Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
joesmith89

SL is very complicated for beginners

Recommended Posts


joesmith89 wrote:

i would like to join but can't use all my time to master it.

Not recommended for anyone looking for an easy experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings, joesmith89

Yes, you are right. SL is very complicated for beginners. For ALL beginners. And some people will find some things are easier to learn, but all with struggle with something.

I almost gave up with Second Life during my first two weeks.  It really did feel very difficult and time-consuming. However, things started to fall into place, and I found myself having so much fun, met the right people I guess, and one became my mentor. 

SL still feels complicated sometimes, but for different reasons.

Only you can weigh up whether you have the time to master this new-to-you pastime/hobby/interest. 

Its important to remember though that no one can learn everything in one day, and unlike when you learn to drive a vehicle, at least you don't have to sit or pay for a test ;)  . 

There are tutorial videos available over on youtube which helped me a lot.

https://www.youtube.com/user/Secondlife/videos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suggest that you wait until Linden Lab releases SL Version 2.

It's bound to be easier to use than the current software.

If it ever sees the light of day.

And if it works.

Don't bother learning Linux in the meantime though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The high learning curve has been cited many times as the reason why many new people leave. Fixes have been tried in the past but... what you see now is what you get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SL can't be to easy that it wouldn't be fun anymore!. But there are a ton of videos on Youtube to help begginersif they have the patience also depends what viewer you use if its not the linden labs viewer then it probably would be hard to get used to i remember i had to get used to firestorm when i switched over.

 

in some ways it's easiar now then when i joined SL cause now you can buy freebies off marketplace unboxed unlike when i first joined and when you got freebies as a noob you had to find good sandboxes or rez areas on sims to unbox stuff if you could find them in search and knew what they were

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see a lot of people defending SL's difficult learning curve, but the sad fact is, SL's interface and tools suffer from exceptionally poor design. Difficulty stemming from such design issues does not enrigh the SL experience in any way and is, in fact, the root of most of the common complaints shared even by SL's staunchest supporters.

 

 Maybe, rather than shouting down criticism of SL's problems, understanding those issues and putting pressure on LL to actually address the problems, might be more beneficial to everyone.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if I would start SL today i give up quickly..its confusing with the official viewer.

Thats why i suggest to all beginners to learn with a third party viewer like Singularity..much more logical and easy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd take it further: I'm not sure it's fixable without significantly constraining what current SL users consider essential flexibilitiy.

I'm specifically talking about avatar customization, which has become many times as complex and confusing as it was when I started in 2006. The new SL user today will start with an avatar that simply cannot be meaningfully customized using the avatar customization interface built into the platform. Indeed, many of those customization controls, once important, are now utterly useless for the vast majority of avatars in use. (When, for example, was the last time anyone wore a skin that could be tinted?)

This needs to be fixed in SL2, lest that platform never gain enough acceptance to matter in the market. And the fix must be to disable the vast majority of ways the current SL avatars can be customized.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There will be no "SL2", anyway. Maybe the newmainstreamthingwithoutanameyet has avatars and works in 3D. But this does not imply any similarities to SL beyond the fact that both use pixels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Qie Niangao wrote:

[snip] ...  And the fix must be to disable the vast majority of ways the current SL avatars can be customized.

I believe this is the path that other 3D-like virtual worlds have followed, constraining the Avatar modifications to fairly tight ranges so that most everyone looks slim, trim, fit and ready for a fashion shoot. It does simplify the rendering workload by quite a bit, and it also massively simplifies the creation of fashion and clothing items. In fact I believe most of those other platforms have very tightly constrained their tools for creating one's appearance.

But this is one of the things that I think helps to generate the dynamicism of SL. The ranges are wider, the variations more varied, and the tools available to create are more base-level. This naturally tends toward the creation of vastly differing items, fashions, clothing, accessories, etc. The natural follow-on then is an ability to support and maintain a viable market in user-created items. It is only because there is such a massive range of the possible that the user-to-user financial system buried within SL can sustain itself. In other VW's the range of the possible is so tight that near saturation is attained within an impossibly short amount of time.

At least .. imho anyway .. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I gave up on the official SL viewer when they came out with the 2.0 version.  I am currently using Singularity and find it is still an excellent viewer with all the bells and whistles I require.  Whenever I have to use the o I find it cumbersome and it sucks all the fun out of SL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Qie Niangao wrote:

I'd take it further: I'm not sure it's fixable without significantly constraining what current SL users consider essential flexibilitiy.

I'm specifically talking about avatar customization, which has become many times as complex and confusing as it was when I started in 2006. The new SL user today will start with an avatar that simply cannot be meaningfully customized using the avatar customization interface built into the platform. Indeed, many of those customization controls, once important, are now utterly useless for the vast majority of avatars in use. (When, for example, was the last time anyone wore a skin that could be tinted?)

This needs to be fixed in SL2, lest that platform never gain enough acceptance to matter in the market. And the fix must be to disable the vast majority of ways the current SL avatars can be customized.

I agree that controls that no one uses anymore should be removed.  I don't agree that people should be constrained in how they customize their avatar.  It's half the fun for some people, the main way people express their identity, and a lot of what drives the retail economy.

While not the most important attribute of SL for me, I like that I am as unique in SL as in RL and that no other avatar looks exactly like me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Qie Niangao wrote:

I'd take it further: I'm not sure it's fixable without significantly constraining what current SL users consider essential flexibilitiy.

It most certainly, and without any doubt, is. Many of SL's design problems constrain flexibility.

Let's take the appearance editor for example. 

Whenever you want to create a personal shape you are given a single starting shape to work with. No matter what bodytype you have in mind, you always start from the same point. I would change that so that when you created a new shape you would start by selecting from one of several generela bodytypes. This would allow people to start closer to the bodytype they're aiming for which would make things a whole lot easier.

I'd take it a step further, separating head, upper body and lower body into separate items, all of which would be swapped in and out individually without affecting the others. Want to change from a skinny to muscular torso without losing your facial features? Or change your face without losing your body? I'd make that easy. And I'd make a basic interface which allows you to select from a variety of different presets for each part.

On top of that, the "new shape" LL starts you with is horribly misproportioned. Like the person who designed it was entirely unfamiliar with human proportions. I'd fix the proportions of the starter shapes.

 Now, a selection of presets is no substitute for the freedom you get messing with sliders, so I'd still have the sliders for more advanced shape editing. Once you used the more basic interface to get close to what you want, you'd be able to use the sliders for the more personal touch, except the sliders as we know them are horribly weighted.

 Did you know that it is impossible to create a correctly proportioned, adult human shape in SL without sticking to sizes between about 5' to 6'3"? You go outside that height range and it becomes impossible to have correct human proportions. LL limited the head slider and arm slider, especially for women shapes, so that you simply could not make them large enough. You cannot adjust the "Avatar Width" slider enough for larger shapes, either. At the short end of the scale, everything gets squished together in very noticable ways, particularly in the torso.

 All of which could easily be fixed by weighting to various sliders so that you are able to, at the very least, have correct proportions at the extremes. If you can have correct proportions at the extremes, you can have correct proportions anywhere inbetween. This would make it so much easier for people to make whatever shape they want at whatever size they want. And since the SL avatar can be anywhere from 4' to 9' tall, I'd push the slider weighting a bit further allowing for exaggerated proportions at those extremes, so people could create fantasy character shapes like hobbits, dwarves, giants and ogres.

 Speaking of size, I'd add a slider which adjust the scale of your avatar, so you could change the size of your avatar without being forced to completely redo your proportions and I'd correct the height displayed in the appearance editor. Yeah, it took LL ten years to add height to the appearance editor and when they finally did, they screwed that up and never fixed it. So the height in the appearance editor is wrong.

 

 Do you think any of those fixes would constrain flexibility? I'm telling you flexibility is constrained now ad fixing these problems would open up creativity the likes of which SL hasn't seen.

 


Qie Niangao wrote:

The new SL user today will start with an avatar that simply cannot be meaningfully customized using the avatar customization interface built into the platform. Indeed, many of those customization controls, once important, are now utterly useless for the vast majority of avatars in use. (When, for example, was the last time anyone wore a skin that could be tinted?)

That can all be fixed, too. Let's take the skin example, the "System Skin" as we call it sufferes from being a case of "programmer art". Programmer art is the art programmers put in as a placeholder until an actual artist replaces it with the final assets. Except LL decided to never hire artists to replace the programmer art. Replace the assets used to create a system skin and you end up with a system perfectly capable of delivering a great looking skin that can be adjusted and customized by the user.

And before anyone claims that would hurt the skin market in SL, which is absolute nonsense, I'd remind you that this would still result in one style of skin, and people do like their variety, which is why there are hundreds of people selling basic human skins and no amount of sliders could create that amount of variety and style. And just as there are people selling shapes now, there'd be people selling system skins, I'm sure.


Qie Niangao wrote:

This needs to be fixed in SL2, lest that platform never gain enough acceptance to matter in the market. And the fix must be to disable the vast majority of ways the current SL avatars can be customized.

I cannot disagree more. There are plenty of ways, beyond what I've described above, where avatar customization could be made easier for users while at the same time opening up creativity rather than constraining it. This completely nonsensical idea, that any way of making SL easier must also reduce freedom and creativity, needs to die.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know what needs to go away? Sculpts and multiple versions of mesh.

How many people are going to join SL and understand the difference between rigged mesh or fitted mesh?  This is a case of LL making SL needlessly complex because of short sightedness which lead them to implement of much needed feature poorly the first time, then scramble to try and fix their mistake later. Again, poorly.

 Sculpts versus mesh? Sculpts were a terrible idea from the start.

 

You want to know something else that needless confuses new users? The new starter avatars!

So a new user logs into SL and is forced into a rigged mesh avatar. A no-mod rigged mesh avatar. The only thing moddable is the shape, and since the avatar is entirely rigged with no fitmesh, the shape sliders are more or less useless. So any of the new user tutorials about avatar customization do not apply whatsoever to these avatars.

 Buy a new skin? It will not apply to this avatar. Bought system clothing? It will not apply to this avatar. Want to change your shape? Good luck!

 What was LL thinking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Penny Patton wrote:

Qie Niangao wrote:

This needs to be fixed in SL2, lest that platform never gain enough acceptance to matter in the market. And the fix must be to disable the vast majority of ways the current SL avatars can be customized.

I cannot disagree more. There are plenty of ways, beyond what I've described above, where avatar customization could be made easier for users while at the same time opening up creativity rather than constraining it. This completely nonsensical idea, that any way of making SL easier must also reduce freedom and creativity, needs to die.

Sorry, Penny, it's not just you who quite reasonably mistook my emphasis. I thought it was clear from the context of the rest of my post, but it wasn't. I meant quite literally constraining the ways avatars can be customized (the distinct mechanisms by which customization can be attempted), not the effects of customization. Even more specifically, having controls in the platform's UI that do not control an avatar as seen on the new user's screen -- that simply must not be possible. It destroys what UX folks call "discoverability" to such an extent that, seriously, user generated content that doesn't respond to such controls should not be permitted in the platform, period.

Obviously, then, the UI must itself be implemented more flexibly, but avatar-covering content must be constrained, too, in much the same way that TPV programs are constrained. And as much as those in the virtual rag trade will squeal like stuck pigs about how their creativity is being cramped, the end result is that folks will actually use the platform.

Because it's not theoretical. It's one of the first things anybody does in a new platform: customize their avatars. And they do leave the platform forever when that doesn't work -- and there are currently layers and layers of "not working" in the customization of SL's avatars.

Now, what follows is a tangent, and a rant, but it's related... and anyway, I can't stop myself. I recently made a purchase that I've since regretted more than any other during my eight-plus years in Second Life: I bought a mesh avatar. Now, had I read some threads across the street, I would have known that these things are just not ready for prime time, and that the only one that appears to offer a (marginally) acceptable male version is in fact universally reviled by all who have ever shopped there. (Obviously I can't name names here, although my recent post shows what specifically I'm ranting about.)

In fact, it's the inability to customize that mesh avatar which I find unacceptable. Thing is, this is the flip side of allowing creators complete flexibility in what they sell as avatars and avatar components: producing such content, they effectively diminish customizability, not enhance it. And in doing so they remove from the platform's user group -- the potential audience for their creations -- all but a few stubborn stragglers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any kind of mesh avatar in SL is a showstopper for newbies, rigged or not rigged does not matter. It´s something for the advanced user only,  who is willing to trade flexibility for kinda better looks (kinda, if 10 percent matter).

Mesh clothing attachments are close to the "newbie showstopper" status, although there are enough clothing attachments available which might fit the legacy shapes somehow. But even there, the requiremet of the inavoidable alpha layers, besides a number of other obstacles,  is puzzling enough for a newbie to give up on it.

Niot to mention the render and memory stress all these shinies load onto an average PC.

This is obvious, but it proves that LL basically gave up on a mainstream Second Life a long time ago and decided to focus the  attention on the dedicated crowd they have instead of gaining new customers. Avatar attachments were a major problem from the start, but as Penny mentioned, the problem has turned into a dead end street.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Qie Niangao wrote:

Sorry, Penny, it's not just you who quite reasonably mistook my emphasis. I thought it was clear from the context of the rest of my post, but it wasn't. I meant quite literally constraining the
ways
avatars can be customized (the distinct
mechanisms by which
customization can be attempted),
not
the
effects
of customization


Oh! Well, in that case I agree. Customizing avatars needs to be more straightforward, right now it's a mish mash of redundant, obsolete, and broken features. I just want to make sure we're all on the same page that this can be accomplished without limiting options. And, in fact, if done well, can give people greater creative control over their appearance.

Speaking specifically about mesh avatars, I have to wonder if it's possible for LL to make it so that mesh objects can use baked texture features, getting rid of the hack workaround of using multiple mesh layers to overlap clothing/tattoo/skin textures. That could potentially simplify things greatly.

 I'd also argue that any "SL2" would need an improved default avatar because that will always be the simplest option for users. Something with universal support and documentation. Something people can just dive in and use.

 

 I'd say the example you give for a no-mod mesh body making customization difficult/impossible is also a good example of why any "SL2" would be far better off if "no mod" were simply not an option for objects. Scripts? Sure! Objects, no. 

 SL's current no-mod mesh starter avatars also illustrate how "no-mod" serves no purpose other than to make SL itself less usable. Avatars which cannot be customized. No one has any interest in a social virtual world where they cannot control their own appearance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Penny Patton wrote:

You know what needs to go away? Sculpts and multiple versions of mesh.

How many people are going to join SL and understand the difference between rigged mesh or fitted mesh?  This is a case of LL making SL needlessly complex because of short sightedness which lead them to implement of much needed feature poorly the first time, then scramble to try and fix their mistake later. Again, poorly.

 Sculpts versus mesh? Sculpts were a terrible idea from the start.

 

You want to know something else that needless confuses new users? The new starter avatars!

So a new user logs into SL and is forced into a rigged mesh avatar. A no-mod rigged mesh avatar. The only thing moddable is the shape,
and since the avatar is entirely rigged with no fitmesh, the shape sliders are more or less useless
. So any of the new user tutorials about avatar customization do not apply whatsoever to these avatars.

 Buy a new skin? It will not apply to this avatar. Bought system clothing? It will not apply to this avatar. Want to change your shape? Good luck!

 What was LL thinking?

The new starter avatars ARE fitted mesh. Badly done fitted mesh but fitted mesh nonetheless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Hermione Lefevre wrote:

if I would start SL today i give up quickly..its confusing with the official viewer.

Thats why i suggest to all beginners to learn with a third party viewer like Singularity..much more logical and easy

Yeah, yeah, "Viewer 1 was so logical it was like it was condensed from the breath of angels."

I started with Viewer 2. I found it logical. When I tried Phoenix because I was told it was better, I found it to be a bizarre, illogical piece of crap.

You'll always find what you learned first to be the most logical way of doing things.

I recently heard a Chinese gentleman say that "Chinese is much easier than English" - most of the readers of the forum may disagree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Vivienne Schell wrote:

Any kind of mesh avatar in SL is a showstopper for newbies, rigged or not rigged does not matter. It´s something for the advanced user only,  who is willing to trade flexibility for kinda better looks (kinda, if 10 percent matter).

It doesn't have to be that way. This is a direct result of LL choosing to limit the functionality of mesh, or rather being very lazy about implementing mesh.

Did you know those of us who took part in the mesh beta had to fight tooth and nail to get LL to include any sort of rigged mesh at all? LL did not want to do it. The Lindens in charge of implementing mesh stated that they did not believe there would ever be any interest in mesh for avatars.

LL also did not want to fix rigged mesh with the introduction of fitted mesh. They only caved after years of pressure from the userbase and even then the Lindens in charge of it weren't shy about stating they felt it was a waste of time.

 SL's implementation of mesh is extremely flawed because of this attitude.


Mesh clothing attachments are close to the "newbie showstopper" status, although there are enough clothing attachments available which might fit the legacy shapes somehow. But even there, the requiremet of the inavoidable alpha layers, besides a number of other obstacles,  is puzzling enough for a newbie to give up on it.

Mesh clothing should be the simplest thing in the world. Again, any complications associated with it are a direct result of LL's poor implementation of mesh in SL. Mesh clothing should be the poster child of "plug and play" in terms of avatar appearance. Wear it and it should just work.

 

 


Niot to mention the render and memory stress all these shinies load onto an average PC.

I have to correct you here. Mesh is not intrinsically a large source of render and memory stress to the average PC. If anything, the introduction of mesh should have heralded the introduction of much more efficient content in SL. But here again, LL dropped the ball.

 With the introduction of mesh, LL changed from the old "prim limit" system of reigning in rendering stress to a much more reaslitic system in the form of "Land Impact". Two mistakes by LL crippled this.

 First, a huge source of render, memory and bandwidth stress in SL comes from texture use. If you want to see a huge framerate boost in SL, get rid of textures. I could take an entire sim and more than double my framerates in that sim by reducing the texture load. And if I were smart about it, I could do this with no visible drop in quality. There is so much waste in textures for SL content it's ridiculous.

 Mesh allows users to create far more faces to which they can apply individual textuyres, and because there's no restrictions on texture use or any easy to understand shortcoming to using as much texture data as you please, many content creators load up their mesh creations with a downright obscene amount of texture data.

 If Land impact took texture use into consideration, and applied a huge increase in the LI cost of an object if it used a lot of large textures, we would have all seen a huge performance boost in SL with the introduction of mesh.

 

Second, avatars have very loose restrictions on resource use. Just like with rezzed objects, textures are not restrained at all. In addition, there is nothing like "Land Impact" for attachments. Your only restraint is a 256LI cap on any single attachment. But you can wear up to 38 attachments. This means a single avatar can wear more than half a sim's worth of content.

 With the introduction of mesh and Land Impact, LL could have implemented a similar resource cap on avatars. Just like objects only switch from prim cost to land impact costs if mesh or materials are involved, an avatar with no mesh or materials could have gone on just as always, no affect to legacy content, whereas if you wanted to wear mesh you'd find yourself working within a capped amount of resource use.

 Here again we would have seen a huge boost in performance, and the resource caps wouldn't have to be so severe as to restrict creativity, just encourage more optimization. It is EASY to optimize content, content creators simply lack any inclination to do so.

 Here, for example, I've put together a detailed roleplaying avatar with a draw weight only slightly over 35,000.

pasiphae - big hair - 35827dw.jpg

If LL forced content creators to be more efficient in this manner, it would be easy for anyone to put together an avatar every bit as detailed as anything you see now, while keeping their draw weight under 20,000.

Imagine how well SL would run then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Theresa Tennyson wrote:

The new starter avatars ARE fitted mesh. Badly done fitted mesh but fitted mesh nonetheless.


It's a fair cop. So they are, my mistake. Still, the shape is all you can modify with these avatars, and even fitted mesh is restricted in how the appearance editor works. (And it shouldn't be.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...