Siege weaponry is a vital part of the assault and defense of any location in Cyrodiil. It’s also often misused and misunderstood. There are quite of few forms of siege and each has a specific effective use. This week I’m going to be going over the basics of siege in Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) and how to use it in our ESO Siege Guide.
All siege are used by putting them in your Quickslot through the inventory screen. Then you have to find a suitable (flat area with enough room and away from friendly siege) spot to place it. You have to remain still whilst placing the siege or it won’t be fully set up. Once placed you can exit siege with the [Alt] button by default. To get back onto a siege weapon you hit the [E] button. To fire you simply aim at your target and click your mouse. To pack up your siege you hit the [F] button.
The Ballista: These are smallish siege weapons that fire large arrow projectiles. Ballistae reload the fastest and do respectable damage. They come in three forms. These are Fire, Lightning and Normal (Dominion, Pact, or Covenant).
- Normal Ballistae are the most valuable and if you can only purchase one siege, then you should choose this one. When it’s combined quick reload and effective damage, this version does the highest damage per second (DPS) on walls. It also does good damage on enemy siege. The one thing that it lacks is antipersonnel capability.
- Fire Ballistae and Lightning Ballistae have very similar attributes. They both do significant damage against people while sacrificing their effectiveness against walls. These are great because their projectiles are quick moving and give little time for an enemy to get out of the way. The best use for these is antisiege and antipersonnel. Don’t use these against a wall unless you have no other recourse. You’ll get made fun of. Let me clarify, I will make fun of you if you’re hitting a wall with these.
The Trebuchet: A larger siege, the Trebuchet is often misused. They have a terribly slow reload, but they hit the hardest and fly the furthest. These come in Iceball, Firepot, and Stone varieties.
- Stone Trebuchets are the most effective type against walls. Due to its slow reload the only time this should be used against walls is when there are too many ballistae in the way and you have to hit the wall from a distance. Also, you can actually hit the inner postern wall of a keep from outside if you place a Trebuchet directly in front of the outer wall. This is a tactic often employed by most experienced groups.
- The Trebuchet is the ideal anti siege weapon. You can hit siege on the wall from the ground and its range when elevated is crazy. Most people use these in unison against enemies so as to burst them down. The most commonly used of these is the Firepot for its DPS, but I’ve seen the Iceball used effectively for its snare as well. As with Ballistae, I’ll make fun of your if you use either of these types on a wall.
The Catapult: This is a medium sized siege which has a faster reload time than a Trebuchet and a larger damage radius than a Ballista. This is your ideal antipersonnel siege. The best of these are the Meatbag and Oil. Meatbag does great damage and the Oil slows players down so that other siege can more effectively target them. Don’t bother yourself with the Scattershot. It’s much better to invest in the Meatbag (it’s the cheaper option) if you’re looking to damage people.
The Oil Pot: This is your go to defensive siege. You can hold a keep with 4 people on Oil Pots against an assault group of 50 (As long as they aren’t smart enough to have enough healers and use the Assault Line ability Purge). Set these up in high traffic areas which you know your enemy must go through to capture an area. You should rotate the pour of oil pots so that you can get constant coverage of an area. These can easily be your best friend or the bane of your existence.
The Battering Ram: This siege should only be employed by the most skilled of groups. Not because it’s a complicated weapon to use, but rather because it is incredibly risky. The only thing a Ram works on are the wooden main gates of keeps and outposts. The risky thing is that all of these gates are highly defended by Non Player Characters (NPCs) and are in places that are easily defended with oil pots. But if you wanna do it anyway you’ll need at least six people to use it effectively. The more people inside the ram the faster you can bust open a gate. This siege is useful for an attempt at a speed assault of a location and nothing else.
Taking down walls: When you’re hitting a wall it’s always good to have a Combat Addon active such as Foundry Tactical Combat (FTC). This is because it will let you know if you’ve hit something by displaying the damage done on your screen. Due to the fact that you can’t always see where you’re shooting and that not every wall is damageable, this can be a game changer. Also, don’t ever shoot the personnel doors on inner posterns or outer walls of a keep. As of the current adaptation, these do not take damage. Always aim at the wall, not the door. You can however, damage the main wooden gates of outposts and keeps with non-ram assault siege.
Siege Merchant: These are located all around Cyrodiil, but the one’s you’ll be using most are inside Outposts and Keeps. They can also be located at resources which is a life saver if you run out during a Keep Assault. These guys are rather brave and will charge into enemy fire for Queen and country (I’m Dominion for life so shut up). So make sure that you quickly purchase everything you need if you’re being attacked before they die the most heroic and pitiful death you’ve ever seen.
The moral of the story is, you should always have a Normal Ballista and an Oil Pot (And a Forward Camp, but that’s from last week) on your person every single time you go out to fight in Cyrodiil. Everything else is optional. Hopefully this week I’ve given you a few more cards to stuff up your sleeve. Thanks for reading and as always if you have any suggestions, questions or insults just comment below! Have a funtastic week in Cyrodiil!