Apparently M Linden is going to address Void Sims today.
Why announce that an announcement is forthcoming….why not just deliver M’s message itself? Did the Lindens think that such an intermediate step would stop the bleeding on the PR front?
All this did is heighten expectations with the pitchfork-wielding class.
Perhaps it’s time, distance, space, whatever…I’m not freaking out on this one. First, I buy what the Lindens say when they claim:
Based on analysis performed in August and September, Openspaces are being used about twice as much as we expected, in other words being loaded with double the content/avatar load than we’d expect for a region that is supposed to be light use.
Rather than being employed as open areas like ocean with little or no content and traffic, the majority are being rented out to residents looking for a place to live. Because they were never intended for that level of load this is causing problems. For some people this has meant a less than great experience with performance fluctuations. The overuse of Openspaces has also put additional strain on some of our network and database infrastructure at a much higher ratio than is reflected in the current pricing. So higher traffic to and from the servers along with heavier demands on the asset server, both of which impact the overall experience people have inworld.
No kidding. Perhaps one might have forgotten that one of their first posts on Void Sims said:
Whereas normal private islands run on their own dedicated CPU, the Openspace regions run four per CPU: this limits their performance, as you would expect. Openspaces only ever share with other openspaces on a server.
It is therefore important to understand what these regions are; they are provided for light use only, not for building, living in, renting as homes or use for events. As a stretch of open water for boating or a scenic wooded area they are fine, but we do not advise more serious use than this and will not respond to performance issues reported should you not use them in this way.
Well of course this came to pass! Who wouldn’t want to have AN ENTIRE SIM and put their home/store/club/freaky-laggy build on it? Not only can one have total environmental control, making for a more asthetically pleasing build, but you get beach! Lots and lots of beach! And a cool sim name of your own! All that for…well, a little more than last month.
And a price increase is a price increase. And Lindens…well, they don’t do cost of living adjustments to keep pace with inflation. They issue price increases with the timidity of using an atom bomb to kill an ant. And we all know that.
So what’s the answer? Outside of leaving SL altogether (which everyone is free to do, but it’s a bit of a stretch to suggest that this development will prompt a mass creative class walkout) or just sucking it up and paying the extra fifty bucks, perhaps readers might want to consider everything old being new again:
Yeah, baby! I’ve got a parcel in Bay City-Tanelorn…1,344 sq. m. and a double-prim allotment that lets my use 615 prims. All for eight bucks a month. I’ll give up the beach for that. For eight bucks, I’ll even put up with that Japanese pagoda ‘for sale’ sign on the adjacent property.
Don’t want to go in that direction? Perhaps you could follow the Linden Lemming line and go buy land in the soon-to-be-overpriced Nautilus mainland sim auctions. Surely, it wasn’t a coincidence that LL announced this fantastic new LDPW build only 8 days ago!
Alternatively, you can take the route that art philanthropist Jurin Juran took in buying the mainland Blackwater sim. She gets over 14,000 prims and a whole sim on which to display her impressive collection. Tier’s only $195/month. She also helped clean up the mainland. Probably got rid of some ad farms. Advanced the common good. Is that all bad?
Lastly, the Linden Land page at secondlife.com states that you can get 3,750 prims of mainland (same as a Void Sim) on 1/4 of a sim for….seventy-five bucks.
Long story short…surely any change isn’t ideal (especially when delivered with the tact that only Linden Lab can pull off), but relax. It’s not like we didn’t know that many, many void sim owners were violating the original intent of this class of sim.
Life goes on.
Just look at this:
36 alts? Thirty-six? I can’t comprehend it. A medical team could do some groundbreaking work on the owner of that setup.
I only have one alt that I use with any frequency – two more that I haven’t touched in months. Now maybe I could if I had a cockpit like this guy’s….but then my brain would explode!
…this is what “computer game” users are used to seeing. One would figure that noobs are coming from this perspective:
So that’s where the virtual world bar is at. I acknowledge that there is some great machinima being made, just as this is a great machinima, but….does SL look like this all of the time? I hazard to guess that Grand Theft Auto IV doesn’t have the lag, the blurry/grey textures, etc. And how many avatars can the networked version of GTA IV hold?
I’m not saying the comparison is fair, considering that SL has so much user-created content and that GTA IV is only available on game systems like XBox and PlayStation, but life isn’t fair. SL suffers by comparison, which is why Vig’s Unified Theory of Second Life is so relevant. Let’s hope that Linden Lab solves these fundamental issues before the virtual world industry passes it by.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the interest in Vig’s Unified Theory of Second Life ™. (Hat tip to Hamlet Au, who I’ve never met but appears to be a reader of this humble blog as he put the spotlight on my theory.) Thanks to all those who have offered comments.
I’ve been mulling this theory over for a while, and the words chosen were very deliberate. For all of its technological wizardry, Second Life is a social space. It is a place for people to access and meet other people, enjoy shared experiences and interact with each other – in a host of formats and venues. If you pull the people out of Second Life, you have Photoshop in 3-D. (Conversely, if you pull the virtual world element out of Second Life, you have a live chat service.)
Problem is, the Second Life culture celebrates the exact experience which places the greatest strain on the Second Life system – the shared user experience, of which I will offer examples after the fold.
Despite the lag and other inconveniences, we hardcore users struggle on despite the hassle – recognizing that lag and other technical glitches are the price of admission to hang out with our friends, create and be inspired by others’ creativity. But what of the new users? Will they drop into the metaverse and find themselves in a quagmire…and want to stay? Is Second Life THAT compelling?
My feeling is that it is not. I also have a feeling that a lot of other people agree with me, which is why Second Life’s recurring user count has leveled off. And I’ll stick to my guns in stating that that number won’t go up until Linden Lab makes Second Life as stable as, say, your run-of-the-mill XBox game or World of Warcraft. This is all the more profound when considering that virtual worlds (including Second Life) are on the downside of the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies:
Think about this when considering these examples…
OK, try this one on.
The technical quality of the user experience in Second Life ™ is inversely proportional to the social quality of the user experience.
Why do I say that? Simple. The best (and most hyped) social events in Second Life are those that attract masses of avatars to a single place. Problem is, when the social events fill up, lag takes over and makes the avatar owners miserable. Of course, lag can come from multiple textures, scripts and a few other sources, but I have yet to see a jam-packed sim where there isn’t lag.
Carrying my theory through to its logical conclusion, I’ll suggest that Second Life will not meaningfully grow until they reverse the technology-based fundatmentals that underlie my theory.
Discuss in the comments.
GavinLeigh Wake, producer of the “SL Burning Life Blog,” announced that the blog will cease activity after 3 years of covering Second Life’s annual festival of (somewhat) unbridled creativity:
It’s with some regret that after three years of blogging the Burning Life event I have decided to close the door on BurningLife.com at the end of this years festival coverage.
This year I have been told by certain event staff to not mention this blog in any official chat, or mention alternative chat venues to reduce stress on the official channel. I have even had a member of staff call a Ranger and make me remove my BurningLife.com shirt. Not to mention being threatened with legal action.
This is a real shame. It just burns me to no end that someone whose work clearly shows their love for the event being stomped upon. I used GavinLeigh’s blog as a way to “see” a whole lot of Burning Life without having to endure the atrocious lag, and now it’s gone because of some apparent control issues. It’s not like GavinLeigh was criticizing the event – the blog was all about publicizing it in its many forms. Sigh.
GavinLeigh, please feel free to post here any time you want. Shoot me an IM inworld and we’ll make arrangements.