How to Win in Pvp (Without Hurting Yourself or Others)

As you may know, the annual Wizard101 friendship festival has just passed us by. Recently I posted a throwback link to “How to Vent in PvP (Without Hurthing Yourself or Others)” on my Twitter and I was surprised at how many people were both liking the post and responding about how helpful it was back when I wrote it. So, I decided that in the spirit of kindness and friendship I’d attempt to assist once again, and finally complete its other half.

This post has been a little while coming and by “a little while” I mean two years. If you’ve spent much time in the pvp arena you’ve probably seen your fair share of rudeness, temper tantrums, and even swear-fests a bit of swearing, which- as we all should know -is against Wizard101’s rules. I get it though. Trust me. It’s really difficult to have courage and be kind keep quiet and/or be kind when someone is disrespecting you (or worse). This kind of behavior happens on both sides, coming from both winners and losers. However, it’s undeniable that it’s generally the losing side that has strong feelings about the match’s outcome or the winner’s play style.

You may be asking yourself, “But, Lion you already did a whole article on venting your frustration in pvp. Why are you starting off like this?” Well dear reader, it’s because of this that it is important to know how to win with grace so that people may not necessarily have to turn to my other article.

Technique #1: The Art of the “Good Game” aka GG

Chances are you already know this technique. Most people do. However, if you don’t know it, “gg” stands for “good game” in pvp and it’s pretty customary to follow up the match with a gg from both sides. What I’ve found, though, is that it’s most important for it to come from the winning side. Try to be genuine about it too, because contrary to what you may believe, you can tell when it’s not. If you can’t say it genuinely, then don’t say anything at all.

I’m puttin’ this in a big box because this is something that really bothers me is really important to me. Guys. Do not. Follow. Up. Your. GG. With. An. “Lol”. It’s so rude and disingenuous. I just can’t say this enough: Don’t say gg if you don’t mean it. Your opponent just lost the match, they probably are a little emotionally defeated as well. Don’t compound that by mocking them.
Technique #2: Not A Laughing Matter

This is something that happens all the time in/after matches and it drives me crazy. Guys laughing at your opponents isn’t cool. Just don’t do it. Look I put it in bold because it’s that important to me. Everybody makes mistakes and everybody has to start somewhere. If you’re winning against an opponent that is clearly trying their best they deserve your respect just as much as an opponent that’s an expert. If you simply cannot handle not laughing at your opponents shame on you then have the decency to do it in your own private chat.

Brand & I demonstrating the “gg”

Technique #3: Not A Dancing Matter

I haven’t seen this very often, but I have actually seen it happen and thus it must be included here. KI has given us a range of fun dances to use for fun and giggles and friendship enhancement. They aren’t there to be used to mock your opponent after the match. We already have a dance that we do post-pvp match and it works just fine. There is no need to rub your victory in your opponents face by breaking into dance.

Now, I know that some people just want to break into their happy dance after a tough match. I get that. It’s probably best to just do that in a place away from your opponent to avoid any chance of miscommunication. If you just can’t contain your joy, I’d simply clarify: “This is my happy dance!” and try to make friends. Bringing kindness and fun into the arena is always welcome!

Technique #4: Prop Up Your Fellow Player

After a win try to engage in conversation with your opponent and tell them about things they did right. For example,

“Man I was really scared you were gonna cast Skeletal Dragon on me! I could see all those blades and I was just shaking in my boots!…idk who talks like this…me I guess sweating!”

You can also gently give constructive criticism and advice. For example,

“You should try to wait a round after you blade, so that it’s more difficult for people to anticipate your next move. If I hadn’t cast Triage at the right time you would’ve totally had me!”

Just try and prop up the ego of someone who’s just taken a punch. This is something I like to do when I win, as well as when I lose. It’s such a powerful tool, especially with pvpers who are just starting out. Community should always come before competition when all that’s involved are a few digital tickets and some numbers that equate to a rating.

Technique #5: Reign in Your Friends

We do have the option to turn off audience commentary in pvp, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for rudeness. The audience can be a huge catalyst in starting conflicts in the arena. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends to pipe down if they start to get a little rowdy in the crowd. They’re supporting you, which is awesome, but if things are getting out of hand don’t be afraid to be assertive and take control of the situation. If your friends won’t respect your wishes about being kinder to your opponent they may not be the best friends to have. Obviously, though, the easiest solution for those of us who just want to avoid any commentary from the audience is to simply turn it off in your spell book. *mutters* still no excuse for rudeness

As the tournament regulator, Diego sees bad sportsmanship all the time and hopes that one day that will change!

Technique #6: Acknowledge an Unfair Match

Now, if you’ve spent any time around the tournament circuit you’ve probably seen unfair match ups in team where one side is missing one or even several of their players. Of course sometimes even a team without a member can succeed in tournaments, however most of the time these teams are irreparably damaged by the loss of a member and as a result are crushed by the opposition. This is such an easy opportunity for kindness. Simply acknowledge the unfairness of the match with an apology. This can take the form of something like:

“I’m sorry you’re missing a teammate. This was really unfair.”

Or simply:

“I’m sorry your teammate didn’t show up/left/make it into the match.”

These simple statements can make a world of difference to an emotionally defeated team. There’s nothing quite like facing a hopeless challenge. It’s up to you to make the experience a little better.

Technique #7: Check Yo Self

This one is controversial, difficult, but very important. If you win matches a lot and find that the majority of your interactions are ending with angry opponents it may be time to do a little objective introspection. Take a step back and ask yourself: Is there a chance that you’re doing something that’s just really setting people off? Is there a way to perhaps fix that without sacrificing your winning streak?

I see this one manifesting the most with winners who utilize what most some players would call “cheap” strategies, so I’m going to use them as my primary example for this technique. However, they are by no means the only players to whom this technique applies. Anyway, let’s first be frank here: to each his own. I don’t condone “jade juju spamming” or other such strategies, but if that’s the way you want to win matches there’s nothing I can really do to stop you from doing that. (Tbh it’s pretty skeevy though and are the four hours that you spend in one match worth it? The answer is always actually no.)

The main issues I’m getting at here are what happens after. I see a lot of these players get angry, or worse, haughty and self-righteous right back at their opponent when the losing side’s anger inevitably flares. This is so unnecessary and why introspection is necessary. Users of these strategies can avoid conflict with a little humility and willingness to seek peace.

  1. First: Understand what you’re doing is inciting rage anger in your opponents.
  2. Second, do any of the following: Leave the dueling arena regardless of what’s said, “ignore” your opponent, refer to Technique 8, or- if applicable -don’t be afraid to admit a reason why you’ve turned to these strategies (eg. “I was struggling and I didn’t see any other way”).

This goes for anyone: Turning around and saying, “Well I won lol. You suck.” or similar things in that vein is a big part of the reason people aren’t responding well to you. No one, winner or loser, likes taking frequent verbal abuse. Shutting down and thinking “It’s not me, it’s you.” only works for so long. Thinking that you’re the big tuna a hot tamale the top dog the greatest thing in the game is a toxic mindset. Naturally, this technique applies to almost everyone, not just the worst offenders. Admitting to your faults, at the very least to yourself, goes a long way. Afterwords, you may find yourself making more friends and having a more enjoyable experience in general- which, I would say, is the whole point.

Naturally, I went and spoke to the Samoorai (who win all the time) and they endorse all of these methods

Technique #8: Never Be Afraid to Apologize

This can be- understandably -the most difficult technique to do. As a winner never be afraid to apologize if that means diffusing a potential arena argument. Let’s say your opponent is angry and accuses you of spamming weaknesses, but at the time that was all that was coming up in your deck. It wasn’t intentional, just your opponent certainly feels that way. Simply apologize and clarify what was really going on. For some people this will be enough, but know that for others it just won’t. In the latter case let your honor fall by the wayside and just port away.

Bonus Technique #9: The Last Piece of the Puzzle

And likely to be the most difficult of all. A true winner isn’t just someone who knows their stuff in the arena. A true winner is kind, respectful, calm and collected, but also isn’t afraid to stick up for others in the face of those who are hurting themselves and others after a win or loss. It’s important to note that when you do this, you don’t stoop to the level of someone being a bully. Keep yourself in check and kill them with kindness and simple logic something these exchanges often lack. If you don’t want to get directly involved, which is sometimes the best course, messaging the player that’s being bullied some words of encouragement. You could be the worst pvper alive, but if you stand up for others then you’ll always be a winner.

Final Thoughts

So, I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to shift blame for bad behavior over to the winners of matches. That’s definitely not the case. However, I genuinely feel like winners need to take an active role in making the arena a fun place to be, because they hold so much power to influence that in their hands. Using any of the above methods you have the power to lift someone’s spirits or even diffuse an upset and angry player.
Sometimes with the angry people I’ve found an underlying cause just by talking to them. No names being called, no insults being thrown around, just calmly confronting them with kindness in mind. We’re all real people after all, with real problems. Sometimes venting that frustration isn’t done in a healthy way and ends up being taken out on others online, due to the ease of hiding behind anonymity. I also totally get that some people are just mean or rude. Maybe nothing we could ever say or do can change that, but I still hold out some modicum of hope. These are the people where you really just have to cut your losses…and that’s ok too.

Thanks for reading and please join myself (and my reformed-trash-talking sibling Catherine) in spreading the message of “<3 not hate” in the arena!

*Author’s note: I have a bit more to say on this, but I’m going to save it for a bigger post!

5 thoughts on “How to Win in Pvp (Without Hurting Yourself or Others)

  1. Scarlet Deathweaver!!!

    I like you chatting about having good sportsmanship in the arena! 🙂 I’m not much of a sportsman lol. 🙂 I’m too optimistic with myself & laugh like insane guy when I keep beating them!!! 😉 Also saying ROFL after gg would also be rude!

  2. Julia Lionflower Post author

    @nerdenthusiast Thank you! 🙂 Same here- I’ve been playing for a long time and I feel like the atmosphere in the arena has gotten worse. [Sometimes I take loooooong breaks from pvp because I really can only take so much bad sportsmanship aka verbal grossness (on both sides).] Truly my wish is that people would learn to relax, have fun, and just be nicer to each other!

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