( That’s a DREADFUL pun; I was trying to think of something epic and witty for this post title and I failed in the most epic of ways. Apologies!)
Wildwood Breedables have launched their ‘Cat Sanctuary’, something that I have no doubt will prove immensely useful in curbing the over population and market saturation of these irrepressible cats, but there’s already a problem that’s certainly ruffling the fur of a few Wildwood fanatics.
But first of all, let me tell you about the actual programme. Like Bunnybury and Horse Haven Cat Sanctuary has evidently been designed to help breeders rid their surplus stock, and be rewarded for their ongoing breeding efforts. I’m pleased to note that it offers a very comprehensive array of rewards in exchange for tokens which you get by submitting a kitten/cat to the sanctuary. It’s relatively straightforward; the older the cat, the more tokens you receive.
Kitten (Age: 0 to 4)- 1 Token
Cat (Age: 5 to 80)- 2 Tokens
Older Cats (Age: 90 to 119) – 3 Tokens
Retired Cats (Age: 120) – 4 Tokens
Traited Cats – 1 Token per trait PLUS the tokens rewarded above. (What’s considered a trait? Non-Common traits (Tail, Body, Shade, Ears), as well as eyes that are not found in starters. Pelts are not counted.)
When you have accrued a certain amount of points then you can visit the sanctuary, located at the Wildwood sim, and choose from the following:
5 Persnikitty Tokens – Kitty Care Kit (Basic)
15 Persnikitty Tokens – DELUXE Care Kit (1.3 Version Cats and Up)
35 Persnikitty Tokens – Persnikitty Treats (5% Energy)
40 Persnikitty Tokens – Amour Bites (5% Desire)
45 Persnikitty Tokens – Kat Nip Sack (10% Energy)
100 Persnikitty Tokens – Amour Delight (10% Desire)
200 Persnikitty Tokens – Persnikitty *PET* Food (5 Dishes)
400 Persnikitty Tokens – Persnikitty *BREEDER* Food (5 Dishes)
450 Persnikitty Tokens – Persnikitty Happy Pack (8 Happiness Boosters)
1000 Persnikitty Tokens – Cat Sanctuary Elegant Basket (Cat Sanctuary Plush)
I really like the fact that they’ve started with low token numbers so that even if you submit just a few cats you can still see some benefit. Of course, I’m sure most people will be motivated by the rewards on offer in exchange for the larger sums of tokens. For example, 1000 persinikitty tokens will take some hard work but the promise of a special Cat Sanctuary Plush will make it a challenge I know a lot of Wildwood enthusiasts won’t be able to resist. (Are you reading this Vere Noyes?)
But when I started this post I mention that there was a problem; a fly on the kitty litter if you will. Wildwood has decided that you can’t put a sick cat in the sanctuary. Now, if like myself you’ve stored cats in your inventory in anticipation of the sanctuary’s eventual emergence then you’re bound to be a wee bit irked that to submit any of your stored cats to the sanctuary means you will have to fork out and purchase a healing kit to heal the cat first prior to submitting it to sanctuary. Think about this: in some cases people will have so many sick kitties in their inventory that it would just be way too expensive to heal them all, rendering their participation in the scheme effectively pointless. As you can imagine there is fierce debate about this in both group chat and the official forums. If you were a large-scale breeder with an expansive collection of sick kitties then I can imagine you’ll feel more than a bit aggrieved by the situation, and for a smaller breeder like myself it’s also not really going to serve me any major benefit to heal and birth any cats in my inventory. Even though the quality of the rewards on offer are good they’ll take some achieving. At the most I estimate I’d achieve 40 tokens which would get me a pack of Amour Bites, which I’ve never bothered with anyway.
For me it’s not really worth the hassle, because that’s the other point about all this, you have to birth each basket and name each cat you want to submit before rezzing it next to a totem which then whisks your cat away to the sanctuary. If you have a small amount of cats and baskets then it shouldn’t really be too much hassle, but when I tried it worked twice for me and then I started to experience issues. I tried re-rezzing the totem a few times, as well as a complete re-log but this made no difference so to be perfectly honest I just gave up.
As regular readers will know I’m a huge fan of Wildwoods, and I think Cat Sanctuary is a very necessary asset to the community, BUT I personally feel the decision to not allow the submission of sick kitties is wrong. Even worse, I think this decision has the potential to cause backlash amongst breeders, who can of course be a fickle bunch as we’ve seen with other animals on the grid. I’ve had a nosey on the forums and there have been some really great suggestions from the community at large; for example, Pauline Darkfury commented that if Wildwood wouldn’t budge on their decision to allow sick kitties to be submitted to Cat Sanctuary, perhaps they would consider an amnesty where existing sick kitties could be submitted for a short time before the programme begins properly? This to me seems like a sound suggestion; giving the community a week to get their inventories cleared of baskets and sick cats is a very good idea as well as a huge PR win. Sadly, this was met with a negative from Wildwood, who pointed out in their response that “There is always room for compromise and discussion, but we can’t guarantee it will go exactly as a customer wants..” Very true; and when all is said and done this is of course their (Wildwood’s) product, BUT they need to be mindful of the fall from grace of previous breedables due to their inability to take note of what their community asked of them.
And let’s not be too dramatic either; we’re only going to be talking a small minority of mega-breeders who would be wanting to push a shed-load of sick kitties the Cat Sanctuary’s way, so the hit on profits at the Wildwood side wouldn’t be that monumental. In fact, going back to my previous PR win point, allowing people to get rid of their old cats will probably lead to them buying more new stock so the Lindens will still keep rolling in regardless.
I dunno. Perhaps profit isn’t the issue behind this, but Wildwood need to be mindful, as I’m sure they are, how decisions like this will be perceived in Second Life, especially now that the Kittycats are on the grid and the Wildwood lustre is starting to tarnish as people get excited about the next breedable launch… ( I’m telling you, at some point it’s going to be breedable chuffing zombies..I kid you not!)