Guild Flagships & Strongholds
Guilds can own a Flagship and a personal Stronghold. The key difference between a player owned Stronghold and a guild owned one is that the guild leader can distribute Gold keys in addition to the aforementioned Bronze and Silver keys. Gold keys, typically reserved only for the Stronghold owner himself, allow a player to fully edit a particular Stronghold. Gold keys can also be given out to guild members for the Guild’s Flagship.
Flagships are like personal Strongholds dialed up to 11 in both scope and size. These bad boys require a hefty upfront investment from guilds to purchase (to the tune of 50 million credits!) and each additional unlockable area requires both credits and special items called Frameworks to unlock. Acquiring Frameworks heavily involves crafting, but players can also acquire the materials to create a Framework (or even an entire completed Framework) via combat by taking out enemy Commanders.
Commanders are Galactic Strongholds’ way of sprucing up SWTOR’s open world PvP. Commanders can be found throughout eight different planets in the game and guilds will need to venture behind enemy lines to get to them. Engaging a Commander will flag you for PvP, so players can expect these guys to be hotly contested.
Flagships can also travel from planet to planet. Guild Flagships orbiting a particular planet can also purchase an Orbital Support buff that will affect all players in the guild as long as they are on the planet the ship is orbiting. According to BioWare, this buff is significant and should come in handy when participating in Conquest Events or attacking enemy Commanders planet side.
Every week, a number of planets will be up for conquest as part of the new Conquest Events feature coming with Galactic Strongholds. These events will feature varying objectives that tie into just about every activity in the game. Players will have a personal score threshold they need to meet each week by completing objectives for these events, with each objective completion worth differing amounts of points towards that total. Meeting your personal score threshold for the week will reward you with a number of goodies. Your Stronghold completion percentage will give you a bonus to all points earned during Conquest Events, with up to +25% added for each fully completed Stronghold.
Guilds can also choose to invade a particular planet during each event and in doing so they will compete against other guilds in a top 10 leaderboard to conquer the planet. At the end of the week, the guild with the first place score on the planet it is invading will have successfully conquered it. Planets may offer point multipliers for different types of activities, so guilds focused on a particular area of content (e.g. Warzones) may want to invade planets that offer additional points for completing Warzone objectives while invading said planet to optimize their chances at coming out on top at the end of the week.
Conquering a planet confers a number of bonuses to a guild, not the least of which are some snazzy Walker mounts (that can only be piloted on the planet conquered and only while said planet is conquered by your guild) and the ability to call in a powerful Starfighter Flyby strike that can decimate your opponents. As one can imagine, the latter should be particularly beneficial when fighting over an enemy Commander.
Additionally, all guilds that place into the top 10 on an invaded planet’s leaderboard will be eligible for guild specific Conquest Event rewards that week if their guild also meets the score threshold required for the event. These rewards are separate from your personal Conquest Event rewards, though your personal total counts towards your guild score as well.
Galactic Strongholds is free to all players and will unlock for Early Access to subscribers next Tuesday, August 19.
Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB