Barney Boomslang

Living a Second Life. In a Treehouse.

Archive for October 2006

Phillip Linden on the Price Change

A Reuters piece on Philips comments gives quite a few cites worth looking at (for bullshit value):

We probably made a mistake there, trying to get feedback. We should just tell everybody everything

So the problem wasn’t that you didn’t actually get feedback, but just feedback from a few select people – and he is pissed that it leaked. And what does he sum it up to: don’t get feedback, just announce. Smart move. Not.

Linden Lab defended the fee increases, saying that they would bring the cost of owning islands more in line with their true value, and would bolster the Second Life community by tilting the balance of development back toward the mainland.

Oh, so it’s their real value? You run 4 sims on a machine that is around 80, maybe 100 EUR per month when ordered from a big root server provider. Let it even be 150 if you buy very expensive (although at that price tag you get the machine fully managed). So what is the real value that forces us to pay 1600 US$ upfront? What is the value you add for 295 US$ per month? Hopefully not the current non-service …

“There is a benefit to the commons of having people stay in the same space — a cool place on the mainland is a public good for the overall society,” Rosedale added. “It’s fine to have an island … but from a rational perspective you should probably pay a little more, because the community loses a little bit when you do that.”

I am absolutely sure that the owners of sims like Numbakulla, Svarga, Walden are really happy to be told that they take away from the community by providing their sims. Yes, some of them make money – but not directly off the sim, or off renting out parts of the sim. And that’s just a few of them – there are lots more.

What is so great about mainland, if you only get restrictions there and non-service? You can’t even get estate manager rights, since it’s linden sims. So you can’t check stuff yourself, can’t reboot the sim and react in any way – you have to go through live help. And that’s often a no-help, since they drown under your million users …


Written by barney

October 31, 2006 at 10:09

Posted in Second Life

That’s all Reuters can come up with?

Reuters/Second Life » Linden’s island price hike seen hurting landlords – and what do they write about? That it hurts rental business and possible shop business. Hello? What about the creative people who run a sim for fun – or want to do that? Who just like to do fun things that need more control over your land then you get on mainland? That just need a big load of prims and so decided to get a sim, to have full control over?

This whining that it will hurt business – sure, some of them will get smaller margins and it will suck for them after the price change (I think about people like Desmond Shang with his Caledon, or other smaller private rentals). But again it shows that classic media (and sadly inworld media, too) only sees business as a valid reason for complaining, and ignore creativity – which is utter stupidity in my book, if you think about Second Life being filled with exact that creativity from shore to shore, even on the islands …

Written by barney

October 30, 2006 at 10:42

Posted in Second Life

Rumors on Price Change for Islands

The Second Life Herald talks about rumors that island prices will go up – especially the monthly price will go to US$ 295 starting november. If that’s true, that will be hurting big parts of SL – because those are built on private sims and those either run in the “hey, it’s just 200 US$, lets do it for fun” or in the “pay 200, gain 400, try to make a living” mode. I know of friends who have sims in the “for fun” mode and I’m not too sure they will continue them with that price change … (and wether I will get my own sim, or will stick to my plot on the mainland now, I can’t say …)

In the same posting on the Herald are hints on “silent crashes” – well, I think I seen them yesternight at Subversive and Jincs (this pic and the following 20) wedding. The sim crashed, without any hint whatsoever. It crashed multiple times, even. No time dilation, no FPS down – it just went poof. Of course there was absolutely no reaction on the live help channel – seems live help is mostly dead in the water, due to the onslaught of new residents.

Update: Ok, Prokofy was dead right. So we now have to pay more for the same non-service and the same functionality – the Class 5 servers only help LL, but not content creators, as the same limits still apply to them. Isn’t that a wonderful world? And it’s not as if you couldn’t get a machine like their class 5 hosted with flat traffic around where I live for 80 EUR per month …

You can try to get an old sim on the mad last rush on the 1st of November – isn’t that nice of LL … but hey, they told some inner lists, so I am sure the right ppl will get the old price for their project, still … (damn, I’m starting to sound like Prokofy – thank you, Lindens)

And all that to get the money back in they blowed at the first place due to uncut and uncontrolled growth. Ading to the fat packet loss we still see inworld in many places. Adding to the still slow rezzing and still broken bandwidth limiting algorithm, to the bugs in the edit tools, the new and funny crashes in the client and the silent sim crashes (I don’t count in my problems in yongnam now – seems the machine is plain borked, we get far too many crashes on it and sim inventory scrambled, too).

Another update: adding insult to injury – that’s all I could think when reading Zee Lindens coment on the price rising post:

creasing the price of private islands is the first of many steps to rationalize our pricing and everyone should expect more changes in the coming months. We do not know at this time what those changes will be, but I hope that we’ll be able to identify segments of customers where we can offer discounts from our list pricing. Currently the only customer segments that receive discounts are educators and not-for-profits. There are no large corporations that receive discounts – and in fact – this increase was in part a recognition that large corporations are willing to pay much more than we were charging.

So because companies are willing to pay more, the private creators are kicked in the shins. What a funny and absolutely stupid move. Companies don’t provide the innovative content – they only hire boring builders doing boring builds. They build their idea of ad-topia, but not something along the “your world, your imagination” slogan. Oh, and we have to expect more of that stuff? How absolutely motivating to even invest anything into SL at all. I have to pay to keep my content – the stuff I built, I put my time in – being available. So, yes, LL has content creators by the balls – and now they start twisting. And try to make it sound like it is a good thing.


And another update: they delayed it till 15th November. That allows me to get my act together and plan carefully (instead the rather hasty plan thrown together today). Thanks.

Written by barney

October 29, 2006 at 10:49

Posted in Second Life

Got ideas for improving customer service?

Got ideas for improving customer service? Asks Robin Linden on the official blog. Well, how about actually doing customer service? I mean, more than just taking in requests, but actually replying in a useful way to them? Abuse reports might be answered with somthing that actually helps the reporter to understand what happened, instead of this silly no-details-even-to-reporter (who was the one who was offended in the first place!) policy? How about the bug tracking system not only giving out a shiny number, but a way to actually access the bug tracking system to see progress on reported bugs? Every open source project does this, most commercial companies allow this (at least customers with support contract) in a way, why not LL?

But the real funny comes in his last part: that customer service costs money, so we should think about what a acceptable basic support would be and what parts of support we would be willing to pay for. Uhm – sorry to break it to you, Robin, but I do pay for support allready – a whopping 125 US$ per month (and I don’t get a payback by renting out space, like others who might have full sims to themselves).

Oh, you are talking about the tons of unregisterd and not verified users that pay you zilch but blow up your user numbers? Sorry to break that to you, Robin, but you where the one to ask them in in the first place. You know the saying: if you break it, you bought it.

You know, I will take customer support from LL serious when on an abuse report I make inworld to some griefer in my 1/2 of yongnam, I get a timely response along the lines of “was taken care of, see police blotter incident XXXX”. When I get answers on bug reports I write l ike “closed because of duplicate to bug XXXX” or “fixed in release XXXX” or “added to open bugs repository, look at URL YYYY”. And when LL doesn’t whine about the high costs of customer service, if they just opened the flood gates themselves willingly.

Well, Robin, this is business. There is another saying: if you can’t stand the heat, you better stay out of the kitchen.

Written by barney

October 27, 2006 at 09:34

Posted in Second Life

Avatar Chess

Here is a picture of the full set for Avatar Chess. What is Avatar Chess, you ask? Well, it is a game of chess played by 32 avatars. So see it as chess as a team-sport. The first game of Avatar Chess will happen November 16th in Kula4 at the CC event. Music might be provided by yours truly (and of course all CC licensed music, to go with the event).

The chess set itself – pieces, working chess clock and maybe the board (have to ask the builder of it) will be provided for free under the CC Attribution Share-Alike license starting with that event – so teams can start to do their own set of avatars to have different styles.

The dream? Well, the creation of the Second Life First Avatar Chess League with teams like the Red Roundheads and the Winged Devils 🙂

If you are interested in the concept, join the group “Avatar Chess” now. And if you want to play actively, I still am looking for someone setting up the white team and of course both teams (red is managed by Neit Tackleberry) need players.

Here are more pictures done by Florenze Kerensky of the full set.

Written by barney

October 24, 2006 at 11:11

Sim Neighbours

Sim Neighbours is a central database of sims and their neighbours – neighbours in the sense that those sims share a common server machine.

Written by barney

October 21, 2006 at 18:08

Posted in Links, Second Life

Gargoyle Graveyard

Walden 229,30,505 – If you are interested in tiny avatars, you might want to look at my graveyard. It’s a floating rock over the lovely Walden sim. The tiny gargoyles are presented in a holo projector, so you can take a look before deciding on what gargoyle you like.

Additionaly I have a few gargoyle scultpures up here and my free giant snake avatar. Oh, and right beside the graveyard is The Omega Concern – the store of my friend April, with lots of cool gadgetry for your second life!

Written by barney

October 21, 2006 at 00:53

Posted in Second Life