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That Page Of Rants With The Horrible Pun For A Title

Do you know what really grinds my gears? Come on, take a guess.

Well, you could answer anything and it'd probably be correct.

But there are some things that annoy me more than others. And sometimes, I just have to let it out even if nobody's going to agree with me.

And that's how this page came into existence.

Pretty much most of these rants are neo-related. All the real world stuff I want to rant about is stuff I really shouldn't discuss here.

Unconverted Pets

Some people don't seem to know how to take a joke anymore.

During the Neopies, TNT nominated the Unconverted Apple for Best Neopoint Item of 2013. Here's the description they gave this nomination:

It's unconverted; It must be worth a fortune, right? Thanks to Bart, anyone can own this apple with classic gradient colouring.

Now personally I thought this was a hilarious item. Other people didn't seem to think so, though, because one person was apparently offended enough to make a thread about it on the Neopies board:

Gee, what a surprise. Someone taking an innocent joke and interpreting it as "TNT has had a grudge over UC pets for the last 7 years". It was a simple joke about how people who are trading their UC pets sometimes ask for obscenely rare pets. Ever look at the Pound Chat? It's a nightmare. But nope, instead a simple joke somehow is turned into an attack.

This post also demonstrates a couple of common arguments against the conversion that I'd like to address, so let's get started on that right now.

You put the kibosh on meaningful pet art in 2007.

You remember the Mutant Lutari, right? As a matter of fact, this rants page is hosted on my own Mutant Lutari's petpage. If you missed him though, here's what he looks like:

This post-conversion mutant was described by many as "looking just like a UC" when it was released in 2012. So clearly we've had "meaningful pet art" since 2007. This is just one example, by the way. Look at all of the other mutants since 2007, and all the maraquans, and- hey, how about some of the new colors since 2007 like Wraith? How about all those new pet colors that were based on real-life animals like the Spotted Lupe? A pet doesn't need to have a totally unique pose to be cool. Just because they stand the same as one another doesn't make it not mean anything to anyone.

And if you really want your pet to have a different pose, try drawing a picture of your pet in the pose you want. Can't draw? Neither can I. That's why I like to use my

Can you at least accept the fact people enjoy the old art, with unique poses and a pinch of personality?

They did accept that fact. That's why TNT didn't auto-convert all of the pets and why they even gave UCs immunity to color-changing random events*.

*4/16/14 EDIT: For you young folks that didn't join the site until April 2014 or later, there used to be rare random events that could suddenly change your pet's color against your own will. After random events received a much needed revamp, TNT decided to get rid of color-changing REs altogether. So if you have like a Chocolate Draik or something that you're afraid is gonna get zapped Baby at random, don't worry. That can't happen anymore.

People do have a right to to enjoy the old art if they like, but who are you to say the new art doesn't have personality? Hey, you know what else was nominated in the Neopies this year? This:

Surely you must see a "pinch of personality" here. Compared to other Korbats, this one obviously wants to strike fear into the hearts of others. Don't forget that unlike UC pets, you can fully customize the new art (minus a small handful of colors) with all sorts of clothing and accessories to give your pet all sorts of personalities that you could never accomplish with a simple stroke of a paint brush. If uniqueness is your whole argument for why UC pets are better, don't forget that a long time ago every Faerie Xweetok looked identical. That doesn't sound particularly unique to me.

We know you feel it hurts your bottom line. Don't worry, tons of people buy NC.

Of course, it wouldn't be a TNT-bashing topic without complaining about how they're some oh-so-greedy corporation that only wants money and nothing else. It's the classic argument everyone makes. Too bad that, once again, this logic is flawed. There's plenty of UC owners that buy NC; they buy backgrounds and trinkets for their UC pets, and they buy everything else for their non-UC pets. People that love customizing like to change their pets' looks every now and then, and to do that you need more clothes. How do you get more clothes? You buy them, either with Neopoints or *gasp* NEOCASH! Abolishing UC pets wouldn't do much of anything to increase TNT's revenue from the NC Mall. In fact, it would just hurt more because of the severe backlash they'd get. Come on, do you really think TNT's going to just get rid of all the UCs when surely they're well aware of the consequences?

But what do I know? I'm just a converted 800 pound gorilla in the room.

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The Neopies

The Neopies is not a popular event. It really isn't. It just consists of "Vote for whatever, get a prize". Kind of like the Advent Calendar except you get a choice of four buttons to click instead of just one and there's no fun/unfun (circle whichever applies) animation to watch every day. Oh, and the prizes are just a pool of pre-existing items TNT was in the mood to deflate at the time rather than all new items. Except that one Day & Date prize if you voted every day the day that category was released, that's usually new.

Oh, and people also love to use this as a moment to complain about everything. That's actually the biggest turn-off for me.

Here's my take on the Neopies: Despite awards shows not actually being cool events in real life (yeah, just what I wanted to see, Sandra Bullock celebrating how she won an award for breathing heavily for an hour and a half while spinning around in a space suit), TNT thought it'd be a fun idea to have a Neopian awards show. Maybe it'd be a good conversation starter so that us, the general Neopian public, can discuss what we liked and didn't like about the previous year.

Popularly, people like to describe the Neopies as "all about giving feedback". Certainly a possibility, though I'd like to remind you that usually something gets nominated because it was already popular. I'm not so sure how anyone could like Sandra Bullock breathing heavily for an hour and a half while spinning around in a space suit, but clearly Gravity did well enough at the box office to be nominated for various awards. Clearly some people were entertained by it.

I can only imagine it's the same sort of process that TNT goes through when picking out the nominees. Usually it was already popular. TNT gets feedback throughout the year, as evidenced by so many editorials with many different players praising TNT for something they did recently. For the Neopies to really be "all about giving feedback" is kinda redundant. Granted, having both the Daily Dare AND the Games Master Challenge is pretty redundant too, and TNT has had both longer than they've had the Neopies. But I think TNT has plenty of feedback already and I think the goal with the Neopies was just to be sort of a fun little thing that isn't actually fun but some people like to pretend it is.

Then you have people who take this whole thing way too seriously, and THIS is what bothers me. For instance, people posting things like

If any of you vote for AC, you're showing acceptance for the random and inexplicable bracket system

and

Wouldn't voting for any of these show acceptance for a whole slew of problems anyways?

You know, as if their opinion is everyone's opinion, for one thing. Not everyone believes that there were a whole slew of problems, believe it or not. Likewise, there's plenty of people who do think each event had it's problems, and that's my second thing; An event can be flawed but still overall be very good in someone's opinion. I for one really enjoyed this year's Daily Dare. It had certain problems, but the good outweighed the bad. And for a third thing; like I said before, do you really think TNT has gotten so little feedback during the year that they need an event for the sole purpose of collecting feedback? And do you really think TNT will necessarily say to themselves, "Well, the Altador Cup won Best Site Event, so let's keep the current bracket system and do it again with no changes! It'll be just like a typical Electronic Arts sports game!" I mean, each year the AC really is just like one of EA's sports games; they pretty much change team rosters to match up with the current season, change a graphic here and there, and change the year, and that's enough to call it a day. Getting back to the point though, just because people are voting for a certain thing doesn't mean TNT automatically assumes it's well-liked and that they somehow don't realize that

A: Some people just want the prizes and don't care what they pick, and
B: Some people just pick the one that wasn't the most terrible horrible no good very bad event ever.

You can say what you want about TNT and how they supposedly have no clue what they're doing. I for one believe that they, at the very least, have enough logic to actually read how people feel about the event rather than just going off of meaningless numbers.

By the way, TNT can't do an "Other - Fill In The Blank" category either. If they did that for, say, "Best New Item", there could very well be a hundred different people all nominating a hundred different items. I'm not entirely sure TNT would want to sort through the mess that could possibly occur. Just imagine having to sort through each individual "Other" and taking note of how many people voted for what item. Imagine the people who write "uhhhh...... i 4got wut its calld but it wuz dat bloo skwair thingy u made in may" and "None of the above because this year was terrible" and "tnt plz unfreez my dog u froze my dog unfarely he did nuthin rong i hav to help him with the games bcuz his paw is too big for the buttons". Besides, "Other" and "None Of The Above" weren't nominated.

It's also just baffling when people say things like this

Hopefully War Of The Obelisk's victory will show TNT that we're still waiting for a good plot.

Apparently there's also people who have convinced themselves that by voting for the closest thing to a plot of the four choices, it'll somehow send the message that "We want a plot" and TNT will oblige. This is of course all done under the assumption that the Neopies is purely a way for TNT to get more feedback, since they apparently have not received a single "Thanks" or "You stink lol" in the 11 months it's been since the event started. Trust me, if the "Warm Fuzzies" section of the editorial is anything to go by, they've gotten plenty of fan mail and likely plenty more hate mail. They've also seen the people whining about how we've gone 3 years without a plot. You don't need to use the Neopies as a platform to voice your request for another plot. Besides, don't you think your message might get misinterpreted as "We want another war with barely any real story, no HP increase, and losses should give you prize shop points"? Just saying, seeing as you're going off the assumption that TNT just does everything based on Neopies results...

Since we're on the topic of feedback, here's my feedback on the Neopies: Get rid of it. It's not really an entertaining event IMO and it seems it just promotes complaining more than anything. Including complaining about people complaining. Case in point, me.

But what do I know? I'm just an 800 pound gorilla that wants a free prize at the end of the event.

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A Quick Flash Game PSA

Just as a friendly Public Service Announcement regarding the act of purposefully slowing down games in an attempt to make it easier; it's against the rules. As seen in Editorial 255:

...Attempting to slow or pause a game (which has no pause button in it) is cheating. Even if it is a "normal" function of your browser that allows you to do it. You are altering the way the game is meant to be played and giving yourself an unfair advantage. We understand there are slower and faster computers out there, but purposefully trying to alter the speed of the game is not allowed.

I bring this up because I frequently see this "strategy" being recommended to people who are having trouble with getting a certain score (recently with the Snow Roller avatar I saw it come up again). Please stop cheating and please stop encouraging other people to cheat.

And before someone comes in and whines "Oh, well how will TNT know the difference between just having a slow computer and intentionally slowing the game down?" Well for one thing, you kinda just admitted you think it's okay to purposefully make your game lag, I'm sure that raises a red flag. Secondly, let's say you were taking a test in school and you cheated, but there was absolutely no way anyone could prove you cheated. That doesn't make it okay, does it? Cheating is cheating whether you're caught or not. And regardless of whether you're caught or not, this attitude of "TNT has no way to prove it" just goes to show what kind of personality you have.

But what do I know? I'm just an 800 pound gorilla that thinks honesty is the best policy.

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The Neoboards

Okay, so a lot of the things I've posted here already were sparked by things that happened on the Neoboards. This, however, is more about things specific to the Neoboards and the way people post on them. A few things I'm sure can extend to other forums, but let's just leave it at the Neoboards for now.

Bump. You all know this word. Well, actually it's supposed to be an acronym for "Bring Up My Post", but you can describe a bunch of things as being bumped up or down. I'm not sure why bump needed to be an acronym, too, but that's besides the point. The point is how excessively some people use it when it's not even necessary.

I frequently view the Customization boards, which is a relatively slow board. I'm looking at it right now, and I see the oldest topic on the board was last posted on 6 hours ago. But from time to time, I'll see one topic in particular where the OP will bump their topic every single minute... on a board where their topic will still be on the first page 6 hours from now. Would somebody please tell me the point of this? Bumps are not necessary if your topic is still on the first page of the board. Why are you wasting your time bumping your topic?

It's even worse you tell them "You don't need to bump so often, it's a slow board" and they respond with something like "I'm sorry, I'm so used to INSERTFASTBOARDHERE." What's so hard about simply checking the first page to see if your topic is still on the first page? What's so hard about looking at the timestamps under the "Last Post" column to see how fast or slow the board is so you know about how often it would actually be necessary to bump? By the way, TNT put this nice fancy little code in the boards that makes it so that any topic you've created will automatically appear in bold. That makes it really easy to find your topic again if you leave for a while. Which, on a slow board, is what you should do since it may take a while to get any responses. You know, instead of wasting your time needlessly bumping your board every 60 seconds.

The Beauty Contest. It's funny how this is less of a beauty contest and more of a "Let's See How Many Votes I Can Get Just By Saying Pretty Please" contest. I don't follow the BC. I don't typically vote in it. I especially don't vote for you if I've made a topic - let's say I have a question I'd like answered - and the full extend of your post is "Good luck, spare a vote?" and you have this massive obnoxious signature with a link to your BC entry. That "good luck" of yours doesn't mean anything. It's obvious all you're looking for is BC votes. My topic is not your place to advertise. This also applies to Caption Contest votes and people advertising their shops or trades or NC Wishlists.

...Or "wishies" as they like to call it.

What's with people's obsession over taking the end of every single word and turning it into an "-ies"? Wishies, avvies, dreamies; it all sounds like baby talk! And unlike actual baby talk, this just comes off as annoying. It's not cute in any way shape or form. Is it so hard to just say "wishlist", "avatar", and "dream pet"?

That being said, chat speak or "1337 sp33k" is even more annoying. What is so hard about using proper spelling and grammar? WHAT IS SO HARD ABOUT TYPING "YOU" AS OPPOSED TO JUST "U"? If you're that lazy that you can't even be bothered to type a measly two extra letters, you've got issues.

The popular excuse I see for people who have no concept of spelling and grammar on the internet is "4 ur info its not english class i can type how i want ur not my teacher r u". You know, as if it's a chore to just use the basic spelling and grammar you learned when you first learned how to write basic sentences back in elementary school. It's not exactly faster than typing normally (and if it is, let me be the first to congratulate you on saving an extra 0.1 seconds of your life by leaving out the first two letters of "you"), and it's hard to read. To give you an idea of just how much of a headache it can become, read this NT article and see what I mean.

Nobody's asking you to speak completely 100% proper high-class English, by the way. We're not expecting you to say "May I ask, who is the individual that permitted the canines to leave?" It's casual. "Who let the dogs out?" is perfectly fine.

But above all, you know what I really can't stand?

If you're having an argument with me, please refrain from addressing me as "hun" or "sweetie". It makes you look extra obnoxious addressing me with a term of endearment when you obviously have something against me, hun. See what I mean, sweetie? Besides, I'm not related to Atilla the Hun and I'm not a piece of candy.

But what do I know? I'm just an 800 pound gorilla on the Neoboards.

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User Lookup Notices

I'm getting really tired of people putting certain kinds of notes on their lookups.

Now of course, notes can be useful. "If my inbox is full, send me a Pile Of Dung". Useful note. If you're the kind of person that receives a lot of neomails, asking someone to send you an otherwise worthless item can serve as a reminder to clean your inbox. "I'm going away for a few days and won't be online_ " Great, your friends know what's up and don't start wondering why you've disappeared. Useful note.

And then there's notes that make me facepalm every time I see them.

Here's one of the most popular ones: "Dear TNT, I log on from multiple computers and I have family that plays Neopets too and my BFF sometimes comes over and logs on when she's on my computer and my dog just created an account so please don't freeze me okay thanks :D :D :D".

I'd just like to point out that TNT actually has expressed how unnecessary these notices are multiple times in the Editorial. From Issue 604, they state:

As we like to remind people from time to time, such notices are completely unnecessary. They actually reach over to the annoying side of the line, as others see them and think they need to do it, too... and BAM, an epidemic of "Dear TNT" notices that serve no purpose.

And way back in Issue 425, too (it was a long response so I've just paraphrased here):

No, they don't work. We see them as glorified chain letters. Other people see them and post them on their own User Lookups because, for some reason, they think we might take this into account (as if any site abuser couldn't just put that on their User Lookup as well). We investigate accounts and make our decisions based on the best evidence available to us...

See, just because you say something doesn't mean it's true. This applies to another popular notice I've seen:

If I disappear from a game of Key Quest, I'm so sorry! My internet glitches out sometimes and my dinosaur of a computer sounds like it's gonna explode 5 minutes into a game. I would never quit on purpose!

First off, I'd like to direct you to my Key Quest rant further down in which I discuss how I feel about people playing KQ when they KNOW they have a high risk of not completing a game. Second, just because you say something doesn't mean it's true. Any chronic quitter could put that on their lookup and claim they're not quitting on purpose. Besides, the fact that you feel the need to put such a notice on your lookup usually implies that you've had this issue often enough to make you feel like you need to put a notice on your lookup. That's usually a sign that maybe you should just find a different game to play.

On and here's my favorite lookup announcement:

Please donate stuff to me!!111111!!!!

NO.

But what do I know? I'm just an 800 pound gorilla that gets annoyed by annoying PSA's on people's lookups.

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Supergrudges

Oh wow. I found this old rant I had saved on my computer that I had wanted to post for reasons way back in 2010 but never did. It's three years old now. I was FUMING when I typed it. Reading back on it now, the situation is so embarrassing I actually got a few laughs out of it. So... I made a bunch of edits to the rant since I didn't like how it was written, and I thought I'd share with you guys. It's a little story called "The Man With The Petty Grudge".

So, back a very long time ago, there was this guy that was... a pretty decent Key Quest player. And by pretty decent I mean I ended up losing to him three times in a row. Not necessarily because of mini-games; no, I was kind of a monster at mini-games. No, basically the luck factor of Key Quest decided to go entirely in this guy's favor all three games. It was painful.

Well, no, actually it was good having an actual challenge for once. Except for the part where in the third game they decided to attack me with a power-up one last time even though they were already literately guaranteed to win. If you read my extremely long Key Quest rant, you'll see how much I hate when people do that. If you're gonna win, just win. No need for that last minute slap in the face.

Still, at a later time I was challenged AGAIN by this guy. Normally I don't play with people who use the one last power-up for the sole purpose of "Oh, I'm just ensuring a win! Even though the odds are like 99.9% in my favor.", but this was different. I would have loved to get some sweet Key Quest revenge by finally beating him... And then I'd refuse to play him afterwards. I WANTED to win so bad. Unfortunately KQ booted me from the waiting room right about the time he walked in. Game never started; we didn't even roll to see who goes first. Never saw him again. That was, at the latest, Spring 2010.

Jump to September 1st, 2010. I also had screenshots detailing the incident that were buried in the strangest of places. Here you go!

Drag and drop into the address bar in the images are too small.

Oh, no, that first person isn't the problem person. THIS is. I didn't even need a badly timed bald joke for this to occur.

By the way, this was literately the full extent of his posts on this board, except for maybe one other post where he announced he was 25 years old (there was another conversation going on the same thread about age for whatever reason). Not once did he address the OP. Other than "Oh I'm 25 years old", he only posted on the board for the sole purpose of trying to publicly call me a sore loser over an innocent accident that happened MONTHS ago. Grudge much? I love how he changed the numbers around too. Blatantly lies about how many times I supposedly ran away like a coward. I just... Three years later, it baffles me that this actually exists.

Oh it didn't end there. I'd say about a year later, there was another incident that happened between me and another person. I had a REALLY close game with someone. Like, really intense. I didn't remember their username, but I wanted to congratulate them on such a game well played, so I made a thread on the Key Quest boards. Somehow that translates to "Humble and bragging at the same time" according to some passerby and I get flamed. Funny, I never saw them complain about the boards made with people bragging about how they won a PB from KQ. But thanking someone for an awesome game? Bragging.

And to make matters worse, literately the next game of KQ I play, Mr. Grudge himself from the above screenshots tries to join a game of mine. I don't think it's just coincidence that this guy NEVER tried to join a game of mine since Spring 2010, but immediately after I made that board and got flamed, this guy tries to play against me again. Knowing that this guy held an incredibly laughable grudge against me but didn't try to make a mockery of me until MONTHS later, I knew he probably did this just out of spite. Oh he knew I wouldn't play against him again. Why would I? He was incredibly rude to me on the neoboards. But wow, then a whole YEAR later he tries to start in again?

Wow. Just wow. I think grudge bearers have hit a new low. Three years later, it provided a pretty nice laugh.

But what do I know? I'm just an 800 pound gorilla that can't understand how ridiculous of a grudge this was. Hope you got guys some humor out of this.

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Quitting And You

Neopets isn't for everyone. As much as it tries to bill itself as a site for everyone, it really isn't. Nothing can ever truly be "for everyone". And that's fine. Opinions are great! You should feel free to like and dislike things at your own discretion. For example, Skyrim. I tried it once when the game came out. I hated it. Therefore, I do not play Skyrim.

...So why is it that people who say they don't enjoy Neopets still play anyway?

I don't know what it is, but there's this particularly vocal group of people who don't even enjoy being here... And yet, they're here, talking about how much they hate being here. Why is it so hard to just simply not log on anymore? If I really didn't like a game, I just wouldn't play it. Gee, rocket science.

Since people need a step-by-step guide on how to quit Neopets, I've been generous enough to throw one together for you. Read carefully, because this is really difficult.

Step 1: Ask yourself this one question. "Do you feel lucky?" -Wait, wrong question. "Do I enjoy playing Neopets?" If you answered "Yes", ignore the rest of this guide. If you answered "No", please continue.

Step 2: See the Logout button at the top right corner of the page? Click it.

Step 3: Now that you're logged out, you see the Login button? DON'T click it. Ignore it. Pay no attention to the Login button behind the curtain.

Step 4: Next time you're online_ don't type neopets.com into the address bar.

Step 5: Keep repeating Step 4.

Step 6: And if you REALLY need to go that extra mile to resist temptation, there's always self-freezing your account. But quite honestly you shouldn't need to. If you're quitting, then ideally there shouldn't be any temptation to return in the first place.

If you've managed to complete all of these steps, then let me be the first to congratulate you on conquering this ever so difficult task. Man, I remember the first time I ever tried to quit a game I didn't want to play anymore... When was that, back in Pre-K when I was done playing House with the other kids?

You're not obligated to stay. If you really don't like the game anymore, you simply stop playing it. Play something you do enjoy instead. Honestly, I feel like I'm talking to little children here but many of the people I'm referring to here are teenagers!

Clearly if you're still here, there has to be something you like that's keeping you around.

By the way, if that something is "Well I have friends here", guess what? That's what social network sites are for.

But what do I know? I'm just an 800 pound gorilla trying to explain the wonders of logic and common sense.

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Customizer Discretion Is Advised

Something that's happened more often on the Customization boards recently is an increased discussion about "inappropriate customization". In Editorial 503, a question was asked regarding if it was possible to get into trouble for customizing your pet a certain way, stating "you guys make all the items, and all we can do is put them on our Neopets." TNT responded:

We also allow you to type a wide range of words that are completely innocent until combined with other words. And people use cute Neoboard smilies inappropriately as well. The pieces are innocuous by themselves, but that doesn't mean we allow them to be put together in a way that's inappropriate. The same goes for customisation.

Naturally, this has lead to a few people worrying if their creations crossed the line. There's been a few topics about "Would I get frozen for this customization?" and such. When in doubt, you really shouldn't do it in the first place, but that's besides the point. The point is these boards tend to bring up a discussion about inappropriate customization and there are two things that continuously get brought up... And these same two things constantly annoy me.

The first problem is the people who say "Well TNT made the items, it's stupid of them to say we can't use it now!" And for those people, I'd like to redirect you to a couple of paragraphs above where I quoted TNT's response to that editorial question. When you're done, come back down here so I can give my own explanation.

You're back? Okay, good.

There are many things in the world that are innocent enough, but with enough creativity they can become not-so-innocent. For instance, Legos. You can use Legos to build anything you want... Anything you want. There's no limits. It's possible to take something as innocent as Legos and make something very offensive out of it. Every wearable on neo is, in a way, like a Lego. Obviously there's less things you can make with wearables, but with enough creativity it's possible to come up with something inappropriate. I'm not going to give you any ideas, but believe me it can be done (and I don't suggest you try it). It's not that you can't use those items, you just can't use those items together if they're making something very suggestive.

The second problem (and this can be applied to a huge number of scenarios, not just customization) is when I see people post things like "Well a few weeks ago I saw a guy with a Lutari that had a supposedly inappropriate customization, and nothing's happened to him. If he can get away with it then there's no problem, right?" Apparently people don't realize that TNT doesn't necessarily see every little thing that goes on. They're what we like to call "human". Contrary to popular belief, the boards are monitored by people and not robots, and people are prone to mistakes. People also can't see everything and can't possibly know everything that's going on, and there probably isn't enough monitors to watch every corner of the site. There is a "Report Abuse" form that users are encouraged to use if they see someone breaking the rules, but what good is that if the user isn't seeing the rule-breaking either? Or they may have seen it but decided not to report it for whatever reason you can think of. Maybe TNT is okay with the way that particular Lutari is customized, or maybe they wouldn't approve of it and nothing has happened only because they didn't see it yet. We have no way of knowing that.

tl;dr Just because someone else got away with something doesn't mean it's okay.

Thirdly... With all of this being said, you have to wonder why TNT was okay with making a wearable called Brain Cutter Hat. o_O

But what do I know? I'm just an 800 pound gorilla that enjoys customization.

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Key Quest

Let me talk to you about a great way to make Neopoints. It's a game called Key Quest. Often compared to Mario Party, Key Quest is a multiplayer game in which anywhere from two to four players compete to be the first to collect a bunch of colorful keys scattered around the board. During the game you get all sorts of power-ups to use to help you win or prevent your opponent from winning, and there's all sorts of mini-games which can reward keys and power-ups if you win. All players get neopoints for participating as well as a key they can use to claim prizes; what kind of key depends on how well you did. Gold for 1st, Silver for 2nd, Bronze for 3rd, Lead for 4th. (These are actually for 5 key games. 4 key games or smaller don't give out all the keys but nobody really plays those so I won't bother.) The prizes you win include codestones, neggs, even paint brushes and lab map pieces! So of course if you get a lot of prizes in a day, you can sell them for quite a lot of neopoints.

I bet you're wondering what the catch is.

And Key Quest certainly wouldn't be on my rants page if there wasn't a number of things that really annoy me about this game.

Oh, anyone who's about to say "Well if you don't like, it don't play it", here's the thing. There's enough things to like about it that it outweighs the bad. Every game has things you don't like. It's not that I don't like Key Quest, it's that I don't like these particular things about the game and I think these issues need to be addressed.

Anyone who's ever set foot in a game of Key Quest knows exactly what the first problem is; quitters. That moment when you're literately three spaces away from winning, and Mr. I'm Too Good To Lose disappears from the board leaving only you left, and you get that awful "Oops, the game has ended abnormally" message on your screen. In this instance, NOBODY gets any prizes because the game was not completed. Awful, right? The good news is that TNT has confirmed in Editorial 429 that quitting is in fact a reportable offense, and if you have reason to believe someone quit on purpose you can report them.

Here's what never made any sense to me about quitters. You sat in a game of Key Quest for 10 minutes, and you're just going to throw away whatever free neopoints you racked up during the game and a silver key you could use to get at least something? Isn't something better than nothing? Is it really worth risking your account over losing a game when you still win stuff when you lose?

BY THE WAY, contrary to what some people insist, silver is not better than gold. Just because you got 4 junk items from an unlucky gold key and got a codestone from your next silver key does not make silver better than gold. It's luck. In the long run, gold is luckier than silver. I guarantee you if you use nothing but gold keys for a month you'll get much better prizes than if you used nothing but silver keys for a month. Try it sometime, let me know how that works out for you.

Not everyone that leaves a game prematurely is necessarily a quitter. It's legitimately possible that the other player had an unexpected internet problem or had an unexpected emergency that needed attention. Typically if a player just gets disconnected, they go "AFK" (Away From Keyboard for those unfamiliar with the acronym) for two turns before officially being ejected from the game. This is in case the player absolutely has to step away and it gives them a chance to come back to the game. In these situations where a player is ejected after two turns of being AFK and situations where it would just be really bizarre to quit, such as right when the game starts or when my opponent is winning, I'll give them benefit of the doubt.

But what if it keeps happening? What if the same person keeps going AFK on me? Well in that case I'm going to assume that you have a really lousy internet connection and you really shouldn't be playing Key Quest.

Oh, yeah, there's those people. The people who think it's perfectly okay for them to play Key Quest when they KNOW they're very likely to lose their connection or they have to go somewhere soon and these people waste the other person's time. Don't you think that's rude? If you're a Key Quest player, you already know one game can run for quite a while. And yet there are people who think "Oh, well I didn't quit because I was LOSING, I was just short on time/I get disconnected often and I have no control over when it happens, so that makes it okay". If you KNOW there's a high chance you won't get to actually finish a game, don't start one in the first place. That gives me the impression that you don't care about my time and you see no problem in wasting 10 minutes of my time so I can get nothing.

Here's some FANTASTIC excuses from various people I've seen where they start a game of Key Quest when they should have known they wouldn't finish.

I am so sorry I left, I smelled something burning so I ran to the kitchen. The rice I was cooking was on fire....

As a general rule of thumb, Key Quest needs your full attention. Don't multitask while playing, especially if the other thing you're doing could burn your house down.

I am getting reported for leaving a game only because i had to go have breakfast only cause its like 8:35am here.

7 AM WAKIN' UP IN THE MORNIN' GOTTA GET DRESSED GOTTA PLAY KEY QUEST. OOPS TIME FOR BREAKFAST GOTTA HAVE CEREAL. WHO EVEN CARES ABOUT WASTIN' PEOPLE'S TIME? If you have to be somewhere important in the next 30 minutes, whether it's school or work or the most important meal of the day, don't start a game of Key Quest. The game can wait.

On that note, don't forget that you shouldn't be playing Key Quest or any game for that matter while you're at work. Work is for work. Don't have any work? Find some.

Hi, I want to apologize. I live in Florida and it's been storming here all week. My internet is glitchy and I am just having bad luck in KQ today.

Well that's sweet of you to apologize and stuff, but just what were you doing playing KQ during a storm? You do realize that bad storms means there's a decent chance you may lose power, right? Or at the very least it'll cause internet problems. This is a situation where you should be thinking "Well it's storming and my internet is glitchy, I shouldn't play Key Quest at the moment because I'd just be wasting my time and my opponent's time." But I guess that would have been logical. Same if you just have generally bad internet. There are plenty of other games that don't involve wasting the other person's time.

And I'm sorry if I sound like the guy from Microsoft that said "If you have bad internet, get an Xbox 360 instead of an Xbox One", but you need to understand the deal with Key Quest; it's very frustrating when people who know they can't finish a game keep trying to play anyway. Part of multiplayer games is being respectful of other players. When you have terrible internet or you have to go somewhere soon, play something that's not going to frustrate the other player when it's time for you to leave.

Let's talk about power-ups for a bit. Power-ups can be major game changers. If you're lucky and you get that awesome Super Key Grabber or if you're great with strategizing with your other power-ups, you're good to go. (Well, I mean, you still need to be good with mini-games, but power-ups are definitely helpful.) And as helpful as power-ups are... there's a strange number of people who don't use them.

I just don't get it. I have actually gone through entire games where I was using all of my best power-ups at the most strategic of times, and what does my opponent do? They go la-dee-da around the board and never bother to use that Rainbow Sticky Hand to steal my Rainbow Fountain Water before I used it on them to change their blue key into an extra red key. And then they STILL don't use it and I use my Spare Keyring to steal that second red key of theirs because I happen to need a red key. It also drives me insane when the person goes la-dee-da around the board the entire game but ONLY when I've already gotten all 5 keys does my opponent actually start using power-ups. You know, even though they had great power-ups that they could have been using all this time and maybe they wouldn't be so far behind now. Power-ups are there to be used. USE THEM.

BUT USE POWER-UPS WITHIN REASON.

If both you and I are three spaces away from winning and it's your turn, go ahead and use that Rainbow Fountain Water on me. That's strategy. There's an immediate threat that if you didn't use that power-up and only rolled a two, I could win on the very next turn.

If you're three spaces away from winning and I'm way on the opposite side of the board with only 3 keys, and you use that Rainbow Fountain Water on me... That's really not strategy anymore. That's just obnoxious.

I know what you're going to say next, so before you make the argument let me explain why I don't buy into this whole "Well I'm just ensuring a win, you never know if a Random Event will change things" stuff. You're three spaces away from winning. Look how far behind I am. Do you REALLY think I have much of a chance for a comeback at this point? All you need is a three, and you win. The chances of a Random Event on any given turn are most certainly lower than 50% (I'd say more like less than 20%, and this is a generous number), and even if an RE did happen what are the chances it's going to prevent you from winning on the next turn if you DIDN'T make it to the door on this turn? Not every RE is a Detour or Whirlwind. At this point the odds are so grossly in your favor that there's really no reason you need to use that power-up. And say you didn't make it to the door on that turn and the RE did reverse your direction or sent you to the other side of the board. Who's to say you couldn't just use that Rainbow Fountain Water later in the game if absolutely needed? If you're six or less spaces away from winning and the other player has no chance of winning on the next turn, you really don't need to attack that player.

And how do you explain people who are within six spaces of winning and also had a Loaded Gummy Die or Virtudice power-up? They could have simply used that to win, but instead they use an attacking power-up on me? If ensuring a win is the goal, use the Loaded Gummy Die/Virtudice and you've got your ensured win. Don't even get me started on people who are ONE space away from winning and insist on using a power-up. YOU'RE ONE SPACE AWAY FROM WINNING AND IT'S YOUR TURN, NO MATTER WHAT YOU ROLL YOU'RE GUARANTEED TO WIN.

Well I don't really see the harm in it. The game is over regardless.

Yeah, that's exactly the point. The game is over regardless, so WHY would you need to attack the other person? Other than rubbing it in or just out of pure spite?

Oh, it's just a game, get over it.

When you were a child, were you ever taught "Actions speak louder than words"? They say the vast majority of all communication is nonverbal. It's not so much the words you say, but your body language and your actions. By attacking the other player with that last power-up even though it was so painfully clear who was going to win, you're sending the message that clearly it wasn't enough for you to just simply win. You had to go that extra step and attack the other player when you're practically or even literately guaranteed to win. It's no different than saying to the other player "Ha ha, you lost".

Somehow people are under the impression that "It's just a game" gives you the right to be as obnoxious as you want to the other player. You'd be surprised at how your actions can say a lot about your personality. As a matter of fact, there's another phrase that you were probably taught as a child. "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game". I can take losing. It's inevitable. Nobody has a perfect record. It's how the winner insists on rubbing it in that I have problems with.

But what do I know? I'm just an 800 pound gorilla that just wants to promote respect for other players.

(I know I left some major things out like the Giant Lint Ball and other stuff but this was getting to be a really long entry and I probably lost half the readers on those last few paragraphs anyway.)

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The Trading Post

There's quite a few issues I have with the Trading Post.

The first issue is about what kinds of items people put on the Trading Post. I see things like rare paintbrushes, high tier Battledome weapons, etc. that are all worth over 100K, and that's great. This is exactly what I go to the Trading Post for. But why do people insist on putting items on the Trading Post that are worth less than 100K?

I can understand if an item was specifically reserved for a certain person. I can understand if the person is just transferring neopoints between accounts. What I don't understand is someone selling a Starry Paint Brush on the Trading Post and asking 30K for it when you can just as easily stuff it in your shop and ask the same price.

Naturally, someone will try to make an argument that "Well you need to pay neopoints to upgrade the shop!" And what does the first upgrade cost? ...200 neopoints. That's pretty much nothing and you get to put up to 10 items in your shop at Level 2. People who don't use their shop often have no need to upgrade their shop too far since they're rarely selling anything anyways. And if you're a restocker and you use your shop frequently, I'm sure you can afford the upgrades no problem. It's really not a big deal.

By the way, when you're buying an item that costs less than 100K, where do you usually look first? The Shop Wiz, or the Trading Post? Probably the Shop Wiz since you know you can buy the item instantly with no hassle. You know how many people instantly ask for someone to search the Shop Wiz when they're on a Faerie Quest? It's never "Well it seems I'm on a Faerie Quest, I'm gonna go to the Trading Post to get my item!" People always ask someone else to check the Shop Wiz. So wouldn't that be where most of your buyers are, on the Shop Wiz? Wouldn't that seem to be the ideal place to sell your 30K item?

The second issue has to do with what some people insist on writing in their wishlists. Things like "No n00b/reseller offers" and "I know what it's worth". Well congratulations, you know what it's worth. But if nobody else is listing a price and you haven't listed what you actually believe it's worth, there's a very good chance your potential buyer has no clue what you're looking for. I get this sense of arrogance from these people whenever I see this in their wishlists. "Oh, yeah, I know what it's worth. And if you don't know what it's worth then don't even bother." You know, as is everyone in the world knows exactly what the item is worth. And with rare items, isn't it more likely that not everyone agrees on the same value? The exact number that you think it's worth is nothing more than an opinion based on rarity and demand. There's usually a general consensus that "Well this item is anywhere between 300K and 400K" or "This item is easily worth over 10 mil", but it's otherwise pretty subjective.

Also by not listing a price, we don't know what your definition is of a n00b/reseller offer. And if we end up just taking a guess and it's too low, we end up blocked because our guess offended you somehow since you seem to be under the impression that everyone pays attention to the value of every single item. By the way, Jellyneo's item prices should never be used as an absolute price; they can't possibly update every minute a price changes and there are inevitable inaccuracies. Their prices are very rough guidelines, not absolutes. So don't tell me "Well if you don't know what it's worth just check Jellyneo". Jellyneo is a useful site, just not for item pricing.

The final issue I have is from a seller point of view rather than a buyer point of view. I've had this happen many times before, and I just had it happen today. After a long day at work I come home, I log on, and right above the Navigation Bar I see a happy little alert that tells me "USERNAME has made an offer on Lot NUMBERS". So I click on it to see what they offered, only to find that my lot in fact has zero offers on it, and there is now an unhappy alert above the Navigation Bar that says "The offer made by USERNAME has been withdrawn", all before I even got a chance to see what it was.

I guess nobody realizes anymore that I can't be on for 24 hours a day to tend to your every precious need. Oh boo hoo, so I didn't accept or reject when it was 3 AM in the morning because I was too busy carrying out a vital process called sleep. Poor you, I couldn't accept or reject when I was at my job and I was busy doing my job. Why not try being mindful of other people's lives and give them a reasonable chance to see your offer? Whenever I make an offer on the Trading Post, I always give the seller a 24 hour period to respond before withdrawing. It's only fair.

Clearly if you withdrew after only a few hours, you didn't want the item that badly. And since you really didn't want the item that badly and you've been disrespectful by not giving me a fair chance to respond, you probably won't mind that I blocked you after I find that you withdrew. Not like you approved of my customer service anyway.

But what do I know? I'm just an 800 pound gorilla on the Trading Post.

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Learn To Read

It has recently come to my attention that there is a big crisis in Neopia. Nobody knows how to read anymore.

Well, I mean, you can read, but do you actually go out of your way to read? I don't necessarily mean "Stop playing your video game and go read a book", I mean reading informative things that will prevent you from asking stupid questions later.

I'd like to introduce you to a good friend of mine. His name is Frequently Asked Questions, but you can just call him FAQ for short. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there- erm, FAQ is there to help me when I'm confused.

Me: Hey FAQ, I was wondering. How long does the Daily Dare last this year?
FAQ: Well, Ron, it appears the Daily Dare is going to last 20.5 days!
Me: Why 20.5?
FAQ: Well you see, the Daily Dare doesn't go live until the news is released, and that's usually late in the day. That's where the half day comes from. If you were living in China you'd probably be asleep by the time the news goes live.
Me: That doesn't seem very fair, FAQ. :(
FAQ: Right you are, Ron. But there's good news for people living in other parts of the world. That half day doesn't count against you for any Day & Date bonuses, so everybody gets a fair chance!
Me: Awesome! Thanks for the help, FAQ!

What a guy, right? And his services are free! It's easy to use, too! Just look to your left at all the different topics FAQ can help you with. Then all you have to do is find your question, and it's answered!

FAQ is so helpful, he even goes out of his way to give you reminders that there's probably an FAQ about it! His signature buttons look a bit like this:

And all you have to do is click on it and you're brought to the FAQ page! Convenient, right?

HOW COME NOBODY USES IT?

This happens at the beginning of practically every site event; people make a few hundred dozen boards asking all the same questions that were already answered in the FAQ. What was so hard about looking up your question in the FAQ first? TNT wrote the FAQ for a reason; to answer the most common questions people are likely to have so that you don't need to make a new board about it. First-timers who are still very new to the site, fine I get that. It takes time for some people to learn how to navigate a new site. That's excusable. For the people who have been around longer than a month, what's taking you so long to notice all those question mark buttons and the "Help" button at the bottom of every page?

Don't use "laziness" as an excuse, either. By saying "Oh I was too lazy to read the FAQ", you're admitting that you know you should read the FAQ to find your answer but you decided not to even though reading would have been the smart thing to do.

Oh, here's my absolute favorite stupid question people ask: "Can I do this event on a side account?

WHEN IN THE HISTORY OF NEOPETS HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN A SITE EVENT ON A SIDE ACCOUNT? SITE EVENTS GIVE OUT PRIZES. PURPOSEFULLY EARNING ITEMS AND NEOPOINTS ON A SIDE ACCOUNT HAS ALWAYS BEEN AND WILL ALWAYS BE AGAINST THE RULES. BLARGHSDFHHSIODGASBHD!!!!!!!!

And where does it say "Don't use multiple accounts just to gain items and neopoints"? Why, right here. And here. And; oh look, it's our good friend FAQ! Click here, click on "Account Inquiries", then "Multiple Accounts", and there's a question that reads "Can I earn Neopoints or play games on my side accounts?" Did you click it? Good. Don't strain yourself while you click it. And what does the answer say?

No, sorry, you can only earn Neopoints and items on your one main account. This includes playing flash games, collecting dailies, participating in site events and anything else that would earn points or items.

WOW I'M SO AWFULLY TIRED AFTER LESS THAN A MINUTE OF LOOKING UP A QUESTION IN THE FAQ, I THINK I'LL GRAB A LEMONADE.

Games have their own little mini-FAQ built right into the game, did you know that? They're usually labeled by a button called "Instructions", typically located next to the "Play Game" button. Apparently that's too hard for find for some people, because during the Daily Dare people have actually made such boards as "Wow, I didn't know you could switch the spheres in Spinacles by pressing the spacebar!" and "You mean to tell me you can shoot the spaceships in Escape To Kreludor by hitting the spacebar? NO WAY!

I once went to one of these kinds of boards and posted something along the lines of "If you actually read the in-game instructions you would have known that an hour ago." In return I received snarky comments and was told to leave. They then continued to marvel in their discovery of a basic game function that anyone that actually knows how to read already knew about an hour ago. I can't wait to see what happens when these people don't read their contract.

Oops, too late.

You may not realize this, but people enter contracts on a very regular basis. When you insert a dollar into the vending machine and press A1 to get a can of soda, that's actually considered a contract. The vending machine offers a selection of soft drinks, you accept the contract by thinking "Yes, I want a soda. I think I'll have a Diet Coke." Consideration is exchanged - in this case, a dollar bill - and the vending machine has a mutual obligation to give you a soda once you press the button.

Neopets also has a contract, called the Terms of Use. You probably know it better as "that block of text you scroll by to get to the I Accept button so you can make your account". You've been offered a free account on a virtual pet site. You accepted. The "consideration" is that you're given the account. By using the account and browsing the website, you're giving TNT all-important pageviews. You now have an obligation to follow all of the rules or else TNT has the right to freeze your account. Likewise TNT also has to uphold their end of the bargain, including such things as not deleting your account unless you've been inactive for over 18 months and not turning all of your pets into gifs of Rick Astley.

So then why is it that I keep seeing people whine about getting permasilenced and frozen for "no reason"? People actually think TNT goes around punishing people just for fun? I'd like to remind you of those three little letters that follow Neopets; Inc. That means it's a business. That means the goal is to make money, and TNT's method of making money is providing a gaming website for people to have fun on. Revenue comes in the form of advertisements and people buying Neocash and Premium services and real life merchandise. Do you really think TNT in their right mind would just say "Okay let's freeze this account, it'll be fun!" and lose what could have been a paying customer? That person probably won't play anymore. They won't have any reason to buy Neocash or subscribe to Premium, they won't be on the site anymore so that's someone else not viewing the ads... Yep, real smart business tactic.

Most likely one of two scenarios is what really happened:

1 - You just don't want to admit you broke the rules.
2 - You didn't actually read the rules.

If TNT really went on random freezing sprees I don't think my account would have made it to 12 years.

Oh here's another situation. The other day I saw someone selling a rare item on the Trading Post. They claimed they were the only one selling it. After doing a very quick search of the item, I actually found that there were about a dozen sellers of this same exact item. And of course, I had clicked "Newest" so the newest trades would appear at the top. Guess who's trade was at the top? This one particular seller that claimed they were the only one selling it.

So I left a comment saying "Yeah, there's actually a dozen other sellers". What do I get in return? A snarky comment. "WELL EXCUUUUUUUUSE ME, PRINCESS. SOOO SORRY FOR MAKING A SMALL MISTAKE". (Not in those exact words but you get the point.)

But see here's the thing. I don't think it's rocket science that before you post anything on the Trading Post, you should search for the item you're selling. That way if other people are selling the same item, you can see how much they're charging and you can price your item accordingly. It's obvious they didn't search first because it's pretty difficult to miss a dozen of the same item all in a row, and their asking price was at least double what most of the other sellers were asking for. Had they just looked up their item first they could have prevented themselves from looking like a fool.

I'm sure if anyone's managed to get this far without preparing an angry neomail telling me how I should lighten up or something, you're probably wondering why I don't lighten up or something. It may seem like such a small thing to get worked up over, but it happens so frequently. Let's pretend you're in math class and the kid next to you pokes you once. It's a small thing, no big deal. You shrug it off. Now let's pretend the kid next to you pokes you again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And maybe a few more hundred times. Doesn't that get irritating? It's the same with people not reading and asking stupid questions because they didn't read. It's irritating once it happens a few hundred times. Such a simple thing, and people refuse to do it.

But what do I know? I'm just an 800 pound gorilla in the room.

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