First off, it's been a while since I've been a member, but I've come back to finish some catching up on my pirates, now that winter break is upon us!
I was hoping this would have been somewhat addressed by now, but it seems like it hasn't, so here is one of my biggest criticisms of Pirate101 ever since I started as a wee pirate back in the beta:
It feels like some companions have been designated to sit in the back of your list.
You know who I'm talking about. That one Bison hunter you got during your quest which turned out not to do so hot. That Monkey King that did not turn out as hyped up as the story made him. That shooter of a Rooster that may not be quite as potent as others.
Now, this is in no means saying that these companions are useless or weak. Everyone has their own tastes in companions of course, it's not fair to assume most people don't use certain companions. But we all know those companions which don't quite have as much flair as the others on our list.
Firstly, some of the far-end side companions get less talents than their main-story/bigger-side-quest counterparts. They get less than 17 total talents by the time they achieve level 70. This helps to push those other companions up some people's lists.
Secondly, many, many companions only receive, if any, one power, which is typically a Critical Strike. Some of them have a power that could be useful ( aka Bison Chief coming in clutch with the Rouse ). Others unfortunately lack any powers ( I'm looking at you, Monkey King ). I feel like this is a big missed opportunity to expand the arsenal of companions and strategies that they possess. For example, the Bison Spirit could have an ability to summon up his loyal pet's spirit! ( Just like in that dungeon quest inside the cave ). It just feels like these companions just don't add enough spice to the battle to encourage players from using them more seriously, unless they have already lost some companions in battles. The biggest culprit ( at least in my opinion ) is Fin Dorsal from the crown shop as well as Oingo Boingo. For a whopping 7,495 crowns ( less if they go on sale ), these companions have potential, but with Fin only getting a Critical Strike power and Oingo Boingo ( as far as I'm aware ) having zero powers, it makes that price harder to justify in a purely combat standpoint, especially when compared to Goronado, who is priced similarly but possesses some useful powers, or even Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah ( say that 5 times ). For aesthetics, they are all pretty sweet companions!
Those are really my main criticisms with the way companions have been designed in the game. They all have the potential to be great, and it's unfair to say that any one of them are "useless" or "weak". But it is fair to say that some have achieved more of their potential than others. I just hope that the developers may find a way to bring those companions back to the spotlight.