A Comprehensive Guide to the Purge
If you've ever spent some quality time on the PC (or even other boards) you may have heard about this particular site phenomenon. As a purge veteran, I'm here to explain it in as much detail as I can. In my opinion, the purge is one of those things where you have to see it to believe it, but I'll do my best to enlighten you on the event in its entirety. We'll go through some basic questions and work our way down from there.
What is the purge?
Answer: Essentially the purge is a mass deletion of abandoned accounts that are no longer in use or accessible. In order to carry out this TNT or JS staff allow programmed bots to sweep through user accounts at different intervals, where they continue to select user accounts for deletion. People then are able to recreate anything that was on a deleted account, be it username or a pet name. This process typically lasts multiple weeks, on occasion several days depending on the circumstances.
How do I find a name I want?
Answer: Pick a name or word that has value or meaning to you. After you've chosen it, check to see what account it's on. If it's on account that has 'Last spotted: A long long time ago' within its user statistics and has an age of 38-40+ months, it's more than likely slated to be purged. You can keep doing this with as many names as you want. I would advise you to keep an alphabetized (by account) list of names you can add on to. Now say when the account the name is on does indeed get deleted, there's not a guarantee you'll successfully create the pet. Users tend to compete with each other over being able to do this. If you pick a name that you think will pick up a lot of traffic, your best bet is to slam that create-a-pet button over and over with your mouse key once you know the account is about to be deleted. Even then it's still not a guarantee you'll get it, but you'll know you did your best.
In what order does the purge delete accounts?
Answer: Accounts are deleted starting with numbers, the alphabet, then underscores. For example, say you want a pet on the account 'Neouser222'. In that case, the best way to track the order would be to start with Neouser, Neouser(1), Neouser(2), Neouser(3), etc. Then Neouser(a), Neouser(z), Neouser(_#), Neouser(_a), and Neouser(_z). Until it reaches the account you want to be deleted.
How do I know when an account I'm stalking is about to purge?
Answer: By using accounts called purge markers to check where the bots are at. All a purge marker is, is an account that will be deleted within the range of the account you're stalking. For example, if you want to stalk the account Neouser222, you would pull accounts around this one that will most likely be deleted and add them to your tabs or bookmark them. For example, Neouser, Neouser15, Neouser20, etc. They're lined up to purge before your target does. Eventually, if you keep refreshing you'll notice some of your markers will have disappeared. When it starts to get close to the account you want, start clicking the 'create-a-pet' button. -and I don't mean for a mere 10-30 seconds...I'm talking for a full 5-10 minutes minimum, basically until you notice a purge marker that comes after your account gets deleted. If the account hasn't purged once that has happened you can either move on to the next account or wait for the other bots to see if they'll do what the first one failed to accomplish.
What do you mean by bots?
Answer: There are three bots that work together during the purge. Cheetahbot - the fastest one. Pigbot - purges at medium speed, is typically around fifteen minutes behind Cheetahbot. Snailbot - the slowest one. Snaily is generally 45 minutes behind the first bot. With all this being said, there's no guarantee anyone knows exactly where they are. There are too many accounts for any single person to be able to track them %100 of the time. What this means is that if there's something you want that doesn't purge immediately, these bot programs are your second chance.
Do frozen accounts purge?
Answer: Yes they do, as long the account meets the requirements to be purged. If you want to keep track of pet that has been frozen, go to their petpage and if it ends up wiped, you'll know to start mashing the Create-A-Pet button with their name/word in it, in another tab or window. You can see the pets on a frozen account by initiating a transfer to the user and click the option to the see the other user's pets. Just don't actually go through with it! :P Or you'll have to wait 3+ days for the transfer to expire.
What does a pet being gwenned mean?
Answer: Gwenning is where someone sends a transfer for a pet that purges, which puts them in limbo until they're placed in the pound. A person can be frozen or IP banned for this, so I wouldn't do this if I were you. On top of that makes people rather angry.
Are you sure the purge is happening?
Answer: Scrappy recently hinted at a purge in The Neopian Times Issue: 791 editorial.
Hello, when will inactive accounts next be purged? There are some pet names I'd love to use (and a username) but they're currently taken. Thanks. ~majesticpickle
Hello. I feel ya, I'd love to steal Scrappy from someone *evil grin* and we have discussed this! I'll try to give you a more detailed update soon but I think it is safe to say you can expect one of these to come up!
^Most would agree this feels like the site staff might head that way soon. So it's best to be as ready as you possibly can. I hope this guide helped you in getting there and I look forward to seeing others participate in the purge, sometime in the near future!