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Monday, June 24, 2024


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Galaxy Littlepaws

I've been using PBR in Alchemy for several months. It's been more optimized than pre-PBR, and looks great. They've been patching up bugs and issues about as soon as LL does. I've just about stopped using FS because after switching and seeing all these new features being added to Alchemy, I realized I don't really need FS anymore except for Area Search. Once that's added I can with FS just for OpenSim, only because Alchemy doesn't support it yet. I've been testing PBR in OpenSim Next Gen Core and it's been nice. I'm very glad that FS works to support modern features and OS.

Regardless of the viewer I choose to use as a daily driver, I applaud and deeply respect the developers of Firestorm for their hard work and dedication, especially in the face of these big changes rocking the user base and the reactions to it. SL is changing for the better, and we will see what comes of it and do our best to help give good feedback and report issues so it can be the place we know it can.


An option that suited me did not exist in your poll.

- I use Alchemy viewer and have been using it since January. Its by far the smoothest PBR experience and has far better photo tools than Firestorm has. I am a creator on SL and would switch between Firestorm and Alchemy for photos, PBR work and casual use, but would only log into Firestorm to work on non PBR things and then promptly log out. As soon as I experienced Alchemy, I knew it was the future of Second Life viewers. The developers are uber responsive and helpful.

When Firestorm released an Alpha Test version of a PBR viewer, I promptly tried it out to start helping their community and bug report. Unfortunately all my issues and bug reports were met with hostility, instead of inquery - dismissal. Because of how Firestorm has handled the transition to PBR, I will not be using their viewer any longer.

Since the full stable release of Firestorm, I did update my copy of FS to see how their updates have gone. I have a computer built for content creation and HD gaming. Firestorm PBR sent my fans into high gear, standing on my work platform alone with all the content I have been working on. On Alchemy, I can work on my platform with ultra graphics + PBR enabled and a moderate draw distance without hearing my fans kick on. I can go to a club or event with the same ultra graphics turned on with only a minimal drop in FPS (usually sitting at 145 in skybox - drops to 90 at a club or event)

Firestorm PBR sits around 40 FPS in my skybox with same settings enabled from Alchemy, and drops to 15 when at an event. Why is Firestorm so heavy? I have no idea and it seems to be causing a lot of issue for casual users around the grid.

I can appreciate that Firestorm team is working hard on updates like this, but in my personal experience with trying to help and report bugs leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth. Alchemy covers everything I need as a daily driver, with the ability to just pop into my photo studio and start taking ad photos, so I no longer have a need for Firestorm.

Good luck to everyone adjusting to PBR. I know its a huge change for most, but I think it is worth it if you are at all interested in the future of our beloved 3D platform.

sharon classito

I reverted back to the earlier firestorm version when i had an issue with defaults and phoenix mode. The lag was worse, but there seemed to be many changes put in at once. I did not ask for another viewer, better quality graphics would be welcome but not when the price is a bunch of other changes. Should have released PBR without the other features thrown in there.
I will wait for the next (hopefully fixed) version.


Unfortunately for me with an acceptable PC the intro of PBR affected badly the performance. When upgrading SL official viewer lag and rezzing time went to the sky, had to go back to previous version. Even when i have not updated FS yet, since PBR intro, my old version of FS has also been affected with rezzing time, at least double of time in lowest.
With this i mean i will be in previous viewers versions that do NOT have PBR.
Sadly this is forcing a lot of people to upgrade their computers, specially on graphics card and RAM to be able to be inworld decently. Not everyone have the economy to do so...i really wonder what the future will be with this changes.
Maybe sometime i will try other viewers to see if they work fine for what i do in SL which is modeling so lag and rezzing time is really important to me.

I'm not saying the changes are bad. It is a nice iniciative to improve residents experience but, the majority of us won't be able to upgrade our computers if this keeps going up requiring more and more high end PCs or laptops.
It would be nice if viewers kept active a non PBR version for who cannot afford it.


PBR has killed my machine too many times. I got rid of SL viewer and used firestorm not that the PBR Crap is there i had to remove it. I left alchemy in the dust when they wenr PBR. I don't need 3 strikes to tell me this crap sucks. Heck i run my Non PBR Genesis viewer exclusively now. its MUCH faster than either SL or fS But when yu get near PBR crap it freezes up.PBR needs to be removed. we need fixes for important things like Caspervend, Bad sim crossings, inventory issues lagg issues and random Disconnects. The last thig we need is a resource killing viewer ripping computer choking "ne material" that just adds anothe intensity to Advanced ightig.

Spiffy Voxel

I switched from Firestorm to Alchemy late last year, and haven't looked back. While my 2017 iMac definitely ain't the latest & greatest — and Apple's decision to deprecate OpenGL support in macOS doesn't help — I've been blown away not only by how much better Second Life looks now, but how much faster my frame rates are!

I recognise that folks with older computers are going to have tough decisions to make about upgrading their systems, but the direction of travel for Linden Lab seems pretty clear at this point — it's almost a year now since PBR was introduced into the official viewer, and I very much doubt they're going to roll back all that under-the-hood work on both the viewer and server code. I'm going to have similar decisions to make in a few year's time when Apple drops support for my iMac entirely; installing Linux is a distinct possibility if that'll help me eke out more usage for Second Life, while I use a laptop for day-to-day tasks.

While I'm no longer a Firestorm user, I appreciate the work they've put in to not only ironing out the bugs in PBR but improving Second Life overall. The graphics performance work that Firestorm did a few years ago — and subsequently got added to the official viewer and other TPVs — is THE main reason I'm still using Second Life today.

Puss N Boots

Let me first ignite my 3000w virtue signal and state how proud I am of the Firestorm team for releasing this wonky new PBR viewer to help weed out those change-resistant customers that weren't completely driven away by Sansar.

Although there are two longtime SL players in my household who are hanging on by a thread, it's probably best for the community that we take our disposable income elsewhere. The game really belongs to the wealthy and arrogant techno-junkies who have cheered customer-killing decisions for over a decade.

So please, gaslight us a little more for old times sake. It's so spiritually fulfilling.

Vivienne Schell

Works well with Alchemy, I sometimes get even more fps than with the pre.PBR Firestorm. Unfortunately FS is the standard viewer for the most and the Frestorm PBR is the worst PBR viewer of them all, regarding performance. A total disaster, frankly spoken.

And yes, the new rendering engine hits the ones on lower end/midrange hardware really hard, even with Alchemy. If LL does not give lower end and midrange users options for reducing the load on their machines Second Life might suffer the same fate as Sansar did.



Tummy McWigglesworth

Adding PBR to Second Life is like adding PBR to Minecraft or World Of Warcraft. Won't add anything of real value, but will certainly increase the minimum specs needed to participate, and alienate or even eliminate a large amount of long time users with older computers - just to have some shine on assets - that MOST are already ONLY using a baked lighting color texture anyway.
Also obsoleting thousands and thousands of existing creations on the marketplace, and/or certainly cutting sales of the same quite a bit as people will think they have to buy the latest PBR 'labeled' products, and then they will remove the ORM and NOrmal textures anyway to help keep their sims running fast...
SL is for socializing and the promise of selling unoptimized sloppy assets to other users that don't know any better. It's time for us to move on and PBR on platforms actually fit for the purpose.
Seriously... wrapping things in reflection boxes and installing probes and such to get it to work? ROFL! Good luck average user! SL is for 3d nerds only now!

Sher Admiral

I can not use PBR with any viewer but Firestorm is the worst for me so I use a non PBR viewer.

Danica Ravenheart

I personally look forward to all the new things PBR will bring, I feel sorry about the ones who have older PC’s that can’t handle the new changes. I hope they can still have an enjoyable experience in SL. That isn’t on Firestorm to fix though.

Brianna Lovey

Ever since trying the Firestorm beta some months ago and seeing the inevitable catastrophe that was going to happen, I switched to Cool VL Viewer. This viewer is much faster than Firestorm, and allows you to turn PBR off completely while still being able to see PBR-only objects (for technical reasons I won't get into here.) I don't think I will ever be going back. I advise anyone with an older computer to switch to Cool VL Viewer.

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