The Fortress War expansion has been out for over a year, yet I know that how exactly a successful takeover works is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the transfer of control from one guild to another. Fortress War is one of my favorite features, despite the awkward time, because how can you go wrong with two hours of straight group PvP? So bring your love of bashing the opposition, 'cause there are a lot of steps to go through between signing up to fight and being the holder of the fortress.
First, you need to get prepared. Signing up at the fortress administrator in Jangan is merely the beginning. You will need to buy a few supplies and organize your guild as well. Make sure you give fortress positions to people who are going to be there. If you gain control of the fortress, you will need those people to be able to function in order to be able to defend what you have just gained. Also, if you gain the fortress, it can be taken back if there is enough time before the end of the war, so you will need defensive items such as pills, barriers, bombs and repair hammers in addition to a command post. All of these are available at the fortress NPC in Jangan. Buy many stacks of barriers and repair hammers and give them to those who can use them. Buy some Man-hos (White Tigers) also because they are good for defending your command post from low level hammerers trying to destroy it. Every guild leader in your union can use them.
Make a plan. Have everyone get partied up and meeting in the same places. Make sure every single one of the guild leaders in your union has a command post and some Man-hos. The teleports open promptly at 19:00 hours Silkroad Standard Time and lasts for two hours. For me on the West Coast, that is 3 AM so there are a lot of people that will not be able to make it from both the US and Europe. Make certain that the people who are there are the one's that have Fortress War positions. You don't want to be the guild that holds the fortress for 10 minutes because you weren't organized enough to keep it! You only have 15 hammerers per guild so make SURE those are the people who are there and ready to get to work.
Once the teleports become active at 19:00 hours your first order of business is to set up your Command Post. Make sure you keep your union together. Even if you are friendly with other attacking unions, accidentally killing one of them because your Command Posts are right together can completely destroy a good plan with infighting. Your Command Post is your spawn point, so if you have a plan where you are attacking a certain gate, get as close to that gate with your Command Post ad you can. The defending union probably will still be inside their fortress, so you won't need to set up a Man-ho right away. Once your Command Post starts getting attacked, it flashes on the map. Send a small band of non-hammerers with a high level guild leader to route them out and set a Man-ho to defend it.
The most successful strategy is to set up a semi high level group of hammerers with high levels and low levels with knock back and knock down behind them to defend. You can see the health of the gates if you click on them. The defenders can repair so even if it looks like you are making headway, don't lose hope if you notice that the gate gets healed. Only five players can repair a gate and they are spread out over three gates at Jangan Fort and two for Bandit Den Fort. They can also be interrupted though there is no outside indication that they are repairing. You may encounter barriers at the east and west side entrances of the Jangan Fort but they are low HP deterrents and shouldn't slow you down much. One very successful strategy for defenders is to just open the gates when they get low because once a gate breaks it is broken forever. There isn't much you can do to counter this. Try to stay organized and get as many people in that gate as you can before they shut and repair it to weaken them from the inside. Do not let your people run to the heart yet, there is much to do before you go near it.
Once you are inside, there are towers to destroy. There may be barriers up but your hammerers should make short work of these. Only destroy the ones you must to get to the towers. Make sure you are attacking the correct ones! You can attack the buff towers also but these aren't that important, so don't bother. The towers that are located to the right, left and center around the Gate of Resurrection for Jangan Fort and at the Southwest and Northeast corners for the Bandit Den Fort are the correct ones. The defenders can make attacking these very difficult. Not only can they put barriers around them all, but the towers themselves attack you with fire, ice, lightning and darkness depending on what kind the defenders have set up. They can also be repaired like the gate so use lots of splash attacks to interrupt repairing.
Like the gates, once the towers are destroyed, they are destroyed for good and cannot be resurrected by the defenders. Take your time killing them unless it is close to the end of the war time. You want to be at the heart in the last 15 minutes or so of the war to prevent anyone else taking the fort or retaking it from you.
Once all three towers are destroyed, its time to head for the heart. There will be barriers around it more than likely. Only destroy those needed to reach the center. Try to attack from the same side of a destroyed gate if at all possible to make rushes more efficient if your party gets wiped out. This is where having an intact Command Post becomes very convenient. The Center has a very strong attack. Of course it goes by levels (Click here to see the various damages it can inflict) of defense and damage but it has high freeze and frostbite probability. This is where those pills are so important. The heart can also be repaired so make sure you again use lots of splash attacks to interrupt potential repairers. Bring everything you got here but my advise would be to time the destruction of the heart as close to the end of the war as you can.
So you have destroyed the heart. Now for the tricky part. Everyone but the guild that did the most damage will be teleported out of the fortress war area. This is where strong ties with your allies are very important. All the gates, towers and heart go to level 1 and are whole again. You have to defend them from the previous owners and hopefully your allies are going to help you. The Fortress gives you a 5 minute grace period. Use this to put up barriers around the inside of the fortress. They are good for slowing people down and if you timed your attack correctly, the opposition wont have much time to get the fort back before the time runs out. Once Fortress War ends, whomever is in control wins. You can also repair the gates if you granted your fortress war positions and gave out the proper items. If you lose the heart to another union, they will also have the same 5 minute grace period and if you run out of time getting back to the center to retake it, it's a good way to run out of time and lose the fortress to an opportunistic guild.
On the Saturday following the war, you can withdraw the tax money that had built up over the previous two weeks. You can also change the tax % to whatever you wish at that time. There is a bug currently that causes the gold to go negative and make it impossible to withdraw but don't worry, just leave it in and the following war you will b e able to withdraw the total amount when it rebuilds again. Don't forget to upgrade your gates and towers after each week to better defend them!
In conclusion, the PvP is worth it. There is no other way in Silkroad Online to get such hardcore, intense fighting for two hours straight. Due to the sheer number of folks involved, it can be the most crazy PvP, dwarfing any guild war you could set up because there is no safe zone, no backing down. Win or lose, its fun!