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The Most Thorough Gormball History Lesson, Part One

by mouseketeers


      Frumball...lame! way! Gormball...YES!

The best game there ever was and ever will be, Gormball is one of the earliest games in Neopia and has been adored by fans far and wide. The concept is simple, like a more high stakes version of hot potato, but it brings so much joy to everyone who plays.

A group of players stand in a circle and a ball, known as a Gormball, is passed around from player to player. Each person can choose how long they hold onto the ball before passing it on to the next, this is important in terms of strategy: after an unknown amount of time the Gormball will explode, soaking whoever is holding it and eliminating them from the competition. Holding on to the ball longer increases the points you can earn, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter how many points you've gotten if the ball pops on you. Many people play more reserved games, while some take high risks but obtain high rewards for doing so.

There are a few other ways to earn, and lose, points. The Gormball occasionally changes up, no one is quite sure how but many think there is magic infused in the ball, and the different types of balls can add bonus points. Watch out, because not all ball changes are good and you could lose points as well. For normal players, points are only a matter of who earns the trophy and how many Neopoints you get...but there is an even greater competition out there...

The Annual Gormball Championships!!!

Every year during the month of September, a long drawn out battle takes place between some of the best Gormball champions out there. The official championship takes place on September 23, so while we start to approach this year's big game, we'll take a look at all the players, the history of the event, and some tips for how to improve your game, all in this three part series.

Before we dive too much into the history of the championship, I will explain to you how the game works and give you my best tips to get you prepared for the big competition on September 23!

     As I mentioned above, Gormball is similar to hot potato. You hold a ball and pass it around the circle. There is an unknown timer ticking that will determine when the ball explodes, and the goal is for you to not be holding the ball when it does. You'll decide how many seconds to hold on before passing on to the next competitor, a lot of luck is involved but there are a few tricks to the game.

Your first intuition will either be to hold the ball for as long as possible to rack up points, or to hold onto it as short as possible to make sure it isn't popping on you. What you need to do to maximize your score AND your chance at winning is to find a comfortable middle ground, and use a bit of logic and reasoning to make a better estimated guess at what the ball is going to do. For example: if the person who goes right before you had the ball blow up in their face, that means you got a brand new ball with a new timer! Great! That means you can probably hold onto the ball a little longer, get some more points, and make the game more dangerous for those after you. On the other hand, if the ball has gone around the circle a whole rotation without popping, you are going to want to hold it for the shortest time possible because now it is very much at risk of blowing up. You are going to want to practice this strategy a few times until you perfect it, but know that it isn't entirely in your hands and sometimes bad luck gets us all.

Once you master keeping the ball from popping, you can worry about bonus balls. This is where the math aspect comes into the game, different balls appear at different points and all have different score values. There are 10 total bonus balls, eight of which give you a point boost and two that take points away. If your score is under 15, you'll get a ball that gives a small boost of 1-6 points. There is another ball that comes into play when your score is above 10 and that will give a nice boost of 10-35 points, this one is very important in avoiding the bad ball and I'll explain why:

The bad ball comes into play from 16-35 points and gives you a loss. This is the worst ball because it will take away a large chunk of the points you have and put you back at the bottom. It's VERY common and there is only one way to get past it: the Electroball. You need to get your score to land between 10-15 points and hope you get lucky with the Electroball and if you are then you'll get past 35 points and be in the clear!! Once you get over 35 points it is pretty smooth sailing up the charts. The rest of the balls just give more and more points, one gives up to 100 points. There is one more negative one that appears when you have over 50 points, but it is easily offset by all the big bonuses you will be getting.

Your points only matter if you win, so use the strategy and rub your lucky rabbit's foot so you get all the bonuses possible. When you win you also qualify for a point multiplier that multiplies your score by four AND awards a rare prize (sometimes as rare as a paint brush).

Now that you know HOW to play Gormball you can jump in the field and start practicing, the Championships are coming up very soon! Next week we'll discuss who the players will be so you can get your bets ready!! After that we'll take a deep dive into the history of the tournament, all the drama and tears and victory cries, and at that time maybe we'll be adding YOU into the Gormball Hall of Fame!!

To be continued…

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