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the things currently keeping strongholds from being a runaway success


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I want to be clear that I am currently having a lot of fun decorating my free Nar Shaddaa rooms. I've been crafting up a storm, probably spent about a million credits on decorations from the GTN, and grinded out some Czerka rep just to get the stuff that required Friend standing. I like it a lot. But here's where I think the pain points are going to be moving forward:


(Nobody will ever read this, but that's okay.)


  • Everything good will be in the cartel market. Look, I'm used to not being able to have everything I want--Tulak Horde outfit, black dyes, Morlinger speeder, etc.--but ultimately, other perfectly good options exist. With strongholds, there are some ideas you simply cannot realize without the cartel market. Most egregiously, the decision to make every single cantina item (except stools, I think) cartel market restricted. This was either incredibly smart on BioWare's part, or incredibly dumb--I can't decide. Because I can pretty much guarantee you that 50%+ of players who are remotely interested in making a stronghold want to have a cantina, or at least a bar. Yeah, you'll capture some cash from some of those players, but for most of them, if it's a matter of dropping 500k on the GTN per item or paying real money, it just seems they're going to disengage from the content instead. It's defeating from the outset that BioWare decided to monetize this thing that is almost core to a lot of people's Star Wars love affair. By all means, put the "high class" version of those items on the cartel market, but the basic, hole-in-the-wall cantina stuff should have been attained by prefabs.


  • Related, and despite talk of strongholds reinvigorating crafting, I'm just assuming here that what we have now from the prefab droids is pretty much all we're ever going to have. Not just everything good, but almost everything new moving forward will be a cartel market item. Just an educated guess based upon how crafting has generally been treated since the introduction of the cartel market. Not trying to be cynical--just realistic.


  • This stinginess about NPCs has to change. They need to make them available from all areas of the game--social vendors, planetary vendors, reputation vendors, maybe even random world drops. And there should be a huge variety so that if we're decorating Nar Shaddaa, for example, we can actually have a clientele that looks as though it belongs on Nar Shaddaa. And they should do different things--not just stand there.


  • A lot of the decorations available from reputation vendors requires stupidly high reputation (Champion, usually). Friend or Hero is pretty reasonable, even for a casual player. I wouldn't go higher than that, really.


  • Decoration drops in flashpoints being random drops. Can't express how deflated I felt when I discovered this. Some of these decorations are decorations that I'd conceivably want quite a few of (e.g., Czerka data core). So if I want, say, four, how many times am I going to have to run Czerka Core Meltdown? It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to roll against four other players for it. You could probably make some of these things purchasable with tokens or reputation if you just have rotten, rotten luck.


  • Companion holograms. Nobody seems to like this. I think the way they implemented it was just kind of dumb, but I think technologically, they've probably gone too far down the road in the wrong direction to turn around on that. Still, it's annoying people now, and it will annoy even more people when stronghold opens up to the free-to-play users. Me, personally? I'm not using companions in my stronghold at all because of this.


  • Can't display our alts in our strongholds. Honestly, this should have been a launch feature. The fact that it wasn't kind of makes me assume it will never happen. I'll keep my fingers crossed, but if I'm sharing my stronghold with my legacy, then I'm making a stronghold that represents each of them in some way, and it would have been great to have them all there enjoying it at all times.


  • We need a bit more wiggle room with the hook system. Generally speaking, it works pretty well, but it would work really well if they doubled the X/Y translation distances. It can be a real frustration trying to get stuff to align the way you want it to, and a lot of times, you've got to settle for "close enough", but I hate settling when they could probably fix this pretty easily.


  • Honestly, there just aren't enough hooks sometimes for what you want to do. Like, there's this one side of my character's "office" where I know I could squeeze a chair or a droid or something, but I used a table there that required a medium square, even though it doesn't really have a bigger footprint than a lot of stuff that only requires medium narrow. The holographic tree could probably go on a small hook. Stuff like this could stand a bit of adjusting. I mean...it's not too bad. Some of these issues could be gotten around if they'd increase the X/Y translation on hooks so I could move things, say, further out from the middle of the room, which is where you usually get the most hooks.


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