The Ins and Outs of Premium
You are chatting as usual when someone brings up ‘premium’. You are instantly lost, wondering what your friends could possibly be talking about. They start throwing around terms such as ‘charter’, ‘SSH’, and ‘SSW’. What could all of those mean? Well, wonder no more, because I’m here to tell you all about the ins and outs of Premium!
What is Premium?
Premium is a pay-to-play service for Neopets that costs 7.99$ a month or 69.95$ a year. With it comes your own email at neomail.com, no ads, a customizable portal, premium-only boards, a weekly scratchcard, and, best of all, the Super Shop Wizard. There is a 15 day free trial after signing up, during which you will be able to use all of the features a currently paying premium member can. After the trial, 1,000 neopoints will be added to your account and whoever referred you, if you were referred, gets a prize.
Yes, I said prizes. Premium members can refer a total of 20 other users, and if the user stays past the 15 day trial, the referrer gets a prize.
First referral- Ten random codestones and 1,000 NP.
Second referral- Lucky Space Faerie Charm, which randomly doubles the amount of NP earned from a game and shows on your lookup as a site event trophy.
Third Referral- This is where the really good prizes start! Choose between starry, disco, electric, or snow paint brushes.
Fourth referral- The Premium Space Faerie avatar. This avatar does not count towards your secret avatar collection, and you will lose it if you discontinue premium. However, if you rejoin on the same account, you will get it back.
Fifth referral- The premium site theme, which you keep if you cancel premium.
Tenth referral- Choose between the Battledome, musical, stamp, garden, or purple collector packages.
Fifteenth referral- Choose between the Battledome, musical, stamp, garden, purple, or plushie collector packages.
Twentieth referral- Choose between the Battledome, musical, stamp, garden, purple, plushie, or cupcake collector packages.
Super Shop Wizard
Ah, yes, the Super Shop Wizard! Loved by snipers, restockers, and all other users alike. The super shop wizard, or SSW, will show you the ten lowest prices of an item in all user-owned shops. I know of several people who make all of their NP by sniping items using the SSW, searching for commonly mispriced items such as codestones. There is also a feature to search for the average price of the ten lowest shops, which is incredibly useful for pricing shops. Be warned, though; the SSW can tire very easily, and you will be banned from using it until the next hour. You are more likely to get banned the more often you refresh. The SSW cannot search for paint brushes, nerkmids, transmogrification potions, secret laboratory map pieces, or petpet paintbrushes.
One of my favorite perks of premium is access to the premium-only boards. These boards are the Main Hall, Spotlights and Games, Help and Newbies, and Charter. These boards have little to no spam, and are generally slower than non-premium boards. The Main Hall, or MH, is a slow moving board that is a tight-knit community. Spotlights and Games is, obviously, where you can go to get help on games and spotlights. This board is relatively slow. Help and Newbies is where people can go to find Neopets help, and is very slow, so be patient in waiting for an answer. Charter is a board only available to users who have been premium members for three months or more. This is the most active premium board, and this tight community is almost always welcoming to new people as long as they are polite.
Something Has Happened!
SHH stands for ‘Something Has Happened’, referring to the random events that premium users get through their webmail. There are many different types of SHHs, ranging from a few NP to items worth hundreds of thousands. Most of the events say that you won the Neopian lottery and win a certain amount of NP and possibly an item, but there are events that can give you very rare items.
Space Faerie Scratch Card
Every Friday, premium members receive a scratchcard in their webmail. This scratchcard is different, though. You are guaranteed to win! The most common prize is neopoints, ranging from just a few hundred to two thousand or more. Other prizes are the petpet Orbulon, a space faerie keychain, a space faerie plushie, a space faerie pen, the book Space Faerie Tales, a space faerie beanbag, and the ever-wanted jackpot.
Premium members can access their portal by clicking on “portal” in the top right of the screen or on the lower left side of the screen if in portal mode. Users can switch between portal mode and normal mode by clicking the red and green arrows that form a circle. Portals can be customized by clicking on “Portal Preferences” under quick links at the top of the portal page. From there you can choose which modules show on your portal page and when you are browsing the site. You can also choose between fourteen different themes with four color sets each. That’s over fifty possible choices!
A wonderful perk of premium is being able to beta test feature that TNT is developing. Premium users were the first people to try out the customisation feature, and were the first to play many games, such as Shenkuu Warrior. There is a beta version of Key Quest currently available to premium users. The link to try features that are currently being beta tested is near the bottom of the portal.
Browsing the Site in Portal Mode
You can switch between portal and normal mode by click on the green and red arrows that form a sort of circle. In portal mode, you can keep track of your auctions, your shop till, see the status of your trades, look at the calendar, or even watch your guild message board. You can also see as soon as you get a new webmail. Be warned, though; in my experience being in portal mode makes pages load slightly more slowly.
Premium users do not have to see ads on every page. This is wonderful if you have a slow internet connection or are playing a non-flash game. Just an extra second loading can really add up if you are playing a game like NeoQuest II. Faster loading time is also great for restockers, where even a fraction of second counts.