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Is Neopets Unfair? Article Submitited To The Neopian Times


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#1
Giephen

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I recently started playing Neopets after a friend suggested that I try it out...I have played many of online games in the past most of which I Beta Tested. In a large number of those games you seem to have after an extended period of time, a level of unfairness that is to be expected. I had the feeling when signing up to Neopets that this would be the case, but to my surprise it is not! What I have witnessed since signing up is an out right shame and should be the main concern to the staff of Neopets! Before signing up I had spent a good amount of time watching my friend on Neopets and the things she went through to collect a simple avatar is a shame and what makes that worse is she buys Neopets products often from Walmart and many other sources, only to log on here and spend countless hours searching for something that spawns in a shop only to watch it vanish within ten seconds or less after spawning in the shop! The staff has talked about Macros and other illegal programs often but has not stopped them! Now you may ask your self how could I possibly know that a Macro or some other program is behind this? Well, I use to make them for Sony Online Entertainment when their game EverQuest started having the same problems. We tested countless hours to try and correct the problem only to have upper management close the project due to the rate at which people where closing accounts because of the problem. The game is now only a few thousand strong if that and most of them are the reason it is not popular anymore! Now, you can say that it's your computer that is too slow or that you’re not fast enough but I know from experience that to say that is false! I suggest that the Neopets Team look into this matter before they lose accounts at a rate that will only cause Neopets to fall into the hands of Hackers and Marcos. Also, keep in mind that I could not buy or see anything in any shop after I spent close to an hour manually refreshing in order to obtain something of value. The suspension lasted almost three days! This is unfair at many levels nothing that I was doing was illegal or wrong. Now, I don't mind earning something but to fight with cheaters without cheating my self is a war that cannot be won! Many Neopians agree with what I am writing here but most of them don't have the drive to do anything about it! I will continue this fight until something is done about this for the sake of Neopets and the people who enjoy this game for what it really is! I am both disgusted and angry that nothing is being done about this! I have hope that if we continue pushing them that something will be done and this will be a distant memory to Neopians of all levels. I will be posting this on any and all boards related to Neopets in order for this to spread. We must remember that when we cheat we are not only cheating others but also ourselves. Good luck to TNT and if use a macro please don't use them on a game that is intended for fun, NOT GREED!

-- A Concerned Neopian

#2
Tre Le Coco

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This isn't really an article...this is more a letter of feedback to TNT.

I don't know how long you've been around for neopets - but neopets has been around for 10 years now, going onto its 11th year next year. Its been around for possibly every single hack, cheat and loophole people have thrown its way and other sites ways. Here's a dirty little secret for you;

No site will EVER be 100% cheat-proof

That is a (sad) fact that you should learn to live and deal with if you ever do plan to spend any amount of time on a community like neopets, or any other site you run into. And no, before you go there, I'm not one to support these behaviors that people do, but I'm not going to curl up in a ball and sit in a corner till pigs grow wings and fly, because I think there is more of a chance of that happening than a site becoming 100% cheat proof.
I've been working on a similar kind of site since 2007 and have seen my fair share of the crap people will throw at a website in order to get those super rare items or have millions of gold, or search through code to find a tiny hole then exploit it like being locked in a candy store overnight. Yes it sucks alot that people do this kind of stuff, but thats just how it is and will be till those idiots doing the damage wake up and realize they have wasted their life doing pointless things.
Im sure TNT have quite a few top notch coders who probably spend all day each day trying to stop these things, but people will find ways around it all the time. Unless you have actually coded something and seen people tear it apart with cheats and hacks (and no, beta testing a game is most defently not the same thing, your really just a pawn as a beta tester), you probably won't understand what I'm trying to explain and stay inside your little bubble of happy joy :P

I see your complaint about missing out on items during restocks, and to be honest, you cannot expect without practice to pick an item up after one day of doing it and sell it for millions unless your really, really lucky. Neopets is huge, there are probably a good couple of hundred, and depending on the store, thousand users all sitting there refreshing waiting for the exact same items to pop up and usually is only one or two at a time. All i can say is practice makes perfect, you really can't complain if you don't give it a go and constantly practice at it, even half the items that no one goes for in a store will usually get you some form of profit. And 3 days is nothing really :P I've been practicing for months and I still see myself as a beginner - grow some patience because this isn't a get rich quick scheme if you don't have the skills to do it.

Also - the reason why you may of not been able to see anything in stores is because TNT will temp ban people from purchasing stuff if they refresh too much - oh wow look its a measure they have put in to try and cut down on cheaters! Well what do you know :P And it sounds like that happened to you, these can last from an hour to 24 hours or even more! So watch out next time your refreshing.
BTW, new accounts under a certain age actually can't see items above certain rarities, once again probably to stop a whole bunch of new accounts using bots snatching up all the good items - oh wow another measure TNT have taken to make shopping as fair as possible, who would of thought :P Im pretty sure once your over 4 months you can see all the rarity levels, but at a one month old account, i don't think you can see anything above 70+ rarity...I wish i could find the article i saw that in and get the exacts. But again, something to keep in mind.

I've been using neopets for over 7 and a half years now (with a 3 year break in between just because i didn't have time to keep up with it, finishing high school, college and all that jazz), and I do like neopets the way it is :) You just have to learn your way around and get use to it. Everything you've addressed in your 'article' i've addressed right back with logical reasons and explanations, so please, feel free to try point something else out without doing research :)

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#3
silentcrescendo

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To the Original Poster:
Do you play Everquest?

There have been macros since day one on Neopets. You would think that Viacom could use some of their resources to stop autobuying programs more successful. The RMT model is a highly profitable one and Neopets costs less to maintain than other games that use RMT as a model.

#4
Firerose88

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Oh my gosh, when I read things like this I go crazy! I can't wait to point out everything that is just completely ridiculous about this "article". I'm an older Neopian because I recently just turned 21. I've been playing on and off since I was 13 so by next July that will be 8 years. When I started on Neopets it was back when the only site theme was a yellow background and you had a simple little navigation tool (which I love and dearly miss). That was before ads were on the site, and way before avatars, Keyquest, NC Mall, and Petpet Park. I really miss the old Neopets days because the site was very simple and easy to use and you did not have to pay real life money for anything on the site. Granted they did have problems on occassion and I spent many nights angrily refreshing the home page after the site was down for maintenance. Yes, Neopets did have problems with hackers and people finding new ways to steal accounts. And I unfortunately lost my account after someone got into it and decided to spam up the boards. I decided to stay off of Neo for awhile and when I came back thats when avatars had just been released and that was when the site started to get kind of crazy. You seem to have two groups of people on Neopets; those people that work really hard to save up NPs or play games until the can reach their goal for their newest avatar and then you have those people that complain that its too hard to get some avatars or its unfair yet when TNT released clickable avatars all the sudden those people said it was TOO easy to get it and again they were unhappy because of it. You cannot have it both ways and I feel that I have the right to say that its people like this person that wrote this article about Neopets being "unfair", the completely and totally ruin the site and may one day lead to its downfall. Honestly if you don't like Neopets then don't freaking spend 12 hours on it daily and then spend all your time complaining about it. Just turn off the computer and go read a book or something. Please don't waste your time ruining it for the rest of us.
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#5
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those people that work really hard to save up NPs or play games until the can reach their goal for their newest avatar and then you have those people that complain that its too hard to get some avatars or its unfair

What about those like me who both work really hard to save up or play games and complain about how difficult it is?

I don't see how someone complaining about Neopets ruins it for everyone else. If you don't like to hear people complain about Neopets you don't have to listen to them, just like they don't have to play.
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#6
imnotgeorge

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I read this in the morning right before heading off to campus, and made a mental note to compose a response when I got home, but I don't think I can add anything to what Coco said, nor express it any better. I will, however, point out several issues you seem to have with the Neopets system (for a lack of a better phrase), and a different way of looking at the situation for each one.

1. You find it ridiculous that a player would expend so much effort to get "a simple avatar" despite the fact that she purchases neopets products.

Response: an avatar is like a badge of honor to neopets players (comparable with those sewn badges that boy scouts earn for doing various activities), and it's natural to have different levels of difficulties in getting different avatars, so as to make sure that all players, regardless of skill, knowledge, wealth, or hand-eye coordination can have the opportunity to participate in avatar-collecting, while still making the endeavour challenging enough to keep the most devoted (and rich!) collector engaged and occupied. To make this endeavor easier for paying players would be to turn the entire exercise into a mockery.

2. You can't believe that out of thousands of restockers (most of whom have had months if not years of training and experience), you constantly fail to nab the most profitable items, and you attribute this failure to the existence and proliferation of macros and hackers. You also (ironically) decry the existence of several protective measures TNT has put in place to protect (effectively, I might add) against such shenanigans.

Response: As Coco briefly mentioned, TNT has taken numerous measures in protecting the restocking system from abuse, anything ranging from randomizing restock times, to a refresh ban, to the restrictions placed on young accounts from restocking rare items. Your failure and apparent incompetence doesn't stem from the existence of macros and hackers, but from a lack of experience and the failure to educate yourself about the system and how to optimize your restocks.

3. You feel that your attitude is shared by many other neopians.

Response: Prove it.

Finally, as Firerose pointedly pointed out (heh, see what I did there?), you're under no sort of duress to play neopets. Feel free to make a graceful (read: silent) exit from the game anytime you like. Although, as ayashe indirectly argued, you definitely have an inherent right to protest policies and recommend changes, with that right comes the responsibility to do some rudimentary research on how the system you're protesting against actually operates, and whether your arguments have any validity in the face of that knowledge.

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#7
FutureTXTurkey

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I didn't read this whole, "article," and I'm not even going to pretend like I tried...

Once I got past the first 25 freaking spelling and grammar errors I figured it probably wasn't worth reading. No offense, I'm terrible and spelling and grammar myself, but if you were really, truly concerned about the site, and composing an article you expected TNT to actually read...you would have spent a bit more time proofreading. Also paragraphs are nice...I mean even if English is not your native language, if you expected to be taken seriously, you could have posted somewhere like this first and asked people to proofread it for you.

Moving on though, based on what others are saying, and on what I did read from your article, it sounds like you haven't been around Neopets for very long, so either A ) you should chill out and get to know the game and the site a little better before you freak out or B ) you should just quit playing. If you are so irritated by the game and you haven't put that much time and effort into it, then just give it up. Of course the cheating and the certain aspects of unfairness irritate the long term & committed players, but no site is perfect. I'm mean you make it apparent that it doesn't take very long to realize Neopets has problems, but if people like us, and your friend, know about these problems and still love the game enough to keep playing then that's there business and you don't have to play.

I'm not making excuses for TNT mind you, the site has changed a lot over the year and even though it's now in the hands of people with more funding and sponsorship I don't see the site really benefiting from that funding or sponsorship. They could do a lot more then they claim to about these problems but at the end of the day, like others have said, there's no way to make it cheat proof. So even if they sunk all their time and effort into fighting problems like these, they still wouldn't go away. I'd rather they spend time on features, plots, and improvements rather than fighting a battle they can't win. Plus, lately ever time they add a new "security" feature, it just ends up irritating the fair players more than it stops the cheaters.

I don't know, like I said I didn't read your whole article, but I don't think this is going to be the best way to go about solving this problem, and I'm not sure it's a problem that can be solved at all. There certainly is nothing to be gained from you or your critics getting all angry and worked up about it, so let's all take a deep breath and calm it down a bit.

#8
Firerose88

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What about those like me who both work really hard to save up or play games and complain about how difficult it is?

I don't see how someone complaining about Neopets ruins it for everyone else. If you don't like to hear people complain about Neopets you don't have to listen to them, just like they don't have to play.


Why waste your time playing games or saving up nps if the end result is just a bitter tirade against TNT when you could just, oh I don't know, NOT COMPLAIN? And trust me, I do hear people complaining about Neopets all the time because people like that make sure everyone who plays Neopets knows just how they feel about it.
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#9
Kex

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Why waste your time playing games or saving up nps if the end result is just a bitter tirade against TNT when you could just, oh I don't know, NOT COMPLAIN? And trust me, I do hear people complaining about Neopets all the time because people like that make sure everyone who plays Neopets knows just how they feel about it.


Heaven forbid someone become frustrated with the game and vent about it a little bit. I don't like to say 'don't read it if you don't like it'(how do you know whether or not you like it if you don't read it?), but complaining about other people complaining seems rather cyclical. "People like that?" Really?

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#10
Firerose88

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Heaven forbid someone become frustrated with the game and vent about it a little bit. I don't like to say 'don't read it if you don't like it'(how do you know whether or not you like it if you don't read it?), but complaining about other people complaining seems rather cyclical. "People like that?" Really?

Okay really this whole post is totally ridiculous and insane! This person isn't frustrated, they just want the game to be easy and they want to be able to get all the trophies and prizes and all the neopoints without having to actually DO SOMETHING for them. And I have EVERY RIGHT to be tired of the constant whining and moaning coming from these newbies that have no idea what they are saying. It's simple, if you don't like the site then click the little x on your browser and get away from the computer. Don't go on the boards COMPLAINING to each and every user. So really, if you don't like to read the truth then don't read it. Really?
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#11
hrtbrk

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Okay really this whole post is totally ridiculous and insane! This person isn't frustrated, they just want the game to be easy and they want to be able to get all the trophies and prizes and all the neopoints without having to actually DO SOMETHING for them. And I have EVERY RIGHT to be tired of the constant whining and moaning coming from these newbies that have no idea what they are saying. It's simple, if you don't like the site then click the little x on your browser and get away from the computer. Don't go on the boards COMPLAINING to each and every user. So really, if you don't like to read the truth then don't read it. Really?

While I think that this thread was created for no other reason other than getting a negative reaction out of people (and it's working), I do not agree with this at ALL. It comes off as incredibly rude and hypocritical.

Some people should take their own advice.

Just like you, people with accounts that are one hour old or 9 years old have every right to come here and express their feelings about the game. That's the entire point of places like this...

And in all honesty, being new to a website and discovering all of the "secrets" that goes on, is a bit off putting and that's probably half the reason why TNT has taken so many precautions (which are all nicely laid out above) to prevent this users concerns.

It's kind of like sitting at a table, gambling, for two hours, losing all of your money, only to find out your opponent is using trick dice. They got all the goods, but they didn't win it honestly.


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#12
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Just a preemptive strike here... Like Heartbreak said, you are all perfectly welcome to come here and express your opnions, but let's keep it civil while we do so, please. This seems like something that could turn into either a varied thread on personal opnions or go south and degrade into a flame fest. So be nice, and remember: It's a game, nothing more. Don't bite each other's heads off over it.

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#13
Firerose88

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Just a preemptive strike here... Like Heartbreak said, you are all perfectly welcome to come here and express your opnions, but let's keep it civil while we do so, please. This seems like something that could turn into either a varied thread on personal opnions or go south and degrade into a flame fest. So be nice, and remember: It's a game, nothing more. Don't bite each other's heads off over it.


I'm not trying to bite off anyone's head here and I do feel that my points are validated.
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#14
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She wasn't accusing you of biting someone's head off or bringing up invalid points. She was making sure that things don't get out of hand here.

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#15
Firerose88

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She wasn't accusing you of biting someone's head off or bringing up invalid points. She was making sure that things don't get out of hand here.

I understand that and I'm not about to lose it over something like this. I just wanted to say that the only reason I said what I said was because I believe them to be true and I'm not trying to "start" anything or make someone intentionally upset. I mean, I'm not even the one who started this topic, I merely responded to it and now I have several people telling me I'm in the wrong. I'm not talking about the Moderators. I understand the reason to step in and make sure this does not in fact, take a wrong turn. So...yeah haha.
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