Battledome Clueless? – An Interview With an Expert
Also by cashe322
So, you're new to the battledome (BD) and have questions that need to be answered? Look no further! I'm going to ask the questions for you and our expert will provide you with the best possible answers. Our expert is Fred (cashe322) who has four years of experience fighting the evils of Neopia.
Anything you would like to say before we begin the interview, Fred?
Yes, let me begin with a general statement about the BD. "There are no 100% correct answers about anything in the BD." There are some generally accepted better ways to do things, but what's correct for everyone else may not be correct for you. If you're having fun and enjoying yourself by doing things a different way, then THAT is the correct way for you.
I couldn't have said it better myself, Fred. Now let's begin our interview. My first question is regarding the stats of a pet. Is it better to have your HSD (health, strength, defense) even?
Generally, yes. If you're planning to train your pet, it's best to keep your STR and DEF even and to not let you HP get to double your STR/DEF. This will be the most economic way to build your pet.
Can you briefly explain leagues and how someone can figure out what league their pet is in?
The league system is a player determined way to group participants in player sponsored events. TNT doesn't format or sponsor leagues in any way. Their purpose is to ensure that competing pets are reasonably close to each other in HSD. Note there are rare "loopholes" and "gaps" that some players will try to exploit in the current league system, but it works well most of the time. There are several pet pages with league determinations on them. I have one at //www.neopets.com/~Expert_Opinions.
Should people worry about the movement and intelligence of their BD pet?
I would usually tell new BD players not to worry about movement or intelligence. Movement has one benefit; it allows you to use the Heavy Robe of Thievery (HRoT) when it reaches 201. While the HRoT is very handy, it isn't worth the training cost for a new player and there are some slightly inferior alternatives to it that aren't movement dependent.
Intelligence is another matter. High intelligence allows you to use 3-4 specific weapons. All of these have alternatives or are very specific and narrow in their range of use. Once a battler has some experience they can then make the determination on whether these are useful to them. Some weapons do greater damage to pets with a higher (20 or over) intelligence. You would only encounter these in 2P battling and it would take too much time to get into here. However, intelligence is the easiest and cheapest stat to train. I'd say don't worry about it until you decide you need it, then go read some books.
If your pet has a lot of health, is it necessary to train your defense?
One of those situations where there is no correct answer. Personally, I think DEF is very important in both one player (1P) and two player (2P) battling. In 2P battling it's more difficult to be successful with low DEF. There are many 1P battlers who use their "Lab Trained (High HP, low DEF)" pet and they do very well. Even in 1P I find DEF to be useful, but this really depends on your battling style and what's fun for you.
Speaking of training, could you please explain the advantages and disadvantaging of training using codestones/dubloons over negging?
Codestone/Dubloon training is the cheapest and slowest way to train. Negging is the fastest and most expensive way to train. An entire article could be written on just this question, but for most people starting in the BD using codestones/dubloons is the best way to train.
What are the names of some stat increasing neggs and what do they do?
Armoured negg increases defense by 1.
Faerie Queen Negg increases health by 1.
Spiked Negg increases health by 2-3.
Ferocious Negg increases strength by 1-3.
Power Negg increases strength by 1.
Cool Negg increases level by 1-2, health by 1-3, movement by 1-3 and strength by 1-3.
Snegg increases health by 2-3 and movement by 2-3.
Super Negg increases level by 1, health by 1-3 and movement by 1-3.
Can you recommend any dailies that would help with increasing a pet's stats?
Coltzan's Shrine and Turmaculus can give stats, but this occurs VERY rarely. Be sure to complete any Faerie quests that come your way, but have your BD pet active since it's the pet that will get the stat from the quest. Kitchen quests can also provide economical training once you reach the 4-5 codestones per class. These work best if you only have 1 pet on your account as the stats are randomly given to any pet on the account.
Some people seem to think that you can only enjoy battling if you have an expensive BD set. Is this true?
An expensive set reduces the margin for error in the battledome, but it isn't required to have fun. There are plenty of people who do not have expensive sets who battle. 1P battling is more about persistence and patience than anything else. The expensive toys are nice goals to work towards, but if that's where you find enjoyment you will be disappointed. There will always be someone with a better set than you. The real challenge in BD is finding the most effective way to use the resources you have. If you're too focused on what others have, you will never be happy. This is also true for every aspect of life, not just the BD.
I know that some species have cheap healers/freezers and better resistance to some icons than others, but how much importance should a new battler place on this fact when deciding on which species to make their BD pet?
The most important reason to select a BD pet is to find one you are happy with outside of BD. Pteris and Scorchios are two of the more popular choices for 2P. Lenny, Kacheek, Elephante, Lupe and Gelert all have inexpensive species weapons that can provide some benefit in the BD. This isn't an exclusive list, but just some examples to illustrate my point. The thing about species is morphing potions are cheaper now than they have ever been. If you are not happy with the species of your pet, it's easy enough to change nowadays. Make a pet that YOU ARE HAPPY WITH and everything in the BD will be fine. My first BD pet was a Kyrii. Now most BD people will agree that Kyrii is one of the worst BD species you can pick. I didn't care, I loved him and battled with him and was happy. Having fun is the most important reason to pick a pet species. There will always be someone who will to tell you that another species is better. Don't listen to them if you are happy.
Can you explain the difference between 1P battling and 2P battling?
1P requires persistence and patience as its two most important attributes. You're battling the same TNT provided opponents multiple times. There are some specific missions that you can focus on (Defender of Neopia, Punchbag Bob) that provide trophies. These computer opponents generally don't use strategy on their movement turn and with patience and persistence even a low league BD pet with a small set can overcome most challengers. Beginning 1P battlers should not focus on the big number of wins other battlers have. Set goals for yourself and accomplish them.
2P battling involves pitting your pet against another human controlled pet. Strategy is very important here. Often a larger pet with a more expensive set can be beaten by a better strategist. The best way to learn is to find a friend with 2P experience and battle them. I learned a lot about 2P battling from a friend, Crystal, who had a pet with 100 fewer HP than my pet. We had equal sets and she beat me the first 20 or so times we battled. Every time she beat me, she would coach me on why I lost. After losing (a lot), I started to learn why I was losing and adjusted my strategy accordingly. Soon I was able to beat her thanks to the lessons she had given me. I can't give her enough thanks for all the help she has provided me. I would urge caution in battling random people who you don't know. There are people, not many, but they do exist, who take advantage of new battlers and then belittle them rather than helping them. A good BD guild is the best place to find 2P help. Lurk on the BD chat and visit a few guild boards. Let them know that you're a new battler and are looking for help. Be polite, get to know them and almost every BD guild will help you improve.
That's very good advice on how to find a helpful BD guild. I found my current guild that way and I couldn't be any happier there. Now onto my next question. Can a battler be both a 1P and 2P battler?
It's very possible to be a 1P and 2P battler. A lot of people prefer one over the other and focus their energy (and NP) in that field. Doing both will cost more NP than focusing on one or the other.
Generally, 1P sets focus on freezers and raw power. Icon types aren't as important as getting the most icons possible against your opponent.
In 2P, the types of weapons in your set carry far more importance. Each league can have its own nuances that make certain weapons vital or useless. Generally, a 2P set can be very useful in 1P, but will cost much more. A 1P set will have limitations in 2P but can win if the pet uses better strategy. I would urge new battlers to try both 1P and 2P to see what they like best. Currently "set cap" 2P events are popular. These are 2P events where the price of your set has a limit. It tends to level the playing field some between the rich and poor. However, a lot of people find the limitations in sets to be constrictive to creativity in the BD and don't participate in set cap events.
Finally, what do you think is the most important thing about battling a new battler should know?
Lesson #1: HAVE FUN. The most important thing in battling is to have fun doing whatever you're doing. If you don't enjoy something, then you won't continue it.
Lesson #2: Your pet and brain are your most important weapons. Don't get bogged down in weapons, icons, and species. If it works for you, don't listen to anyone else.
Well, that's it for this interview. Thank you so much, Fred, for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down with me and do this interview. I'll let you get back to the BD.
I hope that those of you who are new to battling found this interview helpful.
Happy battling, everyone! :)