Also by dragonflare9
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’m being 100% serious as I write this article. Which, judging by past experience, means that you’ll all continue to read on because you think I’m joking. Furthermore, because of the seriousness of this piece, I am not going to get more than five reviews. Now I regret publishing this. I’m going to feel heck of a lot lonely. Insert sad face here. Yes, I really can’t type them out here without ruining the effect of this article.
I’ll give this to you now: Avatar Wars doesn’t really exist. What I can say, though, is that you can make it real. In fact, the concept of Avatar Wars had humble beginnings and I have the sinking feeling it will remain that way because no one will see how fun it really is.
Maybe that was just Raven and me being our good old competitive selves.
What is Avatar Wars?
Avatar Wars is simply as its name suggests a war of avatars. Basically, it consists of two players who “duel” to see who has the most avatars that their opposition lacks. The only drawback is that once you play with another user and if your winner’s cap (more on that later) is set too high, then there is a great chance that you have exhausted both yours and your opponent’s avatar collection and will hardly find any avatars which the other lacks in future games if you wish to replay.
How did Avatar Wars form?
The origins of Avatar Wars came from a relatively innocent and normal neomail conversation between Raven and me. I had just finished taunting Raven (well, not really taunting) about receiving the Kelp avatar, much to Raven’s despair (sorry, Raven, payback for having that Dubloon avatar.) Anyway, so I was then debating what active avatar I was going to use (apparently, I got bored of taunting Raven). I decided that using the DOOMED avatar was bad because of the pure ugliness of the avatar and asked Raven whether I should use Kelp.
Raven instantly threatened me, saying that she would use an avatar I lacked if I dared to use it. I know, she’s a great friend. I was feeling kind that day and decided not to use it (not to save my hide, by the way). However, an idea sprang to my mind - an idea of starting a so-called “Avatar War” where Raven and I were to compare avatars, seeing who had the most avatars that the other didn’t. I knew perfectly well that Raven was going to win. What can I say? I’m never really sane on Neo anyway.
I told Raven my idea and she agreed to give it a shot and so began the first avatar war.
How to play
Playing Avatar Wars is simple. All you need is another player to play against. It’s easiest to play with two players, so that’s the number I would suggest starting with. Then, between the two of you, you’ll need to set a winner’s cap. A winner’s cap is basically the number of avatars a contestant has to reach before claiming victory. So if you were to set 20 avatars as the cap, you’ll need 20 avatars that your opposition doesn’t have in order to win.
Depending on what the winner’s cap is, there will be a change in the number of rounds per game. One round = both players’ turns. I would use 20 rounds as a standard but maybe that’s just me. To begin the game, one player can nominate themselves to start the war (typically the person who suggests playing the game). During the game, you are to select one avatar from your avatar collection and use it as your active avatar. Send a neomail to your opponent and let them know that you have selected your chosen avatar. They will then reply, saying whether they have it or not and will also be using their avatar of choice on the same move. Example:
USER #1 TO #2: Round 1, selected avatar.
USER #2 TO #1: Round 1, don’t have it. Selected avatar as current.
(In this scenario, player one would then receive one point.)
The point system is relatively easy as well and doesn’t really require much brain power to operate correctly (you do realize who is writing this, yes?). If you use an avatar that your opponent doesn’t have, you receive one point. If your opposition does happen to have the avatar, neither player receives a point. Remember to be honest with the score keeping; though it may be handy if both players record the scores to avoid later disputes.
Obviously, the first person to reach the winner’s cap wins.
Lingo and standard form
There is no way to define how you talk, but perhaps it would be useful if there was some sort of “universal” language when it comes to playing with different users. These terms can be applied to the game where necessary but aren’t the only ways to communicate.
• Selected avatar as current: I have chosen my avatar for this round and am currently using it.
• Selected avatar: Same as above.
• SAC: Abbreviation of ‘Selected avatar as current’
• SA: Abbreviation of ‘selected avatar’
Okay, can’t really think of more lingo for you to know. Additionally, the following is probably a good standard way to set out the wars to avoid confusion:
Round [insert number], [I have/don’t have the avatar]. Selected avatar as current/selected avatar.
Obviously, the round number changes once both players have had a turn that round, as does the current avatar. Alternatively, instead of stating whether you have the avatar or not, you could simply answer with a yes or no. Being a Times writer has obviously taught me to speak in a more lengthy manner.
Rules of Play
As is every other game in the whole world of Neopia, there are rules that you must follow:
(1) Avatar Wars is just a game; don’t go bashing each other if there is a little problem.
(2) Be honest with score keeping.
(3) Do not write down the names of all the used avatars – relying on your memory alone is not only great stimulus (good grief, I sound like a science teacher) for your brain, but is more enjoyable, especially if your opponent repeats an already said avatar.
(4) When playing, you are forbidden to access the person’s games hi-score table to see whether they have accomplished certain game avatars.
(5) There are sites and petpages that some ACers host to show off their spiffeh collection of avatars – do not go to these pages whilst playing.
(6) Do not play against Raven if you have no game avatars (seriously).
(7) Honestly, don’t use the default avatars in the game. It really hurts your opposition’s ego when they don’t have the default avatars and taunting them is just cruel.
Triumphs and Losses
Naturally, there’s a winner and there’s a loser. There is no prize for the winner other than the smug satisfaction of knowing that they have owned the other person, you know, with that whole hierarchy thing that goes on in the AC Boards. The consequence for losing however, is not to only feel beaten by their opposition. Technically, the loser doesn’t have to submit to this treatment, but Raven and I have fun condemning one another.
Whoever loses must bear the default avatar as their active avatar for a whole month, with a mention in the siggy about losing to the winner. For example: “Avatar Wars – Lost to [insert user name] Wielding default as punishment until [insert date]” Okay, you don’t need the punishment part, but it’s a pretty awesome excuse, no? And when I say default, I mean the yellow default avatar, not one of those adorable pet selections. There are two ways of losing in Avatar Wars: surrender or pure loss.
That alone should give you initiative to win.
Surrender is when you give up and forfeit, obviously. No white flag or banner required. A simple “Forfeit” will suffice. Pure loss is when you lose during game play. A game is finished once a player receives a tally of however many avatars the winner’s cap was set on.
Variations on Avatar Wars
Of course, as Avatar Wars is merely a game started by other ACers (Raven and me) like you, the exact game play can change drastically to cater for the whims of whoever is playing. If you are one of those people who don’t really agree to conformity and would rather prefer a different version to play, read the following for a few ideas to get those mental clogs moving:
VARIATION A: Rather than receive no points for guessing an avatar that your opponent has, you could lose a point for every incorrect guess. However, in order to play this way, I would suggest a pretty high avatar count.
VARIATION B: You can restrict the types of avatars used in the game. For example, if you were a true gamer, you may decide to limit the choice of avatars simply to game avatars. A lower winner’s cap would probably be useful in this case.
VARIATION C: If you are the type who strives for attention, why not host the Avatar Wars on the neoboards? The game will be the same, with two players facing off in the “battle” whilst other Neopians can watch as an audience and perhaps even guess who would have the highest chance of winning. Just remember to keep them in the avatar boards and not to spam the other topics. I doubt fans in the Dr. Sloth boards would give a hoot whether you had the faerie queen doll avatar or not.
This is the end of my Avatar Wars article. I am amazed you bothered to read so far. Maybe you just scrolled straight to the bottom, but oh well. I hope this guide hasn’t bored you too much, as it is my first attempt at being entirely serious in a Times submission. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in the future if you are willing to give Avatar Wars a try.