What Newbies Should Know About The GMC
A few years ago, I was reading a thread on the Help Neoboard about one player who accidentally played her favorite daily game 3 times, and then realized that the game was a requirement for that day's Games Master Challenge. None of her 3 scores beat the required GMC score, and now she had to wait until the next day to complete the challenge. I felt so bad for her! Gone was her chance of getting the top GMC trophy, even though that game was something she was good at.
I felt like plastering a banner all over Neopets, explaining that people should do their daily games AFTER completing all of that day's GMC challenges. Only the veterans would know this hugely critical fact. I felt sorry for all the newbies who didn't!
Happily enough, TNT changed the rules of the GMC this year so that you can still beat challenges AFTER your 3 score sends. Isn't that amazing! Thanks, TNT, for paying attention to our concerns!
Inspired by the spirit of helpfulness, I thought I'd make a list of things that newbies wouldn't know about the GMC. It's too late for this article to help the current population of players, since the GMC is over by now, but maybe someone in the future will look up this article and be genuinely helped by its contents. That would make me smile!
So here is a list of things that a newbie should know before participating in the GMC! Maybe it will help a few veterans as well, you never know!
1. Do The Challenges Before Playing Your Daily Games
As I stated earlier, it's important to do the GMC challenges BEFORE doing your favorite daily games. If you send 3 low scores, you might not be able to send a fourth score that beats the GMC score. I know TNT changed the rules this year so that we can submit scores past the maximum of 3 sends, but be careful anyway! Who knows what will happen next year?
2. TNT Sometimes Goofs
TNT is human, and occasionally they make mistakes. This year, Day 1 of the GMC page included a third check box that vanished the next day. Players were honestly wondering whether to fulfill the requirements of the box, or ignore it completely. (Apparently, completing the challenge for the other team caused the check box to activate.) Thankfully, a glance at the Help Neoboard confirmed to people that the third check box was a glitch, that everyone had gotten it, and that it wouldn't be coming back.
The most hilarious mistake that's happened so far is the Petpetpet Comb, the prize for beating Itchy Invasion. It can currently be equipped as a Petpet. People are LOL-ing all over the Neoboards, showing off their unusual new Petpets, and resolving never to remove them (in case TNT fixes the item and it can't be used as a Petpet anymore). I'm kind of tempted to do the same! ROFL!
And finally, TNT sometimes attaches the wrong prizes to our GMC page. This year, for instance, both the Fire Team and the Snow Team won ……………
So visit the Neoboards every day to figure out if there's a glitch or error with the current day's challenges! It might stop you from wasting unnecessary time on a game that was mistakenly posted on the GMC page, for instance. Or it might stop you from achieving a really high required score that was actually meant to be much lower. Check with your fellow Neopians first, and THEN start submitting your scores!
3. Use A Mouse
I feel absolutely horrible for those people who are using a trackpad on their laptop computers! Many of the games require the manual dexterity that only a computer mouse can provide. Lots of players, for instance, have given up on Itchy Invasion because it's so difficult to click on the Petpetpets using a trackpad. Considering that a good quality mouse is only $10, I desperately wished that I could buy a ton of mice and distribute them to the players that needed them!
So this is probably the most important advice I'll mention in this article: USE A MOUSE! If you don't have one, buy one now for next year's GMC and Daily Dare! I don't want to see any more crying people on the Help Neoboard, making me feel guilty that I'm simply better equipped, rather than being better than them at games.
4. Use The Neopian Times
For every game that exists on Neopets, there are 10 game guides in the Neopian Times. Do a simple search of the game's name in the upper right search box, and benefit from the experience of your fellow players! Believe me, it'll save you a lot of heartache. And it's better than playing alone!
5. Use Fan Sites
There are a TON of Neopets-approved fan sites that also happen to have game guides. SunnyNeo, The Daily Neopets, and Jellyneo all have GMC hints that will help you achieve high scores. I always smile when I see someone struggling with a game, only to read a handful of hints that help her to achieve her highest score ever. My own high score in Itchy Invasion, for instance, was around 100. After reading Jellyneo's Itchy Invasion game guide, I scored a surprising 588. Hurray! (And now I'll always know what my absolute highest possible score is, because it's posted indelibly at the lower right of the game page!)
6. Neoboard 7
Neoboard 7 is usually reserved for new and current site events, like the Altador Cup, the GMC, the Winter Starlight Celebration, and other events. Right now, the board is titled "Altador Cup," but that's because TNT never got around to changing its name for the GMC. The players on this board are actually treating the Altador Cup Neoboard as the GMC Neoboard, so read the posts within! You never know if you'll find an amazing game hint. You could even commiserate with your fellow players over the games that are seemingly impossible for you.
I think newbies should know that Neoboard 7 is being used for the GMC, because I'm guessing that they glance at the "Altador Cup" title and assume it has nothing to do with them. On the contrary! Neoboard 7 is the go-to place for every current event, so it behooves newbies to visit this board at least once a day, even when its name is wrong!
Many of the games have extremely high GMC scores to beat, so it's always a good idea to seek advice from Neoboard 7 before attempting any game. Today, I finished Pterattack in only 2 tries, after reading someone's post about collecting as many red fireball power-ups as possible. My previous high score was 100. My new high score is now 1200, without even particularly trying. (I even quit the game because I'd gotten the required score of 900, and didn't want to play anymore, so who knows how high I could have scored?)
7. Change Game Window Sizes/Resolution
On each game page, there is the option to change game sizes and/or resolutions. Simply click the cog icon on the lower right of the Play button, and alter the settings so that your game is easier to play! I personally beat the Itchy Invasion score by choosing "Best" resolution and "Large" window, because the Petpetpets were large and easy to click. Others found that "Best" resolution and "Small" window worked for them, because they didn't have to move the mouse as much. Fiddle with the settings, and good luck with finding the setting that's best for you!
(If you're still not sure which setting is best, even after fiddling with them, visit Neoboard 7. People there always post the best settings for each game, so all the work of figuring them out is already done for you!)
8. Clear Your Schedule
Many newbies don't realize that many of the GMC games require an hour or more to master. They log on at 8 pm, mistakenly thinking that it'll only take a few minutes to finish each challenge, when in reality, some of the games require many hours of hard work. I myself had a lot of trouble with Itchy Invasion, which took me 1.5 hours to master. I've even come across players who needed 3 hours to beat that game, spread out over 2 days.
My advice to newbies is: clear your schedule! Chances are, you'll come across some games that are really difficult, so it's best to organize your day so that you have at least 2 hours to devote to the GMC. I know it's hard, since the GMC falls on the Thanksgiving holiday and you're probably spending the day with family and friends, but try anyway, especially if you want all gold checks!
And if you still can't beat every challenge, don't worry! You'll still get a trophy for participating, and it'll look amazing on your user lookups!
9. Old Computers Rock
I always regret having thrown away my old, dilapidated desktop computer. Apparently, Neopets games run a little slower (and are therefore easier to beat) using old computers. My brand new computer is speedy, powerful and amazing, but I can't help wishing I could play Ice Cream Machine on an old desktop computer, just because I want the avatar. I've been trying to get the avatar for 8 years!
So save your old computers, newbies! It might give you an advantage over veteran players who are slightly better than you at games. So what if they have experience -- you have better equipment! (Or "worse" equipment, if you can appreciate the irony!)
10. Don't Complete All Games
Some newbies are trying to submit a score, any score, in every game listed on the GMC games list. They mistakenly believe that this will save them time later on, when the GMC requirement is "XX games played." DO NOT DO THIS! If you play all of the games now, and on the last day the GMC requirement is 30 games played, you won't be able to do the challenge. (It happened to a lot of people last year, even those of us who are Neopets veterans.) Simply do the bare minimum each day (ex. "Play 5 Terror Mountain games"), and no more. I hope I've saved you all from making a huge mistake!
11. Save, Then Sell, Your Prizes
There are 2 schools of thought regarding GMC prizes. Some people believe in selling the prizes right away. Others believe in hoarding them. I happen to believe that people profit the most by hoarding, and then selling, the prizes. The wearables, for instance, skyrocket in value after one year. I always kick myself for having sold a certain wearable that was worth 20,000 NP at the beginning, because it's currently worth 300,000 NP. That's a lot of money!
12. There Are No Stupid Questions
Never, ever be ashamed to ask for help. That's why the Neoboards are there -- for players to connect, share advice, and chat. It was only after reading a newbie's plaintive plea for help that I learned about the bottom left map in Extreme Faerie Cloud Racers. I had no idea it was even there! Thanks, fellow players, for pointing out that tiny map to the newbie, which ended up benefiting me as well!
13. Know Your Team's Theme
It's crucial that newbies figure out how the teams are set up each year. This year, the teams are Fire and Snow. Sounds simple, right? Just pick whatever team looks coolest? NOT SO FAST! Don't join a team just because you happen to like its looks! The teams have different requirements to fulfill. This year, Team Fire is all about action games, and Team Snow is all about puzzle games. Thank goodness my fellow Neopians posted this information all over the Neoboards! I'd been planning to join Team Fire, but I'm better at puzzle games than I am at action games, so I ended up joining Team Snow. Thanks, players, for alerting me to the difference between the teams! And I hope the newbies benefitted from your advice as well!
14. Don't Give Up
There are newbies who despair of winning a good trophy, because they're surrounded by players who have better reflexes, more free time, and more gaming experience than they do. I've seen a few newbies give up on the GMC entirely, which I think is awful. They might not be able to get the top trophy, but why give up and get only a few prizes when you can try your best and win more prizes? Food for thought!
The best advice I could give newbies is: don't freak out if the games are too difficult! Relax! There are literally hundreds of veteran players who can't get the GMC required scores either. You'll get a participation trophy even if you miss several games, and this site event is supposed to be fun and challenging, emphasis on the "challenging." (My favorite players, people who have been here for 150+ months, still can't finish several of the games. So how are newbies expected to win? Seriously.)
Good luck, newbies! I hope that this article leaves you better prepared for next year's GMC! I felt the urgent need to write this article because I was heartbroken about people not having computer mice to play the GMC games with. As someone who has 4 spare computer mice in her desk drawer, it hurts that people are struggling to play on trackpads!
I hope you all enjoyed reading this article, newbies and veterans alike! By the time this article is published, the GMC will be over. I hope everyone has done their best, and that they enjoyed this year's GMC. The prizes were pretty awesome too! I look forward to next year's GMC, and plan to post a link to this article on the Help Neoboard, bumping it up once a day. I'd love to know that I helped some of you newbies to succeed! Or even, prevented you from making mistakes!
Stay tuned for more articles from yours truly, dear readers, and good luck with next year's GMC!