So I have been playing SWTOR with a sub for the past two months to experience the new Strongholds feature added to the game. There seems to be mixed opinions, some say its completely lackluster and a waste of credits (the currency used in SWTOR) others have become completely addicted to customizing their apartment/palace/homestead. As for me … I’m probably pretty close to the latter. I get it why some people dislike it but I wouldn’t say its completely lackluster. Also, its not like you receive any kind of bonus to your character’s stats if you buy a stronghold, its purely cosmetic (and for the minutia addicts … like me). If its not your bag, then don’t spend the money (but I understand that some people just like to be trolls).
When I first tried to figure out how to get my stronghold, I was a little lost but they provide a tutorial for you to follow and all stronghold directories have icons on the fleet maps. They added a strongholds section to both fleets and if you go to one of the planets that has a stronghold, there is a stronghold directory located in the main hanger. You can have up to four strongholds:
- A Nar Shadaa Palace (which is free – if you signed up during the special back in June/July you got 3 rooms unlocked for free)
- A Capital City (Coruscant/Dromund Kaas) apartment (which costs 5,000 credits)
- A Tatooine homestead (which costs 2.5 million credits)
My understanding is that if you are on a Free-2-Play account you can still use strongholds, but you will not be able to buy a Tatooine homestead (as F2P accounts have a credit cap at 350k). You can decorate your stronghold with all your companions, mounts, pets, awards received for completing story lines, etc. I also discovered (while leveling my imperial agent) that decoration items can be rare drops from mobs. You can buy basic decoration items (like couches, beds, lights, rugs, etc) with credits, and the prices aren’t too bad. The more you decorate your stronghold the more you unlock. I haven’t figured out where the first unlock happens (I have reached about 12% on my palace).
Your stronghold is available to all the characters in your legacy. If you have a faction specific apartment, you have to buy a “smuggler’s pass” for your character on the opposing faction. You can invite your friends to your stronghold who can visit any time if you give them a key. I don’t know what giving your friends a key grants you (as I don’t have any friends to give a key to). I think this is pretty cool if it works the way I imagine it so I guess I will have to try to find someone to be friends with me so I can give them a key and try this feature out.
You can instant travel to your stronghold from anywhere in the game and it does not trigger a cooldown, however if you are leveling out in the middle of Hoth and you travel to your stronghold, traveling back will not put you back in the same place. When you return to the planet that you left you will find yourself back in that planets hanger, so keep that in mind when you leave a planet for your stronghold. You can also directly travel to your ship or to the fleet from the stronghold. You cannot use your stronghold as a quick travel between a planet and the fleet. Any time you travel to your stronghold, you may only return to your source (i.e. You cannot go from Hoth-to-Stronghold-to-Fleet then back to Hoth via Fleet-to-Stronghold-to-Hoth) it doesn’t work like that and it makes sense. Your stronghold is a structure in the context of the game, not a mage portal.
If you have SWTOR and haven’t checked it out yet, I would recommend trying it out, even if you find out that you don’t really like it. I, however, really enjoy it and I’m glad that I made the effort to renew my sub in time to receive the Nar Shadaa bonus rooms.
Have you tried out strongholds? What are your thoughts?