Guards are tagged for PvP combat and automatically attack players of the enemy faction on sight, regardless of whether PvP is enabled on the player. They also attack hostile creatures that come nearby.
Attacking a guard (as with any enemy NPC) automatically tags a player for PvP combat. The Territory is under attack! message will appear in the enemy's Local Defense chat box.
Getting close to an NPC in an opposing faction's town will often make them call out for help, which will spawn 1-3 guards immediately. The spawned guards' levels are often higher than that of the other normal guards that are there by default, especially true in Darkshire, Hammerfall, and Menethil Harbor as well as several other towns. The spawned guards disappear after some time.
Each faction with a capital city has a race-specific guard. Major cities each have 3 elite named guards, except the cities introduced in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade: Exodar and Silvermoon City. In addition, each race has a different kind of guard.
Guards in all major citys and starting areas also serve as guides and offer directions to points of interest. The only exception to this is Dalaran, which has no normal guards; local wizards instead offer directions.
- In Patch 2.3, your pointer will change to look like a map when moving over a guard who will answer questions about the local city or town.
- Towns protected by human guards (similar to Stormwind Guard):
Northshire, Goldshire, Lakeshire, Nijel's Point, Southshore (wears town tabard)
- Towns protected by other types of militia:
Darkshire (Night Watch), Hillsbrad (Hillsbrad Footman), Sentinel Hill (The People's Militia), Refuge Pointe (Refuge Pointe Defender), Stromgarde (Stromgarde Defender, Stromgarde Cavalryman), Tiragarde Keep (Kul Tiras Marine), Theramore (Theramore Guard - not affiliated with Stormwind)
Their uniqueness comes from their shields, and that they can improve their chance to block.
- Towns protected by Mountaineers:
Anvilmar, Kharanos, Thelsamar
Their uniqueness comes from their ability to use storm clap.
Some mountaineers can also shoot in addition to their melee attacks.
Gnomeregan Exiles (Gnome)
None as of patch 2.4.1
Darnassus (Night elf)
- Towns protected by Sentinels:
Aldrassil, Dolanaar, Auberdine, Astranaar, Feathermoon Stronghold
- Menethil Harbor — Sentry/Elite
Towns protected by Grunts: Valley of Trials, Razor Hill, Splintertree Post, Zoram'gar Outpost, Hammerfall, Kargath
Their uniqueness is that they use a two handed weapon and enrage.
Darkspear Trolls (Troll)
Towns protected by Watchers: Sen'jin Village, Shadowprey Village
Thunder Bluff (Tauren)
Towns protected by Braves: Bloodhoof Village, Camp Narache, Shadowprey Village, Ghost Walker Post, Sun Rock Retreat, Freewind Post, Camp Mojache
Towns protected by Deathguards: Deathknell, Brill, Sepulcher, Tarren Mill
Their uniqueness is their abominations, which have plague cloud, a buff which regularly damages foes around them.
Silvermoon (Blood elf)
Towns Protected By Guardians: the Falconwing Square of western Silvermoon City, Fairbreeze Village, Tranquillien, Sunstrider Isle
Their uniqueness is that the model of their guards is unique compared to other blood elves.
- Cenarion Circle — Warden (Moonglade), Cenarion Hold Infantry — They protect Cenarion Hold, Nighthaven, Cenarion Refuge and Evergrove.
- Steamwheedle Cartel — Bruiser — They protect Ratchet, Booty Bay, Everlook, Gadgetzan and Steamwheedle Port. Notably, they have a net, and a gun (which cannot be put away) that knocks back.
- Argent Dawn — Argent Defender, Argent Sentry — They protect Light's Hope Chapel and more can be found at Chillwind Camp and the Bulwark.
- Wildhammer Clan — Wildhammer Sentry
- B.O.O.M — Agent, Area 52 Big Bruiser — They protect the town of Area 52.
- The Sha'tar — Shattrath City Peacekeeper, Vindicator
- The Aldor — Vindicator, Aldor Neophyte
- The Scryers — Arcane Guardian
- The Consortium — Stormspire Nexus-Guard
- The Protectorate — Protectorate Defender, Protectorate Vanguard
In Mists of PandariaThis section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
It is planned that guards will function differently depending on the type of server a player is on. For PvE servers, there will be no apparent change. On PvP servers, guards will be slightly weaker and respawn less frequently.