How to Be Yourself in a Crowded Neopia
A step-by-step guide to giving your account personality
How many times have you checked out another user's impressive account, only to feel bad about your own? How many times do you look at your empty (or nearly empty) trophy case, or at your small avatar count number, or your low bank account? In a world full of Neopians who have been doing their thing for five, six, seven or more years, how can you stand out if you are a Newbie, a returning Neopian, or a long time player with little to show for it?
This guide is here to help. The goal of this guide is to prove to you that everyone on Neopia has their own skills and their own chance to shine – that's what makes this world so great. The hard part is figuring out what you are good at, what you really want to do, and how to achieve it. It also takes this great skill called letting go and doing what you really love rather than what you think will impress people. This is a game, after all... enjoy it!
Step One: Figure out what is really, truly important to you
Do you really care about having 10 million neopoints? Do you really want to spend hours playing games to achieve trophies and avatars? Or are you happy spinning the Wheel of Excitement and playing Destruct-O-Match in zen mode?
There is a lot of pressure on us Neopians to have it all – trophies, avatars, expensive items, millions of neopoints, impressive pets. But do those things really matter? Is your Neopet any different red, green, yellow, or blue than when it's Darigan or Royal?
Make a list of the things on Neopets that truly bring you happiness, because often you will find that the actual doing is more fun than the end goal! For example, if your goal is to paint your Neopet baby, think about what it is about that goal that will bring you happiness. You might say, well, I think baby Neopets are adorable! And that's wonderful! You know that once you do achieve your goal of acquiring that paint brush, you will be happy. But how can you modify that journey to fit your unique personality?
Step Two: Devise your own method for achieving success
After you have decided on your goal, you need to figure out realistically how you will achieve it. If you are a Newbie and have 2,000NP, it isn't likely that you will have a baby paint brush by the end of the week. Having an enjoyable experience in Neopia is always dependent on your perception of that experience – if you set unrealistic goals that you can't achieve, you will start to think you're simply unskilled or that your goals simply won't happen.
So, be realistic, and more important, be yourself. Are you terrible at games (like I am)? Perhaps you should seek Neopoints elsewhere. Are you a busy person with only a few minutes to spare? Try the stock market. Do you love fast-paced, competitive environments? Head over to the shops for restocking or to the auction house. Do you love puzzles? Submit an answer to the Lenny Conundrum every Wednesday.
It will take trial and error – and time – in order to succeed. The users with impressive accounts didn't achieve all that in a few days. They spend months and years setting realistic goals, creating their own methods of success, and having the chutzpah to modify those methods to suit their ever-changing needs.
Step Three: Being happy with "nothing"
Okay, it's been a few months. Your user lookup is still pretty bare. You have a lone Cheat! Trophy and your pets are still the same as when you created them. You have more NP in the bank, but not anything impressive.
And you know what? That's totally okay. You could have spent more hours learning how to restock, or how to play the stock market, or even just doing your dailies. But maybe you didn't. Maybe when you came to Neopia, you spent your time chatting with other members of your guild. Maybe you read the Neopian Times, voted on Caption Contests, or read through various articles in the Neopedia. Maybe you just play Roodoku for hours, because, why not?
The most important part of your Neopets experience is staying true to yourself regardless of how other people perceive you, and surrounding yourself with great Neofriends who accept that!
Step Four: How to easily and quickly improve your account's presence in Neopia
Other than earning trophies, avatars, and Neopoints – all of which take a huge time investment – how can you improve your account and your Neopets' experience?
In my opinion, the best way to do this is to personalize your user lookup, your pets' description, and your pets' page. It isn't required that you know HTML/CSS to do this, but you might be more satisfied with the results if you do. There are plenty of guides throughout Neopia to help you with this.
Start off by modifying your user lookup. Who are you? What do you like to do on Neopets? What are your goals? What is your favorite Neopets item? The more Neo-themed your lookup is, the better. You are in Neopia after all.
Second, give your pets a personality! What do they like to do? What do they think of their siblings? Do they get along? Do they like certain foods? Do they like to battle, or do they read? This is a great way to bond with your Neopets and to think of them as more than their color or their stats. Plus, these kinds of things are fun to read for other Neopians!
Third, modify your pet's page. This doesn't necessarily have to be a page solely about your pet. Does your pet love to restock? Post screenies of your recent grabs and give advice to other restockers. Do you and your pet play a lot of games? Post guides! This page is great for people to show off their talents and wisdom – which every one of us has! – when you may not have any other way to show it.
Step Five: Try everything once!
Experiment with everything Neopia has to offer. Don't shy away anything because you think you can't be successful at it. If you truly want to do something... go for it! There are hundreds of guides out there, from how to play Plushie Tycoon to how to create a successful guild layout. Read everything you can about a topic, or don't, and just plunge right in! This is Neopia! No one is watching you and laughing when you don't get something right on the first try. Everyone is too busy with their own goals to care what one Neopian is doing.
And when I say everything... I mean everything! Submit to the Caption Contest even if you think you aren't funny. Open up a gallery of your favorite items. Help out fellow Neopians on the Quest board. Take a chance and buy a lottery ticket! Pick a pet to train even if you know nothing about the Battledome. The more things you do, the more fun there is to be had, and the easier it becomes to figure out what you truly like to do.
I like to do this: every time I log on, I make it a point to learn about or do one new thing. Yesterday I read all I could on how to restock. Today I submitted to the Neopian Times! Tomorrow I will maybe play a new game, or start a Neoquest adventure. Who knows? The possibilities are endless!
The bottom line? Neopets is a crowded place. There will always be Neopians who have accounts older than yours, or who have better trophies, or more neopoints. But, while those things can be fun to achieve, that doesn't make that person a better Neopian than you. Everyone here has the chance to show off their unique personalities... the fun part is figuring out how to do it! So go on... take a chance, and dare to be you! Your Neopets, and all of Neopia, will thank you for it.