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11/01/2008

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Ciaran Laval

I'd bet you a pint of beer that the price will change before January, I'm thinking they'll settle on USD$100 and a lot of the protesters will feel grateful.

Oh and there will be a Linden apology before next Friday, it will be mealy mouthed and impress the easily led, but it will be there.

Two things piss me off hugely about this:

1. 67% rise is fucking absurd. You simply don't do that.

2. As an anti Openspace advocate who finally got one due to being fed up with LL turning a blind eye, I said back in July on Zee's gleeful post about expansion:

"You’re playing an extremely dangerous game here, devaluing assets, increasing land mass with regions that are by official Linden blurb not designed to be used for the purposes they are being used for and mainland is not recovering at the rate at which it decreased.

Lots of semi filled islands and mainland parcels is likely to lead to the mother of all crashes.

However thanks for the heads up that islands are likely to devalue again, there’s a lead balloon around somewhere.”

Now I'm a negative Nancy and should have stuck by my belief that Openspaces were bullshit. I take responsibility for my actions, which is why I'll not put the price up for my tenant who is renting my openspace but it fucks me off greatly when Jack points to the knowledgebase when people were telling Linden Lab that Openspaces were being used for more than waterways and forests. There's no fucking way they didn't know what caused the explosion in the product and there's no fucking way they weren't told of the damage it was doing to full estates in particular.

Prokofy Neva

I'm betting that there will be no apology, and no change in the price, and the only mealy-mouthed thing will be a promise to "work on" creating a lower priced lower-capacity product that they will...never finish.

I know my Lindens, trust me, that's how it will play. They have no reason to back down.

Look, they crashed prices by 60 percent, they can raise them by 60 percent. It's their game.

Yes, you were a prophet without honour in your own country. I was too, but you got it even more correct.

Of course they knew, but they didn't care at first, until it got out of hand. It's the girls buying 100 of them at a pop and making hilariously easy money and using them to the max that made them put their foot down. If everybody was tasteful and decent like Caledon, they wouldn't have had this happen, but they aren't lol.

ColeMarie Soleil

Isn't it more drama inducing if it's some conspiracy?

Isn't it duller if it's just a case of bad management?

Ric Mollor

I'll side with Prokofy on this one. Have been monitoring the SOS group for the past few days and it's nothing but drama queens and kings boo-hooing over things. No sign of any real strategy or unified demands. The protests have fizzled down to just a few Avies showing up on a sim waving flags around and often AFK. You could get a better turnout if you stuck in camping for 20 cents an hour.

And any talk of exiting SL is met with howls of "but I love SL", "there's nothing like SL' and "all my friends are here". Hello? Are you aware that you can have more than one program installed on your PC at a time? If you are willing to wiggle the knobs a bit you can have two virtual worlds *running* at once.

The price increase will go on. The wailing will continue. But it will be business as usual.

Darien Caldwell

Problem is there are no other virtual worlds worth a crap. Not even worth using my processor cycles on them.

LL knows they have something unique, something that nobody has the time, money, or level of insanity to reproduce. They've just started deciding to see how much of a squeeze the can put on the population without causing any mass exodus.

You're right, there won't be one. But the residents will be monetized better here in SL, as M put it on the blog awhile back.

Prokofy Neva

David Linden, the VP of yesteryear, was the first to say in 2005 that SL is not a game, it is a monetarizing platform. And so it is. For them, and in part, for us.

Wayfinder Wishbringer

Hey Prok, as always an interesting read, whether I agree or not.

You may or may not be right as to what happens over the next several months. Historically Linden Lab have been a bunch of profiteering, price-gouging, hang-the-customer-out-to-dry company, and historically their customers have just wagged their tails and happily let them do so.

However, there are some things going on now that are causing some stirs and ripples. If someone wishes to read details, check out the URL: http://elfclan.ning.com/profiles/blog/list?user=k26qhb3spjuw

But summarized, LL is being accused-- potentially legally so-- of bait and switch in regard to Open Space sims. People took it on the nose when LL marked up full sims from $195 to $295 because LL grandfathered and provided options etc etc. But this time there is no grandfathering, LL made the excuse of falsely blaming customers for their system degradation, and NO, Open Space Sims are NOT challenging system resources more than Linden Lab expected. That is all corporate propaganda that usually Prok, you see right through.

Bottom line: if Linden Lab didn't want OSS to be used as they're being used... they wouldn't have increased the prim allowance from 1850 to 3750. Bottom line, LL has discovered a popular potential cash-cow and they're trying to milk it for all they can get. But to do so, they have to have an excuse so hey, let's once again blame the CUSTOMER for our poor system performance.

Well, we blew the lid off that corporate BS (again, see the website). So what excuse is LL going to use now for hiking up prices other than "WE WANT MORE MONEY!!!"

So customers are looking at a company that is obviously price gouging them, doesn't care if they have to shut down their sims... and suddenly the Open Sim Project, despite its early-dev stage, is looking a whole lot more attractive.

So what happens over the next few months is somewhat of a crap shoot. But I think this one is very possibly a crap shoot that Linden Lab will lose.

Wayfinder Wishbringer

Oh scuse the follow up... forgot about this one:

"The Lindens have feasibly explained that while they prototyped on OS sims, they moved the builds to full-prim sims, which is why the count remains at 3700. Well, I said "feasible" even if not ntirely "believable" -- but I don't think catching the Lindens using a handful of OS sims to prototype builds is any sort of adequate "gotcha" or proof of hypocrisy."

Actually Prok, I think that whole "Mos Ainsley" fiasco is very condemning. As one of our astute users stated, "Mos Ainsley was very obviously intended as a showcase work to demonstrate what could be done with an Open Sim Sim".

The LL corporate "save our butt" line on this one shouldn't fool even a newb.

I will repeat: Open Space Sims are NOT imposing on asset server or system resources. Linden Lab sold them didn't they? They were the ones that set the prim allowance at 3750, did they not? They didn't put a halt to those sales when they realized how people were using them did they?

It's avatar concurrency (most likely) and poor coding (most definitely) that has impacted system performance. It's LL's own self-inflicted DDOS attack that is dragging the system down, not the use of Open Space sims.

While from the beginning I and many others questioned the wisdom and feasibility of stacking OSS 16 to a server... that was LL's decision. Not our idea-- theirs. My own experience with OSS is that at 3,750 prims and MODERATE use of scripting... and a self-imposed avatar cap of 20 or so people at a time... Open Space Sims are totally viable. Perhaps a bit laggy, but that has to do with stacking them 16 to a server, not any supposed "drain on system resources".

So I encourage people to look at these matters with both eyes open and to not swallow the corporate line. Linden Lab is here for one reason and one reason only: to make money. If they cared about their customers-- they wouldn't be horking us for $295 a sim, would they. It's all about the money, it's been about the money ever since Ebay got involved (and likely long before that)... and anyone who is under any different impression IMO should go outside, take a strong deep breath of air, and get a reality check. :D

rightasrain

agree that LL won't drop pricing, M has confirmed it and can still blame Jack for not hitting revenue uplift that they expected.

Not sure about ripple effect atm. Looks like some landbarons will get squeezed on having to re-constitute full from OS--and LL will either refund that cost or end-up with a lot of credit card recharges and possible lawsuits.

Big flop will be in Nov and Dec as LL won't have a growth story to sell to the press--that was all void flips. So now what? LL will just stop publishing statistics until they have some good news (er..might be awhile then?)

Biggest loss won't be land owners, renters, but may be content creators who might just feel that they don't want to "donate" their work to the LL machine anymore. So LL may respond by finally letting .obj onto the grid and then cheapo content will again reign across the grid.

Sigmund Leominster

I wonder if any of the "Openspace landlords" - an appellation that shouldn't exist - will be handing back money to their tenants now that they've been found out? My guess is zero. But how many will want LL to refund THEIR fees? My guess is all. By all means criticize LL for their poor handling of this (I suggest three main errors in my blog) but there's a whiff of hypocrisy coming from certain quarters.

Investing in cheap land and then breaking the rules is simply bad business. And don't come the "how am I supposed to read the small print" because (a) the print wasn't small, and (b) there's a thing called "due diligence" that folks in business use before making an investment. Why should those land owners who bought full price sims and run a legitimate rental business feel sympathy for those who seek to undercut them?

There are many innocent victims here and that's tragic. But fundamentally, some folks wanted to make a fast buck, got caught with their fingers in the till, and want LL to offer a bail out for bad investments. Sorry, only in Real Life do you get government help for offering shitty sub-prime mortgages.

Wayfinder Wishbringer

Sigmund, I have to disagree with that entire post. If I read you right, you're blaming OSS landlords in this matter and claiming they undercut the price of full sim land barons. I fail to see how this is possible, considering the price per prim between the two types of sims is virtually identical (in fact, OSS costs a few thousanths of a cent more per prim).

Yes, there is an advantage in the increased land mass, but that is offset by performance issues. So that post appears to be just another "blame the customer" blog rather than putting the blame where it solidly belongs: in the lap of Linden Lab.

The only reason that LL has for raising the price of OSS is because they want more money. Everything else is just more of the corporate propaganda engine.

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