Being a Newbie in Neopia
Neopia is entering its seventeenth year and many players have been around for a long, long time. But for some (like myself), Neopia is a brand new world, and one that can be a little daunting at first. Can you remember when you created your first account and your very first Neopet, all those years ago? How did you feel when you found the neoboards and people called you a n00b for asking what in hindsight was a fairly simple question? People tend to forget that no matter your age and account statistics, we are all newbies at some point. There are still young players joining today as there were back in Year Four. With this in mind, I have written this article to give Neopia's newbies some tips for surviving the often overwhelming but ultimately wonderful world of Neopets when starting out.
1. Get to know your way
So you've created your account and adopted your first Neopet. Can I start by saying congratulations! You're now a part of this wacky world that we call Neopia. Looking at the main page of the site, you will notice a bar running across the top. This is your navigation and it is the easiest way of getting around. The "games", "explore" and "shops" tabs are probably going to be the most useful to you when you begin your journey, as playing games will earn you neopoints, exploring will take you across the different lands of Neopia and introduce you to Pet Central, where you can find food, clothing and other essential items for your Neopet. Opening a shop is a must, as selling items that you don't need/want is a good way to make some extra neopoints. You can open a shop as soon as your account is 24 hours old, and pay a small fee to increase the size in order to stock more items. Also under the "shops" tab you will find the Shop Wizard, who can help you find any item you want in Neopia (as long as it is priced under 100,000 neopoints). Another tab you may find useful is the "news" tab, where the New Features page is updated by The Neopets Team (or TNT for short) with all sorts of exciting new things that have been added to the site. The Neopian Times can also be found under "news". :)
2. Set yourself some goals
If you have discovered the Neoboards and have been lurking there for some time, you will probably have noticed that other players have certain goals that they are trying to achieve. These goals can range from painting a Neopet with a certain paint brush, collecting as many secret avatars as is possible, or overfeeding kadoaties. It is a good idea to think about what you would like to achieve with your time in Neopia and focus your efforts on these things. Maybe you have a talent for drawing and would like the rest of the world to see? Having your art displayed in the Art Gallery could be your goal. Ever fancied yourself as a master gamer? Achieving high scores and trophies in your favourite games could be something for you to aim for. Whatever your interest and hobbies, there is sure to be a Spotlight in Neopia for you. But remember: it's your account and your choice. Although having 300 secret avatars may look impressive to others, if its not for you then don't feel pressured into doing it. You could have 4 secret avatars but have 20 stories published in the Neopian Times. Everyone is different and everyone's goals will be.
3. Respect other Neopians
I think this is an important thing to remember. Some players will be in their late twenties, however others may be 12 or 13. Unless you are Neofriends with someone, you will have no way of knowing their age until they tell you themselves. For this reason alone, I think respecting others should be the number one rule. TNT are very specific with what is and isn't allowed in Neopia, particularly on the Neoboards. If you're ever unsure, take a look at the Neoboard rules and the site Safety Tips, which can be found at the bottom of every page. You may remember I touched on the word "n00b" earlier? Being a Newbie is not the same as being a n00b. If you have legitimate questions and are looking for somewhere to ask them, check out the Newbie and Help boards. There will always be someone who is willing to give you help and advice. If you ever feel threatened or targeted over the Neoboards, report it to TNT immediately. Bullying is not nice in any form, and bullying on Neopets is no more tolerated than in the real world. Of course, the majority of players here are just like you: addicted to Neopets! Do not let moaning, groaning or nastiness put you off playing.
4. Some things cost money, and not just Neopoints
Have you been looking at someone's User Lookup and thought, "I wonder where that Neopet's background comes from?" If it is all-singing, all-dancing then it is probably available to purchase from the NC Mall. Along that top bar of navigation you will find the NC Mall, which sells amazing items that can be used to customize your Neopets. You will notice, however, that instead of being priced as xxx NP, the items in the Mall are priced as xxx NC. NC stands for Neocash, which can be purchased in the real world with real world money. Now, if you are under 18 it is always good to have your parents' permission before purchasing NC as once you have bought it, you cannot refund it. If you are over 18, then go ahead and purchase away! ;) NC Mall items can be traded with other players using Gift Boxes, and there is a very vibrant community of NC Traders that can be found on the NC Mall Neoboard.
Another feature of Neopets that can be purchased with real world money is Premium. What is Premium, you say? Well, Premium gives you a lot of added features to the regular site, including the Super Shop Wizard (like the regular Wizard, only Super!) and the chance to adopt a 5th Neopet. You have the option to pay monthly or pay in advance. As I mentioned before, always ask permission before using real world money. :)
5. Have fun!
It may sounds silly, but your time in Neopia should be enjoyable. Your Pets are no different. Keeping your Neopet happy is easy; purchase toys and games for them, feed them and care for them, and they will be delighted. Ignore them and they will be unhappy. After all, Neopets is meant to be all about the Pets! They are your companions on the journey through Neopia, and they should be respected as such. Pounding your Neopet because you don't really want it isn't a very nice thing to do, is it? As I have already said, respect other players and be aware that people may not always have the same opinions as you, but this is not a reason to start an argument with someone. They are playing the game their way, and you are playing it yours. If you really do encounter a problem, let TNT know. Stay safe and keep your account details private. If anyone ever asks you for your password, DO NOT GIVE IT TO THEM. There is a super feature in Neomails that will warn you if you have typed your password in a Neomail before you send it to another player. Try and make it something that you will remember, but that others cannot guess so easily.
Now, I hope these tips have been useful to you. Neopia is a big place and there is plenty to see and do. Remember that you can play however you want, be it becoming super rich or letting the world see your creativity in writing. Being a Newbie myself, I have a lot more to do and a lot more to explore. There is always new content and adventures to be had, but remember: treat others as you would want to be treated and never let anything get you down. This is Neopia, and we are all in it together! :)