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Hunting for Avatars - Obsession or Good Investment?

by jasmineflower16


NEOPIA CENTRAL - Every day there are hundreds of us out there looking for just the right item, page, or score to get us that new avi. We chant “Just one more level, come on, come one! We can do it!” when we see that we are close to the score needed for a game locked avi. We sit up till all hours of the night trying to find the cheapest set of Tiki armor to taunt the Pant Devil with, never minding the costs until it is too late.

Before I get into the pros and cons of avatar trends, I will first explain what they are. You start out with a set number of ‘freebie’ avatars, one for each species of neopet in the game. Now I will be the first to admit that some of these are really cool avis. Plus there is no work involved in getting them, so if you want to kick back and work with what you already have, there you go.

Now beyond the ones that are given to you, there are special avis that you must find the key to unlocking in order to use them. These are the avis that are used for bragging contests, the ones that are most commonly discussed. These images represent some area of Neopia, activity, or achievement that you have found, participated in, or attained.

The NPT comes out with a new avatar every so often, usually in conjunction with some theme or special event. The image in the avi is often the only clue that accompanies it. Sometimes a one-day only avi is released, then the rest of the year those who didn’t get them get to feel envious. And occasionally they will re-release a limited time avi, and then every one will have it. One example of this is the snow-attack-pea that was re-released.

Now on to the main point of this article: the joy, or the obsession that is avatar collecting.

We expend and gain millions of Neopoints each year, trying our hardest to hit over a certain number of avatars. We want the maximum amount of personalized representation that we can get. That is why if you go to the Avatar Board, you will see headings that offer everything from avi Simon says to the loan of avi items. Hundreds of players cruse this board for great deals, or head straight to it the moment a new avi is released.

As with anything else, that dependence can be dangerous along with beneficial. Remember the “pink” avatar disaster? Someone told people to go buy popcorn and feed it to their pets. They didn’t realize that their pet had to be pink first. So what did that little rumor cause? It snowballed. Anything with the word “popcorn” in it doubled, tripled, or quadrupled its price, causing those of us with it in our shops to reap a huge profit. But when it turned out that that wasn’t the only key to unlocking it, many people were hurt. After all, many people fed their popcorn to a plain pet, and lost many hard earned Neopoints.

So far we have gone over the cons of avi hunting, but what of the benefits? If you sell popular avi items, you will be making a great profit. If you collect avis, there are certain guilds that you can get into once you have unlocked a certain number of them. Avatar lending programs are up and running and not only do you get another flashing pixel, but you have the opportunity to gain new friends as well. And I do not think that I need to mention the bragging rights or the sense of satisfaction when one unlocks a new avatar do I?

There are long term avatars that you can collect, and in doing so put away some powerful and perhaps profitable items. Yes, you guessed it. The avi that I am talking about is the Packrat avatar. Now in order to get this coveted avi, one must put away a thousand items in their Safety Deposit Box. But here’s the catch: only one item counts. So if you put in a thousand pieces of bread, only one of those would count. And thus you see the problem. But, fortunately for those of us on a fixed income, salvation is at hand. There are enough low priced items to collect that you can easily find 500 of your thousand. And if a new avatar is released that deals with an item you have, you can choose to either use it to get the avi, or to sell to all the other avi hunters out there. If you choose the former, you will have the dubious pleasure of lording it over everyone else. If you choose the latter, you can make tons of Neopoints off the unsuspecting avi hunter.

Assuming that you are trying to get the packrat avi, and that you are well along with it to the point where things are no longer cheap, what then? That is where your shop comes in. Hunt through all of your items, withdrawing those that you have multiples of. Now put them in your shop or up for trade. If you choose to put them up for trade, just label them “Packrat avi items” and you will get a few offers for them. If you put them in your shop, remember to use the shop wizard to price them. And when you are going through all your stuff, who knows, you might come across a hidden Snorkle Snout!

Now that you have sold off whatever you don’t need, what should you buy? You should really go after school supplies and books. When all is said and done, you can make your pet both smarter and equip them for the mysterious invisible school that the Neopets Team is always saying that they are working on.

The choice to gain or lose in the avatar playground is, as always, up to you. I just hope that I have given you a little food for thought, and that you will know what to do with it. I also hope that my advice in the area of the packrat avi is helpful. Now if you will excuse me…I have another avatar to unlock!

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