It's my belief that soloing a game is something more and more people seem to take for granted. I understand the want to keep progressing at a fairly nice pace, but at what cost? Soloing allows you to develop your skills and fully understand whatever game you're playing. Back when I made my first wizard in 2013, I made a conscious effort to solo as much as I possibly could. As much as playing with others is fun, I knew that soloing my first wizard would be a challenge and force me to learn the game's many mechanics.
I don't think I realized just how much of an impact that decision made until I started leveling up a second wizard with a good friend of mine. The fact of the matter is - team play and solo play are two very different beasts. Because I wasn't questing alone, my second wizard used fewer spells and naturally grew more dependent on my partner. To this day there are still some spells that I have yet to use on my second wizard simply because there was never a need ... and I feel I'm missing out. The point is, had I consistently quested with a friend on my first wizard, I'm confident that I wouldn't be nearly as knowledgeable about the game as I am now.
If you haven't yet soloed a wizard, I implore you to challenge yourself and give it a try! To motivate and help you out, I'll be supplying some tips that I learned from my solo journey.
There are three key elements that will help you in your soloing endeavors:
- Be prepared
- Anticipate the worst, but hope for the best
- There is no room for fear of adjustment
Be Prepared: Well, as prepared as you can be. In your mind, run through everything that could potentially cause the battle to go south and try to think of ways to counter each of them. If you're facing myth enemies, maybe pack some vaporize to prevent an earthquake. If you're facing ice, it might be a good idea to add some shatter or pierce. Fire enemies are notorious for efreet in the higher levels so cleanse charm might be a good idea there. Reading guides on known cheat bosses is also a great habit to get into. Just remember that you can never be too prepared. Even so, I guarantee that you'll still run into surprises and that's not necessarily always a bad thing. Unexpected scenarios can put your instincts to the test and see if you can overcome new obstacles.
Anticipate the Worst, but Hope for the Best: Generally, soloing relies more heavily on luck than team play does. After all, you don't have any backup. It's just you, your spells, and your smarts. I know it may sound grim, but my best advice is to assume that the worst is going to happen. If you're low on health and your enemy has a full rack of pips, it may be a good idea to put up a shield to lessen a possible big blow. If you're going second in battle, a good rule of thumb is to heal a round earlier than you would have had you been first. Even if your opponent ends up passing, it's better to be alive and kicking than watching your head spinning.
There is No Room for Fear of Adjustment: Avoid insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you find that a strategy of yours isn't working, change it! Use your failures as stepping stones to help you succeed. Always ask yourself what you could have done differently. It's amazing how many people I meet who get battered by a boss over and over again but don't change their method or deck. I'm not just talking about being defeated one or two times, I'm talking about seven to ten times. Like I mentioned earlier, luck can play a huge factor, so I wouldn't change your deck right away after one or two losses. Anything more than five and then I would suggest you revisit your strategy and maybe change things up/look for advice.
Aside from a few cheating bosses and long instances, I was able to successfully solo everything on my first wizard. In the hopes that it will help some others, here are the methods I used depending on what type of fight I was in.
Mob Battles: In the beginning of the game you won't have an AOE, so you'll have to take out mobs one by one. Once you do get one however, use it! After I trained Humongofrog, I never turned back. Although mob health increased as I leveled, my simple strategy didn't. The basic idea was to blade, blade, and hit. My first blade was always my school blade (Mythblade), the next one would be a TC zero pip blade like Mythblade or Balanceblade, and then I'd hit with my frog. As I kept gaining levels, more buffs became available to me. For example, once I trained sharp in Azteca, I rarely used TCs. Depending on the health of the mobs I was facing, I would add or subtract the number of blades I used before a hit, but the basic concept was always the same. I wanted to take them out all at once.
Boss Battles: As many people know, bosses are significantly stronger than mobs. Powerful attacks from a boss in unison with those of a mob can be deadly. Because the damage easily adds up, my goal was to always take out the minion before the boss. I would blade up using stacking buffs and use a relatively low pip spell to take out the minion. My go-to spell was often ninja pigs or minotaur. Once the minion was down, I turned my attention to the boss. Blade stacking and trap stacking are key here to landing an OHKO. The spell I used to take out the boss was always one of my higher spells that dealt far more damage than my minion one. Medusa was my favorite for awhile, as was celestial calendar.
3 on 1 and 4 on 1: My strategy for these two types of fights was very similar to a traditional boss battle. Except, instead of using a single hit spell to take out the minion, I used an AOE to take out all the minions at once. After the minions were down for the count, I used one of my bigger and more powerful spells to take out the boss. For battles with multiple bosses, I took out the bosses one by one after I defeated their minions (if they had any). The less damage being dealt to me, the better.
Balance on Balance: I don't have a balance wizard myself, but I do hear about the constant struggle of fighting balance enemies (since balance is the only school without a prism). My best advice is to try to utilize spells that deal off school damage. Spectral Blast is a wonderful attack to take advantage of, as are Hydra and Chimera when you obtain them. As balance you have plenty of universal buffs to strengthen any school that ends up hitting the enemy. Take advantage!
Soloing may not be as fast or efficient as team play, but it's rewarding in terms of knowledge and experience. Understanding the game betters you as a player and enables you to aid others when they seek advice or help. What are your soloing experiences? Let me know in the comments!