While I've been hunting down rakghouls on Tatooine, my pet tank has mostly been spending time on the PTS with a couple of guildies to have a look at Galactic Strongholds.
I've said before that I feel pretty neutral about housing being added to the game simply because I don't have much experience with it. I've never played an MMO that included it as a feature, and even back when I was really into The Sims 2, I much preferred to just plonk down one of the pre-built houses, maybe replace a few pieces of furniture, and then focus on actually playing with my Sims.
However, the more I hear about Galactic Strongholds, the more I feel that I have reason to be excited about it. I really liked this post by Heather about her impressions of the PTS, as I thought it gave a really good impression of the "feel" of housing. I know I originally mocked Bioware a bit for choosing to name their housing expansion Galactic Strongholds (how pompous), but the more I hear about it, the more appropriate it seems. We're not living in cosy little cottages here, we're building a base of operations for our entire legacy. I'm not sure I'd be able to fill all these rooms if I was just decorating a single character's home, but looking at it from this angle, I can see things coming together nicely. My Commando will have a war room, my Sage a place to meditate, one room will probably be filled with a little menagerie of pets... you see where I'm going with this.
From the sounds of it strongholds will also offer options for emergent gameplay - I've already heard people discuss the possibilities of building obstacle courses or holding indoor PvP events. I don't really know how viable these things will be on live, but it's worth noting that they are even being discussed.
I also realised only the other day that you can have a guild stronghold in addition to a guild flagship. How did I manage to miss this bit of info for that long?
The new crafting options related to the expansion once again drive home the point that Bioware is aiming to make what I think of as a "sustainable theme park", where no content goes to waste. Most of the new crafting schematics require old/low-level mats that had little use anymore up until now, but will now suddenly have a purpose again. I bet a lot of people will be beating themselves up now that they vendored all those stacks of 99 of their level 50 crafting drops...
The conquest events look like they will be interesting as well, involving leaderboards and even some world PvP. My pet tank keeps trying to convince me that they won't be all that great, but I think that just seeing different guilds compete against each other out in the world (regardless of how exactly we'll end up benefiting) will be great.
And of course every time I mail another bunch of stuff from one alt to another, I can't wait for the huge quality of life improvement that the account-wide bank will bring