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Wednesday, May 02, 2012


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DBDigital Epsilon

I disagree. Yes many have not left..YET. But that doesn't mean they *wont* eventually get fed up and leave. There is a tipping point. Or as the old saying goes "the straw that broke the camels back". Just look at all the old sims leaving and I don't think many new "great places" are being built to fill in the gap. Certainly not like the old days. SL is shrinking dramatically (I can think of 7 wonderful places off the top of my head that left in the past 3 months alone). If you push too much in bold new directions you may also loose what you have now. I for one know of several that are near the breaking point with the latest grid issues and will likely leave if they don't improve and soon.

Keep in mind that sure some people leaving is not a large issue. But when enough of the core good content creators and sim providers get fed up and leave, who is going to stay in the world that is left? As I said there IS a tipping point, and many are very very close to it now.

I am not saying that nothing should be done...but certainly balance it and don't think "we have nothing to loose". Because with that mentality you WILL loose the core people paying the big bucks that keeps LL's lights on and it will bring down SL all the faster.

Marianne McCann

The thing is, everyone has a tipping point. I know a great many who have left and don't seem to be coming back. Sometimes they may stick around, sort of, in a very diminished capacity - gone but for a Marketplace store, or an increasingly dusty shelf of good out there. Make too bold a change and, of yes, you will see people leave. All of them? No, but a lot.

Desmond Shang

It's simply a matter of what those bold, radical changes should be. And if it should even be done to the same grid.

If one million residents spent one hour making something that was ostensibly supposed to be 'permananent' ~ a build, a training facility, an educational experience ~ that's one million hours invested by residents. Well over 100 years of 24/7 work. Likely it's closer to 1000 years of work.

The point I'm making is that there are many people with a huge stake in a rock stable Second Life, one that simply works as advertised. The "levers" that control this world are basically okay too, just in need of proper adjustment (pricing, amount of available land, &c).

One might say, we've got a perfectly good steam engine here, and turning it suddenly into an airplane will likely cause problems.

That said... with modern technologies, are there *any* that haven't had bold, radical changes in store for them, even if not generally desired?

It's pretty clear to me that the big change will be an "SL 2.0" ~ regardless if Linden makes it, or someone else does. Hamlet, you are not wrong ~ who could be wrong about the need for radical change of new tech? ...in fact major changes will be completely inevitable.

Oddly, I see the main grid surviving through all this, much as it is, rather like Ultima Online still survives to this day. Second Life isn't that much younger than Ultima Online, really... five years? That five years difference will soon become the difference between software developed in 1982, and 1987. You may not even know what 1980's era software does, but anyone can instantly tell what era it was from.

* * * * *

Somewhere, some hungry, offbeat engineers are cooking up the next big thing along the lines of the main grid. Are they working for Linden Research too? One thing's for sure, we'll eventually find out.

Connie Arida

No more free to play would be a good start.


I'm pretty sure that the basic Second Life account will never stop being free, especially since the free to play/pay for content model is becoming popular for more mainstream MMOs. I think LL have been on the right track introducing support for sculpts and mesh objects. They just need to, for example, get around to replacing the default human body mesh, which looks more and more like crap every year. I imagine this hasn't been done because it would break quite a few things, like clothes that people have spent tons of money and/or effort on, but they can just add a new mesh as an option and see where it goes. As a virtual world that specializes in helping people act out fantasies of glamor rather than fantasies of mass murder, Second Life should look at least as glamorous as the world in a modern hack-and-slash game.


the small problem seems to be that no one seems to have the faintest idea about any "bold and radical ideas for Second Life", "brave, dramatic, vastly different approaches to the product"... maybe we could ask Philip Rosedale to come back and do a Steve Jobs... oh, wait...


It's not bold and radical, but for one I wish Lindens including Rod would never hide behind "I don't know what Second Life is" as an excuse not to do the right things with it again.

Granted, Rod since saying something similar regularly has gone on to define and defend Second Life very well both to us and in interviews he's done, but there still seems to be a culture in Linden Lab of "you residents surprise us we couldn't have known!", which while flattering, has to go away. Linden Lab has to predict us better and has to know us better. We're the most important part of Second Life so Second Life needn't be a mystery, the software is merely a tool to help us get done the things we want and are willing to pay so much money for.

shockwave yareach

One bold idea -- One day of every two weeks, EVERY Linden must put on an Alt and participate in things going on inworld. This means they have to have a different schedule than 9-5PST for that one day. And on that day, they wear an alt and do not let on that they are a Linden. And they participate and talk with their customers, getting an idea of what works and what doesn't work. Ask builders why they build. Ask customers what they'd like to buy. Ask landowners how things are going. Get some feet on the GROUND and learn what your customers are really saying and how mainland really looks.

As for system changes:

1, make the limitations on Sims at least double. Optimize so code and structures are in cache as much as possible. Interleave if necessary, sending data at half rate to alternating avatars when above some number. 100 people updating at 23 fps is better than 50 people updating at 45fps.

2, fix the sim crossing mess.

3, limit the number of items that can be sold in mainland to how much land you rent/own. Tie one to the other -- both are necessary in SL.

4, Lower the price of tier 25%.

5, implement a "Welcome Home" project where for 2 months, any sim owner who lost their sim can have it back just for picking up the new tier -- no fees.

6, Add a P2P folder, and people entering your land create an optional VPN folder on their computer to the one on the landowners computer (when the landowner is logged in). This would permit an island telepresence for a business where people can sit at home and be logged into their company's net without having to know anything about networking. Tada, you have reinvented working at home.

shockwave yareach

Oh, and creating standalone "doesn't tie with any other sim" Combat sims that are 512m to a side would make actual flight and actual racing possible. While only the SW corner would have ground, the remainder can be made ground with prims. All the server would need to do is set DIMMAX to 512 instead of 256; the handoff code would be removed so no issues with simcrossing would be possible. Thus you finally have a place where troop movements and flight are possible instead of planes just circling the sim all the time. Make it 1K per side and wow, you can really have some fun flying!

There's that word again -- Fun. Spinning my plane in circles because you dare not cross a simline isn't fun...

foneco zuzu

Kitely is already showing the future, open sim tech keeps getting more and more stable and easy to use by any, other commercial grids are rising steadily!
Second Life was alone, not anymore, and i know that will not end, always will have a place on virtual worlds, but is not alone anymore!

Pussycat Catnap

I'll say it again, because the detraction against me last time seemed to focus on my example rather than my point:

Bold changes need to be weighed in terms of ones existing and viable customers, not the customers one wishes one had.

Yes SL might need bold changes - but they need to be made in context of who uses SL and for what they use it for.

Even Columbus had a solid idea of where he wanted to go, why he wanted to go there, who was going to gain from it, and how.

'Bold moves' are no good if they are just made to be made, and with no forethought in place.

Otherwise your Great Leap Forward will end in disaster...

Pussycat Catnap

"but they can just add a new mesh as an option and see where it goes."

This would be a rock solid good idea.

Put a simple added two options on 'gender'

Male - classic
Female - classic
Male - modern
Female - modern

- Pick your mesh to have your avatar be, and the modern ones would work with 'modern' based textures and have their own set of sliders.

Both could easily work with existing sculpty and mesh clothing.

The result of this could be an amazing amount of new vitality to SL if the new modern meshes were made by actual 3D artists that understand anatomy, joint rigging, and morph-dial creation*.

* About 70% of the problems with the current SL mesh are because the sliders, the morph dials, are in the wrong extremes for being able to customize and still have good anatomy.

If people looking at SL screenshots saw avatars that looked made in 2012 rather than 2002... they might give it a second look. Second Life needs that Second Look...

foneco zuzu


And then sometimes some reminds Us all the biggest purpose of Second Life, a tool like no other!
Not a f***** social game, not even a game, a TOOL to our dreams and our imagination!

foneco zuzu

And Catnip, do you really are often on sl?
If so tell me about a mesh avatar with facial expressions!

foneco zuzu

Creativity versus easy money, that is the struggle now between the Lab!
They could allow creativity, investing in lower land tiers, upload and save of oars, bringing the ones that love to build back!
or they can just do as always, screw all a lot more, again and again, perhaps the last step is close, the new land impact rules against sculpted prims!

Metacam Oh

Open source god damn it, look at what people are doing with minecraft. SL hasn't changed in 5 years, its going to get lost in the shuffle if it doesn't DO something. Sitting around and collecting the last milk of a dying cow, there is nothing noble in that Lindens!!

Ann Otoole InSL

People are quitting. And the bleed will get worse unless the real life economy picks up. It doesn't have anything to do with SL or LL other than SL is an expensive hobby. When I tell people what I pay to have a store in SL they get the jaw drop. So price is a factor. SL costs too much.

But yea let's hear some ideas. No wait! I said let's hear the ideas. First. Not LL drive a bulldozer through the SL economy china shop and then wonder why it was not well received. The most recent disaster and outage pretty much proved how fragile SL really is.

Dave Bell

A new Avatar is going to be complicated, but it would be possible to improve the mesh structure without being incompatible with existing textures.

A few extra polygons on the upper arm, for instance, would allow the stretching there to be less obtrusive. There would be changes to the rigging, and the morph data that shape dials use, but it need not change any skins or any texture-based clothing.

And maybe LL have missed the opportunity. Now we have rigged mesh for clothing LL cannot avoid breaking that.

I wonder if there was ever a serious study of the options affected by the Mesh project. Is there anyone in Linden Labs who has the knowledge to spot such things? The current AV mesh isn't bad for a ten-year-old design. But why, I wonder, are the arms at a different scale to the torso? That is, use a constant checker pattern as a texture, and the arms don't match the torso. It's not just the stretching from changes in arm position.

I'm left with the feeling that we're still running with a Beta-level avatar, and all the new texture layers have been pasted on top of that.

elizabeth (16)

what do minecraft 2012 and SL 2006 have in common?

what do SL 2006 and SL 2012 have in common?

if know the answer to both then can know what SL 2013 should be

most people do know what is the answers. just cant quite put their finger on it. when they do work it out then they go: oh! yeah

shockwave yareach

Do not think that a single thing will fix this. The ship has been sinking since M drove it into the icebergs while playing the fiddle and singing the "I'm smarter than everybody" song.

LL is a company. It makes a product. To sell the product, it has to be something the customer wants and the customer can afford.

Now. One REALLY wild idea would be to create SL2. A whole new architecture and a whole new design, starting from scratch and correcting all the mistakes of the first one. Let every user add a watermark in their profile, and anyone rezzing copybotted stuff and using that texture where the texture owner on the copybot thing is not the legit creator, alerts COPY LINDEN to investigate, then and there. Anyone copybotting gets banned -- people getting around bans gets CREDIT CARD BANNED, making it far harder to steal and get money out.

And when V2 is ready to go, all of existing V1 is copied into it, and everyone is directed where to find the new viewers for the new world.

If the architecture is unsalvagable, design a new one and then move everything into V2. But the new system had better allow 100 people in a sim and prevent prim theft. While I get that nothing can prevent texture theft, the prims can be protected better.

Archangel Mortenwold

I wrote about this after reading the last blog entry on this topic. One thing SL — and just about every other business out there right now — needs to do is lower prices. In a depressed economy, maintaining high prices does not give consumers incentive to buy what you're selling. That's the most basic aspect of supply and demand. InWorldz and OpenSim charge $75 USD to buy a region directly from the company and another $75 USD a month to maintain it. In return, you get 65,536 square meters and up to 45,000 prims allowed within the sim. Linden Lab, by contrast charges $1,000 USD for a 15,000-prim new private estate and an additional $295 USD a month to maintain it. Mainland regions aren't much cheaper and the server load is such that renting or buying mainland estates isn't worth the $100 or so saved per month.


I completely disagree with this article. Not entirely, but we(merchants) have already seen drastic changes where we have lost tons of money. A good drastic change, would be to fix their existing crap. That would actually be a new direction.

That said, I'm all for new directions as long as they are cannibalizing the merchant class more. LL always talks about not breaking content, but they still do it on a regular basis. If they actually fixed old bugs, then at least we'd have a trade off.

Pussycat Catnap

"And Catnip, do you really are often on sl?
If so tell me about a mesh avatar with facial expressions!"

Bad terminology choice on my part.

When I typed 'mesh' I meant the term's use prior to the new mesh-importing.

In other words: "The SL mesh" - the body ALL of our avatars have as the base.

Substitute out 'mesh' in my comment for 'system avatar body' and it might make more sense to what I was trying to convey.

- Right now every avatar in SL wears the same body "under the hood". Even if you 'wear' a user-made mesh avatar, you still have the LL made mesh underneath - the 'system avatar body'.

What I was suggesting was to make a new system avatar. Something people have asked for for years. But don't get rid of the old one. Just let us select one or the other, in the toggle gender flag (the most logical place - as this already works as a toggle between the two current system avatars).

What animations would come with the new one would be whatever people made for it over time. But right out of the starting gate - you could put basic shaping sliders assigned properly this time. You could rig it to the same skeleton as the current avatar - so that current animations for moving body parts would continue to work with it. many of these are made in apps like Daz3D and Poser anyway; so they were made for skeletons of bodies that had proper anatomy - which causes them to look a little broken when put on the more deformed SL body until someone uses a shape to fix that body.

followmeimthe piedpiper

People will stay if they think they have a sense of belonging. By that I mean owning land and being able to build on it. Look at how popular the cheaper regions were a year or three back. So:
1 Abolish region set up fees or reduce them to cost only.
2 Allow homestead regions to be bought without a prior full region first.
3 Reduce tier in line with the reduction in server costs and the exponential growth in HDD space.
4 Sit back and watch the population grow again along with linden transactions.
5 Leave everything else alone for a bit while you work on SL2.


Hello! One video worth many images.

Many of that issues on video above was addressed on those 11 years, but have many to clean yet.

Most people don´t even own a webcam, (or won't ever use)
MOST won´t buy a VR device or Sensors to start!

we need MOST interest in invest money in entertainment and goods, NOT in DEVICES.

The base presentation can be better to Start:

If each developer gives a Brief Taste of their
work, on 2D "StartupM&nu" of their best items with some options locked separated by themed regions, would be the best.

A 3D world is a maze to mind, We begin in one dimension, (pointer device) go to 2-dimensions (map, website, address) and so only go into the plane, car or teleport! To a 3D place.

Try waking up someone suddenly in 4D place to see they getting sick!!!

We need a Organized in intuitive way like known good old kabalistic number, most used O.S. STARTUP M&NU, where the themes appear, tiny, organized and easy to access, with feedback image of the place as mouseover event is triggered on each item, indexed separated by groups, interestes or places.

As you reach the 3D world of choice, the menu must reflect the theme, and priorize above its in place market items to easy to access from this local-themed startup M&nu.

To marketplace from 2D with feedback semi transparent image feedback like fedora.
We are trying google glass, and SL don´t have but force to walk 3D maze, or get back to O.S broser!

We could have more people getting in their places of interst faster.
Basically. with that 11 old tecnology you cannot obfuscate SL2 right?

Welcome areas obligating people to get lost in miles, before reach their own place is a old dream of people having all sensor devices fro free to start!
(start from ramdom welcome area) must be a option, not obligation!

I can understand, this was the first development, so we don´t need say that if need so much Learning Curve Time and Tutorials and talk, means SL Grafical User Interface is poor, and not intuitive.

My Idea is open source, free Idea, use many of it and all, please! On whatever place you want!

Most is set up above but yet You can brainstorm some of these Ideas with me.

egipcians did not used embossed figures on wall "by chance", free 3 dimensions is too much vectors to guide someone in their inner direction.

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