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Editorial


Greetings, Neopians! This week's Editorial will focus on the recent changes since (of course) we received so many questions and comments about it. Please note that, like all Editorials, we are answering questions as truthfully and accurately as we can at this time, meaning this isn't written in stone. Please don't point at this Editorial a week or five years from now hollering that we've "purposely" deceived you in some way. That's not how the Editorial works. :P



From the boards:

Why?
This has been, hands down, the most requested feature over the last 8 years, and it has been something we've wanted to do since the site launched. So, when we all sat down quite a while ago and asked ourselves, "what's a new feature we can add to the site?" the inevitable "Dress Your Pets" option came up. We discussed for months the implications of such a project, and despite us NOT wanting to eat, sleep, and live in the office for half a year, we decided to give in and put forth an unprecedented amount of effort into making this possible. (Seriously. You have no idea.)

So, long story short, you asked for it and you got it!

You said we'd never have cross-colour Neopets. You LIED to us! D:
Like the introduction to this editorial stated, we do our best to inform you of our ideas and intentions at the time an editorial is written. Redrawing every single Neopet was a ridiculously monumental task for us and this would not have been possible with the old Neopets. With this new interface it is possible, though as many of you have noticed, we had to standardise most colours of each Neopet species. Despite what most people think, we don't lie to our users. We definitely make mistakes, though, and we do occasionally change our minds!

Clothes are fine, but not the redraw!! DO NOT WANT!!
We can totally understand a lot of loving owners absolutely flipping out about the changes. Trust us, though, we're cringing behind our desks here from the teeth-gnashing, but we didn't just one day out of the blue decide to redraw all the Neopets for kicks. ;) This took a very, very long time to plan and there were some very, very long discussions on every single detail of this project - the art being the most important. There are already 54 different body types (for each of the 54 species), which is a HUGE amount of art to draw for a single item, so if we'd then added each redraw colour to the list, well... we like our artists alive, thanks. So, each species had to have the same body type or "mold" across all colours for this to work. You may notice that mutant, Maraquan, and baby don't fit this mold (as well as some fruit Chias, and some one-off colours like mallow Grundo). After more very, very long discussions, we felt we just couldn't change these. They are different body types that will have their own items made.

In the end, we really do think we're improving things overall and for the future of the site and that this change is a necessary one (otherwise we wouldn't have done it). We're very sorry if you don't like the redraws, but we're definitely open to constructive feedback regarding the art, keeping in mind the explanation above. Please take your time to interact with the customisation option and your new Neopets (instead of knee-jerk rejecting to them) and let us know what you think AFTER it has all sunk in.


ARRR matey, ye be wearin' a fine pirate hat.

It's too cute now! It's for little kids! D:
Honestly, Neopets never DID have blood and gore, but there are plenty of Neopets that don't look "cutesy." (Have you SEEN the robot Poogle without the casing on? We're having nightmares over here.) And who said you have to be 4 years old to enjoy "cute" things, anyway? Regardless of your preference, like we said in New Features, we're not done. If you aren't satisfied now, perhaps the wearable items and other features we have planned will give your Neopet the vicious edge you so desire. Our goal here is to give everyone the opportunity to make their Neopet COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from everyone else's, and that includes customisation options that aren't all warm and fuzzy.

What about paint brushes??? They're useless now!!! ;_;
To clarify this for everyone, the wearable items that are worn by Neopets painted a particular colour (like Royal for example) will NOT be sold in shops. You can only get these wearables by painting your Neopet that colour, so paint brushes are still very userful.

Can my Neopet now wear my "I Love Sloth T-shirt"?
At the moment, clothing options aren't retroactive. We're working on wearables to fit Neopets going forward, but only time will tell if we can take previously released clothes and add them to the customisation pile (or if we even want to... have you seen some of the older clothes items? *shudder*). Please keep in mind that, if we release an item that all species can wear, it will have to be drawn 54 times by our poor artists, so it will take a while. :)


Don't let Sloth find out!




To the editorial regarding pet customisation:

I am slowly getting used to the new layout. It was time for a change, and I'm sure none of this was easy, so it must be irritating to constantly read comments that belittle (or outright insult) the work this took. However, like many other concerned Neopians, I would like to know about the redraws. I was distraught about the customisation, but what really got me was the fact that all of my favorite Neopets are basically unrecognizable and, dare I say, ugly. Please, will there be any tweaking of the redraws? ~gekkabijin
As we said above, there are some rules and constraints with the new system, but we're definitely open to constructive criticism! Send in your thoughts once you've had a chance to take it all in. We won't sugar coat it for you, though. We can't promise we'll make your changes but we will definitely read what everyone has to say as long as it's constructive. "OMG I HATE U TNT MAH PETS R UGLY" really doesn't give us any information. :) So be descriptive! Tell us what you don't like and WHY you don't like it. Also, keep in mind the explanations we gave above when suggesting changes.

I like the new layout that you guys have created, however the new redraws of some of the Neopets are awful (see royal Poogle for reference). That's a rather drastic change. I was hoping that you would give us a choice whether we wanted our Neopets customized or not, however it doesn't appear that you did. Was there any specific reason for this? ~rjlg
Truthfully, we want Neopets to be fully customisable and we just can't keep up the maintenance on both systems. For a long while, the conversion idea was scrapped completely because of that, but again, a ton of very long meetings later we decided that we'd allow certain species/colour combinations from the old system to remain. We couldn't do this with all of them, but we did want to put something in place for our long-time users, so we chose the ones we thought were most drastic and set up an option to leave those as is.

Hey TNT! I was looking through the new pet customization thing and decided to buy something to see for myself. I went and bought an Eyrie sweater, thinking that my Eyrie would be able to wear it. Then, after I had bought it, I realized that moving it into my closet was unavailable. So, I got to thinking: is there some sort of list that people could have so that they don't go and buy something, only to find that they can't use it? Thanks! ~neo_girl2155
If an item is wearable, it will be flagged as such anywhere it is presented, with the word "wearable" underneath it. Inventory, site shops, user shops, etc. You'll be able to tell at a glance that it's an item you can use with your Neopet. (At least, with A Neopet... some items are only usable by certain species!)

Along those same lines, we are currently in the process of building a "Dressing Room" of sorts. Basically, this will be a feature that allows you to try on items BEFORE you buy them. This way, you'll know exactly what you're getting and how it will look before you buy it. This feature may not be available in site shops because we don't want to hinder restocking, but it will probably be available everywhere else or have its own area where you can go and try things on. We're still working on it. :)

Hey TNT! First of all, I'm loving the new layout -- all except how streeeeeeeched out it is!!! I do, however, have a question about the redraws of our Neopets. Had I known my babies would be stuck in this funny way I would have never tested the Beta. Anyway, can we or will we be able to get our kiddos back to normal? Again, GREAT LAYOUT! Especially with my Valentine's Sidebar! ~goofyskidderoo
Playing with the Beta has nothing to do with how your Neopets look now. :) Beta was simply a test of the features to come, and that's why everyone was reverted back after it was over. Once we launched, though, we launched... that's it. :) As we've said above, the only Neopets that have the ability to look "old school" are the ones we've chosen in order to keep maintenance to a minimum. If there are specific ones we missed that are EXTREMELY different from how they used to look and you really think they should have the option, let us know and we'll see what we can do. Asking for things like your red Lutari to be reverted, however, won't be considered. ;) (Great name for that Neopet, by the way!)


Stretched out? Funny, everything looks fine to us...




To the editorial regarding the site update:

The news was right... we were not prepared. I am not sure how I feel about all the changes yet. Most are okay, but some are a bit bothersome. I think that, in the revamping of the site, perhaps the users should have been considered a bit more. Perhaps a little notice as to what was to come should've been given. Many of us spent hours working out coding kinks and doing graphics for layouts and guild lookups and now that is all gone. I am not sure how others feel about it, but that is the one thing that upset me. Neopets has always been a place where we could express our creativity and show our individuality. It was not like every other pet site out there. Now it seems to be going down that path. What do you plan to do in the future to allow us to regain our creative sides on the site? Will you redo the rules about what can and can't be covered? Hopefully some guidelines and pointers will be along soon. I do love Neo and am going to give it a chance. Life without change is not living, after all. Thanks. ~stampingqueen2
Destroying all the customised code on the site is not something we're able to prevent when the whole site gets a rewrite like this. =/ (The same thing happened with our last redesign, which was much, much smaller in scale.) The code on our own lookups is completely dead as well, but there is nothing stopping any of us from continuing to customise. :) The new user lookup had particular attention paid to that aspect, in fact! All DIVs have ids for positioning, everything has styles set that you can redefine, and the info sections were intentionally split apart so you can do what you want with each one instead of being stuck with one GIANT block of information. Several of the staff are currently redoing their lookups in their spare time and they're turning out quite well! (These folks range in skill from beginner to quite experienced.)

Current guidelines still stand until we see what you all come up with. :) We may change some things to allow more freedom, but until then, please just make sure your account info is visible and that there are links leading out just as before.

Hiya, TNT! Um, well... I'm sure you're probably receiving a lot of messages about the new layout and everything, but could you just tell me now why you decided to change it, exactly? I mean, I was fine with the older one, and can deal with this one a little, and I'm sure that if it does stick around, a lot of people are going to have to get used to it who've been around for a while and haven't left... it's just a bit confusing right now. ^^; Um, thanks and I hope it all gets cleared up! Also, there's lots of mess-ups right now, too... ~yyh4me
Our main goal is to improve navigation. While we definitely want the game of Neopets to be challenging to master, there's a difference between that and the site itself being horribly confusing to navigate. :) So, our main goal was to streamline that a bit and it's something we're continuing to work on. While we did that, we also wanted to give the site a fresh look. It's looked the same for 8 years now (aside from a minor redesign a few years ago). That's a long time, especially on the Internet. :)

Hey TNT! I know y'all are still working on the new layout and stuff, but on April 27's news you said that: "We've streamlined the navigation and added short cuts to some of the most visited places in each section." Could you please add a link to our personal shop somewhere up there? ~frogprincess_11
Already done! Some of our very own staff members requested that, and it has been implemented. Thanks for the feedback though!


YAY, I'm important!

Hey guys! The new site is cool. It's going to take some getting used to, but it's not bad. Quick question: since our lookups are now all completely messed up, I assume we will need different HTML. Will there be a guide put up by you guys that teaches us how to code with the new layout? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Oh, and thank you for all your hard work. :) ~tigergirl00020
The HTML guide is very, very old, indeed. It's something we've been planning to update for a while (and that's still the plan), but as you can probably tell, it's not a priority at the moment. :) There are plenty of really awesome Petpages out there that will teach you, as well as whole guilds dedicated to customisation that are currently figuring out the new user lookup structure. Once everyone has had a chance to fiddle with things, we're sure there will be some great guides out there for you to use. Probably better than anything we'd do, anyway. :P

Great job on the site update! There is so much to see that my head is still spinning. Something I have always wanted was a direct link to my guild and I was slightly surprised to not find one on the My Account dropdown menu. Then I thought, "Hey! It would be great to have a Favorites menu where we could add the places we travel to often!" so how about it? You guys don't need sleep, do you? ~julia1097335
We tried to keep the navigation options limited (who wants a HUGE list every time you mouse over?!) but we also wanted to make all the links useful to everyone. You may love your guild dearly but there are tons of users who don't have guilds at all, so that link would be useless to them. :) So things like that have not been added to the navigation. However, the new "My Account" section seems like a perfect place for a quick link to your guild. We'll add it there shortly. (Hopefully that's a compromise you're happy with!)

As far as a favourites menu goes, this is a function of our premium service so it's not something we're considering adding to the site on the whole right now. :)

First of all, how about you guys make a "subject of your submission" thing on the Editorial specifically for the revamp? You'll certainly be getting enough questions to warrant it. Second, it seems as though all of my Neopets like gathering food and would act friendly. Is this a glitch? I'm pretty sure that they weren't all created that way. ~silent_snow
Haha, seriously. We've gotten about three times as many submissions as we normally do, and yes, most of them are about the updates... so it seems the whole Editorial has become the "revamp" category. ;)

As far as the Neopets' personalities all being the same, that's something we know about. We're currently revamping that system, and that's a side effect. Once we're done, some Neopets will break free from their friendly, food-gathering lifestyles. Keep an eye on New Features. We'll announce when that's finished.

I use premium, but I get an advertisement on the new news page. Could you fix this? ~wockyfamilytwo
You should see NO advertisements anywhere if you are a premium user, so we'll look into that. We aren't seeing the ads, and most premium members aren't either, so we're not sure what's up. We'll definitely take a look.

In the future, please report this through the premium FAQs so we see it earlier. :)


I'll take care of THAT! ZOOOOOM!

This new layout is confusing us all. We can't find how to edit our Petpages to start a petition! Please change it back!!! Check the Neoboards -- we are all starting a petition, and some kids are quitting! ~jellybeanpoison
If you'd like to edit your Petpage you can access it through the "My Account" control panel. Lots of things have moved, but we're sure the site was confusing for you when you first started playing Neopets, too. ;) Try getting used to it for a while. Most of the feedback on the revamp is very positive, and that the new navigation is much less confusing, so it might just take some time to get used to. If you still don't like it, well, we can't make you stay. :) We're sorry you're leaving but we hope you had some fun while you were here.

Okay TNT, we really appreciate all the hard work you've put into the new "revamped" layout for Neopets, but do you really have to restrict our coding abilities and totally mess up everything we've ever strived to make? Making user lookups/pet lookups/guild layouts is a HUGE part of the reason why most users come and stay on Neopets, and now that our coding no longer works with your new layout, we are forced to have this horrible mess of a lookup that once was pretty spiffy. By allowing us to customize our own lookups/guilds, you're allowing us to show off who we are; without it, we're just a boring Neopets user, who can't customize anything and just has to be the same as everyone else. Now, what I'm asking is, can you PLEASE offer a custom section where we are allowed to switch back to the old Neopets layout we've all grown to love? If not, that is seriously annoying for us, as we no longer can use the coding we have grown to be so familiar with. Thank you for your time, TNT. ~buffyiswaycool
You're preaching to the choir. :) We definitely think customising is the way to go (if you can't tell by the fact that you can now customise your Neopets, too) and that's why, as we said above, we've really put a lot of effort into making user lookups more easily customisable. Yes, you were familiar with the old user lookup code, but it was HORRIBLY bad code with many, many quirks, which is not a good thing. Nothing was consistent, and anyone who is familiar with the old code would know that it took a lot of effort and work-arounds to make custom lookups look nice. We've tried very hard to fix that with the new code.

So, to answer the question, we will not have an option to change back to the old layout.

Hey TNT, nice job on the new layout! I was wondering... all the old user lookups that were "premade" by other players no longer really work. I'd like to try making new premades to start everyone up, but I'm worried I might screw up, hide some "important detail" and get a warning... or even worse, FROZEN! WAHH! Tell me -- can I fuss with my user lookup? ~lttay
Don't worry, we totally understand that it will take a little while for everyone to work out new coding. Feel free to experiment, and don't panic if you accidentally cover things here and there while you are messing with the coding. Just don't leave it that way, please. :)



So, that's it. If your question wasn't answered, well, we were flooded so we couldn't get to them all. We would like to say that the boards don't appear to be an accurate indication of the reaction to the changes. ;) A lot of the form feedback we're getting is very positive, and thank you to everyone who wrote in to tell us how much you liked the changes! Also, thanks to all the folks who sent in CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, which is what really helps us understand what you like and don't like. We appreciate you taking the time to send us your thoughts! They've been forwarded on for consideration and we will continue to read all that comes in.

If you don't like the changes, it's not something we're happy about, but we are trying our best to make the site fun and entertaining for everyone and that's all we can do. :) Stick around for a bit, see if you like it, and if not, we'll be sad to see you go!

- The Neopets Team




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