Guild of the Week2005/05/10 – Negative Zero [nO]
Article from
This article was initially published on the official website of Guild Wars.

Guild of the Week: Negative Zero (n0)

Negative Zero, which began with six core players and has expanded to their current eighteen, was formed specifically for Guild Wars, although many of the members had played together previously in other games. The guild is strongly involved in the competitive side of Guild Wars and ranked highly on the ladder during Beta Weekend Events.

Negative Zero members share a camaraderie that clearly shows in their approach to PvP game play. They enjoy gaming and have fun at each other's expense, and unlike many guilds who tightly control chatter on voice communications, Negative Zero members spend a lot of time discussing, joking, and devising new strategies during a match. Although some members enjoy cooperative missions, Negative Zero’s focus is on PvP.

Building a Guild-vs-Guild Team

For Negative Zero, build design starts with a basic core idea submitted by one of its members. Each character in the build is then assigned a defined role and given a roughly planned skill set and attribute scores. Once the characters have been mocked up, n0 passes off each character to a member who is an expert in that particular profession. The member makes adjustments based on their knowledge and individual preference. This process can take hours, or even days, as all members of the guild are given an opportunity to make their case.

Once the eight characters have a base setup that the guild is happy with, they undergo testing in the Arena, both to check their skill sets and to allow the player to become familiar with the character they will play. Finally, the build might be tested in the Tomb of Primeval Kings tournament or in unrated Guild-vs-Guild battles against friendly guilds.

Each character within the build is designed to enhance the team build. Most of the skills chosen for a character are intended to fulfill that character's specific role, while the remaining skill slots support the role of the other characters. A highly offensive character, such as an Elementalist, generally focuses on two or three attributes to maximize damage while a support character, such as a Necromancer, might use four or five attributes to get a good selection of varied skills.

n0 rarely designs its builds around Elite skills, which they feel can be risky, since a good team can identify the important Elite skill and then use it as a single point of failure. Instead, Elite skills are used as supplements to the overall build or as a means of saving a skill slot. For example, Eviscerate can be used instead of Executioner’s Strike and Dismember.

During battle, Negative Zero members use the first combat encounter to analyze their enemy. They initially targets enemy Monks, however, if they spot another important target, they quickly shift focus. This style of play often results in n0 losing the first encounter, but then resurrecting and working toward victory by exploiting weak points identified during the first skirmish.

PvP Build Quick Tips

When designing a new build for PvP guild battles, n0 members offer the following tips and strategies below.

  • Take into consideration the prevailing "metagame" current in Guild-vs-Guild matches. Keep a close eye on what builds your rivals are using and adjust your own builds to suit. Be aware that the more guilds there are that use a given build type (for example, lots of Hex spells), the more likely it is that there will be builds designed to counter that build (for example, lots of counters for Hex spells).
  • Make sure your build does not have a "single point of failure" that can be exploited by the enemy. When your entire build relies on one character or one skill and that character is countered, you run the likely risk of the entire build failing. For example, if your build makes heavy use of Blood is Power and that skill is only available to a single character in your build, all other characters will suffer a lack of Energy if that character dies.
  • The build should not be easily countered by a specific counter-build but should have the ability to counter a "trick" build used by enemies without major modification. This means bringing a good mix of offensive and defensive skills and avoiding skills that are useful only in particular situations.

PvP Play: Quick Tips

When participating in PvP guild battles, n0 members offer the tips and strategies below.

  • Remember that you are playing as a team; stay in range of your healers and retreat from the front lines if you are being targeted.
  • During GvG, do not allow the enemy to hold the flag stand for prolonged periods of time. The morale boost can make a big difference in the early game. In addition, do not allow the enemy to erase their accumulated death penalty.
  • In Tombs battles, eliminate the enemy Ghostly Hero immediately after every even minute. This is especially important during “Capture the Relic” maps where the Hero is required to make a capture.
  • Remember that you can use your body to block an enemy from reaching his goal. Body blocking can help prevent an enemy from capturing the flag stand or capturing a Relic.
  • Use interrupt skills to prevent a Ghostly Hero from capturing the altar.
  • Know your professions well; the better you know a profession as a whole, the better you will be when playing that profession in a team build.

Member Profiles

Meet some of the members of Negative Zero.

  • Handle: The Judge
    Location: Missouri, USA
    Gaming Background: FPS
    Preferred Character: Warrior/monk/ranger/Necromancer/Mesmer/Elementalist.
  • Handle: Jak o.
    Location: Denmark.
    Gaming Background: Diverse
    Preferred Character: After I started playing PvP, I really grew to like the Monk profession, which I now play in all our GvG matches. I mostly focus on Healing Prayers and use Word of Healing. As a secondary, I usually play Mesmer or Elementalist depending on what we need on the team. I choose Mesmer if I need to conserve energy, and Elementalist if I need bring wards or be able to resurrect (a monk usually cannot use the time it takes to cast resurrect unless he uses glyph of sacrifice).
  • Handle: LoTek
    Location: Finland.
    Gaming Background: Diverse
    Preferred Character: I started off by playing Mesmers and Monks, but I've drifted over to running Warriors, Elementalists, Necromancers, and an occasional Ranger. I like to get creative with my builds, and I'm usually trying out something case you happen to spot me in the arena.
  • Handle: Blindspot
    Location: Arizona, USA
    Gaming Background: Diverse
    Preferred Character: Warrior/monk/ranger/Necromancer/Mesmer/Elementalist.
  • Handle: Aruwen Lefay
    Location: Austria
    Gaming Background: Diverse
    Preferred Character: I am more a "jack-of-all-trades" guy, and I try to play different characters. My character preferences change from time to time, but at the moment, I enjoy the Monk profession or a character that can deal high damage.
  • Handle: Bane the Insane
    Location: Michigan, USA
    Gaming Background: Diverse
    Preferred Character: I almost always play a Ranger in the group. General strategies include: Try to get high ground whenever possible to gain a height bonus with your arrows; try to keep close enough to your target so that if the foe falls back, you are still in attack range but far enough so that targeting you is a nuisance; and lastly, if you are using interrupt skills, try to get a sense of the casting speeds and importance of every spell so that you know when and what to interrupt.
  • Handle: KamiCrazy
    Location: New Zealand
    Gaming Background: MMORPG
    Preferred Character: Elementalist/Necromancer. Although it varies, I mostly focus on Lightning and Curses/Blood Magic. I also play a Mesmer/Monk and focus on protection. Generally, I have the most micro-intensive, multi-role positions.
  • Handle: Cross
    Location: Canada
    Gaming Background: PvE Console games
    Preferred Character: Warriors; I'm in love with my Hammer/Smiting Warrior/Monk. With this character, I use Judge's Insight with the Devastating Hammer/Mighty Blow/Heavy Blow/Crushing Blow/Power Attack skill combination. I do a lot of target calling with this character, so I generally pick something relatively easy to play so I can keep my attention focuses on the entire battlefield.
  • Handle: Ark
    Location: New York, USA
    Gaming Background: Diverse
    Preferred Character: I like to heal people. My favorite skill, until recently, was Melandru's Resilience; it made me all warm and fuzzy on the inside. However, with its recent nerf, I am left stumbling around trying to find my place in the world.
  • Handle: Salmon Express
    Location: Pennsylvania, USA
    Gaming Background: MMORPGs with some FPS
    Preferred Character: A Mesmer with Domination or my Mesmer/Monk with resurrection.