Cumulative Trophies - Seeking the Impossible?
Every month at reset day, thousands of Neopians stay up, caffeinate and vie for one of those oh so desirable Top 17 slots on the various game high score boards. The goal? To attain, or upgrade, shiny trophies. It’s not surprising either; they represent the pinnacle of mastery in a game, and are forever after on your user lookup for all the world to see. Of these game trophies, some are naturally more prestigious to come by, whether it be due to the popularity and luck aspects of the game, like Meerca Chase II, or the speed with which the scoreboard can fill up with maximised entries, like Splat-A-Sloth. I believe that most Neopian Gamers and Trophy Hunters would agree when I say that four of the most difficult to come by trophies are in a different league entirely, a league in which 1 score sent is not enough (on the contrary, try thousands of scores!) – I’m talking about cumulative score trophies.
“But what are cumulative score trophies, Puddydog? I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of such things,” I may hear you cry. You may not have seen them on your journeys through the site because they’re held by such a select few members, but they’re definitely out there. Put simply, cumulative score trophies are awarded to users who have cracked the top 17 of certain games over an extended span of playing. The scores add up over time, quite easily getting into the millions of points, which is why starting a quest for a cumulative trophy can be intimidating, and undoubtedly puts many users off.
Once upon a time there were five such games in Neopia that awarded cumulative score trophies, but nowadays there are only four remaining. You’ve probably played a couple of these yourself, hoping to score those ‘bonus’ trophies that so many new users cut their teeth on. They are as follows:
Pyramids: Clear the pyramid of cards by getting as many runs of consecutive numbers as possible, choosing between higher or lower than the shown card to proceed.
Sakhmet Solitaire: Available in 1 or 3 card draw, Sakhmet Solitaire is a Neopian version of a card classic. Stack them numerically, alternating between black and red, to try to clear the board.
Scarab 21 Cumulative: A game similar in nature to Black Jack, also known as 21. You need to think strategically as you fill your card stacks to 21 as many times as you can.
Neggsweeper Cumulative: Uncovering numbers reveals how many bad spots, or neggs, are adjacent to that square. Unlike the other 3, you need to successfully clear the board in order to earn points here- there’s no consolation points for progress, unfortunately.
An undeniable common element through these four games is that they all involve a necessary level of skill, with a decent learning curve before you’d be likely to start using better strategy, but also a good dollop of luck. Not one of these games can always be won from skill and strategy alone. Sometimes the cards you’re dealt in Pyramids, Sakhmet Solitaire and Scarab 21 just simply aren’t conducive to you being physically able to clear the board in that round. Likewise, all the know-how in the world can’t help those Neggsweeper situations where you have two equally viable choices; you know that one is safe and one is a “game over” spelling negg, but it is pure luck as to whether or not you’ll choose correctly. Additionally, luck plays a hand in racking up your score more quickly in Neggsweeper Cumulative, as the bonus neggs can really bolster your points, ranging from 50 to 500 extra per negg.
One of the most frequently asked questions about cumulative score trophies is how the scoring itself actually works. Obviously they do not clear monthly in the same way as other games- 50+ million points in a month would be enough to do anyone’s head in! Rather, cumulative score games work off a 3 month time period- if you earn points at least once every 3 months, your score continues to accumulate. If, however, you fail, forget, decline to add to your total in 3 months, you’ll find that your hard-earned points have disappeared into the ether, your score reset to 0. It is through this that those gold trophy holders have earned their title as champions; their scores are literally the combined efforts of months, usually years, of playing that game.
“That’s not fair! I’ve only just started Neopets. Shouldn’t I have a chance to get cumulative trophies too?”
I understand where you may be coming from with that mindset, but you need to realise that to clear the playing field would diminish the sustained hard work of those veteran players. All is not lost though! Before you turn your tail and flee like so many have before you, hear me out. Earning cumulative score trophies IS possible for new accounts, or older accounts who are just now hearing about them. It’s going to involve a lot of time, dedication, skill and luck, but it is not an impossible task. In fact, I’m challenging myself to this very quest myself, with the hopes of one day scraping into the Neggsweeper Cumulative top 17. As of writing this, I’m barely over a quarter of the way to #17, and that’s after playing for numerous hours a day for months. You know what though? I’m seeing progress. Every day I climb a little bit closer to my goal. I know I have a long way to go yet, but I’m going to be persistent!
So what’s stopping you? If you really want a feather in your cap, set your sights on one of Neopia’s most elite game trophies. Have a whirl at each of the four cumulative score games on offer, and see which one fits your skills and interests the best. Or, if you’re like me, the one you can just zone out to with music or a movie and play and play and play. Those end figures ARE intimidating, yes. But even those top scorers had to start with their very first point at some time. Now’s your time. Set yourself a daily point goal and chip away at that high score board. The feeling of accomplishment when you eventually reach your target will be matched only by the satisfaction of finally seeing that trophy on your look up, I promise.