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So You Lost it All On the Wheel of Extravagance

by rhosymedre


So you lost it all on the Wheel of Extravagance.

It wasn’t your fault, really. It was that crafty Tonu - he always knows just what to whisper to lure you into his shady little corner. All you wanted was some exotic fruits or bread to spice up dinner; one minute you’re making a beeline for Qasalan Delights, telling yourself, out loud, over and over, this time he isn’t going to get you - and the very next thing you know, you’re letting go of the side of the wheel, chanting BIG MONEY BIG MONEY as it spins before you, that darn Tonu laughing at your naivete as he greedily counts a bag full of your hard-earned neopoints, more than you should even be carrying in the first place.

He always knows just what to wave in front of your face: maybe he’ll “accidentally” tip a box of paint brushes just far enough for you to get a peak, or maybe he’ll dangle that stupid avatar just out of your reach... that shiny, glittery avatar… plated in gold and spinning just perfectly, so close and yet so far…

It happens to the best of us.

So what’s a hard working Neopian to do? After all, you still have Neopets to feed and clothe, a Neohome to furnish, an avatar collection to tend to… even if it is still lacking that beautiful jewel, the one you covet so deeply that you’d blindly spend millions of neopoints on the chance that it might one day be yours…

Well, my friend, fret not, because Ameda is here to help! I myself have fallen victim to the allure of that wretched wheel. I've lost millions of neopoints as I gleefully handed over my life’s savings, hoping day in and day out that today will be my lucky day. I’ve lain there at rock bottom, and I’ve sobbed into the hot sand as that horrible Tonu laughed over me. I’m here to tell you that, as hopeless as things look now, there is always a way to rebuild.

The Soup Kitchen

Priorities in order, first you need to make sure your darling Neopets are well-fed. Luckily, the Soup Faerie lives to feed down-on-their-luck Neopians. She runs the Soup Kitchen, which can be found in the Marketplace at Neopia Central. She’s a lovely woman with a huge heart, and her soups are actually quite delicious! She has dozens of recipes to choose from, and makes different kinds of soup each day. Don’t be afraid to try them all - especially the invisible soup. Hands down, that’s definitely the best.

The Soup Faerie offers her services for no charge; instead, donations from the Money Tree keep the Soup Kitchen open. Because of this, she’ll encourage you to remember her kindness and donate yourself when you once again have neopoints to spare (she tends to repeat herself a lot about this; every time I see her, she finds a way to work “You know Ameda, there’s more to life than avatars” into the conversation). So, y’know. Just be prepared for that.

Money Tree

Also, speaking of the Money Tree: it’s only a few minutes away from the Soup Kitchen, so while you’re in Neopia Central, you should stop by and see what you can grab. It’s a pleasant old tree, kind and generous, who has stood grandly in the center of Neopia Central for as long as anyone can remember. The tree accepts donations from generous Neopians, and happily distributes them to those in need. It lays out donations in neat lines, putting them on display to be claimed by the first Neopet to lay paw on it. It’s a sort of free-for-all, and can get very chaotic at times with high traffic.

The donations could be anything from toys to food to neopoints to rubbish fished up from the bottom of the sea, and everything in between. It really depends how generous your fellow Neopians are feeling on that particular day. I’ve seen codestones and neggs float through there from time to time, and I’ve heard tell of rare occasions where paint brushes pop up. With quick fingers and enough patience, any and all of that can be yours.

A word of advice, though: the tree tries to be fair about how much everyone can take. If it thinks you’re grabbing too many things at once, it’ll start telling you that the things you’re trying to take aren’t actually there. Yes, that old, kind and generous tree will lie right to your face if it thinks you’re getting too greedy. So keep that in mind when you’re trying to decide whether you really want something.

Cleaning Day: Safety Deposit Box Edition

How many times have you just thrown everything you had on hand into your SDB, without even checking to see what you were storing away? How many years of Advent Calendar and Daily Dare prizes are you hoarding? Do you even remember all the stuff you crammed in there for that shiny avatar, only to be forgotten under all of the clutter?

You’d be surprised what forgotten treasures are hiding in your Safety Deposit Box, so take some time to sift through all the junk and see what you have that’s worth a few neopoints. It might be a bit time-consuming, but it’s definitely worth it when you stumble across that old avatar item you forgot to sell or some once-junky items that have suddenly inflated in value. Make a list, have a chat with the Shop Wizard (he’s a pretty cool guy, so long as you don’t ask him to help with your faerie quests) and see what’s worth selling, then toss that stuff in your shop, and boom! You’ll be back on your feet in no time flat!

… But ahh, the thrill of the spin. There’s nothing quite like letting go of the side of a grand wheel with wide eyes and big dreams, is there? Surely there must be a way to satisfy this mighty need without sacrificing all the progress you have made?

Try some other wheels?

Of course! There are other, much less bank-breaking wheels scattered around Neopia. They even have their own avatars. None quite so shiny as the one from the Wheel of Extravagance… but avatars are avatars, right? They all take up the same amount of space in your collection.

My personal favourite is the Wheel of Mediocrity, which can be found in Tyrannia. It costs only 100np per spin (so affordable!), and can be spun once every 40 minutes. The Flotsam who minds the wheel will make sure you know that the prizes are, euh, mediocre. But while they aren’t EXTRAVAGANT or anything, they’re (mostly) not bad. I’ve had some pretty good luck here, usually landing on a neopoint prize or item worth more than the 100np I paid.

The Wheel of Monotony is also in Tyrannia, just up the plateau and past the Giant Omelette. I don’t frequent that one as often, since the Quiggle who minds it doesn’t appreciate my tendency to fall asleep while the wheel is still spinning, but I hear that the prizes can be quite nice if you’re willing to wait. This wheel costs 150np and can be spun once every 24 hours (just like another wheel we know and hate so dearly).

A more, ahem, exciting wheel can be found in Faerieland. The Wheel of Excitement costs 500np and can be spun once every 2 hours. I’ve had less good luck with this wheel, but the top prize is 20,000np, so if you’re looking for a big-money-big-money kind of wheel to fill the hole in your heart, you might as well choose this one.

Of course, for the scholars and braniacs out there, the Wheel of Knowledge can be found in Brightvale, just steps away from Brightvale Castle itself. For the low-low price of 400np, you can spin this wheel and win a variety of prizes provided by the colourful citizens of Brightvale. This could be a hand-scribed scroll, or a beautiful piece of stained glass, or even the legendary advice from King Hagan himself. Like the Wheel of Monotony and the Wheel-that-shall-not-be-named, the Wheel of Knowledge can be spun once every 24 hours.

…I’m missing one, aren’t I? Oh - the Wheel of Misfortune. …Yeah, you’re probably better off just skipping that one.

See? Things aren’t as hopeless as they seem. I know it’s hard to tell yourself that when you’re crying in the sand, but believe me when I say you will rebuild, and you will come out of this a stronger, smarter Neopian.

And remember: no matter how many neopoints you have in the bank…

You still have your Neopets, and they still love you. Your collection of trophies is still impressive, as is your gallery of whatever it is you’ve taken up collecting. Your guild is still awesome, that font you built for the NeoBoards is still awesome, and your avatar collection is still awesome… even if it is still missing that one, shiny, gold-plated, perfectly spinning…

… Maybe just one more spin.

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