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Hyperspace Beacon: 250 reasons you don't want to miss SWTOR Galactic Strongholds


When I first hopped into MMOs way back when Ultima Online hit the scene, I believed that the best thing about the game wasn't the gamey side. I wasn't interested in the monsters that I could kill nor the mechanics of taking down a daemon or a lich lord. I was most interested in living in the world of Ultima with Lord British and the town of Trinsic then. Although my tastes have changed in the 14 years since, I still feel the longing to live in the world created online.

The next expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic gives me nostalgic feelings of when I first stepped into Ultima. True, owning a house in UO was more complicated than what Galactic Strongholds gives us, but there is a great level of complexity all the same.

In the livestream last week, the developers gave us a tour of the Nar Shaddaa stronghold and layout many of the decorating tools. The "hooks" on the floors, walls, and ceilings can be configured into many different configurations of large, medium (column-like), and small areas, with a couple of large exceptions, like centerpiece and starship hooks. Developers Troy McCall, Jack Wood, and Eric Musco dropped many items on the floors, walls, and ceilings of the stronghold, showing over 250 items in the various menus. Even if you watched the livestream as it was happening, you couldn't have caught all 250+ items. Let's look at some of the most interesting.

Useful tools
The chatroom for the stream specifically asked whether the Galactic Trade Network terminals will reflect the ones found on the ship or the one in the fleet, and the answer to that question is "both." The team showed the floor model, which is the same size as the one on the fleet or Nar Shaddaa, and we also saw the wall model, which is exactly like the one in player ships.

However, the stream viewers didn't ask about one of the other items that appeared on the UI list along with the GTN: the Item Modification Station. In-game, it allows you to add augment slots to your gear, and although it's not required, you can modify other parts of your gear at this station, too.

Later in the stream, we also spied vendors. There were three shown on the stream: Fabrication Droid (Industrial), Fabrication Droid (Synthetic), and Fabrication Droid (Universal). Although I cannot be certain that there is a functional difference between these vendor droids, there are certainly different kinds, and it looks like they sell different types of items. I was hoping to see a Medical Droid on the list of vendors, although it's possible that it just wasn't shown or wasn't live in the build being shown on the stream.

Jukeboxes also fall into the category of "useful tools." These items give the rooms that they sit in ambient music. The developers said that they are putting together more jukeboxes, but currently, the categories for ambient music are Core World Classics, Soothing Melodies, Stellar Hits, and Underworld Classics.

Amazing items
If you watched the stream, you saw the super-huge Reconstructed Hypergate that McCall placed on the balcony, but there were two other centerpiece items that made me do a doubletake: the Sith Academy Obelisk and the Massive Anti-Aircraft Turret. I'm assuming the anti-aircraft turrets are similar to the ones found on Balmorra and in the Explosive Conflict instance, among other places. I cannot wait to find out how you get that. The Sith Academy Obelisk might be the giant centerpiece in the main hall of the Sith Academy. That means there is likely a Jedi equivalent in the giant holocron. I cannot wait to turn my Tatooine Homestead into a Sith temple with that giant sculpture in the center of it.

A guildie pointed out the tank next to the turrets in the Nar Shaddaa garage, which I think is the vehicle tank, but I could be wrong. But what I noticed when McCall wandered through the garage area was the Manned Blaster Turret item. We saw the Blaster Turret item, but this one is listed as "Manned." To me, that says there will be a soldier sitting in it.

Along with the Manned Blaster Turret were a few other interesting items that we didn't get to see on the stream: Lightsaber Forge (Jedi) and Lightsaber Forge (Sith). You don't need these items to make a lightsaber, but I did melt a little when I saw those on the list. My Sith temple is nearly complete in my head.

The last of the amazing items I'd like to just list here are NPCs. We saw Bartender (Male), Jawa Scrap Peddler: Hadiir, Jawa Scrap Peddler: Izzar, Jawa Scrap Peddler: Mnek, Twi'lek Dancer (Female), Twi'lek Dancer (Male), Waitress (Female), Imperial Guardsman, and Republic Guardsman.

What the heck are these items?
It's worth noting that none of these items is final. Like the starship models, these items just might not make it in for launch.

As McCall messed with the decorations along one of the walls in the garage, he placed what I can only assume are material nodes. I won't list them all here, but they include items like Amorphous Blue Crystal Formations, Bioengineered Fungus, and Coded Safe Boxes. I do question whether these will make it to live. I hope they do, and I hope that we can harvest them, maybe on a 24-hour cooldown so that players can't loot them over and over.

I see myself spending many hours figuring out the best way to decorate my stronghold. I saw over 250 items on the livestream. In fact, I have them listed on Pastebin in case you'd like to see them for yourself. Which ones appeal to you? My guild is running old content to make sure that we have certain achievements just to make sure we will have certain furniture -- are you doing the same? Let me know in the comments. And as always, may the Force be with you.

The Hyperspace Beacon by Larry Everett is your biweekly guide to the vast galaxy of BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic. If you have comments or suggestions for the column, send a transmission to Now strap yourself in, kid -- we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!

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