. He also talks about a new system that will allow players to set up companion behaviors (AI) in combat beforehand, managing which abilities they do and do not use.
Along with the James Ohlen interview comes a Developer Dispatch video on companionsÃ‚Â featuring Lead Writer Daniel Erickson,Ã‚Â Principle Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller and Art Director Jeff Dobson. Ã‚Â The developers talk aboutÃ‚Â hitting the cornerstones ofÃ‚Â Star WarsÃ‚Â with companions such as droids and aliens, how companions level-up and unlock new abilities just like players and the affection system, where gifts can be given to companions opening up new conversations and quests.
Update @ 3:39PM EST: BioWare also released a Developers Blog on Companion Characters – Part 1