Secret Lab Map: a Guide
So you want to get to the secret laboratory. That’s great! The secret lab can be a very fun way of changing you’re pets. There are two things to think about first.
1. Do you really want to do this to your pet? The lab can change the species, gender, color and stats of your pet! If you like your pet the way it is, the lab is not for you! Think carefully about this before you buy your map.
2. Patience. The lab is not an instant paint brush! It can take years before you get your desired pet. If you are wanting a specific pet it could be easier to save for a paint brush or morphing potion. The lab is for people who are very patient and are not looking for a specific result. One day you could get a cute plushie pet, and the next a mutant!
Cool. You are sure you want to get a lab map! But wait, how many neopoints do you have? A full lab map can go for 750,000 neopoints! If you put in a little extra effort and buy separates you can get one for around 670k. I have a few tips for saving up.
1. Work. Yes, I said work. A lab map will not fall from the sky into your lap (unless you get all the pieces in random events :P). Playing games, restocking, sniping, and stocks are all good ways of making neopoints, but it will still take a lot of effort to get that lab map!
There are many things you can do to save neopoints. Rather than buying lots of food for your pets, use the Giant Omelette. Rather than a fancy petpet to keep your pet happy, get a nice, cheap plushie (it’s the thought that counts!).
Many people make neopoints by reselling (buying hard-to-sell items for less than the trading posts price, than selling them for normal price) there is a down side to this. Hard-to-sell items are just that, hard to sell. You will often become too frustrated with it and sell for less than the price at which you bought it. Basically you will want to avoid anything that could tempt you to spend those hard earned neopoints. You might want to hold off on avatar collecting for the time it takes you to get the lab map. It's easy to spend a large part of your neopoints on avatars. Also, you’ll want to avoid games like Dice-a-Roo and other luck and chance games. You can win a lot of neopoints from these games, but more likely you will lose a lot. It won't seem like it while you are playing, but it adds up.
2. Keep yourself motivated! Write a note on your mirror or put a lab-themed background on your computer so whenever you turn on your computer you remind yourself to keep going! Tracking your progress with a neoboard signature is always good because whenever you post a message you will see your progress. Premium members can keep motivated by going to the “the ray is fired at…” board or “The Mad Zappers” board to see people’s daily lab zaps. This really motivates you because you see what you will eventually have. Going to these types of boards will motivate you, but watch out! It can be painful when you are close to getting the lab map to see people with it; make sure you are prepared for it so you don’t get too frustrated.
3. Don’t torture yourself! Do NOT look through the trading post and auction house at paintbrushes and other things you want. You will be drawn into the baby paint brush trap! You just reached 600k. You’re 100k away from that lab map! You think, “Hey, why don’t I go look at some paint brushes to make me want the lab map more!” So you go and start looking around and what do you know! Baby paint brush! You have enough, and they're so cute! So you’re back to square one. Avoid the trading post at all costs!
So now you have enough neopoints to get your lab map. What now? Well, there is something you need to ask yourself. Whole or separates?
Buying a whole lab map together (one trade with all nine pieces)
Easy! It's much easier to place one offer on one lot.
Faster. It is much faster to get a full lab map together rather than separates.
More expensive. It can cost around 100k more to get the full map together. It's up to you whether you are willing to pay that much for the convenience.
Some separates can be purchased in people's shops (this means that the people’s map pieces cost less than 100k) and others must be purchased in the trading post or auctions.
Price. It is much cheaper to buy in separates.
Motivating. Having the piece you’ve collected in your gallery or safety deposit box can be very motivating because you can actually see that the hard work that you are doing is leading to the lab map.
Safety. Over the years the lab map has gone up in price significantly. Having the actual pieces themselves rather than neopoints means that even if those pieces go up in price, you already have them.
Slower. It can take much longer to get separate pieces.
Harder. It is often hard to find the piece you need if it is unbuyable (only available through the trading post and auctions).
However you decide to purchase your lab map, there are a few things to make purchasing unbuyable pieces or the full map easier.
1. Advertising! The trading board is there for a reason! Make a board such as ‘Buying: lab map piece #X’ and look around for people who are selling.
2. Finding people who are online and are selling. When you go to search through the trading post, you can set it to search for the newest trades. Doing this makes it much easier to find people who will sell without having to wait a week or two. You can also try actually neomailing people who have trades to see if they are online and willing to sell for your price.
Once you have purchased your map, you go to the games page and search for ‘maps’ and click on the link. From there, click on ‘secret laboratory’. At this point you will be able to redeem your lab pieces to access the lab. Be warned! After you do this, you will not get the pieces back! And presto! You now have access to the laboratory! Congratulations!