Developer Update - June 2010 GvG Balances
We have a few large balance projects underway right now. Because today's update is not directly related to any of these large balance projects, we want to clarify what's in the works:
- Guild battles. We are currently working with the Test Krewe on major possible changes to GvG. This is our top priority, but we expect it to require months to fully test, tune, and compare the changes we are exploring. Today's update is not related to any of the major changes we are testing, but it should address a few of the issues currently seen in GvG.
- Other issues. As always, we have a number of other projects that we are considering based on community feedback. Similar to the changes in today's update, some of these projects may be small enough in scope to be completed and released before the major GvG update. Others will need to wait until the GvG and Dervish updates are finished. We'll keep you updated as things develop.
 Today's Update
Against an equally skilled opponent, it can be risky to launch an actual attack against the enemy guild hall. This sometimes leads guilds to employ an excessively cautious, defensive strategy focused on taking advantage of the tiebreaker mechanic rather than killing the enemy Guild Lord. Typically this strategy involves bringing a team equipped to stall out the match along with a character who can "plink" the opposing Guild Lord from a safe spot. Today's changes reduce the effectiveness of this style of play.
The position changes should prevent a character from ignoring the NPCs meant to defend the Guild Lord. We've started by updating the maps featured in the upcoming Monthly Automated Tournament, but we will likely extend this to other maps in a future update. As before, Oath of Protection automatically protects the Guild Lord while his Bodyguard is alive. Its exact effects have been adjusted, however, to encourage teams to bring more attackers and/or to kill the Bodyguard first when attacking the Guild Lord.
Extreme, uncounterable survivability for characters does not make for fun, balanced PvP. We've significantly weakened Defy Pain in PvP, decreasing the survivability it provides and making it vulnerable to stance-removal skills. This should remove it from builds designed solely to grief opponents and stall out matches.