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Winning at World Challenges

by pianoru


Neopets has just introduced an exciting new feature: World Challenges. These are fun to participate in and can give great rewards! But a lot of people have questions about how the World Challenges work. They can seem pretty complicated, but I think they're worth mastering, so I've written this guide to outline the basics.

Neopets has a good FAQ explaining what World Challenges are and how they work here: http://www.neopets.com/challenges/faq.phtml

I'll try to elaborate on their explanation with an example. World Challenges are competitions open to all of Neopia where people try to get as many wins as they can against random opponents. Players go to the World Challenge main page (http://www.neopets.com/challenges/world_index.phtml) and select the game they want to play. Suppose I decide that I want to play Defender Trainer. I'll select that option, either by typing in the name of the game I want to play or by clicking on its world (Neopia Central) from the main World Challenge page and then clicking the Defender Trainer image. This will take me to the Defender Trainer World Challenge page. Once I'm at this page, I can see a lot of information. It seems confusing at first, but it's very useful! Here's some of the helpful info on this page:

1. Whether I am entered in this particular competition. If I see, "You have not entered into this World Challenge! One time entry fee of 100 NP per hour. Enter the Challenge!" then I can click on the words "Create one" to enter. I will get a window asking if I'm sure I want to enter - there is a small fee. If I confirm that I do want to enter, the message will change to say, "You are entered into this World Challenge! Play and send your score!" I can then click on the words "Play and send your score" to get to the Defender Trainer play page.

2. My rating in the current competition. This tells me how many wins, losses, and ties I have from the competition going on this particular hour. Each competition only lasts an hour, and at the end of the hour everyone's rating is set back to 0 and a new competition starts.

3. How much time remains in the current competition. If I see that the current competition ends in 5 minutes and I don't have any chance of winning anything in it, I'll probably just wait until the next competition begins to send my score. Then I can have a better chance to win the next competition by sending more scores during that hour. Actually, it's really not worth entering a competition with only a few minutes left, because there's no chance to win, so make sure you check how much time you have.

4. The jackpot amount for the current competition. This jackpot will be divided among the top players at the end of the hour, with the 1st place winner getting half the jackpot and the next few winners getting smaller portions. The jackpot is funded by the entry fees, so the more times people play the higher the jackpot will be!

5. Details about the current players. This is VERY useful information! I can see how many people are playing and who the top players are. More players means a higher jackpot and more picture pieces awarded as prizes, but it also means that it will probably be more difficult to win. The list of players will have a horizontal line through it, and the players whose names are above the horizontal line will win a picture piece at the end of the competition (unless they drop below the line). If by the end of the competition less than 10 people have signed up, nobody will win a picture piece. You can look at the top player list to determine how well you'll probably do if you enter the current competition. I'll explain this in more detail later.

Anyway, back to what I was saying before I started rambling about the info on the Challenge page! In my example scenario, I have arrived at the Defender Trainer World Challenge page. If I decide that I want to enter this competition, I click where it says, "Create one!" and agree when it asks if I'm sure. Then I play Defender Trainer and send my score. (Note that if I take too long playing, the competition that I entered could end before I send my score, wasting my entry fee.) When I send my score, the site will process it by randomly matching it with another score that someone else in the competition just sent. This takes a few minutes. While I'm waiting for my score to be processed, the Defender Trainer World Challenge page will show that the score is still waiting for processing. Once it has been processed, my rating will change accordingly; an additional win, loss, or tie will be added depending on how I did compared to my random opponent. Of course, I'm hoping that I got a win!

Since the winners are determined according to how many wins people get during the hour-long competition, I'll probably want to keep playing. Once I pay my first entry fee, I can play and send my score again as many times as I want for the rest of the competition without paying again. I can see how I'm doing compared to the other players by looking at their wins and losses on the player list. Hopefully I'll be near the top of the list!

If I'm high enough on the list at the end of the hour to win a prize, I'll get a neomail from the Neopets Team. It will tell me how many neopoints I won, and if I won a picture piece it will have a link to my gallery so I can see what new piece I have! These pieces can be removed from my gallery and sold if I choose, but if I collect all 20 pieces of one picture I can trade the picture for neopoints and a random item.

Hopefully now you understand clearly how to participate in these World Challenges. But are they worth it? If you don't win anything, you won't make a profit (although you can still have fun), but if you're one of the top winners you can get great rewards! So how can you maximize your chances of winning? I have some suggestions.

To get as many wins as possible in an hour, you need to play for the entire hour! So make yourself comfortable and make sure you won't have to leave the computer during the competition that you plan to enter. You may even want to reboot to make sure that everything is running smoothly and that your scores will send properly. You should start playing a little before the competition starts. That way you'll have a good score all ready to send right at the beginning of the hour so you can get a win right away.

It's important to choose a game that you're good at, but you don't have to be spectacular at a game to do well in a World Challenge. Remember, you're not competing against all of Neopia; you're just trying to beat the people playing in this particular challenge! In fact, you don't usually want to get a super-high score during a World Challenge, because speed is almost as important as skill. If you spend the entire hour working on one game and beat everyone else's score, you're guaranteed one win - but you'll need more than one win to get a prize in these competitions! You need to figure out what scores are high enough to beat MOST of the players without taking too long to earn. For example, suppose you can get a score of 700 on Defender Trainer - a very high score - but it takes 10 minutes. If you know that 95% of the other players will score less than 500, you might want to deliberately lose once you reach 500 in order to be able to play more games during the hour. If you can get a score of 500 in 7 minutes, you'll be able to play 8 games with a score of 500 in an hour, but you can only play 6 games with a score of 700 during an hour. But how can you tell how high you should try to score? This is where the top player list comes in handy!

A few minutes before the competition that you want to enter starts, go to the World Challenge page of the game you want to play. Look at how many wins the top players have; that's a good estimate for the number of wins you'll need. If you see that it takes at least 10 wins to earn a prize, you'll need to be able to get a win about every 6 minutes. Now look at the scores achieved by the top players (click on the word "scores" next to their names). It will show the winning and losing scores in all the World Challenge games they have played. If a particular player's scores are higher than you can earn, don't lose hope. You don't have to beat ALL of the players, just MOST of them! It's more important to look at the scores achieved by the player's opponents. This will be a random selection of players, so you can get an idea of how the average player does in these World Challenges. If you can beat most of them, you have a good chance at winning something in this game's World Challenge.

Common Questions

Q: If I challenge a specific person, is that the same as a World Challenge? Can I win a picture piece?

A: No, direct challenges between players are different from World Challenges and they don't give picture pieces. You can read about direct challenges here: http://www.neopets.com/challenges/faq.phtml?dowhat=sending

Q: Should I sell my picture pieces or save them?

A: I have heard that they give paint brushes as rewards, but I can't confirm that for sure. You could get a very good prize or a prize that isn't so good. It's more fun to use the pieces, so if you're willing to take the risk, go ahead and use them! But selling is a more reliable way to make NP. Also, keep in mind that you have to collect all the pieces of a picture to use them.

Q: If I have already played a game 3 times in a day, can I still send my score for a World Challenge?

A: Yes, you can still send your score, but you won't get neopoints from it (except for any winnings you get from the World Challenge).

Q: If I have a score waiting to be processed, can I send another score?

A: Yes, you can have more than one score waiting to be processed.

I hope this article helps clarify how World Challenges work and how to do well at them. They're still very new, so I don't know how long this information will be current - I already had to rewrite it once after TNT made some changes! If you have questions, comments, or constructive criticism, feel free to neomail me - username pianoru. Good luck!

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