Siege battles pitch one well-fortified team against one with overwhelming numbers. The defenders survive for as long as possible while the attackers storm the palisades. This is an official gamemode new to BG3.
The mechanics which drive siege mode are in the round-based ticket system. In the ticket system, a team loses a point whenever a teammate respawns or when they go for a time without holding an objective. When a team is out of tickets, no more teammates may respawn until the next round. This is the moment when the losing team is finished off or a heroic last stand is made.
What’s great about the siege mode is that there are roles for both combat-oriented players and objective-oriented players. As well, the round system adds a satisfying pacing. What adds to the fun is that siege maps are often filled with traps, cannons, explosions, barricades, boosts, and other trickery which can’t be found on other maps.
For BG3, two siege maps are available upon the game’s release. Two old maps from Battle Grounds 2, bg_fall and bg_siege, have been reworked into sg_fall and sg_siege.
Yet, what is worth thinking about is how the idea of siege battles had been done for years in the old Battle Grounds 2. One of the first maps to do this was called 24th_realism as made by the 24th clan, before being modified to the more popular bg_williamhenry_ap by the AP clan. This map featured cannons on the famous 7-years-war-era Fort William Henry. The British were outnumbered 2-1 and had to used the cannons and the fortifications to hold out. The cannons were clunky and the map was hard to learn, but it worked. The map at one point even made it into one of BG2’s menu backgrounds.
Another old BG2 map, bg_fall, was the only official map which used the ticket system, Unfortunately, the map overall was unbalanced and lackluster. Rounds dragged on forever, and oftentimes the game would switch maps halfway through a round.
Where the story began to change was in the map bg_siege. It was a map made by Awesome in 2014. What made the map stand out was how extreme it was; rounds were short and fast-paced. Over many versions, the fort received upgrades such that the Americans could be outnumbered seven to one and still pull out a win. The British still had lots of options, with various routes of attack: the front entrance, an underground tunnel, and a secret back entrance. The Americans, undermanned, would have to constantly shift around to defend from all sides. Every inch, every life counted.
What prevented bg_siege from taking off more than it could have was that by 2014-15, Battle Grounds 2 was no longer a popular game.
For BG3, the two maps sg_fall and sg_siege have been reworked and remastered. Sg_fall now features a swivel gun, barricades, ladders, boosts, and faster-paced rounds. Sg_siege keeps the best features out of all its different versions.
To get the most out of these maps, it’s important to remember that every life counts. If your team is outnumbered seven to one, then it would be a waste of life for you to jump out of a fort and kill four enemies before dying. You must work with your team to defeat the enemy.
More siege maps may come in the future. For now, I’ll see you on the Battle Grounds.
(February 5th, 2018)