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Scylla Rhiadra

Where I Hang! Best Places to Live in Second Life

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So, The Economist has recently come out with their newest "Global Liveability Index," which ranks cities around the world by how "liveable" they are, using a variety of criteria ranging from cost of living to safety, amenities, and culture. I was delighted to see that there are (once again) three Canadian cities on the list, including my home city:

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/worlds-most-liveable-cities-2018/index.html

Obviously, the criteria that we might apply would be different in SL, but I thought nonetheless that it might be fun, and maybe even informative, to invite people here to "rank" their own home community in Second Life. I've come up with the following criteria, all of which are inevitably going to be highly subjective of course. For instance, your idea of a "good" community might be neighbours with high fences who leave you alone; alternately, you might (as I tend to) highly value your interactions with your neighbours.

You can apply those which seem applicable (not all will be, probably), and add any of your own. I weighted each of these equally, and used a number out of 10 (with 10 being the highest), which I then averaged out.

  • Aesthetics -- How attractive is your home region/sim? This should apply not merely to your own abode, but to the sim as a whole. Location might be a factor: does the sim have a waterfront, for instance?
  • Community -- How would you rank the community of other people who live in/hang out in your region? Are they friendly, outgoing, engaged, community-focused? Are they involved in community events and activities? As noted above, highly subjective: you may value your privacy, in which case low community engagement would rank high.
  • Amenities/Infrastructure -- What sorts of cool and/or useful things does the sim feature? Are there beaches, chat areas, rez-friendly roads or waterways, and so forth? Is there a Linden road nearby, or other means of easily moving around? Also important: if you have a landlord, are they responsive, helpful, friendly, available, etc.?
  • Neighborhood -- By this, I mean adjoining or nearby sims and regions, rather than your immediate neighbours within your home sim. Do these work well, or clash with your own home community? Is there any interaction between neighbourhoods? Do they provide useful amenities or infrastructure otherwise lacking in your own home area? (If you are living on an island estate, this may not be applicable.)
  • Cost of Living -- How expensive is your home? This most obviously might include rent, or tier, but also possibly group fees.
  • Safety/Security -- How well "protected" is your region or sim from griefers, intruders, etc,? Do you have the ability to ban non-residents for instance. (I'm not sure how applicable this might be.)
  • Freedom of Movement -- Some people really value the ability to move around physically within their region, or into neighbouring sims and regions, via waterways, air travel, or roads. How easy is this to do? Is your region studded with ban lines and security orbs that make physical travel difficult or annoying?

If you employ a numerical ranking, and have added (or ignored) a criterion, tell us! Or just tell us more briefly and informally why you like (or dislike) the place you currently live. The more detail you add, the more likely this is to be useful to people looking for nice places to live.

Usual forum rules apply, of course: no naming and shaming, and no advertising your own real estate. (And please don't use this as an excuse to dis an old community: it's far more interesting and informative to hear about the positive things about the place(s) you live!)

I'll include my own ranking for my "home" below, in a separate post.

 

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Ok, so my own ranking.

I've only had a "house" in SL a couple of times, and only for brief times: my "homes" have either been the sims that housed my bookstore, or the Second Life Left Unity sim (an activist sim). Nowadays, the latter counts as my home: I don't have a house there, but I do have admin privileges, etc. Most importantly, it's a place that has lovely memories for me, and is very familiar and comfortable. And it does have some amenities: a pub, a performance stage and dance area, a bookshop, meeting areas, and so forth.

That said, its days as a "community" have largely passed (which is probably partially my fault, for disappearing for a long strength). So, here's my ranking of the SLLU Liberty Hub

Aesthetics: I quite like the "look" of the sim, which reminds me a little of a favourite Bohemian neighbourhood in my RL home town. But "pretty" it's not. Score: 6

Community: This used to be far and away the most important reason I loved the SLLU. Now, however, that community has largely dissipated, and, indeed, one section of the sim is now literally "abandoned" (although the build is still there). I may make some attempt to resurrect this community, but right now . . . Score: 2

Amenities/Infrastructure: Well, for all practical purposes, not much. The region is landlocked, and there really isn't much that adds to the quality of life. But then, of course, the sim was designed as a meeting place and community hub, rather than as a residential area. Score: 3

Neighborhood: I haven't explored the neighbouring sims as much as I might have, but in general, the area (this is mainland) is a visual mess. Ban lines restrict movement, and there is really no connection or "synergy" (UGH!!) with the neighbours. Score: 1

Cost of Living: Well, for me, it's FREE! But, again, this isn't a residential area (although there's really nothing to prevent me from rezzing a house there if I wanted. I do, when needed, rez my photography "studio" there, but I always pocket after I'm done with it). Score: 9

Safety/Security: The sim is entirely open. I have banning privileges, but I don't think I've every used them. About once every two weeks or so, I am accosted there by someone(s) who think that a progressive activist staging area is a hoot, and who really enjoy playing "Bait the Feminist," but that's at most a minor annoyance. Score: 8

Freedom of Movement: Mobility within the sim is very good, but it is, as I noted, hemmed in on a number of sides by ban lines. It's not a huge distance from a Linden road, and the water, but neither are these exactly next door. Score: 5

Overall Score: 4.85

Yeah. I should probably find a nicer place to live . . .

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I love my own place.  Since it's fully occupied and isn't likely to have any available spaces I don't think this will qualify as advertising :) 

  • Aesthetics -- Beautiful, thanks to a joint effort.  10
  • Community -- Wonderful.  We're friends who rp different things and are pretty much on the same wavelength.  10
  • Amenities/Infrastructure -- There are some places visitors can go to - a couple of pubs and cafes and a themed area in the sky - but we're not trying very hard to get them in.  I'm the landlady so you'd have to ask the residents how helpful I am :D   Maybe a rating of 4 if you're looking for visitor-focussed regions.
  • Neighborhood -- We have no neighbours so I can't rate this.
  • Cost of Living -- I think it's very reasonable but I don't know what people think generally.  No idea how to rate it.
  • Safety/Security -- I'm a fierce defender of the peace.  There are plenty of people going about the grid hating me because I banned their griefing, obnoxious, or arrogant selves.  Any resident can defend their parcel.  10
  • Freedom of Movement -- There aren't any universal ban lines.  I use an orbiter just around my house but the water is open.  I don't know what everyone else is using; either they aren't using anything or they've all given me access.  On the other hand, we haven't all got parcels open to the public, so maybe 5?
I think that's 7.8.  From our point of view it's practically perfect but for visitors rather less.  As I said, we're not trying very hard; we're having too much fun. :) 
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Aesthetics - 10/10 - incredibly beautiful thanks to the covenant and good management.
Community - 10/10 - they value privacy, but at the same time are happy to allow people travel through their parcels.
Amenities/Infrastructure - 10/10 - Regions all have 40-50 dedicated to public waterway. Management is 24/7 and responsive.
Neighborhood - 10/10 - Island community, all regions for 20-30 in all directions are themed, accessible, and well designed.
Cost of Living - 10/10 - Good price for what I get!
Safety/Security - 10/10 - never been griefed in the 4 years I have been there. In the larger area, I only ever saw one attack, and it was fast handled.
Freedom of Movement - 10/10 - likely the best freedom of movement in the grid.

Where? A prime region on the Blake Sea.

Edited by Callum Meriman
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47 minutes ago, Garnet Psaltery said:

From our point of view it's practically perfect but for visitors rather less.

"Practically perfect" for you and your community is, well, the idea, is it not?

Most of the communities I've belonged to have been somewhat outward looking, in theory at least. And there are some advantages to being "open" to visitors, depending on your priorities. But if you've developed a community that works really well together, then maybe protecting and nurturing it is more important!

I love that you've grown this, from the sound of it, yourself. Yay you!

(Now I just have to stalk you and find out where it is!)

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Aesthetics -- Attractive because it's by the L-shaped lake and easy to travel by boat to Bay of Space Pigs. It is a few eyesores. I am surprisingly numb to them. Maybe because I always have eyes on my land and fuss with it. Some derendering of a certain eyesores, a lower draw distance and I am ok.

Community -- Don't meet locals, but meet people who travel. Time zones may be a factor. I had 2 neighbors before that I talked to quite often, but they moved. It was sad.

Amenities/Infrastructure -- Water and road and I own my land.

Neighborhood -- Well I don't know. It is Mainland and so put up anything and all. At the moment it is some ugliness but that is really old residents that has owned land for ages, long before me so who am I to complain. Best thing is no skyboxes really low. I wish a viewer let me click on land and derender all on it. Maybe some viewer has it?

Cost of Living -- I made my alts premium. No additional cost.

Safety/Security -- I can set land to group. Can use banlines and all sorts of security.

Freedom of Movement -- No banlines around me. Have not encountered security orbs. Never been griefed. Like to chat to people who travel around in SL. I feel that private land is so closed from all others.

IDK how to place points. I had no problems selling land in the sim. I bought too much land and sliced off some so I could get a big piece of land instead of spread parcels. I think it's 8/10 resell value for mainland outside places like Zindra and double prim land. Because of road and protected water.

Aesthetics. Average for mainland. 4/10 for those who don't derender stuff. 6/10 for those that do.

But no mainland can ever beat a private estate aesthetics with a theme and a covenant that is enforced.

Edited by Marianne Little
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12 minutes ago, Callum Meriman said:

A prime region on the Blake Sea.

I have never heard anything but good things about the communities around the Blake Sea, Callum: it's an area that really seems to have succeeded in creating a balance between community and openness.

I've only visited once or twice. I should explore again!

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2 minutes ago, Marianne Little said:

But no mainland can ever beat a private estate with a theme and a covenant that is enforced.

It sounds as though you're pretty happy there though?

My experience of mainland is very mixed. I like the idea of contiguous continents, and having "neighbours" and such. And, in RL I live in a very messy and not very "pretty" city by choice, because it is so exciting and dynamic. I don't think I could handle one of those carefully manicured and managed "condo" developments where you're told what kind of flowers you're allowed to plant. So, that part of mainland appeals to me: it's a bit like my RL.

On the other hand, the two nicest sims I called home in the past were very carefully managed, and, as a result, very beautiful and quite successful as communities. And there isn't a lot of community in my corner of mainland.

Maybe mainland vs. estate is less important a consideration than how the region is managed?

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4 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

It sounds as though you're pretty happy there though?

I couldn't live on Mainland unless I had some attitude of "I don't care what's in the neighbors parcel".

And I decided that if I was unlucky and got some really horrible things next door, I would move in a skybox and wait for them to move again.

I like the Linden road. I liked to live in Fruit Islands too. Fruit Islands had some of the same feeling of "life", always some green dots and often boats sailing around.

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Not where I live now, but the place I lived longer than any other and the only place I actually lived in two different homes, not at the same time of course

Aesthetics -- For.mainland, it is awesome. There is water right next to it, that skills boat captains can use to reach the Blake Sea, People like myself, lacking in the proper skills can have a good time running aground on an island and being attacked by a bear. Depending on your draw distance this water looks like the ocean, or the Mississippi River.

Community -- This varies depending on who is living there, at one time there was supposably quite lively group who came online while I was asleep

Amenities/Infrastructure -- There is an awesome art museum filled with virtual art by an SL artist, there are some clubs, stores, a marina, for getting that boat in the water for that trip to the Blake Sea or Bear Island.

Neighborhood -- The surround area isn't quite as nice, but still pretty nice

Cost of Living - i am poor, if I have lived there long it is cheep

Safety/Security -- I was never griefed there, but I am probably so stupid and naive that I wouldn't know it if I was.

Freedom of Movement -- I once walked home from seven sims away, there are drivable roads, an abandoned airport with Rez areas, and as already mentioned that water.

I think about moving back, I am sure someday I will.

 

Edited by Talligurl
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  • Aesthetics -- Beautiful. Everyone takes great pride in making their homes and land look as lovely as possible. Each property borders water and has both sunrise and sunset views.
  • Community -- People are friendly but respectful of each others privacy. Occasionally there are neighbor related happenings and all are invited. A lot of us are not inworld on a regular basis, so it does tend to be fairly quiet most of the time which is great for me as I prefer doing my own thing.  One of the best things is there is a music venue on the sim and not only do residents partake in events there but many other SL residents know the place too and will stop up to listen in as there are some fairly well know DJ's that spin there. Ghosty being one :D
  • Amenities/Infrastructure -- Several beaches, an art museum, a zoo, water, roads connecting islands, bridges, and I believe there is a park too. And, the aforementioned music venue. I don't think I've explored all of it yet and I've been there quite a while now. Landlord is excellent! Very cool, responsive, easy going. Will work with you if you have any kind of problem both financial or personal. He has a reputation of being difficult and maybe he is to some degree with those he doesn't know well, but for his residents, well, we're family and I really mean that. He's great. When Ghosty and I expressed we felt we'd like a lot more space and prims he actually grandfathered in a whole new island for us in addition to the other land he was carrying. Of course, we paid for it but we never could have gotten the price he did because he already owned the sim. We just renewed that for another year.
  • Neighborhood -- I'm on a private estate. I'd never live on Mainland ever again. There are some loose regulations for the neighborhood, like we all try not to build anything stupid looking (although I wasn't thrilled one of my neighbors kept up a Santa Claus all year on her roof). Nothing too high for instance although if you want to build up in the sky with a taller structure, that's cool. We just don't want to see that on the ground. 
  • Cost of Living -- Extremely reasonable. Like, a bargain in comparison to many other places and I've lived all over the place in my 10 years so I know. Again, the landlord really isn't in this to make money. He wants to be around his friends, people who are in SL for similar reasons as he is and who he can trust. 
  • Safety/Security -- I've never experienced any problems living there. I think I've been there over 3 years now? I have the ability to ban anyone I want which is helpful but so far no need. Once I got home to find someone rezzed a giant yacht on my property waters lol - not sure how it happened but no worries just sent it back piece by piece HAHAHAHA. 
  • Freedom of Movement -- NO ban lines at all that I have encountered on land nor in the sky.  No need as the areas that are public don't need them and the areas that are private, well we all respect each other enough not to go rummaging through each others property. All of us are long term SL residents - we know better.
  • I give living there a resounding 10 out of 10 points. Zero complaints. LOVE being there.
Edited by Elora Lunasea
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Aesthetics -- Quite nice indeed, varied within a city theme, and the owners keep updating it to the times; you can see it balances aesthetics with graphics load, to cater to users on lower-end hardware, but the result is still charming, with some downright photogenic spots. I perma-derender much of it since for me aesthetics are a one-time observation, but for everyday I prefer FPS.

Community -- It’s a very eclectic mixture of new & old players, socialites & loners, common & downright weird people; there’s a high sense of community with a relatively subtle... I reckon, British feel to it. I can stand there all day and not say mum to a soul, or join the fray and fool around with them; both things are easily accepted and it’s by far what I like the most.

Amenities/Infrastructure -- There’s a lot of what you’d find in an open city environment, including many clubs, but also secluded spots, photogenic views and fun areas. Moving around is easy, manually or thru systems I’ve seen around.

Neighborhood -- There’s neighbouring regions, each slightly customized for its specific purpose; I stay in the main one, where people gather, the other being more residential, event-driven or welcoming areas.

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15 hours ago, Talligurl said:

People like myself, lacking in the proper skills can have a good time running aground on an island and being attacked by a bear

Sounds totally like my kind of sailing adventure.

 

15 hours ago, Talligurl said:

There is an awesome art museum filled with virtual art by an SL artist,

Anyone I might know?

 

15 hours ago, Talligurl said:

I think about moving back, I am sure someday I will.

I think that community, however that is defined and established (e.g., a "home" sim, a favourite club, and a chatty group with lots of people you like), is hugely important to the quality of our SL lives. The biggest complaint I hear about SL from people -- usually n00bs -- is that it is "empty," and they can't find people. I think it's even more important a factor in retention than the relative ease/difficulty of avatar customization.

So yeah. You should move back.

And take me with you.

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15 hours ago, Elora Lunasea said:

Community -- People are friendly but respectful of each others privacy. Occasionally there are neighbor related happenings and all are invited. A lot of us are not inworld on a regular basis, so it does tend to be fairly quiet most of the time which is great for me as I prefer doing my own thing.  One of the best things is there is a music venue on the sim and not only do residents partake in events there but many other SL residents know the place too and will stop up to listen in as there are some fairly well know DJ's that spin there. Ghosty being one :D

This sounds pretty perfect: a lovely balance between feeling part of a community, but still having one's own space! Talented and sexy DJs are a plus too.

 

15 hours ago, Elora Lunasea said:

Once I got home to find someone rezzed a giant yacht on my property waters lol - not sure how it happened but no worries just sent it back piece by piece HAHAHAHA.

LOL

One of my weird RL hangups that has translated in SL is that I live in terror of leaving things lying about in places that aren't "mine." You know, like leaving a purse or a coat in a restaurant. I could never do something like leave an entire yacht sitting about somewhere that wasn't mine: I'd be fretting about it until I could log back in and grab it.

People are weird. Including me.

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2 hours ago, Ren Toxx said:

Quite nice indeed, varied within a city theme, and the owners keep updating it to the times; you can see it balances aesthetics with graphics load, to cater to users on lower-end hardware, but the result is still charming, with some downright photogenic spots. I perma-derender much of it since for me aesthetics are a one-time observation, but for everyday I prefer FPS.

This is a really interesting point: one can imagine rendering and graphics load as almost a subcategory in classifying SL "homes."

My old bookstore has been re-opened by my business partner in a newish sim which is absolutely gorgeous and beautifully laid-out. It's a sort of genteel artists colony, I think, and the look of the place reflects that. But it has a really heavy graphics load as a result and, although my computer is powerful enough (although at this point pretty old) that I can get around in it pretty well, it does have a noticeable effect on my FPS. I can't imagine living somewhere where that was going to be a constant issue, even at the low-end of my threshold of noticing the lag.

2 hours ago, Ren Toxx said:

It’s a very eclectic mixture of new & old players, socialites & loners, common & downright weird people; there’s a high sense of community with a relatively subtle... I reckon, British feel to it.

Lovely. I would really like the fact that it has newer residents too.

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21 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

This sounds pretty perfect: a lovely balance between feeling part of a community, but still having one's own space! Talented and sexy DJs are a plus too.

 

LOL

One of my weird RL hangups that has translated in SL is that I live in terror of leaving things lying about in places that aren't "mine." You know, like leaving a purse or a coat in a restaurant. I could never do something like leave an entire yacht sitting about somewhere that wasn't mine: I'd be fretting about it until I could log back in and grab it.

People are weird. Including me.

My mind automatically goes to someone was trolling me lol. Hence why I returned it in hundreds of pieces 🤣 It was probably the largest boat I've ever seen in SL.

Took time out of my day but the glee I felt was worth it.

 

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Aesthetics: It's a wheat field, which is almost as good as a corn field. Score: 8

Community: It's generally uninhabited, but I have met a body or two there over the years. Score: 8

Amenities/Infrastructure: A wireless set, dining table/china cabinet, windmill, vintage airplane, and a steam locomotive I've been trying to steal for 10 years. Score: 8

Neighborhood: I'm not even sure it's in a neighborhood, I've never been tempted to find out. Score: 8

Cost of Living: Free. Score: 8

Safety/Security: A decade of unsuccessful attempts to steal the locomotive makes this place the definition of secure. Score: 8

Freedom of Movement: It doesn't get any freer than running across a wheat field in high heels. Score: 8

Overall Score: 8

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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4 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Aesthetics: It's a wheat field, which is almost as good as a corn field. Score: 8

Community: It's generally uninhabited, but I have met a body or two there over the years. Score: 8

Amenities/Infrastructure: A wireless set, dining table/china cabinet, windmill, vintage airplane, and a steam locomotive I've been trying to steal for 10 years. Score: 8

Neighborhood: I'm not even sure it's in a neighborhood, I've never been tempted to find out. Score: 8

Cost of Living: Free. Score: 8

Safety/Security: A decade of unsuccessful attempts to steal the locomotive makes this place the definition of secure. Score: 8

Freedom of Movement: It doesn't get any freer than running across a wheat field in high heels. Score: 8

Overall Score: 8

But the wind there is so strong that you get blown off your feet, and end up tossed around like a leaf, clinging to the windmill like it was an anchor.

Also, people hog the locomotive when you want to use it. I'd demand banning rights if I were you.

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Just now, Scylla Rhiadra said:

But the wind there is so strong that you get blown off your feet, and end up tossed around like a leaf, clinging to the windmill like it was an anchor.

You're right, I forgot to list that as an amenity.

1 minute ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Also, people hog the locomotive when you want to use it. I'd demand banning rights if I were you.

I wasn't hogging it. All you had to do was ask. (The locomotive has been a good conversation starter over the years. My goal is to get every visitor to want to steal it.)

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2 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Aesthetics: It's a wheat field, which is almost as good as a corn field. Score: 8

Community: It's generally uninhabited, but I have met a body or two there over the years. Score: 8

Amenities/Infrastructure: A wireless set, dining table/china cabinet, windmill, vintage airplane, and a steam locomotive I've been trying to steal for 10 years. Score: 8

Neighborhood: I'm not even sure it's in a neighborhood, I've never been tempted to find out. Score: 8

Cost of Living: Free. Score: 8

Safety/Security: A decade of unsuccessful attempts to steal the locomotive makes this place the definition of secure. Score: 8

Freedom of Movement: It doesn't get any freer than running across a wheat field in high heels. Score: 8

Overall Score: 8

wow, that place is still there? I don't remember the name of it, just that I loved being there in 08. Thank you for reminding me. Let's steal a train.

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3 minutes ago, Asylum Habilis said:

wow, that place is still there? I don't remember the name of it, just that I loved being there in 08. Thank you for reminding me. Let's steal a train.

It's a sort of archived version; the original, at least as I recall it, was a little larger. Although the important things are there, though!

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Dreamworld North/193/155/22

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3 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

 It doesn't get any freer than running across a wheat field in high heels. 

Is that you Theresa? 

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46 minutes ago, Derekmate said:

Is that you Theresa? 

I did naughtier things in wheat fields than Ms. May. I was single-handedly responsible for several small crop circles, though I didn't make them while wearing high heels. I entered/exited on homemade stilts.

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