After testing the new henchmen on the test realm, I have only one issue with them. For their price, they should be rentable for a certain time period, rather than just one battle. I have yet to encounter a fight where I needed that powerful of help to beat a battle in Pirate101, let alone pay for that help for that battle. In addition, the inclusion of these powerful henchmen takes away from the multi-player aspect of this game. The henchmen make it so where the solo player can handle any fight in the game without the need to reach out to other players to help them. This dissuades the interaction that is the primary goal of a MMO, player interaction.
My suggestion would be to diminish the power of the henchmen, or remove them all together. One could also make them work as normal companions at a somewhat higher cost than normal henchmen (one per character, as a whole party of them will make the game far too easy.) As their presence as they are now in the test world would (in my opinion) take away from the spirit of the game. Which is the players working together to achieve a common goal.
"After testing the new henchmen on the test realm, I have only one issue with them. For their price, they should be rentable for a certain time period, rather than just one battle."
"The henchmen make it so where the solo player can handle any fight in the game without the need to reach out to other players to help them. This dissuades the interaction that is the primary goal of a MMO, player interaction."
To me, these two observations seem almost contradictory. If they are powerful and help guarantee a victory - so much so that they weaken the game - making them last for a longer period of time does not seem to be the best idea. I can't fault either of your observations individually, given I have not played with them; but I am not following your logic here.
"My suggestion would be to diminish the power of the henchmen, or remove them all together."
This suggestion seems more consistent with your second point. Personally, I don't see any need to remove them or necessarily make them any higher in cost, since those players who don't want to make use of them don't need to - their use is totally optional. If other players find them useful and want to hire them for tough fights, and I don't - their choice to hire them doesn't affect me or my enjoyment of the game in any way.
It is perhaps worth noting that in KI's more established game, WIzard101, around about the time Wizards hit 60th level it starts becoming difficult for solo wizards to win some boss fights, and hiring assistance for one of those fights can safe a great deal of frustration. If Pirate101 reaches a similar point, where soloing becomes quite difficult, having the option to recruit aid for an especially tough fight is a good call.
This is something that has been lacking in this "mmo"
a decent player can solo from 1-65 without any help. I thought with aquila and marleybone we would have to start working together but so many complained that EVERYTHING was 2 hard it was toned so far down it became just another trip around skull island not really needing help from another pirate.
So now they add this henchmen stuff which is only pushing the teamplay even further apart.
Sure i have friends that play and its fun to help them when they might need it but you play online to meet new people to go on adventures with unknowns testing your skills in the heat of battle with people that you have no idea on how they play.
Instead of pushing teamplay further away how about working on adding stuff for pirates to do outside of leveling up and standing in brawling hall killing lvl 4s.