I just watched the new SWTOR video on companion characters that is floating around the interwebs. When they got to the part about Blizz I nearly died with laughed. That’s freaking awesome. Watch for understanding.
The idea of companion characters is one of those things that I’ve really looked forward to in SWTOR. Unlike some, it’s never been a concern that they would take the place of real players. You can only have one after all, so you always benefit from having another person to play with. Having them run missions and do crafting for you is a great added bonus to that. Functional and part of the story.
The bridge officers in STO is one of my favorite features, even though they really don’t have any personality. Having characters to customize and work with allows you to at least build a personal RP story for them. It’s to late for STO to be able to implement anything like SWTOR is doing, but maybe in STO2.