Are You a True Neopian?
Do you consider yourself a true Neopian? The selection criteria for this have varied over the years and can often be broken down further depending on a user’s individual interests. For example if you are an avatar collector it used to be the ‘Big Three’ that made you feel like you finally belonged but now getting a Top 50 position might be your goal whereas for Battledome-addicts it might be getting a pet to the max strength/defence boost. If you are a pet collector, Draiks used to be a massive status symbol but now it could be finding that elusive UC that finally makes you feel like you’re a proper Neopian.
However, basing a sense of belonging on achieving a goal can make newcomers (or those returning from hiatus) feel excluded, especially as certain goals are pushed further out of reach as prices inflate and already rare items are taken out of circulation. But for those of you who are new to Neopia, have recently returned or simply aren’t able to spend as much time here as you once did I hope to show that you still have plenty in common with the rest of the Neopian community. In my opinion it is not your achievements that make you a Neopian but your mistakes and failures and how you learn from them. We can’t all be well known or fantastic at games or collecting avatars or in the Battledome. But we can all commiserate together when things go wrong. If you still keep coming back to this site despite all the disasters and upsets you truly can consider yourself a Neopian. In this article I am going to cover what I consider the three main types of mistake and misfortune that will befall most Neopians at some point, with examples of each.
The first category involves Neopian error. It is never a good idea to play Neopets when you are tired or concentrating on something else, as many have discovered to their cost. Here are some of the things that go wrong when you don’t pay enough attention:
Accidentally feeding an item to your pet
At the less serious end of the spectrum this could simply be an item you were going to give to a friend or place in your SDB. Far more devastating is that moment when you realise you just fed a really rare and expensive item and there is no way to get it back.
See also – a petpet eating an item from your inventory (you forgot they did that, didn’t you) the same goes for Skeiths and Grarrls with the added chance of accidentally feeding them a non-food item.
Typing in the wrong price
Most commonly this happens when making a trade offer, pricing up items in your shop or setting up an auction. The feeling when you notice your mistake but it’s too late to do anything about it is not one you will ever want to experience again. At least with a shop misprice it’s over quickly, if you accidentally set a ridiculously cheap auction start price you’re in for a long night of upping bids in the hopes of achieving a reasonable price and with no guarantee of success.
Choosing the wrong option when there is no chance to change
Most commonly this is when you click ‘Restart’ instead of ‘Send Score’ and is particularly upsetting if it was a trophy/avatar score. Other examples are when placing your Food Club bets (in which case you can guarantee the bet you intended to place will win) or even converting your Neopet before you were fully aware of what you were giving up. Another particularly galling instance is cancelling a Faerie Quest because you thought it was a Water Faerie before realising, too late, that it was actually a Fountain Faerie Quest.
There will be many Neopians who once chose the wrong option when selecting what to do with an item in their Inventory. The ‘donate’ option is very close to the one to store the item safely in your SDB and the ‘discard’ option right next to the one for placing an item in your shop. Thankfully TNT eventually added an ‘Are you sure?’ pop-up to these options but that was cold comfort to those who had accidentally donated or discarded items over the years.
Zapping the wrong pet at the Lab Ray
At best your stomach will drop like a stone as you wait for the page to load before you give a huge sigh of relief when you find it was just a stat change. At worst your beautiful, expensively painted pet has been altered beyond all recognition, usually into a species you really dislike.
Buying the wrong item
This could be as simple as buying a similarly named item for a quest by mistake and having to buy another but there are much worse examples. A common trap innocent users once fell into was that set by unscrupulous people offering paint brush PLUSHIES at what would be a reasonable price for an actual paint brush. All that time and effort put into saving up in order to paint your dream pet was lost in a moment of excitement at spotting a good deal. Thankfully TNT have renamed them as ‘brush plushies’ removing the word ‘paint’ to try and prevent similar mistakes occurring. However this does bring me nicely on to the next category.
The second type of mistake you can make is being too trusting. This is more common when you are young and so older accounts are more likely to have suffered such a mishap because they were innocent about such things. Most Neopians will have fallen for at least one trick over the years that has lead them to lose Neopoints, items, pets or even access to their accounts. This is usually the most devastating type of misfortune that can occur to you on Neopets and the hardest to come back from as it takes away your trust in other people. Discussion of the different ploys used (and how to avoid them) isn’t considered a suitable topic for the Neopian Times but be assured that however foolish you might feel you aren’t the first it has happened to and you’ll be wiser in future.
The final, and largest, category is plain old bad luck. Just as you can have a run of good luck in Neopia so too is there bad luck. A run of calamity is often referred to as an example of Sloth’s Law in honour of Dr. Frank Sloth. No matter how fiendish his plan it just always seems to go wrong for him.
Missing an event
If for some reason you don’t have access to Neopets for a few days/weeks (no internet, broken computer, Meepit invasion etc) you can guarantee that some sort of site event will happen and you will miss the first part, if not the whole thing. Even if you rush to try and catch up with everyone else you will still miss out on the exclusive item and/or avatar for completing every step before the next was released.
Those of us in different time zones or job patterns often miss out on the hive of activity as new things are discovered. Whether it’s waking up to find Jhuidah has already been freed and you wasted all those Neopoints on a Green Uni Morphing Potion or logging on to find you just missed Punchbag Sid (10 minutes – if I’d been 10 minutes earlier!) most Neopians have at least one event that they were just that bit too late for.
Never getting random avatars
There are many Neopians who have been playing for years and years but are still waiting to earn avatars from the likes of the Snowager, Buried Treasure, TDMBGPOP and the various Wheels. No matter how nice you are it is hard to fight down the feelings of frustration and jealousy when you see a 1 month old account gaining one of these avatars.
See also – FFQ. This is another one that so many have missed out on – even with the use of Fortune Cookies. When Taelia started giving Neopians quests there was hope that this would lead to a reward with a dip in the Rainbow Fountain but for many this is still proving elusive with blessings coming from the Air Faerie more often than not.
Missing out on something by a whisker
Examples include missing out on an avatar game score by only a few points; placing just outside the trophy positions; not quite having enough plot points for the only prize you really wanted; not buying an item the day before it is retired and becomes impossible to get hold of and of course missing a really rare item when it restocks.
Not noticing an item in your inventory until it is too late
Sometimes you miss a good random event, or your trade or auction ends without you realising and so you don’t notice you have a paintbrush or the like in your inventory until you click to donate or discard everything and watch as those precious pixels disappear forever.
The Secret Laboratory Ray
This merits a separate mention for the severe upset a spell of bad luck can cause when the Mad Scientist is involved. If your pet is zapped to a colour/species you dislike it will stay that way for a month. Once it changes to something you like it will change again the next zap.
See also – hoping in vain for an avatar pet from the lab. I once hoped to achieve all of the pet avatars through the Lab Ray but after 10 years of zapping I only had the Fire Blumaroo and Tuskaninny avatars to show for it. Every time a pet was zapped to a certain species I was sure the next zap would turn it the required colour but it only happened the once.
Most of these are very welcome whether they bring a reward (item/stat boost/avatar) or just a smile to your face. However some can be downright devastating. Thankfully TNT have taken away the dreaded colour changing random events which were once the dread of every UC owner. But there are still plenty out there which can spoil your day, especially when they come on top of one of the other misfortunes listed in this article.
Some typical examples are:
- Any of the various taxes – Sloth, Angry Tax Beast, NeoHome
- Item theft
- Neopoint theft – Special kudos to those of us who have ended up with negative Neopoints after a visit from a Ghost or the Bug Brothers.
- Stat loss – this will always happen to your battle pet whilst stat increases are reserved for your lab pet, who will probably lose them the next day anyway.
So those are my criteria for being considered a Neopian. If you’ve suffered at least one of the above examples from each category you have earned your place in the community. I hope this article has made you feel a little better about the mistakes and misfortune that have befallen you. Not because something worse has happened to another Neopian but because that type of thing has happened to us all at some point. The fact that you have persevered and kept coming back, despite the mishaps, shows how much this site means to you and that is what really makes you a part of the community.