The Complete Lab Ray Guide
Many users have heard of the 'lab ray'. Most users also know its effects. This article contains information that some do not know--the difference between a lab rat and a lab pet, for example--and more basic information that most people do know.
I personally do not own the lab ray. However, I did possess it on a different account, which I unfortunately lost access to. Here are the very basics, for those who haven't heard of it. I'll say this first, however--the lab ray is a map!
1. The lab ray has nine, COMPLETELY different pieces, entitled 'Secret Laboratory Map'
2. Lab ray pieces are obtained through random events, bought (through shop, trading post, or auction) and sometimes Tarla hands them out (don't worry if you miss--it should decrease in price once Tarla has it).
3. The lab ray is treated like any other map--go to the Treasure Maps game and you should know where to go from there.
Here I have listed a few more things that are good things to know about the lab ray.
4. The lab ray currently is priced between 900k-1.2 mil. It previously cost 600k-800k, before then 800k-950k (when I purchased it), and was always in that price range except for when it was first released.
5. Lab Pieces are numbered 1-9, the top left being #1, the one BELOW it (not beside) #2, below that #3, and is continued as such.
6. Pieces range from 20k (one Tarla gave out--it's an outlier; the second lowest is in the 40k range) all the way to 230k (I found it through RE and sold it for a bad price. :-().
7. Four pieces are buyable as of now. When searching on the Shop Wizard, you'll find about four price ranges. These are the different pieces, and there is no way to search for a specific piece.
If anyone is really into buying the lab ray, but not sure about it, here are inside things (this is not about the pets, not yet, at least).
8. The pieces of your lab map are put into the map section once there. You can remove them now (I don't believe you could before), but once it's finished, there's no turning back! It's there for eternity--or, as long as the account exists.
9. There is no cheap AND easy way to get a lab map from a normal seller. Most people who sell all pieces are looking for profit, and this is often the case with those selling multiple pieces, unless there is only a few of the UNexpensive ones. I plan on buying the buyable ones, and then spend time researching the rest (prices and such) and finding the best deal, be it one, two or three combination ones, all separately or all at once. Separately or combinations of two or three tend to give you the best deal.
10. Simple. Make sure you research on the lab itself. Users, help sites and this article will help you some. =)
Here is information about the changes a pet will endure.
11. ALL stats can change with the exception of intelligence. They move up/down in twos and threes, and levels can in addition go down to level 1. This is only believed to occur if your pet is under level 20. Hit points can go up, but not down. Sometimes, nothing happens.
12. The lab can be used once a day on the pet of your choice (on that account, of course).
13. The lab will change the appearance of a pet meaning its species and color (species including Limited Edition and Restricted), and gender changes. Species also turns it into a basic colored pet.
14. Results are completely random; there is no trick, but 'better' events are rarer than a strength change. This means it can take one day or two months to get a 'good' change.
15. Usuki, Plushie, Baby, Pirate, and Royal are not available from the ray. I am not sure about Zombie. These colors I know it doesn't do, but there may be others! I'm not sure about Ice Bori.
16. Many colors can only be gotten from the ray, or mainly obtained this way. This includes Fruit Chias, Coconut JubJubs, Snot, Custard and Chocolate. Robot and MSP Poogles can only be obtained this way.
17. If you want to change your pet's gender after the lab changed it, battle the scientist (obtained by refreshing at the 'select a pet page'), or if you wish, buy a Strange Potion (expensive, but always certain) or Cape of the Sun (less expensive, not always certain).
18. The ray changes nothing about what you can change about your pet via a type of item.
19. Not about the changes, but if you want a specific or fairly specific (down to one or two species and five or six colors) change, it's best to find another way.
Now, here is a section about adopting agencies.
Some people make adoption agencies. These are when they get a pet (usually a pound pet, often badly-named) and zap it until the user is content. This usually means a nice color, but some do stats as well. Then, they put it back in the pound.
Other users do this as well, with a difference. They tend to either pick a well-named pet or create a well-named pet. They zap it, and once the pet is a desirable color, they put it up for adoption. Most of these are quick adoptions. You make an application (the type GREATLY varies), and a good owner is decided later. Don't go to the pound boards for this; you'll probably have to find one on a different board. Most things there are for pets that people are trading (rudely, often) rather than putting up for adoption.
All in all, adoption agencies tend to have a main goal--to make users want the pet. This is done in different manners, but they tend to branch off the ones listed above. If you wish, make one of these adoption agencies (usually it's on a petpage) with your lab ray, or once your finished zapping for pleasure.
Here is a paragraph about pleasure-zapping--it's kind of self-explanatory so it's short.
Let's say it--most people are zapping to get a nice pet. All you do, is zap a pet and quit zapping when you are satisfied with its stats/appearance. People (kind, considerate ones, anyway =P) make adoption agencies when they are finished.
Well, now let's talk about lab pets and lab rats.
Here is my definition of a lab rat.
A pet that is either zapped on a daily basis or a pet that is part of an adoption agency.
Some users think the term 'lab rat' to be mean. Honestly, I think so too. However, I see a difference. You could call them something else (preferably, I wouldn't say lab pet), if you wish. You could call the adoption type a 'lab rat' and the daily-basis one a 'experimental pet'. Or call the daily-basis one a 'lab-rat' and the one put up for adoption a 'Adoptee in Progress'. Perhaps you would like to change both. I'm using the term 'lab-rat' because this is a common name for the pet. Change the names if you wish--they're not of the highest quality, I know.
Now, my definition of a lab pet.
A pet that is zapped until the owner likes its appearance, and then kept by the zapper. Sometimes these pets are transferred to sides. They may be adopted, transferred, or created by the owner.
So you see, I believe a lab pet is a pet that the owner will not give away or put up for adoption. You have an idea what you want to get, though it's best for this to be a vague or broad idea.
Some of you may disagree with me. Some of you may disagree with a part, and some of you might completely agree with me. If you wish, express your opinions via neomail, point out mistakes, send fan/hate mail, whatever else you can think of. I hope that this has helped inform or clear up information.