It’s tough to take a humongous brick fortress down with nothing than an enchanted blade, a warhorn, and spirit. That’s why Guild Wars 2 embraces siege weaponry, the fun and powerful way to raze keeps, topple towers, and punish players who joyfully run through choke points. There is a lot to the siege weapon system, including proper placement, but for now let’s talk about what siege engines are and how to build them.
Siege Weapons Basics
Siege weapons are devices used to deal massive damage to players, walls, and gates. They are expensive to build, easy to destroy, and can unleash death and destruction to unsuspecting players. To get started, you’ll want to visit the Siegemaster at your spawn point. There you can buy Blueprints for gold or Badges of Honor and Karma.
Once you have a blueprint, walk to where you’d like the siege weapon and use the blueprint. You’ll get a ground target selector to place and locate the siege weapon. Click where you desire to place the siege weapon and a build site will appear. Players will need to bring supply to the build site in order for the weapon to spawn.
There are currently six siege weapons in the game, each with a specific role and purpose. It’s important to learn what each siege weapon specializes in before heading out into WvW, because some of them can absolutely ruin your day if you’re not looking out for them.
Alpha Siege Golem (1 Gold or 40 Badges of Honor, 100 Supply)
The Siege Golem is the most expensive weapon available and the only one that can relocate itself. You may think it’s designed to topple towers quickly, but it’s designed more to be used in situations where building a build site on top of the door isn’t possible. Of course, it’s still very powerful and capable of toppling gates very quickly.
Unlike other siege weapons, you “mount” the golem and can walk while inside of it. The only problem, of course, is that if the siege weapon is destroyed, then you will be downed. On top of that, it moves slower than the average player and cannot be healed. It can Punch (the default attack), Whirling Assault (an AoE knockback, used to push enemies away from gates), Shield Bubble (to protect it from damage, or oil attacks), and Pull which drags an enemy to the golem.
The 100 supply is a substantial amount and you should only place the blueprint down at the behest of your world.
Arrow Cart (4 Silver or 2 Badges of Honor, 30 Supply)
This is an anti-personnel weapon, best used to defend choke points and push enemies away from gates. It has three abilities: arrow cart, crippling arrows (that apply crippling), and barbed arrows (that apply bleeding). It does most of its damage against enemy players. The most effective way to use an arrow cart is to set it up to target a bridge, gate, or choke point and use it to keep players from moving through (forcing them to take an alternate route and/or split up). You can also use it to keep enemies from the gates.
Be very careful when placing it on a wall, because the enemy will want to take it out as soon as possible. You'll want to place it somewhere where it's hard for the enemy to get to, but still within range of the fight. It fires in an upward arc, so line of sight is less of an issue. Likewise, prioritize the arrow carts when you're sieging a keep. If enough get up then you will never be able to get close enough without a huge army.
Arrow carts can let a very small number of players defend a keep against most moderate assaults. They can prevent players from getting close to the door and can generally control enemy movement. If you're defending a keep, then be sure to get a few up as quickly as possible and defend them.
Ballista (6 Silver or 3 Badges of Honor, 20 Supply)
The Ballista is another anti-personnel weapon with anti-siege capabilities. It’s best used to take out enemy siege weapons, since it requires a target to attack (unlike the rest which usually have AoE targeting reticules). What is interesting is that it can attack more than five enemies at time, the hard cap for most AoE abilities. The bolt can be dodged since it has a flight time.
Most players like to put them far in the backlines, since they have a decent amount of range and are easier to defend back from combat. It comes with three firing modes, fire (which deals damage), Shattering Bolt which explodes on contact and applies bleed, and Reinforced Bolt which deals heavy damage to siege.
Catapult (8 Silver or 4 Badges of Honor, 50 Supply)
This is the general purpose siege engine, capable of taking down other siege weapons, players, NPCs, walls, and gates. It has a larger targeting reticule than an arrow cart, but has more moderate damage. It’s great for assaulting a wall whenever you’re closer (whereas the Trebuchet is good for long distance wall razing).
It comes with two modes: gravel and boulder. Switch to boulder to deal more damage in a smaller area and gravel for less damage in a bigger area.
Flame Ram (4 Silver or 2 Badges of Honor, 40 Supply)
The Flame Ram is used to destroy gates, but must be built right beside the gate or wall to be destroyed. It can take a gate down in no time, but is an extremely vulnerable structure. You’ll want to have players set to protect the ram and watch out for the burning oil above the gate. Flame Rams can use Flame Burst to deal damage to attackers.
Guardians make great Flame Ram defenders, because they can push enemies away from the ram who try to do a hit and run (jump out of the keep, throw down an AoE, jump back in). Again, make sure the oil is down before you set one up and that you have the door under control, or the blueprint will be a waste.
If you're defending a keep, then you're going to want to get these gone asap, because they're a much bigger threat than people banging on the walls, especially upgraded superior flame rams. Your best bet if the oil is down is to hit and run, jump out of the keep, throw down some AoE, and then jump back in. That's assuming you can't hit it from the wall. Killing the operator is also a good way to get it to stop for a second, but usually people jump right back on.
Trebuchet (16 Silver or 8 Badges of Honor, 100 Supply)
Let’s say you have a heavily defended keep or tower and you need to bust a wall down, but getting too close will result in instant death. That’s when you build a trebuchet, which is a long range general siege weapon that can do heavy damage to structures and moderate damage to everyone else. It differs from the Structured PvP Trebuchet slightly, as it’s buildable and contains the ability to cause poisoned clouds.
Using a trebuchet is actually quite difficult, because you need to turn it in the direction you want to fire and then hold down the attack button for the amount of distance you want. The most common uses for trebuchets is to build them in towers and use them to assault distance keeps, like building one in Durios and firing on Stonemist. Towers generally have siege platforms that you can build the trebuchets on that are safe from most non-siege weapon assaults.
Taking a trebuchet out generally involves either building siege weapons to reach it or taking the tower its located in. Most players will not build a trebuchet outside of a tower, since they're such a high priority target.
The cannon is a keep mounted weapon that can be used in the defense of a keep. It has three skills, fire which is a normal attack, Grapeshot which applies bleeding, and Ice Shot which applies freezing. It's best to alternate between the attacks. Think of it like an arrow cart, but built into a keep.
The Mortar is a keep upgrade siege weapon that acts more offensively than the cannon and has almost the range of a trebuchet. It can be used to defend nearby keeps or assault nearby keeps, destroy enemy formations on the march to the keep that you are defending, and in general be very useful. It operates just like a treb. You can choose between mortar shots and incendiary shots, mortar being bigger and less damage and incendiary being smaller and more damage.
Superior & Omega Siege Weapons
You can craft superior and omega siege weapons through the mystic forge (in Lion's Arch, The Mists, or Stonemist Keep). These look and act the same as normal siege weapons, but are stronger. They cost skill points to create, making them a very expensive but extremely useful form of siege weaponry. To get started you'll need to purchase the Siege Masters Guide from Miyani, each for one skill point.
The resources needed varies weapon to weapon. You will need:
- 2 Blueprints, 5 for the Siege Golem
- 5 or 10 Elder Wood Logs and Mithril Ore (5 for Catapult/Flame Ram)
- 1 Siege Masters Guide (3 for the Siege Golems.
Superior Trebuchets are best used to siege stonemist, they can take off more chunks of the wall and will last a considerable amount of time before being destroyed. Superior Ballista and Superior Catapults are great for attacking a keep that you need to get into, but can't get up close to the door for very long. Superior Flame Rams are useful when trying to take a keep but the regular rams are destroyed too quickly and/or you need to get the door down fast. Superior Siege Golems are used whenever there are tons of resources available and you want to be dapper.
Stonemist is generally where most people use their superior siege weapons. They can last longer, easily defended, and can generally be of a long term use. Before using a blueprint, it's advisable to ask if its needed to make sure that the world's supply doesn't need to go somewhere else.
Siege Weapon Etiquette
If you see a siege weapon, feel free to use it, they're built in the world for players to use. However, avoid not contributing in WvW and standing near siege hoping the person on it dies (the problem being as soon as you take it over you'll probably die as well) or leaves. You'll get as many kills / loot by actively contributing as you would with siege in most scenarios, with less risk (you can not defend yourself on a siege weapon).
Before placing a blueprint, ask on team/map chat if it's alright and if there is enough supply to build it. Nothing is worse than spending all the time/effort to put a blueprint down and having it rot. This is especially true if there isn't any supply in the keep that you're building it at or near.
Siege Weapon Placement
It’s important to note that placing a siege weapon is a huge undertaking, you’ll need the world to supply “Supply” to it, which is a very valuable resource. There is only 100 Supply in some Keeps/Towers and if it runs dry, then you’ll need to run for more. That same Supply can be used to repair doors or for upgrades as well, so you’ll want to communicate with your World before you spend the money to spawn a siege weapon.
Remember that enemies will be attempting to take them out and if you’re up against a siege weapon, you should focus on it before the nearby players as well. They are powerful and take a lot of effort to get setup. Taking one out is like robbing a team of Supply and can remove a lot of pressure from your team.
Well that’s the overview on siege weapons. What’s your favorite moment with a siege weapon? Let us know in the comments section below! Be sure to also login and bookmark this page so that you can find this info quickly in the future.