So You Just Returned From a [X-Amount] Year Hiatus
I recently returned to Neopets from an almost 6 year long hiatus. Within this 6 year hiatus, I graduated highschool, graduated university, and now I'm 'adulting,' and all that Jazz. I've come to escape my responsibilities by diving back into Neopia. My account is currently 14 years old, which is over half of my age in real life. I've logged on occasionally throughout the years to ensure my account didn't fall under the 'purge' category. I'm not entirely sure what finally brought me back in this time, but for a month now, a day hasn't gone by where I haven't logged in. It's definitely reminiscent of old times – spending hours upon hours trying to achieve Neo goals.
Upon my return to Neopia, (after dustily shaking off the scrap piece of paper where I had written down my password and shoved into the back of that kitchen drawer – you know the one I'm taking about), the very first thing I noticed was that the overall atmosphere had changed. Gone were all the kids and pre-teens, and left now were all the adults. I've yet to come across anyone under the age of twenty. Things have slowed down. A lot. (This doesn't include the pesky lags we encounter. Ahem, I digress).
Neopia was always a fast paced adventure, with thousands of Neopians all battling the same opponents, restocking for the same items, or hunting after the same treasure. The competition was always tough. Now however, it's mellowed out quite a bit. Neopians have settled into their roles comfortably, they know what areas they like to explore and what activities they enjoy partaking in.
There are a ton of activities to do in Neopia, and there's always something to get better at. Whether it's a game you're trying to achieve a gold trophy in, or increasing your pets Battledome stats, you could truly be engrossed for hours, starting on a Friday evening, and then next thing you know it's midnight on Sunday.
I've personally always been an avatar collector, so I spent my first week to Neopia back meandering around, seeking out long lost avatars that I missed over the 6 years (or rather, the non-retired avatars that I could still obtain).
Some of the flash games were suddenly easier for me to obtain as well, and I finally got Faerie Bubbles as my 300th avatar! This to me was a status long ago deemed unachievable, and if you had, you were considered an 'elite avatar collector'. The number's increased slightly now, (to about 350 at least), so I have a new long-term goal.
With the dwindling Neopian population, I was also finally able to obtain an avatar I'd long ago thought unachievable: Kadatory-Mew! I fed a couple within my first week back and was surprised at my ability to actually feed one. Then suddenly, there was an itch under my skin I couldn't shake – I was instantly addicted to obtaining this avatar. I noticed lulls in the early morning hours where most Neopians weren't awake yet, and I snuck into the Kadoatory and fed a glorious 75 kads to obtain that shiny gold trophy and ever pink avatar – in a solid two weeks.
This kept me decently occupied, but once I finally completed that goal…I asked myself, 'now what?'
I also happened to return to Neopia just in the middle of the Wraith Resurgence Plot. Purple Haze covered the pages of my dailies, so I checked out the Plot Headquarters and caught up on everything I'd missed. I frantically started training my pet again for the inevitable Battledome tasks that were sure to come (was I ever in for a treat with the amount of wraiths I ended up battling). I wasn't about to let another Site Avatar escape my grasp, so I dutifully followed the Battledome Boards and completed each step. It became a part of my dailies, completing each new step that was released. I guarantee when the plot is over, most Neopians will ask themselves, 'well now what do I do?'
I've also rediscovered parts of the site that had little to no interest to me beforehand. Areas such as the stock market and gambling suddenly make sense to me, and was actually fun now! I've been actively participating in buying stocks, and placing bets for Food Club. All about that cash flow! It's not all that different from the other world we're more familiar with. i.e. Investing and saving up, choosing what to spend on, when splurge, and when to stop spending. Except, it doesn't quite cost 60 million for a stamp in the other world. But that's another article for another day…
I haven't delved into the customization area yet, as it does intimidate me, but I've seen lots of my fellow guild members in love with customizing and changing up their themes. Customization was introduced sometime during my hiatus so I haven't had a chance to fully discover it yet. Who knows, maybe it'll become my new favourite thing?
Another facet of Neopets I've re-discovered is the social groups. They're not new, as there have always been the groups of friends that stem from guilds or board chats. What I have discovered is the willingness to talk about anything. While this open environment may have existed prior to my hiatus, I think that because the majority of Neopians are now fully functioning adults (somewhat), there's more to talk about that is universally understood. The anonymity of the internet provides a safety net of sorts, and everyone here has been through something, some sort of life experience that changes you for the better or worse. Despite these instances, something compels us to open up to our guild mates, seek out advice, vent about our days, or just seek out a friendly, consolatory pat on the back.
Neopia is a community of individuals working towards achieving some sort of set of goals. So whether you're a Battledomer, or Avatar Collector, Gallery Creator, Site Spotlight Perfector, there's still something on this site that's bound to capture your attention and make your early mornings or late evenings interesting.
As for me, right now it's all about obtaining that Neopian Times Avatar ;)