Monday, 12 September 2011

Fellowships: What Are They Good For?

With all the recent hullabaloo over Regard and the auto-petter I am interested in taking a look at what benefits being in a Fellowship can provide. There is no breeding boost from Fellowship Regard and with releases to the Regard Store suspended for the time being a player would be justified is asking what they are good for. Do not give up hope, they still have value it is just not based on Regard.
For competitive players the top five hundred (500) Fellowships are listed, in order of Regard points, on the leader board. While there is no benefit gained from being in the top five hundred (500) or any ranking, it is fun to see where your Fellowship is on the list. In terms of tangible benefits you have: Trading Meeroos/Nests, Information and Tips, Help in an Emergency and possibly Mates for "spare" Meeroos in Season. Not all Fellowships will offer these things and some offer more. I have seen Fellowships that offer free space to rez and breed Meeroos. This is often on land where they will be pet frequently. These Fellowships tend to have requirements as well. To remain a member you may have to agree to pet other members Meeroos a pre-set number of times per day. For people who can not afford land these could be a valuable resource, possibly enabling avatars to own Meeroos who otherwise would be unable to.

Beware of any Fellowship that claims they can tell you how to breed rare Meeroos. They may have done a lot of research, they may even have a good working theory, but nobody can tell you with any certainty that their method will work one hundred percent of the time. As we have learned: any Fellowship which makes outrageous claims like that has the potential to be a Fellowship built around cheating the game using exploits as opposed to legitimate breeding. Anybody who tells you they can breed out whatever type of Meeroo you want ought to have a pen full of the most valuable Meeroos on the grid, or be well on their way towards it. If someone who has nothing rarer than a Sierra says they can teach you to breed Koi, be very careful, it is probably a scam or an exploit.

Trading Meeroos and/or Nests is, in my opinion, a vital part of any Fellowship. Of course you can trade outside your Fellowship, and you ought too, but you can get to know the people in your Fellowship and they can get to know you. Our Fellowship uses an InWorld group to communicate. Nests, either wanted or available for trade, get posted as a group notice. Some of my best Meeroos have come from Meeroos I traded for within our Fellowship, I hope others have benefited from the ones I traded them.

Information and breeding tips can be scattered and often inaccurate. While the WW of Meeroos group chat is a useful place to pick up tips it can also lead to confusion when the information is misleading or just plain wrong. While it is not likely to be intentional some people are, unfortunately, misinformed and they then spread that incorrect data unwittingly. Always take information in group chat with a grain of salt or two. Once you get to know the members of your Fellowship and interact with them you will be able to judge if their information is generally valid or not. The ones who provide the correct answers, in a way that you understand, will become apparent. That alone can be very valuable, especially if you do not have time to keep up with the WW of Meeroos blog and group notices. Having a Fellowship member or two who you can rely on to fill you in makes everything easier.
You can not plan an emergency, they happen all on their own. Sometimes you have to be away from Second Life, or (gasp!) the Internet itself, for days, sometimes weeks. In that time your Meeroos could starve. Even putting out tons of food might not be enough, and what if the emergency is that you can not afford food for a few days? Since Meeroos and their food have the option of being set to Fellowship your fellow members can feed your Meeroos in your absence. Make sure they can rez objects on your land and that your Meeroos are set to fellowship before attempting this. Another unfortunate problem is when rental Regions unexpectedly close or go out of business. One of our Fellowship members had her Region poof with about a days notice. Unless you have quite a few L$ sitting around relocating can be difficult and time intensive if not impossible. In the case of our Fellowship member we were lucky enough to have spare prims on our land at the time, so we were able to accommodate her Meeroos until she found a place to take them. While I enjoy helping people, and would never want to see a Meeroo without a home, I doubt we would have extended that offer to anyone who was not in our Fellowship.

Sometimes you end up with a "spare" Meeroo. Perhaps its mate has turned sixty (60) and been released to elder land or maybe it was needed to go breed with another Meeroo. Sometimes you birth a Nest by accident (looking at you scarlett :P). There are many reasons you might have an extra Meeroo and not be able to find a mate amongst your brood for them. The best part is: you are not the only one. There is a good chance that someone else in your Fellowship is in the same situation, and if by chance their Meeroo is compatible with yours then it is synergy time. By putting those two mate-less Meeroos together to have a Nest everybody wins: you both get the three hundred (300) Meeroo Regard points for breeding and whomever owns the Male owns the Nest created. I find it prudent to decide in advance what will be done with the Nest, even if it hinges on what the Nest is, best to have a plan in place to avoid arguing over an unexpected Loch coat with notched ears. You do not even have to transfer the Meeroos, if both are set to Fellowship just rez them on a Home set to Fellowship and they will breed without needing to be owned by the same avatar.

So in my opinion, even without the Regard Store, without any direct game benefits, Fellowships still have a purpose, they are still relevant. No matter what happens to Regard that will be the case. There may be other ways to obtain some of the benefits of a Fellowship without joining one; the re-instated Trade forums are fantastic for swapping Nests or lives. There may be drawbacks as well, as I said: some Fellowships require you to sign-up to pet other members Meeroos X number of times per day. Additional requirements may apply as well, such as a minimum Regard level to join. I prefer a laid-back approach myself, but I am not overly competitive. Make sure you read about what you are agreeing to when you join a new Fellowship, or risk being kicked out for non-compliance. Since there is no game-play benefit from Fellowship membership I suggest you pick one you are comfortable in, if you do not like the other members: do not join. If you feel joining a particular Fellowship, or any Fellowship, would add stress to your Meeroos experience I advise against joining. If you find one where you "click" and the people are friendly and helpful then consider yourself lucky, and do not forget to help them out when they need it!

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1 comment:

  1. All I can say is "awesome post"! I remember back to when I first joined Midnight Meeroos. We were a small crew and I didn't join with any expectations other than to meet others who I could get along well with to learn how this whole system works.

    Fos, your and Scartlett's fellowship has done everything above that you've outlined plus more and the best part about it, we have no requirements. It's why I've never hesitated to invite others to join and I'm happy to watch our cool, laid-back group grow.

    Props to you for taking the time to offer this advice to others. I hope someone finds it useful!