Hyperspace Beacon: Five things you should know about Ziost before SWTOR Update 3.2

    
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Shortly after Star Wars: The Old Republic launched, I was a part of a group of players asked which planet they would like to see next. Pre-launch we were still learning which planets were even in the game. We knew that there were more planets to be revealed and that we had a huge swath of planets that had great backstories but had not been spoken of during SWTOR’s time period. I remember that some people suggested popular planets we’d seen in the original Star Wars trilogy, like Bespin, but I think the most popular was Kashyyyk.

But not mine. Eric Musco, who was a part of TOROCast at the time, even joked about my pick. “And out of left field is Larry Everett with Ziost,” he quipped.

Three and a half years later, Ziost is coming to SWTOR while those other guys are still waiting for Bespin and Kashyyyk. In Update 3.2, we’ll learn more about Vitiate, the former Sith Emperor, and what he’s been up to since the incident on Yavin IV. We learn that he’s traveled to frozen, rocky world of Ziost.

So why did I pick Ziost as the planet I thought we would see in the SWTOR lineup? My reasoning probably mirrors the reason that Vitiate also chose that planet as a base of operations. How about I break this down into five reasons that Ziost is the perfect planet for Star Wars: The Old Republic?

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1. It’s the former capital world of the Empire

Although much of the history of the Empire revolves around Korriban because it was the birthplace of the Sith species, Ziost was actually the capital planet of the old Sith Empire. When the last Dark Lord of the Sith, Naga Sadow, ruled the Empire, Korriban was not much more than a giant tomb for the former leaders of the Empire. Ziost was where all the political power resided.

After Naga Sadow’s defeat and the near total destruction of the Sith Empire, Ziost was was abandoned. And when the Sith Emperor returned to the system, he made Dromund Kaas the new capital world. As of yet, it’s not been stated why Vitiate moved the center of Sith government to a different planet, but I’m sure that we’ll learn the reasoning during Update 3.2.

hsb-mop-head-ziost-sub022. It has significant historical value

From a historical perspective, Ziost represents the expansive power of the Sith. It also represents the instability of the Sith government on its own. During the reign of the Infinite Empire — a time before the Republic and the Jedi as we know them — a Sith leader rose up and united the feudal Sith clans on the planet Korriban. His name was Adas, but the Sith called him the Sith’ari, which meant “overlord” at the time the name was used. But that title has come to mean “god” or “godlike” in the time since Adas.

The Infinite Empire quickly began to swallow up planet after planet, subjugating its inhabitants. Some of the Rakata of the Infinite Empire taught Adas their technology, such as how to make holocrons and possibly how to travel using hyperdrives.

Eventually, Adas determined that the Rakata were not there as allies but instead wanted to conquer Korriban. But that never happened. Adas and his united Sith clans drove the Rakata off the planet. Unfortunately, the Sith’ari died in the process. But everything that he was taught remained. The Sith were able to use that technology and to begin to traverse nearby systems, even settling on other planets — the first one being Ziost, which would soon after become the new capital world.

3. It holds a strategic location within the Empire

I cannot give a full account of how travel within the Star Wars galaxy works, but the best way to describe it is that there are predetermined safe paths that starships can use to travel from planet to planet. These are called hyperlanes. At specific junctions on these hyperlanes sit unmanned stations called hyperspace beacons. Navicomputers within starships communicate with these beacons to determine safe travel. It is possible to travel without a hyperspace beacon, but it’s not recommended.

Most of the planets of the Sith Empire sit inside a gigantic nebulous cloud called the Stygian Caldera. Although it’s not impossible to travel through the Caldera, it’s not recommended, and if a fleet of warships were to fly through there, the losses would likely outweigh the gains.

There is one system that acts as the gateway to the Stygian systems: Korriban. And one of the systems buried deepest in the Stygian cloud is Ziost. This means that the planet is physically well protected. It’s assumed that Vitiate still has access to much of the Imperial network, so he would have plenty of warning if there happened to be an enemy fleet approaching the system.

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4. It might house Rakata technology

As I mentioned in point number 2, Sith’ari Adas obtained Rakata technology, which allowed the Sith to begin expanding. It’s not known what the Sith’ari actually learned from the Rakata. Likely, it was more than just how to make holocrons and hyperdrives. The only thing we do know is that one of his holocrons was found on Ashas Ree by Freedon Nadd, but it’s most likely that Adas’ learned tech actually made its way to Ziost.

When the Sith clans became feudal again, they all but abandoned Korriban after the death of Adas. The one-time home of the Sith became a tomb for its kings and a bastion for religious fanatics. All the civilized Sith moved to different planets, with the largest population landing on Ziost.

If you ever played the Eternity Vault operation, then you might remember the quest giver talking about the discovery of the The Infernal One on the prison planet of Belsavis. This discovery was made while reading Rakata text on the planet Ziost. Once more, this leads me to believe there is undiscovered Rakata tech there.

hsb-mop-head-ziost-sub045. It’s Ajunta Pall’s powerbase

Jedi Ajunta Pall became disenfranchised by the teaching of the Jedi Order, eventually amassing a great following. He and his followers sparked the Second Great Schism and the Hundred-Year Darkness. Pall along with a handful of other former Jedi were exiled to the unknown regions of space. After wandering the galaxy for quite some time, they landed on Korriban. The highly religious Sith of Korriban accepted Pall and the other exiles as Jen’ari, Dark Lords.

Using his new-found army of followers, Pall began conquering the known Sith planets. This would eventually include Ziost. Pall took Ziost as his home, declaring it the capital of his Sith Empire.

Although Pall’s spirit would eventually reside on Korriban where Revan found him, much of what the Dark Lord build was on the wintery world of Ziost and would remain there until Lord Vitiate and his followers were driven from known space by the Republic.

For a planet that appears only in passing in many different books, comics, and game, it has an extremely rich history. I’m sure I even missed some of it here! Update 3.2: Rise of the Emperor hits live servers on April 28th. I will be there playing through the level 60 content with all my characters. Hopefully, I will see you there, too.

Every other week, Larry Everett jumps into his T-16 back home, rides through the hypergates of BioWare‘s Star Wars: The Old Republic, and posts his adventures in the Hyperspace Beacon. Drop him a holocom on Twitter @Shaddoe or send him a transmission at larry@massivelyop.com. Now strap yourself in, kid — we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!
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mourasaint
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mourasaint

Caec mourasaint Chuki792 You could descend to far greater depths of evil in the original KOTOR than in its sequel. That’s just a fact, sorry. 

KOTOR II had overwritten dialogue, an overuse of pompous pseudo-metaphysical platitudes (via Kreyia — the most annoying companion character ever), lack of real player choice, and plot devices gone stale as a consequence of having been lifted directly from the first.

The quality of writing in the two games isn’t even in the same universe, and I can’t help but think a preference for the second one’s story invariably reveals some essential lack of intelligence.

Caec
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Caec

See, here’s what I see. A game that has content updates (as opposed to making harder modes of existing content) once in a blue moon.
So, when they choose a planet that’s covered in snow, I see it as their choice being based off what will presumably be the cheapest planet to bring to life, since the palette is presumably going to be similar to Hoth: mostly white (yay for another planet we need to wear sunglasses to play on).
I mean, maybe it was because of lore, etc, but this is a game that lets us fly around on chairs. I don’t think “lore” means anything compared to their economics.

Caec
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Caec

mourasaint Chuki792 lol
Sorry, KOTOR 2 is infinitely better than KOTOR. 
Bioware’s “stories”, are nice in that they are stories when so many video games barely have any, but they are so incredibly safe and stale and rated PG.
Obsidian’s wasn’t amazing, by any means, but it was a heck of a lot better than the Bioware formula used in 90% of their games. KOTOR was good for one thing: It made it acceptable to not just be a holier than though goodie two shoes in the Star Wars video game metaverse, and I appreciate it for that.

Lctwo
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Lctwo

Great article Larry. Did an excellent job of placing Ziost within the lore

MyNameIsIllegal
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MyNameIsIllegal

mourasaint DJjazzy Chuki792 Honestly, I strongly dislike the openings of both KOTOR games (though the rest is good enough that I am able to push through). 

Peragus though? Peragus haunts my dreams. What monster created that section? Please. Please don’t make me do Peragus again… *cries*

Apollymi
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Apollymi

Spacejesus3k HyperspaceHunk I have to disagree with that.  I like the separate stories.  They make the game and my character more personal and I’m sorry to see that hasn’t been continued in some way.

HyperspaceHunk
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HyperspaceHunk

Estranged If i’m playing it thats news to me.Maybe i updated and played it while i was asleep…

Ravanel Griffon
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Ravanel Griffon

Peregrine_Falcon Rayko  The title says you Should Know these things (*cough* clickbait *cough*), so if anything it urges to be read because of being extremely relevant, which is about the opposite effect a spoiler alert would have. It doesn’t really say anything about what sort of information is in the article apart from it being about Ziost. 

For the rest, no commentary from me on whether or not a spoiler alert would’ve been relevant. There’s things to say for both cases.

mourasaint
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mourasaint

JakeDunnegan mourasaint CthulhuDawg I was talking about KOTOR and KOTOR 2 specifically, not SWTOR (which was written by a legion of different writers).

Peregrine_Falcon
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Peregrine_Falcon

Rayko Soylent Green is PEOPLE!!!
Maybe I should have included a spoiler alert? After all, that movie only came out in 1973. Everyone one might not have seen it yet.
Sorry.
P.S. The title of the article IS a spoiler alert.