O Commander! My Commander!

GW2 Commander RhonaOur dearest guild leader – or rather, the head of Dragon Season’s Dragon Council as he would probably prefer to be called – just told me that he bought a Commander’s Compendium. I never thought this day would come! For the longest time, we asked him to get one – and offered to chip in with gold – to help us out especially during guild puzzles, but also other guild missions. For the longest time, he refused saying that he only wants one if they add some additional features.

Currently, you get this shiny blue icon which every Guild Wars 2 player probably knows. The icon can also be seen by everyone who is on the same map. I’m not sure how many players make use of the squad function, but it sounds very useful. Having one chat for up to 30 squad members to tell them where to go, what to do, etc. makes coordinating a lot easier. I can see how that helps in PvP or in a fight like the Tequatl encounter.

However, one such compendium costs 100 gold and apart from the above-mentioned, there is no merit. Additionally, commanders on a map always increase the risk of a mega zerg of players roaming the area since everybody can see where the action is (I guess we’ve all been there during the Scarlet invasions…).

So why did he buy it now? As he said, he wants to help guildies get through the Tower of Nightmares. Which means that in the end, it’s still that very same reason why we had been asking him to get one: To help us play together.

And here is why I like and dislike the commander icon. For one, it’s this prestigious little thing as it not only shows that you have 100 gold. No, it shows that you had 100 spare gold that you apparently didn’t need for anything more useful. I’ve seen people pose with the icon before and it can be a bit annoying. The advantage of having somebody in your group who is a commander is that this person can help coordinate fights, guild missions, etc.

But here is my “but”: Should the person commanding really be the one who got to spend 100 gold? Especially since this is the unlock for just a single character and not the whole account. Shouldn’t this feature be available to everyone who wants and can coordinate and lead a group larger than 5 players? Shouldn’t there be features to help play guilds together? Apart from the guild chat, of course. But that one does not even help me find the rest of my guildies on a map, unless they are in my party. I’m especially thinking about the guild puzzle Proxemics Lab, where you need to go through a labyrinth. Being able to see players who are not in your party would be immensely helpful! But hey, at least we can see them when they’re dead, right? Those icons show up on the minimap. ;)

In closing, I am probably not really asking to expand the features of the commander, but instead, to get more helpful tools for groups larger than 5 that want to play together in a coordinated way. In the meantime, I can’t wait to see commander Rhona roam for fun with the rest of Dragon Season! :p

Edit: I was informed that the limit of a squad is not 30 and is actually higher than that. :)


  1. Good job Nadine ^^
    I was there the moment he bought the Compendium and wore his war tag for the very first time! It was a moment of thrill and chill. Emotional, moving, rioting… The guild chat exploded with…. IT WAS ABOUT TIME ALREADY! :D

    I love the way you laid out your post. My favorite piece is the second half of the fourth paragraph -yes, scroll up, please do ;)

    “…in the end, it’s still that very same reason why we had been asking him to get one”.

    Why? Well, partly because it makes our good and worthy leader come out as a schizo :P We’d been crying our lungs out for him to get that blasted tag since Guild Missions were introduced in the game! But does he buy it? NOOOOO! He waits for the Tower of Nightmares chaos to descend upon him and show him that we get lost without him leading us :)

    Seriously though, his reasons were good and solid -and they had nothing to do with money of course, of which he has piles stashed safely in the deepest caverns of the Nolani Academy Ruins (oups! I probably shouldn’t have said that! :P) He still asks for more tools to make a Commander’s job easier and not fancier. The moment we left the Tower he ‘switched off’ his decoration and erased himself from the map. Being a Commander is not about attracting unnecessary attention or becoming a human magnet for other players. Because players, as you said it, are attracted to that blue icon on their map like flies to a candle.

    About your closing paragraph now -which in fact states the point you’re trying to make- I’m afraid I don’t *fully* agree. I’m with you when you ask for tools to help any leader -be it a group or an alliance- guide and command his soldiers. However, since ArenaNet decided to make that functionality a paid commodity (do I hear anyone crying “money sink”?) I am particularly and passionately in favor of adding more tools for those rich and privileged ones to use. We could agree, I guess, to hope that when (not if, when) they decide to enable even smaller group leaders be more efficient at their tasks, that would not come at a price as well. Because, frankly, I can already see a Captain’s Compendium being sold for 50 gold and a Lieutenant’s Compendium going at 10 gold and so on and so sadly forth.


  2. I really liked your post.

    I’ve toyed with the idea of buying a Commander’s Compendium in the past. I made a post about it a while back actually I think; although it was more specific to the poor community spirit on my server.

    With the Tower of Nightmares I’ve found myself almost becoming a commander. We were commanderless and I needed to get through level 3, and could see lots of others waiting around to get through. So I did a map shout out to gather up and led them through, and had great fun, they were a great bunch. That experience especially made me wonder again whether I want to be a commander. Perhaps I do, but not in wvw on my server right now.

    Do you think its worth becoming a commander for PvE only?


    1. I would say it’s worth it if you think it’s useful for you. ;) Oh, and if you’ve got 100 gold to spare.

      In Rhona’s case, it’s definitely useful as he is regularly guiding us through the guild missions (up to two times a week).


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