SWTOR Producer’s Letter on Galactic Strongholds

Bruce Maclean revealed more details on the upcoming Galactic Stronghold expansion in this producer’s letter.

Hi everyone!

For the past year, we’ve made it our goal to share updates and information on what’s happening in the studio and our upcoming plans for the game. We got the message that you appreciate transparency and want to know what we are working on. With that in mind, we wanted to share a change in plans to our most recently announced digital expansion, Galactic Strongholds.

We have been listening to what you, our players, were hoping to see from the Galactic Strongholds expansion. When playing early builds of Galactic Strongholds it became that clear that our June Early Access date was simply not enough. For this to truly feel like an expansion, it needs to include the full set of features, including those originally coming later in the year. So what does this mean? We are moving the start date for Subscriber Early Access from June 24th to August 19th in order to deliver to you the most features at the highest level of quality. The result will be a far more compelling experience, including additional features such as the ability to place your vehicles and pets in your Stronghold and for Guilds to conquer planets . To conquer a planet, Guilds must complete weekly Conquest events earning points to place at the top of the Guild Leaderboards. Conquering a planet gives the Guild special perks and rewards. This means that Subscribers will be the first to play the full slate of expansion features (everything!) at the start of Subscriber Early Access, a month before everyone else.

This additional time allows us to add:

  • Conquest Events: use the power of your Stronghold to dominate these events and earn rewards
  • Guild Flagships will now offer expanded functionality for Guilds:
    • Provide powerful buffs to Guild members from orbit
    • Transport entire groups to your personal coordinates instantaneously
    • Compete in Conquest Events to conquer entire planets
  • New Stronghold: Tatooine Homestead
  • Vehicles, Mounts, Pets, and Companion Characters can be placed as decorations in Strongholds

Combine that with the original feature list…

  • 3 unique Player Strongholds, one on each Capital World plus the Nar Shaddaa Sky Palace
  • 2 faction-specific Guild Flagships (Valor-class Cruiser for the Republic and Harrower-class Dreadnaught for the Empire)
  • Legacy Stronghold Storage
  • Ability to gain Prestige tracked on Prestige Leaderboards
  • Hundreds of Decorations to discover and collect

…and the result is an expansion that’s worth waiting for!

The additional features and time shift means some adjustments in other parts of our plan:

May 4th remains the Subscriber deadline for Bonus Cartel Coins Grant to the sweet tune of 1000 Cartel Coins!

May 11th is no longer the deadline for Strongholds Early Access rewards but as a thank you to all of our Subscribers as of this date, we are giving you the following rewards:

  • Exclusive Subteroth minipet (delivered in Update 2.7.2)
  • Two Character Titles “The Intrepid” (delivered in Update 2.7.2) and “The Illustrious” (delivered in Game Update 2.9)
  • A sprawling Nar Shaddaa Sky Palace with five additional rooms unlocked
  • Stronghold Name "Galactic Stronghold"

July 15th is our new deadline for Subscriber Rewards for Early Access, and you must be a Subscriber by this date to claim the Subscriber Early Access Rewards:

  • The luxurious Nar Shaddaa Sky Palace with three additional rooms unlocked
  • Stronghold Name "Galactic Stronghold"
  • Character Title "The Illustrious" (delivered in Game Update 2.9)

August 19th is Game Update 2.9: Galactic Strongholds Digital Expansion Subscriber Early Access!

Preferred Early Access and the Official Launch will follow in September and October. Be sure to visit more specific dates and details.

Our goal is to keep you informed, so stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for an update on the summer roadmap, including Game Update 2.8. For all of us working on Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, we appreciate your support. We’re extremely excited about Galactic Strongholds and can’t wait to share it with you. Keep the feedback coming! See you in-game!

Bruce Maclean
Senior Producer


Additional Q&A

One question though. 2.8 was called the "biggest update to date" is this still the case with this no longer being part of that patch? I would expect that it no longer is but just curious.

Great question! 2.8 will no longer be the "biggest update to date" as we will be shifting Galactic Strongholds out of it. 2.8 will still be great though, we will have more details about it, and the rest of our plan in Bruce’s updated Roadmap. We will have that to you guys in the next few weeks!

I know it has been asked so I just want to confirm, Nightmare Dread Palace will still be coming in Game Update 2.8. Again, we will talk about what else is coming in Bruce’s Roadmap. Just wanted to make sure everyone knew about that!

So does this mean if we are subscribers by both dates we get two palaces one with 5 rooms and one with 3 rooms or one palace with 8 rooms?

What this means is that if you are a subscriber on both dates, you will have one Palace with 5 rooms unlocked. It isn’t a "stacking" type of thing. June is a basically a smaller version of the May promotion.

But I hope those Strongholds are for the whole Legacy, not specific characters. I play too many alts to take care of too many houses…

Well then I have good news! Strongholds are Legacy wide, not character specific

Some questions I am seeing in the thread…

  • Companions in Strongholds – I am not sure this is locked down yet but I will see if I can find an answer on specifics.
  • Guild Conquests – We are not ready yet to go into super specifics. We will definitely have a blog on this in the future to explain how it all works!
  • How do I place decorations? – This is also something we will go into a bit more detail on in the future.

Am I correct in assuming that we will be able to have more than one stronghold? If we want to are we able to purchase strongholds on each of the planets?

You will be able to have more than one Stronghold, yup! The rest of your questions unfortunately will need to be answered at a later date

Aren’t homesteads different for factions though? Even though it’s legacy I’m concerned about placing items like mounts and it being in different locations because of the difference in faction layout.

Basically, are there specific placement options for the faction specific locations?

Certainly the idea that there is a Stronghold on Dromund Kaas and one on Coruscant adds in some extra complication. We are still working through the details but we will talk a bit more about how the separate faction stuff will work across Legacy further down the line.

Grrr! Just tell us…you’ll either please us all tremendously, or we’ll all be able to moderate our expectations. Why can’t you tell us NOW? It’s a very simple answer…it’s a very basic question Eric. Pegs? Item slots? Freedom? If so, how much? X, Y and Z axis?

I do entirely understand the sentiment behind the question. Unfortunately the answer is surprisingly not simple. Placing of decorations may work a bit differently than some might expect and as such we would like to show you. To your own point, we have to manage expectations and I would hate to have me explain it since that won’t really do it justice. You need to see it

A few other things I have seen in the thread…

  • Companions in Strongholds – I was able to talk to the Design team about this. Exactly how it will work is still being worked out. I will post about it in the future once things are a bit more locked down!
  • Quick Travel – You can travel to your Stronghold anytime you can use Quick Travel currently. Also, as a subscriber you have a few options on where you can travel to from your Stronghold, including back to the coordinates you just came from.

Can you elaborate anymore on how legacy storage will work Eric? Like can "bound to character" items be put in there? If you can that just makes being able to choose your look for characters that share gear so much more convenient.

This is something that is still being worked on and discussed internally. Once I have a concrete answer on how it works I will share!

I asked the question earlier but it seems to have no answer yet. If you’re not saving already, you probably should start. My guild started saving up the week of the original announcement.

All that I can do is to reiterate what Jack Wood (Producer on Stronghold’s Team) said at our Boston event "We want Flagships to be something that Guilds strive to acquire"

Eric, does this mean the RotHC style expansion is pushed back, or is this something that won’t be covered until the next roadmap?

I will make sure we get it noted in the roadmap!

By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

64 replies on “SWTOR Producer’s Letter on Galactic Strongholds”

Well I like what I’m seeing but making strongholds legacy wide? Kinda dissappointed about that. I want my stronghold to be diff for diff character’s, I don’t want my sith and my bounty hunter to have the same stronghold. I want to decorate their homes differently.

I hear ya….although those of us with many, many players probably wouldn’t get much use out of having 4 strongholds per character. I’m assuming the legacy banks had something to do with that. Makes it easier to introduce legacy storage banks if the strongholds are done by legacy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like we’re getting much customization ability anyway in terms of decorations. In your scenario though, as a workaround, I would probably use DK as my sith character stronghold and Nar Shaddaa or Tatooine as my BH character stronghold.

I have all the character slots filled, all 22 of them hehe. I intended to decorate each character’s stronghold to their unique rp. I suppose i’ll just have to redecorate my strongholds before I’m about to rp. Either way I’m glad to see a tatooine stronghold come, and the conquest events sound intriguing

The saddest thing is that those who had been asking for the longest for player housing are those in the RP community.
Who now find themselves with housing that can’t be costumized for roleplaying, since they are shared by all 8 classes and across both factions…

Who said that every instance will be the same? Good lord you people are quick to jump to conclusions, must be the stupid strand.

Just because a stronghold is ‘shared’ doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the exact same instance. They could make it such that rooms unlocked and the list of available items to pick from come from your legacy, but the things that are actually displayed are tied to individual characters.

You do realize there are four different planets confirmed for player housing. You can have one to on be on DK, one on Corruscant one on Nar Shadda and one on Tatooine and possibly more in the future.

That’s why you’d have one on Dromund Kaas and one on Coruscant for example. Having a Sith decorate a second separate Coruscant stronghold wouldn’t make any sense.

Doesn’t look like there is anything interesting coming out for a long time. Unsubbed and playing TESO for awhile.

You know, this was by far the best MMO I played, simply fantastic game, I got 6 alts to 55, clocked over 6000hours of gameplay, but at this point, I don’t I’m gonna renew my sub for the first time since release.
After a great year last year, they just completely fell apart on the content side of things. Just excruciatingly slow and really nothign to lok forward to, barely dripping a few FPs here and there in almost a year, and the next best thing is Housing..sorely dissapointed.

The Swtor_Miner info had given us hope that we’d see 3 new planets and story arcs and tons of fresh content by April this year. But it looks like we wont be seeing much at all until next year at least. And this after 8 months of drought. TESO does indeed looks super fresh in comparison and is a fantastic game to boot.
I really hope to come back to SWTOR some day, but not in the near future clearly. Just when I thought they got their act together, they dropped the ball again.

six THOUSAND hours? That’s TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY – TWENTY FOUR HOUR DAYS! Please tell me you are exaggerating, or you added a couple of extra zeros?

I have fourteen level 55’s and have about 300 hours /played across my legacy.

Anyway, if you do leave, we hope to see you back in swtor someday.

Absolutely not exaggerating. the first year I was playing like 15 hours per day. I put insane hours into this. Back then it was slower to level, no boosts and whatnot, not even mounts till mid 20s I believe. Secondly, I didnt just level alts to 55 and stop. I have done everything the game has to offer and then some, all the Nightmare modes (except the latest ones) all the WB all the reputations are maxed out, PVP cap, achievement hunting, collecting every pet, mount, emote and anything else there is. you name it i did it.
But at the end of the day without some new areas to explore or planets etc, its gonna get repetitive and samey.

What’s your point? He/She got 6 alts to 55. Yes there’s 8 class stories so? You’re suggesting it’s imperative to play all 8?

I just want new stories or classes. Ou can only do so much and getting tired of doing the same daily grind. May take a break too after 2+ years on here.

They have already said for well over a year now that there won’t be any new class stories or new classes.

At best they will expand an A.C. for the current classes (I.e. tanks operative class) but in terms of a while new class it’s pretty much a no.

Class stories are one of, if not the biggest, draws this game has. Planet stories just can’t compare because they’re not personal to your character like class stories are.
The new content, while enjoyable by everyone, wears out its welcome very quickly. At least with Kuat+Czerka you have a rep grind and some decent stuff to earn, but with this latest thing, there’s no rep. Just tokens that buy you a horrificially ugly armor set.
I am quickly closing in on finishing the last 3 class stories, and when that day comes, I will probably stop playing, because there’s nothing interesting left to do. GSF? Fun, but doesn’t unlock anything besides more GSF stuff. Ops? Ground pvp? All that gets you is ugly gear that is just a reskin of the set that came before it. They are really going crazy with recycling assets and calling it something new, even with the cartel market stuff.

It’s star wars….while there are a number of things they could do….theres also alot of random crazy they could do as well. Only thing I think could be added is an Engineer class that has a droid pet….But that could be a tack on for one of the existing classes. Like say Beastlords for jedi/sith warriors, sages/inquisitors could get something along the lines of say actual Forcewalking, not just in the story line but as like a summoning skill. Still these are things I’m just letting spill out of my brain, they might not be workable, could be unbalancing, or just not marketable. However they’ve said it, and I believe it, new class stories is just not feasible. Every time they bring out any new content they have to bring the voice actors back….ALL of them to fill in lines to respond to each and every new situation. This is expensive, BUT, calling them back for some lines lets the voice actors work on other projects as well. The amount of time the actors would have to commit to a whole new character ‘episode’ means they are locked to that project till its done. That is the reason its not being done. On top of all the costly animation and programming work you have to pay your voice actors enough that they stay for the whole 6months to a year that might be needed. Sure its an ‘excuse’ but at least its one that makes some sense.

Recording voice actors is very easy. You need four days tops to record a full length feature film so something like a new chapter in SWTOR should take half that time or if you are super cheap-o and only have one microphone, maybe a week assuming two actors per day at ~4 hours a piece. Plus the animations are recycled as they have been for the cut scenes in the Oricon update and the tactical flashpoints. Most of the models are recycled too. For textures you need +2-3 interns tops on a project by project basis.

I can’t understand lack of new operations and storyline. I understand the attraction of apartments and guildships but this game is turning into a cosmetic store

This has been something the player base has been asking since the game launched and was one of the most frequently asked questions at the cantinas

This game is about more than just operations.

Makeb was roughly a year ago. Since then, we’ve seen Scum and Villainy (part of 2.0), Dread Fortress, and Dread Palace for ops; Czerka flashpoints, Kuat Drive flashpoint, Tython & Korriban flashpoint; CZ-198 and Oricon; the start of a new story arc involving a secret plot; GSF; and 2.8 will surely be introducing Manaan as either a flashpoint or a planet as the next point in the story arc.

If you think that will be in 2.8 you are seriusly mistaken, more like manaan will be part of the makeb styel expancion, whic will come in december if remember correctly

Manaan is definitely the next part of the story arc. If you have a lower level toon, you can go to the quest giver and get the intro conversation indicating that you will be going to Manaan. I’ve done it myself on Republic Fleet, and others have posted it as well.

They showed sell at at the cantina tour. Data mine shows next flash point is Manaan and as someone else said you pick up the first convo on a lower toon. Manaan is the next flash point.

You said it. Barbie game for boys. How long can this be entertaining a week or two? Then we wait another 6 months for something to do. We reach a point where we are totally fed up with the lack of content, and they announce more lack of content all the way to the year’s end. It’s almost like they decided to pull down the game right as it was coming up for air.

This patch looks pretty cool, but we need to feed on something meanwhile, what’s in between? Give us a bone!!!! other than nightmare palace ops, mate!

So wait a minute. So before they said Late June for subs to get early access (Now mid-late August) to Galactic Strongholds however in the answers Eric gave to the questions asked, he says certain things are “Still being worked out”?? I would think that since we are nearly into May that the developer’s would have at the VERY least a blueprint of what is planned, how everything will work and what will be part of it or not and it would be in internal testing phase but it seems nothing has been worked out on companions in strongholds (Eric claims he has to chase an answer) and more importantly legacy storage among other things. How can they not have worked out what they will do with legacy storage yet mention it weeks ago as a thing with original plans to have it out with this patch?

Why do I get the feeling that the SWTOR dev’s are wanting to see what the final Wildstar housing product will be so they can try and trump it (and fail) by now pushing this out to August? Or maybe yet again they are way behind in making and testing (HA!!!! As if Bioware even test anything SWTOR related) Galactic Strongholds. 🙁

And what is the point of giving us subs “The Illustrious” title but making us wait til 2.9 to get it?? Wow…………just…….wow!!

Someoe knows if we will be able to put weapons and armors on racks and such like in Skyrim? it would be cool.

I never said anything before in this forum, or anywhere, i have always kept quiet, but this is bull crap. No new classes will be coming out…this game has turned into one big cartel market to dump your money into and that is about it. 99% of the gear looks the same and its crap. The pvp gear look is a joke, i mean really wtf? No effort into making the gear look different like in the old days. I have been playing since beta and this is nothing less than disappointing…promising 2.8 is the biggest patch ever then not…this is awful. Some of you may not agree with me but i felt i must say something after reading letter.

Then leave the game, good god why do people like you keep playing games they aren’t enjoying?, are you dumb or something? “Oh I’ll keep on paying for something I’m not enjoying.” go back to WoW or wherever it is you came from.

Ahhh the old “Go back to WOW” retort when you have nothing else to say. What’s next? Accusations of being a troll or a noob because he expresses an opinion different to yours?

Gunnar is entitled to his opinion and if you disagree with it, you can put your point that challenges and refutes his opinion. But nah, easier to insult right? Pathetic Adolfo. And no where did I read Gunnar say he was not enjoying SWTOR. He raised his view on the latest producer’s letter. Nothing more, nothing less.

And agree or not, yes Gunnar does have a point which we ALL know to be true of any mmo. SWTOR will become stagnant very soon if all they keep giving us is just a flashpoint or OP every 3-6 months (And these new tactical flashpoints are so easy it is embarrassing and gets boring real fast because of it), terrible new pvp maps once a year, stupid “balancing” mechanic changes every major patch to fix messes made by the previous patch which fixes the one before that and so on, endless reskins of armors, weapons and mounts (Of course only purchasable via the Cartel Market) every month or two and a species once a blue moon (Only purchasable via the Cartel Market naturally) that adds nothing to the game or that few wanted to begin with (Cathar).

My favorite little side time killer – Crafting, are now forgotten and ignored (and in some cases made worthless thanks to the Cartel Market) and the biggest selling point that separates and makes SWTOR so much better then WOW, GW, ESO, Wildstar etc which is individual class stories is now no more with zero plans to make a chapter 4 for them ever. Only planet faction story lines and forget new classes – something ALL MMO’s introduce down the track but which the SWTOR dev’s won’t be doing whatsoever leaving us with what the game first came out with. 22 Alts and several character deletions and I have played all specs across both factions. Would be nice after 2 years + to play a completely new class. I remember when Warhammer Online released new classes in it’s first year! Why won’t Bioware do it for SWTOR?

Aldolfo, your childish insult aside, Perhaps Gunnar, like many of us, plays this game because firstly it is Star Wars and secondly they want to see it get better and it absolutely has the potential to but it breaks our hearts to see it going in a downward direction with every patch released and subs are going down down down with it along with the ever constant threat of new and “Shiny” mmo’s being released which is why the game is now F2P to keep it alive and keep the Cartel Market open for business.

Yes the game is still enjoyable but as I said at the start, there will come a time where unless SWTOR really adds new content that everyone can enjoy, not just for hardcore endgamers or recycled stuff, then the game will become decrepit when viewed against other MMO’s who will continue to release bigger and better expansions leaving SWTOR far behind until it goes extinct sooner rather then later.

Just replying to the new class thing, I belive bioware would do a new class if the had the reasources, EA doesnt want to invest in them to much becouse hey are afraid of losing money and makign a new class would be hard work on bioware (especialy since they had a huge drop in employees) and would cost more money then just new planet story, so dont be to hard on bioware its EA’s fault (althou i know they are the ones actualy keeping the game alive :/)

Pretty much the only thing that would get me excited at this point would be a new faction or some new classes with storylines. SO tired of doing the same crap over and over again when leveling. I’ve gotten it down to 2 weeks to level a 55, playing casually and the ONLY interesting parts are the main storyline. Planetary storylines are simply drudgery, and planetary storylines are the only thing they are willing to add.

So I’m afraid I agree with your concluding statement. See you in ESO 🙁

I think gunner, and people like him stick around cause they want to like Swtor so bad!! But no matter how patient they are its the same crap…

First off never played WoW and never will, 2nd i really do like this game and want to see it do well, but the way they are doing it is not right, how can you promise your players something and take it back? 3rd if i was to leave the game which I’m sure i will soon, i would go back to playing RIFT. Here is what they need to do…bio ware this is free advice for you…

1) Make a good playable race (cat race is a joke)
2) Cross sever pvp
3) Make another tree for the classes (since there will be no new classes add a forth tree and let us have more free range to make our toon unique)
4) Faction change (since you like money so much bio ware this is something else players can dump money into)
5) Make the game truly free to play. I do not know about most of you but most free to play games i tend to drop a lot of money into. Give subs accelerated xp and daily rewards for logging in. Doesn’t have to be anything super big, but give us a chance to get a mount, wz med packs, armor sets ect…(i have been a sub since beta)

So i never said i didn’t enjoy the game, the way they are doing things are upsetting. This game can be the best MMO if they wanted it do be. I really do hope things go in a different direction to make the game better.

Some interesting ideas. I didn’t think I liked 4 until I thought about. There are bound to be defectors, but I think it would be better suited for a quest than a cash item. Along the lines of 3, maybe allow people to switch their class within the base class – let a PT become a merc, etc. Sometimes you change your mind or decide the class really isn’t for you, and you don’t want to have to start over.

They turned down faction changes long before the game launch because it’s too expensive and too much writing story wise would be needed. Plus faction changes would be a balancing nightmare

Completely agree with OP.

Its funny, I’ve been defending this game for a long time and I just dont feel like I can anymore. I haven’t been playing as long as a lot of people and I have already completed all 8 class stories and ground out the end game more than I want to. I was really looking forward to the player housing and guild ships; I cannot believe they are stalling and trying to stretch out the new subs they got from the april promos.

This bull crap feels intentional this time. Like they really are just trying to squeeze a few more dollars out. I’m actually going to unsub and play eso. I’ll be back in August to see if their new content is worth anything, but it’ll probably only be interesting for a couple of weeks if that.

For the first time I’m starting to fear for the future of this game. I had really high hopes about the kind of stuff they would be able to do after they made over $300 million last year on the switch to f2p, but I’m beginning to think the nay-sayers from back then may have been right and that SWTOR may not have long. The fact that I feel like moving on when I am the ultimate star wars fanboy just makes me sad and wonder how irritated the rest of the community must be.

Goodbye for now SWTOR.

I am still standing by this game just hoping for it to get back on its feet. I BELIVE IN YOU BIOWARE!

Hm. A new game feature, that I never have been able to test, is being expanded. Yay! What if I don’t like it? What if nobody likes it!? BioWare… just show us your Housing before you put more work in it by expanding it!

I for one think it is refreshing that a developer is waiting to polish content before releasing it. Whether or not it will actually be polished when it comes out is another story. Promising a release date and sticking to it regardless of completion gets you no more than swtor’s original launch: lots of disappointment. If swtor had pushed their initial launch back by even 1 month, the entire game’s future could have been drastically different. We all know that every quick-fix bioware puts out causes 10x as many problems as it fixes; lets be patient and give them time to hopefully do it right the first time.

I feel little stupid but I don’t quite understadn the 11th May sub rewards, so we will get the Nar Shadaa house with five rooms THAT day or when Galactic strongholds will go to sub early acces ?

on top of this Disney released new information on the upcomming moved and Starwars going forward, this also halted the release. STOR is part of the Expanded universe and is not Canon to the StarWars Series so there will be some changed made. All future games authorized from Disney will be Canon from LucasArts.

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