Editorials

What’s in a (Guild) Name?

If you are like me and have been lurking through the back alleys and byways of the Guild Wars 2 community, then you might have come out from under your “Over-rock” and noticed a little article go up on the Guild Wars 2 website about choosing a name for Tyria’s latest heroes. The title is a tad confusing, but the article asks for players to vote on a name for the Commander’s small guild from the Heart of Thorns expansion.

My immediate thoughts were excitement: I welcomed any chance participation in the creative direction of the game. Of course, those initial thoughts were followed by the horror of 1), discovering that there were only three name choices, and 2), none of the choices gave me an “aha, that’s the one!” feeling.

Where does that leave me? For polls like these (such as the poll to rename areas of Lion’s Arch), I tend to analyze each name for any symbolic, emotional, or “historic” significance before making a final decision. With that said, I’m going to share the choice I eventually came to and why I chose it.

"Just look at you. (huff huff) All you... heroes."

“Just look at you. (huff huff) All you… heroes.”

Eternity’s Guard

At first glance, the name Eternity’s Guard shares a similar audible gravity to “Destiny’s Edge,” the guild originally comprised of Logan, Rytlock, Caithe, Eir, Garm, Zojja, and Snaff. It sounds cool but unlike Destiny’s Edge, the name has no context, no connection to the current story or the main cast that forms the Pact Commander’s group. For those unfamiliar, Destiny’s Edge is the combination of two groups that came together in the pre-release novel Edge of Destiny: Dragonspawn’s Destiny and Edge of Steel united to form the guild we came to know throughout the Personal Story and dungeons.

It’s possible that context for the name would be added in the next chapter of the Living Story what with the VO for the guild names options having already been recorded for Season 3, but I’m not 100% sold, especially for a game that has not explained the lore background behind the revenant and elite specializations, or why Rytlock has Rurik’s old sword, Sohothin. Maybe those examples are too specific or maybe I am being too skeptical, but hey, it’s enough to keep me from giving this name the benefit of the doubt. Not to mention that I’d feel like the writers would have to stretch pretty far for this one to make sense if they did try to explain it. I could see the reasoning behind something about “protecting Tyria’s future,” but that would be nuts considering that our characters are not immortal and that the Commander and b-iconics won’t be around forever to solve all of Tyria’s problems.

Dragon’s Watch

When you go to the ice scream shop, there’s usually a bunch of flavors to choose from, but for those who like the simpler things in life, there’s vanilla. Dragon’s Watch is your plain vanilla (which isn’t to say vanilla is bad, just meh). This name quickly establishes that the Pact Commander’s group keeps an eye out for Elder Dragon activity (as if they would be doing anything else) and is not to be confused with the already vigilant dragon fighting order, The Vigil, whose name implies that they also monitor Elder Dragon activity. 

It would probably be the easiest name to use as it needs little explanation or introduction, but it doesn’t say much about the group itself. Dragon’s Watch simply reaffirms what we know the Pact Commander’s group does, but loses its luster when you consider that so many in Tyria are already watching and observing the dragons. I feel Dragon’s Watch could be better used as the name of The Pact’s leftover survivors or an elite Pact squad/platoon of memorable NPCs that fought in both the Zhaitan and/or Mordremoth campaigns; NPCs known to the Commander like Laranthir, Eilye Jeyne, Deborah, Scholar Inkblood, Agent Zrii, Elli, Beigarth, Occam, Izu Steelshrike, Shashoo, Baroosh, and others. It would be a pretty good fit in that context, but I digress. I should move on to the last option before I fall in love with that idea.

They've seen things. Terrible things.

They’ve seen things. Terrible things.

The Unbroken

While Dragon’s Watch conveyed a contextual link between the Commander’s group and their physical role in Tyria, The Unbroken conveys an emotional truth about the current group’s members. The Commander has seen and been through much: the death of a mentor; the loss of Apatia or Tonn; bringing Destiny’s Edge back from the brink; helping Trahearne cleanse Orr; killing Zhaitan; Scarlet Briar; Caithe’s “betrayal;”  the destruction of The Pact; and facing Mordremoth. Much of these were done with the help of Rox, Braham, Taimi, Marjory, Kasmeer, Canach, and Rytlock who each have suffered through some of their own trials along the way. The ultimate message is that, despite everything these individuals have been through, they’ve come out on top.

The name The Unbroken is an affirmation of the group’s fortitude and their unique resilience to the Elder Dragon’s power and corruption (especially so for Canach and any sylvari Commanders). It conveys something deeper than role: it conveys strength of character, which I value a lot in naming guilds or squads. Ultimately, this is the reason why I voted for The Unbroken. Sure, like Dragon’s Watch, its meaning is relatively plain and is pretty easily conveyed without much exposition, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I like what the name implies. I like the inarguable truth of it. Well, that and “Destiny’s Edge 2.0” wasn’t listed in the poll. I had to compromise somewhere.

 

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