A Solution to the Problem of Key Quest Quitters
Faeries ultimately rule the world of Key Quest, but it’s the players you encounter who shape the way you play the game. We’ve all learned the best moment to play a giant lint ball, when to reverse someone’s direction, and which power ups are the best to grab from playing with someone who did those things to us. The best way to learn the lessons of Key Quest is playing many different people.
But playing many different people means that sometime in your Questing, you will encounter a quitter. It is inevitable that you will one day have a game that ends abnormally if you play enough games of Key Quest. This means that for some reason or another, the other player is unable (or some would say unwilling) to finish the game. No matter how many keys you’ve won or neopoints you’ve accumulated, you will be booted out of the game and have to start fresh, earning nothing for that time you spent playing.
Many people find this experience incredibly frustrating and annoying. Quitters are one of the most-discussed topics on the Key Quest neoboards, and some Neopians can get very worked up after a game that ends abnormally. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You might be surprised to learn that quitters can actually teach you a lesson.
I know what you are thinking-- quitters are the ones who need to learn a lesson, not players who play honestly. Very likely you are correct, but that’s not any reason to let an opportunity to learn something yourself pass you by.
Having someone quit a game usually causes some kind of negative emotion, which could be as mild as a momentary annoyance or as strong as a teeth-grinding rage. But whatever you are feeling, you are given a new opportunity to learn to master your own reaction. In the end, the quitter cannot force you to feel anything, and you have the power to choose not to get upset. Having someone quit gives you the opportunity to practice this skill, which could serve you well all over Neopia, not just in Key Quest!
So how can you temper your own innate reaction? There are a few strategies to try. First of all, try distracting yourself immediately. Switch from playing Key Quest to a new calm activity, such as decorating a zen garden in your Neohome, customizing your Neopet, or playing Spellseeker-- anything that you find relaxing should work.
It also helps to keep in mind that all sorts of things cause people to leave the game early, and the vast majority of those people do not do so to be malicious. In the world outside of Neopia, many factors can come into play. Perhaps there was a knock on their door, a telephone ringing, maybe even the stove on fire, a computer error, or a terrible lightning storm that turned off their power. If encountering quitters is inevitable in Key Quest, so too is eventually one day having to leave a game early yourself. There is no way to know the real reason why someone left a game early, so instead of assuming it was poor sportsmanship, why not assume that it wasn’t? It’s an easy change to make in your mind and can save you plenty of stress.
Sometimes, though, letting go of your frustration can be harder, especially in extreme cases where the game ended abnormally when you were just before the door, about to win a gold key. This is considered the ultimate quitter experience, and is the most frustrating thing you will likely encounter in all your games of Key Quest.
One thing you may find to be helpful, when other methods of distraction aren’t working, is to remind yourself that you are not alone in this experience. Everyone who plays enough games of Key Quest will eventually have this exact experience. You can usually find many stories and rants on the Key Quest Neoboards, and sometimes just reading others vent the frustration can help, although sometimes it can make the feelings of injustice even stronger. Posting a rant yourself is not recommended. Venting can be cathartic in some cases, but too often you will find people who disagree with you or who resent having to read about your anger. You run the risk of getting even more upset instead of feeling calmer. One thing that you should absolutely not do is neomail a person who left the game early. It won’t change what has already happened, and if anything it could escalate the situation into something even worse. It could get you into a lot of trouble if things get too heated. You shouldn’t need a response from anyone else to feel better about the situation; you already have all the tools you need yourself to do so.
Viewing the game in a new light is what ultimately helped me let go of my anger and frustration over the quitters I encounter. Quitters are just another obstacle placed in our path to gold keys, much like a sudden whirlpool or a giant lint ball. You can’t control the random events in the game, and you can’t control quitters either. Quitters come with the game of Key Quest, just like Super Key Grabbers and giant piles of dung. Even with all these obstacles in your path, Key Quest is a wonderful and fun game with some of the best prizes to be found on Neopets. Even with the occasional quitter, I’ve still won tons of humming paint brushes, piles of rare red codestones, and enough Secret Laboratory Map pieces to find my way to that strange Scorchio’s lair five times over! Before Key Quest I had never encountered a quitter, but I had also never had quite this much fun playing any game. My pets are smarter for the books they read, and stronger with all the codestones spent in the Mystery Island training school.
In the end, quitters can teach you to be grateful to the vast community of players who play Key Quest honorably and well. Experiencing a quitter can teach you empathy, and strengthen your resolve to play the game with integrity, just like most people you encounter. They hang in there when you get a Super Key Grabber, and sometimes they run laps around you landing on the treasure chest square. They keep the game fun and interesting. Quitters shouldn’t keep you from enjoying this fun game, friendly community of players, and the absolutely awesome prizes to be won, so don’t let them!