10/07/2018

PTS Stronghold Excitement

A few days ago there was some excitement as Bioware opened up the Public Test Server to subscribers for the first time in quite a while. They had admitted several times previously that they'd somewhat fallen out of the habit of putting things up for public testing and said that they should probably get back into it.

For me, it's been even longer since I even bothered with the PTS. Looking back at the PTS tag on this blog I wrote about going on there a few times in the early days, such as to test out the moods feature or to familiarise myself with free-to-play. However, my interest in doing this gradually decreased, and the last time I even mentioned the PTS was over two years ago (probably around the time Bioware last bothered with it).

So there was much excitement about Bioware re-opening the PTS at last, especially since people got to preview the new stronghold on Rishi that will be released with the next patch. I'm still finding it hard to believe that they've given us three new strongholds within a year after there had been minimal support for housing for ages, aside from the release of new decorations on the Cartel market that is. I wonder if housing enthusiasts are more likely to buy Cartel coins than other groups of players?

Anyway, you don't have to log onto the PTS yourself to get a look at the new stronghold because people have been going nuts posting about it (in my feed anyway). You can have Swtorista walk you through it, or Vulkk, or Kid Lee, or Dulfy, or SWTOR Central, and probably more. If you'd prefer a written summary with static images, Xam Xam has you covered.

Despite of all this, I couldn't quite resist logging into the PTS myself, for old times' sake if nothing else. Cheers to Ondr the Scoundrel for being the only person online during that time who also happened to have their new Rishi stronghold publicly listed, allowing me to hop in and have a look around without having to bother with buying and unlocking it myself.


I do have to say, the inclusion of the ability to set up custom PvP areas sounds extremely cool and actually very innovative as well - at least no other MMOs that I know of allow you to also turn your house into an arena. Unfortunately I'm afraid that it will see very little use. Sure, there'll be the occasional guild event or community tournament, but... I just can't get really excited about something that I foresee gathering dust 99% of the time, despite of how cool it is in principle.

Am I at least excited about getting another new beautiful place to decorate? I'm embarrassed to say it, but: not really, simply because I eventually had to admit to myself that I'm not all that much into decorating. I adore strongholds for their practical features, which is why all my characters tend to log out in one, but I spend pretty much all my time in the first room of my Coruscant apartment (or Dromund Kaas for my Imperial alts). Despite of having fully unlocked every stronghold Bioware has ever released, most of them are virtually empty. The last "exciting" decorating project I engaged in was making one of the train cars on Umbara my "Baradium cart room" (Baradium carts being a common decoration drop from the Explosive Conflict operation that I have coming out of my ears).


In short: The new stronghold is something that sounds extremely nice in theory but unfortunately I just don't see myself getting much use out of it, which is why I can't really get excited about it. As soon as I actually logged onto the PTS I also queued myself for PvP in hopes of actually getting to see some of the planned PvP changes in action. There were almost 20 people online on Republic side alone, so we would have had enough to get a match going... if everyone had queued up that is. I'm guessing too many were just sightseeing on Rishi, because just like in the old days, nothing popped.

Unlike in the old days, Bioware does have dedicated PvP testing times these days, with the first one of these coming up tonight in fact - however, as it won't start until midnight in my time zone, this is unfortunately a no-go for me during a normal work week. However, there's already been talk of having more testing sessions, so hopefully at least one of them will happen at a time that makes it a bit more feasible for Europeans like me to also join. I'd really like to be able to make it one of these days, if for no other reason than to say that I did it.

8 comments :

  1. FYI, the Rishi stronghold unlocks are free on the PTS. I had transferred plenty of credits over to unlock everything and then found out I didn't need anything. I guess they want everyone to see/test out the new stronghold.

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    1. Oh, that's funny, because before I went on someone had told me the opposite, that I needed to make sure to load up on credits before transferring or else I wouldn't be able to buy it. Maybe they changed that at some point over the last couple of days.

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    2. It's more the fact that you need to have the exact amount in your wallet for the game to register that you could buy it, otherwise it would have disallowed you from doing it.

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    3. As in if you went across to the PTS with 2,499,999 Credits you wouldn't be able to get it but with 2,500,000 Credits you'd get it for free. They have said that this is a bug.

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    4. I had over 9,000,000 credits on that character so there something else going on. Not surprising on the PTS. ^_^

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  2. The Training Dummy room is the best functional bit about this Stronghold, in my opinion. It's just a shame it's just one small portion of it.

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    1. I still haven't bothered to unlock the one on the personal ship... been a long time since I last did a test parse.

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    2. Fair enough. I just think it's somewhat of a shame that people focus largely on the PvP aspect when a Stronghold Dummy is something that people have been requesting for years, especially since there's also a Healing Dummy included as well.

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