A Happy Coincidence!
Hi, TNT and readers! I recently read an article in the NT regarding The Coincidence and its ability to bestow avatars and why it's not a good idea, and I'm writing to put forth an opposing view on this new daily, as I believe there are some benefits to it that need to be mentioned. I hope to be able to create a balanced outlook and maybe even convince a few of you who have already made up your mind that this is a terrible idea a new perspective (which won't be easy, judging by the majority's reaction, but I'm going to give it my best shot!).
When I heard that The Coincidence was giving out retired and game avatars, I was thrilled. I wasn't lucky enough to be one of the fortunate few who managed to obtain one when this daily was released, but I was extremely happy for those that were in the right place at the right time and managed to bag one.
I, too, am an avatar collector. I have spent many hours sat at my computer with a concentrated look on my face, tongue sticking out in a funny way, my hand clawed around the mouse like I was about to fall of the face of Neopia. Many a metaphorical desk has been flipped in disappointment at a loss and many a metaphorical confetti cannon has erupted when I've finally achieved a game avatar that I've spent weeks trying to achieve. I can spend hours and hours on a game in hopes of an avatar, and I am fortunate enough to have the time to be able to do so, but I'm well aware that not all players are able to spend as much time as I have attempting to up their game avatar count, but who are still committed avatar collectors. A lot of players work full time, go to school, have homework, deadlines etc., and can't possibly put the amount of hours that I and others do in order to achieve these accolades.
As most collectors are well aware, it can be extremely difficult and time consuming to get to where you want to be in terms of avatars, and then there's also the matter of years spent on the site. If you weren't around at the right time, well, you can kiss your chances of "avatar collector" goodbye! I myself have missed plots and events that have granted such beauties as "Free Jhuidah!" and "I Saved Mystery Island", and although I am very happy with my count as it stands, it still pains me that I will never have a chance at seeing my name on the Avatar Collector scoreboard, no matter how much resolution I put into playing games and participating in new plots/events.
I have pottered around Neopia for a number of years now, but new players are joining all the time, and I can't imagine how disheartening it must be to begin collecting avatars, only to realise that your efforts are in vain, for you will never have the opportunity to be one of the top collectors, even if you managed to gain every avatar that is currently available. If I were to discover Neopets now, I would most certainly try my hand at avatar collecting - and I would most certainly stop doing so when I realised that no matter how hard I tried, it was impossible to excel at it. At times I feel like this anyway, even though I've been fortunate enough to be around for quite a lot of the new avatar releases in the last few years.
There's one avatar in particular that I know a lot of people are quite sore about, and that is the "I Survived the Neopocalypse" avatar. It was released for one day only on the 29th of February 2012, with no accompanying event other than extreme lag, and there was no prior warning that an avatar would be released. Even if you were online at the time, if you don't chat on the neoboards or use an offsite forum and you didn't check the news that day, you didn't get it. I believe this is a prime example as to why most avatars should be enabled to be given out by The Coincidence.
You will notice there that I said 'most', because despite my support for this new daily there is one group of avatars that I do not believe should be a part of it, and that's stamp avatars. Stamps are extremely specialist and I heartily agree with the article that this one is in response to on this subject. Some people could spend their entire lives on Neopets and still never have the neopoints required to purchase one of the more valuable stamps. Again, it's one of those things that older players have a distinct advantage in, as before avatars were released stamps were fairly cheap (or at least a lot cheaper!), and over the years many of these stamps have been retired, or are sitting in albums on inactive accounts. While I don't think that stamp avatars themselves should be given, I do, however, believe that The Coincidence should be able to give out the actual stamps. It would give those who wish to go for the avatars the opportunity to do so without having to play a hundred million games of Kass Basher, or if they wished to sell it on, it would give collectors the chance to add a coveted stamp to their album and would make the market for stamps a lot more reasonable. (As I understand it, stamps are now being given out via random event which I'm really happy about! I do think that also adding them to The Coincidence prizes would be a beneficial thing to do though).
I'm aware that my view on this isn't as popular as I believe it should be, but I've spoken to a few people on the boards who share my opinion, mostly younger players (shocking, I know...) who are as thrilled as I am to be given a chance to catch up to those who have been here for a decade or more. I can understand why older players who have participated in old plots and site events would not want those who didn't to be able to achieve retired avatars, but at the end of the day, this game should have more opportunities for younger players to have a go at being the best at a part of it.
I heartily applaud you, TNT, for deciding to release retired avatars again, and although it was an error, I am also behind the release of game avatars through this platform.
As long as it's a rare occurrence, in my humble opinion, The Coincidence should be able to bestow avatars. I do hope that you decide to enable this feature again, as I really think it would be propitious for the site and its players.