Class upgrades and class switching available February

We’re pleased to announce that from the 1st February we will be offering the following private island services via the concierge support team.

Class Upgrade

For those island owners currently on class 4, from the start of February you will be able to request an upgrade to class 5 hardware. If you choose to upgrade, the monthly billing for that island will move to the current level of USD$295 per month, charged on the same bill date as you have currently. There will be no downgrade option I’m afraid, and this only applies to private islands.

Class Switch

For those that have both class 4 and class 5 regions, owned by the same account, you will be able to request that the class designations for the two regions be switched around – the class 4 becoming 5, and the class 5 dropping to class 4. The bill date and fees will follow the class in this case, so whatever bill date you had on the class 4 will remain the same on the new class 4 and vice versa. There will be a fee of USD$100 for each class switch.

To request either service, please log into the support portal with the island owning account and file a support ticket. From 1st February these services will appear under the ticket type of ‘Land and Region Issues’, followed by a Request type of ‘Region Change’.  Your account will need to be in good standing with us to use these services.

If you have any questions, please contact the concierge team.

This entry was posted in Announcements & News, Concierge, Land. Bookmark the permalink.

150 Responses to Class upgrades and class switching available February

  1. So basicly class 4 and 5 are no different but you want to entice people to upgrade to 5 so if they are grandfathered in at 195 a month they can pay 100 dollars more a month for the same basic server…..hogwash

  2. I gotta say i read this 3 times and i am totally confused… seriously no clue.

  3. richard says:

    you got to be kidding,right?

  4. Digital Digital says:

    Question, if we stick with our current class for and if we are paying 195/month old grandfathered tier and we chose not to upgrade does this mean that we won’t need to pay the new 295/month pricing??

  5. nonnux says:

    it looks very simple. if you own a old SIM, you can switch to the class 5, with no fee, but paying the new price 295$

    if you own several sims, mixed on class 4 and class 5, you may want to switch. changing a new sim you have that is not so busy or filled with scripts, into an old sim that is very busy, you pay a 100$ fee. the tier for each sim will also switch…

    thats my interpretation, and it should be accurate 🙂

  6. Desmond Shang says:

    Options are always wonderful things, and much appreciated!

    I’m not sure what I’ll do quite yet, myself. But I’m glad to have the choice to consider. Well done!

    Desmond Shang
    Independent State of Caledon

  7. Digital Digital says:

    I myself have always felt that 195 / was a high price but, I would rather pay that then having to pay 295 / month, I think overall it is a really good deal, if you think about it linden lab not only hosts the machine but if the machine fails they will replace it. I have seen some hosting companies that will make you pay for a whole new machine and on top of that have to pay for the labor of the people fixing it etc. Sometimes it can be like 100-200 USD an hour in labor. I do yes think the price is high and wish it could be lower but over-all I’m very happy with the service linden lab provides me. If you also think about it linden lab helps keep the software clean from bugs as much as they can which is alot of work and a lot of research. I do hope some day that tier prices can be lowered it would really be nice but I’m not going to complain to muchs since I am still on old grandfathered tier.

  8. Redux Decosta says:

    @hanzo: “you guys going to keep with your promise to open-source the server software”

    i dont remember linden labs making a formal promise to open the source… i DO remember corey was pushing for it. i also remember corey getting canned last month due to “differences of vision”

    what i dont get is why people are upset about EVERYTHING that gets announced here. you used to have to pay something like 150-200 bucks to update from a 4 to a 5. now they’re offering it free and for some reason people are unhappy… if you dont want it, don’t request it.

    i think a lot of people just like to complain here… although i am surprised we’re 10 posts in & nobody’s mentioned copybot yet. maybe we’re making progress as a community…

  9. Mako Minogue says:

    An interesting proposition but one I’m going to have to pass on.

    The $1200US per year tier increase (exceeding the cost of a Class 5 hardware blade rather handily) is a poor return on investment for what amounts to a community building or hobby sim.

    The option however is a good one to have available for more commercial operations perhaps, and more options are always appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Mako

  10. U M says:

    @1 only differance is 2 giga of memory. Not much differance……….Wait until the next round of cost occure with class 6 servers coming.

  11. les says:

    Nice deal…not.

    What if we decide we’d rather not pay 1200 more a year for a server that sucks slightly less? Will we be class 4 forever?

    How about an option for an uncapped sim on it’s own CPU that might have enough overhead to be useful? I guess you would charge 1200 a month for that and a 6000$ set up fee.

    Class 5 sims have been out forever. What are the plans if you ever upgrade to decent servers? Bend over the people on c5 sims for another “upgrade” fee?

    Is this the new model? Charge more and more so that if you pay through the nose you might actually get decent overhead?

    How about coming up with a revenue model that doesn’t hose your developers. You know..the people who make this place worth visiting.

    So many questions. So little time!

    This blog would have been much more attractive had it contained a red arrow pointing up.

  12. From a post on Oct. 16th of 2006: “More generally, the new servers have some future-proofing features for us, and use less electricity than previous generations.” and “Finally, there are fewer, bigger system fans, and power supply efficiency goes from 67% to 84%; power usage while running the sim process is about 175 watts, vs. 230 for a Class 4.”

    Interesting how the class 5 servers are more efficient, and will end up costing LL less in the end, but they are also charging their customers a higher rate to save them money. They’ll get you coming and going, won’t they.

  13. Loydin Tripp says:

    What does Class 5 and 4 really mean anyway? I have spoken with a number of my fellows who are more IT than I and they have not a clue what this means. It si a murky definition at best.

    Can you please state clearly what the advantages are? Hardware, software, better tech support, dream scape?

    I like to know when I buy groceries, what’s in the bag when I leave the store.

  14. #19 I’m sure they’re referencing telecommunications standards. Class 5 switch/softswitch is a never-go-down 99.9999% up time device for connecting calls. So, I suppose it’s supposed to be the cake with icing.

  15. mimi says:

    the switching service sounds very usefull

  16. Daisy Beauchamp says:

    I’d like to know the real difference between Class 4 and 5 as well. I have heard that Class 5 means you don’t have to share with as many regions. Perhaps a blog post outlining the differences would be beneficial.

    I personally won’t pay the extra $100 a month if I don’t know what I’m really getting.

  17. LaeMiQian says:

    OT, but…

    Havoc 1 was, AFAIK, badly integrated into the sim server so that separation for OSS release would be very difficult.

    Part of the Havoc 4 upgrade is to properly separate out these parts (ie, so the Physics engine is pluggable and hence replacable with something OSS).

    LL has said both these things in more-or-less words. It sounds to me rather like they are right at this time working towards getting the server code into a state that is legally and usefully releasable when they feel it is time to do so.

    Re: OpenGrid Server – it is a ground-up reimplementation that is not intended to ultimately mirror LL Grid features/function (though there will be a lot of overlap). From work-so-far I like their system a LOT more than LL’s (form what I can see from outside LL’s black box) anyway. -> Much more modular. OGS is fun to play in but still very VERY pre-release.

  18. LaeMiQian says:

    Class 5 is simply a faster CPU, FSB, etc. (they switched from Opetrons to Xeons too I believe as Intel currently provides better bang-for-the-buck in THIS SPECIFIC APPLICATION).

    ‘Class’ in LL Grid context is simply a generation of server box with particular CPU/RAM/FSB/etc specs. Nothing else is different, nothing to do with comms classes or other stuff.

  19. Captain Noarlunga says:

    How can I find out what Class mine are? Do I assume if I pay $295 that it must be Class 5?

  20. Class 5 servers have better hardware and are more efficient, at the same time. I can understand paying a “one-time” upgrade fee, but because of the efficiency, the extra $100 is just money in LL’s pockets.

  21. Sean Heying says:

    Class 5 vs Class 4 are outlined in http://blog.secondlife.com/2006/10/16/looking-forward-to-class-5/

    It has nothing to do with uptime, it is strictly a Linden term.

  22. U M says:

    “Class 5 sims have been out forever.”
    is 2 years forever??????????

    Well if you have many activtive scripts occuring you still have problems as the class 4 do. “NEWER HARDWARE” should be the correct term better well 2 years is better then 3 or 4 years old right?

  23. Muram Neruda says:

    I have both class 4 and 5 Sims and for my user load there is no discernible difference from a users standpoint. So exactly what is the benefit of upgrading my class 4 to a 5, other than the honor of paying the Lindens $100US a month more?

    Perhaps you might consider upgrading your thought process around the entire concept of a “SIM” to be what everything else in Second Life already is … A virtualized service called a “SIM” or region where you provide said service and maintain the hardware in the background without hitting your customers with “Class Upgrades” and intangible benefits.

    If there really are tangible benefits, please share then along with the knowledge of how, at a user level, they cane be witnessed/experienced/enjoyed. I’m sure everyone would love to know.

  24. Wayfinder Wishbringer says:

    @ 12 Killer Monkey: ” There is no reason to keep the server closed forever. Soon, either the Lindens open the code, or people will move to “alternative” grids. Hosting and bandwidth should not be $195/mo after paying $1500+ for 1/4 of a server (logical proc). ”

    Hit the nail right on the head.

    @13 Digital Digital: “I myself have always felt that 195 / was a high price but, I would rather pay that then having to pay 295 / month, I think overall it is a really good deal, if you think about it linden lab not only hosts the machine but if the machine fails they will replace it.”

    $295 + $1,650 setup fee is the price of a new car. That’s for a blank piece of grass, and a rather small one at that. And for that, you are not put on a dedicated server box. You are stacked with three other sims, sharing common assets. That’s a total of 4 sims per server box. Official word is it takes tech between 30 minutes to an hour to set up a server. So not a lot of time involved there.

    Actual LL earnings per server box:

    US$1,650 setup fee x 4 = $6,000.
    4 x $295 a month x 12 months = $14,160

    Total 1st year subscriber fees for a single server box: $20,160.

    And there are what, over 10,000 sims in operation at this time?
    Just the sim fees along, ignoring installation fees, comes to 140 million dollars a year.

    At that kind of profit, they can afford to replace equipment once in a while. That’s not a good deal (at least not for the customer. LL is raking it in hand over fist). That kind of pricing leaves the market wide open for a smarter and more user-friendly company to plunder. It leaves it wide open for user associations to make their own Second Life (we’re hearing more and more about the Open Sim project).

    Considering the fact that even after 8 years, SL is still buggier than a roach motel, these things are going to happen whether LL wants it to or not. They can’t seem to manage their own home, so likely soon people WILL be building their own. Can’t say much for a company that can’t even get chat right.

    Amazing vision, poor implimentation, at new car prices. How would you like to buy a new car that stops running several times a day, suddenly freezes in its spot and won’t move, where none of the guages give you the right information and the cell phone doesn’t work? Oh, and the car has LOUSY mileage, so the gas costs you $295 a month to drive 16 miles.

    If SL were any other business and operated like it does, would they be able to stay in business? If they had direct competition, would they be able to stay in business?

    That’s what Killer Monkey was pointing out. And he’s right on track. I told LL that 3 years ago. After 3 years, rather than improving, performance has worsened. At one time, private sims ran like greased lightning and group chat worked. Now it doesn’t. That’s not good, and it’s not a good deal. Customers are paying more… and receiving less.

    I don’t like to or mean to slam Linden Lab or SL. I just tell it straight. When it works, I say so. When it doesn’t, I say so. I’m not a LL suckup, and I’m not an optimist when it comes to SL. SL is in trouble. They’re pulling in the bucks now… but for how long will that last? At one time Radio Shack was about the largest personal computer dealer in the world. Anyone seen a Tandy Model III lately?

    Sorry, just telling it like it is. SL is heading for computer historyville.

  25. Wayfinder Wishbringer says:

    Ooops made a math blunder. Calculated from the $14,160 instead of that divided by 4. Actual calculation is the cost of 1 sim x 10,000 ,which = 35,400,000 a year. Still a sizeable chunk of cash.

    Of course, I didn’t see the math blunder until the moment I hit the SUBMIT button. Murphy’s law. “The seriousness of miscaluclation is proportionally inverse to the effort required to publish.” 😀

  26. hugsalot says:

    I think you all should just wait another year or so when they phase out class 4 servers and you’ll get grandfathered into a class 5 server ANYWAY. Hopefully won’t pay a extra dime when that happens.

  27. digitalssecondlife says:

    @hugsalot

    — Yeah I hope they do grandfather people in to class 5’s with out having to charge a more tier fee, would be nice! We shall see what the next years have for us!

  28. Hazno Bazno says:

    I can see one day….

    Persims (personal sims) that can be run on high-grade home systems (like my media center pc) that can interconnect with other persims throughout the megametaverse. Rather than one flying from a sim to the next (unless they are stacked together on a local network) people would telehop from persim to persim.

    One could easily manage a chat function that would display persims on a list like in an instant messenger allowing you to always know which persims were “online” and which weren’t.

    It’s pretty simple really. Just takes some big bucks and a little drive and ambition and Second Life will be at the bottom of the list of virtual world options.

  29. Pingback: Second Life sucks Your Money | Second Life Sucks

  30. So I can down grade from class 5 to class 4 and my tier changes to 195 per month. Does this mean the sim will be wiped clear if I down grade.

  31. Max Desoto says:

    Sigh, everybody thinks they just plug in a new server and your sim is up and running. Everybody calculates how much phat loot LL makes on every one. Does anybody ever figure in the cost of the asset server, the bandwidth, and all the other support costs?
    I wish I could get a handle on just how much bandwidth LL has to pay for, to keep this all running. That would probably shut up all the folks saying “I can get a web server for a tenth of that!!”

  32. Dekka Raymaker says:

    @ 36 Spontaneous Radio

    Maybe you should read before you post?

    “There will be no downgrade option I’m afraid, and this only applies to private islands.”

  33. LaeMiQian says:

    @ Hazno Bazno

    The main limitation with home-served sims is your upstream bandwidth. My present adsl2 line (I live within sight of the exchange – good; I live in Australia – bad) would support no more than 3-4 AVs simultaneously I would also hit my data-cap well before the billing month was up under more than sporadic external access!

    Not that that is a bad thing for personal-use sims – I have an OpenSim instance I play with here that will hopefully by 2009 be stable enough to perform that exact role – ie, personal space to play in and invite a few friends over to. Money isn’t such an issue – what you describe availability-monitoring-wise sounds like a minor hack on any OSS IM system (and a good idea it is too, kudos!).

    For high-usage/pro simulators LL (and future competitors) should have a healthy market just as web/app hosters do today.

  34. Dekka Raymaker says:

    @ 37 Max Desoto

    A reasonable point, but we are talking about a company with big bucks here, like large supermarket groups, don’t you think that LL can buy this stuff and bandwidth too heavily discounted?

  35. Neil Claxton says:

    How many of the complainers about the opensource sims have even run one? They bitch about havock and voice, this shows they haven’t used a recent build, there is a basic physics engine ( not havock ) and voice is implemented, what really doesn’t work is the LSL engine.

    Feel free to learn to program and contribute to the open source projects.

    If you want an open sim with decent connectivity, expect to pay $400 just for rackspace and minimal transfers, you’ll have plenty of peak bandwidth, but expect to use upwards a of 1 GB of transfers per day.

    This LL blog entry seems pretty straight forward.

  36. Vittorio Beerbaum says:

    Lol… sometime i think you all lives on mars or you didn’t own different simulator to evaluate by your eyes the REAL difference b/w class4 and class5. The difference is HUGE …indeed it’s applied for a “social” land with tenth of avatar, buildings, scripts etc. I would agree there’s no difference b/w a EMPTY class4 server and a class5.

    40 avatars with a relative full sim (>10k) and some average scripting and you gonna lag a class4 server… while it remain completely usable on a class5. That’s the truth.

  37. Croft says:

    Indeed the whole design of SL is crap. One server per region is just wrong, the end result is that you either have too much power if it’s not active or it’s lagged to hell and back if it gets lots of poeple. The load should be distributed across servers transparently and scale with the number of people in an area.

    But yes will be interesting to see what happens when the older C4 servers reach the point where age alone mandates an upgrade – will all current C4 people find themselves stuck with the choice of paying an extra $100 or getting the heck out? :p

  38. LaeMiQian says:

    OpenSim complainers? In this thread the only refs to OpenSim were a few side-related mentions and my comments, which were more about home bandwidth issues in relation to grid-serving in general.

    I did say OpenSim was very pre-release but that is just paraphrasing the official site! It is at 0.4.something going-on 0.5 and what you can do with it now is remarkable (and a lot of fun) but even the mainline devs stress it isn’t near production-use ready (what the OpenGrid people have to say is another matter, but they are a separate group).

    And while not a coder, you will find my name on the Mantis occasionally with bugtesting comments.

    %-/

    When the OpenGrid et. al. gets going post-development it will be very intersting to see what their per-sim pricing is like relative to LL’s. My call is that it will be cheaper but by no where near as much as people think by extrapolating from web server costs.

  39. LaeMiQian says:

    @ Croft (43)

    Yes, that is my main issue with the way LL has implemented their grid servers and why I am not particularly fussed about seeing the LL Grid Servers opened when OpenGrid has taken a more load-balancable approach.

    Of course I have no idea what is actually INSIDE LL’s black box of a Grid Server so their internal structure MAY be a lot better than I am giving it credit for here and they are just not using the full flexibility for ease-of-simulator-migration reasons (one-sim-per-core would make migrating a Sim to a different box a lot easier, I imagine, at least in the pre-x86-virtualisation era, which is where I assume the Sim code comes from).

  40. Hazno Bazno says:

    Just downloaded and installed the OpenLifeGrid and I’m giggling in my boots. I got a whole sim running right now on my desktop PC and yeah, it’s alphaware and buggy, but holy crap dudes, it gives me a huge boost in morale to know that one day I’ll have my own private island on my own hardware and able to backup my own inventory and pay my own hosting and bandwidth to my own agreeable price.

    I’m just amazed I’m standing on my own personal island right now in another window that runs blazingly fast and is costing me absolutely nothing to run. A whole immense 65,536m2 sim to do with as I please.

    I can hardly wait to see how well this thing progresses. Right now I paid LL $72 for a year subscription and pay them $75 a month in tier just for the pleasure of sitting on a big square of land and building things.

    🙂

  41. It seems to me that LL is the only “web server hosting” company that increases the cost of hosting with them as new hardware becomes available. They sure charge a premium for the privilege of running their software on their servers.

  42. Wayfinder Wishbringer says:

    @34, 39 and 41:
    What you are discussing is already an upcoming reality, called OPEN SIM. A group of users who are tired of paying SL new car prices for a piece of virtual land have taken it upon themselves to write their own system… and as someone pointed out above, it’s already in Alpha stage.

    As far as what it costs to host your own sim, $400 a month for a server? Get real. Dedicated T1 servers are available all over the net, at competitive prices.

    But ignoring T1, Time Warner Cable offers super-high speed internet at 10mbps and an upload at (I believe) 1mpbs… which is equivalent to and exceeds T1 speed. The price? $40 a month.

    A sight better than $295 with a $1,650 setup fee.

    Why we discussing all this? Because reality is about to bite LL in the butt. Open Sim isn’t the only virtual world project out there. There is also China’s HiPiHi and about 2 dozen others ready to hit the market within the next 2 years.

    These are facts. The truth is the average Joe with a good cable connection will be able to run his own sim from a $500 dual-core computer, with virtually ZERO lag, for less than $50 a month. I figure it will take about a year or two for persims to settle down and debug to a decent point, but the upside is that the people involved actually CARE about performance. They’re sure not in it for the money. They’re in it for the rep, for assistance to people paying excessive VR prices, and just to be in-general nice guys. Some of them are people LL has ticked off in the past, or who LL has caused to lose a lot of money by failure at customer support, or who just generally think $295 a month is way too much to charge for VR. Most of them think LL currently has a stranglehold on the environment, and they’re simply dedicated to breaking that stranglehold so LL doesn’t become another Microsoft.

    Anyone that can prevent another Microsoft fiasco… I’m all for. I sure hope the future of VR works better than Windows. LOL

  43. Hazno Bazno says:

    #48…

    Kudos!

    I have standard old everyday cable internet through COX Communications here in the Midwestern United States. I pay $39 per month and my DAILY bandwidth, on average, hits around 10 Gigs. PER DAY.

    I’ve done this since I got the service in September, running three web sites (as registered domain names) from a cheap server box in my hallway closet.

    The PC that runs it all – that $299 Linux box Wal-Mart carries.

    Now, I’m in no way whatsoever comparing hardware I have with hardware LL uses. I am, however, stating that if I’m cranking a back and forth daily bandwidth of 7 to 10 gigs of data on a “cheap home connection” then there is no reason whatsoever I cannot run at least one sim open to the outside world fairly faithfully right now.

  44. Bradley Bracken says:

    #9 Gil

    You are my hero. It’s exactly why I’ve said having these blogs open for comments is a waist. They really should just shut the comments off and be done with it.

  45. Bjorn Collins says:

    I assume that “Your account will need to be in good standing with us to use these services” means;

    If we dislike you, we dont want your silly 100$?

    Or am I mistaken? I dont have bad standings, I just find it amusing! 🙂

  46. Hazno Bazno says:

    #51…

    I thought that too. If an account isn’t in good standing my experience has been the account is also suspended.

    Thus a suspended account can’t own an island to even worry about all this.

  47. DaddyChris Gall says:

    Personally i would like to see the main land sims upgraded some to try and help out the frigin lag on the overly bogged down main servers!

  48. Q Linden says:

    I’m one of the developers at LL, and we’d dearly like to open-source the servers. And #7 is right, there are some closed-source components like Havok in our server platform. But that’s only part of the problem. The big problem is that in the current architecture, servers are trusted. Identity information, ownership information — all that is stored on the servers, and in a closed-source, behind-the-firewall environment, we can communicate between the servers securely.

    But now imagine that you’ve got that expensive no-copy model of an F15 jet, and you fly it into some unknown sim. In order to render and simulate that jet, the sim has to know everything about it. What’s to prevent the sim from keeping a copy and giving it away to the next avatar that pushes the magic button?

    That’s a rhetorical question, really — it’s merely a single example of the kinds of questions that we have to ask as we design the open sim platform of the future. Trust, identity, connectedness — all of these are huge problems. If you’re interested in this stuff, there are a bunch of Lindens (I’m not one of them) as well as non-Lindens who are working on these sorts of problems under the title Architecture Working Group (AWG). You can find more on the Second Life wiki.

    I *am* one of the people who are working on the viewer side in areas related to open source. We’re trying to get better and better at interacting with the open source community, but as we started as a closed-source product, it sometimes takes us a while to get over our own limitations. But I believe we’re making positive progress.

  49. Hazno Bazno says:

    #54…

    Thank you for the input. What you say makes complete sense. There does come the question – could someone devise a sim that would steal copies of everything that passes through it?

    However, although there is “uncrackable” encryption all over, many of them free applications, then there bears the question – why are there still repeated times when “millions” of confidential bank and related accounts get hacked and stolen?

    your security is only as good as the implementation by your end user. And even if you were to offer “uncrackable” security the end use will still always find a way to circumvent.

    For YOUR protection as a company you must retain a sense of secrecy about the inner workings, but as an end user here – me – I just want a nice little executable I can run on my local PC to create an instant sim to play with. I’m not worried about all the complexities of backend closed-source databases and various other complexities.

    I’d like to see LL continue to pursue their goal of a secure and safe environment for commercial application but also a free or low-cost downloadable private sandbox the rest of us can play in from time to time.

  50. Wayfinder Wishbringer says:

    Glad to hear your comment Q (love the name. Star Trek ref?). 🙂

    Anyhow, I can understand and sympathize with problems in SL going open source. I’m one of those who actually hasn’t thought open-sourcing the main code would be a good idea… mainly for just the reasons you’ve stated. Major security issues etc.

    I’ve long felt the solution is simply for LL to charge more reasonable fees for their server service, and that they offer people the option of being stacked 4 to a server box (for $X) or having a totally dedicated server box (for $XX)… but both fees more reasonable than the gut-punch $295 a month, and charging $1,650 to set up a server.

    Cost of equipment setup is considered by most companies to be cost of doing business. As it is, LL is having the customers pay for everything… including their equipment… and charging out the wazoo for it.

    That is what’s going to bring LL down: the simple fact that others will be able to do it far cheaper, and likely better. If LL was totally debugged (after 8 years) it might stand a chance, but with the shakey platform and disgruntled customers… how could competition be any buggier or do a worse job?

    I’ve never asked LL to go open source. I’ve just asked them to do closed source right… and at REASONABLE fees. 😉

  51. U M says:

    Q Linden says……….”But now imagine that you’ve got that expensive no-copy model of an F15 jet, and you fly it into some unknown sim. In order to render and simulate that jet, the sim has to know everything about it. What’s to prevent the sim from keeping a copy and giving it away to the next avatar that pushes the magic button? ”

    Well thats what open source is about right? Frankly speaking there is no protection from non LL server bases that house the islands data to NOT to copy and collect data from those that enter that non LL sever right? Hence LLL takes NO Libilities its such activites…….

  52. Q Linden says:

    #55: With respect to security, as you suggest, we’ve all seen the “uncrackable” thing too often for anyone to believe it completely. I’m not a security guru, but I know enough to know that you compartmentalize your information, make sure that if you crack one secret you ONLY crack one secret, trust only as much as you have to (which means that you explicitly do NOT trust the client software), and design in the open so that people can criticize before it becomes mission-critical. That’s what the AWG is about.

    With respect to toy/private sandboxes that don’t connect to the main grid, well, isn’t that what OpenSim is for? It’s an interesting use, but it’s not really our business model.

    The problem we’re working on is putting tens of thousands of people up simultaneously with hundreds of terabytes of active data backing it up, all of which can be accessed randomly at any time, in a connected universe that gives you the appearance of being a single large world. That’s an exciting and compelling problem, and one where we hope and expect to be competing for quite a while.

  53. Noisey Lane says:

    @37 – For what it’s worth, Phil Rosedale way back in March 2006 in a Google TechTalk described LL’s bandwidth costs as marginal.
    See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PS5zFVs488&feature=related
    Obviously there are other costs involved in running such a system as SL. I think the overwhelming consensus from users is the current price structure far exceeds these costs. Sure, LL should make a profit for what they do but they risk a great deal by pricing it out of reach to all but commercial enterprises.

  54. Q Linden says:

    @56: I’m not in ops, and I don’t know enough to know all our cost factors — but don’t forget when you ask for “reasonable” fees that the cost of the server hardware is only a small fraction of the costs of maintaining an operating region. We have astounding network bandwidth needs, colocation fees to store the servers in secure environments, an incredible quantity of disk space (not to mention the truly frightening growth rate of the data), and then there’s the collection of operations and support people to keep it running, not to mention the developers who are working to improve it (and to open source it!).

  55. Good to see a Q for A here. 🙂

    Here is what I would like to know.

    If the hardware fails on a Class 4, does Linden Lab actually go out and find the same parts to replace the parts with… or instead, do they upgrade the system with the most cost effective parts?

    I ask this because there might be ‘Class 4’ servers that have morphed into ‘Class 5’ servers without anyone knowing. That must be a logistics nightmare if it wasn’t planned for in advance.

  56. Hazno Bazno says:

    #58 & #59…

    Q, you are right about OpenSim… That should serve my needs for a “sandbox” so long as what I create in it I can upload into SL if I choose – which is currently not generally easy to do.

    And Noisey… YES! Exactly my sole source of contention. I love SL and LL (I really do) but not enough to make a monthly car payment to them.

    Last year I came within inches three times to buying my own sim through LL but you know what stopped me? Not the $295 a month.

    I fell behind on my monthly tier once and after less than 2 weeks my account was suspended pending immediate payment. My entire virtual life was held hostage with everything in it.

    So what happens when I shell out $1,675 for an island and pay $295 a month and for a month or two I need to cut back a little bit? You guys going to slam the shutters on my entire island? You going to hold my avatar and all my inventory hostage? You going to turn around and auction off my island and my hard work a month or two down the road when I fail to make my monthly $295 ransom payment?

    These issues have yet to be discussed anywhere. What happens when I’m late on a payment? Not a work to be found anywhere. Prior experience has shown me the “solution” for my current premium style account is to simply slam the virtual door on my virtual fingers until I fork over the cash to reinstate myself.

    THAT is precisely why I have decided not to buy more than 4,608m2 of land and why I’ve decided not to invest in my own private island, even though I could easily afford doing so “right now.”

  57. Digital Digital says:

    #62 a lot of your questions can be found in the support portal they explain what happens if you don’t pay your sim bill etc. I know a lot of it is hidden but I had some of the same questions as you and find the answers there 🙂 — Hope it helps :))

  58. Dallas Seaton says:

    Wayfinder Wishbringer:

    #30: “$295 + $1,650 setup fee is the price of a new car.”

    #48: “A group of users who are tired of paying SL new car prices for a piece of virtual land…”

    A few of your other points have some validity, but you just make yourself look stupid when you keep bringing up such totally false nonsense. I don’t know where you reside, but you quoted “new car prices” in USD. The absolute cheapest new car you can buy right now in the US is a specially stripped version of the Chevrolet Aveo which carries a price tag of $9995. 42 years ago, in 1966, the absolute cheapest car available in the US was STILL more than today’s LL private island pricing of $1675 – it was the Volkswagen Beetle at $1995.

    So, like I say, you might consider stopping your dumb rants about private island prices being equivalent to “new car prices” because you really do come off sounding pretty stupid.

  59. Hazno Bazno says:

    #64…

    I got his point completely – he’s talking deposit and monthly car payment for a new car.

    I paid $2,000 down and pay $325 per month right now on a brand new car.

    So his points are completely valid.

  60. Squeeze us out some more!
    You should get an Emmy Award for the Company who can f*ck his customers most and charge them more and more for it!

  61. Pingback: The Grid Live » Second Life News for January 23, 2008

  62. mant says:

    whine whine whine…

    yet u come back every bloody day, there rates maybe high rite now,, but in the future i can see them dropping, yes sl has problems but its improving slowly but surely, im happy with the service rite now but yea lower tier prices would be nice.

  63. Lenny Looming says:

    69…

    You’ve obviously not got screwed…yet…

  64. mant says:

    i have been screwed dont worry, hows about them deleting one of my accounts with $L345,000 in it along with land i owned not to mention the HUGE inventory i had and had spent all my money and time with….

    in a sense it was my fault that it got deleted, but when someone in world decided to MUG me off for a large sum of lindens and when i asked lindens for help they said thats a resident to resident problem we cant do jack shit , i took the matter into my own hands and got banned for it LOL…..

    but ohwell im over that and have found my place in sl now.

  65. Tracy Welles says:

    Linden, you might want to run your ideas for posting blogs through your PR firm. This looks simply like a company wanting to squeeze the already over charged and bilked to death community for yet more.

    The fees truly are outrageous and as a educated computer literate person, class 4 and class 5 mean little unless expressly stating the difference. What a cheap mb verses a tyan? A gig of ram verses 4gig? Look, hardware has crashed to pennies on the dollar. To ask your customers to pay for updates for hardware is well, not right.

    Why should the customer pay for it anyhow?
    That is your responsibility.

    I believe Linden owes it to their customers to upgrade the servers to the latest, or older failing hardware to the latest at their cost. The software changes and requires more power, Linden wants to charge the customer for the hardware due to the software growth.

    You’re really milking it Linden and it’s quite obvious.

    I have to agree with Leyla Firefly on this one.

    –Tracy

  66. Chaz Longstaff says:

    I find it amusing how many people think everyone should work for free – except themselves, of course.

  67. Tracy Welles says:

    “I find it amusing how many people think everyone should work for free – except themselves, of course.”

    Just because you advertise a service in RL or SL doesn’t mean you get the job or get paid. Linden gets paid no matter what.

    On a good note, good work on shutting down the casino and bank scams. It’s good to see the progress in those areas.

    -Tracy

  68. Wayfinder Wishbringer says:

    @64 Dallas Seaton

    “A few of your other points have some validity, but you just make yourself look stupid when you keep bringing up such totally false nonsense. I don’t know where you reside, but you quoted “new car prices” in USD. The absolute cheapest new car you can buy right now in the US is a specially stripped version of the Chevrolet Aveo which carries a price tag of $9995. 42 years ago, in 1966, the absolute cheapest car available in the US was STILL more than today’s LL private island pricing of $1675 – it was the Volkswagen Beetle at $1995.

    So, like I say, you might consider stopping your dumb rants about private island prices being equivalent to “new car prices” because you really do come off sounding pretty stupid.”

    Dallas, when I’m talking about new car prices, I’m not talking about buying a car for cash money… any more than you can buy an SL sim outright for cash money. I’m talking about putting out a down payment… and a monthly payment to boot. You can lease many cars for $295 a month, 0 down.

    Now for the record, when you call someone else stupid and claim they’re making false statements, you’re pretty much putting your own neck on the chopping block when they blow holes in YOUR rant.

    So how about a little less know-it-all and a little more respect for the opinions of others, eh? Sorry you didn’t get the point, but that’s not ME being stupid, is it? 😉

  69. Wayfinder Wishbringer says:

    An additional thought on SL charges. As pointed out above SL is pulling down some significant $$ in sim fees. $295 * 10000 sims = almost 3 million a month. Anyone here that believes LL has anywhere near 3 million a month in expenses.

    Bandwidth cost is minimal (as pointed out above). Equipment cost is minimal (a quad core system can be purchased for $1000, easy, and they stack 4 sims to a server). If they’re like most businesses, their main cost is in labor (#1 cost), electricity and other utilities (#2 cost) and land/building space (#3 cost). They have a sizeable overhead to be sure, just in labor costs. But no matter how ya slice it, $295 a month for a sim is tantamount to highway robbery (oh, don’t forget they charge $350 a month to Euro sims… VAT you know…). That people are goofy enough to pay it is beyond me.

    That’s the trouble with society these days. People don’t have the simple brains to say, “I’m not paying that!”

  70. Pingback: Massively

  71. U M says:

    @75 let alone those ad paying islands kickbacks they get! Can you imagen how much money they taking it?

  72. mant says:

    not to mention the premium memberships they rake in to ,oh and upload rates im sure that mounts up to a fair bit a month to, yea its blatently obvious to anyone the extent or cash *profits* they are making……

  73. mant says:

    wat they should do is upgrade the lower class sims for that one time fee and then make all class sims 195usd per month.

  74. U M says:

    you mean people still pay for memberships here?????????? oops i meant the sea of freebie accounts. Memberships are only a little fish in a big sea full of non paying accounts.

  75. Bad Bobbysocks says:

    I have no idea what the technical differences are between a 4 and a 5 but having owned both from a user point of view there was no discernable difference. the new class 5 has crashed atleast 3 times in a matter of a month the old class 4 certainly bettered that. Avatar numbers for events etc ..no difference the 5 certainly doesn’t seem anymore lag resistant when alot of avs are present.

  76. mant says:

    yes i hear you… but its still a significant number and really they dont have to lift a finger to recieve this extra money…

    i dont know the numbers but ok we have 10million residents id estimate that around 1-3 million are premiun so do the math on that? id love to know the actuall numbers of free accounts vs premiun.

  77. U M says:

    id love to know the actuall numbers of free accounts vs premiun………………

    They never post those number, because they are to busy telling everyone those incorrect totals.

  78. Kitten Radio says:

    I still would say, by far the best tool that we could ever be given is a personal sandbox to build in, in which we can then upload to Second Life from. Its use as an actual tool to avoid the pesky disconnects that people so frequently have while scripting, which in turn destroys possibly hours of work would be extremely beneficial, atleast, as a work around for the current issues SL currently has when it comes to such.

    But then again… I doubt thatd be implimented for years, if at all.

  79. Digital Digital says:

    Why does mainland whole sim tiers remain 195/month , and those are class 5?

  80. mant says:

    i belive with mainland sims u dont get estate managment tools this is probably why.

  81. Olish Yalin says:

    About Open Sourcing the simulators and servers, would you work to be compatible with the OpenSimpulator project ?

  82. Proxima Saenz says:

    100 USD to switch??
    When does LindenLab ever has enough money, geez..

  83. Ryu Darragh says:

    Al rants and rhetoric aside, what I am simply curious about is, how does this affect rollout of HAVOC4 ? Will the new physics engine run at least as well on the older Class 4 machines as on the Class 5 or will there be a noticible difference ?

  84. Broccoli Curry says:

    Someone give Zee a poke and ask if there’s any more development on releasing ‘low prim sims’ individually? Many people need space but not prims, and I’m quite sure you’d actually make more money by people buying land, if land was cheaper.

  85. mimi says:

    Buying a SIM is like gambling.. you never know if they will all of a sudden raise tiers for whatever (so called legal) reason and your stuck with a sim you cannot afford anymore!
    Just like with the VAT disaster, where LL over night took lots of tier dollars extra from peoples credit cards without warning them in advance or giving them time to sell their island if they couldnt pay the extra money. People who own more sims were charged hundreds of dollars extra unexpectedly…either had to pay or sell their island way below the price to get rid of the much huger tier. in both casesit means they lost lots of money. LL knew ages in advance they considered charging VAT.. but never took the effort to warn any of us even the slightest bit… they just took the money.

  86. Lucius Templar says:

    Does this mean that as long as you remain Class 4 – you will remain grandfathered at 200USD? Or is this a preparation to increase the tier fees all around as has been planned for a while? (If I have to pay 300USD a month for class 4s I would probably expect a free upgrade to Class 5 then)
    If it’s all optional, I think the 100USD fee to switch is fair enough – I’m sure there’s a labour cost to switch the server.

  87. Elizabeth Winnfield says:

    Well done Q Linden. Fantastic to see such intelligent responses to issues raised in the blog responses from a Linden. It made it much more interesting to read the responses. Fantastic!

    The object representational/sharing problem from open sourced (and non Linden controlled) servers exchanging object descriptions with Linden servers, and the associated implications is something I had not considered.

    The more I think about it, the more that becomes a really fundamentally complex problem. It suggests that what is needed is an abstraction of the final object to be shared rather than the object itself or even an encrypted envelope (which will just invite brute force cracking). One only has to visit the various 10L warehouse shops to get an idea of the potentially devistating effect to commerce of a systematic cracking of object protection.

  88. janeforyou Barbara says:

    You all may want to look here :
    Exempt supplies
    Exempt supplies are business supplies other than taxable supplies on which VAT is not charged.

    Examples include:
    • selling, leasing and letting land and buildings (but not lettings of garages, parking spaces or hotel and holiday accommodation). See Notice 742 Land and property;
    • insurance;
    • betting, gambling and lotteries (but not takings from fruit machines);
    • providing credit;
    • certain education and training;
    • fund raising events by charities;
    • subscriptions to certain membership organisations;
    • the services of doctors and dentists;
    • and certain services from undertakers.

    This list is not exhaustive and further information regarding exempt supplies can be found in the Customs and Excise’s Notice 700 The VAT Guide.

    http://www.startinbusiness.co.uk/flowchart/8flowchart_vat.htm

  89. kenny Stringer says:

    What i like to know is were the new Sim auctions as promissed ??

  90. Hazno Bazno says:

    I’m curious… I was flying aroung the other day and came across a long string of islands called, appropriately, Galapagos. There’s like 10 or 15 sims strung together and the majority of the land was unused though it was offered for sale (though the buyer would still have to follow a very strict covenant so it’;s not really for sale).

    If these sims are $295 per month then some sappy loser is paying LL up to $4,425 per month just to have a series of vacant islands. Somehow thr logic there seems, well, illogical.

    Either someone is getting shafted or else someone is lying about charging $295 per sim. I think concessions are being made because no matter what one tries to tell me, you’re not going to convince me someone out there is paying over $4,000 per month for a whole series of sims and more than half of them are not in use – use for kicks and giggles.

  91. I still don’t understand the switching. Do yo uhave to have a Class 4 AND a Class 5 sim and you can SWITCH them? or Can you have one of each and have one upgraded or one downgraded? What is the point of switching a Class 4 with a Class 5? Please clarify. Thanks!

    ~Maddy

  92. Moll Dean says:

    WOW
    We realy have rich people here. I will love to receive some donation at my parcel…

    I realy can not figurate this very well. If you buy a island (sim) you are not buying one server just for you. One server can hold untill 4 sims.
    Even if you buy 4 sims that would be the price for 3 servers at any computer store close to you. even than this hardware DOES NOT BELONGS TO YOU. You can not give up and request your hardware to be delivered to you. They will clean it up and resell for piece in one.

    I would see LL in a more professionaly way if they could switch ALL SERVER TO CLASS 5 and TIE FOR US$ 150.

  93. This is to all those who feel that LL overcharges everyone, is ripping people off, providing horrible service, etc. and to those the predict the imminent demise of SL:

    If it’s possible to do it better and/or cheaper, why hasn’t someone done it already? If someone has done it already, why is everyone staying here? If it’s so very lucrative and LL are raking in the cash, why doesn’t someone else set themselves up to get a piece of that pie?

    Fact is, unless I am missing someone, nobody has. Why not? There’s certainly enough greed out there to go around. So the only conclusion I can draw is that either it isn’t as easy as everyone would make out, or this model isn’t a “raking in the cash” business model that can make everyone a millionaire overnight.

    Sorry if this sounds harsh, but if it’s too expensive for you, you are welcome to stop paying it, and find an alternative, or just stop altogether.

    If competition comes along, LL might just review its business model. Until then they are charging what they feel the market can bear. In other words, a standard business model.

  94. Hazno Bazno says:

    If later on I decide to no longer want to pay for my sim do I get to keep the server? I mean, I paid for it, right?

    lol… It’s rhetorical, ok? I know someone out there is going to actually think I’m being serious.

  95. U M says:

    Well since most of the users are free accounts anyways “STOP PAYING” wasnt never part of their lives on sl………..To answer that Q.

  96. digest says:

    U M, i have a free account too, but i bring each month 100 euro fresh money in the game, just for tier of my land and tips for musicians and other things like shopping and so on and so on.

    but last time, it is much harder to find new things to shop for, almost found stolen things , they sell for less and the creators wont create anymore new stuff, because other people steal it from them.

    “””” IP Rights

    Linden Lab’s Terms of Service agreement recognizes Residents’ right to retain full intellectual property protection for the digital content they create in Second Life, including avatar characters, clothing, scripts, textures, objects and designs. This right is enforceable and applicable both in-world and offline, both for non-profit and commercial ventures. You create it, you own it – and it’s yours to do with as you please. “”””

    http://secondlife.com/whatis/ip_rights.php

  97. Moll Dean says:

    #95
    COPYBOTS everwhere my friend. LL Knows that very well but I don’t know which side LL is.
    Also multiple viewer is allowed… and you can make how many alt/min you want to. LL PARTY TIME?

  98. Noam says:

    Hey LL people, can you just make a table to show people what they are getting from switching from a class 4 to a class 5?

  99. Mykell Ackland says:

    Instead of spending time on luxury aspects of the game, what about fixing the bloody teleport!? What’s it been? 5 years? And you can’t even get the most basic aspect of the program sorted out!? 5 times I’ve tried to TP out of the sim I’m in and 5 times I’ve been booted from SL with numerous ‘SL appears to have crashed’ and a C++ error.

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  101. Realist says:

    I think what people are missing here is the simple fact that LL is a business. Its no longer a hobby, a few people trying to realize a dream. It is a now a source of revenue, and a considerably large source even by conservative calculations.

    They are not an evil entity. They are a business. Also, they are without competition. That gives them the right to charge ‘market will bear’ prices. What people are missing here is that LL is making money. People are paying these prices. The people that complain are mostly the people who cant afford those prices. But the reality is the majority must be paying these prices or else they would be lower. Simple economics. As long as people pay $295 per month (which is a car payment by the way) for a piece of virtual property that they actually have no control over, the Lindens will charge it. They will try to charge more at the next class upgrade. The idea is for them to find the ‘sweet price’, thats how ‘market will bear’ pricing works, maximizing revenue streams.

    Stop kissing their asses and stop tearing them down.

  102. U M says:

    Well a few people do it doesnt matter much doesnt it? Compared to the monies LL is bring in from commerical companies on sl right?

  103. Rene Erlanger says:

    There is a much wider issue most people are overlooking including Linden Labs themselves. I’d be surprised it LL has someone onboard right now with an Economist background who is well versed in pricing/ business planning & modelling as well as an awareness of the effects of the real economy.

    Yesterday, we had the single highest interest rate movement in the US for 26 years.!! What does that tell you? We already know that there’s a credit squeeze in the US right now due to the sub-prime…..all the predictions and forecasts show the US economy heading for a recession and not just short term either. This is not going to be a minor hiccup like before but more of a bumpy ride for several years to come….all the indicators show that including the slow down in the housing market, the slow down in the growth of employment, increased energy cost, increased national debt, weakening dollar, stagnant exports etc etc.
    Some doomsayers even talk of another Great Depression which i think is a bit extreme as there is less world wide dependency on the US Economy than there was in the 1930’s and there are mechanisms & instruments in place
    to prevent that.

    Well how does this effect SL?

    Well, if i were a betting man and even though US residents might only number around 30% of SL populace i would think they own at least 70% of the SIMs if not more.

    If the RL economy predictions are going to hit US households, people will have to be a lot more selective with what they do with their disposable income. I can assure you paying $195 or $295 a month for a piece of virtual land that doesn”t even function properly won’t be top of the list of priorities for many.

    If all of the above predictions hold true, we’ll witness a constant stream of SIM’s being sold off by U.S residents throughout 2008 (and longer) to free up some disposable income. It’s common sense really !

    Who are the potential buyers going to be? Well the next biggest group of potential buyers being able to afford SIM tiers……would be the Europeans! Ah yes, but they are already handicapped with that additional VAT!……..if for no other reason but making them less competitive in the land rental market.
    If US economy falls into recession it will impact onto some European economies too,… especially the likes of the UK which relies heavy on it’s Financial services as opposed to its shrinking manufacturing base.

    Well that just really leaves Australians and Japanese as potential buyers. I’m sure they could not furfill the entire void!

    So what i’m saying in around about way……Linden Labs next move should consider REDUCING Tiers from top to botton inorder to stimulate the SL land economy……not increasing it!

    If you have a full grid of land collecting reduced tier it might be more in total than a reduced amount of land at the higher rates (Yes, if desperation sets in, some people will simply abandon Sims if they can’t find a buyer…..or abandon smaller plots on mainland)

    Something they should consider very stongly, but LL have been short-sighted in the pass….so i won’t hold my breadth.

  104. Rene Erlanger says:

    As far as Game value is concerned……well yesterday, I crashed over 20 times simply because i could not camera around or walk! I’ve been using the same SL viewer for the last 6 weeks and had little problems before.

    Overall game performance is a STILL a real issue, unable to perform the basic functionality even. With that in mind…are LL justified increasing Tiers or passing even more charges to their residents? I think not.

    As far as other platforms coming onto VW market…….it will happen, they are being developed as we speak.

  105. Kerik Rau says:

    What is concerning to me is the 51.28% increase in tier compared to a class 4 sim when there seems to be no discernable difference between C4 and C5 sims. This is probably a major contributor to why the economy is stalling out combined with the sudden addition of VAT and the subsequent banning of banks out of the blue.

    The residents need time for change. When you enact senseless policies that affect the economy on such a large scale overnight without any warning whatsoever, you bring doubt to the investors and customers that are paying you. Please think through things, host conferences over sensitive topics so that people can be informed of where you are moving. Announce what your current plans are several months BEFORE they are implemented so the economy can ease into the transition.

  106. U M says:

    @102 its just not the American eco. Japan is much worse since it relies on the american buying power to spend monies. What makes me laugh is how LL believe that Japan will save them by promotoing sl as a porn type of Online game. Frankly speaking we in japan don`t have as much throw away income as same china or korea does these days. Those japanese paying island ads will not last long. If current levels of japanese buying power drops any father. Japanese business just don`t have the capita to spend in japan yen mind you and not American Monies. On a service that relies on the 10 million sum ( ok alts ) to drive their product to the next level. Its just not going to happen.

  107. Rene Erlanger says:

    Hi UM

    I wasn’t aware of the state of the Japanese economy.
    If you say is correct…..the whole situation is even more bleak!

    Linden Labs need to start number crunching and do the maths……the days of just charging anything to your Customer Base and expecting them to suck it up are closing fast!

    The numbers are completely mis-represented. You see the number 10 million bandered about…..how many of those are non-active accounts? How many are camping ALTS or just ALTS even? The 10 million number serves as a marketing tool and often referred to on websites.

    I wonder what the TRUE number of current REGULAR unique users are? Probably a couple of hundred thousand.!

  108. Gnash Rambler says:

    What are the specifics that are different between class4 and class5? Is this, a processor difference? a speed difference? I’ve heard a lot of rumors, but, have never seen a Linden state in the blog specifically what the difference is.

    I would be very interested in knowing the CPU types used, and, what sort of changes we could expect to see.

  109. U M says:

    Frankly speaking nobody likes depressing news or likes saying it. But the fact of thematter is those google stats are just ………..(Never Mind) you know what i mean or should i say VR numbers and not real Numbers. If I see real numbers that make sence i say ok i can believe half truth. But numbers that are……….”to make a person sick” just looking at them just is too much. If they need to cook the numbes as they say. Or play the funny numbers game atleast do it it the levels of belief of the lowest level of mind set of thinking. I did see a little change in those figure from the last google reports. But still they are unbelievable insulting. If i was a company looking to promoto a product or service i would try to read the read numbers and not the funny ones. Not including how they are promotoing the game in japan. a chatweb site called. fill in the letter T____P is a well known troll and under age and full of computer hackers in that chat room BB. So what does the PR LL team go out and do? They get them to buy a series of islands to promoto their chatroom web site. Now everyone in Japan know that place is full of underage western and eurpean people there. But they throw all the TOS out the window just to say themselves ” WOW we can boost our level of users base”. Now tell me this. How important are memberships ( to ll ) if they can get chatroom people that are manga geeks to play on sl for free?.AND IN AVIE bodies forms instead of text alone? Well Mind you there are some good people on that website. But most of them are under the age of 18 troller people and hackers. There you have it. Another way to promoto a game. Believe it or not.

  110. Pingback: Machinima for Dummies : Open-sourcing Second Life is more complicated than you might think

  111. Rene Erlanger says:

    Gnash – I ahve both Class 4 and 5 sims that are residential. In all honesty i have noticed any difference because of the low number of AV’s and lag hogging scripts on these SIMs. I think it starts to make a difference when its a commerical sim or sims with high traffic.

  112. richard says:

    i pay 10.00 just for the blog ,i like hearing people bitch !!!!!

  113. mant says:

    @90 that persons chain of sims are probably low prims sims, only an island owner may purchase these low prims sims, the low prims sims u get 4 for the same price as 1 reguler island with 15000prims, u will pay 295usd tier for the 4 low prims islands.

  114. Wayfinder Wishbringer says:

    @74: Bad Bobbysocks Says: January 23rd, 2008 at 1:17 AM PST
    I have no idea what the technical differences are between a 4 and a 5 but having owned both from a user point of view there was no discernable difference.

    Interesting point: when LL first came out with Class 5 servers, they stated publicly that the advantages were primary on the LL side: easier maintenance, less heat, less power consumption. They stated that customers likely would not notice a discernable difference between class 4 and class 5 operation. Myself, I’ve noticed no difference either.

    @75 Mant: id love to know the actuall numbers of free accounts vs premiun.

    A lot of us would Mant. LL has been asked REPEATEDLY to publish the number of paid accounts on SL. They have CONSISTENTLY refused to do so. Not hard to guess why.

    @84 Mimi: Buying a SIM is like gambling.. you never know if they will all of a sudden raise tiers for whatever (so called legal) reason and your stuck with a sim you cannot afford anymore!… LL knew ages in advance they considered charging VAT.. but never took the effort to warn any of us even the slightest bit… they just took the money.

    Most people don’t realize Mimi that European users pay $350 a month for sims instead of $295. I am curious as to when Linden Lab (stationed in San Francisco USA) became responsible for paying foreign taxes, especially for a non-tangible product. There may be legal issues I don’t know about, but… chee. $350 a month? LOL

    I said it long ago: Second Life is about the most unpredictable, unstable, and worst monetary investment a person can make. I enjoy the fun parts. I enjoy being a merchant. But “investing” in a sim? LOL. The only reason a person should ever do that is if they have money to burn and consider it a hobby. It’s by no means a “safe” investment, for several reasons, not the least of which are legendary LL “knee-jerk” arbitrary decisions. (Just speaking my mind. It’s their company… their future. Too bad their customers are so heavily vested in a product with a very shaky future. Might as well invest in Hog futures… knowing nothing about hogs).

    @92 Kalderi

    Your post was thoughtful and valid. But is missing a couple of things. Linden Lab got in on this before anyone else. That means they have several years head start. The reason no one else has done anything like this yet is because it takes TIME to do it right… and unlike LL, they’re not wanting to rush their product to market and earn a bad reputation.

    However, be assured, there are some 2 dozen projects out there right now in one form or another that are in anywhere from initial planning to alpha / beta test stage. One is China’s HiPiHi. Another is Open Sim. These are going to be major competitors.

    The reason people don’t just abandon SL is because they have too much vested in it. SL is addictive, and one gets financially involved before they realize it. A little here, a little there, buy a small piece of land, sell and buy a larger, then a larger, then you’ve got a sim you paid $1,250 for.. but wait… suddenly the fee jumps from $195 to $295 a month and that’s definitely out of your budget… and your marketing can’t pay for it any more so you have to start renting out land… and your private island isn’t so private any more.

    Lots more to all this than meets the eye. Other than that, you make valid points. But the fact is, the competition is just under the surface of the ground and is about to sprout. And when it does, Linden Lab may find their business model won’t be so easy to change. Why? Because by that time they’ll have ticked off, gouged and angered so many people, they’ll leave just to get away from the company (kinda like what’s happened to Sprint lately. Very similar business concepts. It’s an interesting financial/customer support study).

    @98 Mikell.

    Hear hear. One has to wonder why after so many years, we still can’t teleport from one sim to another with reliability (ie, without crashing). We also have to wonder why group chat… which at one time worked perfectly… is now totally borked and has been for months and months (despite users screaming about it). We have to wonder why LL doesn’t seem to have the programming skill to get a simple group notice delivered to all members in the group.

    SL can’t handle teleporting, group notices, and CHAT? That’s just sad. And we’re supposed to have faith in this company and system? Every time I hear LL say, “Yeah, we’re really listening and we’re really working to make things better” I have to laugh. I’ve been hearing that old tired line for years. All I see as a result is new toys, and degrading performance.

    @100 Realist: Stop kissing their asses and stop tearing them down.

    Well said Realist. However, I’ve come to realize one thing. LL seems to be like the stubborn mule. You have to hit ’em with a baseball bat before they’ll pay attention. They sure don’t seem to respond to polite requests. You are right, LL is a business, they’re making money, and people are [goofy enough] to pay it. Granted. But the title “business” doesn’t automatically exclude a company from trying to benefit the customer. Nor does it relieve responsiblity of a company to try and provide for their customer’s future instead of getting what they can NOW. The current LL model appears to be “Hang the future. Make the bucks now.” Pretty typical corporate philosophy. Trouble is, their customers will wind up paying for it.

    @102 Renee. If the RL economy predictions are going to hit US households, people will have to be a lot more selective with what they do with their disposable income. I can assure you paying $195 or $295 a month for a piece of virtual land that doesn”t even function properly won’t be top of the list of priorities for many. If all of the above predictions hold true, we’ll witness a constant stream of SIM’s being sold off by U.S residents throughout 2008 (and longer) to free up some disposable income. It’s common sense really !

    Bingo. Of course, this holds true for all forms of entertainment, but at least if I can’t go to see a movie this week… I didn’t invest $1,650 to help AMC open their doors. LOL. But yes, LL is heading for disaster in so many ways it’s astounding. The company has shown great resiliency so far and has turned a profit even. But they have also been extremely lucky. When one considers the number of people who actually own private islands on SL… that is a VERY, VERY small number of people relative to the entertainment industry population. SL gets a lot of press, but in the financial books it’s small fry. People spend billions and billions each year on entertainment, and in that field, SL is a tiny drop in a bucket. So unless LL gets very smart very fast, and gets in some programmers that know what the [blip] they’re doing… a lot of people are going to lose a lot of assets.

    @104 Kerik: What is concerning to me is the 51.28% increase in tier compared to a class 4 sim when there seems to be no discernable difference between C4 and C5 sims.

    Yup

    @106 Renee.

    Yes, the Japanese economy is major. Business analysts are very aware that if either the US economy OR Japanese economy takes a nosedive, the entire world economy will crash. Most Americans don’t know it, but the US is just as dependent on Japan as they are on us. Both stock markets are highly volatile and right now, highly questionable. The discussions about a recession are very, very real. And now, at this point, China has entered the scene. As more and more US businesses are relying on Chinese production… and China is relying on those businesses, what happens if Chinese currency drops, or US? That’s a 3-way ouch, a three way balance in which if any of those three sides gets messed up, the whole thing could come crumbling down. Not dire predictions or being gloomy. This is financial reality. You folks are 100% right.

    Now on the positive side… frankly folks, LL isn’t going to be the only store in the city for very long. Other companies are entering the market, and they’ll charge all the way from reasonable to cheap to free, depending on what people will want. When that happens, the LL investors will still have their hoard of gold they’ve gouged from the public. People can’t say they didn’t pay that money with both eyes open. And those who are fed up with SL will jump ship. SL might very well become a ghost town, or it may totally change in operation. Who knows?

    I do think it is interesting that in the above some 111 posts, the VAST MAJORITY have been very negative, predicting doom for SL, and have been pointing the finger of blame at LL. Now right or wrong, that should tell LL something. People are not only dissatisfied, they’re getting angry. They are worried about their investments. If nothing else, the above posts show that people do not trust LL as a company.

    Any way you slice it, that’s just plain bad business.

    I spoke of Sprint. A few years ago, Sprint was the hottest cell phone company on the market. So they copped an attitude. “This is how we do it and if you don’t like it, go somewhere else.” They stopped caring about the individual and got very greedy and “corporate tude”.

    A couple of years later, a national study was released on customer satisfaction in Cell Phone companies. Sprint was #2 from the bottom of the list. People hated them.

    Just read in the newspaper that Sprint business is way down, they are closing numerous storefronts and cutting out lots and lots of 3rd party vendors. Their stock has plummeted. I forget the exact figures, way up there to about $8 a share.

    The bigger they are, the harder they fall. I was a Sprint customer. I left and went elsewhere… as obviously have a lot of other people. As with LL, I wrote Sprint and told them what was coming. They ignored me and every other customer who voiced dissatisfaction.

    Right now LL is the only game in town. That is about to change. So what happens then. Do they think their customers will actually be loyal to LL, when debatably LL hasn’t shown an ounce of loyalty to its customers?

    That’s the issue of speculation. I am neither against LL or for LL. I just view and evaluate the situation from a professional standpoint, and I see two possible futures: LL wises up and changes their business method, or SL dies a rather quick and nasty death. A lot of others out there are seeing the same futures.

    The fact that I and others have told LL our predictions shows that we care enough to comment. Those who don’t care, don’t comment. So it’s in LL’s lap. I assure you, the customer has no control over SL’s future.

  115. bobbyb30q says:

    So what exactly are the benifits of giving up our discounted 195 a month tier if the main problem is SL as a whole and not the region??

  116. bobbyb30q says:

    @113 I completely agree with all your points. Its only a matter of time before LL collapses as another newer and better prepared player moves in. Its really quite a shame…but a simple glance at the official blog states the games current collapsing status.

  117. Pingback: » Linden Lab reageert op open-source kritiek » Second Life Crew

  118. Rene Erlanger says:

    113# Great post Wayfinder…..on the money! 🙂

    Bush and his NeoCons via the Fed Reserves lowered interest rates by 0.75% yesterday.The single biggest movement in 26 years! He also included a financial package which includes tax rebates or something to that effect (being European not sure if its a handout to taxpayers or a geniune rebate). Both are designed to stimulate the faltering U.S economy….it won’t because the fundamentals are too deep rooted and this action is too little too late, ….but thats a separate discussion.!

    With that in mind LL do have some leeway time to adjust, and should follow their Govt’s lead to stimulate the SL Land economy and the economy in general. The only viable option is to reduce their Tier system from top to bottom so bring back more people into play to either rent or buy land.

    Aside from that, i would love to know how many millions of Lindens were lost yesterday as a result of the official day for SL bank closures. All of that has yet to factor into the SL economy.

  119. Thunderclap says:

    You people forget how much LL actually pays. So lets see, You would need a Business class internet account to run a web server.
    Time warner : max down 5 mbps max up 768 kbps (on website) $100 to 200 a month
    Comcast: won’t list price but http://www.comcast.com/MediaLibrary/1/1/Business/images/SMBWebHostingService.gif
    shows that you need the commerce level to not have bandwidth caps. And this is web hosting accounts.
    Cox: max data transfer is 60 Gbs
    This covers the big boys:
    Rackmount.com 299 a month special
    Rackmounthosting.com will give a spot in COLO colocation for 199 but you supply the gear and the upkeep. But you get 1TB of bandwhich.

  120. Thunderclap says:

    Wayfinder: Pull your head from you anus. LL isn’t going anywhere. And which Opensim is nice, I link it to the open shards that existed in the heyday of Ultima online. When Opensim gets into the actuality of Internet traffic and service and support, it will discover exactly how expensive it really is. It isn’t just the bandwidth, its the uptime, the equipment, the hosting facility, the electricity, the cooling, the software and so on. all that cost big bucks. Blades are cheap. You need to program to set it up.
    This isn’t within the ability of most island peeps.
    This is why SL has no competition of merit. Because of cost and upkeep. This is why their will BE no significant competition until something changes.

  121. Hazno Bazno says:

    Let’s see… #118 said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “blah blah blah blah”

    You can toss “facts” and figures all over the place but the FACT is we really don’t have a clue. LL refuses to be as transparent as they claim they are and they certainly don’t seem to be in immediate peril of bankruptcy any time soon.

    Yes, they are a business who needs to earn a profit but also yes the moment a competitor comes into the ring with realistic pricing I will be gone.

    As I stated earlier in this thread, I transfer between 7 and 10 gigs of data every 24 hours using my home cable net connection hosting three domain names and that is costing me a flat $39 a month and has been since the middle of last year.

    Facts and figures are relative. We really don’t have the slightest clue how much LL pays for their bandwidth, hosting and other expenses and we never will. Thus trying to side with them in their agonizing attempts at paying their light bill does little to encourage any sympathy from me. Especially when I pay them a nice hefty chunk of change every month (a car payment) just to mess around.

    Yes, I choose to pay it, but I can afford it. But WHEN a competitor comes along and charges half the price for more of the value, you can bet I’ll be on with them in a heartbeat.

    Like any addiction, I need my virtual reality fix but I’m also a junkie who will recognize a good deal when I see one!

  122. Farallon Greyskin says:

    Ok, there is one small user advantage to a class 5 over a class 4 sim.

    Class 4 sim ave “normal” script load of 1500 scripts max before time dialtion of the sim.

    Class 5 sim can have aout 3000 scripts running before you hit the same level of time dilation.

    However, is that worth an extra $100 a month? Probably not!

    Why WOULD anyone take up this offer? Where is the incentive? THe more scripts is nice but far short of $100 worth of nice.

    IF say, you only raised tier to $250 a month for grandfathered accounts, that would be an incentive…

  123. SL is in a constant state of transition. It’s a virtual space that attracts users looking for transition, but with unrealistic expectations; then, when they find the epitomy of transition, they complain that it’s transitioning…. afraid of change….. people can only withstand so much reality…. always in search of a better utopia…..

  124. Lenny Looming says:

    #122 Marc…

    the kind of rhetoric I’d expect from an attorney (or an attempt at making others believe you’re one of the “lawy-ers”) – especially when the link on your profile redirects to a SPAM page… Guess there’s an ulterior motive behind your interest in those affected by land bots, huh?

  125. U M says:

    Yes, class 5 and class 4 sims running at peak levels at active scripts do run at the same Dil levels yes. It makes sence that right? if eitehr level of class is maxed you are totally correct. It doesnt matter the machine the server is running on the end result is the same. Strange how LL doesnt care and tells everyone that the newer machines run scripts better at max levels.

  126. Dix says:

    Here’s a question for you:
    Is there a way to tell what class a sim has? If so, how?

    I’ve checked the About, but no obvious info there.

    Thanks!

  127. Wayfinder Wishbringer says:

    “Wayfinder Wishbringer: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Please don’t submit your comment more than once.
    January 23rd, 2008 at 4:52 PM PST ”

    Isn’t that interesting. Comment was submitted only once. Looks like blog is borked too. 😉

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  129. U M says:

    C?????????? which means class 4 and class 5 are equal…….

  130. Wayfinder Wishbringer says:

    Thunderclap, you leave 2 posts in a row, one of them quite insulting. Yet your posts contain a serious absense of fact. Perhaps before you denegrate other people, you might want to make sure you’re standing on solid ground.

    FACT: Time Warner Cable access, 6.5mbps download, > 1mbps upload, $39.95 a month. You can get that, digital TV and digital phone service with free long distance for under $100. Yes, you can pay a little more for a business class line if you wish. I would bet dimes to donuts that people currently paying $295 a month for a sim might be willing to drop to $39.95 (or even $75).

    ” its the uptime, the equipment, the hosting facility, the electricity, the cooling, the software and so on. all that cost big bucks.”

    FACT: People are already running initial-stage Open sim servers on single-core equipment with mid-level graphics cards, just to see if it works. It does. The report is that a dual core can run 4 sims without lag, and a quad core can run 16 sims. It’s all in initial stage, but it’s amazing how fast a sim can run when one eliminates the idea of separate asset servers and has the advantage of streamlined code by competent programmers.

    As for air conditioning, web server, electricity… LOL dude, people ALREADY have that. Yes indeedy, most Americans DO actually have electricity and air conditioning. And people have been running their own webhosts and servers for DECADES… ever since the early days of BBS. People know that running a server requires equipment, electrictity and AC. Automobiles require gasoline and oil too.

    It is predictable that when Open Sim is finally released, someone will have a step-by-step handholding installation guide specially meant for people who are not programmers.

    Agreed, not everyone will have the saavy to host their own Open Sim server. Know what will happen for those people? Open Sim host companies will appear (just as webhost companies appeared) dedicated to providing server space for Open Sim sims. Their hosting feels will likely be $95 a month, $49.95 a month… or even less, depending on the level of speed the customer desires.

    Do you believe the Open Sim people are amateurs? They’re the same kind of people that took over the internet… farsighted, skilled coders who wish to open up VR to everyone rather than having it continue under the very expensive management of LL.

    So Thundercloud, you’re entitled to your opinion, but it’s usually best to base that opinion on reality. Before telling others to pull their heads out of their backsides, you might make effort to become more well-informed.

    You may be right; LL may wise up and pull their fat out of the fire. If so, more power to ‘em. But if you think it’s impossible for them to fail, you really haven’t paid attention to corporate history. Radio Shack, Texas Instruments, IBM are all major examples of those who started things on the ground floor and lost the majority of their market to others in the industry who were smarter and less expensive.

  131. U M says:

    Well rembers a storage products company named “MEMOREX”? Do you remeber how they started their company? The stole two Semi trucks full of IBM highly classified data……Well there goes that theory…….

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  133. Ranma Tardis says:

    The way to deal with Linden Labs costs is to get rid of the free accounts. Make everyone with a few exceptions like lifetime accounts pay to access second life. Linden labs storage costs and bandwidth costs will come down by a measurable amount. What is 9 dollars American to someone in Europe? Perhaps have a smaller fee for a “basic” account perhaps 3 dollars American. This is not a lot of money, we all have to pay the basic amount than perhaps the sims amounts can come down and SL can start to earn a profit for its owners.
    Things went downhill when LL opened the floodgates with free accounts, someone has to pay for them! There is no such thing as a free lunch and no such thing as free accounts, someone is paying for them!!

  134. Ric Mollor says:

    Then end of free accounts?

    Linden Labs cannot end free accounts any more than the local mall can begin charging admission at the door. The primary customers of Second Life are the landholders and to place a penalty on admission to the ‘game’ would cause a decline in the demand for revenue generating land. Additionally, many other ‘social worlds’ offer free admission so creating a barrier to entry would put Second Life at a competitive disadvantage.

    If anything, Linden Labs needs to control it’s costs and lower prices. They have made the architectural mistake of tying a region to a processor and are faced with the burden of running servers that have little or few users. Even during times of peak useage it is easy to find many sims that are unoccupied.

    A company that can create a world without this waste will have an immediate competitive advantage over Linden Labs.

    There are frequent comments in this blog from individuals claiming to make a RL living from their Second Life activies. Those customers should be DEMANDING a clear roadmap of the future feature set of Second Life and Linden Labs plans for it.

  135. U M says:

    Ric is correct They will never remove free accounts. Thye are just too important to LL and their selling point. I don`t like Free accounts but what are you going to do about it? They are here to stay like it or not. Control cost? Someone said a few days ago the amount of monies LL is taking in 1000 sims they have online. Not to speak of the kickback monies they get from ad driven islands……

  136. Wayfinder Wishbringer says:

    re free accounts, sim setup and LL bottom line.

    At last I heard, LL has over 10,000 sims, ranging from $195 to $350 a month in charges. Some people are also upset that some sims are bogusly using “non profit status” to reach a tier status of $150 a month… when the group is definitely not non-profit. It’s all bogus and political, as would be expected.

    In addition to the above 10,000 sims, they have the (consistently unpublished figure) number of paid accounts, for which they charge between $72 a year and $9.95 a month. Add to that the rental of smaller plots of land, which are far more expensive en total than full sims.

    Yeah, LL is raking it in. No doubt about that. The estimate has been made of $4 million a month… and that’s MINIMAL. Likely, it is at least half again that much or more.

    As for free accounts. Hey, I’m a free account holder. I love it. But at the same time, I agree that the major problems on SL started when they opened up SL to “email only” registration and stopped requiring credit card (or debit card or bank account) verification. That was a major snafu done just so they could artificially inflate their user numbers and attract big businesses to the grid. It hurt SL in general and was (imo) an unconscionable decision designed for the benefit of LL and throwing their paying customers to the wolves.

    As someone mentioned above, there is no such thing as a “free account”. SOMEONE is paying for it… in this case, the paid members and private island folks. Monetary issues aside, the entire system is paying for it. Those free accounts do take up system resources.

    As for the way SL is laid out… there’s nothing wrong with tying a sim to a server. There’s several ways to do anything, and this is as valid as any. But the trick is to make sure all the servers communicate with one another properly, to make sure the databases are constructed correctly and accessed correctly, and that the asset servers are put together logically and actually work. It’s making sure the code isn’t spaghetti and works efficiently… apparently all of which are not the case with SL. My guess is that if SL were plumbing, we’d be hip deep in water.

    There’s no doubt at this point that we are going to see some major changes happening over the next year. These will either be good or bad. SL with either survive, or it won’t. It may grow (if LL has any sense at all) or it may grind down to a ghost town (more likely, considering past performance and management).

    My immediate observation is that a company that can’t get simple GROUP CHAT right, that’s can’t figure out how to get a Group Notice deliverd to all members in the group, doesn’t have much of a chance when the competition hits. We’ll see.

  137. Max Desoto says:

    Wayfinder, why do you consistently post into the blog your incorrect and unsupported assumptions?

    1. Nobody pays LL $350/month for a sim. At most, they pay LL $295/month, and the EU $55/month for VAT. LL does not keep the VAT!!!

    2. There were, in December 2007, 93,219 Premium accounts. If you look at http://secondlife.com/whatis/economy_stats.php there is a link to Key Metrics, which show monthly totals for Premium accounts. These numbers are consistently published every month or so.

    Now, I will be the first to agree that LL should NOT be pushing the 11 million total residents number, it’s a clear fabrication with no relation to the number of people who actually use SL. The correct number is the Active Users, which stands at around 519,000.

    A little research will go a long way to answering your questions, this info IS posted through the blog on a regular basis.

    As for your “Facts” about cable internet service, the services you reference all have restrictions on bandwidth utilization:

    http://www.twc-nc.com/road_runner/info/terms.cfm
    “Subscriber acknowledges and agrees that Time Warner Cable shall have the right to monitor the “bandwidth” utilization (i.e. volume of data transmitted) arising out of the Service provided hereunder at any time and on an on-going basis and to limit excessive use of bandwidth in order to effectuate these provisions and other terms hereof.”

    So comparing home cable internet service to a company supporting over half a million regular users is a red herring. The circumstances are not even close to being the same. Maybe you could host your own little sim on your cable connection, but you not if you expect a lot of visitors.

  138. Wayfinder Wishbringer says:

    @137. Max “Wayfinder, why do you consistently post into the blog your incorrect and unsupported assumptions? Nobody pays LL $350/month for a sim. At most, they pay LL $295/month, and the EU $55/month for VAT. LL does not keep the VAT!!!”

    Get real Max. Your picking at straws doesn’t alter the fact that people ARE paying $350 a month for sim. Now whether that goes to LL or to a foreign tax registry has little to do with it. They are paying $350 a month… while others are paying $295… 195…even 150. Those are the facts and that’s the point that was being made.

    Re # of premium members:
    OK Max, again a reality check. I spoke of numerous users asking IN THESE BLOGS for LL to provide the number of premium members. They didn’t reply. They didn’t provide a link.

    Now, after searching the Key Metrics link you provided (an obscure link on an already obscure webpage), deciding on whether I want XMS, Open Office or Google Data format, and grunging through several areas of data… hey, there it is, under the heading of “Premiums” (LOL). At this time, there are supposedly 93,219 premium users. Hey, that’s the figure all right.

    But you know what that isn’t? It isn’t LL direcly answering repeated requests on these blogs from numerous users, to tell us how many premium users there are on the system. Wading through tons of obscure web pages is not LL being responsive to user inquiries. That’s kind of like a newspaper printing a retraction, in microscopic print, in the 4th second of the newspaper. Glad you knew where that info was. Most people don’t. And that’s the point that was being made… LL being unresponsive to user requests and user needs.

    What I did find was:
    Residents Logged-In During Last 7 Days 466,326
    Total Residents: 12,097,756

    So as you pointed out, that’s LL exploiting numbers. These figures mean that only 3.85% of the claimed “residency” has actually bothered to log into the system during the past week. (Which, if anyone has been following history demographics, is a major ratio drop from a year ago, and a tremendous drop from 2-3 years ago).

    That means some 19% of the users on SL are paying members. So I think the point is made. Despite the attitude, I do appreciate you pointing out where that information can be found. Now… why couldn’t LL be bothered to do that?

    “So comparing home cable internet service to a company supporting over half a million regular users is a red herring.”

    First, I am not comparing somone hosting their own sim to Linden Lab’s full operation of half a million regular users. I think that should be obvious to any rational, non-ranting human being.

    Second, your quoting a Time Warner licensing agreement has nothing to do with the reality of operation. The actual bandwidth to run a sim is relatively little (or did you consider that aspect?). LOL people likely use more bandwidth to download a hires streaming video. It’s not likely Time Warner is going to pull the plug on someone because they’re using reasonable bandwidth.

    Now, what were you saying about me posting incorrect assumptions?

    “The correct number is the Active Users, which stands at around 519,000.”

    Not if you used today’s current data… which shows as stated, 466,326 currently active users. If someone doesn’t log in within 7 days, I don’t consider that person “active”. He’s a tourist.

    But to get to the heart of this Max, the point I’m making in all this is that people are very dissatisfied with SL performance and the lack of LL responsiveness to problems. These things make the market ripe for competitor takeover. Have you two been reading the general attitude on these blogs lately? Do customers seem happy with Linden Lab? Have you read the posts from people saying they’re going to leave SL the moment a viable alternative comes along?

    Anyone who ignores all that deserves the upcoming rude surprise-that-won’t-be-all-that-surprisign.

    I’m not posting this stuff to badmouth Linden Lab. I’m posting it to comment on how customers feel, so LL can be aware of the reality of these things, and so that (if it’s even possible at this point) they can pull SL out of a very predicatble nose-crash into solid rock. However since they can’t even fix Group Chat given several months, I think they’re in pretty bad shape myself.

    Another fact Max: I’m not the only user making these points. Your rose-colored glasses outlook may be optimistic, but not very realistic. The only hope LL has right now is people pointing out the flaws to them so they can fix them before it’s too late. But frankly, it’s probably already too late.

    You know, some people died on the Titanic because they refused to believe it could sink.

    But as far as me making unsupported and incorrect assumptions? I think I have a pretty decent 3 1/2 year history of predicting the future of Second Life. How’s your foresight been going? 😉

  139. U M says:

    yes the ad paying islands are paying over 300.00 per month. Now you know wherew al the support people are attending to instead of the little guys. Don`t be a fool think If companies are paying that much per month. Do you think they let the go with the same amount of crappy no service like the do for the little guys………. Alot have changed since my almost 3 1/2 years on sl. ANd its not all good

  140. Wayfinder Wishbringer says:

    I agree U M. Sounds like we’ve both been on SL about the same amount of time (I joined when SL had about 5,000 paid subscribers, 25,000 total residency). During that time, I’ve seen a lot of nice toys appear, some of them interesting and nice (local lighting) some of them really great (HUDs), some of them nice-but-laggers (flexis and sculptys). But overall, I’ve seen a general serious degradation of performance and some major, major glitches that are not at all good (the failure of group chat for several months now without resolution being at the top of my snit list, closely followed by Group Notice failure).

    A possibility I foresee with LL is that they keep charging through the nose for LL because that’s what the market will bear, and the bugs and flaws will pretty much continue (mainly because LL has proven they can’t seem to debug). That doesn’t make friends, it doesn’t create loyal customers, and in the end… will cost them thousands and thousands of users no matter what they do (when some people get fed up, there’s no courting them back). Nevertheless, when competition does show up (and it will, bigtime) LL will either hang on to its current market strategy, relying on the people either too heavily vested in their system (or too stupid) to jump ship. Another possibility is that they will gradually lower price as the market requires for competitive advantage.

    It’s a lousy, user-unfriendly way of doing business. It’s making profit God and putting bottom line ahead of customer loyalty and satisfaction, but that seems to be the self-serving philosophy of corporations these days. The day of “The customer is always right” is long gone, and has been replaced by “get mine now, however I can get it, and hang satisfaction and reputation”.

    “May you live in interesting times.” I think in the VR world (and to tell the truth, RL as well), the next year or two are going to be very “interesting times”. 🙂

  141. U M says:

    Oct 2004 13,000 TR at the time ( if those stats are correct…..) I not sure about the direction we are to arrive at on sl. But with open source and how things are changing in terms of a Gummi bear sits on a hot plate. Scares some poeple.
    Nice comments!!!!!!! 🙂
    Usagi

  142. Oceanna Shannon says:

    Here is something that will probably have a few wanting my head. But change me for something I want and can use. I’d gladly pay a one time $75-100 USD fee to have both my sims placed on the same server.

    I know what my sims do, and it would be that much less a chance i am paired with some script/prim heavy adfarm or combat sim.

    anyway…just a thought.

    OS

  143. coventina dalgleish says:

    Some Thoughts

    First: there is a marked difference between a class 4 and a class 5 server. Use the tools to make the comparison. Walk around a maxed out class 4 then try the same on a class 5. If you do not know how to look at stats have someone show you. The class 5 has considerable overhead in comparison to the class 4 resulting in a much smoother experience.

    Second: Putting the bottom line first is the most important thing Linden Lab can do, if not you will be back to on line chat for your entertainment.
    No matter what the actual active user base is it is considerably more than when I started a time when the concurrence was 1800 to 2500

    Of course it does not cost them $1200 per year to upgrade a server. How many of you run businesses here and charge what some consider too much for items you have created. Some buy them some don’t it is a choice.

    Third: Every blog on every game I have ever been involved with brings the chronic whiners out of the wood work. This blog does have many more salient posters than most. But, still the uneducated and uninformed have an equal ability to bitch here.

    Forth: I have done my share of complaining here also but this seems to be an equitable method of allowing those who desire better performance a solution. Oh yes, I was paying the 195 tier but decided to sell that island and buy a new one for the performance. So the decision is yours no one is shoving it down your throat.

  144. U M says:

    “Third: Every blog on every game I have ever been involved with brings the chronic whiners out of the wood work. This blog does have many more salient posters than most. But, still the uneducated and uninformed have an equal ability to bitch here.”

    Does that included yourself?

  145. Tracy Welles says:

    Bottom line is, this is a marketing scheme. There is no such thing as a class of a server. The only class is what Linden puts on it. If Linden isn’t going to give out the exact hardware specification / information so it can be digested to see if the move is worth it, your simply buying a shoe box hoping it contains shoes. To my knowledge, Linden has yet to disclose any information about the server hardware in detail. They expect you to purchase the box and hope you get a goody.

    As mentioned above, no one should have to pay for any hardware upgrades anyhow. That is their responsibility.

    But if you want to buy a shoe box and hope for shoes, more power to you.

    –Tracy

  146. Dallas Seaton says:

    #130 Wayfinder Wishbringer:
    “But if you think it’s impossible for them to fail, you really haven’t paid attention to corporate history. Radio Shack, Texas Instruments, IBM are all major examples of those who started things on the ground floor and lost the majority of their market to others in the industry who were smarter and less expensive.”

    Well, IBM is currently 15th on the Fortune 500 list, revenues last year were a little over $91 BILLION, and profits were almost $9.5 BILLION, up 20% from the year before. Texas Instruments is also listed on the Fortune 500, and is the second largest semiconductor company in the world – second only to Intel. Their revenues were just under $15 BILLION, and profits were about 30% of that revenue number, at over $4.3 BILLION, up 87% from the year before. As examples you’re using of “failures” for SL to learn from, that’s pretty hilarious. I’m sure it would be beyond their wildest dreams of success if LL ever got to even 10% the size and profitability of these dreadful “failures” of companies.

  147. Tracy Welles says:

    Another note while I’m thinking about it. I was told that there are 4 sims per server. In which case, if you only purchase one sim at the outrageous price they charge, you are not even getting a dedicated box.

    Think about that for a moment. You purchase a sim, pay all that money, and you don’t even have a dedicated server.

    If this is the case and 4 individual sim owners can be placed on the same box, you have no control whatsoever as to know whom on the server is creating all the lag. The only way to do this right is purchase 4 sims and make sure that you are the only person on the server. Then you know you are the person in charge if making sure the sims are not lagged. Any other way and you’ll never know whom might be lagging the server. Only Linden would.

    Looking for the day OpenSim mesh integration is offered.

    –Tracy

  148. coventina dalgleish says:

    Sure UM , if you care to assign that title to me I have no problems.

    But to slip back into the complaint mode. One would think that after 9 years of coding the people of Linden Lab would have solved some of the more simple problems. One I speak of tonight has been around on a repeat curtain call since I have been here. The auto unlink bug that happens when you edit a linked part and remove its link to the object and the entire assembly de-links. If they can not fix the small things there is little hope for the over all structure. They try and impress with the big items yet the small problems are hidden under the rug. Until there is a management in place that has a presence or the fortitude to dismiss the incompetent staff there is not much on the horizon for a stable platform. For three years now I have heard the rumors of competition and have yet to see anything that compares with the concept of this game. One might suspect that it is more difficult than it appears on the surface. As to the comment about them wanting to do it right. It is impossible to create something as this with out massive user input. What looks good on the drawing board often does not prove out in the real world. Therefore a large participating user base is a requirement for a functional game. I would just like some of the repeating small irritating problems corrected. It seems like ,if they keep notes, no one reads them from patch to patch.

  149. U M says:

    “Well, IBM is currently 15th on the Fortune 500 list, revenues last year were a little over $91 BILLION, and profits were almost $9.5 BILLION, up 20% from the year before.”

    They are not even close to be what they use to be years ago……Since now they are outsourcing alot of their internal workers.

  150. Dallas Seaton says:

    “They are not even close to be what they use to be years ago……Since now they are outsourcing alot of their internal workers.”

    Sorry, but you simply have no idea what you’re talking about, when you say “they are not even close to be[ing] what they use[d] to be years ago” based on any REAL stats and measurements you want to compare. The stock is trading near an all time high (the all time high was within the last few months), last year’s profit was at an all time high (on revenue down slightly from the all time high two years before) and employee headcount has increased every year from 1994 to the present, with the exception of a drop of slightly under 4,000 employees in 2002 – to a count of 355,766 employees at the end of 2006 (2007 numbers are not out yet.) All that sure doesn’t sound like “not even close to being what they used to be years ago” does it??

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