What an incredible idea! I just love it! Fighting other heores will make the game much more exciting and pacifism skill will be more useful as well lol. It seems like a lot of work, hope you find help soon and thank you very much for this contribution
I like the companion issue, specially the quest one because you don't lose any buff slot. It would be very cool (but I don't know if it could be possible, just a suggestion) if you could "control" your companion somehow. I mean, enhancing the CAs, choosing the skills, distributing the points and managing the gear. If that were possible, then you'd have an answer for your first question:
Your companion can lose the equipment. He/She won't be gone forever, but a bit ruined.