Selkath, the Order of Shaasa and secretive Revanite underwater laboratories. That’s how the planet of Manaan was first introduced to us during the Shadow of Revan expansion pack. I always thought that the buildings’ designs suited a possible SWTOR Stronghold location, but the Selkath are a fairly isolationist society, so would they welcome complete strangers making a home on their world? Story aside, I was very pleased to see that SWTOR were finally bringing in a Manaan Stronghold!
So here’s a tour of mine, so you can see how my Stronghold design brain works! I have also done a video tour, so click/tap here to go to that if you prefer!
Why is my Manaan Stronghold Not 100% Complete?
Before SWTOR even announced that Manaan would be an option for Galactic Strongholds, I had thought that the minimal feel of the architecture would be its strength. To that end, mine is just sat at around 54% complete. I may push this up to 60% but if I add much more I feel it looks cluttered. This means I lose the clean, minimal feel to it.
If you have any tips on pushing that percentage up without losing the uncluttered feel, please add them in the comments!
My Approach to Stronghold Design
I have tried as much as possible to give different areas, or rooms, a purpose or a story. This means I have had to be purposeful with each area. As I guide you through, I’ll show you what I mean.
I wanted this outside area to be both well-secured and welcoming! So I have harnessed huge guns and some guards, but the rest has been done to make it welcoming for visitors.
- Nar Shadaa Nightlife Bar: Enjoy the blue skies with a strong beverage then find a seat and enjoy!
- Nature: Manaan is clean and clinical, but I have tried to ensure trees and plants feature throughout my Stronghold. Here I’ve used Rishi Palms and also a large Rakghoul Event decoration.
- Blizz Back to Business: when he’s not salvaging, he’s selling off scrap! Need anything, you can find Blizz near the landing pad!
- For the Alliance: Throughout this Stronghold, you’ll find a rough balance of Imperial and Republic Soldiers and banners. This is to attempt to show a fair representation of the Alliance.
Annoyingly the ‘garden’ part of the Rooftop Garden is relatively small, but that doesn’t mean we can’t bring the garden indoors!
Utilities -- Mail, Cargo Holds, GTN etc
I have purposefully brought the utilities deeper into my Manaan Stronghold. In previous Strongholds, I put them all in the room you land in by default. But doing that meant I didn’t take time to appreciate the time and effort that goes into decorating your home from home. So here on Manaan, I have to see a good portion of my Stronghold even if I just want a secluded GTN kiosk!
Other Specific Decorations
- Holo Tree: I can’t remember if this is from an Anniversary or Life Day event. But it’s one of those two!
- Plants: As this is Talitha’s Stronghold, creatures and items of nature matter for connecting with the Living Force.
- Blue Nar Shadaa Light: from the Nar Shadaa Nightlife Event.
The Actual Rooftop Garden
Before you decorate this area, your ‘garden’ is little more than a hedged-off terrace. So I used a combination of Yavin 4 and Makeb plants to add greenery! I’m pretty sure I was gifted the enormous statue, in front of which I placed Xalek, helping him to be inspired by the imposing figure. Here I purposefully placed Rakatan Tribesmen so that the Kaleesh Warrior Xalek could meet warriors from another world, Rakata Prime.
As this is a Rooftop Garden, I put an outside bar, manned by Guss Tuno so that visitors can enjoy drinks up here too if they want to! Accompanied by Nico Okarr however, I’m not sure how many drinks are left…
With its own glass-bottomed viewing pane, the underwater observvatory fits the Manaan Stronghold perfectly. Especially as the vast majority of the Manaan Flashpoint is underwater! Again I have been purposeful in how the rooms you have available are used.
Centre Room -- Alliance Intelligence OfficeIn all Strongholds I have had, I have tried to create an Alliance Intelligence room. This one is no different. I am slightly annoyed I didn’t do this before running Crisis on Umbara because now I have a half-naked Theron Holo! Never mind! A few of the terminals and screens come from Story Star Fortress runs -- basically technnology stolen from Zakuul in between KotFE and KotET!
As this area has sensitive data in it, I have a strong security presence and as its an office, the walls are deocrated with pictures rather than plants. I’ve made Vette the welcoming “receptionist” in this instance too!
Side Room 1 -- the Quiet RetreatFeaturing plants and a Jedi Temple Fountain, I’ve placed Force-users Senya and Ashara both getting away from the madness of life. Pictures of varying Force-users adorn the walls for inspiration!
Side Room 2 -- Storage RoomI’m likely to redesign this room as it’s more cluttered than I would like! But if your Stronghold is supposed to be a base of operations, then why shouldn’t you store extra crates of weapons and suplies somewhere?
If you don’t mind listening to my voice, even though I have a cold, please take time to accompany Talitha’koum on the full tour!
TL;DR Decorating Manaan
This Stronghold was a challenge, and so it will need changes. But I love the design of structures on Manaan, along with the minimal feel of the place. As I said above I would be very interested to hear about how you achieved a higher percentage completion without detracting from the uncluttered feel! But that’s my Manaan Stronghold in Manaan! Feel free to share your tips in the comments!
On that score, if you’d like to see another player’s take on Manaan, then visit Xam Xam’s!
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