Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Time Waits for No Meeroo

Team Meeroos has published their Meeroo Users Guide, it is full of good information and I would strongly suggest you read it before you unpack your first Meeroos. You can find the Users Guide in Group notices if you missed it, or ask for a copy in Group chat. If you are really having trouble: IM me and I'll send you a notecard with it in myself. There are some important clarifications in there. It is good to now have a definitive guide to the Meeroos.

I have been taking it as inevitable that there would eventually be something about Meeroos that I would not be thrilled with. I think I may have found it. While the Users Guide is mostly good news there is one item that surprised me: Meeroos can only breed for sixty (60) days. I saw somewhere, that I can not locate now, that Meeroos would not have generations/seeds/etc... Basically no set number of breeding cycles, which I think is great. In retrospect the following seems a bit naive, but I had really gotten the impression that since: A) Meeroos live forever and B) They don't have a max limit on breeding cycles, Meeroos must be able to breed forever. Obviously, thinking about it now, it is clear that no breedable can be allowed to breed forever. It would flood the secondary marketplace and it would not take long for that breedable to be worthless as a saleable item. It is my own fault for not thinking that through previously and I am not put out by that part; of course there has to be a limit on the number of times any single Meeroo can breed. What I do not like it that it is on a timer.

I don't know how it is going to work in practice and I am cautiously optimistic. Perhaps it will not be as bad as I fear, could turn out to be nothing to worry about. I love the fact that the number of babies a Meeroo can have in their breeding phase is indeterminate. You do not know for sure how many nests they will produce. I just wish it had been implemented in a different way. I am worried that adding time pressure to breeding is going to make what is supposed to be fun more stressful, more like work. If there is a set number of times a pet can breed, even if that number is semi-random and secret even from the User, then there is no time pressure at all. You can leave your pets separated, but with food, and they will continue on without breeding quite happily. When you do want to breed them again you can just reintroduce the males and the females [Peat, you remember Becky, right...?]. With Meeroos you have sixty (60) days and then that is it: they are done breeding.

That being what it is, I cannot say that I have ever separated any other breedable pets for more than a day or two (2) for any reason. I normally, well always, breed them right through until they run out of whatever limits their breeding cycles. So there is a good chance that the Meeroos limit being time will not impact me as much as I think. My concern is that the countdown will always be at the back of my mind, and if I miss a chance to breed a pair, especially if the fault is because of SL itself, because I can't get InWorld to move them around; it is going to be made worse by the fact that the time lost is gone. If a pet with a fixed number of cycles misses the chance to breed you can separate out the two (2) who failed and they can try again next cycle with nothing being lost. That I have done a few times. With a breeding phase timer any missed time is potentially missed nests and a reduction in the total number of nests the effected Meeroos can have.

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining, I am not even interested in it being changed at this point. After all the work Team Meeroos has put in, and the dedication to listening they have shown, I believe they will sort it out if it does turn into a problem. As it says on their blog in this post:

So if you ask, "When will the Meeroos be done?"
The answer will always be, "Not in the forseeable future."

Even now the Meeroos are a work in progress. If specific things don't work out as planned, or if people complain, I trust Malevay Studios to continue listening. After everything written above I am actually a bit excited to try it out. I think it is unlikely, but who knows: I may prefer the timer system to any other in the end. I have about sixty (60) days nine (9) hours until I will know for sure. I will get back to you on what I think about it then, if not a bit before.

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  1. it's interesting to note when it was 10days between breedings and elderly was at 120 days, no one said a word, even though this works out to the same potential number of offspring.


  2. Ooooh, I did not know that Elderly used to start at 120 days, I had never seen any age associated with it until I saw the Users Guide. I must have missed it :(