Developer Blogs

07.02.2014

Developer Update: Introduction to Galactic Strongholds

PREAMBLE

Have you ever dreamed of having a home in the Star Wars™ galaxy? I mean a real home – a place you can look forward to returning to after a long journey through the cold depths of space. A place that you can retreat to in times of darkness, to meditate on your next move or to plot your revenge. A place you can share with your closest friends or flaunt to your rivals. Above all, a place of power and significance that you can customize and call your own.

We share that dream, and we intend to make it a reality with our next free digital expansion: GALACTIC STRONGHOLDS.

INTRODUCTION TO STRONGHOLDS

As you reach level 15 and wrap up your mission on Coruscant or Dromund Kaas, it’s clear you have become an important player on the galactic stage – notable enough to attract powerful friends… and dangerous enemies. You need a fortified location to consolidate your power base – a platform from which to expand the influence of your legacy. What you need is a Stronghold – a customizable bastion of military might and personal luxury.

You will encounter a holo-projected advertisement on the Fleet (and on the capital worlds) which extolls the virtues of Stronghold ownership. This will begin an introductory mission which leads you to a Stronghold Directory, which is a terminal that allows you to view other players’ strongholds or purchase your own. For example, Coruscant Stronghold Directory is where you can purchase the Coruscant Apartment.

You can purchase a Stronghold with credits or Cartel Coins, and the Stronghold will be unlocked for your entire Legacy. For example, once you purchase the Coruscant Apartment, all of your Republic characters will have access to it. You can travel to and manage your Strongholds from the Stronghold Management window, which is a new tab in the main interface.

Each Stronghold has a unique floor plan which is composed of 8 to 12 rooms – for example: large living spaces, small rooms, a garage, a balcony, and so on. By purchasing a Stronghold, you will automatically have access to the first room. You can expand your Stronghold by clicking on locked doors, which will prompt you to unlock the attached room using credits or Cartel Coins.

UNLOCKING DECORATIONS

Completing the introductory mission will reward you with a small set of starter decorations for your Stronghold – a few simple chairs, tables, and a pair of Republic or Imperial Guards. Once you claim your mission rewards and unlock the items, you should have some basic decorations to work with.

Many more decorations will be available on existing vendors throughout the game, as new rewards for Reputations, PvP, Crew Skills, and more. Crafters of all levels will provide the components required to obtain these decorations. Decorations can also be obtained as loot drops from Flashpoints and Operations. Finally, a variety of unique decorations can be purchased with Cartel Coins on the Cartel Market.

Unlike other unlocks such as mounts and minipets, decorations are unlocked across your entire Legacy by default. Decorations also have an unlock count – so for example, if you want to place 4 chairs of the same type, you must have unlocked that chair 4 times.

DECORATING YOUR STRONGHOLD

Decorations can be placed by entering Edit Mode and selecting one of the many decoration hooks located throughout the Stronghold. This will open a list of all of the decorations you own that can fit into that hook, sorted by category. Once you've selected the decoration you want, you can click Place to put the decoration in the hook. This will pop up a few addition controls which allow you to nudge, rotate, and pick up the furniture.

The UI pictured above is not final. It is a placeholder for Alpha.

Hooks are defined primarily by surface type and size – for example, a medium floor hook fits any medium-sized furniture that belongs on the floor, such as tables, beds, shelves, computers, etc. Banners, placards, and structural pieces might fit into a medium wall hook. When you first enter your Stronghold, you should find a variety of hook options laid out in such a way that you can immediately start decorating in an intuitive way.

The UI pictured above is not final. It is a placeholder for Alpha.

If the placement of a hook is not to your liking, there’s a good chance you’ll have the choice to swap it out for a different layout of hooks. For example, a large wall hook can almost always be replaced with arrangements of smaller hooks. The combination of nudge/rotate controls and customizable hook layouts will provide a great deal of flexibility, while also ensuring that placing decorations is intuitive and fun for all players.

SHARING YOUR STRONGHOLD

Once you’ve decorated your Stronghold to your liking, you’ll probably want to share it with others. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this. You can send a temporary invitation to a player in much the same way that you might send a group invite, or you can send a more permanent invitation in the form of a key. Players with a key to your Stronghold can access it even when you’re not online, and if you decide to upgrade their key, they can also send invitations or kick players out.

If you’re quite proud of your Stronghold, you can share it with everyone by adding it to the Public Listing. Players of the appropriate faction will be able to enter your Stronghold by visiting the planet’s Stronghold Directory and finding you on the public listing tab. Strongholds are default sorted by their Prestige score.

Every unique decoration you unlock will increase your Legacy’s Prestige by 100, and subsequent unlocks of the same decoration will increase your Prestige by 2. Each of your Strongholds is scored by multiplying its completion percentage by your Legacy’s Prestige score. You can increase your Stronghold’s completion percentage by unlocking rooms and placing decorations. Strongholds that top the Public Listing will therefore be the ones that are the most ‘complete’ that are owned by players who have the largest variety of decorations.

LEGACY STORAGE

Legacy Storage is a new type of utility object similar to the Cargo Bay with one difference – the items stored in it are accessible to characters across your entire Legacy, even across factions. Legacy Storage is only available if your Legacy owns a Stronghold (you need somewhere to put all that stuff!).

To unlock access to Legacy Storage, you simply need to obtain the Legacy Storage utility decoration from a crafter or the Cartel Market and place it in your Stronghold.

MORE TO COME

Stay tuned for more details about crafting decorations, Guild Flagships, and more!

Jesse Sky
Lead Designer