Assaulting a resource camp, tower, or keep can seem like a daunting task in Guild Wars 2, but it’s not that difficult once you understand the basics. There is a control point that is guarded by an NPC. Once that NPC is disposed of, the control point spawns and if there are more allies than enemies in that spot then the resource camp, tower, or keep is claimed for your world. The difficult part, of course, is getting there.
The tower/keep lord is the penultimate challenge, the control pad is your final quest for tower/keep dominance.
WvW is a complicated beast - but also a simple one, so simple that voice communication for non-guild non-alliance teams isn't necessary - arrive at the conflict and do your part to help the world, everything helps. Some helps more than others, but remember - the ultimate goal is to have fun. GW2 is built around the premise of letting everyone have fun in different ways, but achieving the same goal.
Why bother? Well, all three objectives have dynamic events that grant rewards and of course, holding each grants score. Resource Camps are vital for supply, towers for map control, and keeps for score (generalizing here - different strategies in the field can change things).
Resource camps are the easiest of the three to take. They have no walls, a few NPCs (five by default, 10 if upgraded), and can be taken easily with a group of five, unless upgraded. You’ll need to take out the Veteran Supervisor for the control point to spawn, once that NPC is down, and the camp is cleared, you can then move to take the camp over.
The biggest strategy is simply numbers. A group of five can easily take out a resource camp that is lightly defended (one or two players) and no upgrades. A second group of five is needed if the camp has been fully upgraded. Then, if it is heavily defended, it’s probably best to skip over that specific camp and move on to a different one.
Most camps are out in the open, so flanking the enemy (coming in behind them or to their side while they’ve engaged another group) is a viable strategy for knocking them out. Additionally, if you can’t take the camp, you can neutralize its affect by ganking the resource caravans that spawn.
Towers, like keeps, are surrounded by walls and have a single gate (usually). The difference in strategy is actually rather big, since towers are very simple. First, you’ll need about ten players if the tower hasn’t been upgraded, more if it has (fewer numbers can do it, although slower and will require teamwork). Next, you’ll need a flame ram, one will suffice. Then it’s a simple step by step process.
First, take out any oil above the gate. That’s the biggest priority. Next, secure the gate and the entrance into the tower. You do not want any reinforcements getting inside, nor do you want any supply caravans making it into the tower to bring supplies to repair the walls / gate. After that, have someone place a flame ram at the gate, have the nearby players supply the ram and then bust the gate down. Alternatively, you can build a catapult away from the gate (far enough out not to be sniped from the walls) and use it to bring the gate down or switch to the walls if the gate doesn’t seem doable.
Siege weapons are nearly required to take down gates, a player will do about 50 damage to the gate, but a siege weapon can do between 500 and 1000. That’s like having 10 to 20 extra players beating exclusively on the door. That frees up a lot of hands to take the defenders out who are on the wall and to revive downed players.
Once a gate is down, a few players should hang back to keep either the defenders from rushing the tower or the other world from trying to gank the tower. A guardian can put up wards to stop movement and general chokepoint defense tactics works great on the gate. The rest of everyone should rush to the Tower Lord, a raid boss, and take him down.
That’s pretty much it. A heavily defended tower should be skipped, because if the world is defending a specific tower then many, many other towers are lacking defense. Crossed swords do spawn on the map indicating conflict as soon as combat begins around a tower, so be aware that reinforcements will come as soon as the siege begins.
Keeps are an entirely different story compared to towers. Towers are far more common and easier to take than keeps, while keeps are massive sprawling fortresses that are designed to resist attacks. There are twelve towers and only three keeps in the eternal battlegrounds and four towers and three keeps in the borderlands. Keeps also have an inner wall that must be broken through, making it twice as difficult to siege.
The same strategy for the keep applies, although the tactics are a bit different. You’ll want to clear any oil from the walls or use catapults to siege the door and mount a defense against reinforcements. However, if the keep is upgraded enough and has enough defenders, this might present some trouble.
Thankfully, keeps have multiple entrances (usually) and lots of walls. This makes sieging the outer walls rather easy. If there is a lot of defense, pull back and begin building trebuchets. Then start sieging the walls from a distance, forcing the defenders to either sally forth (rush out of the keep) or watch as their walls begin to crumble. You can also split your forces and begin assaulting different entrances / walls, causing the defenders to split their resources and efforts (although spiking one wall with all of your siege weapons can out damage repairs).
Starvation is also critical. You do not want supplies making it into the keep. Taking nearby resource camps and stopping enemy caravans is critical to making sure the keep can fall. It may be easier to understand like this: you deal damage by denying restoration. If you deny a healer from healing, in a typical MMOG, then you deal damage by preventing the health from ever existing. Same principle, if you stop supply then you stop the walls from regeneration, which in turn means you have to deal less damage to bust them down.
Once inside the outer walls, the inner walls will be a bit harder to take and the attackers face a small dilemma. The defenders will be stuck in the inner portion of the keep, the other world is sitting out there somewhere debating coming in and taking the keep behind you, and you have less space to move about. This presumes that the keep has an inner wall, some keeps do not, and therefore it just simply becomes a rush to the keep lord.
Ultimately, what will need to happen is another gate / wall needs to come down and the world needs enough forces to finish off the remaining defenders and take out the keep lord (who is very powerful) before the other world shows up and finishes off a tired and battered force.
The same works in reverse, letting another world beat the walls down and moving in after them is a viable and fair tactic. The lesson here is scouting is critical – knowing where the enemy is vital. Smaller groups need to be out in the world communicating on troop movements, denying resources, and tapping control points.
Siege weaponry is critical; Arrow Carts are great for taking out choke points and killing personnel, while Flame Rams and Siege Golems are needed to shred down gates. Catapults and Trebuchets are also needed to take out walls / gates from range. This applies throughout the entire siege. Let’s say you bust into the keep, keeping the enemy from reinforcing is critical, so placing an Arrow Cart at a choke point and having a small team man it is important.
Supply is crucial too; make sure there are people with Swiftness builds to sprint supply to all of the siege weapons. Without supply, a siege of a keep won’t be successful. Why? Well, a tower takes no time to capture, but a keep takes a while and the odds of it being unattended at astronomically low compared to a tower.
Mercenaries can also help take keeps. They are very powerful and will spawn constantly, running to the front gate and attacking anything in their way. Do not underestimate their strength.
Siege weapons are vital to quickly taking a tower or keep. Beating on the gate takes forever. New worlds will need to beat on the gates until the world’s economy starts up. Siege weapons may not be common until a few days after a world goes live.
Remember that the further an objective is from a waypoint, the longer it takes the enemy to reinforce (and the further it is from your own waypoint, the longer it takes for you to reinforce). Making finishing downed players a number one priority, as long as they don’t need very far to run back.
Resurrecting is the most important thing you can do, no matter your role. The more warm bodies there are, the better the odds.
Avoid AoE like mad and keep moving. There is no point in standing still, unless you’re operating a siege weapon. Clear those walls! Make sure that no one is on the walls and those who try to revive perish as well.
Guilds with the most players can claim the keep and have its livery shown for a few minutes after capture, and then the keep can be claimed by any guild. It is, as of now, a cosmetic thing.
The defenders will always focus on siege weapons that can take the gate down first, so be sure to have protection ready for them.
Stonemist Castle is just like a keep, except that it's an even distance from all three worlds, has a huge wall, and is much harder to siege and defend. Defenders will usually ignore the outer walls, so the true challenge is making it through the inner walls and to the keep lord.
There is so much more to write, but for the basics this covers everything. Be sure to share your unique and interesting tales of sieges below in the comments section!