Sieges and war
In our opinion, the war and sieges in Darkfall were the grandest thing to ever exist in gaming.
When everything came together it was a sight to behold, but as all things, there was room for improvement. Mainly that sieges in a well established world could be rare and be immediately punishing. We cannot prevent play to crush mentality, as this is the name of the game, but we can certainly change the way wars are waged in order to become actual campaigns.
With our villages capture changes, our raiding mechanic and our watchtowers mechanic, we’ve added plenty of reasons to fight daily and wage wars. There are attrition mechanics and reward opportunities included in each of these features.
We now need to add the cherry on top by linking them to sieges as an apotheosis to weeks of escalation.
Waging a campaign
First and foremost, there will be no more global announcements.
Wars in New Dawn are about geographical contexts and only those involved or with the proper information networks should be aware of when a siege or a war is declared.
We will also remove invulnerability shards from the game but have a free selectable 6h window of invulnerability against raiding and sieging. That time period will be shared with an optional paid invulnerability window for watchtowers, either through gold or by disabling all bonus advantages of watchtowers.
The cost that were invulnerability shards is now represented by the investment required to have and maintain several layers of watchtowers around holdings.
If a watchtower is within a holding, and that watchtower’s area is overlapping the area of at least one other allied watchtower, then that holding cannot be sieged.
This means that unless waging a daily war to surround a holding, a siege is impossible.
As we want holdings to have more value and encourage players to make them their home, we want attackers to prove their superiority more than once in order to give a wider margin of errors to defenders.
Attacking clans will need to earn their victories, but as a counter point, defenders will need to show they deserve to keep their holdings. This is why we’re removing invulnerability shards from the game. Land owners will have to be smart and fight daily to defend their territory. If they fail and get surrounded, then they deserve defeat.
As watchtowers cost half the price when being sieged by a clan at war, it will encourage to maintain the war status for however long the campaign lasts. No longer will there be surprise war declarations followed by an immediate siege.
We will also remove multiple sieges protection. More than one holding of a clan will be siegeable at the same time since they are now harder to attain.
Once a holding has been isolated, it will be time to start the siege.
Now let’s get into the details of sieges.
The first siege stone will takes 15 minutes to activate once placed and a warning will be sent to the holding owners. This gives a chance to prevent siege drop and destroys the stone. In theory, a defender could manage to delay a siege activation long enough that it becomes no longer a good timing for the attackers and they have to fall back.
Siege stones also have a non refundable price so each stone destroyed is a morale victory as well as an attrition one.
Once the first siege stone is activated, the siege is declared for 22 hours later.
During those 22 hours, several things can happen:
- No new watchtowers overlapping the holding can be placed by the attacking clan.
- No raid stones can be used against that holding.
- 2 additional siege stones can be placed by the attackers with the same 15 minutes activation timer.
- Additional clans can place up to 3 siege stones under the same conditions.
- Clans that add a stone and are allies with a clan that previously placed a stone join their “faction”.
- Siege stones will use the same technology than watchtowers and allow to create siege camps with these upgrades:
- Clan vault: local storage to store supplies for the siege.
- Tents: Increase siege stone bind slots capacity by 2 extra slots.
- Siege supplier: NPC that sells reagents, ammunition and basic foods.
- Palisades, gates and other defensive structures.
Once the 22 hours is up, the siege will start and will last 4 hours:
- Every structure in the holding and in the siege camps become vulnerable.
- The clan stone will have its base health multiplied by the amount of siege stones.
- The clan stone has individual health bars for each faction, just like village control points do for clans.
During the 4 hours of the actual siege, there are three possible outcomes:
- All siege stones are destroyed: defenders win and gain all wagers.
- A faction finishes its individual clan stone health bar: That faction conquers the holding and may loot the local clan vault. Remaining siege camps remain vulnerable and their owners need to evacuate before the winners start cleaning up.
- The 4 hours run out: destroyed siege stones remain destroyed but surviving siege camps can be repaired and upgraded again. Siege restarts 20 hours later.
This system should allow alliances to work together when attacking a holding. Attackers get to make the choice to have fall back siege camps at the cost of increasing the capture difficulty.
Siege camps allow attackers to invest a lot into an attack and give additional rewards for the defenders if they are victorious.
If more than one faction attacks, it will transform the siege into a king of the hill scenario where siege camps can be attacked from multiple avenues.
The siege timing out won’t mean victory but a draw, and all sides will get time to regroup for the next assault.
All in all, we believe that this system will make sieges something literally epic and memorable.
After talking so much about war and fighting, let’s talk a bit about how we end up to this point.