Meeroos under Assault pt.2 – What is Unauthorized Food?

This story’s been picked up by the non-Second Life news. And a lot of people are wondering now what this ‘food’ stuff is.

Think of it as a game token.

Basically people are selling ‘faked’ game tokens. To play the ‘Meeroo’ game you’ve got to keep feeding in the game tokens – like an old arcade game. The fake tokens won’t work. The ‘machine’ (a Meeroo virtual pet) won’t recognize them and therefore won’t accept them.

But the human players of the game can be tricked into buying the fake game tokens if they’re sold in ‘packaging’ by ‘accounts’ that look like the real authorized people.

Real Life example: Imagine going to a car dealership named ‘F0rd Motorz’ and buying a brand new car, only to get inside and realize it had no engine.

Or better, you go to a She11 Gas’ station, and end up filling your engine with water that’s been mixed with a gas-smelling perfume.
– Your car would not drive too well after that.

Inside a virtual world like Second Life, you can set up a fake shop with the click of a mouse, and get rid of it just as fast, logging out and taking your money with you before the customer knows they bought ‘scented water’. So what you’re really seeing here is a test of whether or not Second Life’s anti-hacking security measures will be good enough to stop and catch these folks in such an ‘instant’ environment.

So who might be behind this kind of hostility?

I don’t think these ‘griefers’ (people who attack others in violation of the ‘terms of service’ within a virtual world / game) are trying to stop Seconf Life’s players from having Meeroos.

There -IS- a very large population of people in Second Life who are anti-breedable. I should know, generally I am one of them.

Excepting Meeroos, breedables have been notorious for creating lag, crashing sims (a region of Second Life, such regions exist on computers owned by Linden Labs – usually 4 or 8 per computer, connected in Second Life on an X,Y coordinate grid – everyone inside of the same ‘sim’ is sharing computer resources with the others on that ‘sim’ and the other few ‘sim’s on that same computer), and causing resource issues for the -other people- who own land on the same sim as someone who keeps breedables.

Lets be frank there: breedables are generally a bad thing for Seconf Life. They’re such an abuse of resources that there has been a very strong desire for some time to start seeing them banned as a ‘denial of service attack’ against the non-breedables users of Seconf Life.

Even horses, if not set to ‘sleep’ mode (or whatever its called) – can kill a sim.

Meeroos seem to be the first breedable that doesn’t do that. Right now I’ve got all my Meeroos rezzed right next to a horse breeder, set to hyper-active, with my main often camped among them for a day at a time to keep them from going idle. And I’m seeing less lag from a stack of Meeroos than I do from a -single- avatar entering the sim…

I go to Roo markets, and I can tell when I feel lag that its not the Meeroos, but the people and the scripted plants that cause trouble. You can tell this by comparing the markets. Some of the ones with the least lag also have the most live-roos on them…

So whatever Meeroos changed about breedables, it was the right change and might very well permanently quiet the anti-breedables crowd.

But yes – there is a very large group of people who have very harsh feelings against breedables.

If this attack was those folks, it would have happened earlier. It would have hit maybe 2-3 months ago as Meeroos were taking off. But most of the folks on the anti-breedables side are also strict TOS-enforcement types. They’d be attacking with a stack of ARs and charts and graphs to show resource abuse.

(And frankly, a month ago I would have been one of them – until I proved for myself that Meeroos were not causing those issues.)

This attack though, very much appears to be an extortion by folks who themselves were/are Meeroo users. What we’re seeing is that all the auto-petter, super-breeder, and meerroo/nest-cloning folks that got shut down are now seeking retribution.

This is the classic ‘criminal’ who felt morally entitled to commit crime, getting caught, and waging a ‘crusade’ against those who punished him.

The timing alone should tell us that. The methods hint at it. The demand for cash strongly implies it.

And if it was being done by people who wanted to shut Meeroos down as their chief motive – we’d be seeing the 3rd party forums like SLU light-up with boasts by these folks about how they’re “finally killing those breedables.”
– followed by assorted ‘victory blogs’ from the many people who’ve been permanently banned from Second Life for ‘vigilantism’ yet still manage to linger in the community.

But these attackers don’t want to take your Meeroos from you, they want to regain control of the secondary market and sell their illegitimate Meeroos to you again.

(The secondary market is where players of Meeroos sell virtual pet meeroos they have bred with their own adult meeroos, and an assortment of fan products like ‘pet houses’ and display scenes you can place your meeroos into to enjoy them – for example I bought for myself, a floating rock with a garden and steaming fountain on top, like in the movie Avatar, where I put some Meeroos up in the sky. A -lot- or real life money gets traded in these secondary markets, making them prime targets for criminal conduct.)

Meeroo’s under Assault

A short one today.

If you’re into Meeroos, head on over to their website and read what’s been going on:

It seems these folks are suffering some kind of organized attack by unknowns. My theory is recently banned individuals are trying to strike back by doing any and all damage they can to the rest of the Meeroo player base and its developer team.

Over the last week, they had to ban first one person who had used stolen scripts to make a ‘cheat’ device that would pet the meeroos via a timer based script wrapped around a prim containing the stolen script…

And then second they had to ban a series of users who had hacked their breeding system in order to enable the production of 1 baby Meeroo per day from select couples – using ultra rares to ‘assembly line produce’ more ultra-rares. Normal Meeroos can produce 1 baby per 5 days, with a genetics system that works to keep rarity intact.

Mysteriously, after announcing these bans, their sims came under attack with people using the old ‘invisible prim covering a vendor’ trick, alongside what I gather are other tricks to hack-enable rezzing on no-build land.

This was followed by one of accounts used by the Meeroo developers to manage their system getting banned for unstated/unknown reasons (now since unbanned). False ARs, or people trying to AR the sim attackers and accidentally ARing the real parts of the Meeroo store build – unknown at this time.

Quite a bit of activity going on now over there as Malevoy, the company behind Meeroos, comes under attack and tries to hold itself together.

Lets wish them well. I know people have a lot of reason to be hostile to the makers of Breedables, but if you stop for a moment and check these folks out and their chosen pet; they’re not the same kind of folks as we’ve seen in past.

I’m guilty of that myself. After such poor history with scion chickens and the lag of the bunnies, I came out pretty harsh on the horses and the meeroos. But on a whim recently I went and looked, and started following their product and their company’s conduct – and came away impressed.

Malevoy seem like genuine good folks, with a curiously low lag product, who don’t really deserve to be lumped in with some of the labels traditionally put onto the makers of Breedables. So its a shame they’re being so targeted.

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