Companions add very little to the Bannerlord experience, other than, that they have a role in the party, and then they die and get replaced. Since traits is a thing, but its barely used (if its used, its clearly behind the scenes, where it really doesnt influence anything for the player), maybe use traits as a defining aspect on who you want to hire? I know they complain if you raid villages, but this should even go further, this should change the whole experience as a commander and having a party. A very devious character should influence you in a lot of ways: How they act after a battle, do they steal from, for example, your own death troops corpses, maybe they steal from the common folk behind your back, maybe they even steal from you, as a commander, or they have such a messy past, that lords dont like you having these companions in your party. If you're a devious player, then they could do these things to your own favor, and you could do such criminal acts to earn extra money on the side. This would lead to more interesting interactions, and here's another use for your own charisma and your "way with people" (that option you can choose in the beggining), meaning you could turn your companions to the honourable/dishonourable side if you speak with them about politics, maybe an option when you chat with them in taverns while you're resting. This means that having honourable and dishonourable companions would lead to interactions between themselves again, something that could be expanded from Warband, where it was very rough, and could have way more uses, maybe they even fight to the death at some point if you have very different companions. A simple addition that I'm sure would require a lot of work, but I think something like this could add so much to the experience, and would make you be careful when you choose companions, making it an inworld integrated mini game, where you actualy have to manage your party using your brains. You could even use Darkest Dungeons, where every character has it good sides and its flaws, some become drunks and other religious zealots, because of stress or depression.
I know its too late to even make suggestions, but hey, you can always count on modders doing the heavy work
if we don't get either static companions or a way to flush the non-spawned companions, I honestly don't want them to matter more, otherwise it'll add salt to injury, we already depend on them too much for the meta no matter the playstyle you try to go for.
Only thing companion is little useful is custom outfit, and little power over skill, as long they are immotral, but if they are not immortal, and option death is on, then companions is useless, there is no reason to use companion, just use normal troop to fill spot, cheaper that way. But if death is off, and low level to chance to level up way you want companion, then that companion may be very useful, along edit their look, skill, plus little more than that, would be great. I felt that companion is not very useful when come to death is on, age is on.
you clearly don't understand the meta of the game. Companions are too necessary, so much so that it's already hurting the fact that they are pure RNG to spawn. Also means you've been using them wrong all along.
You'll need them for Caravans, Governors, Captains and to field parties. You can't possibly field 5 parties (max total) with kin only under any viable time-frame.
What fks it up is the fact that the efficient governors and party leaders are all reliant on intelligence perks and skills (steward & medicine) with all other utilities being somewhat optional;
- The ultimate party leader has full Steward full Medicine, 150+ scout, 100 tactics, 100 leadership - impossible to achieve with current companion holster.
- The ultimate governor has at least 1 weapon skill at 150 or more (depends on gov perks you aim for), 200 athletics, 175 riding + 200 trade - than all int perks with engineering being the least important. - also impossible to achieve due to how deep most of the useful governor perks are locked in each skill tree.
- The ultimate captain will have: at least 2 weapon skills nearly maxed out + athletics or riding maxed out. - also nearly impossible to achieve, the worse being for infantry which have mixed loadouts making all use captains impossible to achieve, while it also can't be mitigated by making extra divisions because of the way TW has implemented how troops are distributed can't be controlled by the player what-so-ever. So you have to choose 2 between one handed, two handed, polearm and throwing or make a jack-of-all-trades that doesn't make your infantry much effective at all.
Than we have Caravan leaders which trading, steward, scouting (for move speed), and roguery seem to affect income, but is still a shoot in the dark because even a perfect 300 cheated companion won't make you much money reliably.
So what happens with the scarcity of companions is: the only good ones are really low level ones at suck at the start - to mitigate the time you'll have to waste leveling those, you must get the optimal picks for each role (and those will never be fully good, they are all mediocre for late-game). These are higher level and can't be shaped into anything optimal. That means you depend upon: Spicevendor &/or Swift for early game caravans or governors; you depend on a somewhat bigger list for early game fillers for party companions (usually those with scouting and/or leadership and/or tactics). Making the RNG selection you get from a game start crucial to determine if your run will be smooth or if it'll be crap lacking fillers for most roles, or even worse, having absolutely zero low level comps locking you out from building the best for any given roles.
That list makes for the core, than we have the non-core roles which would be smithing "helpers" (otherwise you won't be able to use it even remotely decently), and the perks/trees your PC can't access because there aren't enough pts (steward / scout / physician / engineer)
Meaning that for any basic mid-late game we sort of need 4 party role comps, 3 captains (we can personaly be one), at least 1 gov, 2 caravans + 3 party leaders = 13 companions of which you NEED otherwise you're in for unoptimal meta and that will hurt your playthrough a lot overtime (makes everything slower - you earn much less income - take much more battle casualties - spend much more money - etc)
That considering you have 2 or less fiefs and a spouse to run 1 of said fiefs. If we start on vassal companions + having 2+ fiefs, than things start to get overwhelmingly unmanageable because the game doesn't give us enough comps, nor fast enough level ups to actually fill in those gaps.
There's also meta reasoning as to why name comps as vassals is "needed" - and it comes down to AI fief management, party limits and total clan members - the only way AI does well is:
- Tier 5+ = 3 neighboring fiefs
- Tier 4 = 2 neighboring fiefs, a third's possible but not ideal because you'll want the 3rd party to join armies
- Tier 3 = 2 neighboring fiefs at most because they can only field 2 parties to patrol these
- Tier 2 = a single fief, otherwise they won't have a backup hero to field their single party, and they'll always have trouble patrolling their fiefs at all times
That means, ideally, you can't let vassals have bordergored lands, nor can you let them have 4 or more fiefs at once.
So def a NO, companions are not "glorified generic units", if their roles were less important, than yes, that would be the case.