Improving Your Account in 75 days or Less
If you're anything like me, you've played Neopets for several years without having spent a significant amount of time actually playing Neopets. Whether you were only dedicated to aspects of the site that didn't necessarily have anything to do with the happenings of Neopia (such as guilds, role playing, etc.) or just had trouble sticking to your Neogoals, you've somehow managed to accomplish little in all of the time you've spent on the site. This article is meant to help returning players or players who have maintained a vague interest in their account but are still more idle and less accomplished than they want to be.
Just a a few months ago, I too was such a player; yet even I was able to improve my account in 75 days or less, after over 750 days of absence (more than 2 years). I essentially started with nothing in terms of achievement since this was not my main account - few games played, no trophies, few site themes, no stamps or Neodeck, no painted pets, no petpets, small shop size, small gallery, few items, and not much in my bank account. However, I was able to improve my account quickly due to several factors - time, effort, luck, and motivation.
I’ll elaborate further: Time is necessary for obvious reasons - one must have time available to complete tasks, but one must also use time to one's advantage. Certain times of the day, week, or year are better for certain objectives - attempting avatars, winning trophies, and participating in events depend heavily on time. Effort is minimally necessary - once you devise a routine for your Neoday, it may take you a shorter time to complete what once seemed to take forever (such as dailies involving puzzles or multiple attempts). Luck is a component that cannot be ignored, even if it is at times unreliable. With luck on your side, you too will one day gain a rare trophy (such as Tax Trophies or Test Your Strength), avatar (such as the Symol Hole), or item from random events (such as Magical Chia Pops). Luck preserves your sanity and keeps you going when your chance of an elusive high score falls away; when effort fails, luck will hopefully save the day.
I will caution that in some ways, improving your account just isn't possible in three months due to uncontrollable factors - if you're lucky, a site event will take place, if you're not, like myself, you'll just miss the Altador Cup by a hair. I'd recommend returning to Neopets during the fall or winter if you're hoping to acquire site event trophies. Although you need not despair entirely, as the Altador plot can still be completed.
Without further disclaimers, let's get to the process.
The process was simple, if not hard to bear at times. It is very straightforward and should work for anyone with a Neopet, as it only requires pursuing the 7.5 Principle Goals.
1: Do your dailies without fail.
• Do every daily everyday at least once (sometimes visiting the Snowager at all three times or wishing at the well twice is too much to ask). I personally use the daily list from Jellyneo with few alterations.
• In the beginning I played a few games for stocks. If you're not a person who is a fan of games, I recommend choosing just 3-5 that you're very good at (or think you can become good at) and playing them daily to acquire the 15k.
• Dailies with a clear limit should be used up. Never forget to do all of your Faerie Employment Agency Jobs. Why? With just 5k, you can make as much as 30k by taking jobs (typically with 7k or over as reward) and finishing them quickly. Be sure to only pursue jobs that have a good profit margin - this typically means 3-5k profit each time. Anything less is inadvisable; so definitely lose the 200 neopoints and quit rather than wasting a job for the day.
• Randomly go fishing. Since there isn't really a certain time a day that is better than others, just fish when you remember to do so. I typically fish once or twice a day, morning and night. This lazy method has resulted in nearly one fishing skill level a day.
• On the days you don't want to do anything, do the bare minimum. Identify which dailies you consider mandatory. These dailies should be the ones that may cause a significant loss of opportunity, items, etc., if missed (in your opinion). I personally consider Food Club, Trudy's Surprise, Dice-A-Roo, Fashion Fever, Catch A Petpet, Neopian Lottery, and the Wishing Well mandatory.
2: Don't just randomly play games; try to have an objective in mind.
• If you want the glory of trophies and joy of free and/or nearly free items, my advice is to not work too hard. Play smarter, not harder. To start, play each game on the site that is available to you at least once so that you can identify strengths and weaknesses in yourself as well as determine how much effort certain games require of you. Once you've determined which games are easiest for you, target them as dailies or for trophies.
• Aim for trophy acquisition each month on the 1st-10th. Depending on the popularity of the game, you may have a longer window. Avatar games and games that any Meepit can play will require sending a score at the earliest convenience. (Pro Tip: Just don't bother playing games around 11:30-12:30 am NST if you don't know how long the game takes to play. The closer the score is sent to midnight, the more likely that your score won't be received and your efforts will be in vain. Truthfully, the window is smaller, around 11:50-12:10 am NST, but I like to err on the side of caution.)
• Pursue easy trophies by playing luck-based or unpopular games. In addition to games that you're actually good at, games that don't require actual skill and quest trophies are good initial targets because they don't actually require much effort. You will need time and luck to win games like Scorchy Slots, Grumpy Old King, Cheeseroller, and Dice-A-Roo. If you're willing to lose neopoints, also pursue Double or Nothing, Kiss the Mortog, and other Slots Games. Essential quest trophies include those rewarded by completing Jhudora’s and Illusen’s quests, which can (and should) be completed every 12 hours to ensure a higher score, as well as the Brain Tree Quests (for which scores are luck-based).
• Definitely play games that encourage random events or give items (one might argue that the items and events are more important than a high score). Don't ignore them just because they aren't as exciting as Flash games. If you can stand them, games like Neoquest, Sewage Surfer, and Cellblock can actually be quite lucrative and fun. They aren’t time consuming if you don't attempt to complete them in one sitting. It is best to play a little each day, especially if the game has a daily neopoints limit. Games such as Neggsweeper, Dice-A-Roo, Both Neoquests, Scorchy Slots, Gormball, etc. are also great trophy targets.
• Playing Plushie Tycoon is time intensive, but a great way for a poor man to become a rich man (with a trophy and avatar) in a month, if one puts in the effort. Making at least 50k a month is preferred, but the game has the potential to award 320k. Once you know the routine, it is not that difficult. There are many guides as well as a help board on the Games chat.
• The Kadoatery is another game that is time intensive but actually fun upon learning the tricks. Do note, however, that it has the potential to become a money pump, especially if you’re doing it wrong. If you’re always attempting to feed Kadoaties unbuyable foods because you didn’t know that they ask for foods costing anywhere from 5 neopoints to 500k, you’re doing it wrong and should seek help from the Games chat or help boards. Feeding times grow slower toward the end of the Neoday, so if you're willing to stay up a bit later, or perhaps rise a little earlier (depending on your own time zone) it is not impossible to finish within a week, much less a month.
• Ghoul Catchers is a great way to earn neopoints and items as well as afford Food Club and stocks (at least in part). With a cap of 50k neopoints a day, it is a good way to painlessly earn neopoints fairly quickly.
3: Know what you want and then go get it.
• Whether pursuing dream pets or petpets, acquiring items for avatars, or trying to attain a Neogoal such as Gourmet Club membership or a Booktastic Book Award, know what you want so you can figure out how to get it without wasting time or neopoints. Research item prices for paint brushes versus morphing or transmogrification potions. In many cases, buying a potion or painted petpet is cheaper than painting your Neopet or petpet with a brush. The trading post and auctions will be the best friend of the patient Neopian, as long as the Neopian knows what they're looking for and how much it's worth. The worst-case scenario is buying an item that seemed like a discount but is actually double the price - anyone who randomly buys from Kauvara's shop or the Chocolate Factory knows what I mean. Avatars and other goals become more expensive (and therefore difficult to acquire) the more you don't know what you're doing...or why.
4: Economizing is the secret to acquiring secret avatars efficiently.
• Acquiring avatars is possibly the easiest hobby to begin and hardest to finish. If you want to be the very best that no one ever was, to catch them is your real test; to show them off is your cause.
• Do what you can for yourself. If you can bear the costs of time and neopoints, buy your avatar items and hoard them rather than asking to be lent. A good example of items to buy or just hoard upon acquiring them through whatever means are set items such as codestones, Usuki themed, and dung items. Additionally, a great way to gain items to hoard (for your safety deposit box avatar) is to save useful and/or discounted items from random events, the Battledome, wheels, auctions, Neopian shops, and Igloo Garage Sale. I absolutely recommend hoarding the avatar items themselves, especially if they're particularly valuable (such as the Icy Snowflake, sets of Codestones, potions, etc.). After cleaning out your safety deposit box, you can sell your cheaply acquired items for a greater value on the trading post or in your shop for a significant amount of neopoints all at once.
• A good method for hunting avatars is to start with the clickable avatars, then move on to cheap avatars, pursue pet or pound avatars next, then move on to expensive and game avatars (which take the most effort anyway). Since I am not the best gamer, it was easier for me to acquire wealth and the majority of my avatars with minimal gaming. If your account is older, playing Food Club is one of the best options you have to acquire the wealth necessary to pursue your avatar goals, such as Kelp, the Lever of Doom, and the #1 Money Pump in Neopia, the Wheel of Extravagance (which cannot be lent).
• In my experience, expensive items are often lent later in the Neoday when more users are on. The requirements for certain lends are of course steeper for some avatars than others. In general, I've stuck to the rule of only being lent what I have collateral for or what I may or may not be able to afford in the future but still do not wish to buy. If you're lucky (and friendly with users on the AC), you will not lack for lenders even for the more challenging items. If you are not a social person due to time or personality, then improving your account's stats shouldn't hurt your chances of finding an anonymous lender. I was able to secure generous lends with and without collateral not only because I was improving my account statistics, but also because I was consistently active on the boards for the months I was being lent. I would say that obscurity shouldn't significantly hurt your chances unless you're pursuing more difficult lends.
• One of the best ways to economize time and neopoints is to be patient. While there are shortcuts for investing in the stock market for the avatar, if you're new to the stock market (like I was) and have nearly no neopoints to spend, it is best to just invest your 15k for the 67 days it takes to have 1 million in holdings. You'll end up getting the avatar and into the habit of purchasing stocks.
• When trying for pet or petpet avatars, I often found that pound surfing was easier than lending or pound boards (at least for the more common pets). If you're trying to acquire an avatar that requires transforming your Neopets in some fashion, you might consider adopting a pet for the express purpose of transforming it several times (so as not to waste your daily pound limits).
5: Participate in contests, site events, and other activities even when you lack the confidence to win.
• Be it the lottery, the Wishing Well, or the Beauty Contest, it is typically the case that no one ever wins a contest or prize for events that they didn’t enter.
• Initially, you should enter yourself into contests you think you are likely to win. The beauty contest is easier to win when your pet is of a less popular species and the species day is not that week. Even if your art is not the best, advertising and writing a persuasive blurb with the entry can make voters more partial to your pet. Better Than You is easiest to win when you’re good at a game or have the time and motivation to attempt beating the challenger. The lottery and the Wishing Well are games of chance that any Meepit can play.
• Once you’ve won contests that you feel confident about, attempt the more difficult or labor-intensive contests like the Mystery Pic, Guess The Weight of the Marrow, or Spotlights.
6: Never stop trying to profit. Do this by increasing revenue or avoiding losses.
• The trading post is both a great place to sell high value items as well as get ripped off. While many people don’t mind getting ripped off (accepting offers over 50% less than the value of their item when they were hoping for a profit, usually due to either frustration or impatience), those who do should consider more assertive tactics when selling for profit. Assertive tactics consist of constant advertising on the boards, as well as using the trading post during the day and auctions during the night (or whenever you're not online). A general rule may be to offer/accept within 75-80% of the item value depending on how impatient you are. If you have the time, just wait for a reasonable offer - unless the item is super rare or expensive but useless, an offer will come. Overall, the trading post is a good place to practice doing unto others what you would have others do unto you.
• Reduce your daily expenses or expenditures on Neopet care by using your neopoints wisely. Always feed your pets omelettes or food from the movie theater. The healing springs are also a great alternative to buying medicine. Read free or cheap books to your pet and sell all of the duplicates.
• Always look for freebies and discounts to resell or use. Good items to sell are also good items to collect and/or use, such as books, stamps, and Neodeck cards. Acquire cheap collectables from dailies, the Money Tree, their respective Neopian shops, and Igloo Garage Sale. Always try to reach the daily item limit when taking from the Money Tree or Igloo Garage Sale, especially if you are not a rich Neopian. Sell almost everything you acquire that you don't need or can replace painlessly.
• If you're starting with a shop that is meager in size, start to upgrade your shop daily (or all at once if you have a lot of items and the requisite neopoints to spare). Try to restock your shop from the Neopian shops, especially on half price days.
7: Do not underestimate the importance of the Battledome.
• Train your pet to at least a basic level of Hit Points, Attack, and Defense so that they can KO the Kreludan Defender Robot in the Battledome in one hit. If you're more ambitious, battle Koi Warrior. However, I've generally found that the Kreludan Defender Robot requires less work (in terms of training and battle set) and a steady income of rewards. He drops codestones, Armored Neggs, petpets, and Neocola Tokens that you can (and should) sell in your shop. Battle him at least until you've reached the daily item limit.
• While you're at it, maintain a pet of moderate strength in battle so that you can acquire avatars and participate in activities such as the obelisk more easily.
• Make it a general rule to never turn down a fairy quest. Training can get expensive so the supplemental stats from quest rewards are ideal. The Kitchen Quest and Coincidence are also viable sources of supplemental stats, although they have their respective caveats. Kitchen Quest rewards go to a random pet, and the Coincidence is just as likely to reward nothing or a petpetpet as it is to reward Battledome stats.
• Don't skip the obelisk. You can win an avatar and a site theme, but you can also gain boons that are quite helpful. Cartography, Cheaper by the Dozen, and Black Market Goods, are particularly useful on any given day.
7.5: Don't forget to have fun.
This is, after all, all a game. When the routine gets to be too much and improving your account feels like a chore, just take a little break. Playing games can be a source or outlet for stress, so do your best not to rage quit or lose your sanity over any setbacks.