Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Arena: Prologue


I ran into a thread a few days ago on Wizard101 Central where someone (I can't remember their name; it seems the thread has either been moved to somewhere discrete, or been deleted) asked where they could find PVP guides written by me.  Just to clear up the rumors, I actually don't have any type of articles purely on that matter...until now.   Most of my guidance was given through the game, so I'm assuming the requester overheard me at a post-match discussion or in the Hatchery the other night.  Heck, with all the buzz on Twitter awhile ago, I've been unofficially labeled as the go-to person for the arena.

But that got me thinking.  Why exactly haven't I started up on sharing some tactics just yet? (rhetorical question)  Someone guessed it was because letting strategies surface would backfire on me someday.  That's a possible consequence, but remember that we are playing a game that involves probabilities, and thus there are no "absolute" or "invincible" deck builds or playstyles.  So, while tips and tricks may help reduce game-changing mistakes, they never guarantee victories.  Guides are just guides.

In my case, I'll be introducing and exploring some basic and advanced concepts for PVP over the next few weeks.  And because they're just concepts, it's really up to the player's critical thinking and decision-making that determines the outcome.  No negative repercussions for me there; only more competitors and competent players!

WHY do PVP?  For one, it allows you to explore your strategies, playstyle, and leadership skills in a new dimension.  Cassandra Dragonheart, who's just started in the last few weeks, wrote:
Playing against HUMAN players and not mobs brings a whole new side of Wizard101 to light.  Human players can think ;) and not just blade, trap, attack.  PvP is a whole 'nother thing.
Against another human, gameplay is not as repetitive as farming the Coven; arguably, the game is different every match, even when against the same Wizard.  When your target is putting up enough shields to thwart that common strategy of a one-hit kill, you are then playing in a "world" that is much more difficult and demanding than Dragonspyre.  In contrast to altering your playstyle away from "trap-stacking," you will also be experimenting defensively, finding yourself using more shields than before, to prevent an opponent's "trap-stacking."

Through learning to innovate by planning your deck against the unknown and unexpected, you're halfway there to being fully prepared against future Cheater bosses.  As mentioned before in my Warehouse Guide, I pointed out that my group and I had very little knowledge of how the instance bosses behaved, other than that they used Rank 7 spells, including Rebirth.  Heck, I was the only one who PVPed regularly between the four of us, but by applying a strategy I had learned from the Arena, we beat Estrakir, without guides, on the Test Realm, on our very first attempt.  Thus, PVP also provides mental and tactical tools to use, no matter what your skill level or rank is.  Whether you win or lose a match, there is something always to be gained from the experience (given that your mind is open, and that you do not give up).  Beguile puts the target on your team for a few rounds.  Minions can break shields.  Life Dispel can prevent Life-based healing spells from going off.  Such information is vital to know, should we find "trap-stacking" too simplistic in the future.  Who knows what PVP will teach us about the coming Astral Magics and new Main School spells?

Before I throw down the playbook, I'd like to use the next few days (and posts) to discuss the perspectives on PVP a little more in depth, to clear up some general perceptions on it.  In other words, this Prologue will be extensive, and expanded over a few days.  Hopefully I can broaden the interest of those who have not yet tried PVP (but heard many "bad" things about the arena), or bring redemption for the sport in the eyes of those who tried and quit.


  1. YAY! I am so glad that you are doing this! I have wanted to try PvP but lacked strategy. Thanks Kevin!

  2. PVP as practice for thinking on your feet for rule-breaking bosses never occurred to me, thanks!

  3. MIA I found that thread :

  4. Maybe that's why I could never beat the warehouse; I could never beat anybody in PvP (and I still Can't). Oh well...


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