Sunday, 13 November 2011

New Nests, New Coats, New HUD, Oh My!

Sometime in the near future Meeroo Nests are going to undergo a slight change, for the better. As part of an update Nests are going to be improved in subtle but significant ways. The biggest and most welcome upgrade is that, post update, CSR's will be able to replace lost Meeroo Nests with another Nest. They will no longer be restricted to replacing only live Meeroos. If you have ever required a Nest replacement for a Meeroo you had plans to save in its Nest you will understand how important that is. Tiger makes a very important note: "If you do get a nest replaced and sent to you by a CSR, it is imperative you rezz it immediately as the process is not complete until after you do this." It sounds like the replacement Nest will need to communicate with the database, with you as the owner, to complete the transaction. If you do get a Nest given back to you by a CSR do not keep it in Inventory. Rez it first and give it a few minutes to connect, then it should be safe to take back to Inventory. This improvement is not live yet, as far as I know CSR's can not replace lost Nests with new Nests yet.
 Nests are also getting visual gender identification in addition to float text: The small white flowers that we are used to seeing on Nests are going to get some colour. Nests containing male Meeroos will be adorned with blue flowers and female Nests will have pink. Colour coding the Nests will save a huge amount of time when shopping. On a less practical note the varied colours on the Nests should make my Nest filled Meeroo area a touch brighter.

Also announced in THIS blog post by Tiger: "There will be a new HUD that kicks off the start of Chapter 2 content." Not only do we have the new and improved Nests to look forward to but also an update to the now very familiar HUD. I do not know what we might expect to see change on the HUD but it is bound to be interesting.

Preceding all of the above there have recently been three (3) new Coats discovered: Darkmire, Silverbay and Mistwalker. I have not been able to locate any to photograph yet, but the links on their names above go to photos of them posted online. Catherine says that these Coats are not from the twenty five (25) new Coats promised and that they have always been available for discovery: "The new coats we're seeing are not a part of the update. They've been in the current genetics since release, and there are still more I'm sure we'll see soon." from THIS forum post. We can expect to be notified when the genetics update is applied, as Catherine says: "The genetics update includes a large amount of new content, and I'll definitely let you know when that goes live!" That is the genetics update to our current Meeroos, unrelated to the Chapter 2 expansion.

Keep your eyes out for those newly colour coded Nests and of course new Coats. Soon we should be seeing more facets of Chapter 2 dropping into place followed by the release of the Nocturnals themselves. There is much to come.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Only Pixels?

Almost inevitably when a person complains about loosing a Meeroo, or having issues with them, some other individual will make a comment along the lines of: "They are only pixels." There are a few variations on the wording but the concept is the same and I am not entirely sure what it is intended to mean. I might just as well say: "The Mona Lisa is only paint" or "That dog is only cells." Both are accurate, but they do not convey the entirety of the object being observed. A lot more goes into Meeroos than what you see on your screen.
One explanation of what the phrase might really mean is: "They are not real." That leads us to examine what being real is. In no way are they the same as a live animal, but they do exist. Perhaps it is because, technically, they can be turned off. A light bulb can be turned on and off, but that does not make light less real. One significant difference that must be noted is that real life animals can feel pain, they can be unhappy and uncomfortable. You can buy yourself a whole litter of Meeroos for your Birthday and if in six (6) months you do not like them any more you can just delete them, or give them away. Nobody is hurt because, while they are incredible, Meeroos can not really feel. So part of what could be meant is that becoming attached to your Meeroos is one-sided. You can love your Meeroos all you want but they are, in fact; scripted. We all accept that Meeroos are simulacrum, that they mimic life. It is part of becoming immersed in Second Life, that slight suspension of disbelief that makes it possible to accept Second Life as it is. There is really no issue there, it is understood that the attachment is simulated by the Meeroos, that does not diminish the attachment their owners hold for them. Nobody, I hope, is saying that any digital pet is equivalent to a real animal. If you have to choose betwixt Meeroo food and dog food, please please, for Vashara's sake, feed the dog.

Some people have more cause to become attached, almost reliant on their Meeroos. As inevitable as the first comment disparaging the form Meeroos are presented in is the eventual reply from another player, housebound with a dying relative, confined to a bed for months at a time, permanently disabled, agoraphobic, and so on. There are so many people out there using Second Life in general and Meeroos in specific to bring some joy into their lives, to keep them company or to keep them busy when there may be nothing else there to fill that void. Would they find some other outlet if Meeroos did not exist? Many would, some perhaps not, but what matters is that they do exist and they have and or are performing that roll. When something is that important to you, maybe even keeping you sane, you can be excused for becoming slightly attached. For every corporate style mega breeder in it for the money there is another player for whom Meeroos are a lifeline.

Meeroos are pixels, that can not be denied, but they are far more than pixels. A complex web of data, scripts, prims, textures and they are real, despite the fact that you can not hold one. There are many real things that cannot be held. Meeroos should perhaps be likened to great works of art, or architecture. They are a creation of humans, and some very real people put in an awful lot of time and effort to get them to where they are now. They are not alive, just adorable.

Finally there is another interpretation of the pixels phrase that occurs to me, that what they are really saying is "You should not care so much" to which I reply: I will care as much as I like thank you, but I hope that is not the case. The recent spate of Nest giving philanthropists in Group Chat leads me to believe the vast majority of Meeroos folks have their hearts in the right place.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Q and A

Recently Levio and Allison attended a Q&A session held by Sacred Tome. They had a decent chat and answered a few questions, some of them with very interesting information. The meeting was held using voice and the recording has not yet been transcribed as far as I know, the audio is about 105min long. I have listened to it all and intend to share some of the highlights. If you wish to listen to the recording yourself it is available on the Sacred Tome blog HERE.

A few quick items: There will be a script update. Sounds like it will be before the expansion, Chapter 2. Team Meeroos intends to ensure there is always something new to discover. So when all eyes, or all tails, or all of any trait have been found the goal is to immediately add new content. This has nothing to do with expansions, like Chapter 2, but only with updating existing Meeroos. There has been no official decision on what the remedy to the Regard situation will be. I suspect that decision alone may hold Chapter 2 back a few days. Levio has awesomely reiterated that there are no plans to develop or release "add-on" products for Meeroos such as fertility boosters. Excellent news, good to see Malevay Studios is maintaining their dedication to that issue.

Fascinating factoid: Levio says in the recording that Meeroo Personalities were added to the game specifically to stimulate the secondary market. Another example of foresight on the part of Malevay Studios. I think it has worked out well, and also birthed a trade network where Nests and lives are swapped to create compatible pairs. Some of my best Meeroos have come from Nest trades.

Not much can be said about the Nocturnals yet, prior to release most everything about them is secret. Levio was able to share that Nocturnals and Diurnals will be interbreedable immediately upon release. So the day Chapter 2 goes live you will be able to begin pairing new Nocturnals with Diurnal Meeroos you have now. For the curious: the Bengal coat Meeroo is a Diurnal, it will be breedable from the Meeroos we have now.

A major piece of data concerning the retiring of coats emerged during the Q&A: When a Coat is retired from the starter kits it will no longer be available to have as a new Nest either. Once the Coat is retired it will be impossible to produce a new Nest with that Coat. If we use, as an example, Winecoats; say Winecoats are retired. There would not be any in starter packs. I assume one of the higher Coats would drop down into the starter packs. Levio said that new genetics would not be available in starter packs, so it is a fairly safe guess that another Coat will move down into them. Even if you pair two (2) Winecoats, once the Coat is retired, they will not have Winecoat offspring. Retirement will cap the number of that type on the Grid, there will be no way to create more. Which Coat will be withdrawn has not been announced. I use Winecoats as an example only, it could be any of the current starter Coats.

Other miscellaneous items of note: There will remain only one HUD, even once Chapter 2 is released there will be one HUD only. It will work with all Meeroos. Much in the same vein you will not need new Home stumps for Nocturnals. Levio mentions at one point that there was, once, a plan to add rarity indicators to the Meeroos HUD. I had never heard of it, but in any case the idea has been scrapped and that data will not be added to the HUD. Things that Levio tells us will also probably not be happening: Copyable Homes, Having more than eight (8) Meeroos on a Home and Affiliate Vendors. All fine with me. The Meeroos per Home thing sounds like a script memory issue, and I would think not worth trying to circumvent. I totally understand their Affiliate Vendor stance after all the attempts made to defraud Malevay Studios and its customers. I would never have expected copyable Homes to be on the table, they would have to be inordinately expensive. A note on Home stump distances, Levio advises that the ideal ratio of Homes per square meter is less than twelve (12) Homes per 20sqm area. Maintain that spacing and you should rarely, if ever, experience stump hopping.

Finally, in more super good news, once released the Nocturnals will dig up their own unique Treasures. Levio was uncertain if they will have their own basic Treasures analogous to the Tin Can and Rotten Banana of the Diurnal Meeroos or if it will be restricted to the "better" Treasures. I hope they have their own basic Treasures, they are a small touch but they add so much to the experience. I am always in favour of adding in more Treasure types, both basic and spectacular [epic?].

There is more in the recording that I have not mentioned here, what I have done is the highlights of my notes. If you have the time, pop over to the Sacred Tome website and have a listen for yourself.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Chapter Deux

It looks like Team Meeroos will not make the deadline for the release of Chapter 2, or will they? Catherine writes in THIS blog post that the date will certainly be pushed back: " much has occurred between development and now, that we're too far behind to reach that release date. I'm disappointed, absolutely..." Having said that the Roo Region has been redone, and is worth a look. There is now an Orlex statue in the centre of the store and Vashara is nowhere to be seen. Where has she gone? In all likely-hood she needed her hair done, or perhaps she just avoids Orlex whenever possible. Either way it is something new to check out. It makes me wonder how far off Chapter 2 really is.
It bears saying that pushing the release back, if required, is a good move by Malevay Studios. We would all prefer a completed product that performs to the same standard as the Meeroos we have now, not something hurried. In no case will it be perfect. I have no problem waiting as long as it takes, I much prefer stability over speed. For some people Meeroos may be all about breeding and unlocking and also selling. While those things are all of interest to me as well I, embarrassingly, become attached to my Meeroos. It is one of the things that I think has held me back a bit as a breeder, I just can not release a Meeroo that has not had a full sixty (60) day lifespan. I mean what if they can not find a mate in the wild? For anyone who shares my affliction loosing a Meeroo, even temporarily, to a Second Life or Meeroo coding error can be devastating. To be fair the same is true even if your goal is financial; if a Meeroo who is near breeding time is lost it may not be replaced until it has missed its chance. Right now I think that is unlikely, I had a Meeroo poof and it was replaced within hours of my filing a ticket on the WW of Meeroos site. Response times have improved an incredible amount. That will all change if the Chapter 2 Meeroos have significant issues requiring CSR intervention. So, here is my chant: What do we want? Chapter 2! When do we want it? When it is ready and not before! Going to try and get that going on Roo at some point, if everyone is up for it...?
While we are waiting it behoves us to take a look at what Chapter 2 will bring, there have been some very interesting quotes from the official site on the matter. To begin with Catherine writes in THIS answer post: "The Expansion is a whole new editions of the game, everything is new, new content, new Meeroos, new personalities..." So the first thing we know is that there will be new personalities, one wonders how the compatibility will work? What will the new personalities be? Also from that answer: "These will arrive in separate starter packs, and will be priced exactly the same as the current ones. There will be no changes to the food." Of course we will have to buy Chapter 2 starter packs if we want to participate in it and it is good to know the starter pack prices are not going up. Looks like there will not be any new food either which is probably a good thing. They will not even need new Homes, and both the current Meeroos and the Chapter 2 Meeroos will continue to receive genetic updates as the game progresses, as we see in THIS answer post: "We will continue to introduce new genetics for both, and the two kinds will be just fine together. You don't have to have new homes..." Keep in mind the Chapter 2 expansion is optional, nobody has to buy new starter packs if they do not wish to do so. You can continue with the Meeroos you have now and bypass Chapter 2 altogether if that is what you want to do. Finally, something I think may have been a bit overlooked, from THIS blog post: "..we're retiring some Meeroos. These are being removed from Starter Kits." Wow, since the only coats available from a starter chest are: Winecoat, Fawn and Ursine it must be one, or more, of those. Will their removal increase their value? Probably. So we will loose some Meeroos and gain the ability to purchase new ones, sounds good to me.

While all this has been going on there has been a major change at Malevay Studios, I am unsure how major but Catherine is taking a "...step back from a few roles at Malevay Studios." I do not know which roles she is giving up nor which she is retaining but it is both a sad and encouraging change. While I hate to see Catherine take a back seat on the Meeroo bus I believe she has excellent reasons for doing so, the view is better back there. It also leaves a spot open which has been filled by long time CSR Allison Bluebird. Already she has written her first blog post and has been active in the Forums. Welcome Allison and I can not wait to hear more from you. Delegating some of her duties should free Catherine up to focus on Meeroo development, or whatever else she chooses to pursue, leaving poor Allison with the task of dealing with, well: us.

Finally and perhaps most excitingly there is a Meeroos photo contest under-way right now. If you have photography skills and/or Photoshop skills you should check out the information post HERE. There have already been a ton of exceptional entries which can be viewed on the Roo Region. If you go to the main store there is a teleport sign close to where the Homes used to be located. It is just to the right of the berries food vendors. Right click and select the "teleport" option and it will pop you over to the display area. You can TP in directly using this SLURL. When I was last there MeeroosContest Resident was adding even more graphics to the display wall. It is definitely worth a trip to Roo to check it out, some of the entries are amazing. I have one entered myself, wonder if anybody can spot it? Team Meeroos will be accepting entries until October 21st at midnight and the winners will be announced on the following Monday the 24th. Five (5) winners will each receive one of the very limited edition black-light skeleton costume brushes. Bet nobody will be using the soap on those!

Monday, 10 October 2011


Yes; the post title means multiple instances of spookiness. I am sure it is a word, I mean once it is added to the user dictionary it is official, right? Moving on: things have been pretty uneventful Meeroos wise for me lately. I am sort of waiting with baited breath for the impending advent of Chapter 2. There is now a deadline associated with the release, but it is not firm. Catherine says: "We hope to make our October 31 release date but that remains to be seen." in THIS answers post. I would not count on that being the date of release, these things tend to run behind. If anybody can pull it off in time it is Team Meeroos. I will be updating my public Meeroos events Google calendar with the thirty first (31st) as the launch date and crossing my fingers.
Chapter 2 looks like it is going to bring some interesting changes, in the answer post linked above Catherine also says: "The Expansion is a whole new editions of the game, everything is new, new content, new Meeroos, new personalities, and new angles to the game." I am very interested in what new personalities might mean. Will they be compatible with current personalities? What will their unique animations be? Will I ever manage to catch up on my Personality Profiles if they keep adding more? Regard will also be undergoing some changes: "There are pretty strong changes coming to Regard and the way it behaves and what it rewards." To me that implies that regard may be gained for things other than petting, perhaps just being in the presence of your Meeroos will generate Regard. I have thought, since I started my involvement with breedable pets, that there should be a reward for spending time with your creatures. Simple avatar presence may not be enough however as people would use bots to keep their avatar present all the time. There has to be some method to ensure the player is there and not automated, how that might be accomplished is beyond me.

One thing I have been undertaking is creating a more focused breeding program. Because I am lazy I have not been participating in the secondary marketplace for Meeroo sales, as such I have had a limited budget for berries. I look at it as a good thing, I have reduced the number of breeding Meeroos I keep to about twenty (20) and am keeping a close eye on them. I love how when I have fewer Meeroos I can remember all their names, and when I get the new-nest offlines I now know exactly who the parents are and what I might be expecting from them. Before I had so many I would have to check the spreadsheet or log in to find out who the parents were, what their traits are and then I could decide if I was thrilled or disappointed with the Nest. I do have far fewer Nests being produced now, but they are more in line with what I am trying to do breeding wise. As I wrote in an earlier post I have also switched to Short-Cycle breeding and am spending more time evaluating pairs and switching partners around in the hopes of getting more traits from them. It has not been long enough for me to judge the results yet, but it will soon be time to swap a few Meeroos around; dare I hold out hope for an ever elusive Snowpaw?
Malevay Studios has outdone itself again with the Halloween content they have created. The concept of "costumes" for Meeroos is genius, I do not know why nobody else has ever though of it. Brilliant discoveries always seem easy after someone else figures them out I guess. The way the outfits work is this: You buy the costume for L$350 and you can then paint it on to any Meeroo you own. It works on both normal and MeePet Meeroos. The costumes are limited edition, only available until November first (1st). That means you have the chance to turn any Meeroo into a limited edition one. While all of the costumes are well done, in my opinion the monster and ghost costumes are exceptional. I suggest the ghost for un-traited Meeroos since you can not see most of the Meeroo anyway because, you know; its a ghost. The monster is absolutely adorable in very short tail. I still have a few of my very first Meeroos, ones I persuaded to forgo the wild for the time being in exchange for unlimited honey. They are only special to me, their value is sentimental. What could be better to lift their spirits than a fancy new spooky outfit? They get to chill out with the breeding Meeroos in style. I bet the others are jealous*.

If for some reason you change your mind and wish to revert your costumed Meeroo back to its original coat you can do so with a bar of soap, also available at the Meeroos store. The soap is currently on sale for L$50 but looks like it will eventually be priced at L$350. I do not know why anybody would want to remove the costumes but the choice is there.
As if the costumes were not enough there are also new Meeroo Homes to choose from. My favourites are the scary stump of infinite fright and the spooky green gourd. Also the pumpkin. Really I like them all. Do not forget that there will be new Homes arriving with Chapter 2 as well, although from what I understand the current ones will work fine for Chapter 2 Meeroos. Perhaps I am a bit unusual (perhaps??) but I like the Halloween "look" pretty much all year round. Some things are a bit over the top, even for me, like candy-corn in May. In this case I will have no problem finding permanent locations for my haunted Homes or my mysterious Meeroos. There was some mention of games being available before Halloween where an additional costume will be one of the prizes. I am no good at games, but you never know; I might get lucky.

* I have already gotten at least two (2) IMs from my breeding Meeroos, one of the older ones, claiming that the MeePets getting costumes is unfair and threatening to halt Nest creation until everyone gets a costume. I explained the impracticality of that but it went over like a broken pipe. They might be unionising...

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Scams and Unfortunate Occurances

With any successful product you will find people looking to use loopholes or ignorance for personal gain. Any project in Second Life has additional concerns, platform specific exploits and eccentricities that make business even more challenging. Many times these “exploits” are performed by accident, often without the knowledge of the player involved. I am writing this to pass on information about some common problems I have noticed in relation to Meeroos in Second Life. Please understand that many of the things mentioned below can happen quite without the intention of the players concerned. Some scams are just that, and the intent of the offender should be clear once the scam is revealed. Other times fault may lay more with Second Life than with the individuals involved. I have found the Meeroos community to be honest in the vast majority of cases. The few reports I have heard of actual intentional scamming are far and few between.

I will try to point out where and how I think some of the issues could be unintentional. Please keep an open mind when contacting an avatar who may have wronged you. There is a very real possibility that the slight was not intended and that they will make it right, if that is within their power. I have had nothing but good experiences contacting other players when things have gone awry.

A big issue is fake food. This is a scam and nothing else. Selling fake food has a couple of scam types: at one time scammers were able to exploit a Second Life permissions bug and build fake food vendors they then placed over real ones at the Meeroos main stores. Once Team Meeroos and Linden Labs insured that could not happen again they,... Shortly after I finished the original draft of this post I came across THIS blog post from the official WW of Meeroos site. The fake food vendor problem has not entirely been solved. It is always in your best interest to check that you are paying Meeroos Resident, and not some variant of that name, when you are using the vendors. If you are concerned about using the inworld options there is still the web. You can buy from the official Meeroos store on the SL Marketplace. Best place to find the URL is on the main page of the WW of Meeroos web site. So, slightly delayed post with an added warning, now back to the original:

The Marketplace scam. In this version an account set up to look like a Malevay Studios employee will contact you directly, in IM, and offer food at a reduced price. They then provide you with a SL Marketplace web address that points to their merchant page with their fake food listed as products. The fake vendor issues have been resolved at the Roo location from what I understand and thus are no longer an issue. The fake Marketplace scam is very easy to avoid by always buying from the official Meeroos SL Marketplace store. If you want to be super sure you are in the right store use the link on the WW of Meeroos website main page. If anyone contacts you inworld offering reduced price food; you can be sure it is a scam. Meeroos food is non-transferable and if Malevay Studios wants to offer a food price reduction they will do it via their store and Marketplace listings, not some rogue back-ally CSR. Not that any such CSRs exist, anyone claiming to be such a person has got to be a con artist.

Fake food is a clear scam, intentionally designed to deceive players into giving up their L$. This next unfortunate issue is less clear. I am not overly interested in the ethics or morality of these issues. I am approaching them from a business aspect as well as that of a fellow player. The case of L$10 Nests is essentially ethical in nature and cannot be avoided. The classic example of a grey area L$10 Nest issue is when a seller forgets to put a price in, or some Second Life error prevents it from being accepted and the Nest is set for sale at L$10 instead of the intended price. Eventually someone will come by and notice the accidental pricing. Quite a few people will buy the under-priced Nest and return it to the seller, I have heard a few accounts. Other times the seller notices before it to sold. Finally there are times where the Nest is purchased and retained. This may well be unethical, but there is something I feel important to point out: It is not theft. Wherever you place the blame for the pricing error, it should always be double, and in Second Life possibly triple, checked. In the end it was priced and set for sale, the purchasing party paid the price and took possession of the Nest. I find it patently unfair to accuse such a person on theft, especially in Group Chat as I have seen an unfortunate number of times. I understand the frustration, but while un-ethical is it not an act of theft. Also remember that prices fluctuate rapidly in the Meeroo marketplace, it is possible that for Meeroos not priced a massive amount over L$10 to legitimately be priced as such. Some vendors even hide surprise super low priced Nests amongst their stock. Often they are set for L$10. So the purchasing party may not even be un-ethical, they may honestly believe that the Nest was set at its intended price.

The second, darker aspect of the L$10 Nest problem might be more accurately referred to as the While-prices-are-changing-swindle. In this case the avatar who ends up with the Nest is intentionally exploiting a Second Life idocyrcrasity: they wait until they know a Nest will have a price set or changed. While the price change is taking place the price of the Nest can temporarily become L$10 or some power of ten (10) less than the intended price, because of typing lag. So an Nest being set for L$9,000 might be scooped up for L$900 by a quick but exploitive buyer. This is a trick often employed at auctions where it is a certainty Nests will be set for sale or repriced at predictable intervals. You have a few options for combating the sneaky Nest russlers: On newer viewers you can un-check the "for sale" box and still change the price. Then you can re-check the "for sale" box when the new value has been entered. If that option is not available you can price Objects in Inventory. I had no idea about this and know there was once a time it was not possible. When I was not looking Linden Labs deceptively added a useful feature without personally telling me, as they never do. It means that you can take the Nest you wish to reprice into your Inventory and price it there. If you want to place it back in the identical location use the "return Object to last location" option from the select pull-down menu on the Nest while it is in Inventory.

Something you do not see much of now, but still happens is the duplicate Nests being sold issue. This is where a player has a duplicated Nest, identical to another one created at almost exactly the same time. I understand this was an issue on Magnum release channel Regions for awhile and may have manifested at a couple of other times as well outside of Magnum SIMs. These Nest pairs are only capable of creating one (1) Meeroo, not two (2). Once they have both been Coaxed one will poof. Now if you, as the breeder, Coax both of them yourself there is no real problem, just surprise. You have not lost anything because there should only have been one (1) Nest. What happens if both Nests are sold, or if one is and the other is Coaxed by the breeder? There is a very real chance the breeder has no idea they are duplicate Nests. The more Meeroos they breed the more likely that is. In either case people will have paid L$ for a Nest that will produce a Meeroo who may poof through the fault of, pretty much: nobody. Malevay Studios can not do much about it, especially if one (1) or both of the Nests are kept in Inventory for most of their lives. If the Nests are in Inventory or a SL Marketplace box they can not communicate with the server, even if they could I am not sure how it would sort out which to delete nor how that would be any fairer than the current method. If you have this happen to you, and it is very very uncommon, it is most likely not intentional and with some understanding it can usually be put right.

The last two issues are really different flavours of the same thing. Because of the immense impact genetics have on Meeroo breeding the genealogy of a Meeroo is closely tied to its perceived value. One way to inflate the price of a Meeroo is to fabricate its family tree and hope someone buys the Meeroo without checking. Always verify the parents and grandparents data on the official website before considering expensive Meeroos. With the information being as complex as it is the seller may have made a legitimate error. When doing multiple listings it is possible to copy and paste the wrong text into a Marketplace listing. The seller should always check each listing for correctness, but sometimes things are missed. Protect yourself as a buyer and have a look at the family tree if lineage is a driving force behind your purchase. The second part of the issue is more of a annoyance, perhaps only to me. It is something that can be confusing and leave people feeling taken advantage of: it is the misuse of the term "Offspring" often abbreviated OS. The OS tag is very useful, offspring Nests are an awesome source of cheaper genes. For me the term offspring, or the tag OS, means that one of the Nests parents had the trait that merits the OS. For example if I see a Loch OS Nest I expect that either the mother or father of that Nest was, in fact, a Loch coat Meeroo. I have personally seen listings on the Marketplace where I had to go back three (3) generations to find the trait indicated. I am not sure it counts as a trick, other people may disagree with me. It is something to keep an eye out for. Always check the lineage on the website to be sure, then you know what you are buying.

All the issues above are rare. I have bought a lot of Nests and have not had any unfixable issues. I can say one hundred percent (100%) that I have never been scammed, nor has my partner scarlett. While it does happen, and my heart goes out to you if you have been a victim, it is not frequent. Simply being aware of the issues can prevent most of them happening to you. When things do go a bit wrong try to contact the seller first, I have always managed to find a solution that way. Most sellers want to help and will try to fix things where and when they can. I had an experience where I bought a Meeroo that was, somehow, set to "sell contents". So I got a bunch of scripts in a folder but no Meeroo. He was still right there in front of me, not belonging to me. At first I thought it must be a trick but once I realized what had happened I realized it was likely a mistake. The breeder was able to transfer me the Meeroo directly once I contacted her and I had a few Highland coats from him before he scooted off to the wild. No harm no foul.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Long Cycle vs. Short Cycle Breeding

Recently I had a conversation during which the other person, somewhat tactfully, implied that I do not have many rare Meeroos. They are not entirely wrong, I have a few Amber coats and a few very short tails. That is the result of my endeavours so far. I do not think I have done poorly, I do not keep a massive number of Meeroos. I do think I can do better. I have come to the understanding that the Regard boost is minute, at least I believe it to be. Perhaps significant from time to time, providing a surprise. But for the most part it is the nudge Tiger describes.

My breeding method up until now has included something I will call long cycle breeding, my words for the concept of breeding a large percentage of my Meeroos for their entire breeding cycle of sixty (60) days. I thought the additional Regard gained by the Meeroos during their lives would eventually provide some better traits. In some cases this may even have worked, it is hard to say. I have gotten some cool traits and the parental Regard may have played a part.

My new method I am calling short cycle breeding. It it based on the principle that genetics play the dominant role in breeding and almost discounting the Regard boost. My plan is to breed each set of Meeroos a few times, no more than (3) and if they do not produce the Nests I want I will switch their partners. Again I will let them breed no more than three (3) times before making a final decision on keeping them until they elderize or setting them free.

I can only guess what, if any, effect my new strategy will have on my breeding program. I am not sure how to measure it exactly, but I will keep you posted if I notice anything different. If I get any results or have any failures. I hope my accelerated Coaxing will use up a few of the exciting Nests I have around I really want to Coax. I had forgotten how many offspring Nests I have stashed away.

I am not eschewing Regard totally, I still intend to use the hilarious Pet-O-Matic to bring my new generations up to over one thousand (1,000) Regard points quickly. I do think that helps quite a bit. After they achieve the proper number of points I will slow the petter down to extend its battery life.

I am looking forward to Chapter 2 being released next month [October]. I think I will be able to keep myself busy with breeding until then.