So you think you are pretty good at games? You laugh at Abigail as you cruise past her scores, you best AAA with little effort, but you still want more? Why not play against living, breathing players?
What in the World?
World Challenges are a different kind of competition. Instead of playing directly against an opponent, entrants submit scores that are then compared to other submitted scores. The scores are compared and points are awarded to the player with the higher score. The points awarded are tallied at the end of the hour and prizes are given to players who qualify. Each qualifying game runs a separate competition each hour, "starting at 3 minutes after the hour" (e.g. 9:03:00, 11:03:00, etc.). You then have until the next hour (e.g. 10:00:00, 12:00:00, etc.) to submit your scores for consideration.
Because enjoying the World Challenge involves both playing games and hopefully winning NP and items, please only enter with your main account. Please also refrain from other rule-breaking such as (but not limited to!) arranging for someone to send easy to beat scores or compensating other players to join your lobby.
How do I get started?
The first step towards competing in a World Challenge is to actually find a World Challenge, which is not so simple as it sounds. The easiest way is to go to the page for one of the Flash games (e.g. Nova Defender) and look in the High Scores block for a link.
You always wondered where we went, didn't you?
Now that you have found the elusive World Challenge section the next thing you must do is to pick a game to play. Not every game will run a World Challenge every day, so pay attention! If a game is running a World Challenge, it will continue to do so every hour until Midnight NST, when the slate of games may change. Some games such as Kass Basher run a World Challenge nearly every day while others, like Neverending Boss Battle, only hold World Challenges a few times a month or less. Before entering a World Challenge, it may be wise to check the scores that have been submitted in previous hours. If you can only score 400 points in Meerca Chase II, you might want to choose a different game to play. Other considerations for how to choose a game may include:
- How long will it take you to earn a competitive score?
- Can you earn enough competitive scores in an hour to win a prize?
- Will you enjoy continuing to play this game afterwards?
Now that you have your game picked out, the next step is to actually enter the World Challenge. This can be done by finding the appropriate World Challenge lobby and clicking the "Enter the Challenge!" link. Entering will cost you 100 NP each hour for each game's World Challenge you enter. That's it!
Can you explain the lobby screen?
Most of your interaction with the World Challenge will be within the lobby screen. This is the page you use to enter the World Challenge and you can also use it to track your progress in the competition. It is important to keep in mind that any information on this page is subject to change as people enter, play, and submit scores and will only be finalized after the hour ends.
Names have been obscured to protect the innocent.
Many things are self-explanatory, but there are several features to make note of:
- Circle A shows the line that separates those who will win pieces from those who will not. This image shows the scores sorted by Tally and the order will most likely be different if a different sorting is chosen.
- Circle B shows those players who have entered, submitted a score, and had their score matched up against another player ranked in order from highest to lowest. There may be other players entered who have either not submitted a score or who have not yet had a submitted score matched up.
- Circle C shows the other information relevant to determining winners. The table will sort differently if a different column header is clicked.
- Circle D shows the total NP collected for entry fees since this World Challenge began. This number is used for determining the payouts to the winning players but it can also be used to determine how many people have entered the World Challenge.
What happens when I submit a score?
Scores that you submit to the World Challenge go into a pool with other scores to wait to be matched up. In an effort to make the game more fair, scores are randomly paired up with other players. There are some restrictions to attempt to avoid pairing up scores from people in the same house from having their scores paired up, but they are hardly worth mentioning as there is almost nothing you can do about it. Also, your scores will always be compared to other players scores so you do not need to worry about competing against yourself. Additionally, while you are entered into a World Challenge, there is no limit to the amount of scores you can send. While you will not earn NP for scores submitted past the regular limit (usually 3, sometimes more), you will still have a chance at earning NP for winning in the World Challenge.
When a score finds a mate, the World Challenge system will award each player either a win, a loss, or a tie and both players' scores will update in the lobby screen. There are, occasionally, glitches updating the lobby:
- Sometimes, the lobby will display a player's High Score for a game that has not been paired up yet. This is easy to spot when a player has a High Score that is greater than his or her Score Total. You can use this to your advantage: if you can earn a score higher than the glitched score, you will be guaranteed a win if your score is matched up with with the glitched score. This glitch will only affect a player that is already listed in the lobby's score table.
- Other times, the lobby will not correctly tabulate a player's Tally (e.g. with 3 scores submitted, resulting in 2 wins and a loss, the lobby will incorrectly figure the player's Tally as 0 while still correctly determining High Score and Score Totals). There is not much that can be done if you are affected by this glitch other than sending more scores.
Some scores will not be accepted for consideration by the World Challenge. These include scores that do not meet some minimum (that is set on a per-game basis and not easy to discover) and scores that are sent to The Neopets Team for review. If you have already maxed out your scores for NP for the day and submit a score for the World Challenge that undergoes review, you will probably not hear back that your score was accepted, as TNT marking the score as acceptable would serve no purpose (except in the very rare case of the score being marked acceptable before the end of the hour in which the score was submitted). In my experience, you should not expect to hear back from TNT regarding scores sent for review after you have maxed out your score submissions for the day. So you should try to do very well, but not too well.
Who will be awarded a prize?
First and foremost, only those players with a non-negative cumulative tally will be considered for prizes. Then, at the end of the hour, all of the submitted scores will be tabulated and prizes awarded to the top players in each category. The number of prizes awarded depends on the number of competitors, from at least 2 to 15 and more for very active lobbies!
However, if a lobby does not have at least 5 players with paired up scores at the end of the hour, nobody will be awarded a prize for that hour. But do not worry! All scores submitted before the end of the hour will carry over to the next hour's World Challenge (including scores that have not yet been paired up). In the extreme case of a lobby not having enough participants at Midnight and the game not being a World Challenge the following day, any submitted scores will be remembered for the next time that game is holding a World Challenge.
When there is a sufficient number of participants the top players in each of these categories will win pieces (up to a maximum of 1 prize per player per hour):
- Each player's Tally is determined by subtracting losses from wins. The players with the highest Tallies will win! Ties do not contribute to your Tally, but they will be taken into account for the other categories.
- Hour's High Score
- Each player's highest score submitted for the hour are ranked highest-to-lowest. The players with the highest scores win!
- Score Totals
- The same as for the Hour's High Scores, except all the scores a player submits during the hour (even the losing scores) are added together before being ranked highest-to-lowest.
Even if you have an outstanding hour, you will only qualify for one prize category. This can be disappointing if you have a high score (or combination of scores), but are awarded a lower NP prize because you qualified for a lower slot in another category. Generally Tally is considered first, followed by Hour's High Score, followed finally by Score Total.
What do you mean there is no prize for "Most Flexible"?
What can I win?
Each hour, those people "above the line" in each category will win some Neopoints and a special, random Map Piece from the map you are currently working on (more on that later). The map piece awarded is determined by the world of the game for which the piece was won. For instance, Carnival of Terror will always award a Haunted Woods World Challenge Map piece. Every player is limited to winning a maximum of 3 World Challenge map pieces in a day, regardless of if the pieces are won from the same game in different hours, different games in the same hour, or some combination thereof.
Because the Map pieces are randomly awarded, it could take a very long time to win a complete set of 20 different pieces for a world. Fortunately, there are other ways to get pieces other than by winning them (although every piece will have ultimately come from someone placing in a World Challenge hourly contest). Often, you can find World Challenge map pieces via the Shop Wizard or on the Trading Post. I do not recommend buying pieces because the cost may not be worth the value of the prize you get for "converting" your map (see below for a more detailed look at the converting process); therefore I recommend using the Trading Post. Lots of people are willing to trade most pieces 1-for-1 so you can trade your extra pieces for their extra pieces and everybody wins. You can also look on the Neoboards for someone with whom to trade.
What do the completed maps look like?
Each World Challenge Map consists of 20 different pieces. When those pieces are put together, they form a picture!
What do I do after I have collected all the pieces?
Simply owning all the pieces will not get you any additional reward. Only after you have placed all 20 of the pieces for a given map into your World Challenge gallery (follow the "Add/Remove/Convert Picture Pieces" link from a Gallery page to be able to insert and remove map pieces from your gallery) will something happen: the text below the pieces will magically include a link to convert your map into a single picture. Converting will grant you 2,000 NP and a fabulous* prize! Additionally, you will start earning Map pieces for the next map in the series (e.g. if your convert Meridell 1, you will start earning pieces for Meridell 2). However, after you convert the 3rd map for a given world, you WILL NOT be awarded any NP or Map pieces until you "delete" all the completed maps from your gallery (deleting maps from one world will not affect galleries from other worlds). After you delete all the completed maps for a world from your gallery, you will start collecting pieces for Map 1 again. Also, you cannot skip ahead and convert later maps: you must convert Map 1 first, then Map 2, and then Map 3.
*Prizes are awarded randomly with some being much more desirable than others.
What prizes can I get from converting a World Challenge map?
If you are looking to score a Woodland Paint Brush from the World Challenge, you will be sadly disappointed. The prize pool for converting World Challenge maps has not been updated in some time; known prizes are listed below.
If you know of other prizes let us know!
From my own extensive testing, you should have a 66% chance (approximately) of receiving one of the Paintbrushes from the table above for converting a World Challenge map.
Is there a limit to how much I can win?
Although you can continue to enter World Challenges to your heart's desire, every player is limited to a total of 3 World Challenge map pieces a day. Every subsequent win will earn you a nice Neomail congratulating you on your gaming prowess, but you will not be awarded another map piece or any more NP.
The daily limit notwithstanding, there is no limit to the amount of map pieces you can win and convert. I have even been so fortunate to convert 9 maps in a single day!
Do you have some helpful links to share?
Navigating your way around the World Challenge section of Neopets isn't as easy as it could be, but here are a number of links that I have found helpful:
- World Challenge Home
- This is the main World Challenge page. Click on the worlds to see which games are hosting World Challenges today! You can also access any gallery from a world by clicking on the number beneath the World's image.
- Your World Challenge Gallery
- Here is where you can place your map pieces to convert them (the gallery for Neopia Central map 1 is linked). Because there is no PIN protection for map pieces in your gallery, I suggest keeping your World Challenge map pieces in your Safety Deposit Box until you are ready to convert your pieces into a complete picture.
- Your World Challenge Scores
- Any scores that have been paired up will appear in a list here, separated by game and by hour. This list is cleared at Midnight NST each day. If your total in this list and your total in the lobby differ, the lobby is the one that will be used to award prizes.
- Your Active World Challenges
- This page shows you World Challenges in which you are entered (along with a link to the game's page).
- Your World Challenge Prizes
- Insert a Neopets username at the end of the URL to see the World Challenge map pieces that user has won in the last 30 days. Note that this is not the last 30 calendar days but rather the last 30 days that the user has won a piece in the World Challenge.
- World Challenge FAQ on Neopets
- For more reading, see TNT's Frequently Asked Questions about World Challenges.
Remember, you cannot win if you do not play!
This article was written by: Grog