Five Key Ways to Survive the Pet Rating System
Pet rating has been around as long as Neopets.com itself. One of the major aspects of the website is to create pets that are not only satisfying to the owner him or herself, but also to dazzle and wow other Neopians. Pet rating was usually done on the Neoboards before the pet lookup system was introduced. Users would create topics and people would commonly give ratings out of 10 or leave their comments.
Now, in what seems to be a feature created because of these boards' popularity, a 5-star rating system has been introduced for each pet on his or her pet lookup. Unless you choose to disable this feature, the millions of Neopians who frequent this site and work hard for their pets will be able to let you know what they think of your pets, whether you ask them to or not. You will not be able to read comments from them about your pet unless they choose to Neomail you, so you may be at a loss for why your pet got a low or high rating. After you vote for your pet, you can see the average of what people think of him or her.
The fact is that pets are a reflection of the user on Neopets more than ever; it seems to me that reviewing a few key points about what makes a good Neopet seems necessary. As you continue to read, you'll find that the definition is quite flexible: What might work for some will not work for others and what impresses one person will not impress another.
1. The first thing to remember is that your pet is YOUR responsibility. From a Darigan Draik to a blue Xweetok, whether you created it yourself or you adopted it from the pound, it belongs to you and it is you who are entrusted with the task of keeping him or her healthy and happy. That should be your first priority on Neopets. If you cannot keep your pet in good condition, you'll never be able to keep them looking great! Although it does not indicate your pet's mood on your pet lookup, your pet risks being turned BLUE or RED in rare random events if they are not kept happy. How awful it would be if you'd just painted a depressed pet Plushie! Illness are shown on your pet lookup, and may reflect negatively on you and because of it, an individual’s rating could be less favourable.
Unfortunately, remedies for Neopet diseases can be very costly, especially to those who are saving up to buy paintbrushes or wearable items. Luckily, there is a kind faerie living in Faerieland who lends the magic of the Healing Springs to sick pets or those with low health free! Visit her every half hour with your less than vibrant pet and you will save a lot of Neopoints for making your pet the best it can be!
2. Although every pet is special regardless of colour or species (remember the Green Uni Project?), ratings are definitely affected by how your pet looks. Rare species and those painted with expensive Paint Brushes or donning pricey duds will almost always be rated higher than basic pets. If you are really concerned with how your pet is rated, a good goal may be to save up Neopoints for items such as Paint Brushes, the Lab Ray, or those that are “wearable”. Although earning the large amount of Neopoints for these items can seem difficult, if one plays games, restocks, uses the stock market and spends a little time and dedication, Neopoints eventually roll in.
An inexpensive way to earn Paint Brushes or wearable items is to participate in plots. Although the tasks can be daunting, plots often give away classy items for your pets such as (from closed plots) Ghost Paint Brushes (Tale of Woe), Daring Adventurer Hats (Journey to the Lost Isle), or supporter backgrounds (Altador Cup II). Another good option is NeoCash. By purchasing NeoCash, you open yourself to a closet full of cute outfits, sweet accessories, and funky backgrounds.
It is important to remember that most importantly, you should like the way your pet looks. An expensive pet donning expensive duds may or may not gain you good ratings. Some people think baby Ixi and faerie Korbats are too cutesy, while others shudder at mutant Draiks and Darigan Poogles. Since you cannot keep everyone happy, you should at least make sure you keep yourself happy with your pets’ colors and species. What is the use of straining your fingers playing Typing Terror or haggling at the Bakery to earn Neopoints for that Maraquan Mynci when you'd rather have a ghost Lupe, knowing that some people will like your colour choice while others may not?
3. Names are the name of the game too when it comes to rating. What's in a name? Everything on Neopets! While numbers and underscores are usually frowned upon, a beautiful name with Z's or X's is usually praised. It is often hard to find a good name for a pet since over 200 million names have already been taken. Waiting for old names to become free after TNT has done some cleaning up is an option, or trolling the pound (when it opens again!) for a well named pet is another. Another option is to seek out a Neopian’s petpage that lists a variety of untaken names and choose from one of the presented options. Again, it is a matter of taste. I personally prefer names that are strings of words or something poetic rather than actual proper nouns. But others will disapprove of my name choices (underscores! adjectives!). One last piece of advice is that when zapping a pet with the Lab Ray, it is advisable to choose a pet name that is not overly female or overly male since you run the risk of having your pet's gender changed.
4. A fierce warrior or a genius is always impressive and an interesting alternative to blowing all your Neopoints for sprucing up your pet visually. Battledome statistics for your pets or their intelligence levels can be as impressive as flashy looks. Battledome stats such as hit points, levels, strength, speed, etc. can be beefed (kaued?) up by completing faerie quests, frequenting the Academy or the Training School, using the Lab Ray, or certain free activities like Coltzan's Shrine. The higher your stats are, the more battles you will be able to win, and this shows up or your pet look up as well. Reading books to your pets will increase your intelligence levels and you can even win trophies for reading enough books to your pet.
Looking at the pet lookup, there are a few other "nonphysical" stats including Underwater Fishing Level and Employment Agency Statistics. You can up your Fishing Level by fishing in Maraqua (watch out for boots and sandals) and you can become a business wiz by visiting the employment agencies in Faerieland or Brightvale (with or without job coupons!). All of these statistics on your pet lookup just seem to indicate that, just like out in the real world, maybe it's what is inside that counts. At very least, you'll be able to impress a few Battledomers or brains that happen to visit your pet lookup and they'll likely rate favorably.
5. A Petpet with a Petpetpet can play a key role in your rating. There are a number of different species of them hanging around in shops or trades and plenty being auctioned. It is best to choose a petpet that complements your pet. A snow Kookith would go nicely with an ice Bori and a fire Kyrii and a Wuzzle can't be beat. Cute or funny names are often fun to think up with petpets. Additionally, you can choose any name since you aren't restricted from what has already been used by someone else. Petpetpets, though somewhat unhygienic, seem to be quite impressive to Neopians checking out pet lookups and are therefore also a nice option. There are a lot less types, so almost any one is an asset.
The advice and information I have presented is a guideline only. The most important thing to remember is that Neopets is supposed to be a great way to pass the time. It is an opportunity to have fun and work towards your goals. Do not be discouraged by negative ratings or less than kind feedback. You are the owner of your Neopet and he or she should satisfy you first and others second. There may be more to a pet than what meets the eye.
For example I have found some people are less than impressed with my cloud Ixi. Although some people don't like him, it is probably my favourite pet because it was one of the first I had painted and it felt really good to have worked so hard to earn a paintbrush. I always liked the cloud pattern and the matching collar (pink!) and it was just my personal preference and I have chosen to keep him the way he is. I also used to have a strawberry Moehog. People did not care as much for her either, so I thought that maybe it was time for a change and decided to save up for a Darigan Ixi morphing potion because I liked that species and colour better.
Basically, don't be afraid of rejection or a bad rating. While disabling your pet rating system is always an option, I would not recommend it. It is a fun and useful tool. A bad rating might motivate you to change something about your pet and give you a new goal to work towards. It might also allow you to reflect on why your pet is the way he or she is and remind you of how much you like him or her. You could use the pet description option to explain your choices as well. If you have a goal you are working towards or a funny story about how your Neofriend sent you an invisible paint brush and dared you to use it on your Hissi, feel free to type so. People might be impressed by your goal or originality and rate you more favorably. Hopefully this article has been helpful. I hope it helps people get good ratings for their pets and also shows raters there is more than what you see to a pet than the tiny snapshot you see on the Neoboards!