- The Bodyguard no longer uses Oath of Protection.
- The Guild Lord now uses Entourage: "For 15 seconds, the Guild Lord is shielded by his guards. He takes no more than 30 damage from each attack or skill and takes 30 less damage each second. This skill can only be used if there are more defending NPCs than attackers."
- This skill cannot be interrupted, disabled, or removed.
- Aggressiveness calculations now account for Entourage and effects that cause missed attacks. As always, stacking defensive effects on a Guild Lord is viewed as a sign that your opponent is being aggressive. In Guild Battles where neither Guild Lord is killed, the team displaying more aggressiveness wins.
Last month, we introduced some changes to GvG that were designed to reduce player motivation to bring teams specifically designed to stall out GvG matches. This month, we're refining those changes.
We've moved the damage-limiting effects from the Bodyguard (who still heals) to the Guild Lord himself. This ensures that the Guild Lord is the most important NPC, and it discourages players from using a gimmick to kill the Bodyguard and then playing defensively for the rest of the match. Because Entourage can only be used when there are more defensive NPCs around the Guild Lord than attacking players, teams facing a degenerate defensive build have the option of rushing the enemy Guild Lord, thus preventing the skill from being used.
The Guild Lord starts with five defensive NPCs around him: the Bodyguard, two Knights and two Archers. If all five of them are still alive, Entourage can be prevented by five attackers. Pets, spirits, and minions do not count. Only players and henchmen count as attackers and only while they are near enough to the Guild Lord for combat (in casting range or close to it). Each lord room NPC killed reduces the number of attackers required to prevent Entourage from being used.
In the event that a team does find a way to stall, we've made some additional adjustments to how we judge "aggressiveness," which determines the winner if neither Guild Lord is killed before 28 minutes have passed. As before, the fundamental measure we use is damage dealt to the Guild Lord, but we also factor in defensive buffs placed on the Guild Lord. A team that brings enough offense to force their opponents to apply defensive buffs to the Guild Lord is also viewed as aggressive. (In a sense, the damage they attempted to deal counts in their favor even if it is prevented; it is the attempt to deal damage that indicates aggressiveness.) Because Entourage works in synergy with other defensive buffs, a much greater aggressiveness bonus is given when an opponent combines defensive buffs with Entourage. We've also added a modest aggressiveness bonus for missed attacks against a Guild Lord because stacking blindness and hexes that cause misses is another way to stall a battle while preventing damage.
None of these adjustments represent a change in the philosophy behind giving the victory to the more aggressive team, but they should increase the accuracy in determining which team was more aggressive. Teams focusing on defeating their opponent directly should not be significantly affected.