ArenaNet’s latest post talks about squads and commanders in WvW. I think I have a small problem with the discussed implementation. And the whole thing goes around the fact that the squad chat is uni-directional: From commander to squad.
I understand the rationale behind it: Since the squad is open to anyone who wants to invite themselves, it prevents some annoying guy joining the group just to spam “Leeeeeroy Jeeeeenkiiinns” over and over again, preventing the squad on doing their real job — winning the battle.
On the other hand, this cuts helpful communication. For example, if me, as a commander, want to check how our supplies lines are while the larger part of the group holds the line defending or attacking a post, I’d ask if someone could do that. Or, even better, ask someone to return to base and get more supplies so the squad can finish building the trebuchet to destroy the door of an enemy base. In any case, I’d be too busy checking the current situation to pick someone specific and tell them to do so (and, by my own personality, I’d hate saying what someone should do instead of having fun in the game). If I, the commander, ask to someone could do that, I’d probably receive a couple of whisper, which then I’d have to manage personally one by one, taking away my focus from the battle.
And then there is the other way around: I’m a member of a squad of some commander. I want to warn him that a group of enemies is about to flank us from the left. I’d whisper him telling him about it, he would have to read it and then re-tell that to the group. Surely, when every single step is done, he enemy group would be over us already, without time for those in the left side to be ready. Even worst, it would require me to find who the commander is to whisper him (as you can join someone’s squad by simply selecting anyone in it).
Someone on Reddit mentioned that my vision was about a larger group and that the squad version was aimed for smaller groups, one where the commander issues direct orders like “let’s take that supply camp” or “let’s build a trebuchet”. In that case, you’re not really a commander — someone who oversees the battlefield and organizes the troops; you’re a sergeant, someone who leads a platoon to a single task (well, obviously, without the higher command doing the job of organizing the troops on the battlefield).
Yeah, my problem with the way ArenaNet organizes WvW is a single word.