The Reluctant Player's Guide to All-Star
It's that time of year again! As the Altador Cup (AC) gets into full swing, Neopians from all over are in for a month of kicking, screaming, and slushies. The Altador Cup is one of Neopets' most highly anticipated annual events. Each year, players practice intensely for a month in order to help their team win the Cup, meanwhile helping themselves to points to spend in the Prize Shop.
Most AC fanatics work to achieve the highest player rank and trophy, All-Star. This rank is the official pinnacle of a month's worth of hard work and dedication, because you must get through 19 other ranks first! This fact alone is surely daunting, and because the average Neopian is probably not a fanatic, achieving All-Star may seem like a dream too far from reach. However, with a little help and dedication, anything is possible! Accomplishing Rank 20 may seem formidable, but it can be made easier and more fun. I know this from experience, because I was an extremely reluctant player myself. In fact, before Altador Cup VIII, I never even made it to Rank 10.
Just like some activities are not for everybody, neither is the Altador Cup. You cannot expect to automatically love the event, or even grow to love it. However, if you enjoy the event enough to consider going for All-Star, you should know what to expect!
As mentioned before, the Altador Cup awards prizes through its Prize Shop. Prizes are "sold" based on the number of points a player earns. A prize can range from 1 point to 25,000 points, which usually means the higher the point value of the prize, the more it is worth in Neopoints to sell or to use (with a few exceptions when accounting for use limits and inflation). Usually, earning All-Star does not earn you the highest prize (you have to work even harder!). It does, however, earn you enough points to spend on a decent prize that can be worth about 3,000,000 Neopoints. Furthermore, you earn the highest trophy available and bragging rights for a year! Ultimately, the decision to reach All-Star is your choice, but if you think any of the benefits are worth it, you should definitely set your sights on it!
Now that you know a little bit more about All-Star, you can actually start reading up on how to achieve it!
YOOYUBALL – Yooyuball is the main focus of the Altador Cup, and the game that will earn you the most points. Two teams of five players face off against each other, their objective being to get the Yooyu into the other team's goal. You control your team as you play against a computer from the opposing team, and earn points when you win or draw. You can switch between your team members at any point in the game. Using either your mouse of your keyboard, your aim is to score as many goals as you can before the timer runs out! But watch out, because different Yooyus behave differently, and you will have to familiarize yourself with each one. Throughout the game, there will also be multiple power-ups for you to collect.
To achieve All-Star from playing only Yooyuball, you will need to have 1334 wins: about 44 wins per day! This will take you approximately 2 hours and 12 minutes every day.
SLUSHIE SLINGER – Slushie Slinger is a fun game to play, but it is probably my least favorite because it can take a while. In this game, you work as a Tuskaninny waitress, serving slushies to customers by using your space bar and arrow keys. Simple right? Well, as the time goes by, the amount of customers demanding slushies increases, and you only have five lives! Generally, this game can become pretty hectic, which is why I usually avoid it, but if something like this is your kind of thing, go for it!
To achieve All-Star from playing only Slushie Slinger, you will need to play 2667 games: about 89 games a day!
MAKE SOME NOISE – In Make Some Noise, you play as the Techo Fanatic, and you must make the most noise as possible in order to cheer your team on. You are given letters to press on your keyboard, and you must press them alternatively to score points. The faster and more accurately you press the letters, the more points you earn.
To achieve All-Star from playing only Make Some Noise, you will need to play 16,000 games: about 533 games a day! This will take you at most approximately 4 hours a day, assuming you use the complete amount of time the game gives you. If you do not use the whole 30 seconds, however, then it will take you less than half that time!
SHOOTOUT SHOWDOWN – Shootout Showdown is the simplest of the four AC games, and the easiest to play (therefore, my personal favorite). You use your space bar and your keyboard arrow keys and earn points by scoring a goal past the goalie. You can score a maximum of 5 goals per game, which will earn you the most points. However, you only need to score 1 goal in order to help you rank up. It is your call on whether you play 5-goal games or 1-goal games. Just keep in mind that 5-goal games take longer to complete, but ultimately help your team out more in the long run (and might make a few less people angry).
To achieve All-Star from playing only Shootout Showdown, you will need to play 16,000 games: about 533 games a day! This will take you approximately 1 ½ hours a day if you play 5-goal games, and 18 minutes a day if you play 1-goal games.
Before I achieved the All-Star rank my first time, I was under the assumption that the quickest way to obtain it was to only play Yooyuball. This is why I have failed all those previous times. I would enjoy playing Yooyuball for the first few games, but after a while it soon got tiring and I was less motivated as the AC went on. What I should have done, and have done since, is played a combination of the games. Usually I play Yooyuball, but I also love playing Shootout Showdown, so those were the games that I now focus on the most. I might play a few games of Slushie Slinger or Make Some Noise, but since I am not particular to those games, I usually ignore them. My advice is to find out what games are your forte and stick with them! Try to play more than just a single game, though, so you won't burn yourself out.
Getting in the Spirit
To a reluctant Altador Cup player, getting in the spirit can do wonders to your motivation. You may think that you cannot possible reach rank 20, but with the proper attitude and team spirit, you'll be far more motivated to achieve and succeed! Below are some popular ways to amp up your team pride.
CUSTOMIZATION – The Altador Cup is frequently a favorite of customizers everywhere, because they can show off their team pride with loads of team-related wearables! Besides, isn't it lovely to see an account with all their pets coming together to support the same land? I sure think so!
GRAPHICS AND CODING – After you've given your pets the dash of team gear they need, perhaps you might want to organize your user lookup and other pages to convey your pride! There are hundreds of AC-related graphics and layouts to choose from on Neopets, so decorating your pages is made quite easy.
FONTS – And who can forget about showing your spirit on the Neoboards? With a font dedicated to your AC team, you can be prideful and chat at the same time!
Once you have made the decision to commit to achieving All-Star, you actually have to do it. After all, some things are a lot easier in theory than in practice. Fortunately, as a reluctant player myself, I can tell you about how I strive to achieve my AC goal. Hopefully this technique works for you as well!
- Set small goals – I think it is a very formidable task to say "I want to reach rank 20" and just do it. I simply can't. Instead, I work my way up, telling myself I'll reach rank 5 by this date, rank 10 by this date, and so on and so forth. It might not be any different thank tackling rank 20 head on pace-wise, but it makes me feel a lot less pressured.
- Work at your goals every day! – Don't just set a goal and then not work to achieve it! Make sure to pace yourself throughout the entire month so you do not fall behind. It is important that you have the perseverance to commit yourself every day, or at least to make up the days that you miss. Otherwise, the road to Rank 20 is a bleak one.
After a long while of working your butt off trying to stay on track, the Altador Cup does admittedly get a bit dull. But no matter! There are always ways to stay motivated, and here are a few of them!
COMPETE WITH OTHERS – I find it a lot easier to fill in your daily quota when you're competing against others! This pertains especially to Yooyuball, where playing even ten games can seem like a drag sometimes. A good way to combat this is by competing against others. You can challenge a friend or a stranger on the Neoboards to a race to 10, 20, or even 50 games of Yooyuball! It doesn't matter the number, but as long as your opponent is driving you to play those games competitively, you'll watch the time fly by, and you might even score quicker!
JOIN A CHAT GROUP OR GUILD – Another way to stay motivated while you play your daily rounds is by joining a chat group of a guild. There are multiple AC chat groups, and they all come to life once the season begins. Joining one of these is a great way to meet new people and help motivate each other as you work for the same goal. This also pertains to AC-related guilds, which also work the same way in regards to team spirit and togetherness.
IMAGINE – If you choose to be a hermit for the duration of the Altador Cup (or if not), you can also simply stay motivated by dreaming of all the glorious prizes you can buy once the ordeal is all over! This may or may not be the most optimistic way of looking at the Games, but hey, whatever gets you going, right?
I used to love the Altador Cup solely for the high spirits and mood it brings to all Neopians. The overall atmosphere of the site always seemed, to me, a bit more lively when it was game season. However, I never really participated in the Cup itself, because I thought I lacked the skill to succeed. I was a very reluctant AC player. However, after one year of committing myself to achieving rank 20 and working daily to make sure I did, I realized that I did love the Altador Cup. It has since become one of my favorite events on Neopets. With this article, I am hoping that I can persuade a few other reluctant players like myself to succeed in reaching All-Star. Besides, all you need is the drive and effort, and to always remember to have fun!