Starting off the new year, we’re happy to introduce our new segment “Player Of The Month”. Wands will feature its top players and players who have shown exceptional commitment to the community and game.
Our first featured player will be Dr.Jekyll_Mr.Hyde who’s not only shown great commitment to Wands’ community, but also placed as the #1 Player worldwide in Season 3. We hope you’ll enjoy this in-depth interview with Dr.Jekyll_Mr.Hyde!
Hi Dr.Jekyll_Mr.Hyde! A big congratulations on being selected as Player Of The Month and also placing #1 in Season 3! How are you feeling?
Hi there! Feels great thank you!!
Starting off, when did you start playing Wands?
I started playing Wands sometime at the beginning of July, 2017. I was looking for some good VR games because I was getting bored with the games I already had, and I had read some positive reviews for Wands, but wasn’t sure if it was something I’d get into. But the game went on sale and so I figured I’d give it a shot. In my first set of matches, I got paired up with a level 100+ player and even though he completely destroyed me the first several times, I quickly caught on by watching his spells and strategies. Before I knew it, I was hooked!
What hardware do you use (Rift, Gear VR, Daydream or Pico) (gamepad, remote, touchpad, or Oculus Touch controllers)
I use the Samsung Gear VR. My headset didn’t come with a remote at the time, so I was just using the touchpad on the side of the headset for everything I did. It seemed to work for most games, and it even worked for Wands. I was able to make it to #7 in the world using just my touchpad, but it still seemed like some players were faster. After talking with a couple top players, I learned they used gamepads because it made for faster spell selection and movement. So, I ordered a $12 gamepad online, learned how to use it, and within a short time I made it to #2 in the world. I still use that $12 gamepad and presently I am the #1 player – even though that is likely to change soon since our current top player base is very skilled and very competitive.
How often do you play Wands and what keeps you coming back to the game?
I play Wands pretty much every day. I wouldn’t consider myself a “diehard gamer,” but I am very competitive. I have fun dueling other players instead of just some AI, like in most other VR games I’ve played. I love having to constantly keep my reflexes sharp and my strategies clever in order to win and stay a top player. I also love the way the game is designed because I get three wands that can utilize any four spells from a large selection. There are literally thousands of different combinations that could be made up, but knowing how best to use them and adapting your technique depending on who you are playing against…that’s what it’s all about! It’s like Cess meets Harry Potter. I love it!
What does it take to become a Top 5 Wands player and how has the competitive scene evolved since you started playing?
It is definitely possible for a new player to break into the top five. It only took me about a month and a half to make it in, but that was my goal and I played aggressively to get there. I’m not really a gamer, or at least I wasn’t before Wands, but I am good with strategy, which is a major component of the game. That and a very creative understanding of the available spells and how they can work with and against each other are vital for becoming a top player. And the more you play, the more you start to notice patterns in other players, like where they move and how they play, which can be used to your advantage. But if you really want to make it into the top five, it will take some dedication. It won’t happen overnight and it won’t happen by always dueling people at or below your level. It’s important to duel other top players from time to time so that you can learn how they play, how they respond to opponents, and how your current skills compare to theirs.
To win, how much of Wands is strategy, reflexes, and luck?
This could be debated night and day, but personally, I’d say it takes 50% strategy, 40% reflexes, and 10% luck to win against a skilled opponent. When I choose the spells for my loadouts, I’m already thinking strategy. I think about how much mana each spell costs versus the damage it might inflect. I think about what would happen if I only used expensive spells and ran out all my mana, leaving me vulnerable for a few seconds. I think about whether I want to focus more about offense or defense with a loadout and how different I want my other load outs in case one of them is a poor counter to my opponent. When I was climbing my way to becoming the #1 player in season three of Wands, I was able to defeat other top opponents more based off of a good strategy that caused my opponents to do what I wanted so that I could keep the upper-hand during a duel versus just being fast. But quick reflexes are also super critical for winning. A lot of the time, you need to be fast enough to make a good strategy work, otherwise, it won’t. Sometimes, your strategy just isn’t effective against your opponent or they happened to have the ideal counter combination of spells to yours and you’ve got to change things up at the drop of a hat. That’s when you either have to be conservative and attack only when possible or go on the offensive and chase them down with good aim and speed so that they don’t have time to think about how to beat you. But I can’t say how many times I was surprised to win a duel at the last second because I got lucky. My opponent wasn’t looking at me when I managed to sneak one more shot at them, or they accidentally fired a blast too closely to themselves and got hurt, or I just happened to accidentally hit the wrong spell that worked out perfectly. The best advice I could give is to practice, practice, practice. The more you play, the better your strategies and reflexes will become and the more likely luck will favor you.
What are your best loadouts, spells and strategies right now and why?
For the last several weeks I’ve been experimenting with a lot of different spell combinations and strategies. I even take notes when I find a good combination that seems to hold up well against a range of other players. Right now, I like having three very diverse loadouts. One of them focuses on a strong defense and keeping my distance, which prevents me from taking much damage while inflecting some of my own. Another load out focuses more on speed and a constant barrage of projectiles to make my opponent panic and make mistakes, leaving them open for attack. And my third load out focuses more on a “hit and run” strategy where I keep moving so my opponent has a hard time keeping track of me, and I will hit them with a surprise attack when they’re not looking. I’ve found that these three loadout styles have allowed me to compete with most other players because the spells and strategies behind them are so different from one another, it makes it challenging for my opponent to pick up on a pattern and find a weak spot to exploit against me. But to be specific about the top spells that I am using, I’d have to say Magic Missile, Armor of the Sun, Blood Bolt, and Chaos Leap. In my opinion, Magic Missile is the most useful spell because it is low-cost to fire off a single blast, it can be shot back to back when you have an opening, and it can be charged and shot with three blasts at once when your opponent is successfully blocking single shots. Armor of the Sun is a bit expensive and can become annoying to have to keep casting if your opponent breaks it frequently, but if you can block and move well enough, the Armor will really save your skin when you do take a hit that would have cost you 70% more damage than it actually did. Blood Bolt was a spell I avoided for the longest time because it seemed counterintuitive. Many duels are won by having more health than your opponent by the end of the three and a half minutes, so why use a spell that actually costs you health with each bolt? Well, considering it does 3 times as much damage to your opponent as it does to you, if you can land a series of shots you can quickly tip the odds in your favor. Especially while wearing Armor of the Sun because it then only does a fraction of the damage against you to use the spell. In fact, because of how quickly the bolts fire off, the fastest wins I’ve ever had were probably while using Blood Bolt. And Chaos Leap has been my longest-running favorite spell. It costs just as much to teleport; it makes for an instant getaway when you need to retreat to recharge, rethink, or just avoid an attack; and it’s just plain fun! Sometimes, I get so into the zone while using Chaos Leap that I will get into a constant rhythm of leap, find my opponent, fire, leap, find my opponent, fire, leap, and so on. It takes some familiarity with the maps to know where to quickly turn if you leap and are suddenly facing a wall, but again, thanks to practice, I can launch a heavy assault against my opponent from multiple directions that keeps them on their toes.
What advice would you give to players who want to reach the top 5?
Join the Wands Discord chat. Nearly everyone in the top 10 or so is on the Discord and it clearly has an impact on our playing abilities. We exchange playing tips, ask questions, give suggestions and feedback to the developers, and stay informed on updates to the game. Everyone on the Discord is very friendly and responsive, and it’s a great place to request a duel directly from another player. We even just started a text channel dedicated to different spell and loadout ideas to help each other out! It’s an amazing community that is completely counter to what I had expected an online gamer forum to be like. No one tears down another player; instead, we encourage and give advice. The top players are always handing down gems of information to help out the lower-ranked players. And it’s almost a race to see who can welcome a new player to the Discord! What’s probably most amazing about it is that the members of the Discord have an open line of communication with the developers to report bugs, inquire about future updates, and give suggestions to improve the game.
What kind of Wands events would you like to see in the future?
I would love to see a formal tournament happen. I know we tried to organize it before, but it can only happen if we get a strong number of skilled players to commit to participating. It makes sense to invite the top 10 players to the tournament, but I’d love to see if be even bigger than that. A tournament that anyone at any level can join for a round of duels to see who gets to move ahead until the final duel. Considering there is a Spectator tool provided by the developers where players can watch others while dueling, this would be a perfect tool to gain an audience for the event! And it would give more players opportunities to win awards or bragging rights as opposed to just the Top Ten leaderboard.
How would you like the game to evolve?
A big part of what makes the game fun is the spell combinations and maps. I would love more spell and map options. Every map has its own advantages with different spells and how you use them. The addition of some new maps and spells would mean new strategies and expand the game. I would also love to see a battle royale style duel available where more than just two players could participate in a “last man standing” type of round; some sort of training option that is bigger than the current two-tile basement, maybe even training on a full-size map with targets for practice; and maybe a two versus two (or “tag team) option. Just thinking about these ideas gets me excited because I love playing Wands and I would love to see more ways to play it in the future!
From the entire Wands team, a big thank you to Dr.Jekyll_Mr.Hyde for his dedication and in-depth interview. We’re looking forward to see you in Season 4!