Castle sieges

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Guilds participate in Castle sieges in an effort to capture and occupy one of the five guild castles in Ashes of Creation.[2]

A guild that captures a castle will own that castle for a month before it is sieged again.[3]

  • In the first three weeks that a guild occupies a castle they will need to level up each of their castle nodes to Village stage through questing.[3]
  • The fourth week is declaration week, where other guilds have the opportunity to lay down their declaration flag or to sign up as a defender of the castle.[3]
  • Depending on how well the guild defends the castle nodes results in better defenses for the castle.[4]
  • Different siege weaponry will grant the attackers the ability to destroy walls, doors and sections of the castle in order to gain access to the inner keep area.

There will be benefits to attracting people... even if they're not in your guild or alliance – kind of a feudal like system, where you can attract other players who are just independent of this whole politic. They will have things to do there - benefits to receive - and there will be a reciprocal relationship between who you can attract, what they do for you; and how that benefits you and them.[3]Steven Sharif

Guild castles

Five guild castles exist in Ashes of Creation.[2]

Castles will initially be occupied by an NPC adversary. These are the primary antagonists in the storyline.[3]

  • Guilds have a period of time to level up in order to siege these castles.
  • These castles will be very difficult to take from the NPCs.
  • The structure of castle nodes around NPC run castles will not be present.

Castle nodes

Guild castles have three adjacent nodes in close proximity.[2][6]

  • Castle nodes exist outside of the node system. They are independent of anything that's happening outside in the world with other nodes shutting off certain nodes from progressing.[6]
  • Castle nodes cannot exceed stage 3 (Village).[6]
  • Castle nodes are always military node types.[2]
  • Each of the dedicated castle nodes is barren at the start of the castle ownership period.[3]
  • The guild must develop those nodes to enhance the defenses of the castle.[2]

Castle nodes are levelled through questing by the owning guild or alliance guilds.[6]

  • Levelling castle nodes is a hastened process compared to regular nodes.[3]
  • Using caravans to move supplies during the weeks before a castle siege.
  • Completing these quests unlocks services and functions that are useful to the occupying guild and its allies as well as boosting the defenses the castle.
  • Rival guilds will want to destroy supply caravans to prevent them from leveling up the castle and its dedicated nodes.

If they fail to to level up those nodes or complete those quests within the three prior weeks before the declaration week, then the castle will be at a disadvantage.[6]Steven Sharif

Being a member of the occupying guild automatically makes you a garrison of the castle nodes and castle itself.[2]

  • Only members of the occupying guild are citizens of these nodes.[4]
  • This citizenship is different to normal node citizenship. Castle nodes don't operate like normal nodes.

Declaring a castle siege

Guilds will be able to sign up to either siege or defend a castle.[6]

  • Players don't need to be in the guild that owns a castle in order to sign up for the defense of the castle.[6]
  • The guild leader that owns the castle is able to approve guilds that have applied to defend at the castle.[6]
  • Guilds that wish to siege the castle will be required utilize masters of each artisan class: Gathering, Processing and Crafting in order to create a declaration flag.[6]
  • Following declaration, the defender has a week grace period to approve defenders, hire mercenary NPCs and set up defensible positions.[6]

Castle siege objectives

  • Attackers capture waypoints in the castle's architecture to diminish their respawn timer and increase the respawn timer of the defenders.[6]
  • Defenders can counter-play by attacking the siege headquarters of the attackers to diminish their declaration flags and increase their respawn timers.[6]
  • Legendary NPCs will be present as commanders that act mini raid boss within the defending and attacking armies. Killing these provides added benefits, such as certain types of drops that grant battlefield benefits to either side.[6]
  • The ultimate objective for the defenders is to survive during the timed period of the siege, which is approximately 90 minutes in its first iteration.[6]
  • If the attackers reach the inner keep of the castle, a guild leader (or one other delegated officer) must cast a 3 to 5 minute cast to seal ownership of the castle.[6]
    • Casting time is diminished based on on the number of waypoints captured during the siege.[6]
    • There's an opportunity for any guild leader in the attacking alliance to capture the castle for themselves, despite what may have been agreed upon prior to the siege.[7]

There's an opportunity there for perhaps backstabbing in the throne room where one guild is like yeah you know we agreed to get to this area but we had a change of heart in the middle of the battle.[7]Steven Sharif

Siege alliances

When a siege begins, temporary alliances are formed among attackers and defenders.[8]

  • For node sieges, citizens of the node or provincial nodes being attacked are automatically registered as defenders.[9]
  • There are many reasons to participate as an ally in the attack or defence of other nodes.[10]
    • Titles.
    • Items.
    • Materials.
    • Money.
    • Social bonds.

Many incentives exist that can benefit your node and yourself personally by participating in the attack or defense of cities. These range from titles, to items, to materials, to money. Additionally, aiding others may help you strengthen bonds when your assets are threatened.[10]Steven Sharif

Siege mechanics

Siege preparation.[11]

A siege occurs over several phases.[12]

  • Certain siege mechanics may be gated for specific size groups during sieges.[13]
  • There will not be a deserter debuff for leaving a siege before it is complete.[14]
  • More will be revealed in an upcoming blog entry.[12]

Siege weapons

Trebuchet siege weapon.[15]

Siege weapons are able to be crafted or purchased from NPCs.[16]

Siege equipment will require materials, recipes and craftsmanship.[17]

Part of this endeavor of sieging a player-held location (or non-player-held location) is time to prepare; and that includes gathering and crafting these mega weapons or collecting the resources: Whether it be gold or specific quest items to purchase from NPCs.[16]Steven Sharif

Siege PvP

Sieges don't use the PvP flagging system.[18]

Siege NPCs

NPCs serve as defense points. Killing them allows the attackers to gain advantages during a siege.[19] NPC's are only killable during a siege and will respawn if the siege is unsuccessful.[20]

NPC guards are intended to be a significant presence but not the main line of defense in a siege.[21]

Dragons

Dragons are epic flying mounts with strong battle abilities, such as AoE breath attacks, swooping flyby attacks, and others.[22][23]

The dragon will have a lot of capability in PvP. It's primarily its purpose, because as it relates to Castles and the sieges they're in, or Nodes and the sieges they're in. We want dragons to have large scale ramifications against player raids.[23]Steven Sharif

Siege abilities

Eight players of the same primary archetype can band together to create monumental effects during a siege.[24]

These are the types of systems that we want to put in place where groups of a single primary archetype can come together to summon these types of effects that play off of what the identity of that archetype is.[24]Steven Sharif

Summoner

Summoners can collaborate to summon larger summons, such as Golems.[25]

  • A siege summon will have an incremental size based on the number of summoners participating in that summon activity, with a maximum of eight.[26]
  • The number of summoners participating in the summon will determine its overall size.[26]

Tank

If eight Tank archetypes each use one of their summon wall abilities it might construct a larger wall that can divide two raids in a moment; and would require damage and block skills and abilities for a momentary lapse of battle between those two raids.[24]Steven Sharif

Siege aftermath

Rubble will be visible for a period of time following a successful castle siege. This will likely persist until the incumbent guild develops the first defensive node.[27]

Zergs

Zergs are empowered by fast-travel. Meaningful travel times are intended to prevent zerg play for being so much of an influence.[28]

Encounters are designed to have meaning in terms of how boss skills and abilities relate to group compositions, tactics and strategies. Zerging is not experiencing content.[29]

  • Raid and dungeon bosses have specific mechanics that players need to learn and react to.
    • Zergs that are not aware of these mechanics or react to them appropriately will be wiped.
  • There is a give-and-take for guilds that want to see a larger number of members as opposed to a more focused group that may be a part of an alliance.[30]

We're very cognizant of the fact that we don't want to see zerging be a mechanic that's utilized by guilds to accomplish content or just to steamroll over sieges... There are specific mechanics that we are working on that will be seen through the testing phases that relate to a degree of understanding of certain systems that can't just be overrun with numbers.[30]Steven Sharif

Mechanics that encourage political intrigue will play a role in destabilizing zergs.[7]

The best way that I found in games I played previously to take down a zerg is to cause drama from within... It's that conflict inside of the politicking that happens in that big organization. If we provide opportunities for division to occur then it also provides stability to keep a server healthy away from that zerg mentality also... If we approach the castle siege and we've destroyed the walls and we're in the throne room and we're about to cast on the penultimate thing and I at this time am just so excited from what's happening that I'm like "screw it I'm gonna go for it". It's gonna be mine. I'm gonna take the taxes for the next month. I'm gonna take all the gear from the castle. I'm gonna take everything... We kind of want that political intrigue to be present in the game.[7]Steven Sharif

Having objectives in gameplay make helps to balance the zerg mentality.[31]

I always feel that if you if you balance based on groups that in your balance focus is to incorporate features that play well from a player versus player perspective as well as a player versus environment perspective: Having support classes, having DPS and tanks that can obstruct movement and/or create you know bottlenecks on the field and stuff like that. I think a well-rounded raid it will perform better against a non well-rounded raid, however then you incorporate the second aspect of numbers; and that's where again mobility, organization, leadership tactics. Having objectives in gameplay that make those important helps to balance the zerg mentality that a lot of guilds can tend to have.[31]Steven Sharif

Artwork

See also

References