Mental strength in PvP
Did you ever hear “s/he choking” in the arena and have no clue what they were talking about? Do you have a good pet, gear and deck set up and still fail to achieve your goals? Mental strength is an intangible factor that plays an equally strong role as some other things in PvP matches. It’s the final move that pushes us to a higher step. It’s a factor that distinguishes the good from the best players.
In this article we’ll check the psychology of mental strength in Wizard101 PvP. We can describe it and give you some tips, but its final execution is on you. You have to go over all of the barriers by yourself – hopefully we can make your journey much easier.
Let’s start with motivation. Why are you PvPing… what motivates you to keep returning in the Arena? Is it the Warlord rank/badge, commander gear, to be the very best like no one ever was, getting arena tickets, climbing out of the sub-private ranks or just completing the daily assignments? Motivation is something that keep us pushing towards achieving our goals. Something that increases your desire to learn, practise and become better.
Make sure that you don’t forget what motivates you. If you do, you can quickly turn into mindless zombie who’s just there, straying further away from your own goals. Unless you don’t have anything that motivates you and you PvP just to casually spend an afternoon and don’t mind losing.
But we should be completely honest here. Unfortunately, PvP isn’t designed for getting wins from casual afternoons. You can of course squeeze in a win every now and then, but progression without willingness to learn and improve is really hard here – if not impossible.
Confidence can be divided into two parts:
- Overall approach in arena
- Card selecting in actual fights
It’s highly probable that you’ll keep getting smashed after taking your first steps in the Arena. It can be hard to keep a positive attitude in situations like this, but you have to do it. You need to push away the “I can’t do it” attitude and focus on the one for winners: “I can do it”. Even if you’re keep failing and seeing that you can’t do it – never say this to yourself. “I want to do it” or “I will do it” are much better options. Be confident in yourself – you can’t have success if you don’t have any confidence and if you don’t believe in yourself.
The second part refers to confidence about decisions when you’re in an actual PvP match – especially when you’re going second. Don’t worry if you can’t predict all the moves accurately – even the best players can’t do that. In the end it’s still better to try and fail than not to try at all. We tend to remember the bad things more easily than the good ones. Which means that next time you’ll face a simillar situation, you’ll remember the previous experience and you’ll act accordingly. Every action has a reaction. Even when you fail to predict, having the confidence to try will give you experience and a better game sense. This experience can and will help you in the long run.
Always stay 100% focused
It’s easy to say “staying focused isn’t that hard”. Which might be true. But can you stay 100% focused during all matches? Can you put away all the distractions? Can you stop playing around with your phone, and not pay too much attention to facebook and skype chats? Don’t watch videos on youtube at same time, because all of these things represent unnecessary distractions. I know there is some spare time during the spell animations – but you should use this time to think about strategy and tactics you’ll apply in the fight.
There is more time for actions in Wizard101 than there is in other games. Use it in your advantage! Use your time to think about possible scenarios. What will you play if opponent does X and what if Y? Or maybe if they’ll do something completely different. Even though 30 seconds sounds like a lot, they can pass really quickly. There’s 5 seconds left to pick a card and the pressure is getting high… You can’t decide what to choose and end up passing instead… If only you would have been focused during the animation, so you’d be able to pick the spell right away instead of passing, eh?
You should always try to be relaxed while in PvP. Being relaxed means less pressure and less nervousness in general – another set of things that can cause you to lose a match because of being unable to pick the correct card.
And how do you stay relaxed to get rid of all the nervousness? Well, the first thing is experience. While some players can jump right into a ranked match and have no problems at all, others will need to go through a period of matches to obtain this skill. Maybe you can try to add some external factors – add some music in the background or use a fidget spinner. Just be careful what you choose, so you won’t get in conflict with the previous paragraph. Or even if you do, this won’t be too big of a problem as long as it would only be a temporary solution.
Don’t get irritated
Opponents can and some will taunt you or try to provoke you. The majority are just trolling or geniuly trying to make you miserable. However, there is small and almost non-existent percentage who do it in order to throw you out of your comfort zone and gain tactical advantage (you’re welcome for giving you a nice excuse for your bad behaviour, you meanies!). When you’re angry you will make mistakes. You will be filled with anger/sadness and this will have an effect on your decisions. Unfortunately this effect is negative.
Luckily, there are some methods that can help you with that. You can turn on “PvP team chat only” in the options and you won’t be able to see what your opponent is saying. You can turn off the chat bubbles and close the chat window – that way even their friends/second accounts won’t be able to provoke you. Or you can use the ignore button. Don’t be afraid to use it, it’s there for a reason and you won’t get punished for using it – even if you’ll use it on regular basis.
Don’t underestimate anyone
You hear this everywhere in everyday life and not just in Wizard101. It’s exactly the same in wizard101 as it is in any other competition – Do not underestimate anyone. It doesn’t matter how big the rank difference is and the difference in gear and pets between you and your opponent. While there are lots of chances for you to win, they stay at “a lot”. Not 100%, but “a lot”. Being careless for 2 or 3 rounds, combined with the opponent having some luck can quickly turn an easy win into a disastrous loss.
Human brains are complicated thing and by underestimating the opponent you open yourself up to all kinds of mistakes. Unfortunately, underestimating isn’t like an on/off switch. You can say to yourself that you’ll be absolutely serious in the fight, but deep inside your mind – in your subconsciousness you’ll still treat the opponents as weaker beings after seeing them with an epic pet and unstitched gear. Even I, who am preaching how wrong this is and fully aware of problems that can occur, can’t get rid of that completely. It’s something that comes with experience and having a lot of finished matches under your belt.
Don’t be too concerned about TC
Or with other words – don’t be scared of using your TC’s. Especially when it comes to rare treasure cards. These can often make the difference between winning and losing. And having doubts whether you should use them or save them for the next fight can be a deal-breaker. It will distract you and make you think about wheter you really need to use them now or if you can risk saving them. It will distract you from thinking about things that matter – how to beat your opponent. Remember the paragraph about always staying 100% focused?
If you really want to save them for important matches (like a warlord match for example), then completely remove them from your deck and add them later. Or try to look for a steady supply. Gardens can help a lot here, since various plants provide various useful tc’s. For example, go and plant Ivy League if you’re keep hesitating about using triage. Or train Myth school so you can get Deadly Minotaur mutation.
With a steady supply and no fear to run out of cards, you can incorporate them into your strategy. If you want to check our article about Top 10 PvP plants in Wizard101, click here.
When you shouldn’t play
Now, of course we can’t say “You shouldn’t play when…”, but you need to be aware that certain situations can have an effect on your gameplay. When you’re in front of important life decisions for example. While video games are a good thing to free your mind, doing a ranked PvP match at this time can have a negative effect on your thought process. You’ll still think about this important life decision, which can quickly make you use the wrong card.
There are other situations as well – do you have an important exam tomorrow? Did someone you know in real life have an accident? Were you just fired from your job? Are you too tired? There are plenty of situations where doing a PvP match will help you free your mind, but you’ll still be distracted and won’t be able to fully commit to it. It’s up to you to judge whether you want to do ranked right at that moment, or whether bashing some monsters would be more appropriate.