NeoBoards, Then and Now; Or How to Use the NeoBoards
With every anniversary issue of the Neopian Times I like to look back since the last anniversary issue and see what changes have occurred in Neopets since then. 50 issues is a long time, almost an entire year. And I’m not just talking about new Coloured Neopets or items; I’m talking about any major events or new features... or changes to old features. These past few months the NeoBoards were updated, mainly pertaining to the removal, addition, and changes of the number and topic of boards. Being the NeoBoards is a major feature of Neopets I thought for an anniversary issue we look at the NeoBoards before and after the changes and what type of discussions occur on these boards. So whether you’re here for entertainment, historical, or tutorial purposes:NeoBoards, Then and Now; Or How to Use the NeoBoards
Normally I would have began with the NeoBoards as they are now, however for this article I feel it’s best to start with the removed boards first. Why? Because every board has a topic of discussion and when you remove a board that discussion is moved to another. This is why some board titles were changed; so they can accommodate the new discussions that are going to appear on them. As we go through these removed boards I’ll mention where their discussions have moved to.
Evil Things and Monster Sightings (Board 17)
Originally meant to be a board discussing the darker aspects of Neopets lore, it had descended into a sort of general chat about daily life occurrences, hobbies, and complaints about Neopets. It’s understandable why it was removed, it was more a relic board from the times Neopets was a smaller site. Many of the discussions wouldn’t really have been carried over to other boards, but for those which could they likely went to the Fan Clubs board (for the general discussions and hobbies) and Ideas / Suggestions board (for the complaints).
Habitarium (Board 39)
The board dedicated to the now defunct Habitarium. When Habitarium was operational there were threads about player’s experiences, guides and tips, gifting resources, planning raids, and complaining about glitches and being locked out. It was an active board which stayed on topic much of the time, at least until Habitarium ended. When it was ending there were threads about getting to Level 50 as fast as possible, taking pictures of Habitariums, and complaints it was closing. When it finally did end the threads ranged from reminiscing about Habitarium, petitions to get it back, and questions what to do now. The removal of its board wasn’t a surprise, but for those who want to talk about Habitarium the Games and Fan Clubs boards would be the most appropriate.
Merchandise (Board 24)
Back when Neopets was making real life plushies, figurines, trading card game and other merchandise this board was active. But as Neopets moved away from making real life merchandise this board fell to disuse, any threads on it would remain up for days without getting a single post. It’s sadly one of the removed boards that no one would miss. I wouldn’t know where you would go to discuss Neopets merchandise now, my best bet would be the Fan Clubs board or maybe the Key Quest board which had ties to the real world merchandise.
Neohomes (Board 32)
This board was where you could go to ask for tips and show off your Neohome, Neogarden, and Neohome 2.0 (and requests for ratings). It was fairly active and was about a feature that’s still on the site, so why was it removed? Well since JumpStart took the reins you may notice there hasn’t been any new furniture and gardening items released. It’s likely this is because they already have their hands full and this part of the site has been pushed to the bottom of the priority list (making new furniture involves more steps than any other item). In addition Neohomes are now a part of a bigger feature of the site: customisation. And lo and behold, if you read the description for the Customisation board you’ll discover it has been updated to include Neohomes discussion. So it’s more of a merger than a removal due to Neohomes being a part of customisation and lack of updates.
Petpet Park (Board 37)
Petpet Park wasn’t technically a part of Neopets, it was more of a spin off site with connections to Neopets. In Petpet Park you choose and take control of a Petpet as you walk around the titular Petpet Park, playing games and customising your Petpet among other activities. It was both an expansion of the Neopets idea of you exploring a world with your pet companion but also a step back as it was lacking several features, one being its own forum. Thus Petpet Park was given a board on the NeoBoards for Petpet Park users to chat with each other. But much like with Habitarium, Petpet Park closed its doors leaving fans to reminisce and petition on this board. It’s removal wasn’t a surprise but if you want to talk about Petpet Park I would go to the Exploring Neopia board (it may not have been in Neopia but was still a connected pocket dimension) or Fan Clubs board.
Virtupets (Board 19)
Similar to Evil Things and Monster Sightings board, Virtupets was a board specifically made for all things Virtupets and Dr. Sloth related. What it became was sort of an "off-season" board, a board where chat groups went to when there wasn’t an event board for them. Before the update, the now Site Events board used to change depending on what event was going on, including annual events like the Altador Cup. When the board would change to reflect a new event the chat groups for the yearly events would move to the Virtupets board to continue hanging out. But now that they changed the Site Events board to encompass all events, past and present, the Virtupets board was no longer needed. Discussions about Virtupets or Dr. Sloth could carry on in the also now more encompassing Exploring Neopia board.
Now that we know what has been removed, let’s see what has been kept and changed. With these being active boards I’m going to talk less about what is being discussed on it and more what’s intended to be. Are these strict guidelines? No, but it’s always better and safer to follow a board’s topic. Also with twenty four boards there’s bound to be at least one which fits your discussion topic:
The Official Neopets Team Message Board (Board 40)
Actually there’s twenty five boards (technically thirty one but six of them are only viewable by Premium members), but one is only allowed to be posted in by The Neopets Team (TNT). The Official Neopets Team Message Board is one way TNT makes major announcements, mainly involving glitches and technical issues. While announcements aren’t frequent it’s still worth checking in on every so often to see if TNT had posted any new information.
Site Events (Board 7)
Before the update this board didn’t have one name. Nicknamed "Board 7", previously this board would be renamed for the current site event that was going on along with a matching icon. However with site events happening more slowly and chat groups based on annual events being spread to other boards it was decided to make "Board 7" into a board dedicated to event discussion of all kinds. Past, present, annual, and theorizing future events is now all done on this board. The Altador Cup logo is a good icon to use being the most well known annual event, but I do hope that when there is a new event they do change the icon to keep some of "Board 7’s" traditions.
Just for fun, here is a batch of icons that had been used for Board 7 in the past. Can you guess which plot or event they’ve represented?
Art (Board 13)
Seeking critique and/or tips on your latest drawing? Want to show off your winning entry in the Art Gallery or Beauty Contest? Trying to build up votes for your Beauty Contest entry? Notoriously known as the Beauty Contest advertisement board, the Art board is meant for any artsy topic. As you can imagine it’s a very active board, especially during Beauty Contest voting. Just remember your Art board etiquette (do not advertise someone else’s work or advertise on someone else’s advertisement) and chat away about the art being created by the Neopets community. Even if you aren’t an artist it doesn’t hurt to check it out (and you do get one vote per species every Beauty Contest voting round so why not use them).
Avatars/NeoSignatures (Board 21)
Is there an Avatar you’re having difficulty getting or just got and want to fluent? You want one of those fancy NeoSignatures other users have or test out the one you just made? Are you trying to match your Avatar with your NeoSignature? This board is dedicated to that and... no, that’s pretty much it. Yet the Avatars/NeoSignatures board is a very active board, mainly from users asking to be lent items or Neopets to get a certain Avatar (of course because of that just be aware of the rules of lending before deciding to participate). You may even learn how to make a much more impressionable presence for yourself on the NeoBoards while there.
Battledome (Board 10)
Need weapon, training, and/or Ability advice? Looking to buy or sell a certain weapon? Want a sparring partner for 2 player matches? If you’re looking to be a Battledome champ this is the board you’re looking for. The Battledome can be an expensive hobby with training costs building up (either going to the Training Schools or buying a Secret Laboratory Map) and good weapons costing quite a bit; it’s good to have advice from experienced users on what to do and avoid. You can also get strategies how to defeat the 1-player opponents and discuss which faction you’re joining in the semi-weekly Battlegrounds skirmishes.
Customisation (Board 25)
On Neopets there’s two major visual customisation features: the Neopets and Neohomes. Neopets can wear clothes, placed in front of backgrounds, hold trinkets, etc. and the Neohomes have all sorts of furniture and household items for inside and the Neogarden. Where do you start? Well why not on the Customisation board! The board is full of discussions about matching clothes to a theme, rating their Neopet’s fashion, newly released wearables, and other tips and tricks. As mentioned above, the topic of Neohomes was recently moved here and, while not as prominent, there are still plenty of threads that’ll discuss décor and rate Neohomes. There’s also some selling/trading that goes on for wearables (and assumingly now furniture).
"Hey, what about the Customisation Spotlight?" some of you may be wondering. While one of the appropriate boards for it, it’s not a common discussion topic and when there is it’s more about how entries are picked. Since users can’t directly link you to their entry there’s no way to give their Neopet a high rating without possibly going through a batch of other Neopets. But with that all said, why not rate Neopets in the Customisation Spotlight? A hundred seems like a big number but it goes by real fast, especially if you break it up (rate ten, play a game, rate ten more, rinse and repeat). While looking through all the customisations you may get some inspirations which you can then discuss on the board!
Exploring Neopia (Board 15)
Previously known as the "Other Worlds" board, is there a Neopets topic you want to talk about but there’s no other board it would fit in? What are the best dailies? What is your favorite species/Colour/Neopian land? Want to explore the lore of Neopets that’s not a part of a plot or event? I could go on and on but I think I made my point. Sadly due to its lack of focus it’s a slow board and threads aren’t likely to get a lot of responses, though if you’re looking to chat with a group of Neofriends it would make for an easy board to meet up on without worrying about the board being pushed off the first page. Or if you’re just in the mood to chat why not drop in and post in some threads that catch your eye; it’ll make the original thread poster happy and you may make a new Neofriend of two.
Fan Clubs (Board 1)
During my discussion of the removed boards you may have noticed I suggested the Fan Clubs board many times as an alternate board for users to chat on. This is because, much like the Exploring Neopia board, Fan Clubs is a sort of catchall board when it comes to discussing a topic not covered by another board. It is also notable for being one of few boards where non-Neopet discussions can take place, but Neopets related topics are of course welcomed (and preferred). If there’s a certain book, movie, television show, game, or whatever you’re into and you want to see if other users are interested in talking about it, this board is for that. But keep in mind because of this the board is monitored strictly so read through the Neoboard rules before posting anything. It’s another board which could use more users, but just be aware of the discussions you’re getting into.
Games (Board 23)
Need tips to get a high score or a game Avatar? Want to know which games are worth playing to get the most NP? Trying to gather enough users for a World Challenge competition? Or maybe you’re just looking for a set of Food Club bets or answer to the Daily Trivia question. If it’s anything game related the Games board is where you should go. The Games board is an active one which is natural as Neopets has a lot of games. And it’s not just the flash games; any page loading game (that doesn’t have its own board) can be discussed here too, including dailies and competitions (that are not covered by other boards). Its home to a few groups such as World Challenge players, Food Club betters, and Better Than You competitors. It’s also where those who have had their accounts frozen gather as they wait for a response (what is Neopets but a giant game itself). While it probably doesn’t have much for you if your interest isn’t game related, it still never hurts to check in to see what’s being discussed, maybe you’ll pick up a game tip or give one out.
Ghoul Catchers (Board 44)
Not all of Neopets games are on the site, Ghoul Catchers is a game for mobile devices where you can earn NP and prizes. Being its own entity it was given its own board, making it the most recent board to be added. Need tips for beating a certain level? What is the quickest way to rack up points? You can ask other users also playing Ghoul Catchers though you may have to wait, it’s a slow board. Also the board is where many go to ask about technical issues with the game (such as it not connecting to an account) so if you too are having some problems you can see if anyone has a solution (though you should still send in a Ticket to TNT about your problem).
I guess we should also address the costumed Moehog in the room, the Judge Hog icon. This icon was actually the icon for the Beta Battledome board, a board made for beta testers to give feedback on the new Battledome that has been removed (I didn’t mention it with the other removed boards as it was a board for a beta so was going to be removed eventually, also the discussions were identical to ones on the normal Battledome board). So why is this icon being used instead of one depicting something from Ghost Catchers? It could be it’s a placeholder; TNT may have more changes planned for the Neoboard and don’t want to make any new assets until things are set. Here’s hoping we’ll soon be seeing either one of the faces of the Ghoul Catchers or one of the ghouls to represent their game as their board icon.
Guilds (Board 8)
Want to find a Guild? Or did you just make your own and now are seeking new members? If you answered "no" to both of these, this board isn’t for you. The Guilds board is what I call a "utility board", it’s not meant for social interactivity but rather be used for a certain service; the service here is Guild recruitment. Now some Guilds do have members chat on their threads as to not fill up the Guilds message board with conversations, but unless you’re part of that guild you’ll probably get lost in the conversation.
Help (Board 5)
Have a question, one that you don’t think fit any of the other boards? The Help board is your answer. Or maybe you want to help out a fellow Neopian. Help chat is open to both those who have questions and those who want to help answer those questions. It’s a board where both new and experienced users interact the most. It’s a fairly active board too, not filled with that many discussions but certainly with questions and answers, some you may even have had. It’s also a good opportunity to make new Neofriends.
Ideas / Suggestions (Board 2)
A board whose title is a bit deceiving. At first you think it means occasionally TNT checks this board for potential ideas. That is not true. Maybe at one point this was the intention but that would have been during Neopets early years; time moves on and TNT has more stuck to doing their own thing. So why keep this board around? Well if you read the description you’ll find TNT provided an answer: for discussion of ideas with other users. Through the Ticket System you could always submit a suggestion, but have you ever wondered if the suggestion should be made? That’s what this board is now for, users to discuss with each other about ideas they think might be worth sending in. This board is also a good place to put any complaints you have, to see if anyone else feels the same way and deciding whether it’s also something to send to TNT to see if they can address the problem. I would like to think if TNT didn’t want us sending in our ideas they would have removed this board, so let’s take it as a sign they want to hear out feedback and suggestions.
Key Quest (Board 35)
Originally the Key Quest board was very active, filled with threads of users looking for a partner, card and board path strategies, prizes gotten from redeeming keys in the vault, and complaining about disconnections. But then Neopets had to move its offices and, in the transition, game files were lost which resulted in Key Quest becoming unplayable. TNT has promised its return but until then there’s no reason to go to this board; most threads now being players wondering when it will return. As mentioned above you could try passing the time by discussing real life Neopets merchandise and what Tokens users have, but expect slow responses as it’s not that active anymore.
NC Mall (Board 31)
Looking to trade NC Mall wearables? Because that’s all that is mainly done on this board. Meant for also general NC Mall discussion like talking about the various NC Mall events, the NC Mall board has turned more into a utility board for your NC Mall wearable needs. It goes without saying if you have no interest in the NC Mall there’s not much here for you.
NeoQuest + NeoQuest II (Board 16)
Having problems defeating a boss? Don’t know where to go next? Want to know what the best equipment and skill are? The NeoQuest board can help you get through any part of NeoQuest 1 and 2... when there’s anyone on. While active during their release, over time the board had slowed down as the number of users playing through NeoQuest got smaller and smaller. If you never played through either NeoQuests before maybe you should give them a try, if you ever get stuck or want to discuss the interesting locations or characters you meet you know which board to go to.
Neopian Pound (Board 34)
Have a Neopet you want to adopt out? Are you looking for a certain Neopet you can’t make yourself? Want to try out trading Neopets to see what you can get? The Neopian Pound board is a very active utility board. No discussion here, no time, any thread you make you’ll have to spend a lot of time bumping to keep on the first page. The introduction of Customisation (and of unconverted Neopets) and the Neopian Pound being updated with a Transfer option had made Neopets Trading into a major activity. While everywhere else on the site all Neopets are equal, on this board every aspect of a Neopet has a value placed on it (Species, Colour, Converted or Unconverted, name, gender, stats, trophies, etc.). If you’re going to trade you need to know what you’re looking for and plan how you’re going to go about getting it. If you’re adopting out a Neopet you’ll have an easier time though be careful about who you choose; they may want the Neopet for trading fodder. It’s a rough board for an important topic, but stay vigilant and you may get what you want in the end.
And how about one last icon tangent? You may notice that the icon for the Neopian Pound board is Rosie, the Grarrl in the pink dress that loves Spring, Easter, Neggs, and dancing. This is not an accident or another case of a placeholder, for Y16’s (2014) April Fools’ joke they said Dr. Death was retiring as director of the Neopian Pound. Voting for his replacement took place with the candidates being BugEye McGee, Count Von Roo, the Kreludan Defender Robot, and Rosie. Rosie won the poll but it was then revealed Dr. Death wasn’t retiring but, for winning the poll, Rosie was made overseer of the Neopian Pound board. Dr. Death was originally on the Neopian Pound board icon:
Neopian Writers (Board 3)
Need some ideas or someone to review your entry? Want to know when the next special edition or collaboration is? The Neopian Writers board is where authors of the Neopian Times, Poetry Contest, and Storytelling competition gather to discuss ideas, review each other’s works, and plan those collaborations that happen every so often. It’s an active board but not in the usual way, not many new threads or posts are made but there are users on it that will keep a thread going or answer a question when they appear. Though when a special edition or collaboration is coming it does pick up quite a bit as authors frantically do their final touches on their work. If you ever thought about trying to write for one of Neopets writing competitions this board will be more than happy to welcome and help you.
Newbies (Board 4)
Meant to be a board where new users can meet, make Neofriends, and ask questions. However the board more or less became a general chat of sorts and really not a place for new users to get answers or make Neofriends. If you’re a new user you probably will have better luck on the Help board. For those who decide to post on the Newbies board for whatever reason, like with the Fan Clubs board just be careful where and what you post.
Quests (Board 9)
One of the most simplest utility board. If you’re on a Faerie Quest go to this board, ask for the item you’ve been asked to get, wait for a response, and you’ll be given a link to a shop or two with the item (hopefully at its cheapest price). No discussions, threads usually only last for a few posts unless they’re made by someone who’s willing to spend an hour or two looking up items (usually by Premium members who have the Super Shop Wizard or those with have a Neopet entered in the Beauty Contest and a link to their entry in their NeoSignature *winkwinknudgenudge*). Whoever it is, just be sure to say thank you to the user who helped you!
Role Playing (Board 14)
This board is different from your usual board. While the other boards offer discussion points or a utility, the Role Playing board is for, well, role playing. Neopet-related role playing preferably, but as long as you adhere to the Neoboard rules then role plays based on movies, shows, books, and games are allowed (being the only other board non-Neopet discussions are allowed on). Role playing is when you play a character (either an existing one or one of your own creation) and you go through a story adventure created one part at a time by the participants (though there’s usually one who’s directing the story). It can be a lot of fun though it’s not for everyone, if you’re interested I suggest finding a role play that intrigues you (better to find one that just started out so you can easily be fit into the narrative) and ask if you could join. If you’re an experienced role player you could maybe create your own thread if there isn’t one that interests you.
Shop Ads (Board 11)
Want to buy things for a bargain? Or maybe you’re having a sale in your own shop. Be a buyer or seller it doesn’t hurt checking the Shop Ads board to see who’s having a sale or putting up a thread about your own shop. It’s another utility board, meant purely for shop advertisements. It’s a very active board so if you make a thread you’d need to keep bumping it to stay on the first page. If you’re a buyer I only suggest coming here if you just want to go on a shopping spree; if you’re looking for a specific item use the Shop Wizard (or if you’re on a quest use the Quests board).
Spotlights and Galleries (Board 22)
Think your Gallery or User Lookup is missing something but you don’t know what? The Spotlights and Galleries board is frequented by winners of Spotlight competitions such as the Gallery Spotlight and the User Lookup of the Week who might be able to tell you what you’re missing. However due to certain spotlights being put on hiatus (Pet, Petpet, Neohome, and Site) the Gallery part of the board has taken over for now. Still, that doesn’t mean if you think your Neopet’s Lookup or Site is missing something they can’t help. Some artists also hang out here and will be able to help suggest ways to make your corner of Neopets look nicer; maybe even win a Spotlight competition. Other users could suggest possible items either missing or cluttering up your Gallery or information about yourself and your Neopets missing from your and their lookups. Winning these spotlights can be difficult, but the users on this board are happy to lend you a critical eye.
Stock Tips (Board 12)
The Neopian Stock Market is a very easy thing to get into once you know what to do. Every day you find a stock at 15, buy a thousand shares of it (which will cost 15 thousand NP), than you keep an eye on your portfolio to see when a stock you own has reached your goal selling point. But this gives you a limited sight of what’s going on with the Neopian Stock Market as a whole; that’s where this board comes in. Want to know what stocks are on the rise? Which ones are plummeting? Maybe you want to see how much others are making or have invested. The Stock Tips board doesn’t have much in the way of discussion but you’ll know when a stock is at a selling point and you could maybe participate in seeing who got the most for their investment. And if you’re new there are plenty who would gladly tell the tricks of the trade, so why not give it a try?
Trading / Auctions (Board 6)
Looking for a certain item not in shops? Got a rare item you want to sell or price? That’s basically what the Trading / Auctions board is about, rather straight forward really. Much like the Shop Ads board, this board is a utility board for the Trading Post and Auctions. It goes very fast with little to no discussions going on except between sellers and buyers (though alerts of potential scammers are also posted). It’s also handy to get a rough idea of an item’s price and when an Auction lot was put up and will end (some Auction posts may even say when it will end).
Those are all twenty five of the current NeoBoards. While six NeoBoards were removed and a few shifted around, for the most part it has remained the same. However I felt it was a good exercise to go through all of them not only to remind ourselves how wide Neopets interests can be but also put a spotlight on the NeoBoards. Aside from a few active boards I feel that the NeoBoards had become a lesser feature on Neopets. I’m glad TNT rearranged things a bit so more boards could get some focus and more activity. So the next time you have some free time on your hand or want to chat with other people, why not give the NeoBoards a try; you may just discover a new interest, goal, or Neofriends. Just remember the Neoboard rules, be aware what an where you’re posting, and have fun!
P.S.: You may have noticed each board has a number associated with it, going all the way to 44. Not all numbers have a board, many were removed boards and some are for the Premium Boards which only Premium members have access to. You can try looking through the other board numbers if you want, I mean it’s not like you’ll find a secret board for Jelly World or something. *shifty eyes*