As we are sure many people are aware, there are guards that exist specifically for the purpose of giving new characters a place to run in order to be saved from a certain death. However, as many people have mentioned, these guards are frequently either dead, or engaged by players choosing to hunt them. This makes things very frustrating for newer players, and with the large influx of new players due to the release of EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark, we decided that a change was warranted.
Though we do not have a problem with players choosing to hunt guards, the newbie guards themselves, specifically the ones at the gates of cities and in the vicinity of newbie zones, need to remain alive under most circumstances. To that end, we have buffed up these newbie-protecting guards, made them immune to magic, and given them some pretty good healing properties, in order to make them less attractive to people hunting them.
In addition, though we have left the guards inside cities as-is from the perspective of power, we've also found a problem with the respawn rate. Previously they were typically on a six-minute timer, making them spawn much faster than an equivalent NPC would in a dungeon. We have normalized the respawn time of guards inside cities to bring them in line with dungeon NPCs.