- The minimum goal is for 250x250 players to be on a single battlefield. It is hoped that this can be increased to 500x500 over time.
- There will be systems that mimic some of the mechanics of sieges, but there won't be practice sieges.
- There may be instanced locations within otherwise open-world castle and node sieges, where specific groups can participate in small, short duration objective-based battles that will affect the overall outcome of the siege.
- I love castle-based gameplay. I love trophies. I like rewarding risk a lot; and for me it's very difficult to imagine a MMO that I would want to play where there is not competition of strategic prowess that determines the outcome of these types of events and there is not a meaningful reward both mechanically and from just a bragging rights perspective that players can aim for and try to achieve. I think that it brings a lot to the game when it comes to motivations, to excel, to level, to gain power, to engage those different progression loops when there is an ultimate goal or trophy that is not static and doesn't exist forever once you achieve it, but that you must constantly perform in order to maintain; and that's really the purpose of these castles. – Steven Sharif
- Each week leading up to the siege week... is a week that's dedicated to one of the three castle dedicated nodes. So around the castle there are three nodes. They represent week, one, two, and three; and then the fourth week is the siege against the castle. Those can only be elevated up to stage three. We've discussed this in the past and there's definitely information out there on the community ran wiki. – Steven Sharif
- 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.
- 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.
- Depending on how well the guild defends their castle nodes results in better defenses for the castle.
- 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.
- When castles change hands (following a siege), some taxes stay with the castle and some stay with the guild.
- There will be benefits to attracting people... even if they're not in your guild or alliance – 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. – Steven Sharif
- Each of the five castles has its own static layout. Defenders may deploy traps and blockades within their castle, as well as hire mercenary NPCs to defend specific locations.
- 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 3) through questing.
There are points of balance that we want to incorporate, such as the defense mechanisms that the defenders have, the types of buffs that are acquired through completing killing the bosses, or capturing control points, the stages before a siege when it comes to those node progressions in the preceding weeks: Those are all going to be balanced considering all things being equal between the two sides. But obviously we're not going to control the state of gear acquisition that one side might have as an advantage over the other. There might be a much better geared team over there. There might be a much better coordinated team. There might be a higher number of individuals who are part of the attacking or the defense. Those are components that we aren't necessarily going to put on railroads so-to-speak. But the aspects of design that we can talk about like the hit point health of a particular wall or door, or mercenaries that can be hired; what's their cost, what's their damage output: Those are things yes we're going to balance. But obviously anything that's player dependent or that has player interaction and activity and determination you can't always balance; and you don't want to balance. Those aspects you leave those to the players. – Steven Sharif
Guild castles have three adjacent castle nodes in close proximity. The guild must develop those nodes to enhance the defenses of the castle. It will be possible, but very difficult for a single guild to fully develop these nodes. They will likely need assistance from the broader community.
- 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.
- Castle nodes are excluded from the normal Citizenship, Zones of Influence, Freeholds, Node governments, and Social organizations systems.
- Castle nodes cannot exceed stage 3 (Village).
- Castle nodes are always military node types.
- Each of the dedicated castle nodes is barren at the start of the castle ownership period.
- Mercenary NPCs of different types and strengths can also be hired to participate in castle sieges and defend caravans during these events based on the allocation made by the governing castle and how successful they have been defending their castle nodes.
Once the castle is owned by a guild that's when the supporting castle nodes start to come online and spawn each week prior to the fourth week castle siege. They'll have to form alliances, they'll have to get support, they'll have to get resources, they'll be able to allocate funds that have been collected through taxation in order to strengthen the defenses as well as hiring additional NPC mercenaries. – Steven Sharif
- Levelling castle nodes is a hastened process compared to regular nodes.
- At the end of each week leading up to a castle siege there is a period of time in the weekend where NPC generated caravans start moving toward one of the castle nodes carrying castle taxes from the nodes that fall under the castle's purview.
- During this time it is incumbent upon the owning guild, its allies, and citizens of the nodes to escort these caravans to the castle node.
- The enemies of the guild have incentive to attack these caravans to reap the rewards from the caravan and to sabotage the tax collection, which will reduce the defensive capability of the castle nodes and hence the castle itself.
- Citizens of nodes that fall under the purview of the castle are automatically registered as defenders of these caravans and may not participate in attacks against them.
- 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.
- Only members of the occupying guild are citizens of these nodes.
- This citizenship is different to normal node citizenship. Castle nodes don't operate like normal nodes.
- Varying tiers of mercenary NPCs may be unlocked based on the investment made in their progression. Highest tier NPC mercenaries are referred to as heros.
- Mayors are able to allocate treasury funding to hire mercenary NPCs to defend their node during sieges.
- Nodes can invest in upgrade paths that give a greater selection of roles and quality (gear level) of NPC mercenaries used for caravan defense.
- NPC mercenaries can be hired to participate in castle sieges based on the allocation made by the governing castle and how successful they have been defending their castle nodes.
- These mechanics are subject to change based on testing and priorities.
- Players can assign mercenary NPCs, but won't micromanage them, in a similar manner to pets.
- There are mercenary NPCs that can be assigned to players. We've discussed about that before and those will follow generically... a pet system even adopted majority of the pet system with the added bonus of objective based points of interest that you can assign them to. But we don't want to inundate the field with these mercenaries they'll be few and far between. They'll be assigned specifically like let's say for example as the mayor of a node during a siege you'll be able to assign these two specific players that are citizens within your node and then they'll have those they'll spawn during the during the node siege; or vice versa and the castle siege guild leaders can assign mercenaries that are available based on the progress of those subsidiary nodes around the castle siege whether or not you have those available to your defense or your attack. – Steven Sharif
Declaring a castle siege
- Once a guild registers for the siege a scroll creation quest is initiated that guild members may participate in, and it becomes possible to lay the declaration scroll down as soon as the quest is completed.
- Multiple guilds may register to attack and the first to complete the scroll and lay down the declaration may begin to have their members register to attack (there will be a cap).
- The siege scroll deployment is a 5 min rooted cast that alerts the region at the cast initiation and names the caster that must be the guild leader.
- If the guild leader is killed, the casting is interrupted. The scroll will remain until it is recast. It will disappear if it is not cast within the declaration period.
- The scroll may only be placed in a ring around the castle. The quality of the scroll determines the proximity to the castle.
- Players don't need to be in the guild that owns a castle in order to sign up for the defense of the castle.
- The guild leader that owns the castle is able to approve guilds that have applied to defend at the castle.
- Following declaration, the defender has a week grace period to approve defenders, hire mercenary NPCs and set up defensible positions.
- For node sieges, citizens of the node or provincial nodes being attacked are automatically registered as defenders.
- There are many reasons to participate as an ally in the attack or defence of other nodes.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- Alpha-1 castle sieges are located in a separate zone that is accessible via a NPC teleporter.
- Players may choose to respawn at their HQ as long as they are registered.
- Players could potentially intercept stragglers with the guild war or flagging system en route to the siege field.
Lower level characters will have usefulness in mass combat that does not depend on their level, such as manning siege weapons, helping repair fortifications, bringing proximity-based buffs to key positions, using stealth or scaling walls. These types of things are relevant to the tide of battle and do not require the player to be max-level or have high combat stats.
Castle siege objectives
- Castles will initially be occupied by an NPC adversary. Guilds have a period of time to level up in order to siege these castles.
- The key to not making it a "zerg fest" is by emphasizing the the strategic relevance of those objectives and then catering objectives to group play versus raid play. So you have a spreading of different types of objectives where only a group can compete for it, versus a raid at the choke point. Having that distribution, it makes it so that smaller guilds have a vital role to play and can perform in environments where numbers are not always the deciding factor. – Steven Sharif
- Castles that are occupied by guilds have the following objectives.
- Attackers capture waypoints/control points in the castle's architecture to diminish their respawn timer and increase the respawn timer of the defenders.
- Defenders can counter-play by attacking the siege headquarters of the attackers to diminish their declaration flags and increase their respawn timers.
- Legendary NPCs will be present as commanders that act like mini raid bosses within the defending and attacking armies. Killing these provides added benefits, such as certain types of drops that grant battlefield benefits to either side.
- 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.
- 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 at a specific channel point in order to seal ownership of the castle. It may be possible for defenders to decide on the location where the channel point is located.
- There's an opportunity there for perhaps backstabbing in the throne room where one guild is like yeah we agreed to get to this area but we had a change of heart in the middle of the battle. – Steven Sharif
- Certain siege mechanics may be gated for specific size groups during sieges.
- There will not be a deserter debuff for leaving a siege before it is complete.
- More will be revealed in an upcoming blog entry.
- Siege equipment is able to be crafted or purchased from NPCs. Crafting will require materials, recipes and craftsmanship.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- There will be ways to repair destructible structures (such as walls and gates) and also repair (or re-craft) siege weapons that were damaged during sieges.
- Anything that you want to bring into existence in the world is going to be built by players: Whether that is Ships, Siege engines, Weapons, Armor, etc. – Jeffrey Bard
- Only combat NPCs are killable during a siege. Non-combat NPCs, such as merchants, will despawn and will respawn if the siege is unsuccessful.
- Upgrades to the node's Barracks may allow a garrison of siege NPCs to be spawned in the event of an attack.
- Mercenary NPCs can be hired in advance. They are intended to be a significant presence but not the main line of defense in a siege.
There may be instanced locations within otherwise open-world castle and node sieges, where specific groups can participate in small, short duration objective-based battles that will affect the overall outcome of the siege.
- What we were talking about was how during castle sieges or node sieges, you're going to have certain instanced locations where it's only going to be a group that's designated to participate versus another group while the siege is happening. And I know in the past we talked about well how do you plan to incorporate these more objective-based waypoints as part of these larger events; and say that not only is it going to be a complement of numbers or in the overall grand battle perspective, but there's also going to be opportunities for smaller more niche groups to participate in more focused objective capturing. And a part of that is going to be small very short, ten minute long instanced battles where groups can go and participate against other groups that are defender versus attacker; and the outcome of which will influence certain aspects of the overall battle while that's still occurring in the background. – Steven Sharif
- 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. – Steven Sharif
Completing a castle siege
- During the two-hour long siege that's when everything changes. The portcullises go down, the gates go down. You'll need siege weaponry. There's going to be specific objectives within the castles that you'll have to conquer and then there'll be- if it's an un-owned castle- it'll need to have a raid boss at the center that gets fought for. Attackers can fight each other during that experience. – Steven Sharif
- This applies to buildings, siege weapons and other structures (such as walls and gates) during events, such as sieges.
- The terrain itself is not destructible.
Alpha-1 castle sieges
- Players will be able to join guilds. These guilds can register for the siege events.
- Castle siege events will be 100v100 battles that occur daily and will last for three hours.
- Attackers will start on the opposite end of the map (from the defenders).
- Attackers will be able to use trebuchets to drive to and assault the castle.
- When the attackers have breached the castle they will be able to channel a cast on the relic in the throne room to try to capture the castle from the defenders.
- The victors of castle sieges will receive benefits, such as cloaks, flying mounts for guild leaders and potentially also for guild officers.
- Alpha-1 castle sieges are in a separate zone that is accessible via a NPC teleporter.
- Currently the siege zone is actually in the open world, but separated by mountains and off in the sea a bit. There is actually no instancing in A1, although the siege zone will only be accessible in A1 through a registration NPC teleporter. – Steven Sharif
- The opposing team is notified when these raid bosses are being attacked.
- Teams who get the last hit on these bosses will receive buffs that will help them in the siege battle.
Last year, I spoke of attempting to incorporate sieges into the Alpha One experience. This has obviously been a goal of mine because it provides considerable data and a consistent event within the world that players can participate in to help stress test the deployment. Well, I am happy to say that it is appearing more and more likely by the day! Initial implementation of the Apocalypse siege code has been migrated into the Alpha One client, and we should begin internal testing next month. I will caveat this expectation with the fact that we are cutting it a bit close from an internal QA standpoint, but I have some confidence that the system will be online and capable of inclusion for the Alpha One test in the month of June. The siege component will obviously not be representative of what the siege system will be at launch, or even in Alpha Two. – Steven Sharif
- Destructible structures (such as walls and gates) are present in Alpha-1 castle sieges.
Objective-based PvP events such as node sieges, castle sieges, guild wars, and node wars will occur within a prime-time window somewhere between 3PM and 9PM server time. This is subject to testing.
- Guild wars and node wars can be declared at any time, but the objectives will only spawn during the prime-time window.
2021-05-29 2021-05-29 2021-05-29 2021-05-29 2021-05-29 2021-05-29 2020-10-31 2019-07-17 2019-03-18 2019-01-12 2018-06-05
- Video, May 28, 2021 (25:44).
- About Ashes of Creation.
- Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:12:14).
- Interview, July 29, 2020 (31:05).
- Interview, July 18, 2020 (13:13).
- Livestream, September 24, 2021 (52:48).
- Interview, July 8, 2021 (57:19).
- Interview, July 19, 2020 (44:28).
- Twitch Bustin - Practice Sieges?
- Livestream, January 28, 2022 (17:50).
- Podcast, April 11, 2021 (49:40).
- Livestream, April 30, 2021 (41:18).
- Blog: Creative Director's Letter, April 14 2021
- Interview, September 10, 2023 (25:14).
- Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:43:03).
- Podcast, April 23, 2018 (21:55).
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- Interview, September 10, 2023 (22:29).
- Livestream, April 29, 2022 (27:42).
- Livestream, July 25, 2020 (1:22:40).
- Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:33:10).
- Livestream, June 25, 2021 (1:10:52).
- Livestream, October 14, 2022 (58:46).
- Blog: 10 facts about castle sieges in the MMORPG.
- Livestream, July 26, 2019 (1:29:00).
- Livestream, April 30, 2021 (1:01:10).
- Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:41:24).
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- Livestream, May 31, 2023 (58:25).
- Livestream, June 26, 2020 (59:11).
- Livestream, November 22, 2019 (1:14:23).
- Livestream, May 27, 2022 (1:18:09).
- Video, April 20, 2017 (8:20).
- Steven Sharif - Clarification points from today’s stream.
- Official Livestream - May 4th @ 3 PM PST - Q&A
- Interview, July 8, 2020 (1:12:51).
- Interview, September 10, 2023 (24:15).
- Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:31:11).
- Livestream, January 18, 2018 (37:05).
- Interview, May 11, 2018 (44:20).
- Livestream, May 24, 2017 (37:05).
- Video, May 28, 2021 (25:44).
- Video, May 28, 2021 (11:55).
- Interview, August 8, 2018 (20:49).
- Livestream, May 28, 2021 (1:04:29).
- Livestream, May 24, 2017 (17:08).
- Livestream, May 19, 2017 (45:14).
- Livestream, December 22, 2020 (1:13:51).
- Livestream, August 31, 2023 (2:09:32).
- Livestream, July 28, 2017 (36:51).
- Livestream, November 22, 2019 (41:02).
- Livestream, January 27, 2023 (1:33:42).
- Podcast, May 11, 2018 (49:20).
- Livestream, October 31, 2019 (36:20).
- Livestream, July 9, 2018 (42:48).
- Video, May 28, 2021 (23:45).
- Livestream, March 31, 2022 (1:13:00).
- Livestream, June 28, 2019 (31:15).
- Livestream, March 31, 2023 (1:33:05).
- Livestream, May 28, 2021 (1:04:29).
- Video, May 28, 2021 (24:44).
- Video, April 30, 2021 (19:25).
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- Video, April 30, 2021 (13:02).
- Interview, July 8, 2020 (22:37).