Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Friday, May 29, 2015

SWTOR: Home Sweet Stronghold

I know, I know. A million years after the fact, right? Not to mention I think I promised a write-up on my thoughts regarding strongholds last week. So here they are. In a nutshell, I like what I've seen so far . . . mostly. No implementation of MMO housing is perfect, I suppose, but BioWare has done a pretty good job of making the stronghold both easy to decorate and functional.
The City That Never Sleeps
As you can see from the pics, I chose the neutral stronghold on Nar Shaddaa, the moon of Nal Hutta controlled by the Cartel. The planet has an East Asian, neon city feel; and having just returned from a trip to Seoul, Korea, I can appreciate the aesthetic. The other neutral plot is on Tatooine, but is both more expensive . . . and on Tatooine. Right now, three of the four properties are part of cityscapes, and I think there should be more variety and views of nature. I would love to have a place on Alderaan or, perhaps Voss. I did buy a condo on Dromund Kaas, the capital of the Sith Empire, but to visit there on my Pub characters would involve a thousand credits for each trip, so I relocated. Given that he is my highest level character, though semi-retired, the stronghold belongs to Agent Versteckt, though all the characters in my legacy can visit and place decor around the place.

Imagine the Possibilities
You unlock the condo in sections, and I have only purchased the first area, which includes the landing, an entrance hall, and two smaller rooms. Most of the expansion rooms must be unlocked in sequence, though some can be bypassed initially.

Placing decor involves "hooks" of various sizes. Let's just say I am neutral on the subject. Some people may feel that the hooks limit their ability to get truly creative, and I don't disagree. But it does simplify things a bit for us duffers, and I am guessing that, much like Rift's dimension decoration system, the hooks are essentially what the devs use to place objects in the game environment. The hook is only an anchor anyway; the object, once placed, can be repositioned a bit and rotated to suit the player.

Just hanging out with my crew
Two things I do prefer about SWTOR's system over Rift's are the interactivity of many objects, and the ability to have NPCs present. I have both a mailbox, a legacy-wide bank, and a few gathering nodes, not to mention decor vendors already. I think there are other vendors available, too, like bartenders. [EDIT: GamerLady told me the bartenders are just for show, unfortunately.] I can emplace all my companions, as well as my mounts and pets. From what I understand, a number of end-game activities reward not only objects and furniture, but NPCs. The player properties I visited before making my own purchase felt alive with all the people standing around. Like the place had purpose. While I think the variety of environments is better, Rift's dimensions feel empty because I cannot really people them. Obviously, having a bunch of other players hanging out would be better. But let's face it, that's not really very likely.
Welcome Home
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  1. I love the two capital city apartments so I passed on Nar Shaddaa. The next stronghold will be Yavin 4 and has a strong nature/outdoor theme from the screenshots.

    1. That's good to hear, though Tropical Rainforest isn't quite what I had in mind either. The capital apartments are fine, except that I wanted easy access from both factions.

    2. I *love* my Tatooine village. I mean, it's Tatooine! :D

      I really hope they're going to allow for 4 strongholds per legacy. I already have plans for all of them. I just can't pick 3.

    3. I thought you could already get all four currently on offer.

    4. You can have 4, but Yavin will be the 5th.

    5. Do you think they'll open up a fifth slot, or make some people choose?

    6. Errr, I meant 5. I can't count.

      At the moment you have to choose. But they have said they will look into allowing for more if it doesn't give any performance issues.

      Source: http://ravalation.blogspot.com/2015/02/daydreaming-about-our-new-strongholds.html > comments

  2. The Medical droids you can buy are also vendors. There's a Republic and an Imperial version, though, no neutral. And you can only interact with them if you're of the appropriate faction, just like the 'real' medical vendors in the open world (they are probably actually the same thing).

    I love the strongholds in SWTOR: there are so many options for customization! You can change what hooks are where too (just in case you didn't find out about that yet; took me a while), with selecting the right tab when you're in decoration mode. I never liked housing in LOTRO, because there were many cool decorations but barely any hooks to put them on: houses always looked very empty, no matter how much you put in there. In SWTOR I'm totally hooked, though (har har).

    1. P.S. The world boss on Ziost drops 'himself': a huge monolith that goes on a starship hook. I don't know if that counts as an NPC to you.

      For the rest I don't know of any NPC dropping from end-game PvE (or PvP, for that matter). Most NPCs can be bartered on the fleet for cartel certificates, which you can get by buying cartel packs or from playing the slot machine (if you're lucky). Of course you can also check the GTN and buy them with credits, if someone happens to sell the one you want.

    2. I thought someone had mentioned in one of my readings that NPC soldiers/guards drop from conquests or some such? I'm not really on what the prestige and conquest points are all about, to be honest.

      I did watch a video (probably from about the time they were introduced) that demonstrated changing the hook layouts, and I have already taken advantage of that feature in a few places. And I wnat a starship on my ship pad, I was a disappointed that it was not automatic, like my mounts.

    3. You can get NPC soldiers/guards from warzone commendations, if that's something you're looking for. There are Rep and Imp versions, depending on what faction your character with the comms is. The conquest objectives reward with gathering nodes, money and scrap (to exchange for crafting materials). I don't know of any NPCs dropping from conquest activities, but I'd love to know if they do.