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World Challenging for Fun and Profit

by zabnor


Whether you are longing for competitive play, seeking to enhance your gaming experience, or just looking for an opportunity to increase your profit, the World Challenge (WC) may be for you.

What is it?

World Challenges are hourly competitions in 1 player games where players pit their scores against random opponents to see who can amass the most wins within the hour. Each win will give you one Tally Point and each loss will subtract 1 Tally Point from your total. At the end of the hour, if there are enough players (5 or more) to qualify, the leaders in Tally Points, Individual Overall Score, or Total Overall Scores Submitted, will win both a Neopoint (NP) prize, and a piece of the WC map for whichever world the game you played represents. Every player is eligible to win up to 3 WC map pieces per day.

Top 5 reasons why you should play:

1. Thirst for Competition. There are only a few interactive gaming competitions on Neopets. Key Quest, Armada, Go! Go! Go!, Direct Challenging and 2 player Battledome battles are examples of other direct 2P competitions with other Neopets players. Of these, only Armada-style games have a scoreboard, and it only allows 1 game per week, with an arbitrarily assigned opponent.

2. Organized Competitions Between Guildmates and/or Friends. None of the other multiplayer games allows for an easy multiplayer tournament with a large or possibly uneven number of players. By simply neomailing friends, or posting on your guild board, you can schedule a time for a tournament against them or the world at any given hour. This is a great way to have fun. It is very exciting when a bunch of friends storm a WC room and play. It also allows players who have less than WC skills to be matched up with players of similar skills, have a better chance to succeed, have a great time, and have something to chat about afterward.

3. Prizes. The entry fee for a WC is 100 NP. For this entry fee, you are eligible to win both a NP prize (based on total players entered) and a WC map piece if you are successful. Since the average NP value of a WC map piece is around 10,000 NP, that means you only have to be successful about 1% of the time to make playing profitable. Plus, you're still awarded your standard NP for the first 3 scores you send in any game each day. Any way you slice it, there is profit afoot.

4. Super Prizes. If instead of selling your map pieces, you decide to keep them and collect enough pieces (20 different) to complete a map, you can then convert the map to receive a super prize. The prize for converting is 2,000 NP and a random rare item. The items range from Petpets like the Screal, to petpet paintbrushes like Pirate Petpet Paint Brush, to regular paintbrushes like Lost Desert Paint Brush. There are three maps in each world to complete (each successive generally believed to give better prizes), and after completing all three, you can reset the maps for that world and start over.

5. Paintbrush Deflation. The more maps that are converted in Neopia, the more Paintbrushes will be randomly awarded as prizes. Simple supply and demand dictates that if more people play, more people will win, more maps will be converted and the cost of customization for all Neopians will decrease. Many competitions are currently only lightly played. If there are less than 5 people in a competition during a given hour, there are no prizes given, and the current leader board carries over to the next hour until there is a minimum of 5 players. That means, every hour that there are less than 5 players in a WC arena, map pieces are not awarded which could be helping to defray the high cost of pet painting.

7 Tips and strategies for winning more frequently:

1. Go With Your Strengths. There are many WC games to choose from. Currently there are 12 worlds offering games (sorry, Moltara fans, no games for you yet). Find the games which you excel at, and which offer frequent WC challenges. The list of games changes every day. Chances are, the better you are at a game, the more likely you are to win.

2. Lucky Number 6. With 5 players in the game, the game becomes official for the hour, and will give prizes to the top two players in each of the prize categories (no more than 1 prize per person, even if you qualify in more than one category). Once a sixth player is added to a competition, the prizes for that hour are expanded from the top 2 in each category to the top 3 in every category. If you enter a lobby, and there are 5 current scores (even if it looks like you cannot beat the top two scores) compare yourself to the third score on the list. If you think you can beat that, simply by joining, you will expand the prizes distributed, and possibly qualify for a win.

3. Tally to Qualify, Score to Win. In order to qualify for ANY of the prize categories you must have a Tally score of 0 or better. In many lobbies, I will notice that most players only send 1 score per hour, and that I am not quite good enough to both win, and be in the top 3 scores during that hour. However, I know that if I am good enough to win about 50% of the time, and I can send two scores in the hour, good things are much more likely to happen. For example, about 25% of the time I will win BOTH my games, and have a Tally of 2, which will beat all of the players who send only 1 score (max tally of 1). About half of the time, I will win one and lose one, giving me a Tally of 0, but making the sum of my two scores higher than the sum of all of the single score players. Since my tally is zero or greater, and my Total of Overall Scores is in the top 3, I will still win a map piece that competition. Likewise, if I am already sitting in a good score position after two scores, with a tally of 0, and it is getting late in the hour, I will not risk sending a third score, which may get beaten and give me a negative tally, removing me from eligibility for prizes.

4. Look for Scoring Anomalies. Sometimes you will see some odd things on the scoreboard. For example, Player Abigail who has one win, zero losses, zero ties, a maximum score of 1400 and a Total score of 1050. How can that be? Her best score for the hour is HIGHER than her total score? That is not mathematically possible. True. But, there is a peculiarity to the scoring in World Challenges. Scores are matched up in the order they are received. If Abigail sent a score and there is not yet another score waiting, her score will be "hanging" until another comes along to match up with it. Occasionally, since it affects the hierarchy of standings, the game will show the second score if it is the highest for the player during the hour. If I had just completed the game, and am debating whether or not to send my "iffy" score of 1300, I would look to spot something like this which would tell me that if I sent my score, it would certainly be beaten. I would wait, and refresh the page until someone who either doesn't notice, and sends a lower score, clears Abigail's score for me, or someone who's shrewd and talented notices and plays until they score higher than 1400 and sends their score, knowing they will win. Either way, my 1300 should NOT be sent yet.

5. Look for Score Spammers. Occasionally, there comes along someone who realizes that the highest total scores sent for the hour will win a piece, but who does not understand the necessity of a zero or better tally for eligibility rule. This type of person will play a game and enter every score they can within the hour, knowing that they cannot beat the other players, but counting on sheer volume of scores to collect the Total Scores Submitted prize. They will, of course, lose since they do not qualify, but it opens an opportunity for the aware player. I would send extra scores in this case, building up my Tally and Total Scores Sent by point-farming the spammer. Note: Purposefully working as a team with a spammer is cheating and will get you both frozen and hated among the WC community. We recognize this scam, and we chat, and report if necessary. Be a better player, and after the hour is up, neomail the spammer and kindly explain to him/her why they could not win. They will probably be confused and frustrated from not understanding the zero tally rule. Friends can be made this way, and more friends are always good.

6. Know the Score. In most games, there are typically a range of scores which are Likely to win, Competitive, and Unlikely to win, on any given day. When you are new to a game, look at the standings at the end of each hour. You can easily evaluate in a week or so, whether you have a reasonable (greater than 1%) chance of winning a map piece playing the game. If the game is not for you, move on. There are plenty more.

7. Feed the Sharks. Often I see a really high score in the WC sitting for hours, because players are afraid to send a score because they will likely not win that hour. Remember, each player can only win a MAXIMUM of 3 pieces per day. Send a score that hour to help finish the challenge and clear it for your self the next hour. Sure it costs 100 NP to do, but chances are you are going to earn much more than that by playing the game. And, you increase your chances of winning the next hour. That high score may have been a wild score, or that player may have moved on, or earned their maximum for the day.

In Conclusion, I believe there is only enjoyment to be gained out of trying your hand at World Challenges in the games room. I hope try them if you haven't yet. May you enjoy and enhance your gaming experience. And good luck!

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