Altador Cup: How to Stay on the Track to All-Star
Perseverance is key in life. The same goes for the Altador Cup! I know several people who, initially determined to attain All-Star status, started out with a bang but have pretty much fizzled out by now. In their defense, 34 days of Yooyuball, as great as it is, can get exhausting quite fast. 2000 wins is no easy feat!
So far, I am still on track to attaining the much desired Rank 20 in time despite falling behind schedule on several occasions. Here, I share the things that have kept me going forward on the path to All-Star.
First Things First
Set a number of games you want to win per day. For me, this is based on getting a minimum of 2000 wins by the end of the tournament. For others, it may just be how many games you think you can play before you go insane. The general consensus is that the competition ends July 21 (though I have yet to find a statement by The Neopets Team). With the games starting on June 17, this means we are given 34 days total to play. According to the bracket system, we should be able to play to the last day. Therefore, one needs to win 58.8 games per day to reach All-Star rank. To be on the safe side, I aim to play 60 games per day.
PART I: GENERAL PLAY
The first section details some activities to do to keep from getting bored.
Turn on Some Music
Turn off the sound in the game - I recommend this whether you turn on music or not. But to me, it's no fun sitting there and only playing Yooyuball mindlessly. In contrast, sitting and listening to music mindlessly is a cherished tradition - so why not put two and two together! Whether it's your usual playlist or something special for sports events, having some background music helps a lot to keep things interesting.
Take Chat Breaks
The amazing thing about the Altador Cup is how it brings so many people together. This is evidenced by the high activity of the AC III Neoboards. Not only are there team boards (e.g. TOGA for Team Altador), there are also boards for those who take part in plots in general (e.g. OLDPD), as well as pan-team boards (e.g. 30 Trillion). Alternatively, you can stick with whatever Neoboard you usually chat on or chat within your guild. Talking to other people is good way to relax and recharge while still keeping your mind on the game. Don't take chat breaks too often, though, or you might fall behind! I usually try to play at least 10 games before taking a break.
Participate in a Team Marathon
Speaking of team boards, game marathons are often initiated to promote nonstop playing. In contrast to above, there is minimal chatting which is generally reserved for posting scores. Usually, the marathon has a set time - e.g. between 2:00 NST and 3:00 NST. Team goals may also be set, such as 20000 Yooyuball goals or 20 million points in Make Some Noise. It is much easier to keep playing if you're doing it for team spirit and if you know you can't let other people down!
Challenging friends to a fun competition is not only a good way to inspire motivation but also helps keep the friendship exciting. Some ideas include a race to the next rank, who can get a score of 14-0 first, who can get more wins in 10 minutes... the options are endless! Unlike the team marathons, these are smaller scale events and may include people from different teams.
Play a Different Game
Don't forget that there are three games in which you can rack up points. I devote most of my time and effort to Yooyuball because it is the most fun for me. Slushie Slinger takes too long and Make Some Noise kills my hand! But when I get really bored with Yooyuball, I will play the other two games until I tire of them and then I’ll switch back. This way, you can do something different without worrying about wasting time that could have been used to earn points.
Don't Forget About Your Normal Routine
Your mind need not be possessed by Yooyuball during the entire Altador Cup! Don't forget to do your dailies, train your pets, restock, play some NP games, and say hi to your friends now and then. Once you've met your day's goal - just quit! This is key to preventing insanity!
PART II: SETTING GOALS, MEETING THEM, RAISING THEM
Now that you've trained yourself to play a decent number of games, you might want to switch to what I'll call "intensive play" to be more efficient with time. During intensive play, I do not do much of anything besides playing the game and checking my stats every so often. Here are some things to think about to keep you going. Set goals for each and keep raising them!
Initially, I needed to take a break after every 2 wins. In time, I was able to tolerate repetitions of 5 and later, 10 games. Ten became 20 and 20 became 30, which is where I am now. Because my daily goal is 60 wins, I need only play two blocks of 30 games per day, which is much more efficient for me than 6 blocks of 10 wins. I'll play some extra games if I am close to the next rank or if I know I can’t play 60 games tomorrow.
Goals Per Game Average
One of my biggest motivators, I check my GPG every 10 games. Having a high GPG is generally believed to help your team standing and arguably also plays a part in your own prize points. While playing Yooyuball is always the same experience, this is something that can go up or down, thus making it interesting to follow.
Maximum Goals Per Game
So far the maximum score I have heard of is 17-0! I, on the other hand, have not been able to get higher than 14-0. It seems that if I shave a few seconds off, I may be able to get 15-0, making this a constant source of motivation for me.
Real Time Elapsed Per Game
You should know by now that pressing SPACEBAR allows you to skip the animations between goals. This saves precious real-life time! Currently, it takes me around 2 minutes to finish a game. A friend tells me that he can finish a game within approximately 1.5 minutes. This is how my newest challenge for myself came about - trying to play 20 games in 30 minutes (1.5 minutes per game)!
Finally, it never hurts to keep your mind on the fabulous prizes! In the past, paint brushes, stamps, and wearables were some of the things included. Hard work now may pay off immensely in the future as "special" items rise in value. For those who rely mainly on games to make NP, the Altador Cup is a very important time.
I hope some of my suggestions will be useful to you. I believe in the ancient axiom "everything in moderation" so I believe that the key to persisting through the entire tournament is to pace yourself (see First Things First!). Keep on playing hard for team pride and your own sense of accomplishment. Good luck and have fun!