Issuing a challenge against another clan’s holding is the epitome of combat in Darkfall Unholy Wars. It requires planning, understanding the risks and at least a basic knowledge of the mechanics involved.
In any issued challenge there is one defending clan, which is the clan that owns the holding, any number of attacking clans that have declared a challenge against the holding and any number of mercenary clans that have been hired by the defender to aid in protecting the holding.
Challenges consist of a number of phases:
The 1st phase is the countdown. The countdown lasts 21 hours from the time the first challenge was issued. In this phase all the involved parties can prepare for the challenge and the clan stone is invulnerable. City walls can be destroyed though.
Note that 20 hours after the initial challenge, no additional attackers can join the siege.
Atacker Vulnerability Phase
The 2nd phase is the attacker vulnerability phase. This starts 21 hours after the initial challenge was issued. During this phase all the attacker siege stones become vulnerable giving a chance to the defenders and any mercenaries they have hired to break the siege and win the challenge.
Clan Stone Vulnerability Phase
The 3rd phase is the holding clan stone vulnerability phase.
This starts 22 hours after the initial challenge was issued. During this phase all the attacker siege stones remain vulnerable but the defenders clan holding stone becomes vulnerable as well. There is a number of city walls that must have been destroyed however so that the clan stone becomes vulnerable.
To issue a challenge against a holding, your clan will need to pay a wager in gold as well as dominion points.
The dominion point cost is a set number which decreases the more holdings your clan owns.
The gold wager is affected by 2 factors. The base wager that will go into the pot and will be paid out to the winners of the challenge, and the penalties that are lost and will not be paid out to anyone.
The penalties are determined by:
The number of attackers that are already in the challenge.
The number of active attack challenged your clan has against other holdings.
The time that has passed since the initial challenge was issued.
For example, a clan that enters the challenge after 4 other clans, has 2 more active challenges against other holdings and issues the challenge 10 hours after the initial challenge was declared will pay more than a clan that issued the challenge first and has no other active challenges.
Once the wager and dominion point cost is paid and your clan enters the challenge within an hour you will need to place your siege stones in order to secure your position in the challenge.
Siege stones can be purchased from the Sage Vendor in NPC cities.
To place a Siege Stone, you need to approach the holding you have issued a challenge against and double click the stone while it sits in your backpack. The radius around the holding that you can place siege stones in is several hundred meters so you do not need to go extremely close and placing them in less than obvious positions is always a good idea.
If you fail to place the required siege stones within an hour from when you declared the challenge or if all your siege stones are destroyed when they become vulnerable, your clan will lose the challenge and will be ejected from it.
Siege stones are not targeted by the defenders only however. Other attackers that want to increase their chance of capturing the city will want to destroy them and eject your clan from the challenge. By doing so they are also entitled to up to 50% of the wager pot amount your clan paid to enter the siege.
The conditions of winning the siege are different for each side that is taking part.
The defenders can win by:
Removing all the attackers from the challenge by destroying their siege stones
Their bindstone is still standing at the end of the challenge, 24 hours after the initial challenge was issued.
If the defenders win they keep their holding and they receive the full wager pot minus any amount that has been paid to other attacking clans for destroying siege stones and minus any percentage of the wager that was contracted to mercenary clans.
An attacking clan wins the holding when:
Delivering the largest percent of damage to the bindstone.
At the moment the bindstone is destroyed, any attackers that remain in the challenge are considered winners but the holding goes to the one that did the most damage. The wager pot is divided amongst the remaining attackers based on the damage they did to the bindstone.
The system offers some grace periods during which there can be no challenge issued against a particular holding. These grace periods are determined at the end of an active challenge and differ depending on the challenge outcome.
If the defender won the challenge before his clan stone became vulnerable, either because all the attacker siege stones were destroyed or all the attackers dropped the challenge, there is no grace period. If the defender wins the challenge after his siege stone became vulnerable there is a short grace period. If one of the attackers wins and captures the holdings there is a long grace period.