Confessions That Aren't Really Confessions!
I always find it really amusing when people confess to sad things that they actually have no control over. For instance, I've been zapping a lab rat on my side account with the Secret Laboratory Ray for over 100 days, with no color change except for when it once turned from Red to Yellow. I feel like a total failure, which is silly, since I have zero control over the output of the Ray.
Inspired by the idea of uttering confessions that aren't true confessions, I thought I'd write this article! In it, I list all of the things that make us despondent, even though we're not really responsible for them. I hope you enjoy reading it, and that you feel better that you're not alone in your misery! It was certainly an interesting article to write!
1. I haven't had a color zap for 2 months.
Like I posted in the introduction of this article, many people get discouraged and crestfallen when they haven't gotten a color change from the Ray for several weeks, sometimes months. This makes absolutely no sense, since they have zero control over the Ray, and yet they still feel like a loser!
2. I just blew _____ NP on a new avatar.
Spending NP on a new avatar is purely self-motivated, and isn't required to enjoy the site. I always grin with sympathy when people bemoan the 10 mil they just spent on a Hidden Tower Grimoire, and prompt them to remember that it was purely by choice! (Shame on all of us for being such avid avatar collectors!)
3. I still don't have the _____ avatar.
Certain avatars are considered "randoms," which means they are randomly, rather than immediately, given out through random events or specific activities. For instance, many players berate themselves for not having the "Lever of Doom" avatar, even though they've been pulling that darn lever for 2 years straight. Similarly, there are a lot of veteran players (5 years or more) who still don't have the "Geraptiku - Deserted Tomb" avatar, even though they've been visiting the Deserted Tomb since they first started playing. I hope TNT doesn't make any more randoms!
4. My stocks have plummeted.
That's the nature of the stock market, folks! More than one player told me that they get devastated when their stocks plummet in value, even though they really have no control over it. I was happy to learn that most people have so many millions of NP invested in the stock market that their gains are always much more substantial than their losses. Good luck, everyone, with reaping many stock market rewards!
5. My team lost the Altador Cup.
I know the feeling of scoring 4,000 points in the Altador Cup, only to see your team lose, not even placing amongst the top 3 teams. I've gasped, screamed, cursed, shook my fist in anger, and vowed never to invest so many hours in the Altador Cup ever again. And then, the next summer, I break my vow and do my damnedest to achieve a new high score! The worst part? No one even knows how the winners of the Altador Cup are determined! The scoring system is a secret that is tightly kept by TNT, and I always find it a little amusing that we feel responsible for our teams losing, even though no one really knows how the scoring system works!
6. My team lost the Battleground of the Obelisk.
Ah, the Battleground of the Obelisk! I love reaping my rewards whenever my team wins. That said, I must admit, there was one week where I had a lot of free time, and managed to win 1,430 battles at the Battleground after siding with Team Sway. I was smug, happy, and sure that my contribution would make Team Sway coast to victory. Imagine my horror when another team won! I felt terrible, regretful, and sorrowful, even though the other team winning probably had very little to do with me. Still, I've vowed to never spend that much time at the Battleground again, and right now, I only battle the minimum of 10 battles whenever a new competition opens up.
7. I won junk from the Battledome.
Most people happily fight in the Battledome every day, considering it a daily. I must admit, I love the free 15 items that come from fighting the villains, especially the Codestones, which are a valuable source of income for me. (Keep buying them from my shop, fellow players!) That said, I was amused to discover that a lot of people feel like failures when they get mostly junk from the Battledome! I'm always elated to get 7 or more Codestones from the Battledome, especially when they're red Codestones. But on the flip side, it's so disappointing to get 1 Codestone, and 14 pieces of junk! The most annoying part about the Battledome is when you get nothing at all, 4 times in a row. (I'm just playing for the prizes, stupid Koi Warrior!)
8. I can never place on the Neoboard Avatar Collector high score list.
Don't feel bad about this, poor avatar collectors! I know it must rankle to see the same 50 people place on the high score list over and over again, especially when all they have to do is disable, then reenable, the "Emo Usuki" avatar. Your "failure" really has nothing to do with you, and has more to do with the veteran players being rewarded for their longtime membership!
9. My favorite contest is on hiatus/taken off the site.
I know, this stings a little, doesn't it? I myself have been diligently working on a Site Spotlight entry since the contest first announced that it had a brand new avatar to be won. However, that was in late 2015. It is now late 2016, with the Site Spotlight seemingly on hiatus. Other people are eagerly waiting for the game Invasion of Meridell to return, since you win an avatar if you achieve a certain level. And many people cried when Random Contest was taken off the site, since it was the most interesting and creative contest ever to debut on Neopets. We're all disappointed that these contests and games have apparently disappeared, even though it has nothing to do with anything that we've done!
10. My pet's height/weight/gender are wrong.
All the players know by now that we can change our pets' genders by battling the Lab Ray Scientist in the Battledome. However, since we can't use the Battledome on side accounts, many people have to rearrange their pets in order to battle the Lab Ray Scientist on their main accounts. It can take several days to rearrange pets, as well as tons of Neopoints to use the transfer option at the Neopian Pound. That said, many players think that the option to change height/weight/gender is long overdue! They're disappointed by their pets' attributes, and would love a form that could change them. For instance, they want their Wraith Draiks to be fierce and glowering, not a few centimeters high. And the Food Club aficionados want their pets to be as heavy as possible. I myself am kind of amused by the fact that my Grape Chia is 78 pounds. What a heavy, tiny grape she is!
11. I want retired avatars to come back.
There are a lot of retired avatars on Neopets, and I must admit, I truly wish that some of them could be earned again. My favorite avatar on the site happens to be a retired avatar, the "Plushie Nova" avatar that was gotten by visiting the McDonald's Daily Giveaway in 2004 and 2005. I cross my fingers and hope with all my heart that Neopets will once again partner up with McDonald's so that I can earn that lovely, adorable, shimmering golden avatar. A lot of players confessed to me that they kick themselves for not having joined the site earlier, because that way, they would have earned a lot of valuable, retired avatars. It's not our fault, of course, that we didn't join Neopets earlier, since we didn't even know Neopets existed…and yet, we still blame ourselves!
12. I have 40 dream pets.
There's no possible way to collect 40 pets, since we max out at 21, and yet, people continue to have 40 or more dream pets! For instance, I myself love every Grundo in existence, yet since I love them all, I don't own a single one, since I can't seem to pick and choose! A lot of players that I spoke to confessed that they too have a huge dream pet list, and I had to laugh at our predicament. Only a Neopets player would have a whopping 68 dream pets. We're such a nutty, avid bunch of collectors!
13. I love my cheap pet more.
Someone posted something that made me smile and nod in agreement. She admitted that although she has a lot of impressively painted pets, like a Darigan Draik and a Royalboy Cybunny, her favorite pet is her first ever pet, a Bori that changed color to Split when it was zapped for the first time by the Secret Laboratory Ray. I had to confess the same! My favorite pet is my first ever pet as well, and I zap it daily for stats. Though I own a lot of expensive pets, such as a Royalboy Draik and Pea Chia, my true love will always be my first ever pet. I would never, ever trade it, not even for someone else's unconverted pet!
14. I missed some surprise avatars.
Lots of people missed the "I survived the Neopocalypse!" avatar, which was awarded to players who visited the New Features page on March 1, 2012 and September 19, 2014. No one knows whether it will ever be released again, and many players kick themselves for not being online on those days. There is also a "10th Birthday" avatar that was awarded to players who visited the 10th Birthday Celebration page and collected the prize on November 15, 2009. There are other, similar avatars that were released once and never again, and because of this, many players have vowed to log in every single day, and never miss another surprise avatar!
15. I missed plots.
Again, many people berate themselves for not having joined the site sooner, and they often pore over the old plot comics, dazzled by the colorful artwork and mesmerized by the complexity of the storyline. I've done the same! I often wish that I'd joined the site earlier, because TNT tried so hard to captivate us with amazing and intriguing plots. I confess that I feel sad that I missed earlier plots, even though I didn't know Neopets existed at the time!
16. Ugh…Lottery fail.
Many people, including myself, have won the Lottery, but never achieved the "Lottery" avatar, since the game is glitched right now and is only awarding the avatar to the first person on the list. (I achieved bronze a few months ago, but still haven't gotten the avatar.) I feel like a failure, which is kind of awful, since the glitch has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with TNT fixing the darned game!
17. I got warned, but didn't deserve it.
I must confess, I once got a warning from TNT for distributing "chain letters," a term that confused me so much that I had to ask a friend what it meant. Never, in all of my time on Neopets, did I ever actually post a chain letter, and even to this day, I don't know why I got that warning! Many other players were like me, and confessed that they got warned even when they did nothing wrong. Our confessions were actually confessions of innocence, and I smiled when I learned that I wasn't alone!
18. Deflation and inflation.
Many players confessed that they feel like failures whenever deflation occurs. For instance, people used to spend millions and millions of Neopoints on Draik Morphing Potions, but now you can morph a Draik for a mere 150k. Other players confessed that they feel like failures whenever inflation occurs, such as not buying a Ylanas Blaster back when they were only 350k. (They're now worth 850k.) It seems that deflation and inflation are some of our biggest regrets, even when we personally have no control over the swings of the market!
19. I'm not good at _____.
Everyone is good at different things, and one of the most interesting confessions I got on my threads was the fact that people are hard on themselves when they can't achieve everything they want to. For instance, one person confessed that she's bad at the game TNT Smasher, and laments that she'll never get the avatar, even though she's always been bad at games and it's not her fault that the avatar score is so high. I was sad when people confessed to being "bad" at things, and I hoped that they had other projects and hobbies on the site that were easier to participate in.
20. I'm not able to log in every day.
Many of us are busy students and working adults, and we're not always able to log into Neopets every single day. Plenty of my own Neofriends only log in on Friday evenings, and their favorite thing to do is read the New Features page and see all of the activities that happened during the past week. The hilarious part is, we see this as a personal failing! We actually feel sad and apologetic that we can't log in every day. My favorite "confession" that isn't really a confession is that many of us are too busy to log in every day, and consider that to be a shortcoming!
I know you love this website and want it to succeed, TNT. We're always happy when you introduce new aspects to the site, especially in the form of site events and games. We scrimp and save every Neopoint, obsessed with obtaining the latest wearables for our pets, and collectible items for our galleries. We enter contests in the hundreds in the thousands, hopeful that we'll achieve trophies for our user lookups.
That said, there are a lot of ways in which the site can be improved! This article listed some of the things that make us sad, that we have no control over. For instance, why not change the Battledome so that we get at least one prize per battle, instead of possibly getting nothing 3 times in a row? Or create a form where we can change our pets' heights, weights, and gender? This is a virtual pet site, after all! It's somewhat ironic that we have zero control over such important pet attributes.
So these were some of the player "confessions" that aren't really confessions! I think it's remarkable how we all seem to shoulder the blame over things that we have no control over. It shows me that we all have heart, passion, and responsibility. We all love this site to bits, and we all want it to succeed. It was fun to talk to my fellow players and rouse them out of their usual sarcastic bitterness. Instead of discussing the site's flaws, we all discussed the ways in which we love it, and want to improve it!
Thanks for reading this peculiar, offbeat article, my fellow players! Stay tuned for future articles from yours truly, and have an amazing week!