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War of the Obelisk
● Neopets has moved closer to its fan community with the introduction of Certified Fan Sites! If TNT find a really useful site that complies with the right rules and regulations, they may decide to list it on Neopets. Tried and trusted fansites can be mentioned on the Neoboards without fear of the moderators!
●Neopets Premium was overhauled this summer, with the newly revamped service being run by the Neopets Team themselves rather than a third party. This has led to some important decisions from TNT. Notably, Neopets Webmail has been retired and can no longer be accessed. The Premium Portal is also gone, and at the moment the Premium service no longer requires an invitation to sign up. Perhaps most noticeably, Premium members are permitted to own a fifth Neopet. This is currently allowed only on main accounts.
●The navigation bar was tweaked a little this year to contain the new Premium and Community menus. Pet Central can now be found in the Explore menu, rather than as its own category.
● It's the end of an era, and the beginning of one to come; TNT announced this year that the current Neopets Battledome would be closing permanently, giving way to an as yet unrevealed new battle arena. What could be in store?
● The Gameroom was revamped once again this year, just in time for the Y14 Daily Dare. The functionality remains much the same, but you may need to update your bookmarks if you've got links to specific games anywhere.
● After an infestation of bugs blockaded Roo Island, King Roo took the opportunity to call in the redecorators. The new island is much more spacious and detailed, but the surprise decision to relocate several of Neopia Central's creative venues to Roo Island left many players a little conflicted.
● Site Spotlight has returned! This contest showcases Neopia's greatest petpages, and all winners get a mention in New Features.
● Several popular daily activities, such as the Lost Desert Fruit Machine and the Tombola, received tweaks this year -- new artwork, a larger range of possible prizes, or both.
● The new Eventide Paint Brush invented this year lets your Neopets glow with all the colours of a beautiful sunset. How romantic!
● Whether you're a veteran or a newbie, your Neopet can now look ancient and full of wisdom -- or possibly just crotchetiness -- with the new Get Off My Lawn Paint Brush, introduced this spring. This paint brush, like Royal, has two different looks, Elderly Boy and Elderly Girl.
● What's that lurking in the shadows?! It could be a Neopet painted with the new Stealth Paint Brush, this summer's shadiest addition. Not quite the same as Shadow, Stealth comes in a very shifty deep blue.
● A deep cavern in Shenkuu holds the Mysterious Clockwork Negg. Originally hidden away from Neopia by a band of brave Neopets, this mechanical marvel is now safe to open. The puzzle locks on it can be solved once a day for a variety of prizes.
● It glows, but it's not Glowing. It's bright blue, but it's not Electric. The new Dimensional Paint Brush introduced this autumn gives Neopets a very futuristic look!
● April Fools' Day fell on a Sunday this year, but that didn't stop TNT doing their level best to alarm and amuse players. A supposedly misfiring lab ray and a new three-pet policy to save on server overload were just two of the hair-raising hoaxes played on Neopets users this year. Unfortunately, some pets' unconverted appearances failed to correctly return to normal on time when the event finished, leaving certain players with a sadly sour impression of the day's pranks.
●Congratulations to Team Kreludor (which just so happened to include yours truly!) for throwing, slinging, and yelling their way to a triumphant victory in Altador Cup VII.
● This year, TNT decided to build their Facebook presence more closely into the main Neopets site. As such, the word "Facebook" is no longer blocked on petpages or the boards, and Flash games can now be "liked" at a click of a button. (If you really hate these buttons and don't want to see them at all, go here.) Linking to or talking about your own Facebook profile or friends is still against the rules, though.Revamps
● With the rebuilding of Faerieland comes the return of Faerie Quests! These work in much the same way as they always did, with the exception that quest rewards are now granted to your active pet -- no more hoping the Faerie randomly picks your Battledomer. A new face also joined the quest team with the introduction of Delina, a Dark Faerie who has more time for craftwork and machinery than battledoming. She doesn't give stat boosts, but rather, exclusive Neocash items.
● Krawk Island is now divided into two areas: the main body of the island and its central harbour, Warf Wharf. Be sure to drop by and check out the new look... while keeping a tight hold on any money you might have with you.
● If you like your Neopets misty, murky and an acid shade of green, then the new Swamp Gas paintbrush, invented this summer, is certainly for you.
● Lab ray enthusiasts were intrigued by the arrival of a new lab-only colour. Designed to mimic the pixellated computer graphics that existed several years ago, Eight-Bit is proving to be something of a polarising colour-- most people have a strong opinion of some sort about it. At the moment, it appears that this colour is not compatible with most clothing items, making it the fifth "uncustomisable" colour on the site.
● A new chance game made its debut this year, aimed at those who really do have more money than they know what to do with. The Wheel of Extravagance costs a whopping 100,000 Neopoints per spin, but gives out some rather spectacular prizes in return. Come and try your luck if you can spare the NP...
● Ever looked at your Slorg and felt it was just missing a hat and some mascara? A robe for your Seece? Petpets can now be painted Royal!
● The Water Paint Brush invented this summer will certainly cool your Neopets down! Unlike Maraquan, this colour is actually made out of sparkling blue water, for a rather unique new look.
● Released just in time for the dark and spooky nights of autumn, the Wraith Paint Brush will make your Neopet as shadowy and mysterious as one of the Faeries' Ruin wraiths! Don't get scared of the dark.
● Early this summer, Neopets reached ONE TRILLION pageviews. That's one heck of a big number! To celebrate, several rare items were given away or sold at low prices. Here's to the next trillion!
● Altador Cup VI drew to a close this summer with a win for Team Virtupets, who managed to pull off a well-earned victory despite glitches resulting from a last-minute revamp of Yooyuball. Congratulations to all who took part!
● Krawk Island disappeared unexpectedly this year after sightings of what looked like a giant squid. However, it returned better than before thanks to the efforts of an enterprising Krawk, Gavril McGill.
● Unconverted (UC) pets, that is, pets whose owners have still not made the switch to the current customisation system, are now immune to colour-changing random events such as Boochi and invisibility. Cue a sigh of relief from all UC owners.
● Support requests can now be tracked at any time of day or night. Just click "Help" at the foot of any page and press "My Support" (if the page refreshes, try it again). No more wondering if your bug report was eaten by gerbils.
● In early autumn, the Terms and Conditions of the site were revised. There were no major changes, but the terms were made a bit less specific so they could also apply to Petpet Park (and any future spinoffs). Apparently the collective term for these is "Nickelodeon Virtual Worlds" -- swish, huh?
● Watch your mouth! People who say something they shouldn't on the boards or Neomail can now be silenced instead of being suspended or frozen. They can still use their accounts, but for a set amount of time will be unable to communicate with any other users. Kad got your tongue?
● The most striking change this year was Faerielands relocation from the sky to a lovely leafy glade near the Haunted Woods. All Neopia's mistresses of magic now live in a completely redesigned city full of plants and grasses. How could anyone ever miss being up on a cloud? (If you've been avoiding Faerieland due to its 56k-killer qualities, now might be a good time to check again!)
● TNT began working on new looks for many of the Neopian shopkeepers this year. They now look more individual and colourful than before, though for the most part they have remained the same species and colour.
● The Referral Programme was overhauled this year, to provide more useful prizes and clear out ancient high-score tables. Don't worry if you've used link buttons on your favourite non-Neopets sites, though-- your old referral link will still work.
● After many years of loyal service, the chance wheels of Neopia (Excitement, Monotony, Mediocrity, Misfortune and Knowledge) broke down this year. An enterprising red Lenny collected donations from Neopians to save them, and the wheels returned in more beautiful and functional forms. Unfortunately, the Wheel of Excitement's "secret item" still does absolutely nothing...
● The login page was altered this year to be similar to Petpet Park's. According to TNT, despite the absence of active Neopet verification, the new page is considerably safer.
● On April 1st, a brand new paint brush made its way into Neopia... but for once, this new addition wasn't a joke! The Relic PB turns Neopets into ancient statues from a long-gone civilisation. Only a handful of Relic pets are available as yet, but expect more to be added over the year.
● Users over three years old on the site can now access the Almost Abandoned Attic, a quiet little nook inhabited by a friendly Ghost Aisha. This shop works the same way as the Igloo Garage Sale, but there are some rarer items there that have only just seen the light of day. If you're a veteran on a very fast connection, come and have a rummage! There are several other new treats for long-time players, too, including an increased number of safe transfers per month. Click here for a complete list.
● Remember Neoplants and the idea of owning a plant as your pet? Well, whether you do or you don't, your pet now has the chance to become a little closer to nature with the Woodland Paint Brush, introduced in June. With leaves, bark and twigs attached, the Acara was the first pet to be made into a tree... without having a wooden look on its face.
● It's not just Neopets that hunger for your brains any more. Petpets can now be painted Zombie! Run!
● The Transparent Paint Brush debuted this year, allowing curious owners to see right through their pets' skin. Mad scientist wannabes, this one's for you.
● If you've ever wanted a game that was supposed to be full of bugs, you might want to try Professor Milton Clodbottle's Astounding Habitarium, a petsite within our petsite where you babysit a bunch of industrious Petpetpets. There are some Neopoint rewards, so main accounts only, as ever.
● The beautiful Maractite Paint Brush also made its first appearance this year, creating a lovely blue-swirled look for your pet.
● A new Neopian holiday was celebrated for the first time this year. The Festival of Neggs was a tribute to Neopia's most versatile vegetable. If you can think of a good reason for this, please tell me.
● April Fools' Day saw the first ever interactive pranks being played on Neopians, with users able to throw pie, short-duration morphing potions and Slorg slime at their friends' pets. These wearable items disappeared when the day was over, but in the meantime they made for a lot of fun!
● Tarla, proprietor of the Shop of Mystery, decided to set off on a short holiday around Neopia early this year. For a few weeks, she turned up in random spots around Neopia and those who clicked her could get prizes, including special wearables if you managed to collect a certain number of successful clicks. But eventually, Tarla returned to Terror Mountain to find that there's no place like home. All together now... Awwwwww!
● It may not qualify as a major event, but this year saw the rise of what is possibly the first spontaneous Neopets-only meme. In response to an editorial question about contest judging, TNT picked a random Caption Contest entry out of their virtual hat and displayed it in the NT. It turned out to be a bizarre, over-wordy and strangely phrased dialogue between two (or possibly three) characters, ending with the words "GOOD NIGHT, mr. coconut". Something in the absurd humour of this has taken Neopia by storm, and now it's not uncommon to see references to Mr. Coconut in the editorial or on the boards.
● The fifth Altador Cup ended in a thrilling win for Team Lost Desert. Congratulations to all the LD players! Meanwhile in Glendale, Twitterpate scooped a win for Mystery Island in the Staff Yooyuball Tournament.
● Tragedy struck the Faerie Festival this autumn as Neopia's Faeries were turned into statues. After many thrills and spills, the culprit-- a student of Fyora's, no less-- was tracked down by heroic warrior Brynn and dashing thief Hanso. The Faeries were restored, but have they learnt their lesson about acting too superior? Only time will tell.
● All new games on the site are now the subjects of the New Game Challenge. They can be played five times for Neopoints, and players are invited to beat target scores. Both these things end when another new game is released and the challenge moves to it.
● The image URLs for pet images were tweaked this year, causing a few unexpected glitches. If your pet is showing up as a grey cogwheel or a bizarre colour/species combination, put an item of clothing on hir, save, and take it off again. (For you UC owners-- backgrounds work too.)
● Faerieland and Terror Mountain both got a long-needed revamp this year. With the revamp has come a couple of changes-- the Hidden Tower is now to the east, not the west, of the castle in Faerie City, and the Wocky's Scratchcard Kiosk is now out in the open air in Happy Valley.
● The site menu at the top of every page has undergone a few tweaks. TNT decided to retire the Neovision contest due to lack of interest, and so its button has been removed. For those who can't get enough of personalising things, there is now a "Customisation" menu. (Yes, Customisation. The site is sticking to its British roots. I'm so proud...)
● Undoubtedly the biggest discovery this year was the underground world of Moltara, a strange place filled with Neopets of above-average technical ingenuity, as well as with a fair amount of lava. Drop by and visit the caverns or the Cog's Togs clothing shop (guaranteed 100% more buckles and buttons than you expected). You can also try to get your pet painted Magma at the lava pool, but don't hold your breath-- it's a random small chance that you'll be able to get through. Keep trying if you're persistent.
● High-end Battledomers may be interested in the new weapon invented this year, the Grapes of Wrath. TNT have confirmed that this is a multiple-use item, and those who know about such things seem to think it's worth an insane amount of Neopoints. Watch out for it in your two-player fights.
● This year, the mystery behind the coveted Chef Bonju Avatar was finally cracked after a few hints from TNT. To unlock it, you must have the "Mad about Orange" avatar active, and mix the items Blumaroo Steak, Orange Juice and Gourmet Cooking for your Pet at the Mystery Island cooking pot (NB: not Bonju's cooking vessel). However, this avatar is only unlockable during the Month of Hiding.
● The fourth annual Altador Cup ended with a win for the ever enthusiastic Team Krawk Island. The prizes for this year's tournament were seen by many as being a little lacklustre compared to previous years.
● The Atlas of the Ancients adventure, a primarily Flash-game based challenge with its own storyline, saw Roxton Colchester III and his newest companions, Clara Chatham and Jordie, set off on an epic quest to save the world from an unknown danger with the help of an old mapbook, which eventually led them to the underground world of Moltara. While Roxton fans were glad to see him back, many players found the dependence on Flash gaming skills a bit of a disappointment.
● After almost exactly a year of downtime, the Neopian Pound was reopened this year, with a few new policies: pets' clothes are now taken away from them when they enter the Pound; transfers to a specific owner should now be carried out using the Transfer Hissi, which is risk-free but can only be done once a month; and most controversially of all, users are now permitted to trade their Neopets if they want. Trades must be a single pet for a single pet, with no other factors (such as Petpets) being used to bypass this balance. Meanwhile, a new Neoboard was created for people to discuss adoption and pet trading.
● Players are now allowed to enter the Beauty Contest from any of their accounts, rather than from their main as was previously the case. However, you still may only advertise from the account the pet in question lives on, so no using your main to promote your side account pets even if it's better known.
No major revamps this year!New Discoveries and Inventions
● TNT introduced a spin-off game, Petpet Park, on its own site (petpetpark.com) this year. Petpet Park is a little like Neopets, but a much simpler and more colourful game apparently aimed at a younger target audience. Players adopt a single Petpet which they can feed, groom, accessorise, and help to complete quests.
● A new multiplayer game, Key Quest, was announced this year. KQ is an animated board game where players compete to collect the coloured keys around the board and get to the finish line first. Unusually for a Flash-based game, it consistently awards actual items as prizes. Be warned, however, that the game runs unpredictably on slow computers, and will not run at all on a few. (And for those of you on dial-up, you probably don't need me to say that it's a 56k-killer.)
● Dr. Sloth tried to invade again in this year, beginning with Virtupets and Kreludor. However, a brave group of Neopets (including Gorix and Cylara, previous stars of a few Flash games) and some puzzle-solving Neopians managed to fend him off, and trap him inside a token. Neopia is safe again... for now.
● With Petpet Park on TNT's minds, news that the Park might have problems due to missing Petpets was quite a concern. A crack team of Neopets from the Petpet Protection League set out to rescue the Petpets, and managed to secure them all before the launch date. Phew!
● From Year Nine, Neopets are now allowed to wear clothes other than those that come with a paintbrush. Clothes can still come from painting a pet, of course, but can also be bought around the site or claimed in return for donating Realworld money (see below). A painted pet wearing the clothes that come with a different colour of paintbrush is known as "cross-painted". Be aware-- not all clothes will go with the pet when s/he is transferred (and none when s/he is disowned-- see above under Year 10's Policy Decisions).Revamps
● In the largest-scale redraw operation in Neopia's history, every single species and colour of pet in existence was at least tweaked and at most completely overhauled. Because TNT realised the revamps came as a shock to those with certain unusually coloured pets, they allowed those owners to choose for themselves when to join the new revamp, by clicking a button in Quick Ref. Two years later, a fair few of them still haven't. Pets whose owners still have yet to make the switch are called UC, short for "unconverted".
● This year also saw a reworking of the site's structure, with a menu-style bar replacing the old side panel, a Quick Ref pane being installed on the side so users can always see their active Neopets, and a change to the way event notifications were handled.
● Those who wish to donate Realworld money to Neopets without the monthly commitment of Premium can now not only do just that, but choose from a variety of attractive virtual trinkets in exchange at the NC Mall, a special shop that doesn't accept Neopoints. Instead, players sending money will be given a certain amount of "NC tokens" in exchange, which they can then use in the shop. The items bought from the NC Mall can be worn by a pet or displayed in a gallery, but they aren't "real" items-- they can't be sold, traded, donated, discarded or sent to side accounts. If you don't have the money to get NC, you can try to win some in the free Qasalan Expellibox Game, which can be played once a day. Be warned, it can also make your pet sick!
● A meteor crash-landed on Kreludor this year. If you feel like poking the giant lump of rock with a stick, some nice surprises could be in store.
● Gorgeously dashing, suave, debonair, smooth, intelligent, daring heartthrob... *ahem* ...Lutari explorer Roxton Colchester III set out this year with companions Lilian Fairweather, Professor Hugo and Scrap to check out an unexplored area of the ocean. This Journey to the Lost Isle brought the intrepid group no end of perils and upsets, including the menacing attention of a Monstrous Moach. They escaped the island intact, but haven't been back since, and many people think a return trip should be in order. The Isle still isn't marked on the map of Neopia, and what it contains other than giant Moaches remains a mystery.
● As of this year, news updates are now released several hours in advance. This was a welcome change, as the update time had been pushed back so far that most people were only finding out about a day's events a few hours before they ended. News is now released on weekday evenings, with Friday's updates covering the weekend.
● You can now add a P.I.N.(Protection in Neopia) code to several important areas of your account. That way, even if your account gets compromised, nobody can steal your pets or Neopoints!
● The limit on bank deposits was removed this year. Rich Neopians or those transferring money to a new main account are no longer limited to depositing a million NP at a time.
● This year, the view of Neopia on the Explore page was changed from a simple map to a globe! Believe it or not, some Neopians were surprised to discover that their planet had more than one side. You can now spin the globe to your heart's content and study the countries on every side of it.
● A new filter was installed for petpages and pet descriptions this year. Many people were having problems with badly formed code, so the new filter (unlike the Neoboard filters, sadly) actually tries to point out any mistakes or disallowed words it spots in petpage code. Great if you're sick of seeing error messages!
● This was the first year when the Altador mini-plot was open to the public. Unlike a normal plot, this activity has never been closed, and players can go through the steps in their own time. Be sure to visit the Archives for your share of puzzles, mysteries and the triumphant return of the Angry Yurble!
● A mysterious flying ship landed on Neopia's coasts this year. The crew of the Cyodrake's Gaze were having a bit of an altercation, but with it sorted out, they were free to return to their homeland of Shenkuu, home of a fascinating moon-centric culture, a royal family not composed of Skeiths for once, interesting food items and Neopia's tallest and skinniest Neopets.
● In the spring of this year, a new pet species was discovered: the Lutari. These furry creatures are equally happy on land or in the water. Unfortunately, since they cannot be transferred or disowned in any way and there are no morphing potions at present, they have eclipsed the Draik and Krawk as Neopia's hardest-to-obtain pet. The only way to get a Lutari of your very own is to zap one at the lab, or hope with all your fingers crossed that TNT decide to release a batch on Lutari Day. This was the second new species to be officially announced in Year 8: at the very start of the year, the Gnorbu (pronounced with a silent G) was introduced. These are not Limited Edition, so anyone can own one.
● Lovers of all things spooky, gothic and bittersweet, as well as avid puzzle-solvers, got a real treat this year. Gilly the Usul, best known for starring in The Castle of Eliv Thade, helped the tiny village of Neovia to overcome its terrible curse by investigating its Tale of Woe. This site event is widely ranked alongside the Lost Desert Plot as one of the best ever to happen on the site, thanks to its variety of challenges and engaging story.
● Year 8 saw the first annual Altador Cup tournament, in which players participate in a special Flash game, Yooyuball, which is completely unavailable during the rest of the year! You can pick your favourite Neopian land and play for its team, whether it's Tyrannia, Kiko Lake or Krawk Island.
● It's been quite the year for Flash gamers! This year also saw the introduction of the Gamesmaster's Challenge, a Flash game competition that proved so popular it's been brought back every year since. Players try to complete challenges set by the so-called Gamesmaster, Aristotle A. Avinroo (commonly known as AAA, which also sounds conveniently like "aaagh" for those times when you just can't manage the challenge...) There are trophies and prizes for those who succeed.
● Moderators now have the power to suspend accounts for offences that don't merit a freezing (this time). Sussed accounts are locked for a predetermined period of hours or days, after which the owner can log in normally.
● As of this year, Neopets is now part of the Viacom Network. No, this doesn't mean that TNT have all got the sack or that there's going to be a Neopets channel on MTV. It does mean that the financial and marketing side of running the site is now handled by members of Viacom's wider team, but the day-to-day content, new art and site events are still the responsibility of the Neopets Team we know and love.
No major revamps happened this year!New Discoveries and Inventions
● A Neopets Toolbar add-on is now available for your browser. Not to be confused with sponsor toolbars which were available in the past, this toolbar provides easy access to Neomail, Premie Webmail, a list of dailies and occasional free giveaways. It works in IE and some versions of Firefox. Download it at http://www.toolbar.neopets.com if you want to try it out.
● A Petpet Laboratory is now open! This miniature version of the Secret Lab is only open to those who have already put together the Secret Laboratory Map. WARNING: The Petpet Lab is known to occasionally cause Petpets to vanish, and even five years later nobody has figured out where they go and there is no way to get them back. Use the ray at your own risk!
● Feeling stressed? Why not go fishing? Pets can catch a variety of fish, books, toys, gardening items, odd potions and just plain junk. Click here for a guide to prizes.
● If Mystery Island just wasn't mysterious enough for you, you can now visit the Lost City of Geraptiku tucked away in a corner of the isle. This dark place is mysteriously deserted. Wonder why all the inhabitants ran away?
● Thought dead for several years, the ancient underwater city of Maraqua was revealed to be alive and well this year when the intrepid Usul Garin stopped by for a visit and ended up in the middle of a battle with a pirate crew! The revived city is home to Neopia's hottest destination, Kelp Restaurant. If you're lucky enough to smuggle some leftovers out of this upmarket venue, you could get an avatar.
● Often argued to be the greatest puzzle plot ever, the Lost Desert Plot kicked off this year. Sakhmet City vanished from the desert after a cursed prince laid a spell on the entire place, and it was up to the plucky children Nabile and Tomos, and intelligent, determined and patient Neopians everywhere, to restore order. This plot marked the first appearance of the famous Angry Yurble, a nameless orange figure curiously beloved to plot-solvers everywhere, and is thought to be the origin of the fandom term "Obsessive Latest Darn' Plot Disorder" (OLDPD). It's remembered fondly to this day.
Need to learn more about something you missed? Just curious? These links should help. If you find any broken or messed-up links here, let me know and I'll try to find alternatives. I did not create most of these pages.
Anything marked (56K-KILLER) is NOT safe for users on dial-up or very old computers!
|Need Some Reminders?|
Site Mechanics and Rules
||Lists and Collectables|
|Lost Desert Plot||
||Tale of Woe||Cyodrake's Gaze|
|Journey to the Lost Isle||Return of Sloth||Atlas of the Ancients||The Faeries' Ruin|
|Neopets and Real-World Money|
|Customisation and Clothing|
|Converted vs. UC Pets||
Dressing Your Pet
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