How to Become a Better Wizard
Life is a learning curve. We’re constantly developing and striving to become the best person we can possibly be. Here are ten virtues that can help you become a better wizard. Not all of them are easy to achieve, but I’m confident that with time, we can all become the best version of ourselves possible.
(The screenshots are things I’ve overheard in the Spiral)
This is the art of keeping going even when things are looking dark. Some dungeons in Wizard101 are tough (think of Darkmoor, Baba Yaga or the Rat, if you’re a max level wizard). Resilience means that you try again after failing and/or dying. Dying occasionally is normal, don’t overreact. Remember that wizards are resilient. I’ve never seen a wizard fail to respawn with one health after dying.
You need a resilient nature in PvP as well. PvP is all about testing your limits and facing people potentially better (or more lucky) than you. You’re not going to win every match. In fact, you may have periods during which you don’t win any matches at all. You may climb to the 2k rank range, and then lose 10 matches in a row. Resilience is accepting reversals as normal and keeping going regardless of the setbacks.
Empathy is the capacity to connect imaginitively with the sufferings and unique experience of another person. Say someone got drawn into the same battle you were in. Don’t get angry at them right from the start. They’re probably feeling just as annoyed about having been pulled in as you do. Hatch with someone with a bad pet occasionally, after imagining how they must feel getting rejected by people all the time.
Understand that your opponent in PvP might feel the game is unfair when you kill them through a lucky unblocked critical. They might react unpleasantly to your “gg”. Think about how you would feel in the same situation and let it go. Surely you know how frustrating it is to lose because of bad luck. Accept that your opponent might not be very happy, and don’t get drawn into an argument.
Patience, young padawan! Let’s face it: we’re not good at dealing with things that go wrong. Maybe you’re trying to hatch the perfect pet. Maybe you’re farming a certain boss for a specific item. Or maybe you’re standing in the Bazaar waiting for someone to sell Steel.
We should be calmer and more forgiving, by getting more realistic about how things actually tend to go. Don’t be that person complaining: “I hatched once and failed at mega.” Hatching for a certain type of pet may require you to hatch 20 times. Accept the reality of 10 fails at mega. Don’t get a temper tantrum in the Bazaar or force friends into selling their reagents. Good things come to those who wait. True, the Loremaster is stingy and will most likely give you a totally useless spell. Don’t take it out on the friends that are nice enough to accompany you on your quest for the perfect spell.
We’re hardwired to seek our own advantage, but also have this miraculous ability to occasionally forgo our own satisfaction in the name of someone else. Help a friend out once in a while! Doing the Jabberwock all alone is scary for a wizard in Avalon. Lend your friends some help when they ask for it. It doesn’t take all that long, surely you can spare ten minutes for a friend. Your friendship will be stronger and a good friend will return the favor at one point along the road.
You can also help strangers out through the Kiosk in Olde Town, if you feel like it. This gives you the nifty “Team Player” badge, so you’re benefitting from it yourself as well! Apart from sacrificing your time, you could also sacrifice your gold by buying Empower TC for your poor friends.
Politeness has a bad name. We often assume it’s about being fake, which is meant to be bad, as opposed to really ourselves, which is meant to be good. However, given what most of us are really like deep down, we should spare others too much exposure to our deepest selves. We need to learn manners, which aren’t evil. They’re the necessary internal rules of civilization. Ask before you join the battle ring to defeat mobs. Talk about your strategy in a dungeon before you jump in the fight. Apologize when you’re late or inconvenienced someone.
There is such a thing as being too polite, but after most PvP matches, say “good game”. You and your opponent both did your best, regardless of whether you won or lost. If you’re having trouble accepting what your opponent did in the match, think about what you did yourself. Did you fight a good game? Did you play fairly and to the best of your abilities? Then it’s a good game, regardless of what the opponent did.
Politeness is very linked to tolerance; to a capacity to live alongside people, who we won’t necessarily agree with, but at the same time won’t be able to avoid. Work together with others in boss battles. There is no need for you to personally kill the boss, as long as the boss dies. It can be a lot more effective to buff one wizard than to have everyone buff themselves. It’s a little rude to want to take all the honor for the battle. If you rank up a little in PvP, you will keep running into the same opponents. Be polite to them. They’re almost unavoidable, so accept that they’re a part of your wizardly life now.
Humor is seeing the funny sides of situations and of oneself. There’s always a gap between what we want to happen and what actually happens. Like anger, humor springs from disappointment. Say you were planning on doing the two round strategy for Baba Yaga, which depends on everyone joining the fight at the same time. If your friend or a stranger is late into the battle, don’t work your disappointment or irritation out on them. See the humor in the situation. Starting all over again really isn’t that bad.
If someone dies multiple times in a long battle, focus on the funny side of it. Humor is disappointment optimally channeled. It’s one of the best things we can do with our sadness. Everyone approaches humor in a different way and that’s fine. However, don’t let anger, disappointment or resentment occupy yourself.
To know oneself is to try not to blame others for one’s troubles and moods — to have a sense of what’s going on inside oneself and what actually belongs to the world. Most of the rude PvPers I’ve met and got to know a little better, had something bad going on in their real lives. There is no need to work the frustration of your everyday life out on others. Nobody’s real life is perfect!
See your wizard life as a chance to get away from those imperfections and work on being the best wizard you can be. Be aware of your reactions in certain situations. We all have tendencies to overreact sometimes. When you know how you tend to react in a certain situation (like when you lose a PvP match or someone messes up in a boss fight), you can work on being a better person.
Living with others isn’t possible without excusing errors. I’m sure there are times when others have cut you some slack, so be prepared to do the same for them. If someone has the wrong deck equipped or no mana, forgive them for that tiny misstep and move on. If someone forgets to show up when you had agreed to hatch at a certain time, keep in mind that there might be very good explanations for this. Forgive people their missteps and guide them towards better ways of dealing with the situation. We’re all constantly growing and developing. Accept that you (and everyone else!) are learning to be better wizards all the time.
Forgive yourself as well. You’re bound to lose a few PvP matches because you discarded something important or forgot about a blade or trap. This is totally acceptable. Instead of beating yourself down, forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes. Nobody became good at anything without trial and error. Accept that you’re a flawed human being and will need time to be a better you.
The way the Spiral is now is only a pale shadow of what it could one day be. Pessimism isn’t necesasarily deep, nor optimism shallow. Some day, Kingsisle will deal with boosters. One day, the critical system will be fair.
There is also hope for you in PvP! Maybe you’re failing to get the rank you want right now. Don’t give up, there is always hope. Pessimism is like a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you think you’re going to lose, you probably will.
The greatest projects and schemes die for no grander reason than that we don’t dare. Confidence isn’t arrogance: it’s based on a constant awareness of how short life is and how little we ultimately lose from risking everything. Personally I have to work on this one.
Dare to ask people to hatch with you; don’t be afraid of getting a negative answer. You can only try. Step into a new battle after you’ve informed yourself about the cheats and be confident in the fact that you can do this. It might take some trial and error, but you’re never going to get through it if you don’t start. Step into the Arena and do your best. You might not succeed right away, but be confident that you can learn from your losses.
Let’s try to keep these in mind and practise them a little every day!