I play a lot of Guild Wars 2, and I've been excited for the upcoming expansion to that game; well, it's an expansion. Who wouldn't be excited? A thing that caught my eye, however, was the AI routine changes they're pushing into the game. You can watch the video for that Here if you like.
The reason I bring this up, however, is due to my love of Master type characters in games, but so very few games actually give you the ability to manage what your minions are doing. Back in CoX, whenever we had minions we could either let them be aggressive, defensive, or passive, and while that wasn't bad, per se, having only three commands could be stifling. People talk about creativity for their minions. New outfits, different appearances made using the character creator, that sort of thing. What I'm talking about, though, is AI customization.
The point behind the idea is simple, and has actually been done before by such games as Final Fantasy 12 and Dominions 1 through 4 (which I sadly don't have a link to show off). Basically, you can classify where your AI companions stand, how far, when they should use their various abilities, and so on. All it is is basically editing AI routines using a dropdown menu that accounts for the majority of variables. This could add a tactical level of gameplay to it, and for those that like to do so, they could set things up such that they don't have to lift a finger, just observe the well oiled machine that is their minions moving forward through a fight. The real challenge, for them, is changing battle strategies based on types of enemies.
Noteworthy is that this wouldn't be required. Default AI routines would be similar to the ones used by CoX for their Mastermind system, which was a little basic but hey, it worked. This would give an additional layer of depth for those that want it without excluding the impatient folks who just want to watch robots smash things.
One thing to keep in mind is that people will break this sort of thing, and not in the way where they become overpowered. I'm talking making it so it doesn't work anymore - as such, a "Reset To Default" button is recommended. Another good choice would be the ability to save your build into a template folder you could also load from, sort of the same way you could save and load costumes in the CoX character creator. The reasoning for this is because you'd want different AI setups for, say, a Giant Monster than you would an Archvillain or a group of trash mobs. This would encourage sharing of ideas with their builds among the community, and still let those who don't want to put too much thought into things download an available build and slot it in, since the AI routine they want has already been developed by another player.
In addition to those QoL ideas, I can think of a couple others. The first is saving multiple routines - perhaps three slots, which default to passive, defensive, and aggressive. This means people wouldn't have to constantly replace their AI routines every time they want to change them, just swap over to one of three saved ones, which could even be done in combat, if necessary.
The second idea would be a "command" setup. As in, you can attach macros to certain abilities, setting up your minions to do certain things. for example, perhaps you have a "Stun!" button, where you command your minions to use a stunning ability on your target. This'd give you an additional level of on-demand control that the AI routines don't account for, which could be important.
Anyways, these are mostly just ideas based on things other games are doing. I'd be happy with the inclusion of any viable and fun minion system, but these ideas would give an additional level of depth to what you can do with your minions, and give those people who enjoy setting things up and then watching them go like a Rube Goldberg machine (like myself) something awesome to do.
An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".