by Trevor Bennett and Jon Olson on September 29, 2015
At TwitchCon this past weekend, we announced the enhanced squad UI—a brand-new feature designed to help you organize your friends, guildmates, and motley assortment of compatriots everywhere massive armies want to be. You’ll be able to see the UI for yourselves very soon, but in the meantime we have an overview of what the system has to offer. Let’s check it out!
What Is Enhanced Squad UI?
Enhanced squad UI is a tool we’ve built to help you manage large groups of players in all areas of the game. Whether you’re leading forces to victory in World vs. World, coordinating to take down the challenging bosses found in raids, or driving back threats to Tyria’s open world, the enhanced squad UI will make your life easier.
Players with commander tags will be able to create squads of up to 50 players that can be split into as many as 15 subgroups. The commander can broadcast to any of these subgroups individually or to the whole squad at once, and commanders can organize the subgroups with a simple click-and-drag interface. You’ll be able to see each squad member’s name, profession icon, health bar, downed or defeated status, and whether they’ve confirmed after you initiate a ready check. In WvW, you’ll also see the supply carried by each subgroup, as well as the total supply available to the entire squad, as long as you’re in the same map area as your supply-carrying squadmates.
Permissions can be set by the squad leader to allow potential squad members to join at will, to request permission to join, or to require an invitation to join. Additionally, invite privileges can be restricted to the squad leader or opened up to the rest of the squad.
It will no longer be possible to be in a squad and a party at the same time, but just as in a party your entire squad will be shown on the map, with special icons for your subgroup. You can even use squads to taxi large groups of players across megaservers to ensure that everyone’s in the right place at the right time.
If a commander invites someone in a party to their squad and the joining permissions are set to open invitation, the rest of the party will be invited as well; if joining permissions are set to invite only, the commander will receive a recommendation to invite the rest of the party. And if you happen to have a troublemaker in your squad, you now have the ability to remove them!
When a commander leaves a squad they own, they can choose to hand off leadership to another player with a commander tag. If no new commander is designated, leadership will be automatically offered to another player with a tag. The squad will remain together—albeit leaderless—if no other commander exists to take control.
Squads are necessary to enter raids, so don’t worry—if you don’t have access to a commander tag, you’ll still be able to create a leaderless, raid-ready, invite-only squad of 10 players.
You’ll get the chance to try out enhanced squad UI for the first time during our third Beta Weekend Event. Because the feature is still under development, we want to prepare you for a few minor differences between the version you’ll be testing and the version you’ll have access to at launch. Calling a target (default CTRL+T) is currently squad-wide, but will be changed to work within a subgroup at launch. Leaderless squad functionality will not be enabled until launch, so you can pick up a Commander Compendium for your beta character at the entrance to the raid. Finally, there will be some disruption in the way squads work when the beta begins and ends. If you’re in an existing version of a squad when the beta event begins, we encourage you to disband and form a new squad. If you’re in a squad using enhanced squad UI when the beta event ends, disbanding and forming a new squad should help iron out any lingering incompatibility.
We can’t wait to let you get your hands on this feature in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™!