How Do YOU Break the Mold on Neopets?
We all like to think we're unique, that we think like individuals and that we're creative and fun. On the other hand, we also like to think that we're part of the Neopets community, that there are other users on the site who have the same interests and hobbies that we do.
I was talking to a close Neofriend one day and it occurred to me that we have almost nothing in common (she's a married mother of three, I'm a young woman right out of college), yet she's the first Neofriend I ever had on Neopets and we're very close. Though we definitely have differing opinions about how to have fun on Neopets, we get along swimmingly and we chat freely about our favorite things to do on Neopets!
So I began to think. Many people on Neopets like to align themselves with certain ideals, like loving Faerieland, being Darigan minions, and loving all things emo/Grey. But what about the people who break the mold on Neopets? Are there people who have ideals that are truly one of a kind? Do they have completely different ideals from everyone else, like the difference between me and my married Neofriend, but still thrive on Neopets?
So, being curious, I wandered over to the Help Neoboard and asked everyone how they break the mold on Neopets. I was pleasantly swamped with many warm and enthusiastic replies!
The first example on my thread was posted by myself. I know Pirate Draiks are the cheapest of all the Draiks, but I love my Pirate Draik, Draikatta, so much that I will never trade or abandon her!
The most popular post on my thread was about painted pets... Specifically, CHEAPLY painted pets. Almost everyone in Neopia wants expensive pets, yet there were hordes of users on my thread who chatted about their Christmas, Split, and Camouflage pets and how they were beautiful even though they weren't expensively painted. Many had nostalgic reasons to keep their pets cheaply painted -- for example, it was their first zap with the Secret Laboratory Ray, or else their first adoption. Some pets were presents from Neofriends, while others were hand-painted. One user kept her pet Rainbow because it was painted using her very first Fountain Faerie Quest! What a terrific memory!
Similarly, many people posted about their badly named pets and how they unconditionally love them. There are a lot of name snobs in Neopia, but these users weren't amongst them! Their treasured pets were usually their first created pets. My pet Esselor was also my first pet, so I can understand their reluctance to give away or trade their pets!
One user had a strict belief wherein she refused to zap her pets with the Secret Laboratory Ray because she liked being able to say her pets were all morphed and painted out of her own pocket. That's quite unique!
Some people chose Petpets for their pets that weren't expensive, but were still cute. There were no trophy Petpets for these users! To them, every Petpet was equal, even the cheapest painted ones! What really mattered to them was not the expense of the Petpets, but the appearance of the Petpets or the ability of the Petpets to go along with the stories the users had already created about their pets. I saw a lot of amazing, creative pet lookups where the Petpets often had a starring role in the larger pets' stories! That's what I call individuality!
One user made it clear that she wasn't a fan of customizing pets. That's quite unusual in this day and age! According to her, she wanted to show off her pets' colors, rather than covering them up with clothes. I have to agree! Most of my pets have backgrounds and little else. Yet another user declared something I've never heard before -- that if you don't customize your pets in some way, you don't care about them. What an interesting difference of opinion!
Some people on my thread hated Krawks. Random, isn't it? Yet it kept coming up again and again on the thread, with people waxing on and on about how hideous Krawks are, and how they'd never own one. Poor Krawks! Don't worry, though, most of Neopia still loves you!
Some people also hated unconverted pets! Wow! I didn't even know that was possible! I have to admit, I was positively agog at their declarations. It never occurred to me that people would dislike unconverted pets. My thread on the Help Neoboard was quite an eye opener! One of the reasons they disliked unconverted pets was that these pets deflated the values of other, converted pets. Another reason was that they were highly unattainable, like owning Super Attack Pea or Malevolent Sentient Poogle Plushie (TCG), and wanting one would only lead to despair. I commiserate with all the users that want unconverted pets. I agree with them that attaining one is very difficult!
Several people discussed gifting, or Random Acts of Kindness. There were 2 self-admitted gifters on the thread who stated that they loved to gift meaningful presents -- for instance, giving a rare plushie to someone with a plushie gallery, or gifting a NeoCash item to someone with no access to NeoCash. One person was so generous that she literally gave away Pirate Draik Eggs and rare Paint Brushes on a regular basis! Astounding! You won't find a lot of people that generous on Neopets! They truly break the mold!
Many people who break the mold were also content with having a single pet and no more. I could never live like that -- I love my 18 wonderful pets -- but I do understand what it's like to love one pet very much. My permanent pet, Esselor, was my first pet here on Neopets, and he's my main love. I would NEVER give him up, not even in exchange for unconverted or expensive pets.
The overall vibe I got from my thread was that people who break the mold are truly happy with what they already have. They aren't interested in rare trophy pets for the sake of owning trophy pets. Most of them think excess Neopoints are best spent on random users instead of themselves, and they are content with having beloved pets rather than expensive ones.
One point that I posted on my thread was that I make very little effort to accumulate Neopoints. What I basically do every morning is collect bank interest and fight in the Battledome for Codestones. That's all. I'm poor at games, and I'm poor at restocking. What I realized was that upon collecting all of my dream pets, I no longer wanted to earn Neopoints. For me, the site is all about the pets! As long as they're happy, healthy and in the Neolodge, I'm happy. I don't need a lot of Neopoints to be happy!
Many people agreed with me. They earned around 5k a day and were happy with that amount. As long as their beloved pets were happy, the owners had very little urge to earn Neopoints! While most Neopians are obsessed with earning millions and millions of Neopoints, I was surprised by the number of people who break the mold by not being Neopoint-obsessed!
Several sweet users believed that they broke the mold because they were older Neopians. I'm 31. Another user was 53. There were many other non-teenagers and non-children on the thread too. I must admit, I never realized I could be considered a "young user" on Neopets! So I guess it's not really breaking the mold to be a non-teenager on Neopets -- we randomly discovered that we were mostly adults!
Thanks for reading this article! And thanks to everyone on the Help Neoboard who offered their opinions on the subject! I've had the opportunity to chat with some really remarkable users, generous people who gift items and love their pets and are genuinely satisfied with all that they have. I could never have written this article without all the input I've gotten from you excellent people!
Have an amazing time on Neopets, my fellow Neopians, and may you constantly inspire other users the way you've inspired me to write this article!