The Wildwoods are here!

And like most breedable releases, it wasn’t without its fair share of hiccups. Vendor faults aside, the Wildwoods launched and the vendor locations were, as you would expect, deluged. Many people had waited all day in chat, eagerly anticipating release, so when the stores were opened it was met with huge relief. The anticipation was huge and the crowds were massive and rightly so. But it never fails to amuse me how supposed adults can act like whiny children in group chat. Second Life really does bring out the dark side in some people.The beta gifts were exceptionally generous, and every single Wildwood pack has been packaged beautifully; so beautiful in fact that these are permanent additions to my Christmas collection in world.Chat is, as one would expect, VERY busy. So far it seems that the blue pelt has been the most common and like many others, I found myself a tad deluged with them. I’ve managed to swap a few around successfully, which I’m pleased about, and already there is a market for people wanting different starter coats. Not only that, but as we were informed during Beta, Wildwood have indeed included a few surprises such as different poses and animations. They’ve also totally re-modelled the food, as well as providing a vast array of new peripherals to boost your cat stats. It’s a great product, make no mistake.It’s interesting to note that I’ve been accused of bias by a poster in my comments section re:one of my previous Wildwood ramblings. At this point I want to state that I was a Beta tester for BOTH Krazy Kitties and Wildwoods (Not Brightpets, didn’t know about them until release day but then they did seem to come out of nowhere..)I have evaluated both products and for me, Wildwood fits my desired breedable profile to a ‘T’. Fact is, both Krazy Kitties and Brightpets are not what I am after, but that doesn’t mean that I am right about which breedable pet is *the* one to buy, and I don’t recommend that anyone else should take my word as gospel (Heaven bloody forbid!) and not have the nous to go and see for themselves exactly what they are all about. In fact, if you want a breedable cat, I’ll go so far as to make your job incredibly easy for you. Go along to Herdy’s where you can see Brightpets, Krazy Kitties AND Wildwoods all in one place, and make an informed decision as to which breedable cat to buy. There are plus points and minus points on every breed; for example Brightpets reputedly have masses of breedable traits, Krazy Kitties have multiple births, and so on. Plus you need to take into consideration that people enter the breedable game with different motives and breeding objectives. For me, I want to create a virtual cattery that represents that cats that I presently own in real life, as well as the beauties that I have loved and lost too. Wildwoods, with their fabulous textures and eye colours mean that I stand a much better chance of attaining that goal.I’ve got myself 8 breeding pairs and I can honestly say that I am genuinely delighted with the Wildwood product. It’s early days, and past experience with horses and bunnies suggests to me that there will be ups and downs along the way. I think these cats will flourish because of their features and the scope that they offer, and also because so many own cats in real life. I think when you already have a vested interest, you’re going to be passionate about a product that caters to that. I have no doubt that there will be JUST as much enthusiasm when the dogs are released, and the next breedable after that, and that…. Oh, and in case you weren’t aware, there’s going to be ANOTHER breedable cat release as well:

I can’t tell you much about these ‘Kitty Cats’ at all, other than a few pictures I’ve been sent, but they certainly look very cute from what I’ve seen; more kitten-ish in their aspect with their rounder faces.  Can the grid cope with FOUR breedable cat varieties? I seriously doubt it and I think we’ll see the grid dominated by perhaps two brands max.  What they will be remains to be seen…A final thought. I cannot bear immaturity in real life, let alone Second..can you? There’s plenty of scope in-world for different species of breedable pet, but someone really does have it in for the Wildwoods. I wonder who that could be? I’m not going to lose any sleep over it that’s for sure, but it’s been very amusing to me when reading my comments to see that they’ve originated from the same place. ( Note to a dear reader, when IP addresses point to the same location, changing your name doesn’t hide that fact….)

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!)