A Look at Draiks and Krawks Over the Ages
Draiks and Krawks are the most popular pets.
Now, I know a lot of Neopians are going to disagree with me on this. There will be the owners who will point to their special pets and say that they would never trade one for a Draik. Others will point out that some other pets look much better, or that on the Pets Created list Draiks and Krawks are at the bottom, so they can't be the most popular, right?
Of course, I don't mean popularity as in more people have them, I mean in that more people want them. There are lots of reasons for Krawks and Draiks to be popular.
One of them is that both of them are just so cool. First of all, let's just talk about their basic designs. Draiks look like dragons, so they automatically are awesome, and Krawks also have an amazing design. Not to mention that so many Draik and Krawk colours are just amazing. There's something for everyone, someone who want something nice can go with the Faerie Draik, while those going for a more fearsome look could try the Mutant Draik or Krawk. Not to mention a lot of them simply just look awesome, like the Maraquan Draik or the Stealthy Krawk. Lost Desert and Robot look good as well, as a matter of fact there are several dozen colours which simply look amazing on them. Plus, they're also pretty easy to customize and with all the variety of wearable available and customization being the latest craze it shouldn't be a shock to see that that's another reason that they are popular.
However, while lots of people would be happy to have a Draik or Krawk simply for those reasons, and I'm pretty sure that if there were no limits on creating either of them (that is, you could create them from Create a Neopet anytime) they would easily place among the top positions of created pets thanks to how great they look, there's also the simple fact that lots of Neopians have them as status symbols.
After all, why play so much and spend so much time on making neopoints if you can't show it off somehow? As Neopets is a site based mainly on pets, pets are generally what Neopians focus on, generally on expensive paint brush colours. However, Draiks and Krawks are special limited pets, unlike the other limited edition pets likes Cybunnies and Jetsams they are never released (with the exception of Draiks a few times. A few were released when they first came out and once they were accidentally given out one Draik Day. Nothing like that has happened with Krawks though) and cannot be created by normal means. Draiks Require a Draik Egg and Krawks a Krawk petpet, otherwise morphing potions or magical plushies are the only way to go. Since these things are expensive, that means that Draiks and Krawks are hard to get and so also work as status symbols, and if they're painted expensive colours, even more so.
This sort of talk is nothing new; there's an article written ten years ago on this topic and the rest of the Neopian Times are littered with articles on this topic. Draiks and Krawks have been a goal for many Neopians as much as fancy paint brush colors.
As of now, a Magical Krawk Plushie sells for a little under 400,000 neopoints. A Pirate Draik Egg goes for around 1.4 million. Similarly Krawk Morphing Potions have also dropped steeply, though Draik Eggs aren't as reasonable as they should be. What do I mean by this?
Simple. Since a Pirate Krawk Morphing Potion is around 400,000 and a Lost Desert Paintbrush currently coasts a bit over 2.3 million, you'd expect a Lost Desert Krawk Morphing Potion to be less than the two combined, and it is, around 1.7 million neopoints. (Morphing potions sell less than the paint brush and cheapest morphing potion combined as a rule because a paint brush can be used for a lot of pets, while a morphing potion can only be used for one pet, hence they tend to be cheaper since demand is less. Lots of people might want a Faerie Paint Brush to paint a pet, but only those targeting a Faerie Draik would want a Faerie Draik Morphing Potion, for example. Also, morphing potions in general are harder to sell than paint brushes because only those really interested in that one pet want one.) There are exceptions of course, as the Plushie Draik Morphing Potion is retired and is no longer given out, it commands an astronomically high price tag (I'm not sure what that current price tag is, but I've heard of them commanding prices of 150 million neopoints each earlier, though this may have drastically changed) because it is seen as a collector's item. For items that are still restocked, though, the norm still seems to fit.
Except with Draik Eggs. Although all Draik Eggs have steeply plummeted in value, they still cost much more than a Pirate Draik Egg and the required paint brush combined. A simple Blue Draik Egg costs around 2.5 million currently, and that is a lot to pay considering you can get a Pirate Draik Egg for only 1.6 million. (You probably don't even want to paint a Pirate pet Blue for that matter, but if you did, the Blue Paint Brush also might have come with your newbie pet and is sold for less than 100k). The Darigan Draik Egg is sold for over 9 million (it is the rarest Draik Egg to restock though), an astounding price tag considering buying the cheapest Draik Egg and Darigan Paint Brush add up to 3 million at most. Draik Eggs don't seem to follow this practice, and the best explanation for this would perhaps be that Draik Eggs are edible. They are a gourmet food, so they also have a use independent from hatching a Draik. They can also be fed, and feeding a Pirate Draik Egg is different from feeding a Faerie Draik Egg as they count as different items if you're aiming for the gourmet club so you would have to feed all of them, so perhaps that might explain the large discrepancy in prices.
Another question is, have the prices finally stabilized? They seem to be falling day by day, so my answer would probably be that they are still going to go lower for some time, unless TNT decides to change how the Forgotten Shore and Anchor Management hand them out. They have done this before, so it is not an absolute impossibility, as there was a time when the Snow Faerie gave out quests that handed out Ghost Draik Morphing Potions and their prices dropped to only 200,000 neopoints before that ended. It sounds rather similar to what's happening now thanks to the Forgotten Shore and such, so perhaps TNT might put an end to this. Or they might not.
Is Ending Giving Them Out a Good Idea?
I can see nice arguments for and against TNT stopping giving out Draiks and Krawks. For one, lots of people would argue that Draiks and Krawks used to be overinflated and only seen as a status symbol, and now owners get them because they really like them.
You see, imagine this scenario. There are a few Draik Eggs on the market. Some Neopians, because they genuinely like Draik Eggs, go and buy them. Their prices increase because, after all, they are rare items and don't restock that often. Then, as their prices go up, people start seeing that they're expensive so they become more of a status pet, and then their value increases even more. As it increases, even more people begin thinking of them as being a status pet and so their demand increases even more, and this continues. There was a scenario close to this a few years before the Forgotten Shore when Draik Transmogrification Potions went from 5 million to 15 million over the course of around two years.
Of course, the very opposite can also be true. Once their prices start falling, they're no longer seen as a real status symbol anymore. Those who pursued them simply as such stop because they see their value dropping, and then their value drops again because there is lower demand, and so on, until their value matches the demand that the users are willing to pay simply because they like Draiks is met. Something like that occurred after the release of the Forgotten Shore with both Draiks and Krawks.
There is the other side to the argument though, that Neopets needs some sort of thing that's special, otherwise there is no point in collecting neopoints. There is the argument that Draiks and Krawks were one of the few things worth working for, and now they've seriously deflated. I remember when DUCK was an acronym used all over the Pound Board that stood for Draiks, UCs (Unconverted Pets), and Krawks, signifying that they were equal in trading value. Now, that isn't the case anymore with only UCs standing for anything, and the problem of course is that there is no way to 'earn' a UC by saving neopoints like you could with a Draik or Krawk.
Also, note just how easier it is to earn neopoints. Draiks were once only 200,000 neopoints each back when the Snow Faerie handed them out, but that was around 10-12 years ago where that would have still been a good amount. On the other hand, today while they are at 1.6 million neopoints and earning neopoints is so much easier with Habitarium, Key Quest, and the new Battledome. Lots of players who would have earned a maximum of 30k earlier playing games a day now earn 100k a day or more easily. With that, what is there left to work for? At their peak, Draiks would put you back 15 million for one, while for the same amount you could get ten today. For Krawks, the difference is even more staggering, you can buy forty today for what one would have cost.
It seems, though, that Draiks have in essence retained more of their value than Krawks, as Pirate Draik Eggs are still worth four times Pirate Krawk Morphing Potions. That's interesting, because as far as I know Krawks were generally treated as being worth slightly more in terms of trading value because they had never been given out via the Create a Neopet link ever, so this is a sort of reverse from what's been followed. And of course, rare colours on Draiks and Krawks are still considering nice, for example especially Robot since it can only be had through the lab ray, which is risk considering that it might also change your Draik into another species! Some people say that Lutaris are the new Draiks/Krawks, but I don't think so. Lutari Morphing Potions don't cost more than a Draik Egg, they can't be traded so they don't have trading value, and most important of all they can be obtained through the lab ray. There's currently some controversy regarding whether Draiks/Krawks can be obtained through the lab ray, but I'm all but certain that they are unavailable, while I know several people who have gotten Lutaris through the lab ray, so that sort of means that Lutaris just aren't that rare.
Some people say that TNT should release a new pet to take their earlier place. I guess you really can never know. Maybe one day Draiks and Krawks will once again rebound to the prices they once held, but until then, I suppose you might as well get one while they're cheap.