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Tuesday, January 06, 2009


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Riven Homewood

If you convert 4 OpenSpace sims to 1 full sim, it seems to me you've lost 3/4 of the landmass.

I've of cases where the existing OS sim has been sold inworld to a new tenant, either as an OS or as a homestead. In many cases, this was so somebody could acquite 4 OS sims to trade for one full sim. (See first sentence.) But I've also heard of times when the OS was simply abandoned.

Raul Crimson

So... let's see... island accounts was counting possitive before the Openspace issue... now count negative and is suppossed to be due a problem in the counter...

Sorry, Robin and Jack, but that sounds quite shit.

Rifkin Habsburg

This bears a striking similarity to the US banking crisis. The crisis revolves around an accounting rule known as "mark-to-market" which says the bank has to value its assets according to that they would get if they sold them on the open market. When the bond market was booming the banks loved mark-to-market because it made all their derivatives look valuable, and their balance sheets look great. But when the bond market collapsed suddenly those assets had to be valued at nothing, and the banks' asset total looked much worse. So they started complaining that "mark-to-market" was a bad thing and needed to be repealed.

The Lindens used to love the land mass indicator and loudly touted "44% growth in total land mass!", as if an OpenSpace sim was exactly equivalent to a private island. And now, after the land market has collapsed, suddenly they find that that statistic "is inaccurate" and "it looks like a loss but really it isn't"

Sean McPherson

Many people are abandoning islands, and many more are collecting OS's to convert them into full regions. When LL added all the Openspace islands, they sure counted them at 65536 meters, so it's only fair for it to be counter as a loss of 3*65536 when 4 OS become 1 Full Region. I converted 4 OS to 1 Region, and I can most assuredly only fly at most 256 meters in any one direction on a true E/W or N/S line :) I know many others who were abandoning their spaces, although there *are* several 'land agencies' paying pennies on the dollar to acquire Openspaces and convert them to a Full Region since you can do that for $100 as opposed to the usual $1000 setup fee. I can vouch for at least 1 instance personally where 3 OS's were going to be abandoned and were instead merged with a 4th OS to form a new full region, simply because they were going to be lost otherwise.

LL is simply spinning the numbers in exactly the opposite way that they've spun them in the past because it doesn't look good for them this time.

Maggie Darwin

The concept of "landmass' is pure vapor in SL. Why not crow that "liveable volume" more than quadruped when Havok 4 raised the build limit altitude?

Because it's just as meaningless. What matters is primmmage, and the ability to rez prims is what you buy server time for. People flocked to OpenSpaces because they sought estate-level control over the land the lived in...rather than the original intention of OpenSpaces, which was to enable large expanses of space with little actual detail beyond land surface and some vegetation.

"Land mass" is about as meaningless as "concurrancy" when most of the "concurrent" users are bots. Except that bots impact server performance much worse than empty space does.

Ann Otoole

Why is counting the number of islands connected to the grid an issue?

Maybe they are counting based on sales/transfers instead of simply counting the number of islands actually there. Counting the islands is what needs to be reported. Sales activity and transfers can be a mess to sort out and should be left to the bean counters. The number of islands is a technical metric and should not be difficult to determine at all. Let me say it another way if they can't comprehend: Nobody cares about the land store and tickets for island ownership. We care about one measure: The number of islands that exist on the first day of the month. Then we can do the easy math ourselves to add/subtract the previous month to see what the change is.

In fact if this is a problem then they need to develop a central heartbeat system that monitors the islands and restarts them when they go offline. That way Linden Lab would not be relying upon angry customers to let them know there is a problem when 400 regions vanish at once.

Salazar Jack

A patch of tahra, a parcel here, a plot there, a build, a region, a community contracting, perhaps vanishing. Where does it end? And are these erasures just physical or is there a psychological component to it. Doesn't it put us all a bit on edge when we see familiar spaces and places in upheaval like this. No wonder speculation runs high. That's how things were before the Great Erase and it seems there are echoes of that here. When 16 acres vanish the land is gone. When four regions contract to one, yes the tahra may be more dense and space more stable, but the vistas are erased and no amount of Draw distance will restore them. The Grid becomes smaller. Some may port to alternate grids, especially if the grass is not only greener, but cheaper to grow. I pray that the efforts toward stability put forth by the Lab include not only technical buttresses to the Grid's infrastructure, but also a strengthening of trust and confidence in the partnership between Lab and resident.

Tristin Mikazuki

Does anyone really belive LL's accounting of landmass why the spin "lie" about everything eles?
They made the OS better because they planed on the price hike from the start its back fired for now but it'll change later I'm guessing.

Tateru Nino

If they have access to the correct numbers - and honestly, it seems hard to imagine that they don't (the database itself must reflect accurate simulator configurations, otherwise the grid would not work) - then why not simply provide a blog post with the correct figures?

Tateru Nino

Oh, wait. I read Jack's quotes more closely. He says that the numbers aren't actually *wrong* - they're just misunderstood as a decreased commitment to island ownership in SL.

As my daughter would say "Well, duh"

Iggy O

"We are not retreating - we are advancing in another direction."

Gen. Douglas "Dugout Dug" MacArthur was clearly a Linden :)

Eirik Haefnir

Linden Labs obviously got their media training consulting from Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (better known as Comical Ali, Iraq's former Information Minister)

Chaddington Boomhauer

The official footnote on the stats page sounds like they need to re-work the math in order to make it sound good again , in the face of OS island losses.

Or maybe they felt all along that OS islands should have only counted as 1/4 in that stat?

Kai Ludwig

We regularly count the number of regions and they decrease steadily as we show in our grid index. The relative numbers we get fit those that used to be on the official stats.

The different absolute numbers may be caused by different approaches on what to take into account and what not.

Take a look at http://www.talentraspel-mmokit.de/portal/index.php?id=67.

Bryon Ruxton

There is indeed a 10% decrease and abandonment of land due to the backslash of the artificial bubble (which was started by the misguided decision early last year when unsustainable openspace pricing was implemented without adequate measures to keep it viable on the long term)

But looking at the charts put forward on the 2008 Q4 results, there is no signs of growth shortage in 2008 from the 2007 level.

From a resident perspective, I would say the land market is being corrected from the artificial path is was on. And if land-mass ends up in the 1,600 million sqms in Q1 of 2009, that would still look healthy to me from LL's standpoint.

They've certainly pissed off a lot of land owners with the mishandling of this openspace issue which has completely distorted the land market, led to the price of land to plummet, tarnish LL's management image once again, as well as a considerable loss for many. I would also suspect that this land bubble is a primary cause for the decline of both user-to-user transactions as well as currency exchange. i.e. Land transactions being the highest in value, over goods and services, likely affected the global $L statistics as a result.

From this observation, saying that LL is on the decline is misguided. I think them disabling the Island Stat is a fairly correct measure to prevent people wrongly misreading it as an overall recess at LL when it's not. Personally I see no ambiguity there.

Michael Richter

As a resident of SL for a year, I have seen dramatic changes, a lot for the worse, as far as the land situation. I had purchased an OS sim and 3 weeks later, after spending around 300US just to get activated, LLs pulled the famous bait and switch, leaving me with a promised 67% increase in July. I abandoned my sim, and now own just a half.
I was furious at what they did to me and my many friends there, as many had businesses barely breaking even. Even if they were doing well, the increase in prices wiped out thier profits.
I have sensed ever growing dissolusionment in Second Life by many, many people I meet there, and I do get around quite a bit. Many land companies have gone under as well because of the reckless handling of people and thier money. SL in many ways is such a wonderful place, but there needs to be accountability from Linden Labs, and proper handling of real-life monetary recources of its many clients.

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