Introduction to Keep Sieges & Battlefield Objectives
Tier 1 has no keeps to attack or defend. Tier 2 keeps consist of a single fortified tower structure with a single door to breach/defend. Tier 3 and 4 keeps are protected by an additional outer wall (aka Wall Walks for the castle definition fiends), thus adding another door to breach before the keep can be taken. These doors can be damaged using player abilities, but the use of siege weapons, such as rams and trebuchets, are highly recommended!
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So you have played a few Scenarios and you have a basic understanding of your Class and your role in RvR, but you want more. You want to play with the big boys, you want open world PvP, and you want opposing players to wet their pants at the mere mention of your name. In short... you want to capture a Keep! Sounds great, but there is only one problem. You don't know how. Not to worry, future warlord. Ten Ton Hammer has you covered with our first look at Keeps and open world PvP in Warhammer. We have the tips and tricks to keep your assault from failing and how to defend your keep if it is under attack, be it from bloodthirsty gobbos or insurance salesmen!
In the first part of our two part article on Keep warfare, we will look at the basic strategy of Keep warfare and specifics for the offense in taking a Keep.
In Tier 1, you can assault Battlefield Objectives, but there are no Keeps. Your first chance to get involved in Keeps is in Tier 2. There is at least 1 Keep per race, per tier, meaning that there are at least 2 Keeps per pairing. So in Tier 2 between the Greenskins and the Dwarfs, there are 2 Keeps to claim. Each keep has a similar lay out, but each has the flavor of the race that originally owned it. So the Dark Elves are dark with large spikes coming off them, while the High Elves are light, with tall towers. When you take an enemy Keep, the structure stays the same, but the flavor changes slightly. A High Elf Keep taken by Dark Elves still looks like the High Elf keep, but you will see bodies lying about, pikes with heads on them scattered around, and other such cool stuff. (I mean, what's cooler than a head on a pike? Nothing!) You really get the feeling of sacking a Keep. Looking at your map, you will see areas marked by a red border. These are RvR areas where you and your enemies can openly attack each other and attempt to take and hold Battlefield Objectives and Keeps. Each zone has an RvR area and near each are warcamps for that act as staging areas for the zone.
Battlefield Objectives : Battlefield Objectives are easier to assault than Keeps; they are marked by flags on your map. You can claim most Battlefield Objectives with just a 5 or 6 man group. Guarding the flag at each objective is 1 hero and a few champions. Kill them while watching for enemy players, then click on the flag to claim the objective. You will get an XP and Renown bonus for doing this. You then have to defend the flag for 3 minutes. Once the 3 minute timer is up, you get another XP and Renown bonus, and the objective belongs to your side. It cannot be attacked or taken for the next 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, a hero and champions from your side will take up posts around the flag to defend it. For each objective your side controls, you get a 5% bonus to Renown earned in that area. Defending a Battlefield Objective will also give Renown bonuses. An Objective is considered defended when there are no more enemy player kills within the area of a Battlefield Objective after 60 seconds, and you have killed at least one enemy player around the Objective.
Tip: Take enemy Keeps before worrying about Battlefield Objectives. While the bonus to Renown is really nice, the time spent taking these Objectives gives your enemy time to fortify the Keep. You want as much surprise as you can get when taking a keep.
Keep Sieges : Keep sieges are large PvP raids in WAR. You will need a lot more than the standard 6 man group to take a Keep. Depending on how many enemy players are defending the keep, you should plan on needing 15+ players to take a Keep. Forming a War Band makes coordinating this much easier. You will have to fight your way to the door of the keep, knock the door down, fight your way to the second floor of the Keep, and kill the Keep Lord. Sounds easy, right? Well keep reading, because it's as easy as getting a dwarf to pay for a round of ale.
Siege Weapons : Siege Weapons can be used at special Siege Pads that can be located around the Keep for assaults, and on top of the keep for defense.
There are four types of siege weapons that can be purchased at Merchants in the War Camps near the Keeps:
* Rams can be used against keep doors to knock them down.
* Ballistae can be used against individual enemy players or other siege weapons.
* Cannons, Catapults, and Trebuchets can be aimed to fire at a selected location, doing AOE damage to enemy players or other siege weapons.
* Boiling Oil can be used to rain liquid death down on enemy players that are trying to knock down Keep doors.
Tips & Tricks
Offense : If you are attacking a Keep, communication is key to victory. You need a War Band leader, and everyone needs to listen to him. Too many times I have seen 20+ people assault a Keep and fail miserably, because everyone was doing their own thing, and no one was working together. Taking a Keep is no walk in the park. It's damn hard to pull off. Without teamwork and planning, you are just wasting your time and will spend your evening dying a lot, with little to nothing to show for it.
As you prepare to leave the War Camp and attack the Keep, make sure you stop by the merchant and buy siege equipment. I suggest taking a couple of Rams (you only need one in Tier 2, and 2 in Tier 3, but I always want an extra in case the enemy destroys it), a couple of Catapults or Cannons, and a Ballista or two.
When you first approach a Keep, it will be well guarded by NPCs, and perhaps even enemy players. Charge in and kill all the guards around the door. Set up your Ram with your Tanks manning it, and start pounding on the door.
Greenskin Tier 2 Keep
If you are not working on the Ram, stand back! Enemy players will be dropping Boiling Oil down on the Ram, if you aren't a Tank, you don't want to take that hit; it will kill you quickly. Stand back and man the Catapults or Ballista, and take out the Boiling Oil pot, or any other siege weapons the enemy is using against you. If you aren't manning any of the siege weapons, it's your job to keep enemy players and guards off the Ram, and Healers should heal anyone hurt from Boiling Oil.
Once the door is open, everyone charge inside (in higher tier zones, you will have to break down a door on an outer wall, then repeat it all over again on the keep door).
As you charge inside, kill the guards on the first floor and gather together at the bottom of the stairs, ready to charge. This is important! Have everyone get together, make sure everyone is healed up, and get ready to go. The War Band leader should announce the charge upstairs, and when he does, everyone should move as quickly as they can up to the second floor to take on the Keep Lord. Everyone needs to focus 100% on the Lord as that he is all that matters. He hits with the force of a sledge hammer and has more wounds than a troll. It will take the entire team's effort to take him down. Once he dies, the Keep is yours, and your Keep Lord will take his place. Your reward for killing the Keep Lord is RESPECT! What? That's not enough? Fine, you also get a lot of XP, Renown, and loot (much like a Public Quest).
Tip: When you charge upstairs, have everyone run through the room and out onto the balcony. The Keep Lord will not follow you out there, and you can take a minute to regroup, heal up, and kill the Champions guarding him before charging in to take him out.
The main key to success in taking a Keep is communication. Without it, you stand no chance in taking even a completely undefended Keep. Whoever is running the War Band is in charge, listen to them. You can't all be chiefs; sometimes you have to be the Indian. Just ask yourself, do you want to be one of a dozen chiefs that fail, or an Indian that wins (and gets phat loot)!
Stay tuned for the second part of the article detailing defensive strategies, and class roles during Keep sieges!
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