You know, you can’t please everyone all of the time, and I’m sure that’s how Mika and Zilar Deluxe must feel right now after releasing the 1.3 update to the Wildwood cat crowd.
Such feelings must come as no surprise to people who have been around other breedables for a while, because it’s pretty common for chat groups to explode after any breedable update.
Honestly, If I was a creator I’d release an update and leave the country for a good month or so, or at least until the dust has settled, because the Second Life breedable community tends to get VERY stroppy after each one and for some people an update is literally the end of their virtual world.
But without them, breedable games such as Wildwood would quickly stagnate and fall out of favour. In fact, it must be said that the markets are already starting to plateau, so a timely update was needed to revitalise the Wildwood game.
Yes, they can be a pain, but the great thing about them is the promise of new content and if you are a Wildwood enthusiast, you should be excited.
Here’s a list of the changes that 1.3 has brought:
1. New Ear Traits
I can’t think of any new ear shapes left to discover so this will be fun to see, and of course, this also means more inbred ear mixes.
2. New Eyes
Yes, read that again, NEW EYES. Oh, and there are new textures for existing eyes that make them appear even more vibrant than before..
3. New body shapes
Think about this change guys..body shapes, what can that possibly mean?? ( Have you noticed the cat’s muzzles are shorter now btw? Now, what kinds of cats have shorter muzzles I wonder..)
4. New series of pelts
More pelts guys, but this shouldn’t be such a surprise. There are lots of cat breeds in the real world, so it figures that with each update we’ll see an increase in the Wildwood breeds. What is exciting to note is that there are some new additions to existing pelts too…
5. New particle effect
A new animation has been introduced that warns you when your wee furry friend is at 50% nourishment and in dire need of some nommage..
ALSO: The API shortening issue has been resolved.
Now here’s the important bit, taken straight from the Wildwood literature accompanying each updater:
NOTE: In order to partake in new shapes, ears and pelts you will need to update your cats to be eligible for them, but you will need to purchase new kittens in order to get new traits as the current live cats cannot change their submissive genes.
I’ve seen so many questions in chat tonight about starters that could have been answered if people would just read the instructions. Like every breedable game before it, you have to purchase new stock to get new traits. This is the sole reason why I tell people NOT to go mad and breed themselves out of house and home; there’s just no point. If you want to be in the game for the long term keep your stock small and add to it with a pair of starters from each new round. It’s only January, so there will be LOTS of updates to come this year: make sure your prim count can handle it!
Incidentally, I’ve spoken to Mika tonight, and I know that the Wildwood team have worked their socks off throughout January to bring these changes to this latest update. Even more tantalising to note; Mika says they had to leave a ton of stuff out because they just didn’t have enough time to squeeze every last juicy morsel in. They have deliberately made the eyes more vibrant to make them more appealling to everyone, and also to accomodate ‘future changes’, but of course, you can’t please everyone. I’ve seen as much praise for the new eyes in chat as I have seen grumbles. In fact, I’ve seen lots of grumbles, some worse than others. I’d go so far as saying that I’ve seen some absolutely foul behaviour in chat tonight with lots of toys being thrown out of the pram. I’ve said this before, let me say it again: A lot of the questions that are being posted in chat about the update can be answered by simply reading the accompanying notecards included in every update pack or via the Wildwood forums. In fact the forums are a fantastic facility, so USE THEM. Air your grievances, share your enthusiasm. Don’t like the update? Explain why on the forums. Want to see changes to Wildwood? Then say what you’d like to see on the forums. The resource is there to be used by the Wildwood community, and Mika and Zilar both read and update it. But if you do contribute to the group discussion, be polite about it.
Seriously folks, just because we live in a virtual world it doesn’t mean you should leave your manners at the log-on prompt. I hope Mika doesn’t mind me sharing this with you all; but this is just an example of the abuse that she’s had to put up with tonight from a customer that she attempted to help.
(Note, I’ve blocked out the customer’s name as a courtesy, but actually they don’t deserve any)
[15:45] XXXXXXXXX: i got a ton of clones now
[15:45] XXXXXXXXX: great up date
[15:45] Mika Deluxe: Ah then just file a ticket and we will get them fixed ^^
[15:45] Mika Deluxe: Apparently something is going on with SL atm nothing in our updater scripts changed from before.
[15:46] XXXXXXXXX: no problem i killed all the horses i can kill cats to
[15:46] XXXXXXXXX: so sick of this shit
[15:47] Mika Deluxe: Well if this is going to continue in this manner I suppose whatever you feel you need to do. If you wish them fixed, we can do that, if not, then good luck to you.
[15:47] XXXXXXXXX: bite ne bitch
[15:47] XXXXXXXXX: you will get your fuckin inventory back
[15:47] Mika Deluxe: There is no need to be rude, really, I’m not here to fight with you.
16:02] XXXXXXXXX: thank you for the feeling that one will allways get screwed in sl
I hear a lot of people saying that creating breedable pets is a great way to make bank in-world, but it’s also a great way to open yourself up to shed-loads of abuse. To be honest, Mika was a LOT more civilised with this individual than I would have been. For someone to spout such vitriol over virtual cats is pretty silly really, so I’m guessing the avatar concerned must have had an issue in real life that caused his pent-up rage to spill over into the metaverse.
Fact is, and we’ve seen this time and time again, you cannot guarantee that you will make a virtual living from selling your livestock. There are already way too many cats out there, as there are horses and bunnies and I’m not even counting the impending Meeroos and Dog releases into the equation.
That’s not to say you can’t breed and make a profit at auction or market, but we as a community need to understand that success like that is no longer guaranteed. Be enthusiastic about your breedable of choice, you should be, but you MUST breed for yourself first, not necessarily for the market.
Here are a few tips:
Start small. Don’t be disheartened if you get a common starter cat, it’s what they’re hiding that counts!
Birth only what you can comfortably accomodate on your home sim.
Visit auctions and get wise to what traits people are lusting after..
AND FINALLY…don’t sell (or buy) starters UNLESS you buy them direct from Wildwood. There is just NO POINT in doing this, it’s what causes markets to get flooded in the first place!
A final thought. I love my Wildwood Cats, and I was reassured by Mika earlier when she told me that they are in it for the long term with lots of ideas for how to make their product even better.
This is a good thing to hear, and I’m enthused by this latest update and the promise of exciting new cat happiness to discover.
I think you should be too.
An ‘ACS Angel’ appeared, and started returning all my things and reclaimed all of my land. Fortunately for me, my friend and neighbour Amanda Shinji was online at the time, realised that there was something awry going on and managed to persuade the angel to leave my stuff alone and wait until I was online. You see, I’ve lived on Jasper since 2007, so I wouldn’t leave without giving notice, nor stop paying my rent suddenly which Amanda is fortunately well aware of, so her quick thinking saved the day. Sort of. In his haste, the ACS ‘Angel’ had managed to return a number of items to me including FIVE precious Wildwood breedable cats (one named after a real life cat of mine, now deceased) and these aren’t showing anywhere in my inventory, nor my ‘Lost and Found’ folder. I’ve also lost various other items of furniture, nick-nacks and objects running into at least a couple of thousand Lindens, and although I realise these aren’t real, they have still cost me real money and were valuable to me.
I of course knew nothing of this until I woke up and checked my e-mails, one of which was marked urgent and was from Amanda. I logged in straight away and saw all my land reclaimed and at that point realised the losses I’d incurred. How had this happened?
Well, backtrack: Last month I had a problem at one of the tier terminals I was using and ended up over-paying. I summoned an Angel, who checked and said I was fine and would be for the following month because I’d overpaid, so I thanked her and left it at that. I had no reason to doubt her and I had no reason to check it all out; I was happy with her judgement and besides it was Christmas and that meant decorating the sim and doing festive stuff. Not suspecting any problems I’ve carried on doing my usual Second Life stuff, safe in the knowledge that if there were any issues ACS would contact me. They have my e-mail address and they’ve contacted me before, so I had no reason to think anything was wrong. UNTIL the events of yesterday morning. The Angel that Amanda challenged advised her that I had ignored IMs and e-mails but the fact is, I haven’t had any.
My IM’s do cap, as do most peoples, but I’ve not had any notecards, e-mails nor any direct communications from any angels during all this time. Of course in a panic I zoomed over to the Dreamland terminal and paid my overdue fees, and I also tried to gain assistance from an Angel but there were none online. I wanted them to check this time that everything was OK, and also ask them to come and remove the ‘For Sale’ signs that had been placed on my land. I couldn’t reach anyone; no Angels were showing online and the in-world groups wouldn’t let me join. Frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe it.
While I was waiting I composed the following e-mail and whizzed it off to the Angel that had reclaimed my land. I also sent it to Anshe Chung herself….
Thank you for holding my land for me until I was able to make payment, and I must offer an apology as I was under the impression I had paid double last month; evidently that wasn’t the case. At the time I made payment I did call an Angel over to assist me, she checked and said I was fine and would be for the next month too because I had over-paid, so you can see why I haven’t been aware that there has been any problem until my kindly neighbour took the time to inform me. (Unfortunately I’m not able to tell you the name of the angel that assisted me, in future when I require assistance and summon angels I shall make a note of the name)
However, I must inform you that many of the items you began returning to me, before my neighbour intervened, have been irrecoverably lost, neither showing in my inventory or my ‘Lost & Found’ folder.
I must also advise you that at no point did I receive any IM’s from yourselves advising me of any problem. (Note, I receive a LOT of instant messages). I didn’t receive any notecards, nor did I get any comms to my in-box. I can assure you that if these had been sent to me I would have rectified the situation much sooner.
In fact I noted when I went to a Tier terminal to pay my tier today that when I clicked ‘EMail’ to check the e-mail address you had for me on record, NOTHING showed. I find this very odd, because I have been a renter with Dreamland since 2007 and I have used the facility in the past numerous times to check on balance history etc. I have subsequently re-entered my e-mail address, but I would advise you that if you have been trying to reach me via e-mail then evidently I haven’t been receiving them because for some reason my e-mail address had been wiped?
Also, considering I’ve been a renter since 2007, why didn’t anyone, if they couldn’t reach me via IM, send me a notecard or at least look to see if I was on-line and approach me directly?
Surely the fact that I have been a customer for a number of years now should stand for something??
I’ve lost an expensive kitchen, a number of small items but even more poignantly a Wildwood Cat named after a much loved cat that I lost in real life. By having her in Second Life I was able to keep her memory alive, and now she’s gone.
I note that my land holdings are set for sale still so I can’t place anything, please can this be amended asap, and my I ask that in future if there is a problem can common sense be applied and a more direct means of communication investigated before drastic action is taken; surely that’s the least I can expect after renting with Dreamland for nearly FOUR YEARS?
Not one angel has been in touch with me, I’ve not had a reply to my note and the ‘For Sale’ signs are still on my land. And because of this, I’ve decided to leave.
You could accuse me of reacting in a knee-jerk way to what has happened, but actually I don’t think I am. I’m not saying I expect ‘special’ treatment. There’s been a misunderstanding, and with hindsight I should have been more thorough with checking my payments.
But what I do expect is a level of service and a recognition of the fact that I have been a customer for almost 4 years, at one point owning almost 1/3 of the sim that I live on. I’ve paid tier monthly, OK on a couple of occasions I’ve been late but have ALWAYS paid my dues; and I’ve enjoyed the flexibility that ACS have provided that has enabled me, when spare land has become available, to increase my land holdings. I’ve also been able to decrease too when times have been hard, and I’ve appreciated that equally. I’ve bought land from ACS when a small plot would cost 28k, and more recently when you’re paying practically a Linden per sq ft; either way it’s all money, and all of it funded from RL. I’ve recommended ACS many times to friends (alas prior to their introducing their friend referral scheme) and have been a very happy resident indeed.
All morning I have tried to contact ACS to get the land put back into my name. I’ve tried pinging various people, and I’ve been to the Dreamland Central HUB and repeatedly paged the ONE customer service representative who was online, and they haven’t responded to me.
Of course I realise that there is a time differential that comes into play here, BUT the person who took such drastic action on my land should have made a note to check my account dues were paid, and revisited my land and removed the ‘For Sale’ signs in my absence. Common sense, sorely lacking.
Upon reflection I think one of the problems is that ACS has completely lost it’s human touch and even in our Metaverse that is very important. Despite our living in a world of pixels and polygons, there is still a human behind the keyboard operating the avatar. My suspicion is that there have been a LOT of changes over at ACS recently, including a number of new recruits coupled with the loss of some of the most well known and able customer service representatives that they had on their books has resulted in some serious flaws.
I’m not going to name names here; but ACS had for many years an avatar in their employ who would NEVER have allowed this situation to develop. She was always the one that Amanda or myself would turn to in relation to sim issues, and she ALWAYS sorted it out pronto. She was an assett to ACS and should never have been let go. I can guarantee that had this situation arisen under her watch, she would have had the brains to look out for me when I was online and alert me to what was going on. She wouldn’t in her haste have reclaimed all my land and put for sale signs all over it; she would have sought an explanation and the situation would have been resolved in an instant.
But when it comes to the crunch it’s true that even in Second Life low prices are one thing; customer service is paramount.
Ironic isn’t it that in a virtual world those most human of attributes; politeness, fairplay and compassion seem to be so lacking. It would seem that virtual big business then is no different to those in the real world after all. Me? I’m just incredibly disappointed, hurt and saddened that my time on Jasper has come to a close.
In the years I’ve lived on Jasper, it has changed many times with different neighbours and various landscape additions and alterations. I must say I’ve had some especially wonderful neighbours, and had many happy times with them, especially during Christmas 2009 when the sim looked its loveliest. (We had a couple of designers living in the corner plots and boy did it show, the sim was just exquisite!) Jasper has been my home. It’s always felt like home, and I have never entertained living anywhere else. Of course at this point let me stress that in Second Life you don’t *need* to live anywhere, BUT one of the joys of it for me, like many others, has been playing ‘virtual dolls houses’ over the years, and I have had some amazing homes that I have thoroughly enjoyed kitting out. But boy, the memories I will take with me; drag racing on ice with Amanda and Dad, firework parties, ice skating, snowball fights and just the joys of having friends from near and far in real life assembled in your pixel home having a cup of nano-coffee and putting the real and virtual worlds to rights. I will cherish that.
Ever the optimist I’m a firm believer in the old adage that when one door closes another one opens; but I have to be frank and say the door has closed with a loud creak and it’ll take more than a few squirts of WD40 on the hinges to fix it. I’m going to finish this post now; lest I be accused of going all Prok-like over the situation, but I am gutted, and virtually homeless to boot, so if you can recommend somewhere nice for me to live I’d be very happy indeed. I’m looking for somewhere green and pleasant, possibly a Homestead, but the price has to be just right ( perhaps we can strike a deal in relation to advertising?) But most of all I want a Landlord I can trust and who will respect me as a customer in turn. Something it seems that ACS didn’t.
Yeah, I know I’d said I’d post about another hunt but I want to let you all know that the Kittycats beta is progressing very nicely indeed, in fact they’ve made some fabulous changes recently in response to feedback making Kittycats even more desirable to the Second Life ailurophile…
Here’s a shot of me with an array of cardboard boxes containing kittens!! ( I look so miserable on this picture, my apologies it was one of those days. Yes, we have them in the virtual world as well!) Now, before you accuse me of being cruel, these boxes are what the kittys are birthed from, instead of baskets which are just sooo last year now dahling (chuckle), and the birthing process is actually a lot more fun than just sitting around and waiting for your cats to hatch, as it were:)
It takes thirty minutes to birth your kitten, and while you are waiting the messages above the boxes change at frequent intervals. I am not going to spoil the experience by telling you what they are, but they’re very sweet! Not only that, the boxes shudder and shake as they approach birthing so it feels like there really is a desperate kitten waiting to appear. You can even hear tiny little kitty mews! Squeeee!!!
I’ve said before that the animations on these little critters are awesome, and I haven’t changed my mind. They have quite a few different sleeping animations now; they chase butterflies, wash themselves, run and scamper in a very appealling fashion. In fact, my only gripe, as mentioned previously, is the walk. It doesn’t look as fluid when compared to the other animations so I hope the team are looking at ways to improve it. All in all that is a minor grumble when compared to the sum of all parts, and I firmly believe that the Kittycats are going to be an essential purchase for breedable collectors all over the grid.
And besides, from one mad cat lady to another, you can never have too many cats…
I’m completely bloody knackered, as the photo accompanying this blog post portrays so adequately. For the past few hours I’ve been in a hunt frenzy, and there are not one, but two rather good hunts on the grid at the moment and if you are unlucky enough to miss them I promise you will kick yourself in the head rather a lot. (Note, there are probably a few more hunts going on at the moment, but these are the best ones in my opinion. That and the fact that the wonderful ‘The Rumor’ has blogged at least one of them which makes my life a lot easier! I hope they blog the other one…)
First up is ‘The Season’s Hunt- Winter’, and you have until January 29th to visit all participating stores and find the Snowmen hidden in or around each one. Guys I cannot tell you how fabulous this hunt is, so you’ll just have to see for yourself. It’s not very often you get a hunt that features quality from every participating brand and I don’t mean that in a nasty way, but let’s be honest here, some hunts are better than others and often times you wonder why people have bothered to contribute at all. A hunt after all is primarily about increasing your customer base, so with that in mind the freebie you give away should be the best quality that you can afford to give away. As we all know, not every hunt applies that logic, and as a result some hunts turn into a lesson in how not to market your store in Second Life, and serve only to put potential customers off your products for life.
But not this one. This is as solid as they come, and it covers all bases. We’re talking skyboxes, furniture, animations, men’s and women’s clothing and the rest, from uber-names like Split Pea, Theosophy, Fri.day and the list goes on. See what I mean about quality designers? ALL the best ones are here, and more besides. I’ve not found every item yet but I recommend you drop on over to The Rumor blog where they have a handy visual guide to the items available. (The Rumor is a fantastic blog; and this feature is dead useful enabling you to prioritise your hunting and weed out the ‘must haves’ from the ‘meh’ (Not that there’s really any of that kind of thing here!))
So far my fave items HAVE to be the sofa from Lisp, The Magic Nook sleeping basket (as featured in this photo-truly fabulous fun!), the outstanding skyboxes from Concrete Flowers and Molto Bene, AND True Love Never Dies as well as the amazing Awesome Blossom chair, Elikatira‘s fantastic hair offering and the Art Dummy bench. In fact, while I’ve been hunting I’ve been making a list of stores that I shall be beating a retreat back to once I have some virtual spends, and this is why hunts can be good publicity if they’re done correctly. Not only have I rediscovered stores that I love and should visit more often ( Example: Concrete Flowers, I f*cking love that store!) but I’ve also seen loads of new items and visited stores that have had a revamp since I was last there. Lisp is a prime example, I haven’t been to the mainstore in a bloody age and it literally blew me away when I saw the quality and variety of goods when I was doing my hunt thing!
In fact, it’s almost scary to think how many stores there are in Second Life. At the moment I’m making a list of the best ( in my opinion) furniture stores, and so far I have twenty five on that list and it isn’t anywhere near finished yet, but each one is a ruddy corker. I’ll probably publish that list at some point but don’t hold your breath, it won’t be staying at twenty five stores!
Anyways, you have been told what you need to do, so now go away and do it, ok? I’ll post about the other most worthy hunt on the grid tomorrow. Until then I’m gonna have a kip in my basket. Good luck and happy hunting!
PLENTY OF GREAT PODIUMS LEFT- DON’T MISS OUT!
We welcome your kittens, cats and baskets at our fantastic auction on the beautiful Kittywood Auction Island.
Each podium costs just L$25, and it promises to be a great event with ANOTHER in-bred on the agenda!
Breeder food is provided-what have you got to lose?
I received some sad news earlier via the in-world group that is the ‘Pagan News Group. (A very worthy group to be a member of, especially now we all have more group slots to play with.)
On December 21st, Yule no less, esteemed in-world fashion designer Wiccan Sojourner passed away.
I cannot profess to saying that I knew Wiccan well, but I did have a number of encounters with her over the years and she was totally lovely. So friendly, helpful and modest – I know that we always have a tendency to say things like that about people who pass away, but honestly the impression that she left on me was that she was a remarkable lady and she was infused with a spirit than genuinely shone through into the virtual realms.
Her store, ‘Bewitched Designs’, with its infamous logo and quirky stylings, was for a long time one of the stalwarts of alternative fashion upon the Second Life grid, featuring a range of cloaks, costumes and outfits for both male and female avatars.
Indeed, at one point Wiccan’s main store, on Witches Island, was one of my favourite haunts. Not only was the store amazing, but she had landscaped the environment perfectly, and I often visited the stone circle there as I popped by on a shopping trip to look at the latest releases.
To celebrate her mother’s work, her RL (and SL) daughter Sheltered Heart is going to have a final sale at Bewitched Designs, before this iconic store closes its doors for good.I’ve just popped by the store and got a wee lump in my throat; there’s a memorial to Wiccan outside the main entrance.
Inside you’ll find a selection of wedding gowns, as well as dress-up items including one of the best William Wallace ‘Braveheart’ costumes you’ll see in Second Life (Oh how I love a man in a kilt!) There are also Jack Sparrow and Will Turner as well as Sweeney Todd costumes available for purchase, including a faithful reproduction of Mrs Lovett’s gown. Like most of Wiccan’s work the designs carry her signature eclectic flair and cover a vast array of styles (From Victoriana to pirates to latex catsuits to..Evil Knievel!) but if ruffles and flamoyance are your thing then you really need to pay the store a visit before it passes into Second Life legend.
Wiccan, you blazed a trail in our metaverse and for that you will always be remembered by the many people who loved and admired you both in first life and second. May the Summerlands treat you kindly x
If you have some Lindendollars burning a hole in your pocket I know precisely the place you should go and spend them; APPLE MAY DESIGNS. There’s a sale on outfits until January 15th, and there is a huge selection to choose from. Clubwear, gowns, underwear, streetwear as well as purses, jewellery and shoes all priced so cheaply it’s enough to make you faint! SEVENTY FIVE LINDENS!! WOOP!! ( Fatpacks are discounted as well..oh my!) I pootled along in my merry fashion and picked up a number of outfits, including this one that you can barely see because I’ve been making myself look all windswept and interesting like. ( The top, belt and the necklace and bead bracelet set I’m wearing in this shot were all in the sale and they’re totally awesome- I don’t think I’m going to be taking them off in a hurry!) This is a sale very much aimed towards the wearing it short ‘n’ sassy market, but if that’s not your thang please don’t be put off because there are some nice jumper outfits, boots and jackets and jeans that are most definitely worth a peek. Incidentally the store was VERY busy when I was there, which is never a bad sign is it? It doesn’t include newer items but to be honest it really doesn’t matter, you’re getting some awesome outfits for mix and match happy and I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed, I know I wasn’t!
Some would say a genetic anomaly the kind of which would bring humanity to it’s knees..
Others may say ‘Meeroo’.
I’ve been able to have a close-up look at these critters because they have gone on display to the Second Life public today to stir up interest and basically annoy all the other breedable creators out there.
You see, Meeroo aren’t like all the others. It’s not just that these are exotic, fantastical beasties, but also that the breedable program itself is very unlike those already out there on the grid. That’s because the emphasis is different; you don’t just breed Meeroo but you get the opportunity to gain bonuses, join a society and unlock features. This development is evidently engineered to create a lasting breedable product without the peaks and troughs of recent times, and may prove to be a real game-changer on the grid. If I was a breedable creator I’d be ever-so-slightly nervous about the implications that the Meeroo may bring!
But what do they actually look like? Well, don’t be put off by my previous description, they are actually extremely cute! In fact, I would go so far as to say I was surprised by them; they look good with a great body shape and fabulous coat texture, and the animations I witnessed were both solid and very endearing. My only criticism is, you guessed it, eyes. Eyes are a real bug-bear of mine, and like the Sunrise eyes on the Ozimals bunnies that I mentioned in my previous post, the eyes upon these Meeroo don’t have any central glints of light in their pupils, making them look, to me at least, ever so slightly dull. But that is merely my opinion; when I vocalised this in the vicinity of the Meeroo it was clear that not everyone in attendance shared my view, in fact the fabulous Sasy Scarborough pointed out that she thought they were lovely and that she could melt into them:)
Different strokes for different folks I guess!
The picture at the top is an adult Meeroo, the one below is a baby. The adults are actually rather surprisingly large, but the same prims as a Wildwood cat. There are going to be tons of options that you can breed into these guys apparently, including different shaped heads as well as the more usual coat and eye colours, so that’s an interesting twist.Eye issue aside I’m very keen to see how the Meeroo develop. I don’t know when Beta launches, or if it is already in progress, but I do know that many people in-world are eagerly awaiting the arrival of these upon the grid, and if the preview is anything to go buy I think they will be extremely successful indeed.
If you’d like to learn more then check out the great post from Tracy Sparrowtree on Breedables Inc, that features tons of detail, some of the Meeroo backstory and more of the finer details about them.
You know, what with the recent drama and all it would be very easy to dismiss Ozimals Bunnies as being completely over. The virtual craze of 2010 now replaced by mewing cats and kittens in fact, but hold on. Ozimals may be down, but they’re not out just yet and have managed to retain a core of solid supporters to whom, let’s be frank here, they owe their virtual lives. We’ve all heard about their failings so I feel no need to repeat them again here, but it says a lot about Ozimals perseverance that at a time of crisis they are opting to ride out the tide of controversy and dissent by releasing new products to tempt and tease the faithfully bunny-addicted. They’ve just done it again, with the promise of new Elite bunnies, more on that later, but also they’ve played a blinder in the PR stakes by generously handing out a years supply of bunny food to a small band of early adopters. That’s pretty amazing, don’t you think?
I confess, I very nearly placed all my remaining bunnies in my inventory and just walked away from the whole deal. I know many people who have done just that actually; they’ve been so dismayed by various events that they’ve given up on the hoppers completely. At one point I had..gulp..over a hundred rabbits that I bred and adored. I’ve reduced that number gradually; allowing each bunny to retire into my inventory once they’ve attained elder status. I can’t even tell you how many Elders Of Euphoria there are in my inventory, a lot I think, but there they must remain. It’s not cheap to rear breedables, as many people realised when the market madness overtook them and bunnies began to take over the grid in reams.But back to my point, I didn’t give up on bunnies entirely and the reason was simple, I hadn’t attained the goals that I had set for myself. I wanted to create gem-eyed versions of certain breeds, and once I had done that I then wanted to breed the same, but with lop ears. For me this was a great hobby and I was creating my ideal bunnies. By the time I finally did get my stunning Silver Martin Black with Peridot eyes and lop ears the bunny market had practically evaporated, but by then I was beyond breeding for a small profit, but for pleasure. For me there’s just something rather special about a gem-eyed, lop eared bunny, and once the Twilight, Moonlight and Sunlight shades appeared I was again in bunny heaven. But even this was a brief respite, and sadly I’ve come to realise that there will be a parting of the ways between myself and Ozimals in the very near future, purely because I don’t like the new shades or eyes. I haven’t had an Acorn shade bunny yet, but the brownish tinge it offers leaves me feeling cold.
The Sunrise and Sparrow eye shades don’t have the sparkle or the fire that the gem eyes had, and not only that, but the gem eyes were always rather stunning to behold as far as texture and colour went, whereas by contrast the sunrise eyes look, well, I’m sorry to say it, but they look dead to me. I’m not a fan, and the bunnies that I have bred which feature these attributes I’ve sold because they just don’t appeal to me. I’ve held out though, only to see Hydrangea and Iris shades become the next big thing, but sadly not for me. I don’t think it’s a lack of ideas on Ozimals part by the way, it’s obvious that they do have ideas aplenty, but they just don’t work for me as a breeder.
I confess that all this disillusionment on my part has left me out of the bunny loop. Once an active poster on the official Ozimals forum, I’ve left it behind to become more involved with the cat breedables, being a beta tester for both Wildwoods and Kittycats, and somewhat poignantly, I haven’t missed spending time in my barn with my bunnies at all. I’ve still held by my non-bunnyburying values (but then again I don’t see the point of doing that anyway because as far as I’m aware bunnybury is still not live) choosing instead to place all my retired bunnies gently into a ‘Sleeping Bunnies’ folder that resides in my inventory.
It leaves me feeling sad moving them there; even though these aren’t fluffy balls of fur but just a bunch of pixels on a screen. The emotions that I have attached to them are very real.
Last night I was moving another bunch of newly retired bunnies into this folder, when my friend Vere pinged to tell me about the latest round of Ozimals Elites (special bunnies that can only be bred within a specific timescale and are by no means guaranteed) Vere is a complete breedable addict, and completely demented about her bunnies, and horses, and cats..and, well you get the picture. To be honest, I wasn’t madly enthused about what she was telling me because every single time I’ve tried for an elite in the past I have never gotten one, so what would be the point of trying now? That said, I did have an especially nice nest that I was going to kindle to sell, a Rhinelander Blue lop with Peridot eyes in fact, so there was no pressure on me either way. If I got one it would be a bonus, if I didn’t no worries. I’d still have a great bunny with which to hopefully make a few Lindens. I clicked the nest to kindle, then got back to the task in hand – reducing my flock with a heavy heart.
And then an hour later I noticed a tiny scarecrow with bunny ears was hopping round my barn….(click to enlarge)
Oh it’s hard NOT lo love Ozimals when they get it right, and they really have gotten it right with the styling of these special bunnies. Credit where it is due then, because, one of their successes has always been their Elite hoppers and as this Scarecrow bunny proves they still make the right decisions with regards to texture choices. I’m totally in love with this little ‘Worzeletta’ as I have named her, but will I be keeping her? No. I need the Lindens and I’ve already decided upon the bunnies I will continue to keep as pets once my breeding programme finally comes to an end.But here’s a point to ponder, am I the only one looking to a future without the bunnies? Obviously there’s the whole Amaretto Vs Ozimals court-case looming in the middle-distance, but what about Ozimals themselves?
The reason that I ask this question is due to a photograph posted on the Official Ozimals website, under a post called ‘The Other Side Of The Yellow Brick Road’.
It’s an intriguing photograph, featuring a creature surrounded by fungi in the foreground, looking skyward as various constellations shine down. It’s hard to determine what the creature is; it has an almost Pikachu-like quality to it but one thing is for sure it has large ears, so large in fact that this particular critter’s tabs seem to be sporting icicles! Go and take a look and see what you think. I think it looks like some sort of fox, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be some sort of fantasy-type breedable of which we’ll see many more appear on the grid during 2011.
I must warn you now however that a new breedable venture from Ozimals will not be warmly received by everyone upon the grid. The hardline bunny enthusiasts, of which there are many more than you may think, will no doubt use the posting of the photograph as further evidence that the priorities of Ozimals have shifted perhaps resulting in promised developments being shelved. But look at the bigger picture. It all comes down to the profits of course, and if Ozimals aren’t making the dollars they used to with the bunnies then of course they’re going to move onto a different breedable creation. They’ve proved they’re capable of delivering the product and let’s be fair to all concerned here, the bunnies are an incredible breedable game. The issue that Ozimals MUST address in future is how they relate to their audience, and in future they must take care that they are more cautious in their approach when it comes to making promises, that for whatever reason, they cannot keep. For some reason most avatars have the memories of elephants, and couple this chat logs aplenty and you have more than enough headaches for Candy and everyone at Ozimals HQ to deal with, so effective PR is a must for 2011. We’ve already seen them taking steps towards this (see the first paragraph to this article) which is a good thing in the long-term, and I am pretty sure that they are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that they don’t fall into the same traps that they did during 2010.
But when it comes to the bunnies they are without a doubt one of the most endearing things to ever come out of Second Life, and for that alone they should be proud. Alas, for me the time is fast approaching when I will be bidding a fond “Adieu” to my floppy-tabbed furballs.
120 bunnies at my peak. Now down to 12.
Many of these are on their final generations as well, so by this time next week that number will be reduced even more. Once all my bunnies are retired, I plan to resurrect a few particular favourites from my inventory to keep as pets because a life without virtual bunnies would be a sad one.
But I am resolute in my decision to move on. That said, I have enjoyed every minute of my Ozimals adventure, and even though I’ve gone as far as I can with it, I know there are still more avatars out there on the grid who are persevering with the hoppers and hoping for great things.
To those concerned I wish you all the very best of luck, and can say that even though I am bidding a gradual but final farewell to these beautiful virtual objects, I will always be grateful to Ozimals for bringing them to Second Life and allowing me the chance to attain some amazing virtual goals via these wonderful creations.
Note to readers: I am accepting offers for the following bunny:
Elite: Scarecrow Bunneh 2010
Fur: Rhinelander Blue
Ears: Lop Ears
Elite: Scarecrow Bunneh 2010
Please IM in world with offer if interested! ( Bear in mind this is a Rhinelander!)