Petlag: An Explanation, and How to Avoid It
It’s happened to every restocker, both old and new: in the heat of the moment, just as your shops has restocked, you feel sure as though you’re going to land the purchase. Unfortunately, after nailing your well-timed haggle, you are greeted with the nothing but a small swirling motion in the upper corner of your browser as the page sluggishly loads, rather than the shopkeeper giving you the message of success. This is what’s widely known as petlag, and serves as an impediment for consistency and a wrench in the gears, affecting many people. During the course of this guide, I’ll be discussing the two situations by which you see petlag, one in the legit restocking scene, and the other concerning AB’ing with the stealthbuyer. Hopefully, this guide will help you fully understand what is widely believed to be the causes of petlag, and there hence aid you in preventing it.
What is petlag?
Although it’s quite obvious what petlag is, an innate delay seemingly randomly put in that obstructs restocks, the actual nuts and bolts behind the process is much more specific. The root concept of petlag was undoubtedly formed when TNT first instituted the new restocking system years ago, in an effort to curb auto-buying. After observation, it’s clear that the earliest people to attempt to purchase an item get petlag, and most people after do not. This means that automated programs that can buy in less than 1 second or less have no chance at getting the buy, as they’ll hit petlag. However, out of the first 3 or so seconds that a legit player is waiting to refresh, if they see the restock as soon as it goes and initiate trying to buy the item, they as well run the risk of seeing pet lag due to the rapidity of their buy time. In short, petlag is used to dismantle the portion of “restockers” out there that have an awful habit of snapping up items in the first few hundred milliseconds they’re in the shop.
Curing Petlag While AB’ing
While many people fuss over their buy times and complain that they can’t land a purchase in under two seconds, even if you could, it’s not safe nor as successful as having a medium buy time of about a second more. The concept of petlag, as explained above, makes it so that every buy you will ever make will be based off nothing but luck; which is echoed in peoples’ long lists of failed buys and a few successful ones here and there. There is a certain amount of tweaking, however, that can be implemented to improve the chances of achieving more restocks.
To give you an idea of how Petlag affects your buys, and how you can see it in your prog-logs, take a look at this screenshot:
As it so happens, this was a nice example at the beginning of the night when I started the program as to what petlag does to your AB’er. Notice that the times outlined in red
are extremely long, despite the fact that if one had actually missed the item, then it would have been just as rapid as the time of the actual buy, represented in blue
. This is because the failed buy experienced petlag, which is evident by the 8 seconds it took to complete the attempt of the transaction.
Now, what settings help prevent petlag? Well, you don’t necessarily want to make buy times too
long, as then you’re not going to get anything, and not too short, because then you’ll encounter petlag. I myself aim for buys at beginning around 2.3 seconds, but no longer than 3. This will change from person to person however, as not everyone has an identical innate latency to the neopets servers.
Although you should know this process from initially setting up the program, to reiterate, take the experimental time of which you achieve starting out buying something like a junk item, and then adjust that buy time up and down to get it where you want it to be. In the above, my latency is about ~1.3 seconds under my proxy being used, so I add in about 1200-1500 ms of delay for the program to enact.
Warning: you are running a risk AB’ing in shops like magic on your main account, and you shouldn’t use these times (or any at all, frankly) anywhere but on a shell!
Curing Petlag Legitimately
If you haven’t yet discovered the miracle of AB’ing, you most likely encounter problems with petlag on a daily basis while restocking yourself. However, unlike with the stealthbuyer, you can find a way to mitigate your haggle times in order to better attempt the buy. The most important part of this is paying well attention to how fast you’re refreshing at any given time, due to the time after which you see the just-restocked shop influencing the speed of your overall buy time. So, if I happen to double click the shopkeeper in refreshing and it stocks in that split-second, then take extra care to allocate just a bit of delay in your haggle, or on clicking the pet in the captcha, in order to dodge petlag.
The random factor that a human hand brings into the equation does nothing more than help you when these maxims in times come around; whereas the stealthbuyer will always have an equal chance of attempting to buy the item 2 seconds after the stock, .2 seconds, if you know
you’re ahead or behind the crowd going for the item, you’ve got a better chance of succeeding by adjusting your speed of purchase in tandem with your refresh quality. This will hopefully increase the chances you have of buying the item.
Out of the many facets of neopets, being acute to restocking is a useful ability that serves well when trying to make yourself wealthy. I hope that by reading this guide, you have a better understanding of the concept and processes behind petlag, and are able to implement changes into the ways by which you restock to best avoid it. If you have any questions at all, or suggestions about the guide, feel free to post below. Happy restocking!