1K Gaming: A Personal Approach
Gallery, paintbrushes, avatar items, Battledome equipment, training, customization--I've got a lot of ways to spend my daily NP earnings. Oh, and now Valentines is on the way, so there are presents to buy, not just for my pets, but for my neofriends and family too. Good thing I've got a system for earning maximum NP through games for the time I spend in Neopia each day. But I'm not here to gloat--I said system, not secret. Gather round as I explain...
Yes, I know there are better ways to earn neopoints than through games, but I'm not patient enough for the stock market and not fast enough to restock on a consistent basis. Besides, this article is about maximizing game earnings.
Definition of terms
First, a quick look at few terms I'll be using.
A Game Ratio is the proportion of the number of neopoints paid per game point earned. On the 25th of each month, TNT changes the ratios of many of the games available. This means that your favorite games may not pay the same number of neopoints each month for the same scored earned in the game.
A 1K Game is a game in which you can consistently score high enough to earn 1000 neopoints per play.
The evolution of the system
When I first starting playing Neopets, I would go to the games room every day, and based on how I was feeling, and which of the pretty pictures caught my attention, I would play games randomly, with no attention to game ratios. At first, I didn't even realize that there were ratios on the site. Gradually, two things happened-- I learned how to play some of the games, I started developing favorite games, and I noticed that my daily earnings varied wildly. *reads back over page* Oh wait, that's three things. Hmm, probably not going to sound like an economic giant if I make counting mistakes.
The second phase of my game playing began when I discovered various guides listing games according to their speed of play, and maximum payout. There are quite a few of these around Neopia; a quick post on the games or help chat board should point you in the right direction. This is where I learned about the ratios, and how they affected my earning from month to month. Still my habits didn't change all that much. I played more sponsor games, and played any of the games with which I thought I could earn 1000 NP, but it was still kind of random.
I hadn't been much of a consumer in Neopia up to that point: one pet, no shop, not even a petpet. I was banking everything I earned. My slorg gallery changed that. Buying slorg items sometimes meant spending two or three days worth of earning, and since I like having a seven digit bank balance, I realized I need to improve my earning abilities again.
Phase three consisted of finding one of those game guides I mentioned earlier, and following it pretty strictly. I developed a pattern--daily freebies, sponsor games, really fast games, fast 1K games--according to the current ratio breakdown, then slower 1K games--again according to the current ratios, and finally games that I just enjoyed playing or at which I was good, regardless of their earning potential. It didn't take long to see that this was making a drastic improvement in my bank account, and what's more, I was able to set NP goals and estimate how long it would take me to reach them. The only problem was that some months there were lots of listed games with which I could earn 1K, and some months not so many. And there were games that I played regularly that I found to be easy 1Ks although they weren't on anyone's list.
Finally there came a series of months where almost all of the high ratio games were games I couldn't play; my earnings dropped sharply. By the point I was pretty spoiled to having a steady income, and the idea of low daily earnings just didn't appeal. The result is phase 4: a personalized list of 1K games that takes into account the monthly changes in high earning games. Since I started creating this list each month, I have never had less than 10 games a month that I knew were good for 1000 NP per play for me. Most months the list is much longer, and I usually get tired of playing games before I max out on 1K games for the day. And I'm not that good at games; my trophy cabinet is proof of that.
Creating a personalized 1K game list
Step 1: Go to your high score table. Copy and paste this info to Notepad (or another text editor.) Spend a few minutes editing it--delete all of the sponsor games, PHP games and contests. Delete your ranking and the points needed to advance. All you need is an alphabetical listing of every flash game that you've ever played and your high score for that game. Give this document a catchy name like "My High Scores" and save it.
Step 2: Go to a guide that lists the current game ratios. There are many of these and again, posting to the help or games chat boards will help you locate one that you like. For our purposes, it needs to be arranged in alphabetical order, and list not just the ratio for each game, but the score needed to reach 1000 NP. Compare each game on your list to the guide. If your high score equals or is greater than the score required for 1000 NP, highlight that game on your list. I use colors, but marking it with a symbol or a different font works well too. If your score is close to the high score, highlight it, but in a different way. Make a note of the required scores on your list.
Using this method, you should find that there are quite a few games each month that will earn you 1000 NP each time you play. If not, and if the ratio guide you are using has a list of recommended earners, try a few of them. But remember, you will seldom achieve a max score the first time you play a new game--play it every day for a week before you write it off as unprofitable.
Step 3: Open another document and copy the highlighted games and their required scores into it. Name this document "1K Games--Month of Sleeping" or something else that clearly identifies it as different from the first document. Depending on how organized (or obsessive compulsive) you are, edit this list: fastest first, guaranteed 1K before possible 1K, alphabetical... whatever works best for you. After it's edited and formatted to your satisfaction, be sure to save it. I always print a copy too, because during a month I use computers at several locations, but you may not find this necessary.
Step 4: You should take a moment now to restore your high score document to its original state. You won't need it again until next month.
Step 5: On the 25th of each month you will have to create a new document using these steps. I recommend checking and updating your high score list before you check the ratio changes.
There's your list of all the games from which you can make 1000 NP per play for the current month! At first, all of that copying and pasting and comparing of lists looks like a lot of trouble, but it doesn't take long for the process to become familiar, and then you can do the whole thing in about fifteen minutes. Never again will you have to post on the chat boards, “The ratios changed, and now I can't earn enough NP to feed my pets!”
Wrapping it up
Now you have a personalized list of games from which you will earn 1000 NP consistently. But you aren't quite finished. Remember how I had you delete the sponsor games from your high score list? Well, that doesn't mean that you won't be playing sponsor games; in fact you should play as many of them as you can each day. But since most of them are easier than many site games, and faster too, I don't worry about their ratios. I just find the ones I like, and play them every day.
If you have Neopets Premium, be sure that you play only games with a 1K payout until you collect your space faerie bonus. I recommend developing a routine: dailies freebies, fast 1Ks, then sponsor games. Follow the sponsor games with the 1K games that take you longer to play. For variety, throw in a run of Tyranu Evavu, Dice-a-roo or another PHP game. Set reasonable daily goals for yourself, rather than playing games until your eyes blur and your hands cramp. Remember, if you don't have fun with the games, it's not playing, it's work.