NEOPIAN SURVEYOR – Have you ever had a view on what the Neopets Team was doing, but couldn’t get it out? Well, many players do, and these several players got their chance. In this article, you will see real live players replying to interesting questions which needed to be asked. Even though this article may shine poorly on the Neopets team, you have yet to compare these to the hard work the team has done for you for four, yes, four years.
Question: How do you feel about the Neopets customer support? Do you feel they listen, and care about their case, or do you feel it needs to be improved?
Matt: They need more people; a staff of 30 or so members is not nearly enough for the millions of players. Questions are often unanswered, and people get automatic replies that have nothing to do with their original email. A larger staff is needed, and they need to be people who actually read and listen.
Phob2004: I feel like it needs improvement, but at the same time there’s only so much they can do. For instance, I often hear people complain that their items were lost in a glitch and they want them back, but I really don’t think that that’s reasonable because otherwise you’d have people falsely claiming that they’ve lost things all the time. I do feel as though their responses could be much more prompt; I think they respond to things very slowly most of the time.
Anonymous #1: I think the customer support needs serious reworking. When I tried to complain about something I felt was wrong with the game I was unable to submit anything due to a technical error. Furthermore, I have not been the only one to complain about this issue. Many others have and not one of us have received any feedback or seen any change. We feel they are ignoring us and that our opinions do not count to the Neopets staff.
Tridecaphobic: Thus far I have had no need to contact them, but from what I hear they aren’t very helpful. I have heard accounts of rudeness and general lack of consideration. I think the user needs to know who specifically to contact in order to be listened to. Yes, I do think it needs to be improved.
Author: I feel that the customer support could be greatly improved. In over 7 months of trying to get my wrongfully frozen account back, I have gotten only one personalized message, along with 2 more frozen accounts. However, from a different perspective, with the amount of staff members they have, they do great. If I were part of the team however, I would strongly suggest hiring more customer support staff members.
Question: What do you think about the past and current plots by the Neopets Team? Have they made the plots enjoyable, fun, and worthwhile?
Matt: The only real problem with Neopet’s plots is that everything is constantly delayed. Everybody gets their hopes up for something, and it is weeks before it actually happens. The Meridell plot was great, except the ending was not much of an ending; it did not explain anything, and involved absolutely no actual plot. The Mystery Island plot was too simple and straightforward, and too many clues were done in the same manner. The biggest problem with this, though, was the Neoboards. Users should not have a board just for the plot; it causes many scams, false leads, and cheaters using other people’s clues.
Phob2004: I’ve never really been interested in the plots before the Mystery Island one, but I had fun working on it. However, I think the only reason I had fun working on the Mystery Island plot is because of all the people I met while trying to figure it out. I was really disappointed with how it ended, we worked for so long and it was really anticlimactic. We all had these elaborate ideas with who was behind it, but there was nothing elaborate or surprising about it. I think that something more complicated as far as who was behind it would have made it better.
Anonymous #1: I highly enjoyed the war aspect of the past few plots but found the actual storyline to them quite dull. It was uninspiring and had gaping plot holes. I cannot comment on the puzzle plots as I do not participate in them. I’m nowhere near clever enough.
Tridecaphobic: I am not at all impressed by the plots. In order to get anywhere it seems you need to be just plain lucky, in the right place at the right time. Some clues from the Mystery Island plot rely on luck or outrageous amounts of refreshing to get it at all. They released clues at inconvenient times to most players as well. They need to put effort into a plot or not release it at all. I as well as many other users am terribly disappointed in the Meridell resolution. Also, the Neopets Team needs to follow through on their promises. If they say clues will be released on Monday, clues should be released on Monday. I understand they are busy people; however my largest complaint is the unfulfilled promises.
Author: I believe some parts of the plots are incredibly fun, while some parts are not. The war and beginning anticipation of the plot is very fun, and enjoyable; however, the ends of most plots up until this time seem to be a five minute job. The pictures are quick, the final ending makes almost no sense, and you feel like you spent three or four days working on the plot, for nothing. The plots are one of the biggest things in Neopets, and I believe, they should be treated just as important as they are.
Question: If Neopets were to stay online for several more years, would you still play? If not, why do you think you would leave?
Matt: I would continue to play Neopets forever, but once frozen, I would never return. To put so much time and hard work into something, only to get it taken away is very unfair. The sad thing is that many people are wrongly frozen all the time. Another reason I would leave is if Neopets charged money to play.
Phob2004: I would definitely still play; I put a lot into it and I feel like I get a lot back. I love playing the games and running my shop. The only reason I would ever have to stop was if it got too much in the way of my schoolwork or if I didn’t have a computer.
Anonymous #1: If the current trend of growing restrictions continues I will probably leave. It is getting harder and harder to write for the Neopian Times and is frankly extremely discouraging. If the trend continues, it will definitely be the factor to my leaving.
Tridecaphobic: I think I would still play. The only thing which would drive me away would be stagnancy in site updates (as in, if the staff loses interest and stops updating the news) or else complete commercialization. Nothing but sponsor games and more pay to play games would definitely make me lose interest fast. Otherwise the site is run very well, it is always interesting and I think Neopets is doing a great job.
Author: I would definitely play, unless I were frozen or charged to play. This game is very fun, and looks like it will stay that way. The chance however, of Neopets turning into a deeply commercialized and non-user-oriented site is very much alive, and would definitely make me quit.
Question: Do you think the freezing methods used on the Neopets site are successful? If not, what would you do to improve it if you could?
Matt: The freezing system should not be automatic; it should be run by live people. Also, the freezing process should not be as simple as clicking a button. The staff member attempting to freeze a person would need to go through and view how much time that person has spent playing and what all they have done in guilds and everything before mercilessly cutting them off from everything they worked so hard for.
Phob2004: I think it is successful for the most part, as it stops many scammers. But there are still a lot of scammers out there as well as people that are frozen for no reason. I feel that maybe the Neopets Team could look a little further into individual cases than they do. A lot of times I hear about people being frozen because they made a lot of Neopoints in a short amount of time, and that’s not fair. Many people are eventually unfrozen if they are frozen without reason, but it takes a lot of persistence and patience to reverse something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
Anonymous #1: I think the freezing method has its pros and cons. While it does manage to freeze quite a few people that deserve it, a lot of innocent people get frozen in the process. However, I cannot think of any way to fix it aside from making it purely run by humans instead of code, which would be impractical considering all the people playing Neopets.
Tridecaphobic: I think freezing is necessary to help keep our accounts safe from hackers and scammers. I think it’s gone about the wrong way, though. People make mistakes and should be able to plead their case. The Neopets support should make an effort to be more helpful to people who have honestly had their accounts wrongfully frozen. Innocent players are nearly shaking in their boots in fear of making a mistake and losing their accounts in which they have invested a lot of time and hard work
Author: No, I along with many of my friends have been wrongfully frozen because of a bug or glitch. The automated freezers have to go or have to be fixed. During the time of the Volcano Run bug; a bug where the automated freezer glitched pretty heavily; I counted over 2,000 forum members out of a little over 10,000 forum members were frozen because of it. And only about half, to this day, have been unfrozen. This means, that from one little bug, one code froze about 10% of the forum’s accounts. These were hard-working, honest playing Neopet members that were frozen. I definitely think the automated freezer needs major fixing.
Question: Do you feel that Neopets’ Moderators are doing their job? Do you see scammers and cheaters getting away with their wrongs, or have the Moderators been good?
Phob2004: I see a lot of scammers on the Neoboards, and I see a lot of people saying they have been scammed. But I think the Neopets Team does their best to eliminate scammers and tell users how to spot them. I think that Neopets could be more efficiently moderated if they let longtime responsible users that they know they can trust have some moderating privileges though, instead of constantly having to report people. I think this would greatly help the scamming problem. I do think that the moderators are doing a good job for as much as they have to deal with, though.
Anonymous #1: I think the moderators do an excellent job, considering all they have to deal with. The Neopet players themselves help a lot in this by reporting any scammers they see.
Tridecaphobic: The moderators need to be more consistent. They don’t seem to be working at all times or all boards and many scams, cheats, and trash boards slip through the cracks. How many messages each hour on the general chat are about pregnant 12 year olds or sleepover parties? It’s very disgusting.
Author: I must say the moderators have been doing great to the amount I’ve seen. I’ve hardly seen any inappropriate topics, and the ones I have, were erased and the users were frozen (or warned) for doing what they had done, broken the rules. The moderators could use some more members, but for the mean-time, they are doing fine in my opinion.
Question: If Neopets were to add more advertisements, but in exchange hired more support, designers, and artists, how would you feel about it?
Phob2004: I wouldn’t mind that at all, it would probably make Neopets a better place overall. Sometimes I hear people complain about the ads, but they never bother me. If it takes more ads to make Neopets a better site, then so be it.
Anonymous #1: Considering how subtle a lot of the advertising is; I wouldn’t mind a bit! More staff means more stuff which means more fun. As long as the advertising don’t turn blatant or annoying. Or pop-ups, no pop-ups should ever be allowed.
Tridecaphobic: I would prefer they add more advertisements and hire more staff. The advertisements aren’t that irritating and in fact, they should add some interesting and helpful features to the site. I enjoy many of the advert games and freebies (like the free cereal for pets). I am just afraid the site may soon be only sponsor games which would be very unfortunate.
Author: I would not mind one bit. The advertisements I see are very little, and because I don’t play games often, it doesn’t bother me at all. Sometimes, I even enjoy seeing little reminders of how we can play on such a great site without paying. I encourage, and want more advertisements, in the hopes that the Neopets Team will decide to use the money to get more workers, because it would improve the site lots, and make a lot more members happy.
Question: If you could do three things to improve the current site, what would they be, and why?
Phob2004: I would make longtime reliable users have moderating privileges. I really think that this would help a lot with scamming. It would also help to keep the Neoboards clean if dedicated users could delete party posts and other inappropriate posts. Also I would make things come out on time! I realize that the Neopets Team is busy, but if they’re that busy then maybe they need to hire some more people to get things out by the deadlines they promise. It’s a constant problem that not only sets a bad example for users but also frustrates many people, myself included.
Anonymous #1: I would remove the restrictions on the Neopian Times. I would allow the writers to write their version of Neopia. And I would have a better writer in charge of the storylines.
Tridecaphobic: I would have more (or different) people reading and answering e-mails from users, I would have promises be followed through, and I would put more focus on drawing users to the site through its quality rather than merchandising.
Author: The first thing I would work on is the customer support. The customer support has to be improved the most, whether it means adding more members or organizing it better so that more cases are viewed, and helped every day. Second, I would work on making Neopets a little more exciting, without the plots, Neopets would be a repetition every day. For some people it would be restocking, training, adding money into the bank. For some people, it would be playing games, and adding money into the bank. It would be the same thing every day, so a new giant and important addition to the site every month or so would attract more new players and keep the current players playing. Last but not least, I would add more Neopia-wide activities, such as plots. A possible thing could be a sports league, where players could make teams, and leagues could be formed. Something, where people could communicate and have fun doing stuff they normally don’t do.
Well, this is the end. I’d deeply like to thank the people who were interviewed, who gave me great replies to work with, along with many of my editors and proof-readers. And a huge, huge, HUGE thanks to the Neopets Team, who don’t get the credit they deserve. I also hope the Neopets Team takes some opinions that were given into consideration, for the way to keep the public, is to please the public (within reason, of course). – DemonicHunter4