I normally hate breedables in SL. They're clumsily-animated given the restraints in SL, they're expensive, they eat up a lot of prims, they have more hovertext over them than are words in the English language, they are usually actual physical objects (making them lag even more when there are dozens standing around), and so on. But, curious, when I noticed a Meeroo shop behind my cave a few days ago, I went to investigate.
With lots of different "nests" to choose from, I first looked at the ones in the pen in the middle. The Meeroos look like what I considered to be a cross between a squirrel and a rodent, and were just moving around, as they were programmed to do. Every so often they'd take a nibble at their food bowl (which I learned has a finite supply of food, so you have to keep buying more), sometimes they'd dig up treasures (worth points to their owner), and every now and again they would ask to be cuddled (which you do by a HUD). I decided to wander a couple of the Meeroo-related sims looking for more information, and on visiting to the Roo and Muffin sims (where the main store and some shops are), I asked a few people "What's the appeal of these things?"
I didn't get many answers, until I ran into "The Spookster" and we had a brief discussion:
Xymbers Slade: What's the appeal of these meeroo things?
The Spookster: What's the appeal of being dressed up as a poorly done imitation of bowser?
The Spookster: There are people in this world that can't have pets. Can't have children... can't leave their homes.
The Spookster: Things like this comfort them
Xymbers Slade: Ok, that quote I'm saving. You have a good point.
The Spookster: It's a beautifully built interactive virtual pet that offers companionship, atmosphere and joy to those that can't have it in other parts of their lives.
Xymbers Slade: After looking at things I admit I caved. I bought eight. And apparently one of them is going to be "giant".
The Spookster: I have rage issues IRL. I've been sent to see a therapist. I actually showed her Meeroos and told her how calming they were for me, she said they were a positive idea.
Xymbers Slade: No kidding? Wow.
The Spookster: yes, there are some that are expensive.
The Spookster: But I can sit around with all of my meeroos, working on what I do... and the noises, the friends I've made with them.
The Spookster: It's just a really positive world for me.
Xymbers Slade: I just started. Bought eight, dumped them in my skybox where I do fortune tellings and stuff
The Spookster: -chuckles-
Xymbers Slade: Now I just need to wait for them to grow up and get into 100% comfort or something
The Spookster: I've been at it for about 15 weeks now.
The Spookster: Petting them will raise comfort
The Spookster: If they go without food, it'll drop.
Xymbers Slade: Do you think they could be a real-life business? Like selling rares enough to actually afford real-life bills?
The Spookster: There's no special requirements for breeding other than compatibility.
The Spookster: I've sold two meeroos for 20k each.
Xymbers Slade: o.O
The Spookster: but keeping up on top of the rares is hard.
The Spookster: I had a tiger ear and long mane.. back when it was one of 12 on the grid
The Spookster: Someone wanted it so badly.. and honestly, I couldn't pass up the money. (I run an SL business and needed it for rent)
Xymbers Slade: I just have common ones... gael and the wine-something skin
[The Spookster: Winecoats.
The Spookster: I have about 50 roos, but only because I can't bring myself to release them! (big grin)
Xymbers Slade: Heh. Any real rare ones?
The Spookster: Emperor, Koi, Nile, All traits.
Xymbers Slade: I'm assuming they won't come out of ones I currently have...
The Spookster: Feline, Canine, Curled, V.short, Notched, Tiger, Button, Fluff and Chest, Long Mane.
The Spookster: Did you get starter nests from the Meeroo's mainstore?
The Spookster: Or did you buy them from random people?
Xymbers Slade: No, from my friend's store. I just grabbed eight at random.
The Spookster: Well
Xymbers Slade: But they were common ones
The Spookster: Here's the thing. No meeroo is common. They may LOOK it, but Meeroos are built around the concept of Mendelian Genetics. There could be KOI in any of those bloodlines, but you won't get a Koi until you find another with the gene. Make sense?
Xymbers Slade: A little, yeah. I know the concept but I've never wrapped my head around it.
The Spookster: taking you back to the sanctuary
The Spookster: so I can show you my lunatic roos?
She took me back to her skybox where quite a few Meeroos were wandering about. I must be jaded; the first thing I thought was "the prim count must be astronomical." We talked for a bit more and I went back to one of the mainstores, where I brought up the fact I was just starting. Someone out of the blue gave me four nests, saying "Good luck with them! x3" I guess nests are common enough that they can just be handed out if you run into the right people.
I finally decided they were cute enough, and bought three houses (250L each), 3 food bowls (1600L apiece but it lasts for a while), and a total of nineteen Meeroos (between 200L and 500L apiece; individual Meeroo sellers may vary). There are other "add ons" one can buy for their Meeroos, such as a "Meeroo translator" and an "auto-petter"... THEN I had to get individual *batteries* for the petter! The people who made these things must be making a tidy profit! The translator makes them say funny phrases on occasion (which you can add to; one of mine is "Occupy Wall Street? How about I occupy your hands instead... CUDDLE ME!") and the Auto-Petter "pets" your Meeroos at set intervals to raise "regard" (which is like improving odds that when breeding you get a rare coat or trait). Now I have quite the menagerie running around my home land in a skybox, but it was at a cost --- I had to get rid of my 125-prim stargates to make room. At 13 prims each, they DO add up!
What surprises me is the sheer cost of some of these "rare" Meeroos. One of them down in the store I got my original set was $16,000L (about $64 in real dollars), about the price of one month's rent on my land. I asked several people how much some of the rarest went and they said about 150K $L to 350K $L --- in real dollars, that could go half way to paying my bills! I could see how this could become a big business or profitable side venture if done -right-... although my landlady suggested to me that the market was bloated right now because more rare coats are showing up.
The Meeroos take 5 days of real time to mature and then they enter breeding cycles that rise and fall based on their "personality". So in order to get them to breed, they not only have to be in season, they have to have compatable personalities. Their breeding longevity is limited; after sixty real-time days, they become "elderly" and unable to breed.
350,000 $L though... damn, I must be in the wrong business.
Finally, on return to the Meeroo sims I learned that "Generation 2" or something similiar is about to be released... the "dark meeroos", though I think I'll just stick with the ones I have now, both due to prim limits on my land and especially since upon telling some people I am new to the whole thing, they kept giving me "good offspring" for breeding. They gave me a "Koi" coat and an "Emperor" coat (both male, so no intermixing there); I had to buy a FOURTH house and many weeks worth of "berries" for them to eat. Did I say menagerie? I meant infestation. I meant to have 8, I ended up with 27.
You can find all things Meeroo at the Roo sim (Roo, 68,44,21), at Muffins of Doom (Muffins, 76,130,22), at Mo's Meeroo Home of the Free (Purity, 49, 221,24), and there is a small shop at Sunweaver Air (143, 140, 25),and as a self-plug my own set of pens is at Sunweaver Air : Sunweaver Air (182, 100, 1252). There must be far more places than the ones I've listed; those are just the ones I've been to.
I'm going to give this whole thing 4 Dragon Hoards out of Five. It's unusual enough to keep someone's interest, the variety of combinations is a strong selling point (nevermind the six figure value!) although in most of these stores, the nests you can buy have hovertext over them --- to the point where if you go to the stores, you can't see one individual Meeroo's traits due to the ocean of hovertext from the others.