When a NeoFriend sent me the link to the Almost Abandoned Attic at Neopets I was more than a little excited. The chance to get a rare item at a deep discount kept me at the portal for a while refreshing every so often trying to catch a restock. The basic concept behind the “Almost Abandoned Attic” is that it operates like the Igloo Garage Sale; items are stocked at random and some of them are extremely rare and worth a lot of NP. So far I have only seen three restocks and I hit the page often. So how did this seemingly great idea turn into one of the “hacker havens”? It was only a matter of time before someone created a program to sniff out items stocked, that’s been going on at the Igloo Garage Sale for a long time. Neopets is usually on the ball when it comes to busting people that are using autobuyers in shops or those that hack accounts but for whatever reason they aren’t doing anything about the people that are scamming the Igloo Garage Sale and the Almost Abandoned Attic.
If you have been to the page and have been lucky enough to see anything listed you might as well just sit there and stare at them because even with the fastest internet connection known to man you will never be able to get anything of value. Even with a limit of ten items per day, it is still impossible to get anything. To make things worse Neopets announced that side accounts that are aged / over three years old can also be used to obtain things from the Almost Abandoned Attic. To me this is just asking for people to scam but worse, the inability to get anything is prompting people to use hacks to try and get items. I have seen two of the hacks in action when someone videotaped them and posted them to a popular video hosting site; they have since been removed by the host site for undisclosed reasons.
The hacks automatically refresh the page and when the page changes it sounds an alert; in the case of the Almost Abandoned Attic it makes a “ding” sound when items are restocked (since it changes the view of the page and the number of images that are loaded). I do not endorse any type of cheating, use of hacks, scamming techniques or anything else that violates the TNT User Agreement or players code, I am simply making people aware of the things that are taking place at the Almost Abandoned Attic in case they are banging their heads against a wall wondering why nothing is ever in the shop.
What can Neopets do to prevent this type of hack from being used? First they need to implement the same type of rules for the Igloo Garage Sale and the Almost Abandoned Attic that they have for shops. If you refresh the page too many times it will lead to a “shop ban”; that’s something that happens a lot during the Half Price Sale when people lurk in a shop waiting for a restock to get expensive items at a reduced price. Refresh too many times and you are banned from shops. Oh, you can still go to shops but nothing will be listed. The last time I had a shop ban was years ago and I didn’t know that you had to completely avoid shops for one, two or three days (depending on the number of times an frequency of your ban) before it was removed from your account. If you went back in to a shop before the ban was removed it started the timer over. There was no way to know the length of the ban so it was just best to stay out of the shops for three days.
Second, TNT needs to limit the purchases to a main account, the Almost Abandoned Attic was created as a reward for people who have older accounts as a form of a loyalty reward. It seems a shame that something that was created to reward people who played by the rules is being so abused. If you thought that copies of Gourmet Cooking For Your Pet disappeared from the Magical Bookshop fast then you have never witnessed a restock at the Almost Abandoned Attic.