The janitor is the accepted slang term for the memory management and cleanup system within DragonRealms. It is actually multiple systems, consisting of active, semi-active, and passive mechanisms that remove "trash" items from the game to keep total item count down to a manageable level, which in turn reduces game lag. Players have tools to clean out individual rooms (DUMP), while GameMasters have tools that regularly clean out the areas that are known to accumulate the most "trash".
In addition, if an area is empty of players, it may be unloaded from memory, which will cause the destruction of all items in it.
While some functions of the memory cleanup system can be set to ignore specific items or even classes of items, the memory unloading function is controlled at a level that GMs cannot easily control, and thus ignores the settings of many items that are otherwise exempt.
A *very* loud voice intones, "In approximately one minute, I am returning to this spot and picking up everything I find on the ground. If you leave it there, it's MINE and I won't give it back!"
A grumbling janitor wanders into the area. Flailing his broom, he shouts, "I'm a-pickin' stuff up! Cain't stand this clutter another roisaen! Ye have till I count ten t'get it yerself, or 'tis mine!" With great concentration, his brow wrinkles and he begins to count.
A flurry of motion signals the arrival of the janitor. "I'll be coming back to clean this up in just a minute! Better pick up anything ye're wanting to keep!" he warns, then dashes off.
A low fog rolls in, then just as quickly rolls out.
A scavenger troll strolls in, looks you squarely in the eye and says, "Me thinks I likes this <item>." Suddenly, in a blur of motion, it grabs all the junk strewn throughout the area and bolts.
The janitor shouldn't be confused with the junkyard, where players are sent when their individual item counts go too high. Players are not allowed to leave this room until their item count is reduced below 500. GameMasters will frequently send players a warning that they are in danger of being sent to the room, if it is noticed by the staff. The INVENTORY CHECK command allows players to see approximately how many items they are currently carrying. While this problem is also related to the number of items, it does not relate to lag, but to save memory. If a player has more than 500 items, they may become corrupted, which can lead to the need to restore the character from on site tape backup, possible item loss, and in extreme cases it can crash the game instance when a corrupted character attempts to log in.
- INVENTORY CHECK: To see roughly how many items you are carrying.
Dateline 2/5/2001: THAT EVIL GUY THE JANITOR. WHO OR WHAT IS IT?
In a world where millions of items are constantly being manipulated, there is a lot of potential lag associated with making the calculations that track the state of those items. The "janitor" is part of our object and memory management system - it is there to reduce lag, increase the number of players that can exist in the game, and generally improve the overall performance of the game.
The following quote comes from our POLICY verb under item 14:
"In any case where an item is lost or damaged through this type of normal game mechanics, repair or replacement cannot be authorized."
The janitor is a normal game mechanic and therefore items lost to it cannot be replaced. This would include items lost due to dropping at death and after departing. Yes, to some it may be considered an "out of character" loss, but that is a concession we have to make in order to keep the game as playable as possible.
There is never a reason to put your items on the ground, even for a second, except to get rid of them (unless the item was designed to be used on the ground, like a Wayerd Pyramid or a picnic basket). If something of yours gets put on the ground for you, retrieve it as quickly as possible. However, if the item is lost before it can be recovered, then there is nothing we can do to replace it for you. It does not matter if you put them there deliberately, if you were disarmed, or if you were forced to drop the item some other way. All items on the ground are at risk of permanent loss, and cannot be authorized for replacement. We apologize for any inconveniences associated with the system, but hope you understand the need for its existence.
END NEWS ITEM