Vig’s obligatory “Void Sim price increase post”

So Linden Lab did it again, offering up another heaping pile of ham-handedness in customer relations.  The setup price of Void Sims Openspaces is going up, as is tier.  

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:

Courtesy of the Linden Department of Public Works

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 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.

“New Prim Abuses” by Gore Suntzu

Click the graphic for a SLURL

The great “prim abuser” is at it agan.  Here’s a sample of the pieces that he’s created…of course, showing off the incredible kinetic display that Gore does so well, playing with rotating prims and/or textures:

More after the fold… Continue reading

Museum of SL Photography

Callipygian Christensen sent me an invite to a seemingly new arts venue, the Museum of SL Photography.  Located in the Fashionista sim, it’s a quasi-reproduction of the Guggenheim museum in New York City:

Museum of SL Photography

Museum of SL Photography

The round, open interior makes for a great SL viewer experience.  Stand in the middle of the room and simply circle your viewer around the different levels of photos, easily able to zoom in on the pieces you want to inspect more closely:

Only 2 of the museum’s 6 levels are filled at present, but what’s there is quite good…and there’s plenty of room to grow:  


Museum of SL Photography - Interior wall view

Museum of SL Photography - Interior wall view

Photographers on display are Callipygian Christensen, Monroe Snook, Keith Extraordinaire, Cienega Soon, Kee Llewellyn, Trinidad Anatine.  It’s a strong combination of styles in a neutral setting, presented by some real talents.  

My only complaint – the prim-built replicas of avatars (in the “Away” setting, all hunched over) are really tacky and detract from what should be a space that inspires creativity and appreciation for those who have found their own creative voice using this exciting medium.   But don’t let that stop you from looking around!

Two of my favorite people…

…and one who I probably would like as well!  

Best of luck on the show!

My trip through Syncretia

Alpha Auer has made a visually stunning sim in Syncretia.  It’s one of those rare places that doesn’t try to remake real life on the grid but rather plays with impressions and evokes moods.  In this case, the mood is a little dark…which plays well in Second Life ™.

Here’s a photologue of my travels around the sim.  As I said, it’s a dark sim…and I tried to use the darkness as a photo tool and not an obstacle.  Still, it may come out dark to you.  Let’s hope it works!

FYI, the last couple slideshows were created using the Polaroid HUD from Burt Laundry.  It should surprise no regular reader of this blog that this store is located in a Japanese sim!

Nothing beats an old-fashioned Second Life rant

Note to self: Don’t bother building a medieval-themed sim in Second Life ™ unless planning on making it Gorean-themed.  It tends to cause some stress.

(WARNING: The linked post contains some adult language.  Quite a bit, actually.)

15 days until change