I'm not sure where you get the 60% mark, I do recall them saying that Companions make up about half of your character power while solo, so if you're a healer, you will be doing less DPS than a normal DPS, but you can use a DPS companion and do more than fine, along side your healing abilities, you will be fine - baring in mind that unlike WoW, not everything is just normal with the occasional elite, in TOR there are more difficulties, Normal, Strong, Elite, and Boss, there are lots of Strong and Elite mobs in the world, so you won't necessarily find that rolling a DPS and taking a DPS companion is the best choice - It might be, I don't know, but having some survivability when solo for sure won't hurt.
I know I will be levelling as a Tank with a DPS companion, it's more than fine to do so, and in fact, it's something that they have said they want companions for - so that you can level without feeling disadvantaged to a DPS, but also being able to learn your role as you level.
Finally, when you choose an Advanced Class, you get access to three skill trees, or equivalents of talents in WoW. These talents can be respecced as often as you like in a city, however you do not have a dual spec option like in WoW for these talents.
So to sum up:
Advanced Class Dual Spec - No.
Skill Trees Dual Spec (Talents) - No.
Advanced Class Respeccing - Once, perhaps a handful of times at most, only in place to allow people to chose a different AC if they made a mistake, not something you will be able to do many times.
Skill Trees Respeccing - Yes. At a specific NPC in a city.
Krael, Sith Council of Untold Prophecy
I also gather that if you're a healer, your DPS companions become significantly stronger due to a buff called "Presence". Unfortunately this source I cannot recall, I got it from one of those "Info gathered so far..." threads and this could be wrong.
But well, although I can see where they're coming from when they were reluctant to include dual spec at launch, I'm glad they will soon after. How is it "my saga"... when I spent the entire saga healing my buddy who's the real hero of the republic? :P
From what I know they are going to put in a duel spec but its going to only two specs not advanced classes. Example if your an inquisitor and you pick assassin you can have one DPS spec and a tank or PVP spec BUT you cant pick from the sorcerer specs.
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Presence isn't a buff, it's a stat, as in something you can get on gear etc, rather than some passive static buff like, Power Word: Fortitude or whatever. It increases healing and companion power.
Not NDA breaking - this has been talked about somewhere, of course, it may have changed since then, but this is how it was.
Okay, you choose your Advanced Class or AC and you're stuck with it. It's being mentioned here that you have an opportunity to change it and I don't recall hearing anything about that...anyone have a link?
Regardless, I thought the AC was a big deal and just one of many choices that you have to make for your character. I can understand maybe being able to change it before you get too high level but I don't know how else they could work it in.
When I was in Beta I was reading up on it a lot and I saw that you would be able to change ACs. Maybe not at release, but they said if it isn't ready by release they will allow it very soon. So do not worry if you choose one and would like to try the other so you can play another role. It would be incredibly stupid if they didn't allow it, and I didn't read anywhere where they said they don't want people to switch.
I leveled up whatever the healing trooper is called, and I had no problem questing. BioWare did a wonderful job allowing us to spec heal/tank and still breeze through questing.
I hope they allow dual spec within AC's soon after launch, I'm a very wishy-washy person when it comes to my characters as I do both PvE and PvP...I like dual-speccing back in WoW cause I could get done with an instance or two then be have the urge to go stomp around a BG, and all it took was a press of a button and some quick-gear changing and i was good to go.
I felt a little repressed before they implemented this, as I had to run to a trainer, fill out my tree, then reassign my buttons...
<Insert something witty and humorous here>
I feel like changing ACs would really wear down the boundaries between characters. Advanced classes are most equivalent to actual classes in WoW, not talent specs. A shadow is stealth-oriented tank/dps class; a sage is a ranged caster/healer class. Every class in TOR would have much more flexibility in their roles than Druids currently do in WoW, and I just can't see how that's good for the game.
In rift, leveling is terrible (extremely linear, grindy, and uninspired even the first time around. I like/am subbed to the game, don't get me wrong. But leveling sucks in it) so the less we had to do it, the better. Thankfully their superbly flexible talent tree allowed everyone to make 1 of each calling (Warr/Rogue/Mage/Cleric) with pretty much no need for re-rolling.
In SWTOR, the story and opportunities for different character progression (Darkside/Lightside, different companions for that complement different specs) seem to encourage altoholism. GOOD! I am of course assuming the storylines change at least a bit when you answer dialogue differently. If its actually all the same, then...
I always wondered why devs are so anal retentive when it comes to players being able to experience more specs more often at greater convenience /boggle