A Beginner's Guide to Skirmishes
I have looked upon the face of the coming days, and she is beautiful, but the path that leads me toward her is dark with ignorance and distrust. - The Oracle
The Skirmishes began after the War of the Obelisk Plot ended in Year 15. We won't go into too much detail about the plot here as there are great past guides on that. The plot was a great success! The factions ended with an amicable truce... but nothing good can last very long, especially with underlying tensions running high. Shortly after the end of the war, the skirmishes regrouped. Some could not let go of old grudges, while others found the thrill of battle to be compelling. It seems that the Oracle herself has approved of these skirmishes, as she still awards small boons to anyone who continues to fight in the name of the six factions. However, she doesn't seem overly attached to the past: she rewards you equally, even if you change allegiance from Faction to Faction. This is the most notable difference between the old war and the ongoing skirmishes.
There are a total of six factions: Awakened, Brutes (Brute Squad), Order (Order of the Red Erisim), Seekers, Sway (The Sway), and Thieves (Thieves Guild). For each Skirmish, you will have a choice of one of 3 factions to join. Here is a brief overview of the six:
Awakened: when the Oracle called forth the spirits during the War, she summoned Death to the Awakened, a group of undead Neopians. The group was first created by a set of immortal twins who merely wanted to gather the undead together. Thus, Death is something of a patron for this group, even though Death was intended to be an opponent.
Brutes: one of the oldest groups to join the war, the Brute Squad was formed after the fall of Faerieland. Following Commander Flint, they decided to wade into this War in order to secure the Obelisk. The Oracle summoned Wrath to haunt the Brutes and stoke their anger.
Order: another group that joined the War because of the Obelisk is the Order. Rasala, the leader, believed the Obelisk to be the solution to the mages' problems. Generally speaking, the Order has noble intentions, however, desiring power can lead down a dark path. The Oracle hoped to play on this feeling, and summoned Envy to combat the Order.
Seekers: another group with admirable intentions, the Seekers are a collection of scholars who sought to save the Obelisk and the important history contained inside. During the War, they were led by Professor Lambert. The Oracle hoped to dull the minds of these scholars, and summoned Apathy to face them.
The Sway: one of the more secretive groups to participate in the War, followers of the Sway answer to the mighty and terrible Duchess. She learned about the Obelisk after torturing an innocent Krawk. Not much is known about The Sway, except their devotion to the Duchess. The Oracle summoned Pride to ensnare their leader.
Thieves: a relatively neutral Faction, the thieves have always operated on an internal code of honor. When they first spotted the Obelisk - shortly after its appearance - they did what they always do: investigate and attempt to plunder. They were thus one of the first factions in the war. It must have been easy for the Oracle to choose a spirit for this faction: Greed is ever the father of theft.
When and where?
The Battlegrounds are located here in Tyrannia. Every other week a new rotation of battling begins. For the first three (3) days you choose one of three factions to battle for. On the fourth day, the battling begins and lasts four (4) days. On the eighth day, you get to choose your boons (the Oracle's blessings) or get a consolation prize. For the next four (4) days you get to bask in your glory and enjoy your winnings or train and prepare for the next round.
Boons, boons, boons. - The Oracle's blessings for the winners of each round are called boons. Boons are site enhancement type rewards that are individually picked for each faction with the exception of The Awakened. The Awakened get a randomized pick of all the boons each time they win.
Here is a listing of all the boons with a short description of their effects:
Bank Bribery: Increases the bank's interest rate
Black Market Goods: highlights rare items in shops
Book Smarts: Increases the amount of intel points for reading a book to your pet
Cartogriphication: Always find the treasure in the Faerie Caverns daily
Cheaper by the Dozen: Allows you to purchase stock that's selling at a price of 10 NP
Doctor Who: Cures pet diseases automatically
Doppelgänger: Allows you to reuse a one-time use battle item
Double Bubble: A healing potion has a chance to refill itself once used
Equip ALL THE THINGS: Allows you to equip 9 battle items
Five-Finger Discount: Discount of 10% in Neopets shops
GRRRAAAAHHHHHH!: Increase pets damage
LOL AVIES: Borrow and use another's avatar
Refreshed Quest Request: Change the faerie on a faerie quest
Right Round Round Round: Spin wheels twice each time
Scratch Master: Buy two scratchcards instead of one
Strength of Mind: Use your pet's intelligence in battle
That Millionaire Feeling: Allows you to bid more than the TP limit
Full Pockets: Additional neopoints won from Space Faerie Scratchcards (PREMIUM ONLY)
Premium Dreamium: Allow four score sends on the Premium Featured Game (PREMIUM ONLY)Avatars & Site Themes - There are six unique avatars and a coinciding site theme to be won from the Battlegrounds for each faction.
Battle Prizes - There are various prizes and small amounts of Neopoints that can be won from battling in the Ugga Dome. These range from codestones, plushies, food, books, and more that are rewarded for just winning a battle. These are independent of the Battlegrounds and are only won for the first 15 battles.
You must battle the the opposing factions opponents at least 10 (ten) times on any difficulty to qualify for rewards. However, we do encourage all participants to battle more than the minimum amount. This is a communal pool of wins that aid your faction in winning the round. The more wins the better chance your team wins the round. So go out there and battle!
Choosing your Faction
Now that you have all the background information, you must eventually choose your faction. But which one is the correct choice for you? There are many reasons for choosing a faction. Some reasons range from simply the various colors of the characters or something convoluted as the ramifications of a lower stock buying point to the NeoEconomy. In this section we will detail some ways that users pick their faction every rotation.
Topics on the Neoboards - This is the most straightforward method, but does require community participation. You will have about 72 hours to choose your faction at the beginning of each round. Once this occurs, it's a good idea to peruse the Neoboards for any topics regarding the Battlegrounds. Users will make a board, aptly titled "Choose your allegiance" or something of the like, asking users to post their choice while keeping track of the amount for each of the three factions. With this information, one can make an educated choice that coincides with the community's pick. This method is best for beginners who are looking to join for the first time or seasoned veterans who are looking for a second opinion. It's useful to know what's popular for any given round, for two reasons: First, it will be a LOT more fun to play on the same team as friends (old and new). Second, if your faction does well, you will be rewarded. Unfortunately, there's not just one place on the boards to look, but this search will give you a chance to check out what's happening across all of the neoboards! You might find people talking about their preferred faction on the Avatar Chat, Battledome Chat, or even the Help board. As we said before, this requires community participation. This method is only helpful when there are an active number of users and battlers who post their pick. When posting their pick, users need not only join that team, but encourage others to join that team and they need to actually fight more than the minimum to assist their faction in winning. Otherwise, this method is useless.
Personal Allegiances - These allegiances occur much as the way you choose and support your favorite Altador Cup teams. Personal allegiances are individual opinions and "feelings" toward one particular group or, in this case, factions. While it may be the back story behind the Awakened or the sway of the Sway, one chooses their faction on these feelings.
Prizes and Boons - Are you looking for more chances to win one of the "Wheel" avatars? There's a boon for that. Do you need a better chance at a Fountain Faerie Quest? There's a boon for that. Want to steal someone's avatar? There's a boon for that. One of the main reasons why users choose their faction is the prizes and boons to be rewarded. For further detail on the prizes and rewards to win, see the previous section. This reason is purely of self-interest; however, it is a strong motive of choosing your faction and a great reason to fight!
Even if you did not have a chance to participate in the original war, the skirmishes are a fun and challenging event! We encourage you to join us as we battle for glory!
Please note views expressed in this article are that of the author's and nothing written is set in stone.