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10/14/2008

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Anna Gulaev

SL's biggest retention problem is that there's still no satisfying answer to the question, "What is there to do here?" There are places to go site-seeing, though few of them are truly high quality, but where do you go to have a social experience? Have your favorite places after several years in the game? How is a new person supposed to find them?

A very resourceful and dedicated new seeker may discover where those special places are discussed, but even the most lauded venues are likely to be empty at any particular time they go to investigate.

SL needs a way to find real, at-the-keyboard people, *right now*. A way that isn't gamed, full of someone's pets, or abused by commercial interests. But mostly, SL needs there to *be* real, at-the-keyboard people, willing to welcome and chat with new users.

Nicholaz Beresford

Prok,

I'm not sure if you're really interested, but if you still have an older viewer installed, you can run it if you add -channel blahblab to the command line in the icon (you'll need to ask your favorite geek for step-by-step instructions on how to do it exactly).

If you don't have them installed, these older viewers are also still available for download (again ask your favorite geek) and can be made to run with the above.

It will still have the security leak, but it will run (not sure if you really want to do that, but I thought I'd mention it).

Nick

Nicholaz Beresford

Speaking of the above, technically the liberation still holds (people are still running my 1.18.0.6 viewer).

The the part where it breaks is entirely political (covering ass because of security stuff and easier support).


Nick

Sean Williams

Ok, I truly grow sick and god damned tired of people bitching about Windlight when they have graphics cards (and admit it mind you) from this very year.

Look, I am using a card that is truly low end, even in the card family itself: ATI Radeon X1300PRO. The card family is not even listed as being supported by the client program, let alone the lowest of the low end models ...

Yet ti runs the current incarnations of Second Life just fine and within (for me) acceptable limits with all settings maxed and draw distance set to 96 meters.

The damn card is almost two years old, if not older by now as I have no clue when it was put to market.

My point? Quit the fucking bitching already.

Krissy Muggleston

I actualy use Eye Candy 1.19.1 as a 'backup' when I have issues with the RC. Nicholaz' blog used to have a download link to SL this client.

Prokofy Neva

No, Sean, your point is that you are a stubborn, asshole geek, with a completely idiosyncratic card -- "The card family is not even listed as being supported by the client program," -- by your *own admission*. So it's a complete fluke.

Therefore your experience has nothing to do with the average user, or with most users, so shut the fuck up, you are talking out of your ass once again, viewing the world through your fucked up Geek Keyhole.

Prokofy Neva

Um, ok, Nick, that's great to know. I can risk "Day of Liberation" of my money too, then, if I use your viewer. Thanks.

Nicholaz Beresford

FWIW, I didn't want to suggest you use my viewers (I know you wouldn't). I was speaking about the old off-the-shelf Linden viewers.

Security hole remains in those though. Only way out (non-Windlight without holes) is down the geek viewer alley.

Alex Dimitriades

"Yet ti runs the current incarnations of Second Life just fine and within (for me) acceptable limits with all settings maxed and draw distance set to 96 meters."

Yeah right... and I’m running flawlessly SL/Windlight with all settings maxed on my 25 year old ZX Spectrum... from a cassette tape deck... and output to my old black and white TV.

You must have been joking! Or you are disillusioned! There is absolutely NO WAY that you can run SL on a Radeon X1300Pro with "all settings maxed" (it’s called "Ultra" on the SL Graphics Preferences Tab lingo btw), in any "acceptable" manner.

Except if (your) "acceptable limits" are confined in running SL at 1-3fps... at 600 meters... in your 2-prim plywood skybox... stark naked!

Sean Williams

Prok: stuff it. If the card is not listed as being supported then that means you have no right to complain when using a supported card.

YOU are talking out of your ass, once again. Learn to read and understand what is being said before you decide to speak for YOURSELF (you do not speak for the user base, period).

Alex: funny, it's running just fine for me. Kindly do not tell me exactly what the card is capable of running.

Frame rate spikes at about 16fps with the settings on ultra - in a rather nicely done and prim heavy environment.

Now then ... I would have to say that this proves that a Radeon X1300PRO CAN indeed run Second Life within acceptable terms.

Oh ... and the frame rate does not drop much for prim heavy avatars either.

Prokofy Neva

Thanks for proving my point about you again, and again, Sean.

Ciaran Laval

I've said this before but they need a lightweight viewer. This is problematic because so many initial users are wowed by eye candy but casting aside too many people too quickly is never a good idea.

People won't update their hardware regularly to stay in Second Life, you need a sensible cycle and for social users you can cast aside the funkier features, they're not here for the view.

This will at some point come to a head. Nicholaz is helping people tread water and I think that's great but the weight shouldn't be all on the shoulders of Nicholaz and other third party developers.

Desmond Shang

Heya Prok, on a side note, there are also some fairly serious issues that users like you or I might encounter, that most people don't. #1 on this list is the 'friends list' issue - essentially if you have a lot (several hundred) friends, you get performance issues much like the problems with large groups. Much slower response on many features, and occasional lockups.

The only fix I'm aware of is deleting friends from the actual friends list - not deleting their calling cards, that does nothing. This is a bit anecdotal, but if turning off online notifications seems to 'help performance' in any way, your friendlist may be causing some pretty serious drag on your inworld experience. It's amazing how relatively fast and smooth a newly created account can be.

* * * * *

Windlight. Windlight in my opinion does not go far *enough*.

I'd be willing to suffer the performance hit, but where are my regional settings? I need that morose Victorian pallor over the cities; that clipping afternoon breeze in the small coastal towns; the chill of fog enshrouding the spires of Oxbridge at night.

Windlight isn't much good unless we can set all these things, and thus share in the experience.

So if we are paying the performance price, let's get the value - I thought we'd have that functionality a year ago.

I only see the grid as I truly imagine it in doctored screenshots on Flikr.

Sean Williams

Proving your point? You don't HAVE a point Prok. All you have are wild opinions and conjecture that you treat as fact and the deluded notion that you somehow speak for the "common user".

The high horse and podium do not suit you.

Ann Otoole

Wow looks like the windlight team is in here defending their turf. They play pretty rough when you piss them off so watch out Prok.

:P

Yes too many friends is a serious drag. Each and every friend requires a separate database call to see if they are online. This applies to the contact cards as well. So people who are on a lot of friend lists can pause the grid when they log in or log off rofl. A good thing you can do is turn off the show online option for everyone and that helps cut down the noise a tad but the best bet is no friends and no contact cards at all.

But cutting back on database queries does not make computers typical of school labs able to log into windlight. The best bet is for Linden Lab to maintain a viewer without any windlight or voice features. Then they can decide whether or not to retain windlight (and the people baggage that came with it) if it turns out the vast majority of residents elect to not use the windlight voice viewer.

However this is likely a high level political issue since the windlight grab probably brought in the senior people from the windlight place as the new senior people in LL (at least for the viewer). As such you are pissing into the wind to discuss windlight in a negative manner since the windlight team probably calls the shots. What really turned a lot of people off was the irrational attitude towards prim attachments and the whole ARC witch hunt thing. That is when we all realized there was something really wrong. Prim attachments vs performance is related to the computer. Prim attachments do not lag the grid. Nor do they lag most people. The number of avatars in a grid determines the lag factor now. Even if they are all naked. This was proven at the last hair fair when everyone shed all attachments and with only 20 in a sim you could not move. Well seems there was a bunch of avatars in the adjacent grids (child agents) and the more of them the more lag. So the only lag free place is an island off by itself with maybe 10 to 20 avatars. go over 20 and the lag comes on. My island frequently has between 10 and 20 and remains usable but go over 20 and it gets kinda rough.

But we are a very long far way from getting back to 80 to 100 avatars in a sim like we could do last year. That was when SL was what it is supposed to be. A social system. Windlight killed the mass social appeal. Now they want to give us social networking outside of SL with slim. Wonder why? And who needs it? Oh wait same questions were asked about voice and well voice came anyway so I guess slim will offload group chats right? Hard to divine what the SL future is these days but at least some of the ugly ad farms are gone.. err.. not as visible.

Prokofy Neva

I didn't realize friendship cards were lag bombs. I have zillions of them because every tenant friends me because they think if they don't they won't get service. Perhaps if I excised like 500 of those I'd lag less? SL would lag less?

Yes, that was very political of them, incorporating these people as senior and very must feted Lindens, and pushing their project in front of others, and then having them distract from their own monumental lag bomb by getting people riled over the attachment ARC lag thing. Subtle.

I've heard Gwyn preach that lag is no longer caused by attachments, too. I have no idea if this is true. Lag in my view is definitely a factor of sheer numbers. I have been on infohubs that seemed fine with 10 people all tricked out in their bling and dragon attachments and whatnot, and then I've seen 20 newbies in absolutely nothing, even some stark naked, grind the thing to a halt on the mainland. So lag comes from sheer numbers, yes. However, I have no idea if isn't still a good idea to take off all attachments to help the process.

I don't understand EVER what the fuss is about 40 or 80 avatars or more. You can't reasonably talk to that many people. Do you absolutely have to have that many to feel as if you are living? In a trance? At a rave? I mean, it's ridiculous, as most don't talk. Live music would be better off if it formed a group, made everybody pay $1000 to join one a month (getting booted each month to pay) and then delivered the URL for the concert each week -- as an additional feature to the lag-o-thon of the actual attendance.

Maklin Deckard

"You must have been joking! Or you are disillusioned! There is absolutely NO WAY that you can run SL on a Radeon X1300Pro with "all settings maxed" (it’s called "Ultra" on the SL Graphics Preferences Tab lingo btw), in any "acceptable" manner." - Alex

Yeah, good old techie 'works for me you must be lying' inflated stats from Sean. Hell, 8800GT 512 PCIE, 4GB ram, Asus MB, fast SATA drives, I'm LUCKY to get 16FPS with windlight on high graphics (not maxxed) at 128 draw distance if I hit mid 20's, I am usually estatic (not to mention alone at z = 500m+). I used to have an x1300 series myself and on high/windlight I got AT MOST 6-7 FPS....usually an unacceptable 3-4 FPS.

He must have the usual techie-a-hole magical systems that can run anything on antique hardware better than brand new.

I've tried SL on everything from generic P4 (dual core) to the quad-cores and in various boards (I work in IT, so for grins I try SL on various systems we get in) and haven't seen much over 20 FPS on top of the line systems since Windlight. Windlight is a typical 'eye candy' project without substance foisted on us by Pastrami to appeal to the nintendo/PS2 generation that need fluff to remain interested.

Darien Caldwell

I run a Nvidia 8800GTS with all settings maxed, I get between 20-40 FPS depending on what's on the screen. If I open any floaters, It drops in half. The Floaters LL introduced with Windlight for whatever reason are pure terror to a video card. Keep as many floaters as you can off your screen for better performance.

Desmond Shang

Quoting Prok,

"I didn't realize friendship cards were lag bombs. I have zillions of them because every tenant friends me because they think if they don't they won't get service. Perhaps if I excised like 500 of those I'd lag less? SL would lag less?"

It isn't the cards in your inventory; those seem to have little effect on things. It's the actual 'list of friends' in the Communications window that the IM's are done in. The one with the little checkmarks for 'can modify your objects, see you online' and so forth.

To characterise the impact of the issue, log in with a new avatar and frequent the same areas you normally do - and see how login speed and IM's and other comparable things differ.

Once you hit several hundred friends, you start to get into trouble, especially on login. I ran into trouble the first time at 1100-1300 or so friends: 15 minute logins (if ever), the world not rezzing, the client not responding, you name it. Disabling online notifications helps somewhat, but doesn't really kill the issue. What does kill it (and this after a number of phonecalls) is to delete friends off the friends list.

So I did, once I managed to stably log in - and 1100 friends deleted, 20 at a time... my avatar was just fine.

That was about a year ago. Since then, a few months back I had to do it again. Brutal on business relationships, social ones, you name it.

I put 'add me back' and a brief explanation of the issue in my profile. But the first time around, I literally got drama IM's of AM I NOT YOUR FRIEND in quadrophonic text. Yep, four at once... and many, many, many more in the weeks to come. I had to macro 'read my profile' and let each IM cool off for ten minutes or so, before I could usefully move forward in conversation. It was difficult to say the least, with a financial impact I'd guestimate somewhere between several hundred to a few thousand USD.

Sure, I could have not deleted so many names, lowering short term financial impact but just making it last far, far, far longer.

On the second purge of the friendlist, the impact was far less - many either having experienced the first one, or simply having checked out of the grid permanently in the time since I refriended them.

* * * * *

Ironically, these problems with doing business on the grid at any kind of scale have likely had the net effect of *helping* me. I got through it - but imagine having no clue of what's going on. I'm sure that for every person that got the matter sorted out like myself, there were plenty more who just ditched the nonfunctional avatar, never knowing why and incurring far steeper losses of personal relationships and reputation.

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