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Strongholds Going Forward


DuchessKristania's Avatar


DuchessKristania
07.23.2018 , 10:56 PM | #1
It's no secret that I'm not thrilled about some of the artistic choices made for the Rishi stronghold. I know some like it, and that's awesome. I sincerely wish them a lot of fun decorating it. I do think there has been a disconnect between stronghold enthusiasts and the production team though. I'm not talking about aesthetics or personal taste in how one decorates, but in some things that I consider fundamental regardless of a decorator's tastes.

Mock buildings and sections seem to be a new trend in stronghold designs of late. Manaan is a prime example of a stronghold having a lot of visible space that players can't access. Rishi is another one. If we can't go inside a building or room, it doesn't need to be in the design. Filler buildings are just frustrating. I think things like a proper building, that has flexibility to serve a multitude of purposes is a fairly basic thing that should be included in every stronghold. It doesn't matter what function a decorator chooses to give the building, it should exist.

The shortage of ceiling hooks is another trend that seems to be guiding the dev team. We spend hours decorating our strongholds, not being able to properly light them is frustrating and annoying. There are some lights that go on floors or walls and actually illuminate an area, but there are many that do not produce any light at all. Additionally, most of the lamps and wall lights that do produce lights are pretty pricey and can be difficult to get your hands on.

The hooks and their layouts often mean vast amounts of wasted space in a stronghold. With the change in how strongholds effect conquest I really don't see why there aren't just hooks everywhere. Are you guys charged per hook, or does one hook take an entire day to lay down? I don't understand the current logic being applied when you guys are placing hooks. I'm willing to believe there's some underlying difficulty in their creation, but it would be nice if we had a better understanding of why hooks are placed the way they are.

Additionally, the radius of movement on the hooks needs to be increased dramatically. It's super annoying when you can't move a deco to the edge of a large or centerpiece hook. There are some really awesome decos that don't get used as often or as creatively as they could be because they just can't be moved enough to make them look good on the available hooks.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I think there needs to be a better understanding between players and the development team when it comes to the topic of strongholds and decorating. I love messing around with decorations and creating the perfect atmosphere for a stronghold. I want to spend time and money on that aspect of the game, but the last three strongholds produced have been a little disappointing and limiting when it comes to the flexibility of decorating them.
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IoNonSoEVero's Avatar


IoNonSoEVero
07.23.2018 , 11:32 PM | #2
I agree that the disconnect between devs and players on stronghold issues has become a problem.

1. Seconding the wish for better hook placements, more ceiling and wall hooks; more versatility with decos to place on those hooks.

2. Also seconding the statement about inaccessible buildings. On Manaan most of what you see outside cannot be accessed. It's the same on Rishi. Include the buildings or don't, but don't use them as set dressing. I much prefer strongholds like Yavin and Tatooine, where everything my character can walk past can be accessed.

3. Go back to designing strongholds specifically as strongholds, instead of simply re-using pieces of Ops and flashpoints. The Umbara train was just the train from the flashpoint and the Rishi stronghold is just the Reavers, recycled.

Tatooine, the homeworld apartments, Yavin and Nar Shaddaa seem a lot better designed than the more recent flashpoints because they obviously were created custom as strongholds and aren't just recycled out of the box from somewhere else.

4. Go back to designing strongholds that can be more versatile. Every stronghold has elements that are specific to that environment - sand on Tatooine; foliage on Yavin 4. But one has some versatility with them. You can make your Tatooine a posh hotel or a run-down gangsters' hideout depending on how you decorate it.

But with the train and Rishi, the environment is so strongly set that it limits what people can do with it. Like on Umbara there's so much cargo and so many things attached to the walls and ceilings that there isn't much one can do other than the mobile base.

Same thing with Rishi, there's so much specificity to the design that IMHO it's hard for players to do something that isn't run-down. If they'd made Rishi with the cantina building and some of the cottages, players could have either made them neat and clean or run-down with the help of decorations and personnel. If there had been a proper building players could decide if that was going to be a home, a hotel, a brothel, a prison, or decided not to unlock it at all.

Collec's Avatar


Collec
07.24.2018 , 05:09 AM | #3
It's even more /facepalm ,when you see them place large wall hook in Rishi on top of or under that neon sign, but then where hooks actually could and should be is just empty.

Dromund Kaas and Coruscant actually have more hooks inside than you can put decos in it. It just comes down to them being lazy and doing minimal effort to get through to next patch or expansion. Plus it doesn't help that we have ****** community manager, who doesn't really play game and uses dev cheats to get everything.

DuchessKristania's Avatar


DuchessKristania
07.24.2018 , 10:05 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Collec View Post
It's even more /facepalm ,when you see them place large wall hook in Rishi on top of or under that neon sign, but then where hooks actually could and should be is just empty.

Dromund Kaas and Coruscant actually have more hooks inside than you can put decos in it. It just comes down to them being lazy and doing minimal effort to get through to next patch or expansion. Plus it doesn't help that we have ****** community manager, who doesn't really play game and uses dev cheats to get everything.
I understand your frustrations and how dev cheats could come off as a further example of the disconnect, but I think this thread has a better chance of being seen and addressed if we try not to use pointed comments. Lol, that being said, I definitely wanted to get my hands on that code he used, lol!It was probably not the wisest move on his part to let that slip on a livestream.

I'm hoping that we'll get to have an actual open dialogue and help both the devs and players attain a better understanding of what players want and what the devs can produce. I also think that the PTS was a very good move on their part, but that they should perhaps gather more player opinions and feedback before getting a stronghold to that point. It gives them a better foundation to build on, and would hopefully lead to needing fewer changes once the stronghold is on the PTS.
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ceciltaru's Avatar


ceciltaru
07.24.2018 , 12:29 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by IoNonSoEVero View Post
3. Go back to designing strongholds specifically as strongholds, instead of simply re-using pieces of Ops and flashpoints. The Umbara train was just the train from the flashpoint and the Rishi stronghold is just the Reavers, recycled.

Tatooine, the homeworld apartments, Yavin and Nar Shaddaa seem a lot better designed than the more recent flashpoints because they obviously were created custom as strongholds and aren't just recycled out of the box from somewhere else.
I think part of it has to do with resource allocation. If an area designer can take something that exists already, like the Reaver area and turn it into a new Rishi stronghold, and we get more strongholds because of that, then more power to them.

If they could take the Copero area, remove alot of the outside decorations, keep the inner base but remove alot of those decorations, maybe open a house or five in the market area, and then put down some sensible hooks, i would be subbed for life.

I do agree that Manaan is the worst designed stronghold so far because it lacks the ability for the player to enter half of the visible space

IoNonSoEVero's Avatar


IoNonSoEVero
07.24.2018 , 12:49 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by ceciltaru View Post
I think part of it has to do with resource allocation. If an area designer can take something that exists already, like the Reaver area and turn it into a new Rishi stronghold, and we get more strongholds because of that, then more power to them.

If they could take the Copero area, remove alot of the outside decorations, keep the inner base but remove alot of those decorations, maybe open a house or five in the market area, and then put down some sensible hooks, i would be subbed for life.

I do agree that Manaan is the worst designed stronghold so far because it lacks the ability for the player to enter half of the visible space
I'd personally rather have quality over quantity, IMHO. I'd rather have them work really hard on a more custom SH that has hooks that work and is interesting to explore than to slap a SH label on a flashpoint fragment with very heavy theming, even if that means there's one SH a year instead of two.

With Copero my fear is that they'd take the most open area, which is the droid yard and warehouse, and call that our 'stronghold.' I could see using the market and landing pad as the entrance, but I'd rather see that market doorway lead to an actual house and grounds. If they're bent on recycling elements, there are plenty of beautiful houses, buildings and courtyards in Makeb that could possibly be pressed into use for a Copero stronghold.

DuchessKristania's Avatar


DuchessKristania
07.24.2018 , 01:24 PM | #7
I feel that the key moving forward is for the players to be very specific as to what elements of a plane tthey like and would like to see implemented. I don't mind recycling resources, but if that is the method going forward I think there are ways of doing it that will be more appealing to more people. Copero is a fantastic example of what they could do with already existing resources. I'm not going to lie, I've spent hours exploring in there. I've made it up onto the walls and all the way to one of the gazebos. They could use all the waterfall, hot springs, streams and bridges. The buildings could be made into one large residence or whatever instead of what seem in the fp to be apartments. There are big open areas in the town that could serve as gardens, outdoor bars, even training areas if that's what a player prefers.

What the devs should avoid is using the dark, limited areas. A warehouse provides a lot less flexibility of purpose than the city area. The same goes for the ruiins, though they are beautiful. A bunch of crumbling ruins can really only be set up as so many things. Ideally, if Copero was ever made into a stronghold, it would have the city parts and then a section of the ruins. I think both areas have their appeal and could be utilized together.

Anyway, Copero, as far as I know, is not on the table for a stronghold. I hope they decide to do it one day. I think it would provide a lot of versatility. In the meantime, I do hope that the strongholds that are plannedd have more to offer for more players. A Zakuulan palace could prove to be exceptional in this area, especially if there is a back and forth between the team and the players.
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IoNonSoEVero's Avatar


IoNonSoEVero
07.24.2018 , 02:58 PM | #8
For Zakuul they have two residences seen in the game that could ostensibly be turned into strongholds with recycled elements. There's Kaliyo's apartment, to which they could perhaps add a few extra rooms. That has been requested for a while.

The palace where Vaylin's party happens could also just be given over mostly as-is, maybe without the basements - and there are grounds and gardens outside too.

DuchessKristania's Avatar


DuchessKristania
07.24.2018 , 04:06 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by IoNonSoEVero View Post
For Zakuul they have two residences seen in the game that could ostensibly be turned into strongholds with recycled elements. There's Kaliyo's apartment, to which they could perhaps add a few extra rooms. That has been requested for a while.

The palace where Vaylin's party happens could also just be given over mostly as-is, maybe without the basements - and there are grounds and gardens outside too.
Lol, I could actually make use of the beast pens because I like the animal mounts, but I wouldn't want to see too much of the SH devoted to that area.
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IoNonSoEVero's Avatar


IoNonSoEVero
07.24.2018 , 06:45 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by DuchessKristania View Post
Lol, I could actually make use of the beast pens because I like the animal mounts, but I wouldn't want to see too much of the SH devoted to that area.
LOL I do hear that, my characters have a menagerie by now, but those beast pens are so dark and bleak and sad IMHO. I'd want to turn them all out into a nice green pasture and let them play. They're all over the place in my Tatooine and Yavin SHs because they have so much free space. In Zakuul I'd probably have the beasties roaming the gardens.

I do think if they release the Zakuul palace as a SH they should let you buy Bergola and her friends as companions, if you saved them.