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4th Annual Neopies: Do They Matter To You?


by tashni

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Art by tashni

At the Fourth Annual Neopies, questions buzz around the Red Carpet. What will the categories be? Who and what will be nominated? What were the best—and the worst—events of the year? Does it really matter?

Red Carpet coverage by Niri Oshna, Neopia Central

Welcome to this year's Neopies Red Carpet, Neopia! This is Niri Oshna, reporting live from the Red Carpet in Neopia Central. It's the fourth annual event, and Neopians across the globe are clamoring to put in their votes and hoping to catch of glimpse of their favorite characters and events in the awards ceremony. The Neopies represent an opportunity to look back on the past year, rejoice in good memories, boo disappointments, and look hopefully to the year ahead. But do the Neopies really matter? Or are they just a holdover between the Advent Calendar and the expected Games Master Challenge?

"[The Neopies] reflect upon our own opinions and on site events and shows them in a way TNT can understand . . . and what we would like to see as a trend in the near future." – blue_dragon232

"TNT doesn't really care what we think." – Raidenrose22

"[The Neopies] round up the awesome events TNT has come up with and we've all been a part of." – nocturnite

Obviously, the Neopies mean different things to different people. But it does get people talking! So what is Neopia talking about? What were the highlights of Year 13? And what will Year 14 bring? Year 13 hosted many site events, including the Games Master Challenge, Altador Cup VI, NC Mall Neggstravaganza, Treasure Keepers, and the disappearance of Krawk Island to name a few. I'm here on the Red Carpet to talk to real Neopians, to find out what everyone is talking about!

Year 13 brought an astounding number of new and exciting Paint Brushes: Swamp Gas, 8-Bit, Water, and Wraith. The first Neopies category, released on Tuesday the 10th of Sleeping, elicited hot debate and much speculation. Which Y13 Paint Brush is the best? It quickly became clear that Water and Wraith were vying for the title, with 8-Bit and Swamp Gas both lagging far behind in the polls. But as one NT editorial brought up, some Neopians were disappointed to see new colours simply because it lessened the likelihood that species would be released in older colours.

But the nomination for 8-Bit itself garnered some attention, with an image that looked like an 8-Bit morphing potion. The image sparked much speculation that TNT may release the item. While this is unlikely, only TNT knows for sure. The lack of another nomination horrified many Neopians: Where was Eventide? Mr. Ellsworth, host of the Neopies, has assured me that there is no need to worry. Since Eventide was released in Y14, it will qualify as a candidate in next year's event.

But what categories are still to come? Past Neopies have included awards for best game, best character, best avatar, best plot, and even "Best Cameo Appearance in a Plot." Future categories are just as anticipated as the nominees themselves. What was the best and the worst of Y13?

As they reflect on events of the past year, many Neopians look with bittersweetness upon the coming and the passing of Treasure Keepers. A new game for Facebook, Treasure Keepers was released for Beta testing periodically throughout Year 13 to various players. It marked the beginning of a totally new platform on which to play Neopets, as well as fresh artwork and characters. "When it first came out," says _kiplala_, "I really liked it and played it every day."

But suddenly, on the 12th of Celebrating, TNT announced an abrupt end to the game, with no stated plans to reopen the project. "I was pretty sad," says _kate_e_did_. "Even though it was only around for a short while it was a neat little game."

Many Neopians shared her sentiment, and even though beta testers were rewarded with prize codes for their trouble, most Treasure Keepers players still view the closure of Treasure Keepers as Biggest Letdown of the Year. _kiplala_ still keeps positive on the subject, though, saying, "I think TNT should bring the art style to some of their own games or an upcoming plot."

Whether or not Treasure Keepers will be revived, or any remnants of the game will shine through, will be seen in Year 14.

Another expected category in this year's Neopies is "Best Avatar." While numerous avatars were released through the year, the Wishing Well avatar (released back in year 12) was the most talked about. For almost a year and a half after its release, the way to obtain the Wishing Well avatar remained a secret. It replaced the Bonju avatar as a symbol of the Ultimate Avatar, unattained by any collector. In the end of Year 13, at long last, the secret was solved, and the Wishing Well avatar made its way into the collections of Avatar hunters everywhere. Among the collecting community, the final discovery of the solution to the Wishing Well avatar was a highlight of the year. If the avatar does make an appearance in this year's Neopies, it will be a hard one to beat. And now collectors have something to look forward to in Year 14, because as chaotizitaet brings out, "With Wishing Well Avatar solved . . . a new puzzling avatar is most welcome."

One of the most exciting categories every year is for best site event. For most Neopians, though, the most exciting event of the year and the biggest disappointment were one and the same: the Disappearance of Krawk Island. On the 22nd of Swimming, Neopians awoke to find that Krawk Island had vanished—and it was up to them to find the scattered pieces of the island! Neopia was abuzz with excitement and speculation as to where the plot would lead. The event included sudoku-style puzzles and search-and-rescue operations. Plot fans everywhere were in a frenzy. What would happen next? Who disappeared Krawk Island? Was Xandra back? Will this open up to a new land? But in the end, while the puzzles were fun, the site event did not turn out to be the plot that so many had anticipated. In a somewhat abrupt ending, the event led to a "mere" revamping of Krawk Island. For thelockplate, the "worst letdown [of the year] is no plot from the Krawk Island event."

On the other hand, many Neopians were happy to have a site event at all. "I liked the Krawk island event, as a concept," says yoyti. "I also didn't like the negative player responses to it." At the very least, the Krawk Island event opened up a new avatar and site theme, and it led the grand opening of a newly revamped Krawk Island. And at the Neopies this year, despite the bad rep of the Krawk Island event, Neopians will hopefully be reminded of the fun times they did have while the site event was going on.

But do the Neopies really matter? Honestly, probably not. But it is an opportunity for Neopians to band together and swap stories about the last year. Talk about the biggest surprises and disappointments, and look back on the Krawk Island event with a fondness that disappointment held off for a while. As poppybluebear says, "I do like this time of year, it's where we can see changes start to happen."

This is Niri Oshna, reporting live from the Red Carpet in Neopia Central, signing out.

 
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