Sunday night saw VAMP and co (the alliance either has no name, or the name changes on a daily basis, so I’ll just refer to our side as VAMP going forward) siege another TRA city on Yssam. While there was some fighting, the siege was never in question and the whole thing overall was ‘easy’. After the siege the TRA alliance called it quits and their clans went their own way, even though many still have a number of holdings (I believe TRA had a total of 17 holdings, and VAMP only took three).
First let’s break down why VAMP had so little trouble with TRA. For starters, VAMP itself is a very strong alliance. Clans like VAMP, Nemesis, and Black Shields all have some of the servers best PvPers (both from a player skill and a character development standpoint), and when combined under one alliance you create a beast of a force. So while in many fights numbers were even or perhaps in TRAs minor favor, the average VAMP members simply outclasses the average TRA member. (Which is not to say I help in this regard, considering I was one of the few VAMP members do die during the siege, getting too close to a Wall of Force bubble out of curiosity. Lesson learned, and luckily I was rezzed and was able to witness the conclusion of the siege.)
VAMP also had a spy within the TRA high command, so any time they attempted anything sneaky, we knew it was coming. The main force trying to draw us out to the north while the elite attacked from the south might have been a good plan, except we had a welcome party ready for the south group, and never really chased the north group. Spies are a part of any war, but with TRA having such lax recruiting standards overall, it was not all that difficult to get a spy inside. Beyond the tactical advantage, I imagine it must also have been very demoralizing to watch your enemy react ahead of time to your every move. When you are already outclassed, you don’t need things stacked against you.
Finally there is the experience factor. Many of the leaders in VAMP have a great deal of siege experience from playing on EU and being highly aggressive there. TRA on the other hand has been inactive when it comes to sieging on NA, and while I’m guessing they have some EU-based leadership, from our fights with them it seemed they were again outclasses in this area.
With TRA gone, VAMP will need a new target to drum up PvP (the overall point of seiging to begin with). Who that will be remains to be seen, and with the expansion set to make some radical (hopefully) changes to PvP and siege mechanics, some time will no doubt be spent just figuring everything out. The launch of the expansion is also likely to trigger a return of former players who are currently on the sidelines, so perhaps some mid-sized clans will grow, and some returning veterans may shift power around a bit.
The one thing I currently find a bit off about a siege in DarkFall is how everything plays out overall. Basically in order to start a siege, the attacker must get to the targets bindstone to use a clan shard, and usually the best way to proceed at this point is to hold the city for the four hour timer and then smash the clan stone. In essence, the owner of the city is actually attacking and trying to push those inside out, which is odd considering they own the damn thing. And currently there is little that can be done to reverse this. If you happen to catch the attackers before they get inside, the clan shard is not used and the siege never actually starts.
It will be interesting to see if this changes with the coming expansion and the 24hr ‘warning’ window before a siege, along with the new siege stones that can be used. Already players are adjusting war funds to account for siege hammers not bringing down city walls and the need to destroy them, which means more warhulks and cannons will be deployed (hopefully at a reduced cost as well). What else changes will be interesting to watch.
(DarkFall-related post disclaimer/reminder. If you click the image link near the top-right of this page and buy a DarkFall account, I get paid 20% of the client cost. If you believe this taints my views and reporting on DarkFall, your opinion is wrong.)