Deciphering the Dome
The Battledome, a central feature of Neopia, is a place where the millions earned by Neopians are put to use battling it out to see who is the best Battledomer.
And it’s confusing, isn’t it?
Strength boosts, Defence boosts, icons blocked, icons reflected and what exactly is Movement used for?
Well, let’s start with the basics: Training a battle pet.
First, any pet can battle, but some obviously can battle better than others.
There are three main stats for any battle pet, and a further two if you want to wield specific weapons, but I’ll get into that a little later.
The main stats are Endurance (Hitpoints), Defence, and Strength. Endurance is easy enough to understand; the more you have, the harder it is to be defeated in the dome. Strength and Defence, on the other hand, are a little more complex. You see, with Strength, not every point of Strength matters; indeed it works in a way we refer to as “Boosts”. What are boosts you might ask?
Well, at certain levels of Strength we see our damage increased, but not at others; for instance, a pet with 39 Strength and 53 Strength will do the same amount of damage per icon, yet a pet with 54 and another pet with 55 will not do the same amount of damage. This is because 55 is a boost, a point where we see our damage increase.
Defence works much the same way and you want your Defence to at least match the Strength of your opponent; otherwise, no matter how many icons you block, your opponent will still be able to hurt your pet.
The final two stats we really have to worry about are Intelligence and Movement. Some battlers do not train Movement at all and see it as a waste; personally I would recommend every battler train their Movement up to 201 This will enable them (with the correct amount of Intelligence) to use the Heavy Robe of Thievery, the only stealing weapon with a 100% chance of success. This, particularly in 2-player fights, is immensely useful, as not only does it give you another weapon to play with, but it also removes a variable from your opponent's set, enabling you to better guess his next move.
Intelligence too allows pets to make the most of certain weapons and these weapons are often sought after; for example, the Crisp Blue Tunic requires 750 Intelligence to use, yet it drains 100 hp from your opponent and heals you with it! So whilst some Battledomers skip reading books for Intelligence, I recommend that you do your research and if you see an item you’d like in your set that requires a certain Intelligence that you start hitting those books! (Figuratively; you need to save most of your energy for the dome!)
Finally, we need to talk about Level. Level is very useful but also tedious to gain. Level is used in the training of your pet; for example, if you want to train your Defence in the Mystery Island Training School, you’ll need your Level to equal half your highest stat. If that stat is, say, Strength with 84, then you need a Level of 42 to train Defence (although you can train your Endurance to 3x your current Level).
Level is also used in gaining certain “Abilities”. These are the options that you select from your dropdown box in the Battledome interface. They will have such names as Berserk, Burrow, Ferocious Attack and Drain Life. Now, there a few different types of abilities. There are your default abilities: Ferocious Attack, Defend etc.
Then there are your Species abilities. These differ from species to species; however, we do not receive them at Level 1. Indeed, we have to increase our Level to even be able to use them all and sometimes with increased level the power of these moves increases.
Finally there are faerie abilities; these abilities are given to your pet by bottled faeries, BUT they only receive an ability if they have a high enough Level to receive one. For instance, the final Dark faerie ability “Sink” is received only at Level 30 and above. (It is important to note that the level of these abilities doesn’t matter, only your pet’s overall Level.)
It is also important to note that we receive our final ability Berserk at Level 50. So after Level 50, Level is only used in training our beloved pet.
Now there are many, many different ways to train your pet. You can gain stats from many different places, so it can get a little confusing.
First, let’s start with the unorthodox methods of Training.
Coltzan’s Shrine- Yep, the grand old king can increase all of your stats from Strength to Endurance and yes, even Intelligence. What’s more is that he also can give you Dubloons, which are certainly very useful to the up and coming Battledomer.
Turmaculus- The king of all petpets can also grant your stat points, specifically Strength. Also important to note: if he eats your petpet, you receive another Battledome challenger.
Faerie quests- These are, of course, completely random and each faerie is unique in what they grant you. Fire faeries usually ask for clothing and will increase your Strength by 2 points. Dark faeries ask for toys and increase your hitpoints by 2. Water faeries, being the more learned, typically ask for books and will increase your Defence by 2. Light faeries ask for Cards and increase Level by 2. Air faeries ask for grooming products and increase your Movement. The Space Faerie will ask for anything and grant your pet 4 Levels, and finally, the Faerie Queen, who also can ask for anything, will grant your pet 2 hp, 2 Strength, and 1 Level.
Ice cave Scratchcards- Yep, any level above Terror Trove scratchcard has a small chance of awarding you a Level in addition to the other prizes.
Deadly Dice- The infamous Von Roo offers a special way to gain Level from midnight (NST) to 1am (NST). If you can beat him in dice, he’ll increase your pet’s Level. If you lose, he will decrease your pet’s Level. If you manage to tie him, he’ll offer to double the stakes and indeed you can tie multiple times, meaning that 16 Levels or more can be on the table. Like the lab (which will be mentioned later in this article), it is a fairly risky way of increasing your stats. You should be able to judge how many you can risk and act accordingly.
Well, if you’re going to be a top notch Battledomer, you need some training that’s a bit more reliable, eh?
Krawk Island Academy- This is a far slower way of training your pet and whilst it used to be cheaper at all Levels with the lower codestone prices due to Key Quest (Thank you, TNT!!!), we see it’s cheaper and faster to train at the Mystery island School... in most cases. Occasionally we see the price of some of the dubloons lower than the price of multiple codestones. Still, even if it is cheaper, I’d recommend only hitting them before you log off for the night; this way you don’t miss out on any training time!
Mystery Island Training School- The classic. This will undoubtedly be your primary source of stats, as it is both the fastest and the cheapest (Thanks, TNT, for Key Quest again!!!). Like the Krawk Island Academy, you can occasionally get training bonuses where the stat trained will increase by 2 or more, sometimes reaching as high as even 8 stats!!.
Secret Ninja Training School- The ultimate training school, available to only those with a Level greater than 250, it requires red Codestones. These red Codestones are only found by putting the 10 original Codestones into the Mystery Island volcano. The results from the volcano are random.
The Secret Laboratory- A onetime cost, this method of training is very popular because it is so cheap; however, the pets that are trained purely by the lab are often thought inferior to evenly trained pets. This is because the lab grants large amounts of hitpoints and Strength, but it reduces Level and Defence. For Level, this means that it is very hard to train at the schools again and for Defence, this means that it will not be able to use defensive sets in the dome.
However, you can train in the lab and train in the schools at the same time, This will usually work out in you saving in training costs, as even with the lab reducing your Level and Defence, forcing you to retrain, at the same time it increases your hitpoints by enough that you won’t have to train Endurance as much and it also usually gives a positive result for Movement and Strength to boot! The trick is knowing when to stop labbing. You don’t need to lab every day. Make sure you keep your stats balanced if not having a surplus of Level and Defence.
Neggs- Yep, certain Neggs from the Neggery can boost your stats. They are very expensive, so it’s mainly for high Level pets who can longer train in the schools. The main Neggs Battledomers go for include: Silver Knight Neggs-these give 1-2 Defence points, Sneggs, which give 2-3 hp and 2-3 Movement, and Ferocious Neggs, which give 1-3 Strength points, but be warned; you will also contract a random disease.
Other stat increasers include Essence of Drackonack, Cooling Balm of the Warrior, and Bomberry Elixir. These can grant Strength or Defence points, but the chance to grant these stats is very low. Strength Serum, on the other hand, will give 1-4 str points every time.
Kitchen Quests- Often abbreviated as K-quests, these can give you any stat, but they do it randomly, and furthermore they can award stats to any of your pets. This is why many Battledomers choose to have only one pet. Some k-quests can get very expensive, so usually people have a self-imposed limit of, say, 10k per quest. Also, you have a limit of ten per day.
So there you have it. Hopefully that’s cleared things up for a few people and maybe encouraged a few to try their hand at the dome.