Monday, June 30, 2014

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In Survey of SL Users, Plurality Believe Linden's New World Won't Change Their Second Life Usage

Will Linden Lab's new virtual world in development (let's call it Second Life 2 for short) change how you use Second Life? I asked that question in a survey last week, and with about 400 responses from SL users, the results are decidedly mixed:

SL versus SL 2 survey

A strong plurality of 40% believe SL 2 won't change their current usage of SL one way or the other, with 9% saying it will lead to them using SL more -- so if you put a positive spin on that and scale it, half the SL userbase won't lessen their usage because of SL 2.

Then again, there's a negative spin to these results:

21% say SL2 will cause them to use SL less. Were Second Life to lose 1 in 5 of its active userbase, that could be a strong enough damper to the SL economy and ecosystem to start a strong downward trend. With SL growth flat and concurrency trending downward, a 20% drop could cause quite a chain reaction. (The less people use a social service, the less people use a social service.) That said, we're still a year or two away from knowing what will actually happen after Second Life 2 appears on the scene.

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Pussycat Catnap

On the one hand it may collapse the size of SL quite a bit. Or it might flop as people decide NOT to move to it from SL...

Consider how Blue Mars and Cloud Party failed to take away SL users.

SL2.0 won't be another 'Open Sim' that fails to take away users because there's no major difference for a non land-owner other than the lack of content...

It will be more like Cloud Party / Blue Mars which HAVE compelling features SL lacks... but then still failed to take SLers because people don't want to be the first one to leave their community for a land with no mass of prior existing content...

SL2.0 might launch and flop... or launch and cause SL1.0 to wither.

If everybody leaves for SL2.0... will we even care that SL1.0 is withering if we've left it? Only the people who cannot find in SL2.0 what they have in SL1.0 will have reason to be upset...

And its hard to say at this point who those people will be... But I suspect it will be people who either have avatars that highly diverge from the human base (like furry avatars) or people who have land in specific locations... Mainlanders who's choice of land depends on the shape of plots around them... (road based, cliff based, coast based, river based, specific neighbor based.)

- But even those concerns might be met befoe SL2.0 arrives.

At this point, all we have is the question of whether or not the sky is falling, and if so, how much it will hurt with it hits us...

Cube Republic

I'd make planets if I was in charge of development! With a space map

A.J.

LL had better be on their top game when they develop this. People aren't going to come expecting "Little House on the Virtual Prairie". Been there, done that.

The new world is going to have to function well and the red carpets are going to have to be rolled out to welcome the self-centered clients they have been growing in their fields for over a decade.

LL has never shown that they know how to provide customer service, but they're going to have to this time or they will be chewed up and spit out and find themselves with two dead worlds on their hands.

They call it a new world, but it's not really.

Most clients, new and old, will not be looking to be a beta tester.

Tesla Miles

Cloud Party only failed because there was no way for creators to take their earnings out. IF SL 2.0 continues using the Linden monetary system, with no need to sign up for a new account, then probably creators will give it ago. As soon as a creator releases the first shinier than shiny pics of the new products in the new graphics engine, then the eye-candy crowd after realism will shortly follow in the droves.

http://teslamiles.blogspot.com/2014/06/why-i-think-sl-20-could-be-extremely.html

Douglas Voyager

Guess if Linden Lab could offer some incentives for the Residents in the way to use SL now and recieve some rewards or benifits in a future SL 2.0 would be great and could prevent those negative influences from uncertainty. Although the only place for creators or wannabe creators to learn and prepare oneself for a new shiny SL 2.0 is only in SL right now.

Tesla Miles

If they follow the model for all the most popular social media networks , which is to provide FREE uploads, then it will work. Free uploads combined with a free parcel of land with limited bandwidth (Land Impact) would be a great incentive to move, then pay a little extra to upgrade the service.

Shockwave yareach

Sl2 needs to be an update to existing sl.

Take three days and move all of sl to sl2 servers. All land. All homes. All inventories. Put out the new viewers for people to log in with on Thursday and tell everyone to party hard on their new sl2 on Friday .

A parallel SL will not work for the same reasons other grids have failed -- we have too much money, time, and community where we are. SL2 must become THE SL where our lands, homes, builds, and friends are. If this is not done then nobody will bother to move out of sheer inertia. And LL having to pay for a second grid that nobody uses will not be healthy for the company.

Lots of companies turn off the servers and make updates. Consider world of warcraft, which has incomes SL can only dream of. They don't make people lose all their stuff every time they improve the world. LL must do the same.

Gaga

And if content creators have to go to the trouble of uploading new versions of existing SL1 content to SL2 will people be willing to pay for it if they already own the same items in SL1?

I have read so many times that people will not move to Opensim and leave their precious stuff behind so will the same argument be used again as a main reason not to move to SL2? Hell, there are people still using V1 viewers and the TPV’s because the Lab’s own V2/3 viewer never got universal acceptance (and will the Lab still allow TPV’s for SL2 even?). Then there is open source High Fidelity which promises to adopt Hypergrid, allow owner’s servers and change the nature of content security altogether.

I’m sure there will be many who want to give SL2 a try but still spend as little as possible getting some sort of inventory together while the vast majority will not be so keen. Some will be outright hostile even and feel cheated by the Lab for being forced to spend more money for what they already own. And how much is this about changing the business model anyway?

How much have you got in your SL1 inventory and how much did you spend on it and how long did it take to build? People will be thinking about all this I’m sure.

Moreover, one has to remember that SL1 is also built on people that have built some fantastic regions up with all kinds of role play games, entertainments and educational venues. I know for sure people that work and do business in SL1 are highly competitive and work tirelessly to keep their members while others will spam, poach and steal away players from everyone else. It is another reason Opensim struggles to persuade SL residents to give the free Metaverse a try. There is huge resistance to loosing players and customers. So it’s not all about content even though that is a massive factor. It has a lot to do with unwillingness on the part of users to migrate to the unknown from what they know so well, especially when there are persuasive forces at work trying to hang on to them. I suspect people will stay where their friends are and the stuff they own already. Blue Mars failed to gain tracking even though it was built on technology far in advance of Second Life and the same for Cloud Party. Opensim has made some headway mainly because it is so like SL1 and has been around so long. In fact a lot of people have their feet in both SL and Opensim grids these days which came as the result of migrations when Linden Lab made yet another of its many legendary blunders.

I also wonder what the Land Barons will make of all this. They must be feeling pretty vulnerable at the present given their large investments and the possibility of greater shrinkage to the property market in SL1. Maybe the Lab will build huge Planet size worlds like Entropia Universe has and auction them off to the Barons while the Lab gets out of supplying land to the masses altogether. Ebbe did say he wanted to see land prices drop. Personally, though, I would love to fly between the planets!

However, in my view, High Fidelity, which appears to have so much in common with Opensim, is the one to watch. Not SL2.

Sofia

Im sorry for the bad english in advance, but ill try my best for a correct one.
The topic is very interesting as it is labeling the teams of players.
Still concerning the teams, we should talk about numbers and about who makes the sl community. I may be right or i may be wrong, but i am in secondlife since 2008, i do create original content and what i do see is the largest group of sl citizens are average sl knowledge users. By that i mean, they are the ones who effort to have a good looking and up to date avatar and home, blog and socialize, even create some content without a big expression about profit. I dont think that the largest group of sl users are the ones who have big business names or who are completely clueless and are limited to hit the media player button or teleport to a club. My question is, if this is probably the biggest group of people who build sl virtual world, do they really need all these new features, will they even be able to know what they are for? Are these news features going to fulfill the average sl user or the advanced one? I really think that it is something people are forgetting. The usual 40k people that are online daily in secondlife arent, in its majority, super masters of technology, either arent dumb and completely off of what sl is. Then, why to create a world for super advanced users, maybe to prove that Philip Rosedale created a limited program some years ago, maybe to prove him that the new sl will do so much better than high fidelity? Philip Rosedale is out and doesnt care about sl anymore, but he made it popular and the average sl user LOVES SL. I love SL. New sl management team should be worried with keeping sl popular and not to make people this worried with so much lack of information. Yes, i am worried with my inventory, my friend list and every place i always loved about second life. Im not a hippy to “hey peace and love and whatever is good” and im not swimming in money to embrace the idea that everything i spent so much time, money and emotional investment is now in the tick tack to vanish.

Ezra

Cloud Party and Blue Mars lacked major things that Second Life had, an exhaustive amount of things. Please let's stop comparing SL2 to Blue Mars and Cloud Party when the only similarity we can cite is that they're not SL1.

Besides Linden Lab not being likely to repeat major mistakes their failed competitors did (like no adult content, no cashing out, a plethora of other things), Linden Lab also has advantages that they didn't, like already being a profitable company not running out of money, and being able to migrate accounts, friend lists, groups, L$ balances and other non-assets from one virtual world to the next.

reallybigideashere

1.-Make anything on the current version SL NON-compatible with the new platform. This will keep stupid builders out who don't know what they are doing and throttle botters. Break it all!

2.-Licence the builders to create in the new world.

By licence, I mean only an avatar linked to a real identifiable out of world identity be permitted to create anything.

3.-Keep 3rd party viewers OUT. This is a necessary step and one LL should have kept with in SL. Why you ask? Find any bot viewer out there, it's based on some 3rd party viewer, virtually all of them. Close the door!

LL has an option to do it right this time, don't cut corners and do not kowtow to oldbies with old views. Go all in and do it right!

4.-Pull the plug on SL as we know it after the new place is up and running, say a year. Just kill it.

5-Full mobile experience, natively, w/o streaming. This is huge.

Jaqua

I agree with everything Tesla wrote in the blog article, but my question is, where is the computing power and bandwidth going to come from on the client side? Sure, I love photorealism, even hyper photorealism, that is why I used Poser and Daz3d with Octane, Lux, and Reality render engines when rendering skin and fashion, but it eventually killed my old computer. As long as LL remember the three original pillars of creation, Community, Commerce and Creativity then SL2.0 should be fine, oh and keep the vices alive and functioning inworld.

Tesla Miles

The computing power and bandwidth will eventually catch up. I remember when Crysis first came out, most people could barely run it at medium settings, now most games that come on the market have the same quality as Crysis.

People might argue why change something when it is running fine already? Well the same could have been said for Half Life 1, everything worked well, it had a large modding community, but when Half Life 2 came out, it had a better game engine and it allowed for better mods.

If you want virtual worlds to survive, you MUST attract the gaming community, and the gaming community have high standards for graphics, physics and fun. Just look how successful Gary's Mod is.

nicole

"Linden Lab also has advantages that they didn't, like already being a profitable company not running out of money"

what are you basing that on? it wasn't so long ago that LL fired a third of its employees and shut down its offices in other countries. has the situation improved since then?

Majel Auberjonois

Considering all the information we have on the new world is speculative conjecture, how could this survey have any meaning whatsoever? Will the new world affect anything, one way or another? Who knows? Show us what it is, then we can answer.

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