Wonders of the Wishing Well
NEOPIA CENTRAL - In a little corner of the shopping center there sits a well. While this well may not look terribly interesting, a line of Neopians heading toward it indicates otherwise. When I first walked up to the Wishing Well, I noticed roughly the same thing anyone else notices: a sign bearing the words “Wishing Well: Throw in Neopoints and your wish may be granted” with another sign nearby stating that the neopoints collected by the Wishing Well would be donated to the Money Tree. Curious, I grabbed some spare NP, took a moment to think of what I wanted to wish for, then dropped the money into the Well and wished with all my might. The Neopoints made a satisfying plunk as they hit the water’s surface, surely a promising omen. Like most of the people who used the Wishing Well that day, my wish was never granted, so I shrugged and went on to earn my own money and buy the items I wanted that way.
Still, I have always wondered what exactly the Well does. Does it grant any wish in Neopia? Does the amount of money you drop in matter? The first source I turned to was the Neopedia, which informed me that it was the need rather than the amount of money that mattered. OK, I suppose that makes some sense, but the Wishing Well obviously also grants wishes for things that aren’t strictly necessary. Other Neopians have also said that the Well does not particularly care how much money you drop in.
That was the end of it for a while. While I occasionally visited the Wishing Well, I never bothered dropping any money into it. Then years later I found a tidbit of information that confirmed my conclusion that the Wishing Well is a waste of money: The Wishing Well has a rarity cap.
Curious, I did the only thing a mad scientist in training can do at these times. I built a Laser of Doom and fired it at the Wishing Well, then cackled madly as frightened Neopians scattered in all directions. After that, as the Well was unharmed (apparently Lasers of Doom don’t actually affect coding unless TNT says they do, good thing to know), I set about staking it out to see what it actually gave out. Days passed as I faithfully recorded what the Well gave out and researched the rarity of the items. Many Neopians left happily, but some of the winners seemed quite sad as they picked up their items and walked away. After doing some research I found out why: When the Wishing Well grants a wish wherein the word could be part of more than one item, it always provides the least rare item. Therefore, wishing for “Nerkmid” will inevitably give you the book Nerkmid Mania; wishing for a “Baby Paint Brush” will inevitably give you a Baby Paint Brush Plushie.
Now we come to the limitations of the Wishing Well. For all its benefits, the Well cannot seem to grant wishes for items that are rarity 90 or above, much to the consternation of people who want an easy Draik, Krawk, or Paint Brush. Although it may simply be that harder items are more difficult to acquire and the Well simply doesn’t have the power to generate a rarity 90 item from the random 1s and 0s lying around Neopets, I personally believe that TNT set this limit to prevent rare items from being devalued. But who knows; it might just be that the Well is in a secret alliance with the nefarious Doctor Sloth and Vira. Together they will concoct a free Paint Brush that makes your Neopet into Vira’s “special” friend, all the while financing Doctor Sloth’s latest plans to take over the world.
So, rarity is the principal limiting agent for what is given out, are there any others? As I watched the Well give out codestones on occasion and looked up their rarity (rarity 40), I realized that the answer is “No”. The Well can give out any item, regardless of whether it can be acquired in shops or only by random event, as long as the item has a rarity of 89 or less. How do you know if an item is rarity 89 or less? I happened to use an item database, but for the items we’re talking about, just using the search bar will do. If the item you’re looking for doesn’t come on the search, the Well’s not going to give it to you, but the search bar shows some items that the Well won’t give out.
So, on to the question many have asked: “What is a good item to wish for?” To be frank, it’s pretty easy to get along without relying on the Wishing Well. Need some Cactopus Cream for that case of Reptillioritus that the Expellibox gave you? You might be better off going to the Healing Springs and hoping the faerie heals your pets instead of, say, giving you a Poison Snowball (why she gives out snowballs is one of the great mysteries of Neopia). Want that expensive piece of rarity < 89 clothing for your pet? You’re probably better off saving your money and buying it normally, but clothing can get pretty expensive, so it’s up to you. Want codestones? Wish away, but your chances of getting a codestone from your daily trip to Tombola are probably higher. Want that perfect background for your neopet? I’ve seen the Well give out the Moon and Stars Background (rarity 75), and the Neogarden Background is within the price range. However, the most expensive backgrounds, the Underwater Background, Fireworks Background, and Tyrannian Concert Hall Background, are all too rare for the Well to pull in.
Well, it’s time to say goodbye. The Wishing Well is a place of magic and the promise of rare items for very little work. It is, however, no substitute for earning and spending NP the old fashioned way.