Seven days have passed since countless of your Sworn Swords stood -- and fell -- to protect the honor of their Alliances. Take heart in knowing that their deaths were not in vain, or even permanent. Revive, after all, is a powerful magic.
Let’s start with an overall look of the Regional standings for the highest-ranking Alliances of Protector.
Clearly, a number of regions saw relatively easy wins, such as in The North with Kong"s Landing, and in Westerlands for Lancers. In other Regions, however, the level of actions bespeak struggles of near-epic proportion.
The ‘Hurtful Actions’ breakdown, for example, makes it pretty clear that a number of Alliances fought attackers from multiple sides, and across multiple regions, despite the experimental GP change (more on that at the bottom of the blog).
While the ‘Helpful Actions’ are relatively moderate across the top Alliances, with a few notable exceptions.
Let’s face it, we all love a good fight. As Protector unfolded, the action in The Vale and Riverlands really stood out to us. Both Regions were honest-to-goodness, blood-fisted nail-biters that had us guessing til the very end. It was AvA at its best.
In The Vale, we were taken aback on the second day when Baratheon’s Bastards quickly began to amass VP, to eventually beat the early leader, Shagga Likes Axes, and win the region. Here is how it looked, in VP per hour, at the point when Baratheon’s Bastards made their move and started their VP climb. Note, just after them, Black Vipers made a move of their own, though with less successful results.
In Riverlands, meanwhile, it was a dogfight between Ghosts of Wynterfell and Shenanigans as they fought for supremacy from beginning to end. Shenanigans ultimately won, as we all know, but it was intense throughout, especially on the first day.
The Death of Defenders
Now a word from our Data Maester. As is his dubious custom, he was inspired by the Superlatives this phase and became a little obsessed over dead Sworn Swords. To that end, and in the spirit of the phase name ‘Protector’, he created a Westeros heatmap to show the number of Sworn Swords who died with their boots on; that is, killed while defending.
But not satisfied with his map of death, our maester then graphed the fallen Sworn Swords by region over time. Stormlands, for example, was particularly bloody for Shagga Likes Axes.
Though at least in The Vale, they shared their pain with The Rolling Crows and Together We Are The Storm.
Iron Islands was a Region where the Superlative explicitly called for the death of Sworn Sword defenders. As the following graph shows, the Superlative was eventually won by Shadows of Balerion. So, congratulations… we guess.
The GP Experiment
We’ll finish with a few words about the GP changes we made this phase. As we said in the pre-phase blog, we raised GP to allow more Alliances to win more Regions and avoid situations like the Slayer Phase where a few Alliances won most of the Regions.
While we did manage to avoid multi-region domination by a few Alliances in Protector, at least partly due to our experiment, the issue of competitiveness within Regions remains. With a few notable exceptions this phase -- the Vale and Riverlands, for example, as described above -- there remained a lack of real competition within some regions, as if the largest Alliances are too shy to go head-to-head with one another.
So, for the next phase, Hero, we’re going to expand our experiment by keeping GP at 2000 per camp, but for one-time only, add a special reward of Ancient Horn in just one region: The North. Whether this will be enough to entice the largest Alliances to find the courage to clash their swords against each other, only time will tell. In any case, it should be interesting to watch this unique AvA phase unfold.