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10/28/2008

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Vivito Volare

These sort of decisions don't happen in a vacuum, and the bile and rage focused on Jack Linden has reached the absurd. Based on what little information is out there (rather than the wild conjecture on the SL forums) three points rear their head:

1) If there is a financial issue, use a graduated financial fix.
If there is a technical problem, use a back end technical fix.

If either the the simulator or virtualization software doesn't know how to self regulate in the manner of a common router, than apply a technical fix.

If this is financial (which the lack of grandfathering and end of educational discounts seem to suggest) than design a comprehensive financial adjustment to address it.

2) Linden labs desperately needs to learn communication skills. Talk to your userbase first, craft solutions, and then give a timeline. Do not make an absolute declaration, then talk to people after you have angered them. It is a bad practice, and yet, at some level we expect it.

3) LL does not have a good trackrecord for transparency or trustworthiness. As such, even an honest explanation for these policies will be analyzed as a move in a giant game of cat and mouse. Linden Labs has already set themselves up for failure communicating with a large portion of their user base.

BigCity

Ugh, where to start...

If I put aside the fact that I, like many, simply cannot afford the increase, lets look at it fairly - based on what "customers" want. I think I can summarize as follows...

Most people are not businesses and can only afford to spend so much on a "hobby". If the system allows them to make some money back (rentals, sales, etc.) then they can build a small business plan that can expand their capability to pay more.

LL's current business plan allows this, but only if clients can "buy in" at what is considered a BIG/HUGE investment. A full sim is out of range of most people - the OS solved that problem (until now).

What LL needs, desperately, is an option that lets people get in as cheap as possible, provides enough resources to get something started (a store, a couple rentals, etc.) and allows these people to systematically "graduate" into a bigger, more complex, environment as they build wealth.

A typical new client could build, for example, a couple rentals or a store, and as business improved, apply for either more land, more resources, or more prims - from some kind of "menu".

If this isn't possible, a 2-3 step real estate breakdown could work too... a $100, $150, and $200 a month package with no restrictions on the resources provided as part of the package.

bottom line is you have to improve the entry-level options for people to get in and build a business. Some of these businesses will be to make money - some just to cover expenses - but the options have to include the "little guy" too.

I will probably turn in what I have and try and start over - on a smaller scale. I won't have any choice because I can't afford the increases. If I calculated the pricing correctly, a 33% drop in client base for Linden will still net an increase AND relieve the server issues. I suspect one option for them is to put 2-3 OS's on a server rather than 4.

I really do see both sides, but Linden has to make SL more affordable for the little guy - open channels a person can build into something bigger. Setting the entry point too high will always limit the customer base.

BC

Dirk Talamasca

Oh, blah, blah, blah.. It was a tactic to boost the overall sqm quota of land in SL so the numbers were positive and growth was perceived where SL was discussed in interviews with the media. In fact SL has been losing residents and bleeding paid accounts while gaining armies of bots that sit in skyboxes in numbers of 40 or more eating up resources. They are easy to find and if a resident can find them a Linden can find them. Rather than acknowledging the bot problem as an issue and dealing with it which would PLEASE residents, LL decides to violate the community yet again and blame them and charge them when it is LL's own ineptitude and unwillingness to address such obvious strains on resources.

Dana Bergson built her entire Otherland company on openspace sims and ran it for ages without incident. I never had any lag issues traveling through her continent and many residents had large homes there that were quite in line with MOST of the openspace regions I see now.

Caledon has many openspace sims and in fact when the first one arrived, Desmond and many Caledon residents including myself filled the region with 100 avatars, jammed the sim full of all sorts of twisted prims, mega prims, scripted objects, particle effects and temp rez objects out of the Starax wand and the sim held steady as a rock. The Nautilus continent has several sims that are half full or greater on prim count and the residents that rent openspaces from me are generally just as frugal. I imagine that there are people out there that push the limits but everyone that rents from me acknowledges that they are aware of the limitations and they abide by them.

Linden Lab knew well in advance that openspace sims were being used for residential purposes as Otherland and Dreamland had been doing it for ages. They have no room to address residents with shock and surprise at what has happened and they certainly shouldn't be placing the blame on them. They need to fire and replace the clown that made this bonehead decision in the first place and bring back the emphasis on the people that make up the community rather than on their belief that cheesy builds on badly themed sims will save the day. It won't and it can't.

Corcosman Voom

Interesting that Residents who state they are highly educated and owners of real life businesses seem to have no idea of who it is they are dealing with when they do business with the Lab. Just the slightest investigation of the history of SL would show that there is always the possibility of the ground rules changing overnight. The Lab could close the doors tomorrow and walk away with their money. Everyone agreed to that when we clicked 'I Agree', didn't we?

I can understand one or two emotional statements per person but to go on and on repeating the same stuff in chat is pointless. Big business owners, my eye.

Kirstyn

The increase of initial & recurring costs will send OS regions sailing out of the grasp of even those who want to use it for their intended purpose.

I do find it ironic that Dreamland is represented here in the chat text as one of the most vocal yet they're also one of the largest 'abusers' of OS. On the other side of the coin, the KB only suggests that if the OS is to be used for anything but it's intended purpose, the owner simply won't receive support for it.

Would you tell a 3 year old not to stick their hand in the fire or would you put up a barrier so they couldn't? When you talk prims with residents that's exactly who you are talking to, 3 year olds who have tunnel vision about performance. They don't care about the other sims on their server as long as they are low lag on theirs.

OS is an epic fail.

I sincerely hope LL reconsiders the grandfather policy & follows up with clear & firm guidance about OS usage .. and rules with an iron fist. The current policy impacts every OS owner on the grid, and that's simply not fair.

Jahar Aabye

"Would you tell a 3 year old not to stick their hand in the fire or would you put up a barrier so they couldn't? When you talk prims with residents that's exactly who you are talking to, 3 year olds who have tunnel vision about performance. They don't care about the other sims on their server as long as they are low lag on theirs."


While I sort of agree with you on this in theory - certainly many residents act like 3 year olds - I think at some point Linden Labs should be able to expect that people who are spending hundreds of USD in tier will act like adults. If anything, that may be the root of many of their failings.

In fact, many users are still continuing to act like 3 year olds in that they want LL to reverse this decision...in other words, they expect Linden Labs to charge less for the service (hosting an OS Sim) than it costs them to provide the service. It does not seem to occur to many residents, some of whom are supposedly business owners, that such a decision actually would put Linden Labs in deep financial peril and endanger the continuing fiscal viability of SecondLife for all of us.

While I often disagree with Prok on a lot of things, I'm glad to see that there's some sense of realism here and she's the only person I've seen so far acknowledge the reality that trying to punish the "abuse" of OpenSpace resources while letting the "good" use continue is simply not feasible.

Dirk Talamasca

Kirstyn,

My reference to Dreamland, Otherland, Caledon etc (I could have also included Azure Islands) was not to excuse any abuses (if any) but to point out that LL knew well in advance what Openspaces were being used for as these companies have been running residential Openspaces since early 2006. For Linden Lab to state that they were unaware that a strain on resources would ensue is an absolute insult to the residents they are now seeking to overcharge for a product that was so heavily touted and promoted. Linden Lab had 2 years to ascertain that information but it only took three months for them to blow smoke up the ass of the community and ask us to have pity for them because they sold us a hunk of junk.

Ann Otoole

This appears to be what began causing the extra load on the back end:
http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-8503

It looks like LL programmers caused the entire problem and not people using Open sims for a few extra prims or to stand on. I urge you to look at this defect. The appearance at this time is that the management of LL as well as the vast majority of "the mob" is not even aware of this defect or it's ramifications.

It will be a sad day indeed if the bring to LL the programmers from the windlight place ultimately resulted in the complete death of SL because Phillip wanted a pretty sunset. Well he might be getting his sunset for Secondlife. Just not the one he was looking for.

Dirk Talamasca

Thanks for that Ann!

Prokofy Neva

That's fascinating. I also only see grey squares, and since the new patch, I see all ground as grey, all the time, everywhere, and don't even expect it to be otherwise. If I go on a place where there are moving things like particle butterflies or something, they show as resolving grey squares.

Wayfinder Wishbringer, the man reporting this problem, an elf, has been in SL since the dawn of time and even dramatically left SL at one point. He is a tediously thorough expert on bugs and issues like this and is nobody's fool. So it's in that context, and in the context of what I just said about asshole geekery flying in the face of customers when customer service skills are needed, that I reprint here for your information the first response that WW got from one Maurice Linden:

"maurice linden - 05/Aug/08 01:31 PM
Not enough information to duplicate at this time.

Does this occur in any particular region, time of day, or while doing any specific activity?

Also, what kind of internet connection do you have? Are you running a wired or wireless network?

Please post a copy of your traceroute between your system and data.agni.lindenlab.com
"

Never any curiosity about what could be wrong with THEIR OWN system. Always an assumption that the problem is on your end, on your computer, on your browser, on your tracer route. Remarkable.

Ann Otoole

Well read the analysis posted on the 29th. The viewers released along about the time the open sim price change was announce are serving as a massive DDOS attack on the LL back end servers. It isn't open space sim related at all. It is LL programmer induced load. And LL did not bother to find out what the real source of the load was and assumed it must be all these new open space sims and nasty residents abusing them.

This needs to gain momentum with "the mob" to force LL management to reevaluate their decision, stay the plans for anything to do with pricing, and get the fix for this defect released asap. Then see if the perceived open space sim induced load is still there.

However, LL is really just looking for an excuse to capitalize on a good idea. An idea they will further capitalize on by introducing a prefab store. Why else would they be building all those interesting little sims? Yes soon when you order a $125 a month humper bunker you will have a choice of pre built humper bunkers with a space port, a castle, etc. All set up and ready. Just add sex balls and go.

But don't try to blame the residents for the price increase lol.

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