Siege crafting

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One of the ultimate goals of many tradespersons in Dark Age of Camelot is the ability to craft huge war machines that can deal damage rapidly, destroying enemy fortifications and turning the tide of the conflict between the realms in their favor.

This goal can be achieved. It is not easy, and it is not cheap. It is possible. Here is how.
 


Engines of War

There are three types of siege engines:

  • Battering rams
  • Ballistae
  • Catapults

Battering rams are designed solely to quickly take down the door of a keep. Theoretically, they could be used to do damage to someone, but said person would have to cooperate by standing in front of the battering ram, since a battering ram has no range.

Catapults do area effect damage to players or creatures. The shots from catapults will lob over a keep�s wall, so it is an efficient method of reducing the defenders within. They cannot target keep doors.

Ballistae are a hybrid between rams and catapults. They can target doors or players/monsters. Their ammunition fires directly, which act as bolt spells. This means that they can be blocked by other players or the landscape if aimed improperly. They generally do less damage than rams or catapults. They do minimal splash AOE damage as well, although not nearly as much as a catapult.

Important points to remember about the use of siege engines:

Siege engines may never be moved. They are assembled on the battlefield, and remain until they are destroyed or disassembled. Disassembling a siege weapon only returns a portion of the resources that they use. Once they are deployed, there they remain.

Siege engines may be destroyed by enemy players. It�s safe to assume that the introduction of a siege weapon to the battlefield will attract some unwanted attention.

Siege engines require cooperation to deploy. The components of every siege engine are very heavy. It is impossible for one or two people to carry them all.� Correctly deploying a siege engine on the battlefield will require teamwork and planning.

Siege engines are very costly. Since one siege engine can and will turn the tide of an entire battle, their cost is not trivial. Highly skilled tradespersons may produce siege weapon components for less than it would take to purchase them from a merchant, but it is still far from a trivial expense.

Creating Siege Engines

This system is very much subject to change in the future. In particular, more powerful siege weapons may later be introduced into the game that require a higher Siegecraft skill to build. When this happens, this guide will be updated.

Currently all siege weapons require a skill level in Siegecraft of 1 to assemble. Higher skill levels in Siegecraft will mean that siege weapons may assemble faster, but you will never actually destroy material when trying to assemble a siege weapon.

Note that it is impossible to actually physically hold every piece of a siege weapon to assemble it � they are too heavy. To assemble a siege weapon, you must control every piece involved in crafting it. Someone will have to hand the siegecrafter each piece.

Remember, siege weapons do not move, and once the siegecrafter is handed the pieces for assembly, due to their weight s/he will not be able to move either until the engine is built. You will need to build the siege weapon wherever it is you need to have it deployed. This means your crafter is at risk. Most crafters are not known for their fighting skills. You will need to include protecting them during the building process in your planning.

Once you have the items necessary, simply build the recipe from the Siegecrafting icon similar to the procedure for assembling other tradeskill items.� Currently there is a bug with the siegecrafting recipes in that not all the pieces required for some recipes will display in the recipe. You will be prompted for each missing piece when attempting to assemble the item if you do not already possess it. You can also follow the following recipe lists.

Note: These pieces are HEAVY. You will need strong people to carry each piece to the deployment site, along with several people to carry the wood and ammunition. We estimate it will take anywhere from 10 to 20 people per siege weapon (catapults closer to 20, battering rams closer to 10). These numbers can drop dramatically given high level Augmentation buffs on the "pack horses".

You will need wood beyond what is listed here to keep the siege weapon from decaying (see the section below on siege weapon decay for more information).


Battering ram

1 cladding (crafted with Armorcrafting and 140 metal or purchased)
2 swing harnesses (crafted with Tailoring and 36 metal, 110 leather and 20 thread or purchased)
1 beak (crafted with Weaponcrafting and 210 metal or purchased)
1250 wood (purchased)

Quality levels:
small ram � iron
ram � steel
siege ram � alloy

Ballista

1 gimbal (crafted with Armorcrafting and 500 metal or purchased)
1 trigger (crafted with Tailoring and 140 metal, 400 leather, 600 cloth and 100 thread or purchased)
2 torsion cables (crafted with Fletching and 100 leather, 400 cloth or purchased)
1 spring arms (crafted with Weaponcrafting and 450 metal, 160 leather, and 50 thread or purchased)
1500 wood (purchased)

Quality levels:

scorpion � iron
ballista � steel
palintone � alloy

Catapult

1 bucket (crafted with Armorcrafting and 700 metal or purchased)
1 arm cushion (crafted with Tailoring and 160 metal, 460 leather, 600 cloth and 140 thread or purchased)
1 winding crank (crafted with Weaponcrafting and 700 metal and 50 thread or purchased)
1 counterweight (crafted with Armorcrafting and 640 metal, 160 leather and 50 thread or purchased)
1 pivot (crafted with Weaponcrafting and 700 metal or purchased)
2400 wood (purchased)

Quality levels:

onager � iron
catapult � steel
trebuchet � alloy

Note that many components require different material skills as well. For example, an Arm Cushion for a Catapult not only requires a Tailoring skill but also a substantial Metalworking skill.

Purchasing the siege weapon components will cost approximately 150% as much as handcrafting them. They may be purchased from the merchant keeps on each frontier. This means to deploy a siege weapon, you will need to have your group go to a frontier merchant keep controlled by that realm (which may be in a different realm, depending on how well your realm has been doing), purchase the required pieces, and then go to the other realm�s frontier to actually build the weapons. Siege weapon components begin to show up at the iron quality level around skill level 500 for each appropriate crafter.

Using Siege Weapons

Once a siege weapon is crafted, it is owned by the crafter. He can either keep ownership of it, or give ownership to everyone present by typing /unlock all. If the battlefield situation is such that the crafter�s life is in peril, /unlock all is probably the first command he/she should type to keep the new weapon from being useless.

For Ballistae and Catapults, you will need to load ammunition into your siege weapon before using it. Ammunition can be purchased at the same vendors that you purchased siege weapon components from (and, yes, it also is quite heavy). Battering rams do not require ammunition.

To actually use the weapon, type /control. A dialog will appear. The options include ARM, LOAD, AIM and FIRE.

Arming (ARM)

Use this button to put the siege weapon in the "ready to fire" position. This could take anywhere from 15-30 seconds, depending on the siege weapon.

Loading (LOAD)

For Ballistae and Catapults, you must load appropriate ammo before firing. You do this by first directly dropping ammo from your inventory onto the siege weapon, then selecting the ammo you wish to fire out of the list of ammo in the siege control window and clicking the "load" button. Again, battering rams do not require ammo.

Aiming (AIM)

To aim a ballista or battering ram, first select the target. In the case of a battering ram, usually a door is selected. If it is a ballista, another siege weapon is usually selected. In the case of a catapult, use the area targeting key (F5 by default) to select the area that you want to damage. Then click the "Aim" button. This locks the siege weapon on to the target.

Firing (FIRE)

Fires the siege weapon.Carnage follows.

One of the primary targets of a siege weapon are keep doors. A keep door may be damaged by any player weapon/spell, but the number of hit points on a door is such that it may take up to 45 minutes to destroy a keep door. A siege weapon reduces that time down to 5-15 minutes (depending on the weapon). Note that keep defenders may reinforce a door while you are attacking it. Note that keep defenders may also upgrade a door if they use a higher grade of wood. You may want to do something about those pesky keep defenders.

Note also that if the controller leaves the immediate area of a siege weapon, they lose control of it. Target the weapon and type /control to regain control of the weapon.

Repairing Siege Weapons

Siege weapons will eventually decay. Given no other battle damage, a weapon will decay to uselessness in about 30 minutes.

Crafters may repair siege weapons. This can also repair damage inflicted to the weapon during the course of a battle. Target the weapon and type /repair. Anyone with a Weaponcrafting skill of 300 or above may repair a weapon. (As of this writing no raw material is needed to repair a siege engine.). A siege engine cannot be repaired indefinitely. Eventually it will decay to the point where no further repairs are possible.

Crafters may also salvage siege weapons. This gives you a portion of the wood used to craft the weapon. Siege weapon parts are not salvageable and disappear once the siege weapon is crafted. Only the weapon owner (or anyone of the same realm if the weapon is unlocked) may salvage a siege weapon. Target the siege weapon and type /salvage to salvage the weapon.

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Last modified: 02/16/07
 

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