Drop In: Manaan

When the weekly seasons objectives for weeks 5-9 were posted the other day, part of me was hoping there would be one week without a stronghold drop-in objective soon to make it easier for me to get caught up with my posts about these, but it seems the devs are keen on keeping us visiting these public strongholds, so I just have to be better at getting my summaries out in a timely manner! With that said, let's talk about what I saw in various Manaan strongholds during week four.

For some reason I had it in my head that Manaan was another really big stronghold, which was why I was quite surprised when I first visited one and was reminded of how small it actually was. In fact, it's one of the smaller options out there... I think I somehow must have conflated size and price in my head, because it's quite pricey for what it is.

Also, I once again didn't visit a stronghold on every server, with Tulak Hord being left out this time, though this was due to accident more than intention. I didn't make it a priority to do the stronghold visits early in the week, so I somehow got to 7/7 on Tulak Hord without even realising I'd skipped that objective. Could have saved myself a lot of work if I'd realised that earlier!

Anyway, on all the other servers I did visit one public Manaan stronghold each, and the first one I checked out was Koqh'rotzhim'evoss' Temple of Light on Shae Vizla. I would have loved to choose a stronghold with any other name considering how much of a pain that character name was to type out every time, but there were only two public strongholds available at the time I checked and the other one was at 2% completion, while this one was at 37%, so...

I still expected 37% to look pretty barren to be honest, so I was quite surprised when I zoned in and saw rows and rows of NPCs, palm trees and holocron decorations at the entrance. The holocron decorations in particular surprised me because they are quite rare nowadays, so accumulating that many would require you to keep an eye on the GTN for a long time. I can only guess that the owner acquired at least the bulk of them back in the day when they were much more common as drops.

When I entered the hallway leading to the rest of the stronghold, my immediate first impression was "whoa, these planters are kind of big for such a narrow hallway". I had no idea what was still to come in other strongholds.

In one of the underwater chambers they had this weird swirly statue that intrigued me and that I didn't recognise. Also, I didn't know you could have huggable wookiees as a deco in your stronghold (pictured to the left). Does hugging one of these count towards the achievement?

On Leviathan, I visited Zayn Dora's Chamber of Truth, and was surprised to see a similar arrangement of palm trees and rows of holocrons at the entrance. The holocrons in particular caught me out, because like I said... they are rare. I did like the HK statue though.

Inside, I was intrigued by this room with the strange purple glowy things in big jars. From a distance they look a bit like brains, though I don't think that's what they actually are. It all looks a bit ominous either way.

I also liked the way this giant Revan statue was positioned to poke its head through the skylight, creating the impression of Revan being surrounded by a bit of a halo when looked at from below.

On Darth Malgus, I was surprised to find that the top listing in the Manaan directory at the time of me checking it out was actually someone I knew. It's not someone I particularly like though, so I opted for the next stronghold down the list instead, Leah Clarke's Jedi Academy.

I zoned in and... immediately those rows of holocrons again! What is going on with that? Is there some meme I'm not aware of?

Turning around, the other half of the outdoor area was really nicely decorated with trees, shrubs and statues though. I feel like plants make more of an impact in this stronghold than in others because it's so stark and white by default. It really invites you to inject some life and colour.

In the underwater area I always looked out the window to see whether anything had been placed on the big hook outside the stronghold itself, and this was the first place where I noticed someone actually doing something with that, which pleased me.

This room really lived up to the Jedi Academy theme, what with the Jedi NPCs, the crystals and the giant holocron. I really liked that.

On Satele Shan I ended up visiting Endonae's Pursuit of Peace at 69% completion. I think this might be the same Endonae that writes for Vulkk.com

Uh-oh, a hypergate at the door seems like bad news!

I really liked this arrangement with the statues, Onderonian palm trees and plants. I appreciated how things were intentionally somewhat spaced out and not every hook filled, in order to let things breathe.

This room in the underwater area made me doubt the "Pursuit of Peace" in this stronghold for a bit because that sure looks like some dark side shenanigans going on in this scene! I was quite fascinated by the weird lava sarcophagus and fire floor tile though, neither of which were decos I recognised.

Now this room definitely looked very serene and inviting, once again making good use of empty space to make it feel more welcoming and less crowded. It was this room in fact that made me think that it's the closest one among all the strongholds I've visited so far that actually looks somewhat like the kinds of environments the devs themselves tend to build, both in its use of space and thematic coherence.

Finally, on Star Forge I must have done this objective I think at what was the middle of the night for the Americans, because there were only four public listings available, with the highest one at 56% completion, which is pretty dead by that server's standards. I ended up visiting said 56% completed stronghold, called Dathayde's Galactic Stronghold.

Right at the entrance, I was greeted by a giant Revan statue and, like, all the companions, even if they were all just holograms to me. I imagine it looks better when you actually own them.

So remember what I said about that first hallway feeling crowded to me with the big planters in the first stronghold I visited? I didn't take screenshots of it everywhere I went, but I soon found that this was pretty standard in a lot of Manaan strongholds - until I got to this one, where the owner had decided for some reason to put the biggest possible ceiling decorations in this hallway, to the point that they almost block it entirely. I don't know why they did that, but I thought it was funny and weird.

Also, someone was really proud of doing the first boss in Eternity Vault on all three difficulties (back in the day...)

Did you notice anything of interest in these or other Manaan strongholds you visited last week?


  1. I don't have a Manaan stronghold, but whenever I visit one I'm reminded that part of what makes Manaan so visually striking in KOTOR is the empty space. You basically have to choose between making it feel like Manaan (scattering crates, personnel, and the occasional small statue) or fully taking advantage of the large and centerpiece hooks.

    I've been touring a few Jedi-themed strongholds because that's what I've decided to do on Copero, and the hidden Sith area is a reoccurring theme. It's kind of a clever representation of the insidiousness of the dark side... but I can't imagine my consular ever allowing it in her house.

    The gold tentacle statue is from the Manaan reputation vendor. The purple jars are meant to be grenades, from the achievement for beating the Star Fortresses with all of the Alliance buffs. (There's a deco to represent each buff.) I didn't recognize the fire decos either, but Swtorista's new decorations tool has a category for fire effects: the tile is called Lavapool and the statue is called Pillar of the Desolate Sith.

    1. Thanks for identifying the mystery decos! I just checked out Swtorista's updated decorations section yesterday; some of those new features are definitely going to come in handy.

  2. Seeing that giant Tython holocron reminds me I still haven't saved enough Recovered Relics to get that decoration myself. The drop rate is so low, I can't remember ever seeing one drop in all the times I've done those Shadow of Revan flashpoints. I've had an idea to make a bunch of alts just to get the one guaranteed relic from the mission, but every time I think about it, I either don't have time or am not interested in that much of a grind. Maybe someday...

    1. I thought I had accumulated quite a lot of Recovered Relics from running those flashpoints on alts, so I decided to visit the vendor the other week to see what I could spend them on. Then I saw that the giant holocron costs 25 and was like "what!?" Didn't have that many after all, haha.

  3. Looks like Iris got most of your deco IDs, but I'll point out that the gold/yellow holocrons are actually the Zakuulan Force Focus (from the same Star Fortress achievement as the medical scan and the purple grenade jars). You get 999 of them.

    That first stronghold with the blue datacrons, though... *low whistle*

    1. Ooh, thank you, that makes a lot more sense now! I see now that I mistook it for the presence datacron deco, which does look somewhat similar, but I wasn't aware that the Zakuulan Force Focus also looked like that.


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