For Those of Us With Limited Time...
How many times have you read an article that advertises itself as “10k a day!” or “100,ooo NP in one week!”? It’s an appealing offer, certainly, and many of us can think of a lot of things to do with that amount of neopoints. Imagine, making 100,ooo NP a week for a year – by the end of it, you’d have over 5 million neopoints, enough to buy practically anything you could ask for. So along you go, stars in your eyes, and the article begins...
Well, first I play my favourite game, Turmac Roll. You shouldn’t send score unless you get a good one, so keep trying – it’ll only take you a couple of hours and by the end, you’ll have around 3000 NP! Then I spend a few more hours on Hubrid’s Hero Heist...
Aaaaand everything grinds to a halt. Rewind that again please – two hours? Then more? I don’t know about you, but I just find that depressing. Most of us on neopets are school kids, or students, or have a job – or do something with the majority of our time. Although it’s a nice ideal, we simply don’t have the time to devote that much to the flash games to make our 10k a day.
And even if the time was available, a very important point has been missed: Neopets is supposed to be fun. The games are very good, and there’s such a variety that you should be able to find some you enjoy; but hey, we’re only human, right? Play the same games relentlessly every day, and they become a chore, until you’ll want to cry every time you sit at the computer. I’ve tried ‘intensive gaming’ as a neopoint earning method, and believe me, it can get exhausting. I would recommend it for short term goals, definitely, because it is very effective, but as a long term plan? Might as well sell your soul to an amenable deity of your choosing – it’s cheaper on caffeine, at the very least.
So how can you get a steady, sustainable income and still manage to find time for eight hours of sleep each night? You know, it’s funny you should ask...
1. Do the Dailies. It takes, what, all of ten minutes to go through them? And you can put them all in your favourites to make it quicker, if you’re concerned about time. For the free ones at least, there’s hardly any excuse to miss them out. In the short term, you probably won’t earn much – if anything, you should set aside a thousand or so you’re prepared to lose each day to pay for the wheels, the scratch-cards, the Test Your Strength game... Unsurprisingly, it’s easier to lose money on these than it is to gain, but there’s always the chance to win big. And seeing as this is a long term guide rather than daily or even weekly earnings – to win 10,ooo on the Wheel of Excitement will make a profit if you’ve had anything up to 65 days of winning absolutely nothing. And seeing as you mostly win something, even if it is a pittance of 56 neopoints or something, it’s very unlikely that you’ll make a loss over a long period of time. And even if the tales of winning paint brushes and the like are only urban legends – well, everyone’s allowed to dream, aren’t they? And what if it actually happens? What if, for a measly 150 neopoints, you could become rich...?
2. Restocking. This is a popular, and probably quite well known, method of earning neopoints. The beauty of it comes from the fact that you can restock at any time, and don’t actually have to be online to receive the neopoints, only to withdraw them from your shop till. Granted, the floor space isn’t free, but it’s not hugely expensive either (unless your shop is size 394, in which case yes, that is quite an investment). Restocking itself is simple – buy for a low price, from the shops or another Neopian, and sell for a higher price. There are plenty of other guides out there on the finer details, so I won’t go into them here – I’d only be reiterating what’s already been said. One thing I will say, though, is to be careful what you stock, and that over a long period of time, it can be good to stock the more expensive things; when I was younger, I was an impatient -cough- small person, and wanted neopoints now. One of the fastest things to be bought was snowballs, priced at 2np. So I spent ages searching for, and buying, snowballs at 1np to sell them on at 2np. I would’ve made, say, 30np a day, if that. Yea and verily forsooth, that is not a good strategy for earning neopoints.
3. Trading. This is chancier than restocking – you can make a lot, if you’re clever about which trades you do and don’t accept, but other Neopians can make a lot off you as well. People are often willing to pay slightly more than they would on the shop wizard, partly because any comparisons they do, they have to do themselves. Plus, the value of items changes around, particularly the more expensive ones – if you’ve got a good eye for this, you can make a lot of money by holding onto particular objects until they’re worth more. There was a good guide either last week or a couple of weeks back on trading; check it out, if you’re in need of some help. Something to think about; people often say that in business, a good reputation is worth more than gold. It may not apply in quite the same way to you, because of the sheer number of us on Neopets, but it certainly never hurts – if someone is asking for 50,ooo on an item, offer 51,ooo – you’ll be seen as generous and reasonable, and will have a better chance of being accepted. You could even make a new neofriend in the bargain.
4. Stocks and shares. This is one that shouldn’t be used over a short term unless you’ve got an eye for judging the stocks, or are insanely lucky. Take your time; watch the stocks beforehand to get a feel for which to invest in, and be prepared to leave the neopoints there for a while. You can do it one of two ways – set a goal, such as, “I’ll sell the shares once they double in value,” or leave them for a while and see what they do. I did this once with a share I’d forgotten I had and ended up leaving for about a year – by the end, it had gone up by over a thousand percent. If I’d had 1,ooo of them bought at 15np each, I would have received over 165,000 when I sold them (sadly, I only had the one share). If you can imagine buying stocks regularly for a month and investing all your available neopoints in them – say 450,ooo (that’s buying a thousand stocks a day at 15np each), then in a year you’d collect about 5 million, give or take. That's what we said you'd earn from flash games if you played them intensively, without a break, for every day of the year. With the stocks, you work with what you've got – even if you’ve only got 12,ooo to invest, it can’t hurt to do so, can it?
5. The Food Club and other such games. I mention the Food Club specifically because there was a guide on it in a recent edition of the Neopian Times, and it happened to be the first name that came to my mind. But the point of these games is they don’t require an uninterrupted stretch of mindless work; they’re interesting, they’re not labour intensive, and you can stop in the middle to answer the phone or make a cuppa without losing all your lives and earnings and will to live. I won’t go through each one of them – I don’t profess to know each one – but they can mostly be found on the worlds as well as through the game room (some I think are only found on the worlds). Spend five minutes on one, or fill a rainy afternoon with a whole host of them; the choice is yours.
6. Contests and Competitions. A lot of people put themselves down here; they don’t enter the Caption Contest because they don’t think they’re funny, or they avoid the Beauty Contest because they think people will laugh at their attempts at art. Honestly? Some people aren’t funny, and there are people out there who aren’t the nicest people in the world. But strangely enough, people very rarely stand out for being poor at something – if you didn’t make the trophy, then you didn’t make the trophy. You lose nothing, and you gain practice, experience, and an idea of what to do next time. And if you win, then you’ve won! (As amazingly surprising as that may seem, I assure you, it is true.) If you need some confidence boosting, have a look at some of the past winners of the Beauty Contest – you don’t need the most expensive graphics programme and an art degree to win. If you’re still nervous, choose something like the Lenny Conundrum, or the Story Telling, where your entry won’t be publicly displayed.
And as for profit – it’s a win big or win nothing situation; at the very least, it’s impossible to make a loss. Over a long period of time, you’ll get practice, improve, maybe even build up a fan base to vote for you (guilds can be helpful here). And you get trophies!
7. Variety is the spice of life. I really should have made this the most important thing in the article, announced at the beginning in neon letters, but it fits in here quite nicely. It is the most important thing, nevertheless. Even its bullet point number is important – 7 is a prime number, the number of days in a week, is inherently magical and vital in arithmancy and the like... But I digress.
Neopets is not a job, or a duty. It’s a commitment, yes, because it’s hardly kind to leave your pets starving the whole time, and you’ll rarely make anything unless you’re willing to work for it in some way or another (even investing on the stock market, you have to have something to invest). But it should not become that odious chore that takes up every afternoon until your eyes hurt and your head feels funny and all for just some numbers in a bank that doesn’t exist and it's not real anyway and I swear that Scorchio is looking at me and somebody get me some help!
In case you were wondering, that is an example of what you should not be like, and is in no way reflective of my mental state. Neopia is as real as you make it, and your pets will be hungry whether you believe in them or not. Besides, everyone knows the Scorchios are looking at the small dragons that nest in your hair – they’re long lost cousins, tragically separated when the interdimensional rift between Earth and Neopia became only accessible via magical portals we humans call the ‘internet’.
Whatever you do on Neopets, as long as you enjoy it, you will find the stamina to keep doing it – and if you are of AAA’s mind set and do actually love playing games all the while, then by all means use the games to earn your neopoints. But given that there’s so much to offer on Neopets, take a while to expand your horizons. Try the Battledome, or chat to your neofriends, or (heaven forbid) play with your pets. Even if you only play the featured game every day, you’ll be making a profit and working your way towards your goals.
Because seriously, what’s the point of driving yourself into the ground to achieve that fabulous paint brush, if you’re not interested enough anymore to appreciate your newly-painted and beautiful pet?
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He didn't know what his destiny was, and he didn't know that destiny wasn't always friendly...