Guild of the Week: There is a Cow Level [cow]
Cow is a GvG guild that focuses on one thing: to compete at the highest level. And in that goal, they've succeeded, consistently placing highly on the GvG ladder. The most frequent question Cow faces is about their name. What mysterious meaning lies behind There is a Cow Level? The simple answer has to do with a popular science fiction strategy game, in which the phrase "there is no cow level" was a cheat code.
Cow was originally a Heroes' Ascent guild, but in early 2006, the guild philosophy shifted sharply towards GvG play. Although there was only one week left in that GvG ladder season, Cow quickly surged up the ladder, finishing with a 1584 rating and rank 11, earning their first silver cape. The next season, Cow built upon their success, earning a 1621 rating while finishing in 4th place on the ladder and 4th place in the playoffs. Cow spent most of their third season in the top 5, although they did not compete in the playoffs.
Cow has just as much to brag about. They've reliably held a top spot on the ladder, and are proud of their recent 84 game winning streak. Members are excited about the future of GvG development and look forward to continuing to meet their own high standards.
It is not uncommon to see Cow experiment with crazy or unique builds during prime time with multiple guests, unconcerned about losing a match or two. In the long run, the guild expects to play at a consistent top-10 level, and doesn't worry about trying to find the perfect builds.
However, if you've got your eye on a roster spot in There is a Cow Level, don't get your hopes up. They're not recruiting, and aren't interested in requests for tryouts. Recruitment to Cow is strictly a closed affair. The guild only has ten active members and they like to keep the team small.
PvP Game Discussion
Cow doesn't run builds in the same way many other guilds do. Each member is expected to stay on top of new builds, Skill Bars, and strategies. Generally, members are free to run whatever they think works. As a result, Cow builds are often just a result of the meta-game and whim. The guild feels strongly that player skill is more important than a precise bar.
Cow always runs very offensive-oriented pressure builds. They avoid spike-themed builds and rarely bring much defense besides two Monks. Instead, they rely on smart individual play, key shutdowns, and effective offense to win games.
Because of this highly individualized tactic, Cow holds members responsible for personal mistakes. As a competitive guild, Cow expects nothing less than perfection. Criticism in Cow is often sharp and personal, but it's also constructive. They proudly claim that players don't last long in Cow unless they want to win badly enough to do whatever it takes. This uncompromising and driven attitude can seem harsh to outsiders, but to Cow it affirms a shared desire for victory.
One of Cow's pet peeves is playing Frozen Isle against weak teams. Too often, matches result in someone running around for 20 minutes wasting time. Cow urges other teams to realize that winning by ganking the Lord before Victory or Death (VoD) is relatively rare. Instead, your priority should be to pick off NPCs and gain a morale advantage until you reach the end goal—winning at VoD. VoD battles usually take place 8v8 at the flag stand because of the NPC advantage. However, if your team can't win an 8v8 fight and lacks a credible threat to kill the Guild Lord in a split, chances are you will lose even if you have an NPC advantage going into VoD.
That's not the only tip Cow has to share. They also suggest that teams play as offensively as they are able. Many people underestimate the utility of a highly-potent offense, and it's hard to ignore a 400-pound gorilla punching your Mesmer in the face.
Also, they encourage players to focus less on the build and more on individual play. A good player with a sub-optimal bar is far more dangerous than a poor player with the "perfect" build. Awareness, judgment, and teamwork are the most important "skills" on your bar.
Stay confident and aggressive—even when faced with overwhelming odds or a terrible error in judgment. Being calm and creative can often pull a team out of what seems like certain defeat.
Ultimately, Cow's advice is simple—just play the game. Guild Wars isn't rocket science and it isn't life or death. Too many people waste time analyzing the game. Playing is always better than sitting around.
In conclusion, Cow leaves aspiring players with this last scrap of tactical advice: "If you want to beat Cow, simply spike Kry over and over. Honestly, no one ever tries this. Really."
Meet the herd :