On the official forum, Michael Backus, the chief designer of SWTOR, gives us some information about the partners and the changes that will be made.
Why these changes?
First of all, balancing is something complicated in a game, some players will find the game too easy, others too difficult, but one thing is certain, the partners were too powerful in 4.0. They didn't want players to go "make tea" while their partners are doing all the work. Hence the changes to 4.0.2, they didn't want the game to become too simple and players to have a minimum of challenge, to avoid boredom.
The [Heroic 2] quests being abandoned after being done once, they wanted to make them more attractive, and that players have good reasons to go and do them. What they failed at. They didn't realize how much players value their overpowered partners, and received a lot of negative feedback after these changes as Heroic quests became laborious for many players.
What's going to happen
They will therefore take a step backwards and give our partners more power. However, they will not be as powerful as when KOTFE was launched. Here are the changes that will be made (the partner's Influence level will define the exact level):
- Partner care will be increased by 48%
- Partner damage will be increased by 15%
- Base partner stats will be increased by 15%
A little more details:
- Channeled partner healing will be increased by 61%
- Single-target care for partners will be increased by 42%
- Partner's care over time will be increased by 43%
- The damage of partners in Tank or DPS form will be increased by 15%
Regarding the Star Fortresses, in "Solo" mode, it is clearly story content and must continue to be accessible to all players, because they allow the recruitment of new Contacts for his alliance. They are also happy with the "Expert" mode, which represents a real challenge, and that it is not something that the player has to do too easily. They will however change the nomenclature of Star Fortresses to remove the term Heroic and avoid confusion with [Heroics 2], the content not being equivalent and the fortress being a greater challenge. The name will be communicated later. In addition, future changes to Star Fortresses will be independent of the strength of our partners.
- The powers of the partners will be increased, they will not be as powerful as in 4.0, but will undergo a significant increase
- Changed the Star Fortresses nomenclature, as this is not the same challenge as a Heroic quest.
- The changes of Star Fortresses will happen regardless of the strength of our partners.