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Secondlife declining player base

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Not seeing anything in that image that says SL is a video game. It talks about playing games in SL and says SL is an online virtual world. Only Google tries to label it a video game. If you're going to just take Google's word for it... that is foolish.

Because Google treats "Virtual World" as a genre, so Secondlife is competing against other games like Minecraft, and VR. Which they are.

Mine craft is  a Virtual world where you can experience endless possibilities and host your own sim. 100 for a homestead? Nah, they got you covered use your own router connection and you can own a small bit of land for free.

https://www.lifewire.com/best-virtual-world-games-840474

Edited by Haselden
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That's nice kiddo - now can you try comparing apples to apples?

No need to bother - you're a one trick pony.

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11 minutes ago, Haselden said:

Because Google treats "Virtual World" as a genre, so Secondlife is competing against other games like Minecraft, and VR. Which they are.

Mine craft is  a Virtual world where you can experience endless possibilities and host your own sim. 100 for a homestead? Nah, they got you covered use your own router connection and you can own a small bit of land for free.

https://www.lifewire.com/best-virtual-world-games-840474

 

Even Active Worlds as old and dated as it is is far better than building with nothing but cubes in Minecraft. And you can host your own 'worlds' on your own pc that come in... wait for it... different sizes!

I've been in virtual worlds and building in them for 25 years. Long before MMOs ever started allowing building, much less allowing any and all players to upload content. I do know wtf I am talking about.

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8 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

 

Even Active Worlds as old and dated as it is is far better than building with nothing but cubes in Minecraft. And you can host your own 'worlds' on your own pc that come in... wait for it... different sizes!

I've been in virtual worlds and building in them for 25 years. Long before MMOs ever started allowing building, much less allowing any and all players to upload content. I do know wtf I am talking about.

That's the only reason why Lifewire said 

  • "Best for Creation: Second Life at Secondlife.com, “Highly realistic graphics that make each of its wide collection of vibrant and imaginative destinations a captivating experience.”"

Other then that whats king is Minecraft for the Virtual World genre. Also, actually long ago you could do the same thing on Second life for hosting your own sims. But Linden Labs went autist saying people were stealing its property.... Thus OpenSim and Second Life Divide was born. Honestly, I'd go play Opensim for free land, and supporting C# coding. However, the marketplace over there is unsupported, and no way really to make a buck on Opensim. Opensim, should honestly make its own Virtual World product instead of piggy backing off SL because it's not helping what their trying to do at all. It's like SL and Opensim have completely different goals, but Opensim has way better ideas for the audience and not getting supported.

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6 hours ago, Haselden said:

That's the only reason why Lifewire said 

  • "Best for Creation: Second Life at Secondlife.com, “Highly realistic graphics that make each of its wide collection of vibrant and imaginative destinations a captivating experience.”"

Other then that whats king is Minecraft for the Virtual World genre. Also, actually long ago you could do the same thing on Second life for hosting your own sims. But Linden Labs went autist saying people were stealing its property.... Thus OpenSim and Second Life Divide was born. Honestly, I'd go play Opensim for free land, and supporting C# coding. However, the marketplace over there is unsupported, and no way really to make a buck on Opensim. Opensim, should honestly make its own Virtual World product instead of piggy backing off SL because it's not helping what their trying to do at all. It's like SL and Opensim have completely different goals, but Opensim has way better ideas for the audience and not getting supported.

Highly Realistic Graphics? In what world does SL have Highly Realistic Graphics? It literally looks like a game from like the early 2000s. And it still does. Even if you put your windlights at ultimate, it's not as good graphics wise, of other games today. See that is what I don't get, they praise SL for having Highly Realistic Graphics, but clearly they have low standards to what good graphics are.

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8 hours ago, Haselden said:

That's the only reason why Lifewire said 

  • "Best for Creation: Second Life at Secondlife.com, “Highly realistic graphics that make each of its wide collection of vibrant and imaginative destinations a captivating experience.”"

Other then that whats king is Minecraft for the Virtual World genre. Also, actually long ago you could do the same thing on Second life for hosting your own sims. But Linden Labs went autist saying people were stealing its property.... Thus OpenSim and Second Life Divide was born. Honestly, I'd go play Opensim for free land, and supporting C# coding. However, the marketplace over there is unsupported, and no way really to make a buck on Opensim. Opensim, should honestly make its own Virtual World product instead of piggy backing off SL because it's not helping what their trying to do at all. It's like SL and Opensim have completely different goals, but Opensim has way better ideas for the audience and not getting supported.

When exactly was this article written?  There are or were probably other "virtual worlds" games. That have much more advanced and more sophisticated graphics systems, than SL.

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22 minutes ago, halebore Aeon said:

When exactly was this article written?  There are or were probably other "virtual worlds" games. That have much more advanced and more sophisticated graphics systems, than SL.

By Alex Williams Updated July 08, 2019 so quite recently.

I think hes just rewarding the creation spot to Second life because of the fact it's one of they only products that let you upload your own mesh. A lot of the creators on second life do some pretty impressive work. However, I don't think SL can get any other type of praise than that. The viewer still runs pretty bad where high pop areas expect your GPU 80-90%. Then when idle can be anywhere between 40-70 when using.

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10 minutes ago, Haselden said:

By Alex Williams Updated July 08, 2019 so quite recently.

I think hes just rewarding the creation spot to Second life because of the fact it's one of they only products that let you upload your own mesh. A lot of the creators on second life do some pretty impressive work. However, I don't think SL can get any other type of praise than that. The viewer still runs pretty bad where high pop areas expect your GPU 80-90%. Then when idle can be anywhere between 40-70 when using.

But even then, the creators are confined to a certain texture quality. So you won't see 4K textures at all, and one creator told me they had to find a work around, by layering, to achieve this within that constraint. Which does take a huge hit on your GPU, because you have to load in these hefty textures. Whereas other games, you don't have those constraints and rendering is so much better. So to say that the graphics are Highly Realistic, is rather false. There are mods in Skyrim and Fallout 4, with better texture and model quality.

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7 minutes ago, halebore Aeon said:

But even then, the creators are confined to a certain texture quality. So you won't see 4K textures at all, and one creator told me they had to find a work around, by layering, to achieve this within that constraint. Which does take a huge hit on your GPU, because you have to load in these hefty textures. Whereas other games, you don't have those constraints and rendering is so much better. So to say that the graphics are Highly Realistic, is rather false. There are mods in Skyrim and Fallout 4, with better texture and model quality.

Yeah, the creators are getting smart to make their stuff look better but at a cost of lag. I really don't think it's the creators fault. Linden labs at some point needs to just fix their viewer build to support 4k.

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19 minutes ago, Haselden said:

Linden labs at some point needs to just fix their viewer build to support 4k.

that would help lag - not help avoiding lag...

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31 minutes ago, Haselden said:

Yeah, the creators are getting smart to make their stuff look better but at a cost of lag. I really don't think it's the creators fault. Linden labs at some point needs to just fix their viewer build to support 4k.

They just really need to rebuild SL from the Ground up, this Archaic engine is kinda showing it's age.

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7 minutes ago, halebore Aeon said:

They just really need to rebuild SL from the Ground up, this Archaic engine is kinda showing it's age.

they kinda did - it didn't go well :D

 

 

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1 minute ago, Fionalein said:

they kinda did - it didn't go well :D

 

 

Yeah let's bring Sansar out to the Backyard and like old Yeller put it out of its misery. Lol. But on a more serious note, maybe have the community, who knows how to code. Build a better and improved SL. Because if they were to do it, everything that everyone has suggested. Would be implemented.

 

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9 hours ago, Haselden said:

That's the only reason why Lifewire said 

  • "Best for Creation: Second Life at Secondlife.com, “Highly realistic graphics that make each of its wide collection of vibrant and imaginative destinations a captivating experience.”"

Other then that whats king is Minecraft for the Virtual World genre. Also, actually long ago you could do the same thing on Second life for hosting your own sims. But Linden Labs went autist saying people were stealing its property.... Thus OpenSim and Second Life Divide was born. Honestly, I'd go play Opensim for free land, and supporting C# coding. However, the marketplace over there is unsupported, and no way really to make a buck on Opensim. Opensim, should honestly make its own Virtual World product instead of piggy backing off SL because it's not helping what their trying to do at all. It's like SL and Opensim have completely different goals, but Opensim has way better ideas for the audience and not getting supported.

Ok You've beat me over the head with your bull***** long enough. I'd tell you to enjoy your SL but it's obvious you not only don't want to be in SL you don't want anyone else to enjoy it either. 

In other words, you're too effed up in the head for me.

And if that gets me suspended again, I'll know your head is messed up.

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2 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Ok You've beat me over the head with your bull***** long enough. I'd tell you to enjoy your SL but it's obvious you not only don't want to be in SL you don't want anyone else to enjoy it either. 

In other words, you're too effed up in the head for me.

And if that gets me suspended again, I'll know your head is messed up.

How is this person messed in the head, or as you so eloquently put it effed up? Where is this person stating that they don't want to be in SL? Also in that same sentence. Where does this person say that they don't want anyone else to enjoy SL? You need to slow down on attacking this persons character. Your broad assumptions, that someone doesn't like SL, nor wants anyone else to enjoy it. Are absolutely preposterous, you are putting words in their mouth, and are generally offended that he even posted that. Please calm down, everyone has an opinion, and everyone thinks differently. If we all thought the same, or had the same opinion on everything. We would be absolutely boring as a species.

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Oh for... Their post history on this and similar topics speaks for itself to say nothing of their general attitude. 

You're a bit late to the party halebore. 

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12 hours ago, Haselden said:

Linden labs at some point needs to just fix their viewer build to support 4k.

It's not the viewer, it's the content. 4096x4096 textures wouldn't be a problem if there were only a few dozens of them as there are in a game. A single SL avatar can easily have as many textures as an entire game and complete SL scene may well have thousands of textures. There is no gpu in the world that can handle that many 4096's.

There's also a question of bandwidth. Even with a hefty 1 Gbps connection it takes 3-4 minutes to download a thousand 4096x4096 textures. With 100 Mbps it takes more than half an hour, with 10 Mbps, expect 5-6 hours and with 1 Mbps you'll have to spend a whole weekend to download them.

Now, go and check your connection speed and tell me if you still think 4096x4096 textures in SL are a good idea.

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Even highly detailed textures don't need to be 1024s. It looks better and is easier to work with in creating but you can get just as good results with 512s and in some cases the 512 looks better. 

Certainly, small items like jewelry don't need each bead/stone/link textured with a 1024 when a 128 or even a 256 is more than sufficient. 

As to the amount of lag the larger textures contribute to the overall lag of SL... I'm not so sure it amounts to as much as some people (not aimed at you Chin) believe. Seems to me SL would have ground to a halt for everyone including the Lindens if that were true.

I'm not saying they don't cause lag. They do, but, on the other hand, everything in SL causes lag. And the more there is of it, the more SL lags. And the harder LL has to fight to reduce that lag. 

Bit of a catch 22 situation there.

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24 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Even highly detailed textures don't need to be 1024s. It looks better and is easier to work with in creating but you can get just as good results with 512s and in some cases the 512 looks better. 

Certainly, small items like jewelry don't need each bead/stone/link textured with a 1024 when a 128 or even a 256 is more than sufficient. 

As to the amount of lag the larger textures contribute to the overall lag of SL... I'm not so sure it amounts to as much as some people (not aimed at you Chin) believe. Seems to me SL would have ground to a halt for everyone including the Lindens if that were true.

I'm not saying they don't cause lag. They do, but, on the other hand, everything in SL causes lag. And the more there is of it, the more SL lags. And the harder LL has to fight to reduce that lag. 

Bit of a catch 22 situation there.

I think the big issue of lag, is A the textures. But B is when you have a bunch of people in one small enclosed area, wearing everything under the sun. Jewellery, ears, and whatever else. That does add, up that is more items that your computer has to load in. To top it all off, some of these accessories are optimized worth crap. The old Mandala ears are pretty hefty in complexity. Just to name one thing. So really lag comes down to multiple factors, textures, the complexity of the object. Heck, your internet and computer also play a big factor into the lag as well. If you can't run a certain bandwidth, or your computer doesn't meet minimum specs, you are sure to get a tonne of lag.  So lag could be due to a multiple number of factors. I run a pretty beefy PC myself, and in some places. My computer has a hard time handling it.

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4096 textures would be awesome if used correctly to replace 4 single 1024s ... even if they were simply used as drop in replacements (because lets be honest, that's how we would use them half the time), it shouldn't be the end of the world.

SL textures are progressively encoded. You do not download the full texture at full resolution like you're used to with a browser. Images are fetched at progressively increasing resolutions as needed, this is why textures start out blurry. This is nothing forcing the viewer to fetch full resolution for everything everytime. BUT ... A tendency to crank up LOD settings to make up for poor content does undermine this and the current pipeline is junk less than ideal.

 

Currently textures are progressively downloaded to the highest resolution the viewer decides you need. If you run out of VRAM and stuff hasn't finished loading, the viewer bins a texture and reloads it from scratch. The idea behind this 'refresh' is that the texture might not be needed as large as the last time it was loaded. It obviously doesn't work at all as expected.

The cache stores the raw undecoded files. So when a texture is needed again, it gets decoded from scratch. As this tends to happen when SL has bogged your PC down badly, the reload loop is pretty obvious and textures appear to thrash. Decoding textures takes a lot of CPU time .. which starves your graphics card .. and everything gets slower .. and down the drain it all goes.

The overhead involved really pins the viewer in a corner, there is no point in writing better image handling code. At the moment it's needed most, everything is suffering so badly it's impossible to optimize and no one would notice anyway.

 

LL are working on a new cache that will store the decompressed textures, meaning you only decompress a texture the first time you see it, not everytime. This will bring a massive performance boost putting textures from disk to memory in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the CPU. In turn this gives a lot of wiggle room to try and be smarter about whats kept loaded and at what resolution.

Ideally, you could have any texture resolution you like. The viewer will only ever have enough loaded to keep what's on your screen at that instant razor sharp.

The whole issue with texture use and VRAM can be entirely solved with better code, at the expense of disk space.

Only, till we get the new cache .. no one can even start writing smarter code.

 

Reducing every conversation about performance to texture use is probably the least helpful thing do it.

Sub-pixel mesh detail is a much bigger problem and there is no hope of improving that though better code.

 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, CoffeeDujour said:

LL are working on a new cache that will store the decompressed textures, meaning you only decompress a texture the first time you see it, not everytime. This will bring a massive performance boost putting textures from disk to memory in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the CPU. In turn this gives a lot of wiggle room to try and be smarter about whats kept loaded and at what resolution.

This is good news, though wish they would go further with this and make it so that you can click a tick box in the about land or something to save just those decompressed textures for just that sim or avatar textures for just those on your friends list. This would mean that irrespective of whether you run out of your defined cache memory in settings, those sims and avatars are always decompressed and instantly load like any other game, with other sims that you visit once in a blue moon being part of the cache that gets reloaded.

In essence 2 caches. One for a favourite content that is always decompressed and the other for content that doesn't have the tick box selected. If this isn't done with the amount of tping people do in a day to different regions, even storing decompressed textures the way you describe Linden Lab as looking into will be no different to what we have now just instead of reloading every day you might get it every two days.

Edit: Also to add further to this and to stop somewhat the amount of blurry textures on loading into a new zone, I don't think people would mind if the teleport screen stays on a little longer, sort of like a load screen. This would certainly help in reducing the break in immersion when tping to a new zone. Could also have it so that each region could have its own little loading screen while it loads that is part of the region settings. Far better than a black screen with a load bar.

Edited by Drayke Newall

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The new cache will just keep everything decompressed as far as we understand .. this will require substantially more disk space for the same amount of textures vs the current cache. I'm looking forward to just getting a cheepo ~$25 128GB SSD and giving the whole thing over to SL.

The current cache is also really dumb. Obvious stuff like keeping your home / last location just isn't a thing.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, CoffeeDujour said:

The new cache will just keep everything decompressed as far as we understand .. this will require substantially more disk space for the same amount of textures vs the current cache. I'm looking forward to just getting a cheepo ~$25 128GB SSD and giving the whole thing over to SL.

The current cache is also really dumb. Obvious stuff like keeping your home / last location just isn't a thing.

Yeah, though having 2 separate caches like I mentioned would still be good as it will help reduce the disk space usage so 4 gig for the favourite destinations and 2 for the once in a blue moon cache or whatever.

Very few will go buying new HHD's just for a second life cache. If Lab just do it as one big cache with now larger textures its not going to be any better than we have now as people will still have a set cache size that will constantly reload.

It will just end up as another Linden Lab meme of having no foresight. 

Edited by Drayke Newall

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Texture decode from disk performance is such a hit, that under the right conditions it can actually be faster to to have no cache at all.

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2 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

Texture decode from disk performance is such a hit, that under the right conditions it can actually be faster to to have no cache at all.

Yes, yes. I just installed LL, Kokua, and FS viewers on a new iMac and the defaults are 1024 for LL and KK and 2048 for FS. Though people tend to crank those up. Same for Bandwidth setting (LL default: 500 and it rezzes FAST for me at that speed.)

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