Questing Through Neoquest I Step By Step
Recently, I read a wonderfully written article here in the Neopian Times about how to solve one’s Neoquest addiction. However, as a proudly addicted Neoquest player, I can admit that I have a “problem” and have no desire to do anything about it. Neoquest can be immensely rewarding provided one can get through its length.
So, what about if you’re on the other end, you ask. What if you really want that trophy on your user lookup or you really want those Neoquest I and II avatars, but either just haven’t gotten around to it or are simply overwhelmed by the task? Well, for those of you who find yourselves in this position, don’t worry; this addicted Neopian is here to provide some tips and tricks to make Neoquest not only doable, but even enjoyable. For the purposes of this article we’ll be focusing on Neoquest I.
One of the very first things you’ll want to do when you begin a new game of Neoquest is familiarize yourself with the basic screen and controls.
You are going to need to choose a pet to play through the game with. Whenever you are playing Neoquest during that game, you need to have that pet as your active pet or else it’ll prompt you to start a new game. This has scared many a Neopian and made them think they lost their game when, in fact, they just have a different pet as their active. What pet you use is immaterial because their stats don’t have anything to do with your in-game stats.
The upper screen lists the name of your pet, the level you’ve gained, the experience points you have — and how many you need to gain another level, what your in-game health is, a link to see the items you have in game, and a link to view your in-game skills. The skills menu is where you can go to spend the experience point you get each time you gain a level. These skills help you defeat stronger and stronger enemies. The items you pick up will often be things you need to trade to characters you meet in the game in exchange for weapons or armor. There’s a menu that displays the type of movement you are currently doing. You will want to spend the majority of the game using the hunting mode, which provides you a battle every 1-3 turns. Normal is rarely used. Sneaking, which limits you to almost no battles, should only be used if you are wounded, low on potions and need to get back to easier enemies, or if you are backtracking through an area where you are so much stronger than the monsters that fighting them doesn’t earn you any experience toward leveling up. The upper screen also shows a compass like item which, as you can guess, determines the direction your pet will move; one click is the same as moving one square. The player will only see one small portion of the very large map, which is displayed in the center of the screen.
Find the Map
Unless you enjoy torturing yourself via trekking through neverending mazes, I highly recommend you use one of the many map guides kind Neopians have provided. Since you can only see a few squares of the game at any given point, figuring out what direction to go is nearly impossible unless you have a map showing you the entire area you are venturing through. This is especially helpful in caves where everything looks the same. /~Ladygisma and /~Liente, are a couple of great user-supplied maps to use. These maps make it much easier to navigate your way around Neoquest as you can match the portion of game you can see to the map and see where your character is. One tip is to save the maps to your computer and use a program like Paint to trace the path through the maze. This will save your eyes from straining to see where you need to go each time you look at the map.
Talk to the NPCs
When you are in cities, like Neopia City where you start out, you’ll want to talk to the NPCs. This is because they offer you interesting information about the game. More importantly, a few of them offer weapon and armor upgrades you won’t want to miss out on. Guides can tell you which NPCs you can ignore if you only one to visit the NPCs who are actually important. The ones I’ll mention here are Lummock Sendant and Boraxis the Healer. Lummock will give you your first wand. At this point all are created equal and you can choose any one. Boraxis will heal you each time you return to him. This is helpful for your first battles just right outside the city. As you gain a few levels, you’ll start to rely on healing potions and be able to venture further.
Decide How to Spend Your Skill Points
You’ll start out with seven skill points to spend in different areas of magic including: fire, ice, shock, spectral, and life. The game can be successfully played using any of these magics. It’s a good idea to read a guide, such as the one on The Daily Neopets to learn more about what each type of magic does. Personally, I recommend spreading your points between life magic, shock magic, and spectral magic and ignoring fire and ice completely. This is the combination I have found to be most effective. Another personal tip is that I don’t spend any skill points on resurrection under life magic. This gives only a chance (read: not a guarantee!) that you’ll be able to bring yourself back to life if you’re defeated. However, if you play carefully and level up properly you shouldn’t need this skill and can use your points to get higher in the other magics you choose.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
The tendency of many new players is to rush through the game to get it over with. However, if you are defeated in a fight, you’ll get sent back to Neopia City and lose some of your experience points. This is a pain since you get progressively further from Neopia city as you go along. So, don’t try to rush through battles. If you have to heal after every battle or during battles, that’s a good sign you probably are battling monsters that are too hard for you and need to backtrack.
How to Battle
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to battle. The battle screen will show you and your enemy. Beneath the pictures, it will show your health and your enemy’s health. Keep an eye on this. You want to defeat your enemy without draining your own health. You’ll have three options here: attack, flee, or do nothing. You’re never going to use the do nothing move — that’s just a wasted turn. You should only flee if you’ve gotten into a situation with a monster or boss too strong for you and you’re trying to save yourself. Also, fleeing doesn’t always work. Most of the time you’re going to choose the attack option. The game will detail what happened when you attacked. What you did to your enemy will be highlighted in green, and what your enemy did to you will be highlighted in red. Basically, you’ll just keep choosing attack until it says you’ve defeated your enemy. At this point, there will be a button to click to see if you found any healing potions and telling you how much XP (experience points) you earned. After you finish each battle, you’ll be returned to the map screen.
Bear in mind, each battle is giving you XP toward leveling up. However, going through the mazes may not necessarily help you level up to where you need to be to face your next monster or boss (big monsters). If you find you have this problem, you’ll need to walk around the maze battling until you gain another level or two. There are several spots in the game where you may need to do this. You will want to always do your leveling up as close to the end of each map as you can. The closer you are to the end of the map and the upcoming boss, the harder the monsters will be and the more XP they will give you. Using the end of the maps will greatly shorten the amount of time you’ll need to spend to level up to the necessary point.
Using Your Healing Potions
Healing potions are the sole method of healing once you’re too far away from Neopia City to visit Boraxis. The weak and standard healing potions you can carry up to thirty of each. After this, you can carry twenty of each of the stronger ones. You’ll need to find a balance between using your healing potions too freely and not often enough. As mentioned before, if you’re needing to heal after every battle you’re using too many potions and battling too hard of monsters. That said, don’t hesitate to use potions. Your health is shown in green, yellow, and red. I will use a potion as soon as I see my health drop into the yellow. You never want to see your health meter go into the red. This means you aren’t using your potions freely enough. It’s more ideal to heal between battles by clicking on the items tab. If you heal during a battle, it takes up a turn keeping you from attacking. However, your enemy can still attack and they may even cancel out your healing with their attack. The tactic I recommend is to use your weakest potions and use as many as you need in between battles. Save your strongest potions for just in case you do need to heal during a battle. The stronger the potion, the less likely your enemy will simply cancel out your healing with their attack. Likewise, you don’t want to waste more than one chance to attack during a battle. If you are low on potions, backtrack to an area where the monsters are very easy to defeat and you rarely need to heal. You can then fight to stock up on potions.
All the Clicking & Not Going Crazy
You’ll quickly figure out that Neoquest is a lot of repetition. You’ll battle a monster every one or two turns, constantly click to attack the enemy, go back to the map, and repeat it. The constantly repetitive nature of the game is what stops many a Neoquester in their tracks. One trick to deal with the repetitive nature of the game is to give the mouse several clicks when you are moving. You won’t lose out on battles because the game will automatically stop you when you come to a monster, but it’ll rush you through any squares where you wouldn’t encounter one. You can do the same thing when clicking through battles, but I recommend doing this more cautiously. You’ll want to only click two or three times during battles because you need to keep an eye on your health meter.
Another important tactic for getting through Neoquest is finding something else you can give your attention to while playing. Once you get used to playing, the game becomes pretty mindless and requires little thought. At this point, watching television or listening to music can help break up the monotony of playing. You’ll get further than you expect since you’ll be distracted by the other activity. Another great thing about all the clicking is that the refreshing of the page constantly does give you lots of random events, which often give you items or NP.
I’ve found I had a lot of luck when I set mini-goals for myself. You see, if you look at Neoquest as a whole, it feels like you’ll never get done and you’ll become tempted to give up. Likewise, if I play for a number of hours at a time, then I become burnt out. Instead, I prefer to set specific goals for each session of play. Generally, I do short spurts of play over a period of time. For instance, I may play for half an hour on a timer, then I go RS or something else. Another method is to set a game goal for your session, such as reaching a certain level or getting to a certain point on the map.
One other tip I have for making your way through the seemingly endless game of Neoquest is to set up a reward chart. Choose specific events you want to reward yourself for and what you’ll do once you reach that event. Generally, my goals have to do with spending neopoints, but you could also use real life rewards if you desire. When I played NQ I the first time, I rewarded myself with a cheap stamp or card for my collections for every level. For each boss, I chose something a little more expensive, and when I beat the game I bought a pastel paint brush for my draik Aryalise. I’m playing through NQ I again, this time on evil, and nearly finished. This time my reward will be buying myself the last in a trilogy of books I’ve been reading — an example of a real life reward. You can use whatever reward method works best for you.
Need More Help?
Do you have a question I didn’t cover here? Did something unexpected happen in your game? Well, you might try reaching out in the Neoquest forums. The users who post here are usually pretty knowledgable about both Neoquest games and can probably help answer your questions. Some users who lurk there, like me, have played the games over and over again. If you don’t find your question being answered there, you might try reaching out to your guild if you have one or posting in the general games board or help chat.
Be well and keep Questing, fellow Neopians!