Beating the Dice-A-Roo Blues
Luck and chance games, and the avatars associated with them, can be a real problem for some avatar collectors. The frustration of keeping up with Turmy's schedule, the relentless repetitiveness of the Snowager's blasts, the... well, smugness of the Lever of Doom are enough to give the strongest of us pause. But not all of these avatars have to be so frustrating. In fact, there's one that can be downright enjoyable. Ladies and gentlemen of the avatar collecting community, I give you...
The Dice-a-Roo avatar was actually the first luck/chance avatar I achieved, and it always surprises me a little to find out that some collectors dislike the game, even avoid it. After hearing what some of these less enthusiastic Dicers had to say, I thought maybe I could share my experience with the game. I started playing the game on the 23st of May, 2009. On June 3rd I got the avatar, for a jackpot of a little over 18,000 neopoints. By that time I was hooked on the game, and it was a part of my daily routine. On June 14th, at around 1:30 am NST I got my second jackpot, with the "x10 Jackpot Multiplier Bonus." That jackpot won me a silver trophy, and 500 NP a day for the rest of the month. I've won several jackpots since then, but nothing like that trophy prize.
In addition to the avatar, and the occasional jackpot, there are other benefits. The value on the food prizes, available from the green, yellow and silver dice, ranges from 100 NP upwards, per item. (Those of you still anticipating the return of the Chef Bonju avatar in the summer might be pleased to note that orange juice is often awarded as a food prize.) You can also win lottery tickets, and if the Blumaroo passersby are to be believed, bottled faeries, although I've never won a faerie from the game myself. Winning even three items is enough to pay for the average session. (I save all of my food prizes for a month and then have a major sale in my shop. Sure, none of the items are high ticket, but everything I make is profit.)
Perhaps even better than the prizes from the game itself are the Random Events that you can get while playing the game. Dice-a-Roo is a PHP game, not Flash. Now I'm not too sure exactly what this means, but what's important for our purposes is that the entire page refreshes with every game click. The more refreshes, the more chance of REs, and that can be a very good thing. I've gotten codestones, map pieces, birthday goodie bags and faerie quests playing dice-a-roo. Two of those quests were Faerie Queen quests. The best RE I've ever gotten while playing DaR was a transmogrification potion from Dr. Sloth. Counselor Broo is a Battledome Challenger who can be found while playing the game, but it's also where I gained the Black Pteri. I've never seen confirmation, but it may be possible to get the Pant Devil as a challenger here too, if he steals an item from you. Of course, not all Random Events are good things. My pets have picked up a few illnesses while we played (one of them was Neo-Flu, though, so I don't know how to count that. If you need Meuka, then that's a good RE) and I've had a few visits from evil ghosts soliciting donations for the money tree, and had a few items turned to sludge by the indiscriminate use of ray guns.
Dice-a-Roo is one of the less expensive luck/chance games, at only 5 NP a game, but it will probably take quite a few games to get the avatar. When I first started playing, I didn't have the Must... Keep... Smiling avie either, so I'd go play Kacheek Seek until my pet got bored with it, and then use my winnings to finance Dice-a-Roo. Unless I'm pressed for time I still do this, although I have both avies now. Kacheek Seek is another PHP game, and the number of refreshes involved in playing it first might have something to do with the frequency of the Random Events I get playing DaR. Incidentally, I read somewhere once that a pet of lower intelligence will play games longer without getting bored. I don't remember precisely where I read this, and the source didn't directly cite TNT, so I don't know if it's true. Generally I use my lab pet as my active pet, to protect precious paint jobs, and they usually have only average intelligence. If you've a pet with high intelligence and it seems to get bored with the game quickly it might be worth trying with a pet that's not quite so smart.
After you make your stake at Kacheek Seek head on over to Roo Island and get started playing. The idea is quite simple. Pay 5 NP to play the game, and then just keep rolling the dice until you either advance to the next level, or (much more common) you lose. The object is to play until you can't play any more. I only collect neopoints in very limited situations:
If you can't seem to progress past the red die, and your total gets to 15 NP, collect.
If you seem to be stuck on the blue die, collect at 35.
Never collect NP on the green, yellow or silver dice--these are where you get your prizes.
When you finally get to the silver die, take a moment and Quickstock all of the items in your inventory. That way, when you get a visit from the Pant Devil (and you will) there's nothing for him to steal. That's all there is to it; just play until your pets refuse to play anymore. The next day they'll be ready to play again, and you'll pick up at the dice level and pot you left the day before. In fact, any time you leave the game and return you will come back to the level and pot that you left. Some people play the game only when there's a big jackpot to be won, and leave the game whenever the jackpot starts over. I don't play this way. I've followed some pots all the way up from 100 NP to over 19,000 NP before someone else won them. Yes, it's a bit disappointing, but along the way I've gotten quite a bit of food and/or lottery tickets.
I know several people who say they get bored long before their pets do, and that's one of the reasons they don't play the game regularly. For people like this I offer a few suggestions:
Multi-Task this game. Play Dice-a-Roo while you chat on the boards or wait for a shop to restock.
Play with others. Often there will be a "Play Dice-a-Roo with me" thread on the AC board. If not, start one.
Play in another language. English is the only language I really speak; I know a few words of German, Spanish and Italian, but not many. For some reason I find multilingual Blumaroos amusing. You might not, but it's worth a try.
Authors note: I originally wrote this article and posted it to a pet page, for the use of my avatar chat group. Several members of the group have used it as a guide to successfully gain the "Lucky" avatar. Without their positive feedback and support, this article would not have been possible. Thanks, y'all!