Star Wars: The Old Republic is an interesting process. It takes elements of standard MMO harvesting and crafting, adds in a few random elements, and allows you to perform it wherever, whenever. But before we get down to the nitty-gritty of the crafting in The Old Republic, I have to talk about the Companions, as they're intimately connected.
Companions are a core element of The Old Republic. They're not simply pets that obey your bidding the way a Warlock's Imp would in World of Warcraft, and they're not just a body to spout dialogue during conversations or while you're slaying crime lords in the city-world of Coruscant to spice things up. The companions are a Swiss Army knife of sorts, capable of both of those things and much, much more.
In combat they come equipped with a handful of skills that can drastically change each encounter for better or worse. As a Jedi Knight, I obtained an R2D2-style droid equipped with a long-ranged taunting ability that would grab an enemy's attention, and a grappling-hook ability that would pull an enemy towards him. Because I was playing a melee-fighter who would eventually become a tough-as-nails tank, the droid's taunt came in handy at early levels. It would keep heavy-hitters busy for a few precious seconds as I wiped out weaker enemies. Read on