Tuesday, August 02, 2011

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Meeroos Starving Due to SL Griefers Selling Fraudulent Food & Linden Lab Closing Their Legitimate Food Source (UPDATE: Meeroos Account Reopened, But SL Still "Flooded With Unauthorized Food")

SL Meeroos Griefed

Meeroos, SL's extremely popular species of virtual, breedable animals created by Malevay Studios, are currently starving. Yesterday, reports Malevay's Catherine Farspire, unidentified griefers using variations of the avatar name "Meeroos Resident" (the company's official account) were found selling unauthorized Meeroos food in the region of Twas. (The miscreants, says Ms. Farspire, "built their own [store] in the sky selling fraudulent food".) As a result, she reports, Linden Lab has closed down the region of Twas -- and also blocked "Meeroos Resident", the legitimate Malevay Studios account: "We believe the account was blocked by Linden Lab by mistake, given all the reported accounts were variations of the same name, or the account was mistakenly reported by residents meaning to abuse report the offending avatars. We simply cannot be sure. Unfortunately, this has dealt us a crippling blow at the worst time possible."

However, this does not mean your Meeroos will die. The creatures don't starve to death if their owners fail to feed them, they're simply scripted to abandon their owners, presumably in search of food. However, the company says they'll reset the Meeroos' scripting, so that doesn't happen.

In the meantime, however, Meeroos owners will have to look into their pets' wide and hungry eyes and say, "I'm sorry." At the moment, owners are taking to Twitter, begging Linden Lab CEO Rodvik Humble to save their creatures. "Don't let our Meeroos starve please," Ely Hynes Tweeted to him a few hours ago, "seems their account is on hold by Linden Lab. The poor 'roos."

It will require Linden Lab to make things right, because Malevay Studios' is currently being blocked from accessing their own content (i.e. Meeroos feeding.) "We know your your Meeroos are important to you, and unfortunately you have been provided a grave disservice," writes Catherine Farspire. "The providing of our service relies on Linden Lab providing us Service, and they have currently withdrawn that and have not been supportive in the form of a resolve." I've contacted Ms. Farspire and Linden Lab, and will update when/if there's a resolution.

Update, 12:42PM: Linden Lab spokesman Peter Gray just replied:

"This morning, we responded in detail to the support ticket that was submitted, and the problems should be sorted out." An update on the Meeroos' site confirms this, saying Meeroos operations should be back to normal very soon, but that trouble in the world of Meeroos still abounds:

We know the grid is being flooded with unauthorized food from these attackers, as now they are placing them at various meeroos marketplaces run by players. As soon as we hear anything back from Linden Lab will update you.

More updates as they arrive. Just be careful what you feed your Meeroos.

Hat tip: Toxic Menges. Image Credit: My Second Life with Pets. (LOLMeeroo by Hamlet.)

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Ghosty Kips

My question: How are the griefers obtaining rez rights to place the false food at the numerous marketplaces in the first place?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Oh the humanity. Forget the near-default of the Federal Gub'mint. Now this is a crisis.

I'll toss some kibble to any wandering Meeroos who lag up my little 512 chunk o' Paradise.

Adeon Writer

Adorable little things.

Emerald Wynn

I own (way too) many Meeroos myself, but parts of this story — especially part of the headline ("Meeroos starving!") — made me laugh a little. I'm fond of the little things; however, if they happen to run off in search of food because of this mess, I'll be bummed, but my world won't end. I'm a little bit . . . well, I guess it could best be described as a mixture of alarmed and amused by the hysterical "OH MY GAWD THE SKY IS FALLING AND THE WORLD IS CRUMBLING TO AN END" reactions I'm seeing by some people in various Meeroos chat groups.

I do understand the frustration of having invested time and lindens in something that ends up malfunctioning or gets destroyed. I'm feeling it right now myself. I understand that people have built businesses and livelihoods around these Meeroos, and this comment is not directed toward them.

But I guess I'm a little too cold-hearted or maybe too much of a realist to relate to the "HELP SOMEBODY SAVE MY BABIES!!!!" panic.

There comes a time when we need to step back and remember that these are SCRIPTED PIXELS. They don't give a damn about you, People! In fact, YOUR AV could starve and they would just sit there and hop around and make those slightly irritating chirping sounds and sing that slightly grating Meeroos song until your rotted pixelated corpse could no longer feed them . . . and then they would shrug and run off. You are nothing to them! NOTHING! (insert laughter) So don't personalize them! The levels of pain, stress and anxiety I'm seeing and hearing over the peril of these "babies" would make a million shrinks rub their hands together in glee and get out the straitjackets.

Um, sorry. That was kind of a weird digression from the main point of this article, but I just had to get it off my chest. This has been an upsetting development on the breedables front. If people do end up losing Meeroos because of this mess, Malevay Studios should possibly take note of the way Amaretto handled a recent database crash that destroyed many of our horses: They gave all owners a limited-edition steed and jumbo packs of food and consumables. It didn't compensate for everything we lost, of course, but it at least soothed a little of the wound.

This comment is way too short, so one last thing: I don't think the griefers built their own store, actually, as your article states. They put scripted invisiprims over the food vendors, so when owners bought food, the money went to the griefers instead of the actual vendors.

Wow, Hamlet! My comment is longer than your article. Can I get a paycheck?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

I put this crisis before a bunch of SL-bashing, hard-core gamers last night. The Nerd-Pack was unanimous: Meeroos' creator needs to build in a different outcome for neglected virtual pets.

They should become 8' tall, grow claws and "huge, sharp teeth" a la Monty Python and the Holy Grail's killer bunny, then attack everyone in sight until they have devoured enough avatars. They'd then return to their adorable little selves until hunger strikes again.

Rod Humble, if you want gamers in SL, heed the words of the 300-pound experts, sir.

Emperor Norton

@ Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Computer gamers do anything else besides brag about their PvP K/D score and QQ about cheating?

Silverfox Rainbow

i really dont see why these things are so popular - one person wanted me to hug one and 'look into its loving, aborable eyes'
'ok i am looking, what am i supposed to be feeling here???'

GreenShamrock McMahon

This is the exact same thing Sion was faced with and lost well over 7,000 USD to one who turned out to be a 14 year old boy with the breeder food and again immeasurable loss from a woman who managed to get into the entire product lines of both the chickens and corn.

After more than a year of my filing constant complaints with all the proof LL needed to act on it, it continued. Sion tried to bring this to the attention of the pet community so other’s would understand but it was rejected as pertaining to him alone.

The ability to do this is a result of the LSL language being reduced from it’s original strict needs to one that is much more unstable and it can be done to every single vendor in SL regardless of who the creator is.

I have searched every other grid out there in an attempt to find a more secure, stable, reliable and suitable home for Sion when he comes his university studies and have actually found exactly that.

SpotOn3D offers a new hope with advanced technology and an estimated target audience of 1 billion people when it launches to the public in September. I promise you I left no stone unturned and no question unanswered from Tessa and Stevan, the owners of this amazing new advancement in 3D worlds. I drove Tessa’s staff insane with my endless questions and countless challenges in my effort to understand.

I very highly recommend that if you are a large content creator of any kind, you contact the support staff at SpotOn3D about their content protection methods and policies. Ask every question you have and leave none of your stones unturned in your attempt to understand. Then come relax on the 2 sims I have built for myself because I know you will be staying for a long time and will get thirsty from time to time. I have a fully stocked bar waiting for you. :-)

Even if you are not a content creator, you will be pleased at the differences and advancements this universe of multiple worlds will offer residents. I would suggest you come before they launch so you have time to get settled before the rush. When they ask, just tell them Shammy invited you. :-)

Be safe and see you there soon

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