TNT, I approved of the NC Mall since it was released, but the recent addition of the winged talisman (which improves game-play during Shenkuu River Rush) seems to go against anything you have ever said regarding Neopets and money. For $4 USD players can buy an item which makes it easier for them to play a game that gives Neopoints and trophies?? What about the players that can't purchase from the mall? Are they doomed to never be able to have a trophy from River Rush just because they don't live in the US or Canada and people with less talent can just buy items to make the game easier? ~karlsomewhat14
To be honest, it ended up in the Mall due to a communication breakdown amongst the staff. The item was nominated to be placed in the Mall, but it was sort of in limbo. Everyone had differing opinions on it and we were discussing those opinions, but it ended up being approved to go up anyway. Basically, we fudged a bit.
As for the differing opinions... well, each side had valid points. You have to be good at the game in the first place or the item does no good for you. Essentially, it doesn't make a very poor player into a superstar, trophy-winner overnight. Also, users who are great at the game will already be earning their 1,000 NP
maximum each go anyway and can't earn any more, so it doesn't make anyone "rich" from using it. Those users who can't earn 1,000 NP
in the game without the talisman could be spending the same time playing a different game they're better at, so all the talisman did was let them earn the NP on a game they like more. Obviously, though, the other folks at the table worried about the affect on trophy spots. Trophies earn Neopoints, and they earn prestige, which is part of the game as well. (Unlike with Mall wearables, you can't tell who earned the trophy on their own or who earned it with the help of the Winged Talisman, though, interestingly, the same can be said for the other Shenkuu River Rush game-play items you can purchase for Neopoints.)
Anyway, this is why we were in debates and the item shouldn't have gone up just yet. But it did go up, so we gauged your reactions, watched high score lists, monitored the Neopoints won, etc. (things we always do when we launch something new). We know "functional" items would sell very well, and one of the reasons the Mall exists is to earn revenue, but we don't want anyone to be able to buy their way through the game of Neopets. So, we're trying our best to come up with items that are useful but don't give anyone a huge advantage - the perfect balance. We can think about these things until our brains implode and not know what exactly will happen with certain items, so this was a very informative accident. We'll keep trying more items, and some of them won't work, but the only way for us to know is to test them. So, in the future, you'll see more and different types of items in the Mall. Feel free to send us your feedback, or even your own item ideas.
(By the way, thanks to the folks who sent in feedback and participated in boards that discussed the item rationally and logically - those who understood both sides but still expressed their concerns with the item. It's our decision, but we *do* actually listen, despite what some think. Complaints without valid reasoning or logic do nothing to help us see your points!)
In the end, we decided to take the talisman down come Tuesday when we had the next Mall update. It should be noted that no one who has earned a trophy since it sold has purchased the talisman. We'll continue to watch it since those who purchased the item paid for it and are able to keep it until it expires, but so far, it has not been detrimental to the high score list.