In the course of downloading an up-to-date copy of the ACM Wheel Addon for NCCS, I decided to peruse the comments on the file. I saw one that caught my attention, and really sheds a lot of light on the prime difference between me, and most companion users (and makers, as well).
"I don't get why so many people are against the wheel, besides it just being new and different. It reminds me of the Sneak/Activate popup menu CM Partners has for Oblivion.
Instead of: Activate. Let's talk about your tactics. Let's talk about how close you follow me. Follow me at a distance. Let's talk about something else. Let's talk about your tactics. Switch to melee weapons. Let's talk about something else. Goodbye. ...
... you have: Activate. Click Range. Click Melee.
I really like having this stuff be quicker to access. "
Personally, I had never looked at the wheel that way. Why? I don't micro-manage.
When I create a companion, I create the companion I want. If I want a sniper; that's how I class them. If I want a support gunner, or a melee scrapper I set them up from the get-go to be what I want.
So, for me, being able to switch follow distance and combat style and combat range is all completely useless. It's worse than completely useless: it's in my way.
My companions? I give them a weapon, and make sure they stay stocked on ammo and stims. Beyond that, they can fight however their little silicon heart desires.
In real life, I'm one of those people that as long as you get the job done, I don't care how you prefer to do it. If it works for you? Great! I'm not going to stand there glaring over your shoulder and railing on you to do it my way.
Similarly, in games I set up the basic behavior to control the role I'd like the companion to fill; some specific actions in the case of special events that may arise... and outside of that I let the AI do its own thing, in its own way.
I've never understood the people who need to issue a command to companions every two minutes.
I fear this will forever hold my companion systems back. Since I don't understand the need; I have a hell of a time implementing features to that end.
I kind of wish I could include the AI that lives in my computer with the mods themselves. Companions so damned good that they don't need to be given orders. But, of course someone would just start bitching that they're not nine year old Asian girls, or that they don't like engaging in combat with a knife when there are guns available. Plus, the AI-spirits would be pissed at me for exposing them to so much stupidity, so y'know... probably not the best idea after all.