Avatar Hunting the Safe Way
As we all know, when it comes to avatars, even the best of us feel the urge to throw our sanity out the window. For some, this involves copious amounts of borovan, chocolate, Neocola and other such highly sugary, caffeinated items whilst we do our avatar hunting. Not to mention singed hair, bandaged fingers, red eyes from staring at the screen too much, as well as the tendency to see air bubbles while looking at the clouds in the sky.
I myself have been guilty of spending too much time obsessing over a certain exclusive avatar that took me weeks to achieve. In the process of doing so, I realized that the best way to achieve your goal is to do your best to keep your wits about you. Hopefully, this guide will help you rein in your obsession and will help you get that avatar in a safe and healthy way. Then again, I wouldn't count on it.
1. Set a limit.
Perhaps one of the biggest things to understand is knowing that you need to set your own limits. This is perhaps most important when going for game avatars. It's best to put a cap on the amount of times you try to get that avatar per day. When I went for the Sutek's Tomb avatar, I decided that I would try up to ten times and then quit if I didn't get my avatar in one of those tries. This was extremely helpful in getting my mind off the game and helped me do other things on the site that I had been neglecting (my dailies, chatting with my guild, etc).
A good number to use would be ten, but you can set a larger/smaller limit depending on how good you are at the game or how much time you have on your hands.
For other types of avatars, such as luck/chance ones, it would be a much better idea to set a limit on the amount of Neopoints you spend. For example, Kelp is an expensive avatar that takes quite a few tries to get. The minimum amount of NP you can spend on getting this is 7000 NP, while a full meal costs 60,400 NP. While the idea of splurging all your neopoints seems quite tempting, it's best to decide how much you want to spend and how frequently you want to try getting the avatar. This way, you're not going bankrupt all of a sudden.
Once you've set your limit, stick to it! You won't get anywhere unless you have the willpower to go along with it.
2. Take a break.
If you're tiring quickly of trying to get a certain avatar, it's wise to not spend too much time on it. After all, it wouldn't help you in real life if you suddenly saw scoops of neopolitan ice cream being hurled at you from all directions. If you're suddenly seeing things that aren't there, or if the world seems like a giant blur to you, then it's probably an indicator that you should get off that computer and go walk your dog. If you don't have a dog, it's a good idea to do other things on Neopets, such earning for that Faerie JubJub Morphing Potion you've always wanted. If not, then go listen to music or chat with your friends. Both things can help you relax and unwind.
Taking your mind off it will also help you get the avatar later. Being tired and cramped on a computer chair certainly won't be doing you any favours while trying to get that Volcano Run avatar. Neither will it help you in finding an FQD lender if you're grumpy from not meeting success after two hundred and fifty-five boards. Nor will your family and friends appreciate you neglecting their existence. Which brings us to our next point...
3. Talk to your friends.
When you're trying to get an avatar, unless it involves a lender, most people tend to forget their friends on this site. It's probably best to let others know that you're alive and kicking when you go off on a marathon. When you get tired of Neoquest, neomail a good friend to see how they're doing, or go and chat on your guild message board to see what's new with them. If you've got neither option available, go play a game of Avatar Simon on the AC or impart some advice and knowledge on the Help Chat.
Sometimes, talking to a friend can help you keep what little of your sanity you have left intact. Also, it would also help keep your people skills sharp in case an avatar lender comes along. You never know who might be lurking.
Talking to others can also help keep your frustrations in check. Although it's not best to create a board with something along the lines of, "Ongzzz, lyke i ttly h@t3 th15 avatrrr!!!", talking to your friends will help you vent your anger. That way, the next time you start trying for that exclusive Faerie Bubbles avatar, you're not tempted to damage your real life possessions after accidentally activating an air combo.
4. Play something different.
If you're trying for a game avatar, it's a good idea to quit playing that one game for a little while and playing something else. This does not necessarily have to be an avatar game, but just something that will help you relieve the stress. An excellent game that will help you vent your frustration would be TNT Staff Smasher. This way, you can at least PRETEND that you're getting revenge on the higher-ups themselves. ;D
If you're tired of flash games, you can try playing Pyramids or perhaps Snow Wars. Snow Wars is best since, again, it helps you get rid of your frustration. In this case, instead of whacking TNT members, you're... er... whacking objects using snowballs. Well, it's a better alternative to destroying something valuable that you might find on your desk.
But if you don't want to play the games Neopets has to offer, you can always waltz over to the Avatar boards and enter a game of Avatar Simon. This, however, should be done only at your own risk. If seeing another user with the avatar you so desire may potentially have disastrous consequences, you're better off with Neoquest II instead.
5. Have fun.
This is the most important guideline you may need to remember. Have fun! Avatars are not your mortal enemies. They're here for you to use, taunt with, and to enhance your general Neopets experience. In the end, it won't be much fun to look back on this experience and only remember the headaches and the anger you felt when that avatar evaded you at every turn. Feeling hours upon hours of stress, hyperactivity from the Neocola and popcorn is not worth it for those few moments of happiness you'll face when you finally achieve your goal.
Neopets is a game which helps you relax after a stressful day. The avatars are here to help make it more fun and exciting. Being stressed and frazzled over not getting one totally defeats the purpose. Let's not lose sight of what Neo is really about.
Good luck and happy avatar hunting!
Inspired from my struggles to get that Faerie Bubbles avatar. Still don't have it. :( Oh well. I GOT INTO THE NT!!!!!!!!