A Wildwood Cat Called ‘Moth’…

I’m going to take a break from Breedable drama, but focus on Breedable niceness for a change. As readers will know I’m a huge fan of the Wildwood Cats, in fact it’s fair to say that I am somewhat besotted with them. I always knew that when cats finally made Breedable status on the grid I’d be there like a shot, and I was. I took place in the Krazy Kitties beta, but they weren’t really what I was after. They didn’t have the coat colours that I wanted, because I want to replicate my real life cat collective in Second Life, and celebrate the cats that I love, and have lost in real life in the virtual world. I don’t see anything creepy in that; I know these cats aren’t real and of course they can’t replace my real life moggies, but I’m sure fellow enthsiasts will understand my motives. It’s sort of nice to know that in a virtual world the pet you have lost can have some sort of presence enabling them to continue in a fashion..unless recent events cause otherwise. ( But I said I wasn’t going to talk about that)

When the Wildwood pelt previews came out I was totally chuffed to pieces to see a bicolour black and white represented, and knew I would have to have one. You see, earlier this year I had my beloved black and white lad, Moth, put to rest after a long illness. As pet owners and carers it’s the hardest thing in the world to have to make the decision to end the life of your pet, but at the same time it is the ultimate kindness.

 

I grieved like all pet owners do, and I’m now in a place where I can happily look back at my time with him and smile because, well, Moth was a special cat indeed. He was, to be honest, the dumbest cat I have ever come across in my entire cat-owning life. I have *never* known a cat move so slowly or look so, well, totally vacant all the time. In fact, it was obvious to not just me, but to my other cats as well that Moth, well, he wasn’t all there. But they didn’t harrass him, nor make a fuss..He was a totally integrated member of the family and loved by us all. He had a purr like a Rolls Royce engine, and he was a very loving, if totally demented little lad. All my other cats would catch mice and birds on occasion, Moth didn’t do much of that himself, BUT I do recall one incident where I was in the kitchen and Moth came through the cat-flap mewling his head off..a very persistent call that clearly meant ‘Mum! Look What I’ve got!’ I expected my little chum to proudly deposit a mouse at my feet..but no, my clever wee man had found something even better.
A piece of broken polystyrene packagine.Even better than that; polystyrene is reknowned for static cling, and Moth (despite having a short coat) was a bit of a furry beast, so it was with some alarm that he realised he couldn’t present his polystyrene trophy to his mum, because it was stuck to him. Cue much mirth as I chased him around trying to remove it from his coat. Still a gift is a gift and I accepted it with gratitude. I like to think he was proud of himself in his own special way. Cue many years later, and we got our dog, Indy, and she’s fitted in with my five remaining cats brilliantly. Moth liked her very much, because she was very warm and snuggly, and most days I would find him cuddled up to her, especially as his life was coming to an end. ( You can see a video of both of them together by visiting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQdt5XRpZ1M)

Moth was not the brightest button in the box. But I adored him…just like I adore my Wildwood representation of him. Thanks then to Mika and Zilar, for enabling this little fantasy of mine because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have these glorious cats at all.

More Wildwood Ramblings…


Even though I own a fair few cats in RL I can’t say that I’ve ever been inclined towards gazing in wonderment at their ears. In Second Life though I am totally transfixed by the texturing on the ears of the Wildwood Cats, of which regular readers will know I am currently Beta testing. Both Amanda and I were aurally fixated the other night, gazing in wonderment at the tabs on on my wee feline charges. I said it in my previous post, and I will say it again, the textures on these cats are literally mouthwatering in their details; from the individual hairs in the ears to the sparks of light dancing across the pupils and the pink pads upon their paws. Each detail is just totally spot on. Heck, these cats even have dew claws!

(Click to enlarge, dew claw on right inside paw you can *just* make it out.  Check out the crossed back legs!)

I’ve had a few people ask me how well the Beta is going and I can say, hand on heart, it’s been a real joy. One of the things that I like about Wildwood as a company is that they’re taking their time and ensuring that as many problems are rooted out in the Beta phase as possible. In fact, they’re being so diligent in their approach that we’ve just embarked upon a phase 2 of the Beta programme. But I must tell you that phase one sure ended on a high for me, because something really rather fabulous happened. Not only did I birth my first basket (without a single hitch too ) it turned out that the kit inside was rather special. Here she is:

(She’s a real sweetie. Click for large version)

Yes- she’s a fold. Sadly I only got to enjoy her for 24 hours (Birthed on the 17th, Beta 1 ended 18th) before she ascended to Beta-Kitty heaven but it’s nice to know that there are treats such as folded ears in store. These are apparently going to be super-rare so it was even a surprise to the creators that I was gifted with one! Beta 2 has seen fully matured cats arrive this time around, with many changes including animations and poses. You can indeed hold your cats to great effect, as illustrated below:

(As always, click to enlarge…)

Like the bunnies before them the postures require adjustment to suit your avatar; not every avvie is the same shape after all so holding your cats will take a smidgen of tweaking, BUT it’s totally worth the effort. There are  a couple of holds and a number of different postures for the cats, so experimenting with options, as well as trying various attachment points is highly recommended to get the best results. You can stick your cats to all sorts of spots on your avatar..’nuff said. This time around I’ve birthed many more cats than in my first Beta session and as a result have found tons more coat and eye colours in the starter packs. I’ve seen a number of eye colours with whimsical names such as ‘Canary’ and ‘Forest’ (Yellow and green obviously) but there’s also a stumning cobalt blue that I believe will be highly prized amongst breeders.

( You really MUST click this one!)

After my previous post I wondered if I had been a little too harsh on the Brightpets, but no; I reserve the right to state a preference and for me the Wildwood Cats are beyond compare. I know people with Brightpets and I hear that they are going to be undergoing some changes in the near future. It will be interesting to see how they plan to raise their game, and if these changes have come about as a direct result of the perceived competition from Wildwood, something that I think is beyond reasonable doubt. The stakes are high for sure; but I don’t judge anyone by what car they drive or what breedable pet they prefer, taste is an individual thing. If Brightpets are making changes I hope that they are making them for the right reasons, and not as a knee jerk reaction. The Wildwood and Brightpets cats are two very different breedables, and better for the differences between them, rather than the similarities.

A final point; in all my dealings with Wildwood I’ve been totally impressed by their willingness to take ideas on board, by the swiftness of their actions and by their mission to create the very best product that they can. I would go so far as to say that I think Wildwood will change the way that breedable pets operate on the grid and hopefully for the better, due to their vision and strong ethics. I can only wish them great success in their ventures, and whilst I don’t have a timeframe for release to impart to you all, let’s just say I’d make sure that you have your letters in to Santa nice and early this year.

(Oh, and I’m expecting a new batch of kittens shortly, so will share with you my findings when they emerge!)

Bright Pets Launch FIRST Breedable Cat In Second Life

And no, it’s not the one you were expecting..I hadn’t even heard of these until today, and straight away that’s an issue, because both Krazy Kitties and Wildwood Breedables have comprehensive websites with forums. In fact when I asked I was told that information was available via a notecard in-store, and a group available to join, but the website was NOT up and running ( I checked: http://www.brightpets.com/ is a blank page)

This is a concern; if I’m going to buy a breedable I want a website from day one that I can refer to for support and post to. In fact this all strikes me as a rush-job to be in with a chance of gaining a foot-hold into the market before the other cats are released, and this fear was reaffirmed when after closer inspection of the notecard I saw that it kept making reference to piggy’s, which was slightly disconcerting. I then realised this was because these are the creation of Brighton Merryman,who launched the first breedable pig into Second Life earlier this year. An experienced AI creator then.But considering what is being released it isn’t a launch with bells and whistles on. The sim isn’t packed to bursting with avatars, in fact..I visited a few time and tha max niumber of avvies in store at one point was 4 ( at another point it was like a graveyard..no one ariound but me) To be honest this launch doesn’t have the feel of an Ozimals or Amaretto release,there’s no buzz, which again indicates to me people didn’t know these were coming and that there hasn’t been enough excitement generated about the end product. This could potentially be a HUGE blow to the success of this breedable, and after his previous pet forays in world you would have thought that Brighton knew that marketing is all, but let’s not be too harsh. This is after all a big achievement- Brighton has released the first breedable cat in Second Life history onto the grid and he’s beaten the competition hands down in getting his product out there, but is it any good?

The ‘Bright Pets’ store is sparsely decorated and pretty basic in appearance. It’s kitted out (ho ho!) with all sorts of breedable essentials on the walls and at the rear of the store are the packs of kitties themselves. But my main prerogative was to see these cats; were they worthy of wearing the breedable cat crown?  My first impressions were…well, they look a tad strange. Not Krazy Kitty mental colours, but not Wildwood handsome either, kind of somewhere in-between…ish. (Well, if you’ve had ten pints and your vision is a tad buggered)

 

They have HUGE alien-like eyes that are too large for their faces, although one redeeming feature is that the eyes feature some lovely colour variations. The textures upon the coats, whilst better than the Krazy Kitties, need to be improved because the brushwork on some of the hides seems a little too pronounced, but it was nice to see fa ew different breeds out on display in the store, although there should be more cats out for people to look at. ( When I visited there were only five, one of which was asleep) On to motion, and it must be said that these moggies walk with a highly curious gait. I was then struck by another factor- they have ENORMOUS feet; which emphasises the walking animation in a highly unflattering manner. I don’t know if they can be held but the sleeping animation seemed very sweet, but I didn’t seem them sitting while I was there. I have to be honest, I wasn’t sold on my first visit. However, appearance is something that can be changed in due course, and it should be pointed out that these cats have a dazzling array of options that will make them very attractive to the Second Life breedable obsessive.
They are auto-updated, which means no totems or transporting a large flock to a sandbox to update. They have a 0.018 script time which means they have one of the lowest lag potentials of any breedable on the grid. A HUGE selling point will be the built-in family registry, essential when you have 60000 (So they claim) variations of kittys that can be bred; something that will really appeal to the genetics enthusiasts with their spreadsheets and pedigree notecards. Yes, you read right: 60000. This is a mind boggling statistic, and of course there will be rare breeds too.
So what else do you need to know? Well, there are 5 diets available for the cats: Starve, Low, Medium, High and Special. Why starve is an option I have no idea, but you must be feeding at least a medium diet for the cats to breed. Taking a cat into inventory for 60 days will cause it to go into a coma, from which they can die (best not to do that then) so vigilance is a must. Like Ozimals, food is not only a factor in breeding but also has an impact upon the status they achieve when they reach old age. A kitty can become a senior of relationship, happiness, energy, hygiene, hunger and thirst. All very similar to Ozimals bunnies then, as is the fact that the better the food that they have consumed, the more chance they have of getting ‘Senior Of Legend’ status, which gives a 1% stats boost in all attributes to all the kitties nearby.

Cats must enter into a partnership to breed, and like the horses you can break partnerships at anytime. Pregnancy, provided I’ve read the notecard correctly, takes ONE HOUR, but the requirements are stringent:
Age: 7+
Happiness: 65%+
Relationship: 99%+
Energy: 50%+
Hygene: 50%+
Awake
Medium, High or Special Diet
Not have had partner in last 7 days

Now I wanted to tell you about a few other factors, such as the necessity to keep your cat clean and the coat varieties, BUT the notecard kept referring to piggies in these parts. As I said before, not only is this disconcerting, it’s also very sloppy. This notecard should have been proof-read because it doesn’t give a good impression; in fact I am beginning to wonder if these breedables are actually pigs in cat’s clothing? I don’t know the answer to that as I was never a pig breeder in-world, but certainly indicators are there to suggest that there are many similarities between these two products.

So, do I think these will be successful? Well, I stand by my assumption from the evidence presented that these pets have been rush-released. I can understand the panic however, creating objects such as these takes an absolute age so gaining a foothold into the market is essential from day one. I think that they have qualities different to their competitors and I think they will garner a following, but I don’t think that this audience will be as big as that of the Wildwood Cats. The Brightpets Kitty’s aren’t as aesthetically pleasing to my tastesas others , but I think the variety of breeding combos, low lag and no-update features will win fans.
However, this does make me think of those poor Krazy Kitties. It would appear that the release of these Brightpets is yet another nail in their coffin, and it’s time to act now if they don’t want all their hard work to have been wasted.

A final thought; can the grid cope with THREE breedable cat brands? No, I don’t think it can, nor should it. Too many breedable animals is one thing ( and trust me, the variety out there will increase in 2011) but too many of the same species is really cutting it a bit fine. I think that this is a battle where only one winner will reign supreme.

Brightpets have snuck in and struck an early blow..can Krazy Kitties and Wildwood Breedables respond in kind?

To Purchase visit the Bright Pets Sim HERE

  • A Brightpets One kitty starter pack, containing 1 week of provisons and a bathing sponge costs L$295
    • A Kitty Pair Pack costs L$595.
    • A super pack containing 10 kitties is avalable for L$4000..it includes five free kitties , a love potion and two Mochas. ( Yes, these cats like a coffee!)