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[Spoilers] How powerful is the Commander?


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I wonder how powerful are our characters compared to the different enemies and allies. If the Commander had a rank (like mobs have - veteran, elite, champion, legendary) — what it would be?Some NPCs seems to be very powerful, like Queen Jennah — she can instantly kill someone and create a huge feedback, when our mesmer character can't kill regular enemy with one shot of mantra. The Commander can be easily killed by a common enemy, but we can kill champions and legendary enemies (with or even without any help). It seems like The Commander is powerful and simultaneously weak.Balthazar e.g. can literally one-shot our character (and he did it 4 times — In Rata Novus, in the vulcano, in Desert Highlands and in Elon Riverlands), but he failed to kill us in the final encounter. So what... is The Commander stronger than Balthazar in PoF (with Aurene's help, but teoreticaly The Commander can spare him), Mordremoth, Palawa Joko (we didn't kill him, but he was defeated)?Is it possible to characters like Queen Jennah or Koss (he killed Iberu with one hit) to replace us and do the job better? Like... come on, they can kill powerful people much faster. If Jennah e.g. can create a feedback for whole city, it proves that she can utilize mesmer magic much better than The Commander, so she IS more powerful.

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A "is stronger as" relation is usually not transitive, just remember the old stone-paper-scissors example, and therefore nothing you can use to order them linearly nor to determine a strongest/weakest.

Additionally "won against once" is not really "is stronger as" as Balthasar vs hero shows, i.e. it involves luck, circumstances, companions, ...

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@"Antycypator.9874" said:I wonder how powerful are our characters compared to the different enemies and allies. If the Commander had a rank (like mobs have - veteran, elite, champion, legendary) — what it would be?Depends on whether it's a story instance or open world. Our allies are usually classified as legendaries, right? I think the PC should be at about their level, plus / minus a bit. OTOH, in Open World, champions are usually not meant to be soloed, so here we are more veteran-like?

Is it possible to characters like Queen Jennah or Koss (he killed Iberu with one hit) to replace us and do the job better? Like... come on, they can kill powerful people much faster. If Jennah e.g. can create a feedback for whole city, it proves that she can utilize mesmer magic much better than The Commander, so she IS more powerful.Now, this could just be my headcanon, but I think the Commander is doing a well enough job with their respective class, but is not really outstanding. Trahearne and Jory are likely better necromancers than a necro PC, Kas and Jenna are better mesmers, our guardian PCs probably would have died in that Arah story if they had been in Logan's place, etc. The Commander is not "special" from the start and was originally not meant to be a Chosen One of any sort (until Aurene, of course). So yes, a lot of NPCs can do the professions better. However, that does not mean they could replace the PC and get better results. Most of our conflicts are not solved by profession skill, but by having the right allies at the right times, teamwork, lots of luck and a bit of extra magic (Aurene, Sohothin...)

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Considering the commander is known to be capable of conquering entire Tyria and enslaving all the lesser races... well that really say everything about your "powerful" characters. They obviously couldnt stop it.

This is of course assuming we're talking about the commander from the superior race.

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Captain Rahim: This is the dragon slayer?Rytlock Brimstone: Well, it wasn't a solo effort, but yeah. The commander's taken down one or two.

And that sums it up nicely I think. The commander, like any of the other 'heros' in the game from Destiny's Edge or Dragon's Watch, is more powerful than your average bear, but the reason they are victorious is combination of strength, determination, tactics, a good choice in companions....and because the story writers wish it so.

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In terms of mechanical rank? The Commander would be legendary ranked.

As to how strong the Commander is, keep in mind every single victory against a major foe, the Commander had allies. On top of that, whenever the Commander takes on a major foe - be it dragon champion or other - in one on one combat, the Commander loses.

To note the notable battles:

  • (Chapter 3 bosses) Mazdak, Kellach, Rissa, Vyacheslav, and Rakt: Partnered with a member of DE and Order member(s).
  • Blightghast the Plaguebringer: had Trahearne and members of the Orders helping
  • Kudu, Gaheron, Faolain (sylvari), DeLana: had 1 or 2 members of DE helping
  • Zhaitan: Had a Pact army
  • Scarlet: Dragon's Watch
  • Shadow of the Dragon: Pale Tree first time, Dragon's Watch second time
  • Faolain (mordrem): Dragon's Watch
  • Mordremoth: Dragon's Watch and a Pact army
  • Caudecus: Canach and Anise
  • Lazarus: Livia
  • Balthazar: Died to, or had Aurene and Sohothin
  • Joko: Lost to (Aurene killed Joko, not the Commander)
  • Kralkatorrik: Aurene and the Pact army

TL;DR the only times the Commander fought against a powerful enemy alone was against Balthazar (died) and Joko (initially overpowered but lost via immobilized by a trap).

@"Antycypator.9874" said:Some NPCs seems to be very powerful, like Queen Jennah — she can instantly kill someone and create a huge feedback, when our mesmer character can't kill regular enemy with one shot of mantra.

It should be noted that the feedback bubble and barriers that Jennah sets up seem to be city defenses that she merely activated. After all, she contains zero concentration on them after they're activated. In addition, on top of having some mesmer-purple, there's also a shade of guardian-blue in them, indicating that these spells are mixtures of mesmer and guardian magic, which Jennah is not capable of.

The Commander can be easily killed by a common enemy, but we can kill champions and legendary enemies (with or even without any help). It seems like The Commander is powerful and simultaneously weak.

This is confusing mechanics for lore here. Though even in mechanics, most "weak opponents" only pose a threat to a player if the player is not really paying attnetion.

Balthazar e.g. can literally one-shot our character (and he did it 4 times — In Rata Novus, in the vulcano, in Desert Highlands and in Elon Riverlands), but he failed to kill us in the final encounter. So what... is The Commander stronger than Balthazar in PoF (with Aurene's help, but teoreticaly The Commander can spare him), Mordremoth, Palawa Joko (we didn't kill him, but he was defeated)?

Aurene was using protection magic for the Commander in the final confrontation (also, Balthazar doesn't one-shot the Commander in Rata Novus, and isn't capable of doing so until absorbing a sufficient amount of Jormag's and Primordus' magic during the Heart of the Volcano story step). Similarly, the Commander could only deal significant damage due to wielding Sohothin.

Mordremoth was fought on two fronts - within the mind by the Commander and half of Dragon's Watch (the other half protecting the Commander and co.'s physical bodies from hordes of mordrem), and the other front was by the Pact army on his physical body (the "Mouth of Mordremoth"). Similar situation with Kralkatorrik, where the Pact army dealt damage to Kralkatorrik while the Commander, Aurene, and half of Dragon's Watch closed the ley lines (and then the Commander and Aurene went into Kralk for the final blow).

Is it possible to characters like Queen Jennah or Koss (he killed Iberu with one hit) to replace us and do the job better? Like... come on, they can kill powerful people much faster. If Jennah e.g. can create a feedback for whole city, it proves that she can utilize mesmer magic much better than The Commander, so she IS more powerful.

See above about Jennah, but regarding Koss: anyone can kill an unsuspecting individual in one well-placed strike, game mechanics aside. So that's not really saying much about Koss's strength (I am also suddenly disappointed that Koss and Kossan had no role in Episodes 5 and 6).

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@Antycypator.9874 said:I wonder how powerful are our characters compared to the different enemies and allies. If the Commander had a rank (like mobs have - veteran, elite, champion, legendary) — what it would be?Some NPCs seems to be very powerful, like Queen Jennah — she can instantly kill someone and create a huge feedback, when our mesmer character can't kill regular enemy with one shot of mantra. The Commander can be easily killed by a common enemy, but we can kill champions and legendary enemies (with or even without any help). It seems like The Commander is powerful and simultaneously weak.Balthazar e.g. can literally one-shot our character (and he did it 4 times — In Rata Novus, in the vulcano, in Desert Highlands and in Elon Riverlands), but he failed to kill us in the final encounter. So what... is The Commander stronger than Balthazar in PoF (with Aurene's help, but teoreticaly The Commander can spare him), Mordremoth, Palawa Joko (we didn't kill him, but he was defeated)?Is it possible to characters like Queen Jennah or Koss (he killed Iberu with one hit) to replace us and do the job better? Like... come on, they can kill powerful people much faster. If Jennah e.g. can create a feedback for whole city, it proves that she can utilize mesmer magic much better than The Commander, so she IS more powerful.

A BIG aspect in all of this is Gameplay Vs lore. For example, you can find a human necro in Kessex Hills who summons 3-5 Flesh Golems, and resummons any that die during an event. The PC cannot summon more then one. Trahearne at one point summons more then one golem as well. This is a case of gameplay balancing, as it'd be overpowered to hell if a player necro could run about with several flesh golems, and multiple minions of different types.

Some characters are powerful, others not so much. The commander is certainly a powerful individual, but they are hardly a one-man army god of war (Like say, so many of WoW's characters, or the PC of WoW).

Definitely among the figures of heroes, but like a good hero, they have a team of skilled and strong people helping them to achieve victory.

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While i obviously understand that game mechanics don't equal lore, i think it's at least a little interesting to take some possible lore insights from game mechanics.

I think where most enemies we face are 'sprinters', the commander is a long-distance runner. most enemies we face are built for large, powerful, single attacks that deal massive damage and tire out the user, where as the commander is built for long term sustainable damage, with a small array of quickly recharging abilities that can be used in combat encounters. this honestly holds true for the bosses as well, with the exception that their pool of power is so large that balthazar can kill us with a single blow and still have a significant percentage of his power left over to deal with kralkatorrik. us catching him off guard by using sohothin and releasing aurene was enough to turn the tide against him. Joko on the other hand falls into the long distance category, able to out last any opponent and having tricks up his sleeve to deal with anyone who manages to defeat him, aurene being the only one dealing with the source of his longevity.

so that's kind of where i personally stand on it, it's how the commander is able to survive longer encounters with more powerful enemies, by being able to outlast enemies with the help of various allies and the use of dodges and (relatively) fast recharging healing abilities

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Legendary. Destiny's Edge and allies of similar ranking are Legendary, and Zojja essentially acknowledges in Season 2 that the Commander is the best fighter among them. There are a few caveats, however:

First, NPCs tend to have inflated stats to compensate for them being less able to predict and dodge attacks than a human player.

Second, the player is only really the Commander from a mechanical perspective during story instances - in open world and raids, the player is more akin to an elite Pact soldier than the Dragonslayer. You can see this in cases where an enemy can be taken out solo or with a small group of allies in a story instance when the same enemy (or enemies lower in stature) requires a large group in open world or a raid. Mechanically, this is represented by the statistics of creatures in open world and raids being even more inflated.

Third, there are NPCs that are probably less powerful individually than the PC, but which have resources and training that the PC doesn't have that can make them appear more powerful in certain circumstanced. Queen Jennah is probably a good example of this - she can do things that a player mesmer can't, but her damage output is low.

Fourth, ArenaNet seems to have grown quite fond of hitting the player with scripted disables...

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The Commander has one ability that no NPC seems to have- he can respec at will. That versatility makes him stronger than any other npc in a certain way. From a lore perspective, the reason certain npcs are better at a given class mechanic is that mechanic is the only one they can use. The commander can't summon multiple flesh golems, but if summons aren't a good tactic, he can switch to Lich Form. If the skills of a one weapon don't work, he can swap to a different one.

Additionally, the commander's strength is fairly constant wherever he is. Many boss enemies he faces are at their base, with a source of power to boost them beyond the normal limits of their class. Imagine how strong the commander might be if he had access to a similar place/source of power!

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@CaelestiaEmpyrea.2617 said:The Commander has one ability that no NPC seems to have- he can respec at will. That versatility makes him stronger than any other npc in a certain way. From a lore perspective, the reason certain npcs are better at a given class mechanic is that mechanic is the only one they can use. The commander can't summon multiple flesh golems, but if summons aren't a good tactic, he can switch to Lich Form. If the skills of a one weapon don't work, he can swap to a different one.

Additionally, the commander's strength is fairly constant wherever he is. Many boss enemies he faces are at their base, with a source of power to boost them beyond the normal limits of their class. Imagine how strong the commander might be if he had access to a similar place/source of power!

Gameplay vs lore.

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  • 2 years later...

I'll use my runs through the personal story to give the best answer I can

 

Basically, the power of the PC varies, but even then they're still quite a powerhouse, using for example Vyacheslav

While the order of whispers representative could've just sneaked around doing her thing, without the PC, Vyacheslav would probably fire his weapon anyway, and both her and Eir would be overwhelmed with Icebrood, not to mention the destruction of the Priory main outpost

 

While on the other hand, some of the commander's actions would simply not be possoble if they were all alone, for instance in "Victory or Death", before storming to Arah, you need to gather core pieces for the ship, and to do so you must go through champions, which the commander definitely wouldn't be able to take alone.

 

TL;DR

The Commander is powerful enough to turn a hopeless situation into a victory, but not so powerful to the point of doing that all by itself

 

But that's how I see it, not an absolute

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The Commander is exactly as powerful as the player.

 

What I mean is, sometimes you'll try to solo a boss, even an entire instance, and you'll do everything right, and you'll beat it even though it wasn't really designed to be beaten by a single player. Other times, you'll try to do something, and mess it all up, and you just can't win without help.

 

People aren't constant, the Commander is powerful and weak at the same time. Its all about the circumstances. You can take actions to shift the odds more in your favor (like training), but at the end of the day, things happen.

 

What we do know is the Commander is courageous and tries to never give up, no matter what. There's actually an entire trope that explains the Commander's attitude and where most of their power comes from fairly well:

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Determinator

 

Or, as a friend put it once," the Commander isn't the chosen one, they're not a hero of prophecy, they were just in the right place at the right time and had the right attitude. alot of it."

 

Or even my favorite quote from Stargate, "you never give up do you?" "not until i'm dead, and sometimes not even then".

 

While obtaining Caladbolg:

Upon engaging the Remnant of a Hero:

The hero sought to save the world.
"If I keep trying, I'll be able to win," the hero thought.
But the harder the hero fought, the further the world seemed to tumble away.
Drowning in doubt, the hero could not even save themselves.

Upon defeating the Remnant of a Hero:

Hero, if you still believe in a brighter future, hold in your heart a thorn that can pierce all doubt.
 

We've only seen the Commander's strength of will falter one time, against Kralkatorrik.

Edited by Hannelore.8153
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7 hours ago, Moa Dixon.3657 said:

I'll use my runs through the personal story to give the best answer I can

 

Basically, the power of the PC varies, but even then they're still quite a powerhouse, using for example Vyacheslav

While the order of whispers representative could've just sneaked around doing her thing, without the PC, Vyacheslav would probably fire his weapon anyway, and both her and Eir would be overwhelmed with Icebrood, not to mention the destruction of the Priory main outpost

 

While on the other hand, some of the commander's actions would simply not be possoble if they were all alone, for instance in "Victory or Death", before storming to Arah, you need to gather core pieces for the ship, and to do so you must go through champions, which the commander definitely wouldn't be able to take alone.

 

TL;DR

The Commander is powerful enough to turn a hopeless situation into a victory, but not so powerful to the point of doing that all by itself

 

But that's how I see it, not an absolute

First of all: Holy moly that necro post. 

Second: We must make a difference between Ingame and Lore. 

If we use Ingame, the commander is a joke. I mean.. We have to slot a skill to do a basic kick. 

If we use lore, oh boy he's powerful. 

9years of intense war experience. 

Full mastery of the base class and 2 elite specs. With nothing saying (that I know of) he can't use both elites at once. Why would a Warrior not be able to use Full Counter in Berserkform? He has full knowledge on how to do it. 

We are a full on Champion of an Elder Dragon. 

 

We survived some insane stuff. 

When Kralk send us flying in All or Nothing. We crashed into a Wall with crazy speed, something almost no other character would have survived. 

We got an Arrow to the chest from basically point blank range, which was shot from a bow designed to kill an Elder Dragon. 

Yes we were extremely close to death but we did not die from the attack instantly. And that's after a hard fight before. 

 

The commanders currently is one of the most powerful fighters in mainland tyria. 

In lore that is. 

 

 

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The commander is write is a way to be seems as the guy which take the best decisions, not exactly the most "powerful". Is really rare find a dialogue where commander is mentioned as "strong" like japanese anime character "power'...

 

Power levels measure is always a complicated thing, even in japanese animes. Make a hero seems as "strong" but without be strong enough to one dare to challenge him,(otherwise if they just become feared as nuclear weapon, he dont need fight anyone).

 

Write dialogues where villains are not scared of us lead to other weird side effect, that is some villains simply seems don't mind us like Caldecus.

Edited by ugrakarma.9416
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The commander is akin to the versions of Optimus Prime who aren't Robo-Jesus: powerful, gifted and skilled, but not overtly so. Their true strength lies in their leadership skills, situational awareness and smarts. 

The boring answer would be "about as strong as human(-oid-)ly possible" - which is somewhere between lower tier dragon champions + famous superhumans (such as awakened leaders), and high-tier dragon lieutenants. 

Many of the fights aren't just a power flex, but a numbers game as well. And we know what happened to Varian Wrynn when he tried soloing the Burning Legion.

 

Quote

If the Commander had a rank (like mobs have - veteran, elite, champion, legendary) — what it would be?

Judging by personal skill and titles (PvP in particular), my commander would rank Legendary. While I'm no Lord Hizen, I have done my fair share of instance and boss soloing. For most, it's probably between elite and champion.

 

Quote

So what... is The Commander stronger than Balthazar in PoF (with Aurene's help, but teoreticaly The Commander can spare him), Mordremoth, Palawa Joko (we didn't kill him, but he was defeated)?

1) The commander is not stronger than Balthazar, but able to hold his own against them for a fair while in his fallen god state. By feats, by PoF, Balthazar is deceptively powerful. He's able to kill a scion of Glint with utmost ease, able to contain and capture Palawa Joko with magic that only disperses with his death, and content in going toe-to-toe with a weakened Kralkatorrik.

Remember, this is Balthazar without his previous, seemingly even more vast, powers and claims to his title.

2) The commander is, I believe, canonically fighting Mordremoth inside its mind the same time as Pact is assaulting its ulterior body (Mouth of Mordremoth). And the commander did have the aid of a few particularly notorious individuals in that encounter. It was by all means and purposes a team effort.

3) As you've probably realized by now, Joko isn't THAT powerful (compared to the rest of the threats). Turai Ossa was able to best him, and our character is seemingly around that level of strength - if not a fair bit higher. Joko's strength doesn't lie in direct combat as heavily as someone such as, say, Balthazar or Ryland.
 

Quote

Is it possible to characters like Queen Jennah or Koss (he killed Iberu with one hit) to replace us and do the job better

Magic users have different kinds of affinities and talents. Jennah is a glass cannon, far more inexperienced on the field and would struggle against many of the opponents the commander is able to handily take out. 

Koss taking out Iberu like that is just, eh, bad writing in the disguise of fan service.

Edited by NorthernRedStar.3054
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3 hours ago, NorthernRedStar.3054 said:

The commander is akin to the versions of Optimus Prime who aren't Robo-Jesus: powerful, gifted and skilled, but not overtly so. Their true strength lies in their leadership skills, situational awareness and smarts. 

The boring answer would be "about as strong as human(-oid-)ly possible" - which is somewhere between lower tier dragon champions + famous superhumans (such as awakened leaders), and high-tier dragon lieutenants. 

Many of the fights aren't just a power flex, but a numbers game as well. And we know what happened to Varian Wrynn when he tried soloing the Burning Legion.

 

Judging by personal skill and titles (PvP in particular), my commander would rank Legendary. While I'm no Lord Hizen, I have done my fair share of instance and boss soloing. For most, it's probably between elite and champion.

 

1) The commander is not stronger than Balthazar, but able to hold his own against them for a fair while in his fallen god state. By feats, by PoF, Balthazar is deceptively powerful. He's able to kill a scion of Glint with utmost ease, able to contain and capture Palawa Joko with magic that only disperses with his death, and content in going toe-to-toe with a weakened Kralkatorrik.

Remember, this is Balthazar without his previous, seemingly even more vast, powers and claims to his title.

2) The commander is, I believe, canonically fighting Mordremoth inside its mind the same time as Pact is assaulting its ulterior body (Mouth of Mordremoth). And the commander did have the aid of a few particularly notorious individuals in that encounter. It was by all means and purposes a team effort.

3) As you've probably realized by now, Joko isn't THAT powerful (compared to the rest of the threats). Turai Ossa was able to best him, and our character is seemingly around that level of strength - if not a fair bit higher. Joko's strength doesn't lie in direct combat as heavily as someone such as, say, Balthazar or Ryland.
 

Magic users have different kinds of affinities and talents. Jennah is a glass cannon, far more inexperienced on the field and would struggle against many of the opponents the commander is able to handily take out. 

Koss taking out Iberu like that is just, eh, bad writing in the disguise of fan service.

Koss fanservice aside, it was kind of amusing for Hordak to take out Goku in one hit. 😛

(For those who don't get the reference, check the voice actors.)

Edited by Hannelore.8153
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  • ArenaNet Staff

The Commander can bench press their weight, plus 100 pounds give or take.

 

On a slightly more serious note, I think it's safe to say the the PC is kind of a badass in the story, having been able to defeat Elder Dragons and literal human gods (though not without collateral damage and dying on occasion). Narratively, it's always tricky to balance the needs of the game with the needs of the fiction, so hopefully it feels good enough/plausible to be in that sweet spot. On top of the story, though, players have always roleplayed to push their characters in either direction (even more OP vs. more of an underdog), and certain types of content should hopefully challenge the notion that every antagonist is a pushover. (I can't count how many times I died to Sabetha...)

 

Anyway, cool thread. I'm enjoying reading everyone's answers.

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