Thursday, January 24, 2013

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Should Linden Lab Charge SL Users to Keep Excess Inventory? It's a Hidden Subsidy Hurting SL's Economy

Emerald Wynn Inventory Bankruptcy

In the ongoing conversation about ways Linden Lab could replace the revenue lost from disappearing sims, Metacam Oh made a very sharp point last week: "Inventory takes up space but you are not charged for inventory. There could be 10,000+ free accounts with unlimited inventory that others are paying the freight for." This is very true, especially when it's not uncommon for SL users (with free accounts, even) to have tens of thousands or even a hundred thousand items in their inventory. Back in my Linden days, Linden Lab considered the idea of charging people to own inventory over a certain amount, and I'm even more convinced it's a plan they should finally put in place. Because spinning off from Mr. Oh's point, well-known SL "land baron" Desmond Shang added a comment which explains the huge problem of allowing so many users to have so much free inventory of virtual items:

"Basically, SL is a vast maze of unspoken subsidies.

"Every time someone logs in, buys a bunch of freeware and chats on voice all day, never spending a dime, that gets paid for. With hard currency, by someone.

"Now, of course, there are more ways to contribute to the world than with money. A non-spending resident's mere presence can be considered 'content' -- a compelling reason for other spenders to visit the grid. I have been a merchant and content creator myself for years; putting labor into the grid for reward isn't lost on me.

"The problem is that the subsidy structure doesn't make sense any more:

"Once deployed, Marketplace items have zero cost to the creator... forever. That's a long time. Contrast that to someone with over 70,000 USD annual fixed fees in place. [I.E. a land baron] I don't expect anyone to be an actuary, but seriously... a fixed expense line of exactly zero for Marketplace merchants makes no sense. Even if land was 100% free and out of the picture, it's basically locked out generations of new merchants. This is why I'm not surprised at seeing old guard merchants so opposed to the Marketplace subsidy taken away.

"As for me... my estate mostly adapted away from commercial ventures for the most part, a looong time ago. It had to. I'm out of this picture, and it's pretty clear that even if changes were made, anyone with any financial sense would just use Premium/Linden Homes or even mainland to offset costs, not estate land. The people that are punished by the Marketplace subsidy are largely the little guys, and anyone new. Not so much the land business any more. For us, that ship sailed two years ago.

"Incidentally... some of the big content 'fortunes' were made before SL Marketplace came around. Now to make a mint, you need to do all the art and scripting of a top breedable maker -- basically you need to become nearly a professional content business. Which is great, if you are a business! But not so great for the average person.

"What baffles me most, is how people hoping to break into the content business, or grow, are desperate to uphold the very thing that prevents it: The bloat of content still in place by the old guard of creators, and the giant wave of embedded competition that ensures they will be just another drop in the ocean until they too have thousands of items for sale.

"That's what a zero fixed cost expense line does. It's about like when a multi-billion dollar corporation pays no taxes... the fact that you don't pay taxes either, starting out to compete with them, is dwarfed by the advantage they have.

"Now, I'm off to make sure Linden gets my 5700 USD + 3.5% this month. I wonder how many zombie~merchants who left SL years ago, will be playing World of Warcraft or Skyrim during the same time... though granted, cashing out once a year takes a zombie merchant a good solid five minutes."

Emphasis above mine. I'm not sure, by the way, if Shang or Oh necessarily support the idea of monetizing excess inventory, but I sure do: Charge each user account (including alts), say, $1/month for inventory items in excess of one hundred, and you're bound to see SLers deleting old, unused items from their inventory. That will reduce load on Second Life's asset server, while also giving content creators a fairer playing field, while also giving landowners a new reason to rent out space to content creators on their property, which will help them cover tier. The loss of sims and revenue is staunched, while the economy grows more active and vibrant. Win-win-win all around.

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Vaki

So...as the Linden land economy shrinks and the common-sense response to less demand and lower cost for server space is lower monthly cost for land, a land baron suggests that instead, we start charging people for items in their inventory.

Cui bono?

Iggy

The Fashionistas are going to burn you in effigy, Hamlet. You can hide in my SL office, dude.

I am an inventory-organizing fanatic, and I've kept mine under 8K for 6 long years. So even for me, 100 would be a LOW bar. How about 1K for free accounts, 15K for premiums or $1 US/Month?

SL's bots and many ALTs would vanish and vanish fast.

roblem hogarth

Your inventory is just a collection of UUIDs to the assets that you "own". It's not like you have a personal copy of each item you own taking up huge amounts of disk space.

"Charge each user account (including alts), say, a $1/month for inventory items in excess of one hundred, and you're bound to see SLers deleting old, unused items from their inventory."

This is crazy. 100 items is too much? The last things content creators need is people worrying about inventory limits, it will kill the economy. They wont delete inventory they will simply leave SL.

Adeon Writer

6 years of heavy use and I still manage to keep myself under 30K. It bet I could even half it without missing anything, still plenty of things I haven't reviewed in there.

As for monitizing it. I'd have no problem as long as under 50K was for free accounts and premium was unlimited.

Adeon Writer

Also, I need to clarify that when I say "premium exclusive" I also count private estate owners too. They don't need to be premium (and often aren't), but they pay enough a month that they should get a good subset of premium benefits, too.

Gogo

I think limiting inventory for unpaid accounts is pretty good idea, it'll encourage people to go premium, if they wan't to keep their massive inventory. As someone who had a 130K inventory, and voluntarily trimmed it down to 60K, I didn't need the extra 70K I was carrying around, I was just too lazy to clean it.

People who want to play SL, and find it a worthwhile place to spend their time, will be willing to spend a lil bit to keep their beloved inventory.

Shockwave Yareach

I'd say no way in hades. That inventory is nothing but a array of UUIDs. A single snapshot takes more drivespace than my entire 14K inventory. Furthermore, it would do absolutely nothing to staunch people quitting SL as it would not fix (or even glance at) the real problems which are driving people to abandon the thousands of dollars in investments they've made here.

This is an additional tax on the users and does nothing to lower tiers or keep sims online. And demanding free accounts to pay up or else will drive those free accounts away -- and the money they pay the land barons for rent.

Seven Overdrive

I agree with roblem. People will just leave SL if their inventory is limited now. LL would have to grandfather all the old accounts before the silly policy was implemented or a mass exodus would be experienced.

The only solution at this point is for the Lab to bite the bullet and take the immediate loss and lower tier. The Land Baron scheme can no longer work and it is time to completely cut the middle man out of the land (server space) equation.

Pamela

An advantage to clearing out excess inventory is that most people do not understand that when you have over 10,000 items in a folder, it takes so long to load it, it times out -- and some inventory will not load. So people are constantly "losing" inventory. When I suggest that clearing out inventory will solve some of their inventory problems, many are not interested in doing that, but might if there was further incentive.

Pussycat Catnap

I can't see a way to manage this that would not do more harm.

Such people already get charged in self induced lag though.

That said, if you get on a modern viewer and use HTTP inventory, it doesn't matter so much. ANd projects are in work that will make inventory loading lag a thing of the past, except for those folks who insist on using old viewers. These projects have only not finished because of the legacy folks forcing LLs to do a double take on shutting off outdated protocols...

Asked 3 years ago, this topic would make sense. Asked today, it really just sort of hints at someone needing to do a viewer update. :)

Metacam Oh

Hamlet, I'm in favor of a change to usage based model, inventory, land, computer resources etc. "virtual space" is not "real" which is what they are charging for right now, an arbitrary 256x256 meter square.

Those top sims you show every month that probably use tremendous bandwidth should pay more than someone using their land as a private meeting place for 2 people.

Someone with 100,000 inventory pieces should pay more than someone with 10,000 etc. Spread the costs where they really lay.

Shockwave Yareach

Perhaps a better plan is to have even Basic accounts have to pay either 5$cash, or 1400L, as a basic account fee. And the user gets to select which sim they want their contribution to go towards the tier. Thus everyone has to put some skin in the game and they contribute to the sim they prefer the most -- a required tipjar if you want to think of it that way. Make it so the deduction occurs the first time you login after the first of the month. If you never login, you are never charged. If you login a thousand times, you are charged once a month.

This would be the end of the "free to play" model. But seriously, servers and bandwidth and programmers (and investors gold porsches) cost money. Some real american cash has to come in, since the power company doesn't take lindens. While this is just another tax on the user, it may be more palatable when you know that your tax money is going to keeping your favorite place up and running.

It's just a thought.

Seven Overdrive

An even better idea would be to charge more fairly for sim resource usage. If you want to have 80 people on your sim 24/7, then you should be paying more than someone that uses their land more casually. It could be set up where only basic accounts, and not premium, would count against your sim resource usage.

Many sims would go premium only to save money and that would be an incentive for people to pay for premium accounts to have access to more places. Not ideal, but certainly more fair in my opinion.

Hamlet Au

I should have also mentioned the horrible performance hit an individual user takes when they try to open up their massive inventory, and everything freezes up or slows waiting for all that shit to display. So putting a price to this would actually benefit the folks with the most inventory, since it would incent them to start nuking old stuff.

Aeonix Aeon

*laughs*

The problem isn't excess inventory it's the wildly inefficient way it is stored.

This is the sort of thing you hear about as a last ditch effort to curtail costs... putting up even more toll gates and barriers to entry, which in turn spirals out of control until you've effectively driven ever last one of your customers away.

It's an act of desperation, not a solution. The sort of "solution" you hear out of unmitigated panic mode like a mad grab for money when you know the ship is sinking.

Now if the asset system was upgraded and converted to multi-use data instead, then all the assets in the world wouldn't hurt you but instead help the situation. They'd be giving people an in-world L$ bonus to have a large inventory instead of thinking about charging them for it.

Guess Linden Lab should have thought about that before building a system that would have invariably and predictably inflated to gargantuan sizes in storage.

Next they'll think about charging you for changing your clothes too much.

noimnotserious

Just start charging those who already pay premium account more fees, and let those with free accounts be umbrella'd by those fees as well. Its only fair!

If Obama can do it, so can LL!!

Scarp Godenot

Want to fix the problem of declining land and make the Lab more revenue? Require Marketplace sellers to have inworld presence and limit their entries to the the size of their land spaces.

Then sellers of goods would pay their way. And if they weren't willing to, it would make room for those who would.

512 land would get you say 30 market place entries. 1024 100, 2048 300 and 4096 a maximum allowable number.... say 1000.

Set it up so that land barons who want to get in on this, to be able to define parcel divisions with the renter's name for LL verification purposes.

I personally know of several people who left their inworld stores to go marketplace only because they saw it as a free loophole where they could make 100 percent profit. And they were right.


Iris Ophelia

Uhhh, no thanks bro.

From a fashion POV, this almost means when I buy something new I'm just renting it, because I will inevitably have to get rid of it if I'm around and fashionista-ing for a long time... And I can't imagine most people are interested in that idea, like MMORPGs that make you pay real money for costume items you only get to keep for a month.

It's true that I get rid of lots of old items in my inventory, but there are others I hang on to because I consider them sort of landmark pieces in our virtual fashion history. I like to be able to hold them up and go "look at how this used to be done". More to the point, since the advent of sculpties, things don't look out-of-date as quickly as they used to. Things made 3 years ago can still look amazing and totally wearable, mesh be damned. Imagine if every book-lover burned their first-editions to make room for new books.

Honestly, if premium-level inventory space already existed I would have left SL years ago. I pay my dues to content creators and LL takes a cut from us both. Making me pay to hold on to those products undermines the value they want us to place on our virtual possessions in the first place. Talk about economy killers.

Vaki

I love all these brilliant "charge the users" and "move away from a free game" schemes. I mean, all the other games out there are raising their monthly rate to play and finding such success that way, right?

....Oh, wait, they're not? They're going free-to-play and still struggling for critical mass?

....Oh.

I'm sure SL will totally be the exception.

Bouncer Criss

renting inventory space? no thanks! There are no benefits now to being a premium member, that wouldn't help at all.

cube republic

Second life just need to bring their land price down if they wish to get more cash. Existing players will get more land and some new ones would also buy into the game too. This would generate more marketplace sales, everyone would win. With cheaper land, content creators may build more epic builds that would in turn inspire noobs to want a slice of that action. Tangent:where are our normal maps?

CronoCloud Creeggan

As a fashionista there is something I need to do:

/me burns Hamlet and a bunch of the "spends all their time in the sandboxes builder/scripter crowd" in effigy.

Do some people not understand how SL really is these days? The sandboxers...well they aren't the center of the virtual universe anymore....the consumers are.

I have a bit over 73000 items in inventory, which I consider to be rather low by Fashionista standards for how long I've been in SL, I just haven't been shopping enough I guess. I consider the words "delete" and "limits to inventory" to be words that should never be in my vocabulary. How can one win SL or catch up to Willow inventory-wise if one doesn't own it all? Especially the shoes.

And you know what, having a big inventory has zero affect on my SL experience...none... when I first login it takes a tiny bit to load up and then it's good. I simply do not lose inventory.

SL's greatest growth came when they implemented Free accounts, and these oldbie cranks want to basically get rid of those and try to make SL the paradise they think it was in the old days back when they thought they were the center of the SL universe.

That SL is gone....it's not coming back, no matter what anyone does. You want LL to make money? Get people spending.... SL is a bottom up economy. people like myself and Iris, we're the backbone of the SL economy now, not some guy sitting in a sandbox with his vehicle.

You want people to go premium? well one of the complaints is that it's not worth the money...so add features to it.

You want content makers to make money? Discourage the freebie economy and get the second worlders to spend money in SL.

A lot of the solutions proposed here are just...silly. limiting marketplace slots of a full region owner to 1000? Do you KNOW how much stuff some of these full region owners have on marketplace? I know of one that has about 5000! But the people proposing these solutions don't know that because they're not the mainstream of SL anymore!

And shockwave's idea just make shake my head: And if one is just going to charge Basic accounts a monthly fee, why have basic accounts at all. Just go back to the old days...yeah, like that's workable.

The Mainstream of SL is in those top 50 regions...THOSE are the people you should be asking questions of, Hamlet, Not a bunch of oldbies like the NWN regulars...which includes me.


Tracy Redangel

I think this is a bad idea. I think it will deter people from buying because they're going to be thinking of going over their inventory limit. I have about 35,000 in my inventory, and it's all purchased items. Yes, I clean it out regularly, and I'm very organized. I love to shop in SL. If I had to pay $1 per 100, that's less money I'm paying to content creators.
Now if LL were to implement something like capping free accounts to 10,000 or so, then if you go over that you have to switch to premium, it wouldn't be so bad, I suppose.

And for that premium account, I don't necessarily expect lower land prices, but more flexible options, like the ability to purchase either an 1/8 or a 1/4 sim directly from Linden Labs, rather than a whole entire sim. You can have a free account and rent...but with small parcels you don't often have full land rights. And if that land owner goes belly up, you're screwed even if you've paid tier to them. I bet that's happened to more people than anyone would like to admit.

Bouncer Criss

@ Crono well said!!

CronoCloud Creeggan

And about tier, I believe that LL keeps Tier prices and fees the way they are for one reason:

Support costs

They don't want to support some housewife who buys a sim to live in with her virtual boyfriend and then has to cancel a month later because the car broke down. The fees and costs keep the hoi polloi renting from Land Barons so LL doesn't have to deal with them.

You cut the prices in half as some of you want, and suppose it's as as good as a best case scenario as some of you say it would be , and land use doubles. Well you've just DOUBLED LL's land hosting costs and increased LL's support costs WITHOUT increasing their income, so LL would actually be WORSE off financially than they are now. As the trope says: "Nice job breaking it Hero."

Dani Riaxik

LOL! Thank you CronoCloud, well said and so true. From one fashionista to another there needs to be more people like you talking about the SL of today not yester-year.

Gaga

Heh, I've been saying this on comments and blogging for a long time. Linden Lab should allow free accounts a limited inventory before being required to upgrade to premium and unlimited inventory together with double the stipend. Get rid of Linden homes and useless gifts. Cut tier and setup fee across the board for everyone, residents and Land Barons alike. Cut it by 20% to 30% in stages at about 5% - 10% every so many months until the lower pricing is reached in order to lower financial impact on the Lab finances. . Require all Market Place Merchants to own a verifiable store in world of a certain minimum standard that is either rented or owned. The Lab should stop pulling the rug from under the virtual economy of Second Life by trying to hive off lucrative parts of the user created market.

The Lab should spend more of the excessive profits they make on improving and fixing the platform and make it possible for the residents as PARTNERS to run the world they imagined and created.

In other words Linden Lab needs to do more for what we pay and butt out of OUR Business!!!!

Perhaps then I, for one, might find it in my heart to say nice things about Linden Lab again. Until then I continue to recommend people try Opensim and the other new platforms like Cloud Party. For Hell's sakes people wanting to get into making and selling content are really not going to make a fortune in Second Life now anyway. Mesh aside, the market is saturated and a huge percentage of what is on offer is little better than every shape, size and color of limitless dross. So bad is it that you have to search for ever to find good stuff now days!

I recommend people use Opensim's emerging market to get into merchant trading simply because the market is not saturated and, moreover, Opensim grids like Kitely Virtual now offer a Market Place too with export perms thus making it as difficult as SL to copy content - even while using hypergrid to travel between worlds. The Opensim market is potential every bit as big as SL is or ever was.
try this... http://bit.ly/W3AGZi

or this... http://www.kitely.com/virtual-world-news/2013/01/20/kitely-market-early-bird-promotion/

Kitely are showing how to run a Market Place.

rjs

I've been thinking the same for a long time about sl and the never ending inventory allowance.

In fact, here is a mantis thread where I discuss the same topic matter concerning opensim/aurora-sim.

http://mantis.aurora-sim.org/view.php?id=1053

There are certainly specific instances where the load would be reduced.

rjs

Hamlet Au

"They're going free-to-play and still struggling for critical mass?"

That's not true at all, there's a lot of free-to-play MMOs that are extremely profitable. The ones that do well monetize items that users are willing to pay for. Lots of SLers like to maintain lots of inventory, so clearly there's a market there. I like Gaga's idea of requiring Premium upgrade when a certain number of items are reached.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

One only has so much money to devote to entertainment... you know about Maslow's hierarchy, Hamlet; you've written about an SL nightclub hostess who based her business on it. Having RL shelter and food wins over SL every time.

Charging for inventory will take even more money away from creators than charging for other things, because it drives up the effective cost of content... and how much of that money will go to SL rather than other LL projects?

Sansarya

Eh, if they limit inventory I'll just stop shopping and close my premium account. I've been a premium member since the first day I joined SL (April 2005). Other than a few months when my husband was in the hospital I have contributed to the SL economy by shopping and owning a bit of land (or more, some years). It adds up if you've been at the $25 a month tier plus the monthly premium for eight years, plus been an avid shopper. I don't feel my SL existence has been subsidized by big land owners in any way because I've always been a paying customer of Linden Lab and of its content creators. Seat me on the LL board, then I'll consider paying a tax on my inventory. No taxation without representation, remember?

Ben

Start charging people for inventory UUIDs and you will see a drop in active users we haven't seen yet. Twitter and Facebook should charge for archiving tweets and posts, too. People will love it.

And why not charge for TPs? Oh, and logging in should be charged. A more daemonic version would be - and this would exemplifly this kind of culture even better - to charge users for logging OUT.

Be creative. Invent more ways to charge, and make life as unpleasant as it can be. "There is no such thing as free lunch". Maggie Thatcher said that, and maybe she will be the party crowd then in a virtual club or venue.

Arabella Jones

The practical problem is how the counting is done.

Are links inventory items? They appear to be counted by my Viewer.

What happens if I put a few thousand older items into boxes instead of sub-folders?

I don't have such a large inventory, but there are things I do which could obviously lead to counting problems. And some of the problems that the advocates of this scheme seem to be pointing at are essentially player-incompetence: just how many items are there in a folder?

Hamlet, this is one of the dumber ideas going around, and your reaction makes me wonder just how much you are using SL.

Ciaran Laval

Charging for inventory would work if all items were free, but they're not, a lot of people have paid for inventory items, which makes then charging for storage of said items a damaging prospect in terms of customer relations.

The way to bring in additional revenue is to try new revenue streams. One thing merchants have asked for is additional stores, so if a merchant sells buildings, furniture and clothing they'd like to have a marketplace store for each line, introducing a new feature like that and charging for it would be acceptable because it's a new feature, whether it would be popular is a different matter, but fees should only really be sought in new areas.

Offer additional premium options with different premium packages, such as mobile phone companies do, so maybe you'd have a land owner option with a higher stipend and a higher tier free allowance for a higher monthly fee, or a content creator package that includes x amount of free uploads a month, free classifieds upto x value, free show in search places, for a higher monthly fee than the standard package.

The Marketplace is where it is, I don't agree with free unlimited listings forever, people should have to relist items, but again, changing the rules now would cause chaos, so LL are better off looking at introducing new fee based options, rather than nerfing existing options.

Pussycat Catnap

Read the article further than my earlier skim.

Looks like I completely misunderstood what was being discussed as the cost, as 'reason' for wanting to limit inventories in this article is something I would never have considered.

Its all virtual goods, its all just entries in a database. The number of entries should not matter. That it does in the way I first discussed in a design flaw they are currently remedying.

Imposing a cost to inventories is not the right way to adress flaws in the economy. I maintain as I always have that the current flaws in the economy of SL were artificially created when merchants were divorced from SL land.

Making consumers take up the burden merchants once held is even more 'unfair' that putting that burden back on merchants. At least with merchants - you can justify it as a 'cost of doing business'. A 'tax' for becoming a beneficiary of the economic engine.

If we just returned a connection between merchants and land - about half of SL's economy would be fixed. The other half would fix by making land not so outrageous in price.

The theory here sounds GOP like: Fund the wealthy by kicking common people in the teeth and selling the teeth that fall out to the tooth fairy.

Gaga

It's not a dumb idea at all. I said impose inventory limits on free accounts and lift all limits for premium users. The idea is to shift from a land sales model to a mixed revenues model. If people want to have more inventory then pay for a premium. it wont affect existing premium users anyway. It will affect alt accounts and free loaders who will find they need to invest in the virtual world and not just use it at everyone else's expense.

If you want to make money out of Second Life you already need a premium account to cash out. Extending the benefits of premium and imposing limits on free accounts makes sense in my book and the money raised will help to reduce tier charges.

Alazarin Mobius

Aside from lowering tier rates [and making the tier scale more granular] I think the idea of placing limits & charging fees for inventory space might be workable. For example:

Free-to-Play accounts: A cap at 10,000 items or some such amount.

Premium accounts: Unlimited inventory.

Before anyone throws up their hands in horror it would do well to remember that SL's shopaholics with their bloated inventories are already spending a small fortune on their SL experience. If they can afford to throw money around like water, then the small premium fee would be a trifle against the amount spent on virtual shoes, hair, clothes, etc.

Content creators with Free-to-Play accounts might face a bit of a problem. The more successful ones should be able to absorb the cost without even noticing it. However the smaller / hobbyist content creators might have a problem.

Masami Kuramoto

It's a dumb idea, and anyone who followed the previous discussion knows why. But oh well, Hamlet is desperate for page views again, so here's the extended version:

If you introduce SL residents to OpenSim, at some point each of them will ask the inevitable question:

"Is there a way I can use my SL inventory here?"

"No, you have to start from scratch."

"Oh, I see. Bye-bye!"

There are, in a nutshell, three things that keep people attached to (or rather: locked into) Linden Lab's overpriced platform:

  • stuff you can purchase or sell
  • stuff you have purchased or sold
  • people gazing at stuff you have purchased or sold

This is the magic sauce, the secret of SL's success. Hence you won't see any time soon:

  • a tax on marketplace entries
  • a tax on inventory entries
  • a tax on avatar render cost
  • a tax on inworld time (aka. the end of free accounts)

Yes, it's a subsidy, and the land consumers pay the price -- happily, until they run out of money. :)

Adromaw

So from some (not all-thank god) barons that lost merchants (and hold a grudge) the topic travels to trying to hurt merchants directly (taxing providing content) to trying to hurt merchants clients/customers under a badly disguised ruse of good will.

Will this end soon, Hamlet, for a couple of months?
I agree that private holdings need to always be attractive and the cost differences might be a bit steep and can use some work. But would LL make a move if it didn't look like enough users made the effort for a return?

Don't get me wrong, suggesting ways of making it a little bit easier is well and good.

This, though, doesn't fit that category.
It just doesn't.

Even if you put in place filtering to make a distinction between accounts that have transferred L's it's still a bad idea. I'd argue that to the point of the technical single-prim no copy object in a content creating universe.

LL might appreciate the concern about the amount of UUID data they are storing and managing, though. That's nice.

You're going to want to look for ways of improving every sector of the grid in some way. Good options without harming, tit-for-tats, undue competitions or trying to control everyone else’s way of life. And especially ways that don't act against the very people you'd rather help.

Even the completely free user has a use on the grid. Not in total domination numbers. But they do have the value marker as a register of interest at the very least, provide activity and life, keep the tumble weed swept and sometimes improve their standings. Sometimes to the point of dropping $60 usd a month into the residential wallet of a private estate baron—(of which takes their cut on the way to LL trying to subsidise their holdings)—and may or may not dabble in whatever they choose next.

It is the free will of all barons, merchants and users to invest to the limits of their inclination.

PS: can you write a report on some of the currently operating commercial standalone regions, whether baron operated or not, that provide extra delivery services and customer reward services over and above the marketplace offering. That might make a decent refresher and a return to a peek at ongoing for quite some time now merchant innovations at enticing traffic and brand loyalty. Including mall regions in the vein of EUPHORIA (if I remember it right). I know that fits in with Shang’s “great if you’re a business” line, but it’s still worth it.

Ciaran Laval

Restricting inventory is a non-starter, it would be an extremely bad move that would hurt merchants and land owners, which is the last thing we need right now.

The way Second Life works, it's perfectly feasible for a basic account holder to spend more in land fees and shopping each month than a premium member spends each month, that's without getting into the issue of private region owners not needing to be premium.

You also do not need a premium account to cash out from Second Life, you need verifiable information so the credit can be processed.

ZZ Bottom

Is not hamlet that scares me, is the dumb stupid fu****** assh***** of LL that wants that in 1st place, or any has any doubts this post is a preparation for what will follow!

Max T

Wow, just wow. This blog really amazes me:

In order to "improve" SL, it first promotes the idea of additional costs for content creators who dare to sell on Marketplace.

Now it promotes the idea of additional costs for content users who dare to buy content.

Commentators label people subsidized leeches because they create things; users who are actively using SL and buying things are accused to be freeloaders.

War on Content.

I second CronoCloud on this.

Chestnut

Do you mean 10.000 UUIDs or 10.000 items?
If latter i will just box and re-box my old stuff until i am down to 1 item in my inventory, with all 2.000.000 UUIDs in and on and around them (one elaborate sculpty hair can contain over 200 UUIDs btw). Does that help to free any server-space?

Tracy Redangel

@Gaga
I have a "free" account, but I'm certainly not a freeloader. I've rented a 1/4 sim for the entire life of my avatar (over 2 years). I don't have any free items in my inventory. I'm part of what keeps the creaking gravy train going. I've never seen the point in having a premium account, because A) I don't need to buy a full sim, B) I don't need the extra "customer service" from Linden Labs. So why should I spend $9 a month/$70 a year for a premium account?

Issa Heckroth

Every article which NWN posts suggesting hair-brained "new income streams" for the Lab just keeps underscoring the fact that the SL buisiness model is unsustainable. The Lab HAVE to do something about tier. Full stop. Dont care if they dont like that or dont want to talk about it. People are clearly now starting to vote with their money and leave. Every metric we care to name is on the downward spiral, and at an accelerating speed.

The message from those of us still invested or just stupid enough to still be hanging round need to send LL a clear message. They say, "pay or get lost" we need to say "Lower tier or DIE". Because that is the REALITY of the situation.

Your silly little minecraft rip-offs aint going to save you if SL goes the way of the dodo. Sort it out Rod, its in YOUR hands, not the residents.

Shockwave Yareach

@gaga -- where oh where did you get the idea that you have to have a premium account to cash out?

1. Person makes stuff in sandbox.
2. Person puts stuff on Marketplace.
3. Person puts in credit card number to buy a mere 100L.
4. Person sells 10,000L of stuff since he can sell cheaper than the competition who has to pay for land. This also kills the competition's sales, and they quit renting land.
5. Person cashes out 90$ of US currency to his credit card. Profit!!
6. Person then complains that the sim of Spindrift is no more, since the person's competitor was the business whose rent on Spindrift kept the sim operational...

The problem is not Marketplace. I love marketplace and use it lots as its search actually works. But Marketplace and Inworld stores need to be hand in hand. Having a free website means no land rentals for stores, thus no more sims with fun stuff to do on those sims which need the businesses to survive. It's not rocket science. There must be a way to tie the number of items you have in your marketplace to your inworld land, be it owned or rented. People supporting the world and building there have limits -- it's honest and world supporting to have similar limits in the marketplace.

Otherwise we'll wake up with a fistful of dollars, and no SL to go to anymore when all the sims and then LL go poof. The previous model of businesses supporting land worked fine. The Marketplace should augment and assist in sales rather than REPLACE the stores which pay for the whole shebang.

Ciaran Laval

@Issa Heckroth, to be fair to Hamlet, he was banging on about tier being too central a plank of Second Life's revenue stream quite some time ago and he said at the time that the model was unsustaianable.

Tier is the issue in all these discussions, the problem is how do you create a situation where it makes sense for LL to lower tier, in reality it has to involve alternate revenue streams.

I agree with you that tier is too high, but taking the step to lowering it is fraught with danger.

CronoCloud Creeggan

Shockwave, why do you focus on commercial rentals? Time has changed and you're still thinking like SL of 2006. if the region of Spindrift wants to support itself it simply just has to switch to residential rentals, not commercial. selling spaces for homes, not stores.

It's really that simple. They do that, they stay alive.

Caledon for example, is mostly residential, it's still there, still viable. Same goes for Babbage, Steelhead, Winterfell, etc etc.

Tying marketplace to land is a non-starter. Merchants and shoppers...well they outnumber people like you 10 to 1 That genie is never going back into the bottle, no matter how much you or others want it to. Don't be King Canute shouting at the waves to stop...think of something else.

Rin Tae

Hmm .. so te economy is in problems and yesterdays business models does not work anymore. What is the solution? Prevent people from spending money and limit their ability to get more goods!

To be honest, I have not laughed so much in a while and can only call such ideas about limiting inventory not only short sighted but outright silly. I mean, all those items have been bought from content creators or made to sell to others. And this makes the economy go round and keep people who rent land in busines since the money the merchants earn goes into renting land and the customers like ot have places to rezz their items on too.

If the danger is there that what I have bought now I might have to delete later to get something new, I will consider three times to buy anything once I am close to the limit. So all the merchants loose out, they loose money and stop creating or reduce what they hold on land because they can not support it. And what do you do with people who would already be above the limit? Will the system simply delete half their inventory once the deadline passes? What about merchants who have lots of items in their inventory? will they be punsihed for creating a lot? And of course how want land barons earn more money if people have to pay more to LL directly and decide to reduce their usual SL budget by this ammount? Ohh.. and the merchants will loose out too so even less profit! Less content and less money changing hands in the economy! Yay! Isn't that what the suggestion was about?

The economy is in trouble? Stop it then and make sure that no one can make any profit anymore and people are punished if they take active part in the economy!

*hint* free accounts buy a lot and - thanks to their great number - for sure create much more, spend more money and rent more land then premium members.

The thing is, that such ideas as the one described in this post can only come out of people who think that their little part of SL is the whole of it and who can't or don't want to see that there are all sorts of people there too and that they might see things different. Or that things are different outside their sim.

Shockwave Yareach

@Chrono -- allow me to illustrate the problem with your "Oh, just rent residence instead" solution.

private islands cost 300$ a month compared to 200$ a month on mainland. And there is a lot of empty and abandoned land on mainland for renters to get.

But it gets worse. Now we have that Linden Homes projects, which lets premium accounts have free land and a free home (and still have prims for furniture) which competes directly with those who have land to rent. You know, you cannot compete with FREE.

And in spite of the glut of available rentals in mainland for less, and plenty of empty Linden Homes for nothing, there isn't a huge swell of renters coming in to use them. So, your approach is to replace the sales malls with home rentals, chasing renters who aren't there to begin with...

My island home has several empty home parcels today. We've always existed as mixed home and business -- your land, put what you want on it. And renters are becoming more and more scarce as the world shrinks, which you'd expect to be the opposite case. But the harsh truth is that people are quitting as their sims are closed, and the newcomers that LL has been counting on for so many years simply aren't coming in. The reasons for the latter are many, but it doesn't change the fact that we could support our sims and the fun stuff upon them before the unlimited marketplace went up. And now we cannot. And trying to rent land to the newcomers that don't exist... you may as well click your ruby slippers together for all the good it'll do you.

The Tier Is Too Damn High Party

Meh. While I'm not *against* charging for inventory, or any of the other economic schemes to keep SL running, lowering tier across the board has to be a significant part of any strategy. If residents are squeezed for more -- the death by a 1000 cuts approach -- without lowering tier, they will just stop spending and the economy will slow even further.

Rather than penalizing residents, we should be given incentives to stay, create and spend

Gaga

Quote: "free accounts buy a lot and - thanks to their great number - for sure create much more, spend more money and rent more land then premium members." So says the person that has the data to prove what they are saying.

The fact here is not about killing the economy but how Linden Lab might change to a mixed revenue stream in order to reduce tier.

The suggestion was that Premium accounts should be needed to have unlimited inventory. It was not about restriction on people spending money but rather improving the benefits of premium accounts and placing inventory limits on free accounts where people sit on vast amounts of stuff, badly organized and heavily duplicated. Come on, most of you bucket loads of inventory you will never use or need! Free account holders can organize to save space or simply get a premium account.

I find it incredible there are people with free accounts making money and, by what I read, cashing out ( I have a premium account so I must have missed that one).

No one should be able to cash out without a premium account.

No one should be able to list on market Place without a store in world and a premium account.

Freeloader is perhaps a strong term but there are enough people griefing the sims others pay for and beggers plaguing the grid to justify the term. Not for everyone of course. Honest people finding it hard to pay a premium is difficult for them but if you can find money to over fill an inventory then I think you can pay a premium account.

If the revenue stream was mixed it would make it a bit easier on the pockets of the sim owners and renters who often spend their money to provide free entertainment to the people with free accounts.

I think the term free loader applies in many cases but not all so lets get real!

Pierre Ceriano

This is a absurd and dangerous idea !

Absurd because it could help prevent people from consuming.

Absurd because it would sound the end of a free game to play. And free is a definite advantage.

Dangerous because some would coppybot their inventory, transform and utilize XML to another world.

Such an idea is unproductive and cons-productive. Also, can you give me a link to a single serious study which shows the technical weight of an inventory?

Pierre Ceriano

Gaga

@Pierre

You miss the point. It doesn't even matter how much people have in their inventory. What matters is how to get more people paying for a premium account so the damn tier can be reduced.

People are shutting down and leaving in droves!

Metacam Oh

Wow apparently if every resident spent as much as all the cry babies in this thread then the SL economy wouldn't be in shambles. Hilarious though that no one wants to even contemplate ways to spread the cost of SL around. Now I'm not arguing Linden Lab needs to sustain unrealistic profit at everyone else's expense, not at all, just contemplating ways to make it fair. I find it hilarious that people who buy things in SL actually think that they OWN that thing they bought and deserve to have unlimited inventory on a free account. If you'd rather see SL die then even think about finding ways to alleviate tier burden then good riddance to you anyway.

"The theory here sounds GOP like: Fund the wealthy by kicking common people in the teeth and selling the teeth that fall out to the tooth fairy."

@Pussycat, this is ridiculous, you are assuming people who own land from Linden Lab are rich and don't need break in price to sustain and that everyone else doesn't rely on there actually being places to BE in Second Life for there to be an actual Second Life.

This is just a discussion about possibilities, for anyone attacking Hamlet or passing this off like bah I am gonna take my ball and go home, good go home.

Gaga

I use to break even on the five role play regions I had in Second Life and my market with affiliates and rented plots helped meet those costs so we could enjoy our role play. I have see the market sales fall to less than half what they were since Market Place gained ground. The renters have gone and the griefers have increased. I still have players, many I call friends but, honestly, I can't afford to keep five sims going at Linden lab prices. I closed three sims and hold out with just two now but for how long I don't know.

I have new interests in Opensim now anyway and some of my role players do cross to the free Metaverse to play so maybe that is where we will end up. The way I look at it now is that Second Life still has traffic enough to justify two sims for my RPG and I would get more if the costs came down.

I don't know it Linden Lab can or would ever reduce tier but I am willing to wait it out and see what they come up with. For a while longer maybe but not for ever.

I think they need a mixed revenue stream to stay in business.

Marianne McCann

Gosh yes, this is a great idea. Tell people that all that stuff they purchased is going to cost them more money to have! Brilliant!

Rin Tae

Quote-Quote! ;P : "free accounts buy a lot and - thanks to their great number - for sure create much more, spend more money and rent more land then premium members." So says the person that has the data to prove what they are saying.

The fact here is not about killing the economy but how Linden Lab might change to a mixed revenue stream in order to reduce tier.
-------
It sadly would be just about that. Killing the economy and of coruse I don't have the numbers but I would be very surprsied if it would not be the case that all the free account holders combined spend more money then the premium account holders combined. But this is not the problem here and no, not all free account holders have badly orgenized inventories and not all premium account holders have them perfectly in ordner too ;P .. but the big thing in thinking about how to make LL get a better and more spread revenue stream is not in thinking about ways how to punish everyone and force them to do something but to make it so that they want and desire it and then change to it out of them seeing a great value in it.

Force wont get anyone (maybe a few .. there is no way to tell but I would not take this gamble) to get a premium account and will cost LL the last little bit of good will their customers might still muster up for them. Afer all one of the most imprtant things that keeps people in SL is, their inventories. And new stuff will keep the invested and it will make creators create new things since people will still buy it.

Don't take away from people but expand on it and give them more .. then I am sure more people will discover the value of a premium account. But to be honest, I think LL should not even look in that direction and get rid of the premium-free difference alltogether. Treat everyone the same and don't interfere with the various markets concentrating on being the service provider for those that want to do what they like on their still wonderful world.

And make it cheeper with a more fair price structure where people can get the ammount of land they want to use and can afford instead of paying artifical prices.

Bouncer Criss

Again, there is no benifits to being a premium member. I don't need a full sim, and free linden house? No thanks. Oh, there was that great railroad trolly thing.

Robert Graf

LL should "nationalize" all private land - land barons included, all content, and all resident inventories. After nationalization offer the land barons a job managing "the people's" estates at subminimum wage, offer the content creators a job with LL, producing content strictly for LL to sell on its marketplace, and pay them subminimum wage with LL keeping all revenue from sales of content. And tax all accounts free or otherwise. Assess a separate tax on inventory size. Assess a rez tax. Rez something and it costs you.

Just keep coming up with ways to squeeze as much money as possible out of the residents. LL does deserve it since they have done such a wonderful job over the last 6 years or so for us residents. We should be ashamed of ourselves for being such greedy little residents... LL deserves our money more than we do right?

The Fat Lady is fully warmed up and approaching stage right... curtain slowly coming up.... opensim... opensim... opensim... lmao!!! ;)_~~~

Cindy Bolero

If inventory was easy to manage at all I could actually sort some of it out. I feel its a problem of both the design of inventory management, and creator's naming conventions fault.

Since creators don't call a boat a boat, and give it some name without boat in the name, or if there was the luxury of metadata, I forget the name the creator called it and its lost in inventory forever until someday the name comes to mind or I see same one somewhere.

Its not our fault our inventories are getting filled up. there should be color code for copy or mod or transfer items. so we could quickly file or delete. No one can sort every day. I would take as much time as whatever else you logged in for.

It would take me hundreds of hours to sort out whats been moved to my trash by either computer-hopping, or viewer-hopping. Which by the way, the response to my trouble ticket from LL was "We're not going to help you". I'm afraid to empty my trash because so much of my keeper stuff is in the trash against my will.

If there comes to be a charge for large inventories at least put the money towards fixing inventory infrastructure and interface design.

And to creators! Start naming your stuff so I can search it after I bought it. Put house or home in the name if it is a house or home. Please pretty please! I have hundreds of houses I bought with some fancy name that does not tell me its a house.

The Tier Is Too Damn High Party

Another thought: there is handwringing over keeping up with FB, etc - but SL is neither a full-on social media-type product nor a proper gamer platform, although it shares features of both.

SL is going through a period where *it* seems to be anxious about whether it's still desirable even as it ages. It is, to me.

Twisting around trying to get the attention of smartphone/FB users is to come from weakness. SL needs to identify its core users and why they still come to SL, and incentivize that demographic to continue and tell their friends who haven't experienced SL.

This means SL will *not* appeal to people who leave FB open at work all day. Hoping people will *play* SL on their smartphones is not the answer either.

To my mind this all connects back to prices - SL's basing their survival on tier is a mistake. That's like investing one's entire fortune in one sector. There was a brief boom, followed by a bust. That's the situation IRL, and we see the same thing happening now in SL.

Again, I think penalizing residents--any residents--will only compound the problem. SL needs to be attractive, not repellent. Not that this will happen, but maybe drastically reducing tiers and rents, in combination with a nominal kickback to SL on ALL sales with make up the shortfall to SL, while giving residents a price break?

Just thinking out loud

elizabeth (16)

if it was a asset/resource tax then it would be a better income model

the accounting done on the asset/resources used to make stuff. not on the inventory listing

kinda LI for inventory

would encourage creators to build smarter and be more frugal in the number of assets/resources they included

high inventory LI stuff people wont buy as much of. when is a similar product from another merchant with lesser

Archangel Mortenwold

A syrer way to finally kill off Second Life if ever I saw one. It's so ridiculous not even Linden Lab is stupid enough to try to pull this one. People haven't got the money to pay for their land in SL as it is. What makes you think we'll stick around if LL starts charging us for maintaining our inventories?

Gaga

@Archangel

Enough people have stuck around paying excessive tier for long enough so why wouldn't they opt to pay for a premium account and make big savings on reduced tier?

Gaga

Sure, the people with free accounts too lazy to organize their inventory will happily take a reduced rent from the Barons and still not pay for a premium account. So it's okay for those of us paying high tier to give free entertainment and places to enjoy. You still get the best of both worlds - free accounts and the benefit of lower rents. The rest of us can pay for it! Why not?

I guess that is why people are giving up their sims and leaving. Like me they are probably fed up with paying through the nose while the cheap skates rub their hands every time they login.

crymeariver2

@gaga

No one forced you to invest in SL. That's all your own doing.

As far as LL is concerned you and the cheap skates are on the same level playing field. You aren't special in that sense I would gather. Your world, your imagination-you imagined that you are entitled to more than you are. Sucker.

Gaga

@crymeariver2

Yeah, you sum up an all too familiar attitude in the Second Life community. Pay up or shut up, sucker!

Well, sorry but I think tier is too high and free accounts are helping to keep it that way.

The last year or so people have finally started to learn the lesson of what they are dealing with and more are taking the exit.

Robert Graf

Got a few more... Login Tax - Everytime you login to SL you pay, Amount of time logged in - the longer you stay the more you pay, parts and pieces tax - everytime you attach anything "personal" you get taxed, passing gas animation tax - do it from either end and you pay big time! Just a few more for LL to consider. Always try to be a helpful resident... lol!! ;)_~~~

Gaga

lol. I can see the idea of paying out $70 a year for an account is really scaring some people. Even worse that they should tidy up their inventory!

My, what must some of their real world homes be like? Piles of old news papers, unwashed clothes and stinking food remains. I dread to think what else is cluttering their places!

crymeariver2

@gaga

Yeah it's so obviously the free accounts causing all the issue.

/sarcasm

SL reached its apex around 2008, the show is over and now its just a giant shopping moment for virtual barbie dolls while it just whithers and dies. I got out of the land business in late 2010 and I cashed out all my play money. Best decision I ever made.

Victor1st Mornington

Hammy, Hammy, Hammy...

You are so out of touch with the userbase of Second Life that I am actually thinking you still ARE working at the Lab, cause they are all out of touch with their user base as well.

They are losing sims for one simple reason. It's too dang expensive.

You can rent a quad core xeon server with a T1 line for HALF the price per month of an SL sim if you shop around. HALF THE PRICE!

Linden Lab have been, and continue to price gouge on land, it worked for the past few years but they are slowly bleeding out more and more regions because people are now saying "Screw this...it's too expensive".

Charge people for having high inventorys...riiiiight....

Silly Infinity

Hamlet, what you are saying is utterly ridiculous. It is not like every item in Inventory "makes up stuff". You don't know that most of every resident's items is in fact a LINK to a SINGLE item in a Centralised Asset Server? Come on... stop making people believe stuff that ain't true.

Silly Infinity

Hamlet, what you are saying is utterly ridiculous. It is not like every item in Inventory "makes up stuff". You don't know that most of every resident's items is in fact a LINK to a SINGLE item in a Centralised Asset Server? Come on... stop making people believe stuff that ain't true.

Miro Collas

This has to be the daftest idea ever.

So let's see... you consider "old" SL merchants who now are no longer in SL, consuming tons of server space with vast inventories. It would be trivial for them to just box up their inventories and thus reduce the size to a few hundred items. So much for taxing them.

(The above clearly ignores the technical issues which many have mentioned, and which also show this point to be ludicrous.)

On the other hand, you're taxing the very people who keep the SL economy alive: consumers. So they will spend less, merchants will earn less, and the economy will decline. The exact same thing that's wrong with RL "austerity": if you "hurt" people so that they spend less, there will be fewer sales.

How on earth will this help?

[headdesks]

Desmond Shang

Hey all! So *this* is what all the fuss is about! I'd heard some rumblings!

Well, let's think about all this for a moment.

To cap inventory, you'd need to cap the number of alts people have. Otherwise Desmond Shang the land baron could swap over to Desmond McTavish to take care of groundskeeping, then swap to Desmond Dolittle to tend to the animals.

Capping inventory really isn't an inventory question at all. It's precisely the question of verified individual accounts.

As such... I doubt it will ever happen. It makes for an interesting intellectual exercise, though.

* * * * *

Reviewing other strategies might be worthwhile.

Linden Homes ~ extremely high uptake, cheap, and presaged the huge drop in mainland land occupancy. Connexion, anyone?

Marketplace ~ makes shopping easy, listings free... while mysteriously, the bottom falls out of SL commercial land, and no big boost in residential land to cover the lost income. Horse has already left the barn here. Next big directon: Blockland! Yes, *really*. Nothing against Blockland, I'm sure it's a fine product but this is a replacement for what was once grid revenue. Another metaphor: writing, on walls.

There are other things ~ mentors (SL's unofficial sales force), doing community gateways right (shoutout to Caledon Oxbridge, 4 years old today!), educator issues ~ the list goes on and on.

It's business. They will figure it out, or they won't. As it is, it seems the current system is so locked down, and so fixed in place, that any change is going to anger some group or other. It didn't have to turn out this way, but it did, and here we are.

* * * * *

While I'm still here for the long haul, I'm heavily involved in something new, precisely because I *don't* see SL fixes coming along.

For me... it's 2013 in SL, but it's also the bright beginnings of something else which has me quite busy. It's all about blazing a trail, being in early if not first, and having a little guts and vision. Ladies and gentlemen, Residents and Lindens, the trends of the greater outside world are going to disrupt how we do things, likely sooner than later. Are you ready?

Something to consider.

elizabeth (16)

@Desmond

if you making a world that has oceans with real waves that go up and down with tidal flows and real weather and where you don't get logged off/crashed when you get handed off to next sim. or even better can stay on the same sim and not get handed off at all ever

then

you will get about 60-80% of all current SL private estate barons and their customers and owner customers move to your world within 12 months. on top of that you will get a whole heap of people who used to have a island and left SL

even for the same prices that SL charging now

+

all those customers going to need boats planes balloons and cool furniture and stuff to put in their new island homes and lands. and clothes and accessories

also if can have a avatar editor like they got on Eve Online then be pretty much perfect

elizabeth (16)

stay on same sim meaning can go and go for 100s of kilometres before reach the end of the world

or even better is globe/planet worlds so if go straight in any direction then eventual end up back where you started

Gaga

@elizabeth

Sounds good. I would go for some of that too!

I recall Aurora sim ( a forked version of Opensim ) has what they called infinite borders so you could just keep flying or sailing to another region across the void between. They also have variable regions where the area can be made to a size you want.

Apart from that I know that Kitely are offering 16 regions in a mega with no border crossings at all within the area. They are also launching a Market Place and enabling export permissions for content so stuff can be sold for exclusive use within the Kitely grid or exported to other grids. I read they will eventually allow content makers to even name the grid to which content may go and enable hypergrid teleports as well.

Anyway, I wish Desmond very success with his new venture and I look forward to seeing it. I'm quite into Steampunk myself now.

SpaceCase

How I view the inventory argument via an SL machinima video from 2 years ago:

Confessions of a Second Life Hoarder!
http://youtu.be/sLK-_hWIfWc

elizabeth (16)

the 16 regions thing been on OpenSim for quite a long time now. but is still only 1km wide. which is ok if you making a racetrack or a little bubble worlds

to make a endless world then each avatar has to be a sim by itself. like the avatar never moves off the hardware simulation it logs into

the grid still divided up into regions so can easier manage things. except that the region data (splices) and other avatars and NPCs (agents) within draw distance are sent to the avatar simulation. not the other way round like is how is done on SL and OpenSim at the moment

basically the avatar never crash. and if the connection is lost/dropped then can easy auto-reconnect bc the avatar simulation state is preserved

unlike SL style where if get crash/disconnect and relog then cant always get back onto the same region/sim bc it is down or is now full bc other avatars arrive since you crashed

Sinead McMillan

Apparently, so called ranter "Prokofy Neva" calls the idea of charging inventory space / space to show UUID-links on his blog a "socialist" and "techno-communist" idea. LOL, how sick is this. I second the statements of Aenoix, Iris, Crono, Rae, Ciaran and others but would give the baby a proper name:

it is deep shit neoclassical ideology.

Charging the consumers for their consumption will effectively lower consumer's demand. But the "Chicago Boys" never learn.

Gaga

Take no notice of Prokofy. He thinks Mars is red because the Martians are all communists.

I would prefer to call it deep shit neoclassical gluttony.

People need to conserve more and consume less anyway. It might even become a habit carried over into the real world. And that just might help save the planet. Oh, I forgot the Americans love their pollutant fix so maybe it wont.

Serendipidy Haven

Give me a way to backup my own creations offline and transfer them to other grids and i might go some way towards being persuaded - otherwise i'm just going to follow Chestnut's example and box everything up.

It strikes me as a surefire way to fast-track the SL economy into complete oblivion - free users, whatever their reason for wanting to hold onto their cash are not going to stump up for holding extra inventory, they're just going to stop buying things... couple that with the effect the Marketplace has had on inworld stores and land use and SL will just topple over the fiscal cliff.

Want SL to be financially self-sustaining? Go back to original principles: 'Your world - your imagination' - let content creators truly own their work will full licence to use it as they wish; they'll invest more into the economy with that assurance, and if you're going to set a truly representative tier or charge for usage, it's got to be an equation that takes into account land owned, time spent inworld (including alts), and bandwidth utilised - it's complex, but fair.

Ilsa Hesse

Hamlet,
Limit it to 100, even for non paid seems a huge cut...
I have a paid account, I got it the day I registered. I came from eq where everyone paid so it seemed strange to not pay.
That said, my inventory is at about 83k because I engage in multiple aspects of SL... I don't sell things, but a few builders have used my textures... There are a few of my builds on education sims, I give away clothing I make, and I buy from designers to the tune of about 8k per month... I totally get needing to monetize SL better, but I am not sure a land baron ( talk about zombies... most land barons are on 15 hours a day and look like n00bs) suggesting to charge for inventory makes sense...

Thaumata Strangelove

Wouldn't people just put it in boxes to lower the count? That'd be an interesting point to work out.

I'd be in favor of placing limits on inventory. I'd say everyone should get some with every account, you could buy more a la carte, paid accounts would get more (as another incentive to go premium) and perhaps everyone should rack up a bit as a loyalty reward on their rezday. (Would sure beat the stupid linden bear with the wrong date on it I got last year, ha.)

And I say all of this as a seven year user who has no real trouble keeping content under 40k, even when I had a store and was constantly creating. (Creating did double the size of my inventory, I will say.)

I'd also be in favor of people having to pay for their marketplace listings as WELL as a percentage of their sales. There is too much ugly, outdated crap on the marketplace that will never sell, and it DOES cost LL money to leave it up there.

In general, though, I'd say that tier on all types of land is stupidly high and will be the death of SL. Nobody can afford that kind of price, land baron or otherwise. It's just silly expensive, and it seems stupid that landowners (who tend to be mega-consumers) have to pay such high fees each month when content creators (who cash out quite a bit in many cases) pay nearly nothing.

Pandy

Marketplace Items are not free, in fact I spend about 30k a month subscriptions, and pay around 20k or more in fees from sales.
I do agree that people should pay for ridiculously big inventory, i think anything over 15k is stupid.

Treto

I try to keep under 40,000 items in my invent but I am a store owner and builder so I use a lot of my inventory on a regular and I mean very regular basis. If anything SL needs to allow us to delete some of the stuff in the Library that SL gives to us that nobody ever uses.

Violet

Wow, and I thought my current 17000-item inventory was a hassle by itself! If I could only own 100 items at a time, I would never unpack a box ever again. O_O

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