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Caemlyn Witherspoon

7 year Rant

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At the risk of being redundant, I am reposting last year's rant, as none of the things I ranted about last year have been fixed (LOL) LL is making my yearly rants easy. I cant just copy/paste/edit the prior one!

I have just celebrated my 7th year rez day on SL.

Thank you LL for giving me this incredibly wonderful place to be.
And TY for allowing me to rant on here once a year!
Last year I aired a rant and may make this a yearly thing!
Where do I start? The viewers are just nuts anymore. I have been here 7 years and can't figure out how to use them. I feel so very sorry for anyone new coming on and trying. I don't know the statistics but I imagine fewer and fewer have been coming and staying. And not that I blame them when you have to view a tutorial to even dress.
Phoenix had a fantastic idea! They created a very user friendly viewer and thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of people moved to it.
Then what happened?
Someone thought "Well since tens of thousands came here to get away from V2 and because they like the interface here - Let's make it like the viewer they came here to get away from! DONE! Now Firestorm is almost exactly like V3.
And group chat still does not work but we got FUI!
Instead of fixing what the people liked using and making sure it was working optimally, they give us shinies. "Chat not working? Here, have another new button you can push!" Lag unbearable, here is a new toy to use!"
SL got popular for a reason. People liked it! They liked what was offered. As time went on and we had more and more shinies and less and less of what people liked, people started to not come to SL as much.
It broke my heart to watch as we were handed more and more shinies and the things that enticed people to come, fall in love with SL and stay started to crumble and fall apart.
But thats ok! They gave us a new way to name avatars! The old way worked! People loved it BUT someone decided it needed changed.
I have seen many many changes in Sl and few have been as ill conceived as this one. I am expecting any minute to see 1234567890John1234567890 Resident. (and yes I know that many letters would not be allowed.) Sl goofed big time on this one.
IMO if people wanted their names changed, LL should charge them to change it.
Marriages ceremonies are one of the most lucrative venues on SL...hardly a week goes by that I am not invited to a wedding. Jane Doe marries John Smith...charge her to change her name to Jane Smith! Next week she marries Bill Brown...more money for SL! Don't like the stupid name you gave yourself? Charge them to change it!
We DO need new fresh ideas to maintain popularity and draw new people but please fix the things that made SL popular to start with THEN give us shinies!
In closing, thank you for reading my ranting and who knows, maybe next rez day I'll feel the urge to air my pent up rantings again!
Have a wonderful day in SL!

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V3-UI complicated? Seriously?
I show you, what is complicated:

ftdx9000d.jpg

And my little kitty brain has no problems operating one of these babies.
(Oh, and almost  each one of the knobs has more than one function. Not to mention the menu system...)

Concurrency is indeed going down, the statistics are available @ Gridsurvey, but if you would follow the international news,
you would know about the financial crisis and this affects SL as well. At the end of the day, there are more important
things than Second Life, things like rent, food and gas for the car.

The only point, where I have to agree with you is the last name issue. Doing away with the last names was one of the worst
ideas the Lab ever had.

However, changing the user name is not possible, as not all processes are UUID-based. Unless that is changed, name
changes will not be possible, as that would screw up a lot of things, including inworld purchases, money transactions and
content deliveries.

 

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You can make firestorm look and basically behave like phoenix did, then it won't be confusing or complicated.

That's what I do, I don't like v3 either.

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Linden Lab didn't make the Firestorm UI "almost exactly like V3". The Phoenix/Firestorm team did. Also, don't feel sorry for new users. The V1 interface was an ugly mess. The newer interface is much easier and more intuitive. The reason oldbies stuck with V1 for so long has to do with a couple of things.

First, the original V2 viewer really did suck. It was a poorly thought out mess. However, it improved a lot after the first six months or so and eventually became much better than the V1 interface. V3 is even better since it gives you full control over the toolbar buttons.

Second, since the V1 interface was such a mess, LL needed to move a lot of features around while reorganizing the menus. This is extremely frustrating to anyone coming fresh off of V1 after years of getting used to its meny layouts, even as bad as they were.

 

Linden Lab did vastly improve group chat at one point, then they broke it again when they raised the number of groups you can join. How are these things related? It has to do with the way group chat works. Group chat connects directly to every single avatar in the group, through every single sim that those avatars are in. That's right, so if any of those sims are experiencing lag, it affects the group chat. There's also all kinds of connection errors as the chat struggles to keep all those sims connected. Group chat didn't always connect to sims like this, in the far distant past group chat worked pretty well. LL also planned to completely redo group chat into a separate system, once again taking the strain off of sims, but the project was dropped, most likely in the mass layoffs that provided the punctuation mark at the end of M's stint as CEO.

 

Everyone wants lag fixed, but very few people actually want LL to do what they absolutely must do in order to fix lag. You want lag fixed? LL needs to add script limits to land and to avatars, preventing a single avatar or a single parce lof land within a sim from eating the entire sim's scripting resources.  LL must include the size and number of texture maps into land impact calculations, preventing people from slapping half a dozen 1024x1024 textures on everything. Texture maps are probably one of the single biggest sources of both lag and performance issues in SL. The vast majority of 1024x1024 textures used on avatars or objects rezzed inworld could be reduced to anywhere from 64x64 to 256x256 without anyone noticing. LL seriously needs to create a resource pool like Land Impact for avatars, preventing people from loading up on attachments using tonnes of texture memory and loaded up with polygons.

Untill all of the above is done, it is quite simply impossible for SL to "fix lag". It cannot be done. No one could do it. Resource use has a cost and must be managed to maintain performance. That is a simple reality to life, Second or otherwise. One reason LL does not do these things is the fact that they don't understand resource management (as absurd as that is), another reason is that whenever they have suggested adding more resource management there have been those in the community who have thrown a fit over the idea that they might not be able to use an entire sim's resources anymore.

 

Not everyone was satisfied with the way avatar names originally worked. Many people who joined SL wanted more freedom in choosing their name rather than being tied to a surname list. Also, many assumed you could change your avatar name after joining, since this is common elsewhere. Unfortunately SL usernames are hardcoded to accounts in a way that makes them difficult to change. Separating usernames from avatar names makes sense, since it frees people up to be able to change their name, correct typoes, and even added the freedom to make longer names, single names, middles names, titles, etcetera. In addition, the surname list system could not scale forever. LL couldn't use just any old name (I imagine they had to make sure the list didn't get them in any legal trouble every time they updated it, or they eventually realized it could get them in trouble). Towards the end, it was being updated very infrequently and the names were being taken up too quickly.

Still, I'd agree wholeheartedly that LL handled the change in name systems poorly. Usernames should have been swept behind the scenes, entirely hidden and replaced with display names, and there ought to have been more limits on choosing names and changing names (such as not allowing names to be identical or allowing people to change names as frequently).

At the very least, usernames should not be automatically displayed above display names in name tags, that's just dumb and was only done to placate irrational paranoia over the idea that people to disguise themselves as another avatar, even tho with usernames easily seen in IM windows, hovertips and profiles, you'd have to be extremely unobservant for that to work. By including usernames in name tags they only feed into the idea that usernames are an avatar's name and display names are just a titler. If someone has a display name of "John Jefferies", then it should not matter to you one bit if their username is 1234567890John1234567890. That's what they use to log in, not the name you're supposed to know them as. Resident isn't even a surname, it's a placeholder so scripts and outdated viewers can read usernames and nothing more.

 

Let's look hard at what made SL "popular" years ago. First of all, it was never amazingly popular. There was a time period arpund 2007 where it got a lot of media coverage and a lot of people tried it out, even during this boom period, SL's new user retention rates were abysmal.

Many of the people SL did keep during this period were people drawn by the idea they could make real money in SL. This was even the focus of LL's marketing during this period. 

SL provided online gambling at a time when online gambling was outlawed. Skirting the law with the idea that since the Linden Dollar "isn't worth real money" it didn't count as gambling.

The bubble burst well before display names ore Viewer 2. Why did it go bust? Largely because LL did not properly handle development priorities or presentation. Just as today, SL ran poorly on even high end machines, had a terrible amount of lag, could not support more than a handful of people in a region before performance issues became unbearable. Also, repeating from above, the build tools were incapable of more advanced features but also lacked the ease of use necessary for casual creators to build interesting and good looking content. The scripting side of SL failed to provide the tools to make engaging, interactive content which meant SL was incapable of ever having a "killer app", the content necessary to draw people in and keep them coming back. On top of it all, the idea that you could make "easy money" in SL didn't pan out.

The gambling ban (which was out of LL's hands) and bank unsustainable bank schemes also, for better or worse, pushed a lot of people away from SL around this time.

 I do agree that LL's priorities are messed up, they've made a LOT of mistakes over the years.They continue to make mistakes. Their mishandling of the mesh release, which could have solved a LOT of SL's issues and pushed SL back into the spotlight, was so bad I doubt they can recover from it. I also doubt that they understand just how much of a missed opportunity that was so I don't expect to see their handling of SL to improve any time soon.

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