I’m Spinks and I am addicted to siege weapons. Even when I’m supposed to be healing people in a keep siege I’m probably fiddling with the Heavy Empire Organ Gun in my pack and trying to decide if I am in a Ballista or a Heavy Cannon mood.
We’ve been doing keep takes recently with far fewer people if there are enough of us online in the mornings. Yesterday we were taking keeps with one group. Obviously this is because they were undefended, and amusingly it also shows that T4 keeps are easier to flip than T2 ones (I am thinking of you, annoying keep lord in the Shadowlands!).
In any case, the siege weapons help a lot. You can certainly take a keep without them but it is a slow and painful experience, and defending without siege weapons makes the job much harder than it should be.
The basics of siege weapons are that you can place them on siege pads that are laid out around the keep. Some pads only take specific weapons – for example you can only place a ram in front of a keep door and you can only place oil above the door. Other than that, you get a free choice and it doesn’t matter which race you bought your siege weapons from. The only thing that does matter is that it was at a vendor appropriate for your current tier. So buy your T4 kit from T4 warcamps.
The siege weapons that you buy from the vendor are only useful in keep takes or keep defenses. There are no other places to use them. This doesn’t mean that you can’t man the siege weapons at a warcamp if it is under attack but your vendor won’t be useful there.
The siege weapons are simple to operate once you have the hang of it, and each one can take multiple operators. So if you see someone working a ram, feel free to click on the ram and see if there are any operator slots free (if there aren’t nothing will happen). The goal with multiple operators is for them to all use the siege engine at the same time, to multiply its effects.
The ram works like a golf game where you left click to stop the swing in the yellow zone. When you have four operators, you can see how they all scored after each swing. (It’s given as a percentage where if you miss the zone altogether you score 50%).
The single target siege engine (cannon or ballista) is my personal favourite and you use it to target other siege engines. In particular there are some keeps where using a siege engine is the only way to take out the oil above the outer door because it is placed too high for a caster to reach. They are also the simplest to operate, just aim the crosshairs at the thing you no longer wish to keep and click to fire. Then it takes a short period to reload.
Boiling oil is also simple to use. When it is loaded, click to use it. You don’t even need to target (it’s a cauldron of boiling oil, you don’t so much target it as tip it).
And last up is the multi-target cannon, ballista or organ gun. This is the one you use against other players. It has a combination three click firing system and a ground target that you get to place.
Repairing the Siege Engine
I put up a bold header for this because a lot of people don’t realise that you can do it. But when you take control of a siege engine you are given a bar with three icons — one to release the siege engine (ie. and let someone else operate it), one to use the siege engine, and the last one … to repair it. So a siege engine can have multiple operators, each of whom could be either using it or repairing it. This gets more important if the siege engine is actually under attack, which happens a lot with oil and rams.
If you are targeting some oil and it doesn’t seem to be losing ‘health’ the chances are that the enemy has someone up there healing it. That’s the time to switch to the organ gun and nuke their sorry arses! *cough* but I digress. Conversely, if you are bored at a keep defense, feel free to go and help repair the oil or heal the guys who are repairing the oil.
I really enjoy the siege weapons, they’re cheap and cheerful and I’m one of those bad bad healers who runs to the siege pads when I get a chance. Although in a big keep siege it is generally more polite to let the guys who would otherwise be twiddling their fingers use the cannons. And tanks onto the rams. In a small group no one will mind though.
If you haven’t tried using siege weapons at a keep take, go do it!