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Conquering the High Score Tables (By "Steve")
For a new player signing up to CaravelNet for the first time, the high score table can look very daunting. There are over 40 pages with more than 800 players, so how do you get started?
- If this is the first time you have had a CaravelNet account you may already have a head start. Did you play any holds before signing up for the account? If you did, then from the DROD main menu, click "Settings" and then "Upload my scores". Any demos you have sitting around will be uploaded to the Caravel server and straight onto your high scores.
- The next thing to do is take a look at the hold page, sorted by difficulty and pick some easy holds to play through. This will allow you to quickly increase your move count which will gain at least one point per room and give you some valuable experience that will help with the more difficult holds when the time comes.
- Don't be afraid to watch demos. For a new player to DROD there will always be a lot to learn, so take advantage of those who have been there before. After you complete a room, return to it and press F6, this will bring up the Demo screen. From here you can select one of the top scores for the room to download and watch. Pay attention to how the top scorers approach a room, different strategies will often improve scores by a vast amount. Try to use these strategies to your advantage in other rooms.
- Keep playing! If you want to make a serious assault on the high score table, it is going to take a lot of time. If you get stuck in a hold, don't be afraid to ask for help, but on the other hand, don't be afraid to leave that room until later and try another hold for a while. The room that is very difficult now might be simple when you look at it later.
- Set achievable targets. Maybe you can aim to move up a page in the tables. How about aiming to complete a certain amount of rooms. Setting targets like this will help to keep you motivated. Sometimes it will seem like all the effort is getting you nowhere, but every room helps.
- Don't forget that the higher you move up the table, the further away the next step becomes. You need to be determined if you're going to make it all the way.
- Keep in mind, that as your skills improve you will start to get better scores in each room. The following list shows how many points you can expect for each room you complete.
- 1st - 17 points
- 2nd - 13 points
- 3rd - 10 points
- 4th - 8 points
- 5th - 6 points
- 6th - 4 points
- 7th - 3 points
- 8th - 2 points
- 9th or worse - 1 point
These thoughts are based on my own experience of working my way up to my current rank of 8th place in the high score table. I reached the top 20 in Sept 2006 after much effort. But things didn't get any easier from there up. At times I was playing as best I could, but dropping backwards down the table, other times I got fed up playing and had a break for a while. Fortunately I couldn't keep away for too long and kept coming back. I have seen people saying on the forum that it is impossible for anyone to come from behind and be amongst the top players, but that isn't true. Anyone can make it with determination and effort. I work a full time job and I'm married with a child. If I can do it anyone can!
- The most important thing to remember is to HAVE FUN. That's why we're all here after all. When you get your first #1 score it will be worth the effort you have put in to learn the techniques and skills needed to survive.
See you all in the high score tables!