The PVP in Black Desert Online is one of the game’s main selling points. But it’s not just about queuing up for an arena and smacking faces. There’s a whole lot that goes on behind the scenes of the Siege System in BDO, but fear not - our own Steven Messner compiled this guide to help you on your way!
While guild wars will provide ample opportunity for guilds to formalize their PVP strategies and earn some guild experience in the process, the biggest and most lucrative form of PVP in Black Desert Online is in the form of sieges, which are broken down into two separate tiers. Sieges represent a chance for your guild to capture and own territory on the map that will provide incredible bonuses and monetary compensation for the guild. Sieges are also scheduled, happening at a set time each week where guilds will need to coordinate with their players if they hope to have a chance as scoring some expensive property.
It's worth noting that sieges won't be available immediately at launch. Daum Games has clarified that the system is in place, but they've decided to give players a few weeks to familiarize themselves with other aspects of the game before introducing them. Still, this is what you have to look forward to a few weeks into March.
Sieges are broken down into two main tiers: node sieges and region sieges. Node sieges are intended for smaller guilds wanting to flex their muscles and earn some territory in the process. Region sieges are only for the biggest and most serious guilds in the game, as conquering a region will represent a significant investment of time and resources but also offers huge potential rewards, along with the fame of controlling a whole region in Black Desert. In order to make the playing ground more even, guilds who own regions are unable to participate in node sieges, and vice versa. This is intended to force guilds to focus on one or the other, instead of forming a monopoly by conquering multiple types of territory.
Both forms of sieges revolve around the objective of building and defending a siege tower while destroying all others. In both forms of sieges, players will need to work together, often forming tenuous alliances with other guilds, in order to secure the best chances of claiming a territory. There is plenty of space for betrayal, scheming, and strategy in sieges.
Building a siege tower requires workers, which you obtain through the contribution system, and resources that you will have to acquire through gathering and crafting. Before a siege is scheduled to start, there will be several areas in the vicinity where you can choose to place a tower and placement is of crucial importance. Placing a tower out in the open, where other players can easily spot it, is a surefire way to see it reduced to rubble.
Towers will begin building once you've allocated the proper workers and resources, but will remain hidden from players not in your guild until the siege starts, so there's no threat of having someone knock down your tower before the siege has even begun. However, you're going to want to be incredibly careful, as clever players and spies might follow your players around if they have suspicions that they might lead them to the location of a tower.
Once the siege begins, every constructed tower will become fully visible for anyone on the map, and guilds will need to coordinate offensive and defensive strategies to keep their tower alive while destroying other towers. If your tower is the last tower standing at the end of the siege, you conquer the node or territory and remain in control until the next scheduled siege. If your tower is one of many other towers standing when a siege ends, the territory is considered neutral and no one claims it as their own. This is really important to note because, if you're the previous owner of a territory at the beginning of a siege, the only way to retain control after the siege is over is to actively destroy every other tower. If you fail, you'll lose control of the territory and it will revert to being unowned. You must defend yourself during each siege.
Towers also represent strategic respawn locations for guilds, and each member will be notified when their tower is under attack. You'll always have every opportunity to attempt a defense when another guild assaults your tower.
Siege equipment can also be placed to help defend and attack towers in the form of cannons, ballistae, traps, and bombs that players can throw. There's even computer-controlled defense towers you can place in the vicinity of your main tower that will fire upon and knock down players who enter their range. While a good many of these structures are similar to the defense towers, requiring you to divert resources and workers in order to build them, cannons and cannonballs are crafted by players and can be traded on the auction house.
Holding a region is, currently, the biggest and most valuable territory a guild can hold. Because regions are so massive in scale, these sieges will require a sizeable investment from guilds that hope to conquer them, and only the best will win.
Region sieges will happen every week (probably Saturday during the evening) and will last two hours before the siege is concluded and a guild claims the region or it resets to neutral if multiple towers are still standing.
Owning a region represents a massive triumph for a guild, and your guild's emblem will be displayed in the corresponding capital city as well as on the world map. But fame and glory aren't the only rewards waiting for a victorious guild. Owning a region will also allocate a portion of the taxes earned from that region directly into your guild bank. Whenever players sell items in that regional market, for example, your guild will profit from the exchange. Guild members will also benefit, earning a small portion of those taxes that is deposited directly into their individual wallets.
Some regions will also have castles that players will also need to conquer in order to control a region, requiring guilds to defeat all enemy towers while also defeating NPC enemies and capturing the castle.
Region sieges are demanding, and looking at the Korean version of the game, guilds are going to want to start cultivating alliances with other guilds in order to work together and secure their chances of winning a siege. While Black Desert Online doesn't have any formal alliance system, I've chatted with community representatives who have explained that many guilds often agree to rotate ownership of a region or negotiate pacts to help guilds in other ways. It's also common for bigger guilds to enlist the help of smaller guilds to take a region, and then return the favor during node sieges or even paying them a lump sum of silver in the event of their success.
However you manage to do it, securing a region is going to be one of the most prominent forms of endgame content in Black Desert.