Griefing Is No Fun

Evidently, this had to happen on the very week-end during which I was away from home for 5 days in a row, and stuck on the old laptop because mine, where SL was installed, just decided to get frazzled (karma for July was a bitch).

I got several messages from different visitors to my store in Triangulum that someone had rezzed huge, ugly vehicles on my land, making it almost impossible to see what I was selling. Nice, it had been some time, after the double-decker stuck in my wall last month. Well, Mr or Mrs Griefer, I hope you had fun getting all that crapload of things back into your inventory, because I sure didn’t feel bad about returning it all. Besides, thanks to you, my customers now only have one minute to rez the boxes they buy at my store and get what’s out of them – or they have to go to their own land to do so. Granted, not many of my products are delivered in boxes, but still. It sucks a tiny little bit. By the way, your vehicles were really ugly. You could at least have textured them, for grid’s sake.

All in all, that was pretty weird, because I’ve always considered myself too insignificant a resident to be worth a griefer’s time. I don’t know why, I’ve always had this feeling that only people with “something worthy” (a well-known club or store) did attract this kind of attention – not the others. Maybe I’m just mistaken.

Eh, well. Things are back in order now, and my thanks go to the residents who kindly IMed me to let me know about it all. I couldn’t log in for long this morning, but if I hadn’t known, I probably wouldn’t have checked my second store today and noticed the damage by myself.


A Reflexion On Clothing Quality

I came to this realization yesterday, and it made both Sezmra and I chuckle:

Clothes in SL tend to be of better visual quality than clothes in RL.

Seriously, in our daily lives, how many times do we see clothes with seams that match perfectly, and other similar little details? Clothes manufacturers just never bother about that (or if they do, it’s for the kind of very expensive, high-quality outfits that I can’t afford, and have even never seen from close-up anyway). On the other hand, in SL, it looks to me like every somewhat-serious designer makes the effort of at least doing their best to match seams and textures–not to mention skins, in which case it’s a necessity for the templates’ borders to not be noticeable at all. Perhaps this is because we can never get the exact look ‘n feel of certain types of real clothes, and we try to compensate for this flaw in a different way?

Of course, this doesn’t mean that I won’t care anymore and start crapping out clothes by just slapping some texture over the whole thing and not worrying about seams. It’s just another of my usual musings.


Is My Store Haunted?

That’s what I wondered today, after a quick trip to the room on the second floor of my house, where I usually sit when working on designs or planning to build an item. As I was about to sit on my favorite chair, I took notice of an item that wasn’t supposed to be there—another chair, a very simple one this time. It’s supposed to be mine, except that I absolutely don’t remember having ever owned it. There’s also no way of knowing who or what dropped it on my floor.

The mystery probably won’t be solved, but it may be the first sign of some ghostly activity in my house. This could be fun. Perhaps next time, the ghost will drop different kind of furniture?

Getting Old…

I wonder if I’m the only one who finds the whole FIC thing to be a real pain in the neck? Or does everyone else think it, but doesn’t express it (or in such ways that it just adds to it without even being funny)?

There isn’t one day on the forums when I don’t see some thread or at least answer to a thread about that, and honestly, every single one of it is just as empty and inane as the previously posted one. I mean, seriously, it was somewhat remotely fun in the beginning and I admit that I snickered too, but now it has gotten way too old.

Or perhaps I just lack a sense of humor. If this is the case, then so be it.

Passing times

These past two months, I haven’t been present in world the way I used to be; mostly first life-related reasons are keeping me away, and given that these reasons are good ones, I don’t intend on giving up on them. However, I am never very far, lurking on the forums, checking my IMs, and regularly sending my little feed aggregator in search of updates on blogs. It feels a bit weird, to keep an eye on all of this from “far away”; it also gives me opportunities to think about it all.

I remember the first glimpse I ever had of Second Life, through Sezmra’s review and her article and pictures about Mochastyle. I remember my very first times in Second Life, when the newbie I was remained overwhelmed by everything she was seeing around her. I remember clicking on the Top Picks of the moment, ending up in Luna, being in awe about my very first “shopping experience” in here. I remember my very first clothes – gee, were they ugly, now that I look back on this! – and how I was proud of wearing something of my own, as newbie-ish as it could seem to the eyes of more experienced players. The early entries on this blog are a good testimony of this, come to think of it; fresh and naive, should I say – or simply written from a newcomer’s point of view.

I remember poking around. Meeting in world with Sezmra. Meeting Hiro and Fey. Going to the Red Dragon market, and later on talking with Snakekiss before joining – isn’t it funny, that the group tag I wear the most often, even right now, is the one of Red Dragon Trader? In a way, I’ve never forgotten where my roots were, and I am damn proud of demn. These were nice days, indeed. I remember setting up a white wall, on the unfinished floor of my unfinished house on my First Land plot of Kafiri, to take screenshots of my first yukata. I remember Sophos Casanova’s big house, towering above mine, and how the landscape suddenly looked so bare when he took it down. I remember the first malls I visited, the first vending booths I had, notably in Ebisu Events center, before I even moved there.

There were the parties that I shyly started attending, the first one being at Aurora’s in Varney, before she sold her land there, then going to the Fantasy Castle, and later on poking at Club Elite and the Edge simply to see how it was there, and because it was fun, for a time, to do these things in the morning for a bit, before setting myself to work. The old Shelter crew was a pretty welcoming and funny one, and the Outback people were the ones I’d meet when it was noon here and nobody else was on. I remember trying bingo, to which I was addicted for quite some time, Miru Airport and Germaine’s famous Bingoland Park. This wasn’t that long ago, only three or four months, and yet, it seems like an eternity. Like much water has flown under the bridge, as we say here. There’s a perfume of nostalgia floating over all of this; still, I know it’s not over. Far from being over, actually.

I feel so restless about this. I would like to do so much more, attend so many things, but I also know that if I do it now, before I am properly settled in my new lifestyle, I will regret it. So I keep watching, I keep waiting. I pop in here and there, for a few minutes or a whole hour. I spend this hour either exploring or talking with friends, which feels already nice enough for me. The tugging is still here, though, calling me to do “more”. One day, I will. One day.

For the moment, I am watching, and keeping the memories alive.

This, my friends, is annoying

Being a designer and selling my stuff in-world has good sides, but also a few drawbacks. Among the latter… the prims limitations. Because I can’t place as many “For Sale” items as I have outfits to sell. Because this kind of forces me to use vendors. And as much as the ones I’m using are nice (yeah, Hiro, we’re speaking of yours here), I don’t have much choice when it comes to placing items to sell in them: I have to put my outfits in prims first.

Now why is this annoying? For me personally, it’s not; it’d actually be more of a convenience, it’s only one prim to stuff in, after all. It’s annoying for the customers, though. There isn’t one week without me getting at least one or two IMs along the lines of “Hi, I bought [Outfit X] from you, but when I try to wear it, I end up with a [insert color of container prim] ball on my head! Help please!” And truth be told, I never feel like laughing “har, har, newbie alert”; hadn’t it been for Sezmra kindly taking my hand when I joined Second Life last summer, I’d have made the exact same mistake myself, and scratched my head more than once trying to figure out what I had done wrong. In fact, the veyr first gift Sez gave me, I had to swallow my shame and ask her how to get the top out. Yes, me, the one who designs clothes and sells them now. I was a newbie once, too.

In all seriousness – what is logical about needing to rezz the prim on the ground, right-click it, go to ‘Edit’, then ‘Contents’ tab, then drag and drop the clothes one by one in your inventory? Sure, unless another system is found (and even the one from Gigas requires you to rezz the item first in order to pay it), I’ll have to either go on with this one, stop selling in places where I’m severly limited in prims, or only keep my very latest clothes in store, except in my own shop.

In other words – if someone doesn’t instinctively figure this system out in the first second, I’m not surprised at all, really.

And so the changes come?

The highlights –

Linden support of most events, other than educational events will be discontinued starting next week with events scheduled 17 January and after.

Bonus amounts paid out as weekly ‘Stipend Ratings’ will be decreased over the next several months, beginning next week.

We will begin charging L$25 for a rating – starting after the update tomorrow.

The Top Picks will be replaced by “Sponsered Links” which will be auctioned off on Ebay. This is an experimental program to gauge community interest in advertising in an in-world directory. If successful, we’ll bring it to the internal auctions. If not, we’ll can it.

There is no change to the basic weekly stipends you receive.

Finally, please note: there will be no changes to Second Life land fees or membership fees paid to Linden Lab.

— Robin Linden

Alright, I know that 3 pages of forum threads already beat this topic enough as it is… I guess I just wished to put it here for myself, though. I don’t know yet whether this is going to have a positive impact on Second Life as we know it (perhaps on middle- or long-term only), or will turn to be the next catastrophe just waiting to happen. The only thing I’m sure of is that, as usual in such a situation, there are LOTS of talks, rumors and misunderstandings. Misunderstandings that the stipends will be halved, for instance when in fact the basic (50/500) stipends won’t be touched. And from there… the escalation? It’s hard to think quietly about all of this, especially when the news downed on us so fast after the New Year.

In fact, I think I can’t decide what my opinion about all of this is. I’m not very worried, but also, I don’t depend on stipend and ratings bonus to get L$, so in itself, my opinion is already biased. The ratings… couldn’t care less about them; perhaps now they’ll finally become “fair”, and not a contest of I-rate-you-you-rate me? Or at least prevent random fly-by neg rates? (I must admit that I already happened to give ratings back, yet not if I don’t see something deserving a rating, even if this something is “only” a nicely dressed avatar.) The Ebay stuff related to the Top Picks… I’m not too fond of this idea, likely because it just reeks of “those with the more cash will get it all, and the little/new ones will get the shaft”. I’m not sure. As for events… this is to be seen as well. I can at least foresee several types of events where the support wouldn’t be absolutely necessary (for instance, it’s not an absolute necessity at events such as bingo, where attendants help making the pot anyway), and some others (“Best clad-in-blue-and-green AV contest”, etc etc) which numbers would maybe decrease – let’s admit it, we get a shitload of these as well.

Hard to tell, yes. So… Personal policy on this? “Wait and see”. In the meantime, I’ll finish working on my kimonos in my little corner of Varney. This never harms!

Oh finally!

You: YadNi Monde: Hi , WHEN will Europeans get AT LAST the MAPPING correct of the Keyboards Please, and when will the QWERTY SWAP BUG STOP ? Thanks in Advance =D
Cory Linden: Yadni: 1.6. We’re going to support international kb’s correctly with that release. One of the key features, in our opinion.

Gee, it was high time!

No more keeping a text file open with “:)”, “;)” and other signs in it to copy/paste in-world!…

Forum behavior

There was this thread, recently, that went like “do you remember your first post on the SL forums”. So, because I couldn’t remember it, I had a look at my profile to check my older posts, and came to realize that, oddly enough for a forum whore like myself, I don’t post -that- much… nor very meangingful posts. The occasional “Hello, [new player], welcome to SL”, bumping designers’ threads about their new creations when I feel like congratulating them, or answering a more “technical” question in the Textures forum… stuff like that. No 4-paragraphs posts full of personal opinions. I think I’m actually a very dull poster on the SL forums.

But then, I realized why – it’s plainly because the “meaningful” posts I could make, the ones where I could express opinions, would be in answer to the dozens of flamebait/land-barons-suck/personal attacks/whine threads. Down with the land barons? Either you go with the bashing crowd, or end up bashed for daring say “but I never had any problems with them”. Whinefest? Half of the time it ends up in name calling. More “serious” threads? All it takes if for two-three people to start lashing out personal attacks and go into their own private little bitch-fest for a Linden to then close the thread, or at least for the conversation being ruined for any attempt at getting back on topic. I’m not sure if this is a very recent thread, I didn’t read all the posts from before I joined, but I don’t recall that things were that bad back in August, at least. Or has my perception of things changed, have I lost my sanctified aura of newbishness?

So what… am I just too chicken to take the risk of being flamed? Perhaps. But why would I take it, for starters? I’m here to have fun, not to enter forum pissing contests in the hopes of showing that I have more cock than poster X or to “prove a point” that doesn’t matter in the end because the original intent would already have been lost under the flame.. Or under lame answers, such as this thread where whomever would disagree was answered with a short “Troll. Shut up”.

Yep. In the end, I think I’m just as good being a dull poster who only says hello to newcomers or bounces in the Classified forums each time Nephilaine puts out a new set of clothes for sale. I don’t care. Whoever disagrees with me can go flame me here, but it’s all about MY fun, finally. While people bitch at ech other in the forums, I’m going to make a new kimono, or play bingo, or go to a party.

Dwell matters

It’s been that time of the month again, the Developer’s Incentives have been announced, just like in the previous two months (and more than that I suppose, I simply wasn’t in world yet at that time), and like in the previous months as well, things have gotten quite heated about it on the forums. Alternating basically between “woe to you dwellopers!” and “give us a break please!”, posts are nonetheless a somewhat interesting read. I won’t take part in it, as I’m not keen on throwing myself into drama I don’t even understand well, but it got me wondering a little.

Jealousy for some, as it’s only a few people who make it to the list after all? A valid concern, in the fear that it only encourages people to create clubs/malls/casinos/whatnot because they know the regular SL population will go to their places then? Some interesting opinions are raised too, notably that if, say, clubs are successfull, maybe it means that it’s what most people want? On the other hand, it may be true then that, well, what will be built, are “potentially successful” places only, in order to make sure to gain more dwell. There are for instance quite an amount of original builds I’ve enjoyed a lot, and come back too as well, such as Nash’s experiment, or the Sci-Fi geeks museum, yet I’m however pretty sure they just don’t get the same amount of visitors than the clubs on top of the popular places list.

In the end, what I could get from it was…

– Some of the people who got on the Developers’ Inventive list, got there because of their own efforts in organizing regular events and working their asses off. I suppose everyone has their own methods though, some will advertise heavily (and annoyingly), some others use more subtle means of advertizing, or word-of-mouth… I’ve been wondering about the “let’s make the efforts to get the dwell awards” factor, but I’m not sure about this. I know from experience that continuously organizing and promoting events/places is a hell of a tiring task though, so they probably don’t do it for this though – it wouldn’t be worth it I guess.

– There should be something more to it, or better yet, another award for other types of… let’s say less popular creations. Perhaps a “most original build” award, or something, or an award for “best designers”, or whatnot. Or maybe no awards at all? Then this would be equal for all, wouldn’t it.

– Gee, the sarcasm and underlying insults that can get out of this. I’m amazed… or not, it’s human nature after all. Everyone trying to defend their point of view, of course, but it tends to get a bit too hateful to my taste, and what for, I wonder. I must be too naive, likely.

This said, I must say that I’m still not completely sure now of what all the fuss is about. I’ll go on pinning the name “bitch-fest” above it for some time, I think.