Guild of the Week2007/02/27 – There Is A Cow Level [cow]
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This article was initially published on the official website of Guild Wars.

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."

Member Profiles

Meet the herd :

  • Handle: Blame the Monks, Garbad
    Location: USA
    Preferred Character: I enjoy playing Monk/Assassin and other surprise-attack builds. Nothing beats the feeling of killing an over-extended Frenzy Warrior with a Monk. Rawr.
    Gaming Background: I've been hooked on MMO PvP for years. I enjoy both PvE and PvP.
    Position in the Guild: Squad leader.
    Why I Joined: Because I got kicked out of XoO and Cow was the next best guild that would take me.
  • Handle: Lotus
    Location: Ontario, Canada, Planet Earth (I think)
    Preferred Character: I mostly play defensive casters. The "defense" part depends, of course, on exactly how much defense we are running. Usually I have something like Gale, Blinding surge (if we are lucky), and Draw Conditions, which is about as defensive as we ever get.
    Gaming Background: I fail at most aspects of PvE unless you count collecting green items. I love strategic games.
    Position in the Guild: I am the midline wench. I also am a bit of the Grandmamma of the guild, except I don't bake cookies.
    Why I Joined: To kill QQ.
  • Handle: Warmaster Sidious
    Location: Wisconsin, USA
    Preferred Character: Melee or any offensive character.
    Gaming Background: Started my online play with a PvP game, then got into some sci-fi action games and eventually found Guild Wars.
    Position in the Guild: Rodeo Clown.
    Why I Joined: To make a bloody mess of every player in this game.
  • Handle: Deep
    Location: USA
    Preferred Character: Monk
    Gaming Background: FPSs
    Position in the Guild: Officer and the frequently emo guildie.
    Why I Joined: Winning is fun. New mission: Kill QQ
  • Handle: I Terror Shaard I
    Location: Southern New Jersey
    Preferred Character: Paragon and Mesmer. Any midline really. No Monk.
    Gaming Background: Some RPG and FPS…all PvP.
    Position in the Guild: Squad member.
    Why I Joined: To get to play competitively and get yelled at.
  • Handle: The Champ Is Here, Stuntastic Stunna
    Location: Pennsylvania, USA
    Preferred Character: My preferred class is Ranger, and recently a Monk secondary makes the most sense due to Mending Touch's ability to quickly remove multiple Conditions.
    Gaming Background: Lots of FPS games and some RPGs, but Guild Wars is my first MMORPG.
    Position in the Guild: Officer
    Why I Joined: I was guildless and bored.
  • Handle: Stryker Guildbane
    Location: USA
    Preferred Character: I love playing Warrior; more specifically hammer Warrior, though I can play any position decently if need be.
    Gaming Background: If it was popular I've played it.
    Position in the Guild: Super Hero, although Lotus hasn't finished my costume yet.
    Why I Joined: No better place to go.
  • Handle: Brett C Stalker
    Location: Florida, USA
    Preferred Character: I always play an Energy Surge, Gale, Blackout Mesmer, no matter what the meta is.
    Gaming Background: I use to play quite a bit of FPS. Guild Wars is pretty much my first PvP-oriented MMORPG.
    Position in the Guild: Leader, Kry's daddy.
  • Handle: Devine
    Location: Florida, USA
    Preferred Character: I usually play Monk/Ele for the Glyph of Lesser Energy/Aegis combo. This particular combo is very good for relieving pressure or allowing your team to push without taking much physical damage.
    Gaming Background: I played a lot of battle tech types of games.
    Position in the Guild: Kry's Loyal Peasant.
  • Handle: Kryzick Peacebringer
    Location: Mount Olympus, Washington, USA
    Preferred Character: I play Frenzy Warrior.
    Gaming Background: Before GW, I wrestled in high school. This gave me a lot of practice at sticking to a Monk regardless of the interference.
    Position in the Guild: Overextended.
    Why I Joined: Because I can't GvG with seven Heroes.