Understanding the Neopets Law of Supply and Demand
When the Halloween Spooky Food Contest rolled around on Neopets, my reaction was the same reaction I usually have when I go to visit Apple Bobbing or Tombola - "Oh great. Another daily that will only reward me with junk that will litter my inventory until I'm productive enough to discard it all. Whoop dee doo". However, imagine my surprise as throughout the day, people began to win PAINTBRUSHES! And MORPHING POTIONS! Immediately my interest in the contest went from absolutely zero interest to obsessively refreshing every five minutes (even while I was at work) for the chance to win something I could sell for huge profit. In the end, I did fairly well - I got quite a few petpet paint brushes, a Halloween Tonu morphing potion, and some gourmet food and books to help my active pet with his stats. I didn't get that Zombie Paint Brush I was hoping for, but eh. What are you going to do? I'm just grateful that TNT gave us the opportunity to win such cool items! But, of course, there are some people who AREN'T so grateful...
Whenever there is a site event that releases popular, expensive items in mass quantities, people are bound to get upset. A day or two into the competition I saw the inevitable complaints - "I just bought a Zombie PB for double that amount last month! GAH I HATE YOU TNT!" and "But now everyone will have a Halloween pet and it won't be valuable anymore!" were common ones. I can see why some people can get upset, especially those who just paid a ton of money for an item that goes down in price by millions the next day due to a site event. It's natural to get frustrated! But some people take it out of hand, ranting all night on the boards, going off-site to complain to their friends, and overall making a very big fuss about it. One person I knew recently quit the site after their beloved Altadorian Wig with Gold Ribbon was deflated and they were unable to get rid of it for more than 3 caps!
I understand the complaints, and I understand the frustration, but I for one am totally in favor of TNT doing this again. This is not the first time I've seen people complain about this - it's a frequent complaint in the NC Mall chat rooms, where items are rereleased much to people's dismay, especially when they realize they can no longer sell their prized item for a ridiculous amount of gift box capsules. So I'm here today to try and show the benefits of rereleasing items that have been retired, or releasing rare items in mass quantity, to try and help everyone remember that this is a game, and getting upset over Zombie Paint Brushes and the New Years in Faerieland background deflating is just silly.
1. It gives less-lucky Neopians the chance to earn profit/rare items
When I say "less-lucky Neopians" I'm referring to those who simply just don't get great things from dailies, for whatever reason, or those who are not great at flash games and find it hard to save money for rare items. While there are many different ways to gain NP on the site, and random events that happen from time to time that sometimes bless the lucky ones with Eventide Paint brushes, it can also be very difficult. When I was in college, I had to make studies my first priority - I didn't have time to sit and watch my Habitarium and play lots of flash games. To expect me to spend my time earning millions of NP to paint my pet is just silly in that scenario. There are many others in that same situation - they have work, they have school, maybe they can only get on the internet at certain times... whatever the case, not everyone can dedicate a ton of time to the site. So why not cut them a break once in a while? Let them win a paintbrush here and there to make life a little easier. Give them the chance to paint their pet Zombie without having to get carpal tunnel syndrome in the process by playing so many games.
2. That's just the way the economy works
Without fail, every time a rare item is made more accessible, people complain "but now they're going to deflate in price and I won't be able to sell it for a million NP!" Well, yes. That is true. But we have to remember that Neopets, despite being just a website, has a working economy. It's simple supply and demand. If you have more Zombie Paint Brushes in circulation, they're obviously going to go down in price. Eventually, they may inflate again (as they probably will now that the event is over) but is that a bad thing? No! If you're really that concerned about your profit, stick it in your SDB until the price goes up again. Supply and demand is simply the way the world works.
If you're trying to save for something, and you're here for the fun, does it matter if you sell something for 10 million NP or 10,000 NP? Sure, in the short term, it'll take you longer to save up for whatever you're saving for. But remember, this is all a game and many of us have been here for years. Every little NP adds up, just be patient and you'll eventually get that dream item you want!
3. Some people go on hiatus - rereleasing items allows those people who return a chance to get items they weren't around for.
For this one, I'm mainly talking about rereleased NC items. Some items get so popular that they are worth hundreds of gift box capsules - have you ever sat down and done the math on the estimated real world worth of some of these items? If an item is going for 100 gift box capsules, each one costing 200 NC, that's 200 real life dollars. TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS. I don't even make that in a day, and I have a college degree! Sorry, folks, this is one NC regular who is not shelling out that kind of money for a pixelated wig.
Part of this is because a number of these items are only in the NC Mall for a short amount of time, or they are limited edition items that require purchases over a span of time. If people go on hiatus and are not on the site for a long period of time, they'll inevitable miss a lot of great items. Is it their fault that real life got in the way? Should we really make it soooo difficult for these people that they have to resort to hoarding gift box capsules to save up for an accessory that has been inflated beyond belief? No way!
Also, let's be mindful of our fellow Neopians who have other things that they need to spend their money on before NC. For some people, buying NC might mean no food for the day, and that is just ridiculous to expect people to do that. Do you really expect them to try and save up two hundred dollars to buy all the caps necessary to afford those expensive items? When TNT rereleases items, they're cutting these people a break. Saving up ten bucks for NC is much more reasonable than one hundred for one item.
There are some items that I feel NEED to be rereleased because the inflation gets simply out of hand. I'll never be able to afford Balthazar's Bag of Bottled Faeries because of inflation, and I know a lot of other people can't either, and therefore one of my charries may never be realized (*cough cough* HINT TNT *cough cough*) but imagine how excited I was when the Altadorian Wig with Gold Bow was rereleased this past summer during the AC. Finally, one of my dream items could be achieved! And it didn't cost me an arm and a leg to do it!
4. It makes the game less stressful for a lot of people
I recently got into stamp collecting here on Neopets. It started with the 1 NP stamps you win from Key Quest and dailies and has worked it's way up from there. I still have a lot of buyable stamps that I need to check off my list, but thinking about the day when I'll have to hand over 1 million NP for a stamp makes me very anxious and less inclined to actually purchase the buyable stamps, because I know with each stamp, I'm a step closer to the expensive ones.
Sure, just like in real life, it's expensive to collect things. But again, a lot of people don't have the time to restock stamps at face value prices in the shops or raise the money required to buy one in the auction house. When rare items are released, instead of being stressed about missing a stamp in a restocking session and then crying about it for the next hour, you feel EXCITED that you snagged such an awesome prize for your collection with very little work or NP. You feel like you've been victorious. Yeah, you can't turn a profit, but if you're a collector you won't want to sell anyways, right? It's a little less stress when it comes to your stamp collection, and you can focus your energy on other things, like training your pet or what have you.
5. "Rare" colors are easier to trade for
In the PC, some colors are considered rare and others are not really that sought after. When paint brushes are released in huge quantities, the value of that color will inevitably go down when it comes to pet trading as well. If you DIDN'T get that beloved Halloween Paint Brush in the event, here's your chance to trade for one at a relatively low value! That is, if you're willing to part with one of those lovely pets of yours.
6. Items will eventually inflate - it's called having PATIENCE
As we all know, the Halloween Spooky Food Contest wasn't around forever. Our chances to win Zombie Paint Brushes and Halloween Tonu Morphing Potions have come and gone. There are still a lot of them in circulation, but eventually, over the next few months, their prices will be begin to rise again as the number of paint brushes decrease. Again, it's that little thing called supply and demand... eventually, if you're looking to make a profit off your hoarded items, they'll be worth something. I have a ton of stuff from Daily Dare in my SDB right now that won't get me much at the moment, but if I wait, maybe the price will rise. Or maybe they'll stay in my SDB until the end of time and never really inflate. Who knows? That's part of the fun!
All in all, it's ok to be upset and a little miffed that the item you just bought for a ton of NP has suddenly deflated from a site event - but when it comes to having a temper tantrum and quitting the site, you need to just take a step back and calm down. Remember that this is how the world works, and things will rise and fall in prices sharply, just like they do in real life. Bringing out those retired items or making paint brushes available to all overall helps everyone on the site - those users who have been saving for years for a paint brush finally have their chance to snag one, and resellers can save it until the price rises again. Sure, you might have lost some NP along the way, or the chance to make some serious moolah, but that's all part of the game. At the end of the day, we're all just here to have fun, and TNT does their best to assure that the game remains fun. Thank you for rereleasing items, TNT - please know that there are some of us who really appreciate the deflation!!