I was hoping that after this past weekend, I was going to have a post about our planned siege in DarkFall to capture a local hamlet. Unfortunately the day before our planned siege was the day the Cold War broke, and the alliance leadership decided to take advantage of that opportunity and strike. As time was winding down on the hamlet, the server crashed and ended our opportunity. Even though we never got a chance to execute the full extent of our plan, we still learned some good lessons concerning sieging in DarkFall, and our next go-around should go that much better.
One of the major challenges or advantages currently is the size of the world and the available travel means. The world is absolutely huge, and riding a mount is the fastest form of travel, which naturally favors local combatants versus long-distance forces. Not only must the traveling side initially cover more ground, but upon death they are also further removed from combat. If you are defending a hamlet or city which you are bound near, you will naturally be able to jump back into combat much faster than your invading enemy. It’s this inclusion of meaningful travel that helps to localize communities in DarkFall, and makes defending vast empires like Hyperion or the Goons more difficult.
The other major advantage a local force has is their knowledge of the terrain down to the smallest details. Knowing the layout of the rocks and trees over the next ridge might not seem very important when you are just riding through, but when you are chasing someone fleeing on a mount, knowing the best location to jump off and fire arrows is critical. Pick the wrong spot, and the enemy will be able to hide behind trees or other terrain features, while the right spot will allow you to fire enough arrows to bring that mount down. If you come across an enemy group and they flee, knowing the local area will help you corral them into unfavorable terrain, be it water or impassible mountains. Without that knowledge, you will likely just end up in a long chase which results in your enemy’s eventual escape.
These types of details won’t become known until you run into a situation where they are needed, and that need depends on multiple factors. How active you are in local PvP, how often you fight quality opponents, your preferred fighting style (melee, mount, range), the size of each engagement; all of these things eventually add up and give you an edge when fighting on your ‘home court’.