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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 13th day of Celebrating, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 57 > Articles > Fair Fight - Or Foul Play?

Fair Fight - Or Foul Play?

by sarakrindel

BATTLEDOME - When I wish to fight in the two player Battledome, I usually wander towards the Battledome Chat. If I'm lucky, I'll find someone with similar stats who is willing to fight. Often there are "rules" in the fight, which are supposed to make the fight "fair". However, in many cases, I feel they have the opposite effect.

One or both of the parties involved set these "rules", which they are both supposed to abide in a fight. To enforce rules, some users have 'cheap' lists of people who broke the rules in battles, and others threaten to 'withdraw' if any rule is broken - in other words, stop participating in the battle and force the other party to give up.

Here are a list of common rules to be set:

Similar Stats

No Chia Flour

No Hidden-Tower/Smuggler's-Cove Weapons

No Freezing

No One-use Items (Snowballs, Battlecards, Muffins, etc.)

I was once in a battle with someone who I will simply refer to as "Scooby". At the time, my battle pet, Taylorkrindel, was a Pteri. When I challenged her, she Neomailed me all of the rules which are listed above. Being more naive then, I accepted. It turns out her Elephante was equipped with an Elephante stun ray and ultra steel attack tusks (each do about 8 icons of damage). She knew that I didn't have an Elephante, therefore I didn't have those weapons, and that I wasn't a Kacheek or Lupe, who also have powerful weapons. But she conveniently prevented any defence I might have against her attack ; she prevented hidden tower (not that I have any) and 1-time-use weapons, which might have had equal or greater power, she prevented freezing, which would have given myself an advantage. Not that I'm angry at Scooby - she outsmarted me, and taught me a lesson I have yet to forget, but do you think that the rules were really 'fair'.

What one should do is prepare for anything and everything. Any strategy has a good counter-strategy, and putting rules is just an easy way of getting out of making that counter strategy. Scooby only prepared to fight against a certain type of opponent, and ensured that she would win whenever she fought that type of opponent. I try to be as ready as possible for anything as I can be with the limit of 8 weapons equipped to a pet, and my resources.

Here are my opinions on these 'rules' one by one:

Similar Stats

I don't really consider this a rule, but I wholeheartedly believe in this. I don't want an opponent who is too hard or easy. Not only do higher stats make a pet more powerful, it also indicates how much wealth the owner has. If the other pet has higher stats, the owner can probably get more expensive (and better) weapons. And I can always find out what the stats of the other person is before I agree to battle, so I won't be in the dark in that way at least.

No Chia Flour

I have better things to spend my Neopoints on then Chia Flour, and I have no desire to cause another Neopian to buy an expensive paint brush or morphing potion - and I certainly don't like the people who do get a kick out of wasting another person's work. However, those nasty people who do want to throw Chia Flour will not care what you want, and will ignore any rule against it, but I could write a small article on that topic alone. Let's move on.

No Hidden-Tower/Smuggler's-Cove

Thus far I do not have use any Hidden Tower or Smuggler's Cove weapons, so this rule doesn't apply to me. But really, I find it redundant. If your opponent has similar stats to you, then they probably are able to afford similar weapons. If you can't afford Hidden Tower weapons, they probably can't afford them either. And even so, there are a number of Hidden Tower weapons which are lousy. This rule won't do much harm, and there is a chance that someone will spend a lot more on weapons then stats and thus overpower a Neopet of lower wealth. But I even with my hidden-tower free arsenal, I have beaten some of the 1-player challengers who do have HT weapons, and I believe I could put up quite a fight against 2-player challengers with the same items.

No Freezing

Some people call freezing 'cheap'. Personally, I think these people are just those who got outsmarted by a good battler. It is the most powerful attack below the hidden tower and smuggler's cove level, so if you want to play 2-player and can afford to freeze opponents, you should.

First of all, it is not cheap in the literal sense. I don't know what Hypno Helmets go for these days, but I bet they're worth at least 150K, if not a lot more. Freezing Potions are even more costly. The Frost Cannons either stink or have large price tags, and even the best cannot be depended on. Most other freezing items or abilities are one-use-only, unreliable, expensive, or a combination. The people who put rules against freezing are avoiding buying one of these items for their own use, and they are the ones who should be dubbed 'cheap'.

The other day on the BD Chat, somebody claimed that freezing on the first round was 'cheap', but freezing on the second or later rounds was not. They did not give any reason for this conclusion. The only potential explanation which makes sense to me is that if you freeze somebody immediately, have them at your mercy in round two, and finish them off, the fight will be only two rounds long and rather disappointing.

But there is a counter strategy for this. When I fight against someone who I think is a good fighter, I automatically assume they are going to freeze me on the first round. I'm not going to let them get the upper hand, and the best defence against freezing is to freeze THEM at the same time, so they can't take advantage of me. We'll both be frozen, and nothing will happen in the next round. Sometimes my assumption is wrong, and I get to strike them down when they are frozen. I'll win the battle, but it'll not be a very satisfactory win. But it is the best way to prevent that from happening to me.

No One-Use Items

I feel a little sympathy with this cause. Snowballs, Battlecards, Downsize Power Plus, Live Giver/Amulet of Life/Lucky Robots Foot, Terror Stones, Clockwork Grundos, and Muffins are hideously powerful, but most Neopians can afford them at least a few times - especially snowballs. In combination with freezing, these can make a battle much shorter.

However, I am against this rule as well. Some people would indeed call me 'cheap', but I'm out to win a battle, or at least give my toughest. And I will not begrudge an opponent who uses these items against me. After all, as always, there is a defence

First of all, snowballs, battlecards, clockwork grundos, and muffins are most dangerous when they are used in the round you're frozen. As said before, freeze them so that they can't get at you that way.

Now that you have the factor of freezing out of the way, one-use items are much easier to combat. The abilities Burrow and Sink will work wonders to stop powerful blasts. Often your opponent will fierce attack or berserk you while using two one-use snowballs/battlecards/muffins/clockwork-grundos. Their defence is zero that round. The effect of items like Attack Forks, Lost Desert Daggers, Wand of the Air Faerie, Grand Lightning Beams, Hand Painted Scarabs, and so forth, will take a maximum toll on them, even if you don't fierce-attack/berserk. And if you're Burrowing or Sinking at the time, then they can't do a lot of harm to you at that time.

For the more specialised one-use items, Downsize Power Plus, Terror Stones, and Live Giver/Amulet of Life/Lucky Robots Foot, there are different strategies to resist them. Downsize Power Plus will defend ALL icons of ALL types, but only one can be equipped at a time, so it will only be for one round (unless you're up against a one-player challenger, who can use it whenever and as often as they wish). Terror Stones are freezing items, so treat them like such. Life Giver, Amulet of Life, and Lucky Robots Foot all heal the user back to full hp. That just means you have to bust more hit points, and you should have your own scorchstone or other healing item handy. Nothing is mission impossible.

Setting rules is the easy way out of making a sound strategy. Anything, and I mean anything, can be at least partially countered in the Battledome. It will often mean that you have to part with some money to make the defence The Battledome is not a hobby for those who don't want to spend Neopoints If you want to keep costs to a minimum, stick to one player fights. But even there, do you think the Pant Devil, Kauvara, or the Snow Faerie will care if you don't want to be frozen? Or that the Ghost Lupe cares whether or not you want snowballs thrown at you?

Some people feel that the battle is boring if a well-placed move ends it quickly. However, I am quite reckless, and I am proud to fight opponents stronger then I am, and sometimes lose. If I just kept on fighting the Chia Clown all the time, there would be no challenge. However, I do try to win, and if it's by freezing, or snowballs, so be it. Two pets charging each other with a couple of Grand Lightning Beams or Lost Desert Daggers is not that interesting. It makes it a fight of stats, not wits.

Contrast that to a battle where there are no handicaps. The battle might open up with the two pets freezing each other in self-defence, and using a basic weapon like a Grand Lightning Beam or Hand Painted Scarab, and the pet with lower hp draining life. The next round, they are both frozen, and quickly move into round three. Pet A might throw the sticky snowballs they had reserved in case they did manage to freeze Pet B without getting frozen, but Pet B will burrow at the time, and get a nice amount of damage out of their Hand Painted Scarab and Lost Desert Dagger as Pet A was fierce attacking. Next round, Pet B will use the Hand Painted Scarab and Lost Desert Dagger along with a Sink, but Pet A successful froze him/her with Fiery Gaze. Pet A will have already have used their snowballs, so instead s/he simply will use a Hand Painted Scarab and Grand Lightning Beam and fierce attack in the round Pet B is frozen. Pet B will only have a handful of hp left at the end of the frozen round. But on the last round, Pet B will use the Honey Potion and snowball s/he had, managing to finish off Pet A just as Pet A will knock off the last hp of Pet B with their arsenal. Thus the battle will be a draw.

The above battle is a little hard to follow, but both sides are using what strategy they feel is right. It's unpredictable - but that's what makes it fun. Both pets have a challenge, and if either Pet A or Pet B would win, then the victor will feel three times as proud then if they would use one or more of the handicaps frequently placed in battles.


Author's Note: I realise there will probably those who disagree with me. I am open to debate on this topic, but if all you want to do is send me an angry Neomail, I recommend instead you go write a better article and submit it to neopiantimes@neopets.com.

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