Bioware Announce Next SWTOR Expansion: Galactic Strongholds

Strongholds___Star_Wars__The_Old_RepublicBioware have made an announcement of the details of the next digital expansion for Star Wars The Old Republic.

Titled Galactic Strongholds, it’s an interesting expansion in that it is solely about Player housing or guild ships. It’s slated for a release this August, exact date to be confirmed.

Player Housing

Called a stronghold, your personal space can be located on Nar Shadaa or Coruscant / Dromund Kaas depending on your faction – and you can have one in Nar Shadaa and your capital as well, via your Legacy.

Customisation is available and will be via crafted furniture and the ability to display rewards. Some decorations will also drop in Flashpoints etc as well. It’ll be interesting to see just how far customisation can go, because as we discussed on the last podcast, it could be a make or break for how successful the strongholds are. As far as how you get a stronghold in-game, the FAQ states:

You will be able to purchase ownership of Personal Strongholds with credits you earn in-game or with Cartel Coins in the Cartel Market. For a limited time, Subscribers as of May 11, 2014, receive a complimentary unlock of the luxurious Nar Shaddaa Stronghold plus THREE ADDITIONAL ROOMS ALREADY UNLOCKED (no purchase necessary – a value of 1,500,000 credits)! Subscribers as of June 24th gain a complimentary unlock of the Nar Shaddaa Stronghold (minus the additional rooms) through July 28th.

There’s also a ranking system for strongholds, based on a ‘Prestige Score’ each time you add a decoration. And last but not least – there’ll be an option for shared storage amongst your Legacy – that alone will have a lot of people cheering.

Guild Ships

Guild flagships are also on offer in this expansion, but the details on them are a little more limited at this stage. In fact, there’s no significant information beyond confirmation from BioWare that PvP will not be an option at this stage.

Access dates

For subscribers (active by May 11th if you want the three unlocked extra rooms), access to the Nar Shadaa Stronghold will be available from June 24th to July 28th, then Preferred players (former subscribers or those who have purchased items from the Cartel store) will have access from the 29th July until whatever date the expansion actually launches.

So over to you, how much of a bonus do you see the stronghold being? And what’s your predictions for the guild flagships? Oh – and don’t forget to check out the short announcement video here.

Guild Starships: where’s Spaceball 1?

Not what I want, but it would do...



It wouldn’t be Star Wars without starships. In every single movie, from the original A New Hope in 1977 until Revenge of the Sith in 2005, the movie opens with spacecraft. The battle between the Imperial Star Destroyer Devastator and the Tantive IV in Star Wars: A New Hope was one of the most iconic scenes ever done for a movie.  The opening scene from Spaceballs was also iconic, if for VERY different reasons. Indeed, I doubt there was much that Spaceball 1 ever gave way for. But we are not here to steal air – we are here to play The Old Republic.

Many things have been written about the starships in The Old Republic. From the BT-7 to the Defender and the XS on the Republic side to the Mantis, the Fury and the Phantom on the Empire side, all are epic Star Wars goodness. Many people dislike the ‘on rails’ type of space combat, but as an adjunct to the ground game, it works fairly well most of the time. And come on, who DOESN’T enjoy blowing enemy fighters out of the sky, no matter their affiliation? But like all gamers, we want more.

One thing that many people have been asking for recently has been more guild related items. Guild banks are coming but many other games have guild halls. These structures serve as meeting places, decoration, and last but certainly not least, ways to flaunt how many people and resources guilds have. We are all human, right? We all want to flaunt what we have.

So, why NOT capital class starships as guild halls? We have all seen the Star Destroyer and Republic battleship designs from The Old Republic by now. Both designs would work as large scale trophy type things. Star Wars Galaxies had customizable guild halls. Many other MMOs did as well – City of Heroes comes to mind for extreme guild hall customisation. But how could we make it work? Starships are not small. Starships that would serve as a means of flaunting the guild would be even larger than the personal transports that are in game now.

What would we want? Do we want starships the same as the Empire and Republic have now? The frigates such as the Black Talon or Esseles and the cruisers such as the Overlord or Gav Daragon? Do we want something different? Would it be enough to have them or would we have to be able to make them stand out? If someone wants a rainbow colored Star Destroyer –gag me, but someone asked for it. I HOPE he was joking, but can they get it?

One idea for such things, IF Bioware does manage to get them up, would be to set player fleets across the galaxy. That way, Republic and Empire ships can be in similar places, visible to show off the guild’s ill or righteously gotten gains. Would we be able to build them, or would we have to buy them? I think a mix of the two. Buy the hull and build components. Armstech can build weapons for them, Armormech can build starship hull plating, Cybertech can build other pieces. I can think of all sorts of things you can build for large scale starships in a game. Heavy turbolasers, multiple launch missile systems with tracking, ECM pods, point defense weapons… The list goes on and on. Engines, hull, support systems, internal defenses… Wait a sec…

One cool thing that I personally never got a chance to try in City of Heroes was raiding opposing player headquarters. So, what if some rival guild comes along, finds your starship in whatever it is hidden –if it is not instanced that is- and tries to board it? Do you have epic scale PvP boarding actions? Or would that be too complex for this game as it is?

On that note, what would you want for a guild starship? Obviously something larger than the Millenium Falcon. What about something the size of the Tantive IV? I know everyone is going to say a Star Destroyer, but do you have ANY idea the fuel costs for something that size? Let alone the insurance costs…

Oh I can just see it.

Insurance agent: You want to insure WHAT? Against starfighter attack? Oooookaaaay….

In conclusion, I would love to have guild capital ships in the game at some point, but I have no idea how they would manage it. And I DO want Spaceball 1 as my own personal ride.

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