Just because the 1.4.4 patch has been released doesn't mean that the WAR team is done with it. Late last week they made a few more changes regarding the keep defense changes. How do they affect keep sieges? Continue past the break for the details.
Most of the changes below came about because of player feedback on the forums. They do read them and act on feedback.
1) Foreman in T3 and T4 have been moved to the outer wall, into the room directly above the outer door *
2) The time it takes for Foreman to process a New Door order has been increased to 90 seconds
3) Messaging has been added that will go out to everyone in the area alerting them to:
when a new door has been ordered
- an update at every 30 sec mark of the process
- a notification when the Foreman's ordering has been halted
- a notification when the Foreman restarts the ordering process from the beginning
- if the Foreman was killed while processing an order
- if the Foreman successfully completes processing the order
4) The Foreman will now enter his cower state when the keep door is attacked by a ram **
* Having the Foreman in this location will force defenders to be more mobile throughout the keep area, rather than turtle in the inner keep. It will also make the Foreman far more exposed, and accessible to attackers, so actively defending him will become more important.
** While an order for a new door cannot be made while there is a ram active, an order already in progress does not get canceled if a ram is placed at the inner door after the fact. This line item is intended to make it far more difficult to complete the process without stopping it completely.
Moving the Foreman is a pretty big deal and one I'm on the fence about. Keep sieges generally fall into two categories: lopsided and even. In the first case, the defenders are heavily outnumbered. Having the Foreman inside the inner keep gave them a better chance of defending him.
In the case of an even battle, the defenders are more able to protect the Foreman since only a subset of the enemy force can pick the lock. Attackers could also use Rat Ogre's to toss players onto the keep. In any case, the defenders were in a much better spot and could get a new door up more easily.
With the new changes, an outnumbered realm does not have much of a chance to defend their Foreman. The keeps are just too small to make an attacking realm split to deal with the foreman. This changes if the defenders are able to bring down the ram, they should have the power to push back the attackers and reclaim the Foreman. That part I like, but this patch didn't really help the outnumbered defenders take down the ram.