The Unique Neopian Economy
Neopets is a popular site – there is no doubt about that. It is ever-changing and constantly growing with new, exciting ideas which attract new users to the site and ensure the attention of long term Neopian veterans is held. I can list many reasons why: the addition of new games and avatars, gripping plots and wars, an advance in features and graphics... the list goes on. However, I think the most important thing, (though you may not realise it yourself) that keeps us coming back to our beloved site is the Neopian economy. That's right; it is our own virtual legal tender the neopoint that keeps Neopia spinning round and round! And while our economy on Neopets may seem similar to that of our own wider world – it comes with many unique differences, which bring both interesting perks and frustrating challenges into the equation. Want to know more? Read on to discover what is special about the economy our Neopets live in!
Neopia as an Economy
At a glance from a random stranger, Neopets may only seem like a cute site with pretty pictures that allows you to create virtual pets and log on once a day to feed them, groom them and care for their everyday needs. Sounds simple, right? The beauty of Neopets is that, for a younger member of the site, this option is completely possible. Still, a stranger visiting the site would never guess how complex and challenging Neopets is as a game. This is largely due to our rapidly moving economy. Stop and think for a second while you consider the amount of transactions that take place on a daily basis in Neopia. All over the world, users are making and saving neopoints, spending them on new items and services and trading items with others, all while striving to stay afloat in our turbulent economy. There are thousands and thousands of items in this world, zooming back and forth between players along a virtual circuit. Neopia even experiences inflation and deflation, in both singular items and in the overall economy. As demand in items fluctuates, a direct result is seen in item pricing – rendering some worthless and some overwhelmingly expensive. On Neopets, you can take big risks; investing in stocks and items, gambling in the food club and bidding on rare auctions. Alternatively, one can play it safe and lodge every neopoint earned straight into the bank, allowing it to mature and gain interest. This all depends on how you want to play your game and thankfully, we have so many options within our economy that the possible outcomes are endless. As I mentioned before, our economy on this site is special, for many reasons. Let's take a look at the features which make this game so exciting to play.
The Neopoint – Our Beloved Currency
Unlike other economies you may partake in, Neopets presents us with only one form of money – the neopoint. Luckily, the system isn't so complicated that we must use exchange rates when transferring neopoints from Maraqua to Kreludor or Mystery Island to Brightvale. And yes, it is very true that we use different forms of payment such as codestones, dubloons, neggs and job coupons on the site, but they can all in turn be sold for neopoints. The NC mall presents us with an option to buy NeoCash. However, this feature remains entirely separate from the neopoint and one cannot be exchanged for the other. When compared to other economies, the sheer value of the neopoint has an incredibly vast range. Some items price below 10 NP, some more commonly above 10,000 NP and several rare items for millions and millions of neopoints. As gamers, we do not earn a salary or a regular amount of neopoints every week. The inflow of points into our bank accounts depends entirely on our activity on the site and how often we play games, restock and participate in dailies. We even have to collect our bank interest every day, so there are theoretically no inactive methods of earning. We are constantly presented with new and exciting challenges on the site thanks to the neopoint, which is why it is such a marvellous creation.
Another unique feature of our economy is that neopoints can be generated by users out of thin air. As we are all equal on the site and do not report up to any hierarchies or down to subordinates, we have the ability to produce neopoints ourselves. When we play games and participate in competitions and dailies, brand new neopoints come into play. True, we can still transfer neopoints from user to user by purchasing items in shops, bartering them on our trading post and allowing others to bid for them on auctions. But the ability to generate neopoints yourself can have an enormous effect on our economy. Depending on the popularity of games such as the Habitarium and Key Quest, an excess of neopoints created to neopoints destroyed, or sunk can be a crucial cog in the process of inflation and prices of items fluctuating. And not only can neopoints be generated but items too. Each time a Neopian shop restocks; new items are brought into the economy. We are also rewarded them from different games, plots and site features such as the advent calendar. Like the neopoint, this affects prices. Take a look at the effect of receiving codestones from Key Quest and the battledome has had on their deflation. Similarly, with Draik eggs and Krawk morphing potions now a possible prize at the Forgotten Shore daily, they have plummeted in value. And contrastingly, as the plushie Draik morphing potion is now retired and cannot be generated, the asking prices for it are now astronomical. Just remember, generating items and neopoints does come with its consequences!
At the other end of the spectrum is the ability to make neopoints vanish. TNT strives to keep the economy balanced by presenting us with numerous black holes on the site, sending our well-earned points into the oblivion. There are classic, old time favourites such as purchasing items in shops, making a wish at the wishing well and pulling the lever of doom. Due to the recent problem of inflation, TNT has put new sink methods into action such as the Wheel of Extravagance, costing a whopping 100,000 NP a spin and most recently the new daily Aboard the Coincidence, which has resulted in a somewhat strange rise in price of once-thought junk items on the site. We have to thank TNT for monitoring the economy and attempting to maintain its equilibrium at all times. Still, like any economy, it is unpredictable and sometimes, and outcome cannot be predicted until a new feature is tested. Draiks and Krawks were once becoming and impossible goal for many Neopians due to their inflation but are now somewhat easy and unexciting to obtain. With many Neopian shops constantly full to the brim with items and deflation now becoming a serious problem we have to ask, are there now too many neopoints being sunk on the site? Only time will tell.
While this feature eventually comes back to the concept of generating and sinking neopoints and items of value, I thought it was worth including. After all, it is not every day I walk down the street and have Dr. Sloth appear out of nowhere, handing me a transmogrification potion. On the other hand, I might prefer that scary visit to that of the angry Tax Beast or the Pant Devil. These random events are an interesting and somewhat amusing feature of our economy that make it even more unpredictable than before. Every day comes with its own surprises which I believe is a key ingredient in making the Neopian economy so unique.
Where the Secrets of our Economy Lie
Thankfully, we can find all the answers to our questions on the Neopian economy in Jelly World. This is where TNT stores all secrets and data of... what? It doesn't exist you say? Oh. Never mind then!
While this article doesn't influence new market trends or change anything about the economy, I hope I have enlightened some of you. While playing Neopets, just remember that not only is it a fun site, but a vast network comprised of many Neopian entrepreneurs striving to come out on top of the swirling whirlpool that is the Neopian economy. What a special site this truly is!
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