Monday, May 30, 2011

Those Magical Meeroos

Meeroos are the latest breedable “animal” to hit SL, but don’t be concerned that you’re never heard or seen one in RL. A Meeroo is the unique creation of Malevay Studios, whose official website can be found at Malevay Studios has gone a step beyond the usual breedable SL animal with the Meeroo by incorporating social interaction, breeding limitations, and an appealing “legend” and mythology. Their goal is obvious. They want Meeroos to appeal to everyone: entrepreneurs, pet lovers, and gamers. So far they appear to be succeeding.

Meeroos became available in SL on May 21, but they were previously available to some in Beta. Wizard Muldoon and Lady Elysa were two of the lucky residents who had beta Meeroos. Both of them were enthusiastic about the new animals. Muldoon, who has raised both horses and cats, likes Meeroos because they will have personality and interact with their owners.

When I met Lady Elysa, she was sitting in a lovely, surrounded by Meeroos. She and her Meeroos are located at Elegance by Elysa, Oasis of Qaf, Rare Jewel (167, 132, 25). The Meeroos were very cute, and Lady Elysa was friendly and helpful. Not only did she spend time talking with me, she has created notecards about Meeroo breeding, eye colors, and other useful information.

Describing the appeal of Meeroos, Lady Elysa said, “The creators gave us a little creature that recognizes us. They wake up when we come into the area. They come to us. They respond when they are petted, and they beg to be picked up and snuggled.” When Meeroos are petted, they glow.

Meeroos come in different sizes, from tiny tea cup to giant, and in a variety of fur and eye colors, including dusty or clear eyes. As with the other SL breedables, some colors and types are rare and thus more expensive. What makes Meeroos most unique, however, are their personality traits, which include shy, friendly, mischievous, lazy, and aggressive. (Aggressive ones are more talkative and interactive, not mean.)

While Lady Elysa and I were talking, Mary Meeroo came up. In my chat window appeared, “Mary Meeroo whispers: Elysa Swansong will you please pick me up and snuggle me?” I was amazed! I have many animals that I talk to, but none of them has ever initiated a conversation with me. Lady Elysa explained that this happens all the time, although some Meeroos are chattier than others.

The prices for Meeroos vary. Ones with clear eyes, which are more rare, cost more. Also the tea cup and giants, being the smallest and largest, cost more than the in-between sizes. I found an auction where the current bids were $8000L each for three tea cups, two females and a male. I don’t know if that was the final price, however.

Entrepreneurs are hopeful that some of the safeguards included by Malevay Studios will help Meeroos hold their value. Unlike rabbits and some other breedable animals, Meeroos will not mass reproduce. Only specific Meeroos will breed with other specific Meeroos. It is hoped that this will keep the market from being over saturated.

Malevay Studios has also added a feature called Regard points that owners can earn. Whenever the owners pet Meeroos, they gain points, although it was not immediately clear what the points do. Owners can socialize with other owners and their Meeroos to earn points that way, too.

Meeroos are busy little creatures, constantly digging and exploring. They dig up buried treasures like broken pipes, old coins, and rotted fruit. Gold exists, too, but is rare. However, if an owner clicks on any treasure, Regard points are awarded.

So far lots of residents appear to be interested in Meeroos. At one site, seven people were looking when I stopped by. The seller, Lanier Matova, said he had sold 6 already, and it was only the second day after their release. At another site, residents BlueJeanSparx Melody and Bryan (greg1990) were hoping Meeroos were cheaper to keep than horses. Bryan told me his horses ate so much that he was paying as much for food as he did for his land rent. A typical Meeroo will eat one bowl of wild Berries a week, which will cost $63L.

For residents that aren’t interested in breeding and selling, there is an option that turns the Meeroos into an easy to care for pet. For a one-time payment of $1500L, the Meeroo can be transformed into a pet that does not require food and can be kept forever. Also, Lady Elysa emphasized that petting and interaction is optional. She said, “There's no need for anyone to stress, thinking that they will be a lot of work, because it's all totally optional.”

Grey Lupindo

1 comment:

  1. Great article. I've a few friends who raise meeroos, and they tease and have been trying to get us to buy and raise a few but we refuse to raise animals that way because we are too busy to spend the time needed, so we've resisted. Recently we bought one, just one incompatible meeroo that we plan on turning into a pet. They are the most adorable active pets. Though, we do have other animals that are just as cute but much less interactive than meeroos, which i think is their draw.