The Many Uses of Plot - Altador
Since the Altador plot started at the end of March, many people have made the
Altador Plot Board their third Neohome (Altador itself is their second; those
darn clues are getting harder and harder to find), myself included. I usually
lurk around, but on occasion I’ll pipe up to offer some help or something of the
sort. All this while, I’ve noticed something rather interesting about this plot
board. Whatever you need, you can get it here. From ways to keep busy until the
next clue and annoying jokers help with the latest constellation, the Altador
chat has it all.
I suppose I’ll start with a briefing on the various ways we’ve come up with
for keeping busy. See, with this plot there seems to be a lot of waiting around
for clues and (except in the case of the eighth, which was there all the time
and we had to be poked in the right direction to figure it out) people who are
waiting around tend to get bored. With the first six or so constellations, there
was an even gap between releases: when the news for Tuesday, Thursday, and the
weekend came out, lo and behold, there was a new clue! The only problem with
this prompt schedule is that it leaves at least forty-eight hours between constellations.
There are many amazing things about Neopets, but the one I tend to notice most
often is the fact that people around here are willing to do just about anything
to help others out, including staving off plot-induced boredom. Granted, there
are some people out there who live for flaming and the report button, but there
are also some really great ones. Serving as a prime example of this are the
ways the people on the Altador board have come up with for amusing themselves.
First, there were the theory boards. These were the first boards to appear
to bide the time and they have lived on through the plot board’s life span.
At first, we threw around theories of what constellation would come out next.
Now the most common theory boards around look like “Who is the second BETRAYER?!?”
and “I think I might have an idea…” the later referring, of course, to solving
the next clue. Theories are fun to throw around, but some just didn’t find defenestrating
them funny enough.
The first form of amusement that wasn’t exactly plot discussion appeared as
boards with titles such as “You know you’ve been playing on Neopets too long
when…” and “You know you’ve been working on the Altador plot too long when….”
These boards were excellent. I can barely remember the ones about Neopets, but
some involved calling things by different names, dreaming about having millions
of neopoints, dreaming about being attacked by meepits, that sort of thing.
The Altador ones were funnier by far. “You know you’ve been working on the Altador
plot too long when you start looking for constellations in ceiling tiles.” If
you ask me, that is also a good indicator that whoever you should be listening
to is far too boring, but, hey. I’m guilty of doing that. I even had friends
join me. I think we made it to the Farmer before the bell rang.
Everything on Neopets comes in fads, and, as such, the “You know…” boards slowly
disappeared. They were replaced with random trivia and riddles. Most of these
boards were completely unrelated to the Altador plot, but they passed the time.
You can learn a lot by reading threads hundreds of posts long that simply list
tons of useless facts. I know I did. The riddle boards were excellent. They
made you put your brain to work, a warm up for all that clue hunting. Multiple
choice trivia, anyone? We’ve got that somewhere around here too. Just join in
fast or you’ll fall behind on points and chances are you’ll see the right answer
before you can read the choices.
These are only the most popular ways to come about. One of the less popular
forms of entertainment, and one that is considered more annoying than interesting,
has to be categorized as the LYK OMMG!!!11 I FONUD IT1!!!1 boards. (For those
of you that have yet to venture or wade among the threads, if you see a thread
like this, just ignore it. People who really have the clue are usually calmer
about it, more ready to offer help, and more grammatically inclined.) At first,
the posts were much more subtle, and once you clicked the link you were rewarded
with a joke of some sort, like: “It was behind my ear the whole time?.”
More and more people caught on and continued this trend, with less satisfying
jokes until, at last, anyone posting that they found anything is immediately
flamed unless they can provide proof in the form of a screenshot. Though, as
screenshots can easily be faked, I’m not exactly sure what the point of using
one for proof is. I guess it works for them.
These boards are especially annoying when a clue is “late” or everyone is stressed
out. At that point, usually just before another clue is about to be released,
everyone seems to be very irritable. Say something they don’t agree with? Flamed.
Simple as that. But, if you’ve ever been on the board when a clue broke, you
know how frenzied it quickly becomes. I was unfortunate enough to be on the
boards when the eighth clue broke (yes, the one the news post was about) and
have since learned not to try to explain the solutions until most of the people
posting on the boards have it already.
That leads me to the best use for the Altador chat: help. I’m almost certain
Ms. Droplet doesn’t want me giving out any hints as to the steps of the plot,
so all I can really say about this is that whatever you need help with, go post
it on the boards and, more than likely, someone will help you. Whether you’re
stuck at the very beginning or somewhere in the middle or just want to check
if any new updates are out, the Altador board is the best place to go. As long
as it hasn’t been days since the last constellation, that is.
One of the easiest ways to get help is to go to a board that has an acronym
followed by some symbols and a random topic. Some even have numbers after them.
These boards are run by Altador Plot guilds or groups of people banded together
to help out. They are both helpful and entertaining, and you might even decide
to join up with one of the guilds. I would post some examples of these boards,
but I don’t know all of them and it wouldn’t really be fair to the ones I forget,
would it? You’ll know them when you see them, just remember to read through
the rules in the first few posts before you ask anything. Some people are picky
(especially when it comes to the spelling of “constellation”).
And, if you just so happen to be one of those people out there who just likes
to argue, I am glad to say that this plot board has something for you, too.
If you’re in the mood for a bit of controversy, head to one of the boards where
the debate is strong. What debate? Why, the debate over plot guides and helping
versus giving away the answers, the same debate that is always raging. If you
can’t take heated discussions, maybe lurking would be a better idea. People
do bring up excellent points for both sides of the argument and paying close
attention could even hone your debating skills.
Entertainment, help, and controversy, all in one place. What could be better?
The neocam, of course. It is often the topic of discussion, as the Neopets Team
has gotten into the habit of leaving us abstract clues that don’t make any sense
until the clue is figured out. Just ask about the pig or Ollie’s headless dinosaur;
someone will tell you all about it.
If you need any of these things, you can find it by following the Plot – Altador
sign that appears in flashing lights. We have everything you could possibly
want—things about the plot and completely random things. You’ll never know what
you could find. Hanging out on the Altador plot board is a very interesting
experience to say the least. If you don’t believe me, go read through some of
the threads there. If you’ll be kind enough to excuse me now, I have to head
off to find Free Help for Those Who Have Finally Lost It Because of the Altador
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