I don’t know if anyone has truly fleshed out something like what I am about to propose. I know that there has been some really cool mock ups of different peoples ideas of future strongholds, like the really cool Manaan one.
Anyway, I was thinking this through as I was doing missions on different characters over the weekend, trying to get some things done. Obviously none of the existing strongholds or locations would be changed or used for this. And while I may include a price for things, it only reflects an example of what I could see, but it could definitely be flexible.
What I see is a map, probably as large as the Yavin one, and they’re based around the locations where they are placed. For example, an Alderaan map may have a mountain nearby, or a Balmorran map is found inside a canyon.There may even be 3 or 4 maps per planet, each with its own unique structure hooks. Each map has a base cost, which should reflect the number of structure hooks allowed, and not really the location. I would make the starting map costs around 2 million credits, with would probably be 1 large structure hook, 2 medium structure hooks, and 2 or 3 small structure hooks.
Structure hooks are similar to decoration hooks, except they are used to place different types of structures, like a hangar, barracks, warehouses, or more. For example, we are all familiar with the garage warehouse structure, its available for both Imperial and Republic on worlds like Balmorra, such as in the Sundari Plains area. This would be considered a large structure, and would start at maybe two million credits to place. So each structure has its own costs associated with it. The small round house for example, could cost 250 thousand credits. The larger house, with the basement, and loft type area, could cost 500 thousand credits. Both of these houses would be considered a small structure. I also see the simple warehouse as a possible structure, starting at maybe one million credits, which is the one like on the Imperial side of Quesh where the planet storyline and trainers are located. I also see a base structure, nothing overly complex, but maybe along the lines of the Republic one on Ord Mantel or Belsavis, or even like the ones on Hoth. These bases could range from 5 million to 25 million credits based on their size.
Each structure has a set amount of decoration hooks, and this cannot be changed. Small structures would have something like 25 to 50 hooks total, which again is based on the houses mentioned above. Medium size structures would have 75 to 200. The large structures would have 200 to 300 hooks at least, again based off the large hangar/warehouse building.
Each map would have a certain number of exterior decoration hooks, using the existing layouts. In addition, there could be an option if you don’t use a structure hook, to turn it into a decoration hook. For example, a large structure hook if not used could be designated as a starship size decoration hook.
This is the only thing I couldn’t completely figure out. However, I was leaning toward no unlock fees, and rolling those credits into the overall cost of things. For example, you buy a hangar building for 2 million credits, then the unlocking fee for use of the hangar is rolled into that cost.
Obviously the biggest concern I have with this idea, surrounds the amount of memory it could possibly consume per instance. Currently, the strongholds are all the same, with the only difference being the decorations, so a base memory footprint always exists. With the possibility of maps being used, with different structures on them, this could kill the idea as the instances would have to be independently maintained. This could be accomplished by having it as a sub-only feature, where the subs pay an additional cost for the maintenance fees. I see this with FFXIV for example, where additional retainers can be purchased up to a max, which is like 6 additional right now. Because the retainer acts as an additional storage unit, as well as slots for selling stuff on the market board, this cost is seen as maintenance for these systems. It could be the same for this designable stronghold. I would prohibit the number of this type of stronghold to 2 per subscriber per server. That being said, an ability to destroy a stronghold in order to build a new one, maybe on a different planet, would definitely exist. In fact, recouping like 80% of the cost of the structures placed would be a helpful feature of this, so that subs wouldn’t think they’re getting screwed or anything. It could be seen as a depreciation or cost of pixel labor. The base cost of the map purchase however, would not be reimbursed.
Obviously this is just pie-in-the-sky dreaming at this point, since I don’t think Bioware are going to put much more effort in creating strongholds unfortunately. There may be one more coming, not sure where though. But the idea above would have been a great way to give the players some truly customizable strongholds that would have made the “Welcome Home” video really awesome.