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Misayame

Open Lecter to Linden Labs: the plague of AFK hangouts

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I am addressing this lecter to anyone in the Linden Labs who could read and perhaps do something, please upvote this post if you agree!

 

Hello, i am the proud owner of a respected adult club in the grid, with its own remarkable traffic and visitors. A pub, to be exact, because SL is meant to be social, and what place is more social than a lively tavern?

Yet year by year, we all cannot deny that the SL populace is slowly fading, less and less people logs in and prefers going elsewhere. WHY, you may wonder?

There are several factors but let me tell you about ONE kind of factor in particular that is literally destroying the concept of meeting point: AFK Hangouts. What are they? Simple. They are places , mostly adult themed, in which one goes there mostly for sexual interactions with other people who are AFK, they just "park" their avatars there and do absolutely nothing. Yet such places have the highest traffic in many cathegories. This not only goes against what SL is meant to be, but it also discourages new people to join the community for seeing such places are taking over the grid. What is the meaning of allowing such places hide in the shadow those who tries their best to keep the community alive and social? Dont you realize this is also why SL is slowly being abandoned? I, with my little place, stand against these places welcoming every guest with a smile, talking to them, playing with them, and there are many other little realities out there who does the same.

Please LL, help us making the grid a better place for all of us who sees SL as what it was first created for. Help us getting rid of something as nonsense as AFK hangouts.

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FYI, there are many threads about AFK places (mostly about AFK s*x places).

Long ago, AFK places would give free L$ once in awhile - ostensibly to help increase traffic. It’s my feeling that the new places are an “evolution” from that.

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And are you ok with that? Knowing they are killing the main purpose of SL? I was not aware of such posts, but i felt the need of letting my voice be heard as this is something i find unfair, and LL cannot ignore the loss they are suffering in primis

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I have suspected for the last few years that 75 to 80% of the concurrent (logged-in) population at any single time are all BOTs - and when I say "BOT" - I am indeed referring to AFK campers. The only "AFK Hangout" places are the AFK Sex spots. And just as your Pub or Tavern (OP) is "respectable" there is no doubt the purveyors of these other places you complain about also feel themselves as "respectable.

Also know as: Moot point.

The grid is all AFK-campers, a.k.a. "BOTs" (because they are often logged in through a "light" console-based client and not a full viewer.) I have one of these apps and can easily run up to 20 to 30 AFK-Campers at once from the same computer and still have enough power and bandwidth to log into my main with minimal lag. And that was like 6 or 7 years ago, I can only imagine it's gotten even easier and more doable nowadays.

Edited by Alyona Su

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55 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

I have one of these apps and can easily run up to 20 to 30 AFK-Campers at once from the same computer and still have enough power and bandwidth to log into my main with minimal lag. And that was like 6 or 7 years ago, I can only imagine it's gotten even easier and more doable nowadays.

Had NO IDEA!  ^^

I actually enjoyed my camping days but that was long, long, LONG ago LOL.  And I was there for the most part :D. 

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1 hour ago, Misayame said:

And are you ok with that? Knowing they are killing the main purpose of SL? I was not aware of such posts, but i felt the need of letting my voice be heard as this is something i find unfair, and LL cannot ignore the loss they are suffering in primis

Well, if they are not participating actively and socially, it’s their loss. However, if they are “bots” (see above), then they don’t represent individual users anyway.

It doesn’t bother me as I explained, because I see it as an extension of the old “camping”,

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Yes, long ago... "Camping Chairs" everywhere. What was it? L$2 an hour? LOL The app was called JVA Bot - I still have it, though haven't used it in quite some time. I should fire it up just to see. I don't see why it wouldn't work (at least partially, I know L$ exchanging and stuff will be broken, but login and camping should still be a no-brainer). :)

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9 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

Yes, long ago... "Camping Chairs" everywhere. What was it? L$2 an hour? LOL The app was called JVA Bot - I still have it, though haven't used it in quite some time. I should fire it up just to see. I don't see why it wouldn't work (at least partially, I know L$ exchanging and stuff will be broken, but login and camping should still be a no-brainer). :)

3 for $10 minutes were the good ones :D. I like the guitar the best but there were some VERY inventive animated props that went along with things. Some places worked the activities into the sim so it looked REAL. Those were the most fun.  

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I thought linden lab banned all bot activity several years back? Or were they just doing the political thing and saying one thing while doing another?

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1 minute ago, Deann3 said:

I thought linden lab banned all bot activity several years back? Or were they just doing the political thing and saying one thing while doing another?

There are “legal” bots now. “Scripted agents”.

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10 minutes ago, Chic Aeon said:

3 for $10 minutes were the good ones :D. I like the guitar the best but there were some VERY inventive animated props that went along with things. Some places worked the activities into the sim so it looked REAL. Those were the most fun.  

Some of the most disturbing things I’ve seen with camping gives me nightmares still. Tiny, elf or critter-like avatars in cages..as if they weren’t people. I thought it was sick, but then again - look at the name I chose day 1, that helps explain why it bothered me so much. *goes to happy place*

Edited by Love Zhaoying

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2 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

There are “legal” bots now. “Scripted agents”.

And any money you like, they're the majority of SL's population. Probably also a contributing factor to the performance issues.Guess I'll be staying clear of AFK and camping sights from now on.

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25 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

“Scripted agents”

Wait, you don't think were all just plugged into some sort of..giant...no, it can't be..

 

5a9f14ab78ca1_scriptedagents.jpg.ae27b48c053368f2be15cc5a4898c4fe.jpg

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58 minutes ago, Deann3 said:

I thought linden lab banned all bot activity several years back? Or were they just doing the political thing and saying one thing while doing another?

Bots were never banned. I have 2 myself on 24 hours a day, although my server is powerful enough to easily spool up 20 or so.

What was banned was using bots to manipulate traffic. The rule is that if your bot is used in that manner you need to mark it as a scripted agent, so it's dwell isn't counted. If you are not manipulating traffic you don't need to mark it as such.

 

Edit: Here is the policy: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Bot_policy

Edited by Callum Meriman
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Yes, bots are Legal" now, albeit the owner is *supposed* turn on the checkbox on that account page that says it is a "scripted agent" - That way its presence doesn't count against traffic for the sim or parcel.

Now, read that again.

Knowing what identifying an account does regarding how it affects in-world traffic, how many of these "AFK BOT's do you supposed have that little check mark turned on?

/me rests her case. LOL

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3 hours ago, Misayame said:

 I am addressing this lecter to anyone in the Linden Labs who could read and perhaps do something , please upvote this post if you agree!

Though you've been in SL a while, you might not realize that the forums are not visited often by LL, regardless of how many Likes a post may have.

 

3 hours ago, Misayame said:

 help us making the grid a better place for all of us who sees SL as what it was first created for.

First and foremost SL was created as "Your world. Your imagination".  LL uses a very, very light hand inworld because of this.  Thus the folks that like AFK places are just as valid as you not liking those places. 

Despite my own opinion about AFK places, I can't think of any reason why LL would ban such places as they are not breaking any part of the TOS, best I can tell.  Now, any bot traffic there might be an entirely different thing (might).

Edited by LittleMe Jewell
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15 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

Knowing what identifying an account does regarding how it affects in-world traffic, how many of these "AFK BOT's do you supposed have that little check mark turned on?

If they are Bots and using Corrade, then close to 100% of them. Corrade by default will change the bot to scripted agent status each login. That can be disabled, but it's a hidden, and undocumented command that is erased each update.

I believe the other systems, like smartbots, do the same - and of course, a lot of the old bot software no longer works due to the login methods being changed recently.

I get the feeling though that a lot of people in the AFK places are not actually bots, but people who just push a second client over to the side and do other things. (Certainly that is smarter, the Lab seems to have the view you are 100% responsible for obeying the TOS while you are not there)

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I'm referring to the AFK camps - real easy to spot on map when 10 or 15 green dots are all stacked. TP there, Zoom in on any from minimap: usually 3 or 4K in the sky in some box. Mostly all default avies, though some are obvious player-alts. :)

Either way, how or why bots are so prevalent is a red herring, the real point being that number shown at login "45,000 Users online now!" is inflated by a factor of at least four - well, in terms of alert, thinking persons you can actually interact with Hahahaha

I like to think of them as all lobotomized zombies who are all brain-dead and drooling, which is why they are usually kept in a box to help prevent the mess.

OH! And @OP regarding the AFK Sex camps? The reason they are so popular is that most who camp there are praying then necrophilia-lovers actually tip brain-dead sex partners, so they camp there looking like... well, brain-dead wannabe sex partners (which some of that is eeew). I mean, I can only imagine having sex with an AFK camper would be like necrophilia, right? Bahahahaha!

Edited by Alyona Su

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10 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

I'm referring to the AFK camps - real easy to spot on map when 10 or 15 green dots are all stacked. TP there, Zoom in on any from minimap: usually 3 or 4K in the sky in some box. Mostly all default avies, though some are obvious player-alts. :)

 

Normally those places are not in search - mine certainly isn't - the bots are there and performing the service the owner needs. In my case my 2 bots sit at 80 meters and send out group invites, do group moderation, region restarts, rez-day announcements and so on.

The fact remains, Corrade and I believe Smartbots will always set the scripted status flag by default, so they are not counted in search statistics.

10 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

Either way, how or why bots are so prevalent is a red herring, the real point being that number shown at login "45,000 Users online now!" is inflated by a factor of at least four - well, in terms of alert, thinking persons you can actually interact with Hahahaha

Not by four, by one third. Europeans and Americans might not see it, but Aussies certainly see that number drop daily to 20K during our mid day when the rest of the world is asleep in bed. There are about 5K of us, so that would put the bot figure around 15K.

After those days where there is a crash you can also get a feeling it's about 15k as the bots are a bit slower to come back.

Heh, I recall in 2006 there was a raffle for the time that the grid would hit 2K concurrency. So a mix of 15K bots and 30K real people is fine with me.

Interestingly in my club I see two sorts of people, those who TP in and out and those who TP in and sit for 5 minutes and gather green dots. There are always people to interact with, you just need to stop teleporting and wait for them.

Edited by Callum Meriman
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I stay logged in 24/7(at least unless my internet goes down..). I don't afk at those afk places though, but I understand why they would.

I stay on all the time so that I don't miss notifications and should something important happen(eg: griefer attack), KDE forwards the dbus notification to my tablet which will wake me up.

I know email can do the same thing but it is sometimes unreliable and is harder to parse than network messages.

As for why I understand why people afk in the afk hangouts, why not earn a little bit of money while away? If it was simple camping I would say no(I classify camping as the owner directly promoting sitting in a chair where the owner is the source of income), but instead this is other residents tipping residents.

Personally I myself wouldn't go to an afk hangout due to the amount of lag due to over-polygoned avatars and also that they are target to griefed with crashers. I can't risk that as I have other stuff running in the background that i would prefer not to be locked up(GCC, emscripten, etc).

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8 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Is this supposed to be an “open letter”? Sorry, I DO know what a “lecter” is, and that just doesn’t fit.

Maybe letter, maybe lecture. Maybe a lecture letter about lettuce.

* Tugs on your tail for mentioning it.

Anyway, as the 5 word story mentions...

Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves
Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:
All mimsy were ye borogoves;
And ye mome raths outgrabe.

 

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5 minutes ago, Callum Meriman said:

Maybe letter, maybe lecture. Maybe a lecture letter about lettuce.

* Tugs on your tail for mentioning it.

Anyway, as the 5 word story mentions...

Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves
Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:
All mimsy were ye borogoves;
And ye mome raths outgrabe.

 

*moans at tug*

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7 hours ago, Misayame said:

Yet such places have the highest traffic in many cathegories.

If you club is in a Mature region, guests can turn the Adult filter off and no afk f-toy places will be listed.

If your club is in an Adult region guests can still go down the list and choose a place that isn't afk f-toy centric if they're not interested in those places.

What might be helpful is to have exclusion search terms like marketplace, such as "club NOT afk".

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