The Struggle of Long Term Goals
Stevens40 sat in the window seat looking out on the gloomy day. The current weather fit the mood he’d been in for the past few weeks. Now that he had so few avatars to earn, life was feeling very bleak. The only thing he could do now was save up for stamp avatars: earn and save, don’t spend, then repeat….so not fun. All of the stamp avatars were so far away, and waiting around for the few randoms he still needed (Geraptiku, the Discarded Magical Blue Grundo Plushie of Prosperity, the Forgotten Shore, and the Snowager) was not improving his mood. Just as he started wondering if there was a way to get past his peak scores in Petpetsitter and Ice Cream Machine- game avatars he’d been avoiding like the sneezles- he heard a knock at the door. His house was a bit off the beaten path and none of his friends lived near Neovia, so he was very curious who had come by. He decided to be cautious and get a peek from the roof instead of simply answering the door. Yes, this was what he was doing for kicks these days, he thought with a sigh.
Stevens climbed to the roof with ease (being a Xweetok had its perks) and he peered out at his unexpected visitor, who turned out to be his friend GrendelGecko. Stevens decided to have a little fun and jumped off the roof to land right behind the Techo with a soft thud, startling him so much he almost tripped over his tail.
“Oh that was very funny Stevens. Here I thought you might be up for some company, but if you want to scare me away that’s fine too.” Grendel did not like being snuck up on…it made him jump a mile every time. Why did Neopets think this was so funny?!
“Ah you know I’d love the company! I’m so bored I’ve resorted to this for thrills.” Stevens calmed Grendel and invited him inside for some Chocolate Bearog Claws and Doglecoffee. Of course, he had to climb the tree next to his house and jump back to the roof to get back in since he’d forgotten to unlock the door before his shenanigans.
While they ate their Chocolate Bearog Claws and sipped their Doglecoffee, they talked about games, avatars, and the endless possibilities for the upcoming plot. Stevens explained the rut he was in with avatars, and when he started talking about the stamps he’d been collecting, Grendel perked up.
“My owner and I have collected some stamps, but we’re nowhere near completing an album either. Maybe you could help me collect some and we could try to get one of your albums a bit closer as well!”
Having a stamp buddy sounded fun and it would give Stevens something to do other than mope around, so he was game. Which album would they work on though? The best ones, like The Lost Desert, Haunted Woods, and Tyrannia were so far away it would be delusional to think about any of those. The newer avatar stamp albums from Other II, Seashells, and Shenkuu were closer to being attainable, but neither of them wanted their first stamp avatar to be one of the newer editions. Stevens was already pretty close to The Battledome and Snowy Valley, so there wouldn’t be much he could work on today. They narrowed their options down to either Maraqua or Faerieland for today’s goals. Grendel hadn’t really worked on Maraqua much, and since they were fairly even on the Faerieland page (Grendel had 11, and Stevens had 16) they decided to go with that one.
The first order of business would be catching Grendel up to Stevens, so they set off for the Neopian Post Office. Stevens talked Grendel into taking the short cut through the woods, so their journey to Neopia didn’t take very long at all. Grendel still needed the Faerie Furniture Shopkeeper Stamp and the Hubrid Nox Commemorative Stamp, which both showed up in the shop fairly often. He also needed the Fountain Faerie Stamp and the Fyora Faerie Doll Stamp, which might show up in the shop but would be easier to just search the marketplace shops for since they were both buyable. That would leave The Discarded Magical Blue Grundo Plushie of Prosperity Stamp, which they’d need to visit the trading post to find since it was originally a prize for completing a quest for Saskia when she was testing out masks. Now it was rarity 101 and was selling for 150K in the trading post.
Now that Grendel was all caught up, they each needed nine more stamps to complete the Faerieland album. They both knew they wouldn’t be completing the album today- the Queen Fyora Stamp was rarity 99 and was selling anywhere between 50 million and 100 million NPs, which was too deep for their pockets at the moment. They’d also decided to hold off the Faerie Caverns Stamp, since they knew eventually they’d have to be lucky enough to find that stamp when exploring the Faerie Caverns. Otherwise, the lowest one on the trading post was another 100 million NPs which was a huge jump from the last known price of 5.8 million NPs. They weren’t sure if they’d even go for the Jhudora’s Cloud Stamp today, as it was selling for another 10 million NPs. Without hunting those three down, they were only left searching for six stamps.
Of course these remaining six were unbuyable, so they’d be searching the trading post. In order of increasing cost, their list consisted of: the Dark Faerie Stamp, the Destruction of Faerieland Stamp, the Faerie Slorg Stamp, Fyora’s Castle Stamp, the Aethia Stamp, and the Wheel of Excitement Stamp. They did their research to figure out reasonable current selling prices by checking out jellyNeo’s item data base as well as searching for each stamp on the trading post to see what current sellers were asking, and then they started the bidding and Neomailing process.
Stevens was a fairly impatient Xweetok, so he preferred offering on lots that only had the item he wanted in them so he wouldn’t have to Neomail the seller and ask them to separate. He also liked it when sellers were up front and just said what they wanted instead of letting him guess and wait in anticipation to see if they’d accept his offer. Grendel was a bit more patient and didn’t mind Neomailing sellers to see if his offer was acceptable enough for them to separate the item. Within a few hours time, they’d managed to have their offers accepted on the Destruction of Faerieland Stamp, the Faerie Slorg Stamp, Fyora’s Castle Stamp, and Aethia Stamp. For some reason the Dark Faerie Stamp had inflated a bit, some sellers were asking 300K which was triple their researched reasonable price so they decided to test their patience and wait on answers from other sellers. Within a few hours, they’d both received responses and gotten the stamp for 120K each, so they were happy they’d been patient.
They’d spent about 2.5 million NPs each; with Grendel spending a little less since he was more patient than Stevens. That left them with one more stamp- The Wheel of Excitement, rarity 101 with a selling price 7.5 million NPs. They both found sellers and sent Neomails to them to ask if they would separate the item for them, but it had gotten pretty late in the day and would be getting dark soon, so they decided to head back to Stevens’ home in Neovia to retire for the night. They hoped to wake up to good news in the morning!
After a peaceful night’s sleep and some breakfast, the friends checked their Neomail to see if they’d gotten a response: Grendel had! His seller had set the Wheel of Excitement stamp up in a separate trade and was willing to accept Grendel’s offer and Grendel was very excited to be up to 88% completion of his Faerieland album!! Stevens was a bit crestfallen that he’d not received a response, but he reminded himself that it was still early. Just as he was about to close his Neomail, he noticed a notification telling him he’d received a response…he opened the Neomail message tentatively, afraid that the response would be a no. He shut his eyes and asked Grendel what the message said.
“Well, I don’t know how to say this Stevens,” Grendel paused dramatically, letting what seemed like an eternity pass before finishing, “It looks like you’ll be joining me in the 88% complete club!”
Stevens let out a whoop of joy and gave his friend a hug. After a long day of searching and only 10 million NPs later they’d both reached their goals! Even though the last three stamps they needed might take some time and a lot of effort, they both felt really good about their accomplishment and were very excited to be so close to their very first stamp avatar!