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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 21st day of Hiding, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 104 > Articles > The History of the Battledome

The History of the Battledome

by noremac9

BATTLE MAGIC SHOP - The Battledome. Ah, the Battledome. A place where you can maul your friend's best pet, and then say, "Good match!" with a victorious smile on your face. Ah yes, the Battledome, a place where you can be annihilated and have your victorious friend or foe smirk and remark about how they will soon be able to spit on your grave. A nice and friendly sport, indeed.

Yup, friendly like an angry Spardel. People are always saying how it's a "sport," and a "past-time," and some even say it's a "hobby"! However, those of us who have too much testosterone know the truth, know it's a mighty arena of dangerous conflicts going back as far as the beginning of the world. In other words, yeah, it's a sport.

But one of the biggest questions is "What did it USED to be like?" Yeah, that's right, this chaotic war-zone -- er, sport -- wasn't always the same. So why not take a stroll down memory arena, and look at this old girl before she become the Viking woman she is today?

We'll start in the time before the Battledome even EXISTED. I like to call this the "Aimless Wandering Period For Anyone Who Likes to Hit Stuff a Lot Age." That's pretty much what it was. In fact, there was a large amount more violent crime back then, since Neopians had no outlet for aggression. Of course, when the dome finally was released, all the powerful weapons that could now be used made violent crime soar by 300%. But I shouldn't be stating that fact. Because if they take the dome away for this reason, I alone will cause an 800% increase in violent crime.

Wow, that had to be the coolest paragraph I've ever written.

Anyway, back to the actual history. It can't all be about destruction and violence, sadly. Back to yammering a bit about the world of Neopia before the acronym "BD" had ever been uttered.

We'll start off in ye holy weapons department. There were many weapons out, and do you know what they were going for? Well, a Hypno Helmet was 350 NPs. It now goes for over one MILLION NPs on average. You do the math. That means, anyone with foresight could've made a near infinite amount of money off buying those things and sitting on them for two years. But that's the catch -- no one knew. Most didn't even know the Battledome was coming, and those that did usually didn't realize how big it would be. There were a few very smart individuals who cashed in on the opportunity, but I could probably count the ones still around on one kneecap. In other words, very few of them are still around, be it for quitting or freezing.

And training -- oh, the training -- you could get was virtually limitless. You know how you're so excited when you get a Faerie Quest? Well, you used to get them at will -- and as many as you wanted. The pets they blessed were still random, but think about it! On average, it's only around 500 NPs to do a Dark Faerie Quest. And you get two HP points. Sign me up for the next trip back with that Wocky-guy, because that's making me salivate!

Now, for those of you wondering, the Battledome officially went live -- meaning it was released for anyone who wanted to play, not just a select few -- around the end of January 2001. It had many of the same challengers, though some of them have been adjusted, but it didn't have near as many. Indeed, not even close. It was pretty limited way back then -- and yes, when it first came out, that meant no beating up the evil Pant Devil for stealing your Battledome equipment. That means no beating up the Tax Beast. Oh wait, there was no Tax Beast. Well, I suppose it's still true you can't beat up something that doesn't exist.

Slowly, the Battledome progressed. After a couple of months, things were really in full swing, with Leagues appearing, the individual pet-abilities being completed, a slew of new items, and most importantly, the Tyrannian war. This is definitely worth talking about.

The idea of a war really expanded the perspective of the Battledome, no denying. No longer was it just a skirmish for the nutty folks with the mentally unstable urge to beat things up. Now it was something you could employ to fight mass waves of enemy troops. Something to fight with, against a greater enemy-- not just each other-- and prevail ultimately. Now there's some scope-expandning, if I've ever seen such an ample use of the new word. Plus, another new idea: rewards. People got paid PER ENEMY they defeated in the war. Furthermore, a trophy and an item were both acquired by those who fought. And it was the first war, ever. Definitely worth writing home about.

The leagues, however, we're NOT something you could really write home about. When they were first set up, there were various leagues you could join -- leagues within the league -- each having a name that meant absolutely nothing. For instance, the Gelerts Gladiators League had all kind of pets, not just Gelerts. Mainly, this was because the leagues were put up, and then there were only so many spots to sign up, so it was a frenzied sign-up situation. When the leagues started, the first round was a pick a pet, fight them, win and get a point system. There were lists, and you could wallop whoever you wished in your league (64 leagues in total, and thus, the 64 strongest pets moved on. There were 30 pets in each league.), then the winner receiving the points. On a side note, you could NOT withdraw. Those with the most points at the end of the specified time moved on. Those with lower were tossed out like Battle Potatoes in a sack. Then came the next round.

This round -- the knockout round -- worked like any tennis tournament you might see. Only one pet could emerge victorious, and when they did, they were declared the FINAL victor. Tournament over.

While that sounds fun -- save some pretty achingly painful flaws in the system -- it was never done again. They promised another round, but alas, it never came to be. They actually proposed it, but it was never completed. It was going to involve beating certain challengers -- all the faeries -- to collect the keys, and whoever got the keys could enter the tournament. For whatever reason, as has been stated, it was cancelled. Who knows if we'll ever see the leagues again... for now, you can just dwell on its dying memory for hope. Or something of that accord.

The only remarkable thing that happened between said event and the following was the release of a few challengers, most of which can no longer be fought. Now there's some exciting stuff. You may all return from the edge of your seats.

The event I mentioned above was the Lost Desert Plot/War. I'd call it a Plot-War, but that was more the Meridell one... we'll cross that hideous bridge when we come to it. Back to the water-free zone. This war was a bit different from the last, in many ways. For one, the plot was considerably stronger, with Flash movies instead of plain ol' images. That definitely adds a lot to the story. But c'mon, we know it's not about the dreaded PLOT! This is about disease, famine, pestilence, and destruction, not some silly story! Oops. I swore to myself I wouldn't let everyone see my inner fantasies... too late.

Moving on to the actual battle. This time around, the payout system was slightly modified. Okay, really modified. Okay, so they started over. Rather than paying per challenger, like a real hit-man, it paid per challenger TYPE defeated. For instance, you could get 5,000 NPs for defeating a single Grundo trooper, and for defeating two million, seven hundred and twenty eight thousand, six hundred and forty two Grundo Troopers, plus their friends, relatives, and assorted house pets, you'd receive 5,000 NPs for your efforts. Good for weaker battlers, and really, really bad for everyone else. This would not be the last downgrade, unfortunately. Also, in a minor note of side-note-dom, the Rock Beast (read: big boss o' the battle) could only be hurt by Physical icons. Just a fun fact, I suppose. It definitely added spice to the war.

Now skip forward a few months. Welcome to the release of Krawk Island! Now, you may be wondering, what does THIS have to do wit the Battledome? The three-legged bird-guy, of course! Now, I know 99% of you figured that out as soon as I said "Krawk Island!" Well, to the other .99% -- you're smarter than me. To the .1% who didn't get it AFTER the explanation -- well, that's me! I get my own percentage -- whoo! But I'm straying from the point. The point is that the Academy revolutionized training. Okay, so it just kinda changed it a tad. Same diff. While it didn't really change the training itself all that much -- same idea, different currency -- it did make pets able to train on their pet day. Before this, no free training. Not as sweet of a deal at all.

Also, just a week after that, Coltzan's Shrine opened for business, sweet business. This might seem like minor fact to some of you, but this is one of the BIGGEST things the Battledome has ever seen. And no, you can't use it as a battering ram. Something even better -- this baby upgrades stats for nothing. Nothing. NOTHING! And there is no downside, and no hidden fees. Seem too good to be true? Sure is. While it mainly upgrades the stats of weak pets, it sure does help new Neopians -- and weak pets -- get good starts. Coltzan really was a good king.

Now skip forward. A long, long way. Like, a really long way. Done? Good -- welcome to Meridell! The land of boring games, even more boring food, and some really freaky haircuts. But that's not what we're here for. We're here fore WAR! Ah, I love the smell of snowball in the morning. Smells like victory. But pop-culture aside, this was definitely the most... interesting... war to date. One of the big problems with this war was that people got wind of it, oh, around a YEAR before it happened. This lead to a lot of anxiety and anticipation. This is never a good thing, when the event falls somewhat short of expectations.

That said, this war changed a LOT of the system. We'll get to those later -- right now, there's one REALLY big one. Choosing sides. Before, it was all goody-goody-only-good-guys fighting, but now -- now you could be evil. And here's what takes the cake: you could switch sides, too. Only once, though. This was definitely a very good idea, since, if you fought enough, you could amass a much larger war score. A big plus, indeed. Another very good new feature was that instead of having a set amount of a certain enemy at once, or for a certain time, all enemies were always available. This meant you didn't have to bust your butt before they were gone, and you could alternate between opponents.

That was the good. This is the bad. Unfortunately, this war would not die, so to speak. It dragged on and on and on, only to be ended by one of the worst plot parts ever done by the staff -- and they're pretty good, so that was disappointing. Furthermore, the plot was spotty and choppy, and in general, it lead to a lot of convolution. But that's not the really bad part. The really bad part is that prizes were grouped into two categories -- under 1000 points, over 1000 points, and so-many-points-it-scares-me. Everyone under 1000 war points got a T-shirt and 10,000 NPs. Everyone over 1000 war points got something around 200 to 500 thousand NPs, however, many of these quickly plummeted and were very hard to sell. Hardly rewarding for such a long haul. Those who had unimaginable amounts of points, well, they got rare and unique artifacts of indestructible power. Nice -- too bad that group was only a handful of people.

Then Darigan came, all big and fiery, and he tried to beat us up with a necklace. A NECKLACE! Ha! We showed him. Why, I myself received MASS amounts of damage from him, crippling my pets -- this means I beat the dung out of him. In the end, though he had a boatload of collectively-dwindling HP, he was defeated by a Robotic Fish. And there was much cheering and drinking throughout the land.

Since the big flaming one fell, nothing really significant has happened to the Battledome. However, there's plenty on the horizon, so don't think are little world of whacking each other is safe...

And, uh, sorry for the really, really, really bad spottiness of this article -- I tried to cover the major, major stuff, not every little nagging thing. You know, a big picture kind of deal. I apologize for all the many significant things I left out.

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