I’m convinced it’s the way it is now because it’s a mindset thing. They want you to focus on your character and the ‘companions’ are just that, they follow your lead. Like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Dragon’s Dogma etc. They want it to be less like an RTS when you’re not in combat, more like an adventure RPG game. Until you get to combat then it becomes a tactics game. The problem is how poorly it’s been implemented from a pathfinding and AI standpoint.
It might also be partly to do with co-op play; with only one or two characters to control, the current system works well enough.
I get the feeling they’d rather keep working on their AI than change direction (as they’ve done with the group jumping), however considering they’re now dealing with the BG franchise and how so many folk in here want it to emulate typical crpgs, now might be the time to reconsider.