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Moonbeam Devin

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It does seem kinda petty, reducing the group slots and offline IM retention, unless there's some technical benefit to the system (which frankly seems unlikely to me). That said, I see some silver linings.

As I mentioned before, it might be a welcome disincentive for fee-to-join groups. It would take a special kind of stupid to keep charging a fee to join a store group --but SL merchants can be inscrutably greedy, so if they instead increase their fees, it wouldn't be surprising: they already know they're "special" so the rules of commerce mustn't apply to them. (Don't let 'em pull the "anti-griefing" line; they wouldn't charge a dime* if it went to the Lab instead of their own L$ balance, despite having identical "anti-griefing" benefits either way -- which is to say, none at all.)

But I saw another post in one of these threads where a smart poster suggested that role play groups might combine or eliminate their many role-specific Groups, replacing them with Discord for group communications. It could be a big benefit to everybody -- and especially the group members -- to quit trying to use SL Groups for stuff they've never really done well and replace those functions with other, more modern tools. (Obviously there's still a necessary interface between group identity and SL functions such as land and object permissions, but a lot of that can be scripted, too. Maybe more should be.)

Retained offline IMs are a poor substitute for forwarding all those offline IMs to a avatar-specific email account. (I don't actually know whether there's a problem receiving stuff sent offline after IM retention is exhausted. If that actually fails, it should be treated as a bug, not a way to extort folks into Premium membership. But I don't know if it works that way.)

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*Imagine the tea party of umbrage there'd be if the Lab imposed a fee of L$100 to join any group, kept by the Lab as a sink to the L$ supply, just as there's a charge to create a new group. ... Wait. What if they did, but only for groups over whatever limit applies, Basic or Premium? I bet 90%+ of Basic members would never approach that group limit, and the vocal relative few who do just need to shell out a few L$s to get what they want. Would this actually work??

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8 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

First, you haven't counted any costs for landscaping, houses and furniture if they are supplied, and usually there's at least some central landing place, and staff. 

True, and I supply these with my own rental operation (the decorations, not the staff).  But these are not a very high expense, especially if you make some of the items, or buy copyable things.  In our 10-region example, add in maybe another $L20,000 per year, or about $80 USD.  Plus, a lot of estate owners provide nothing at all except a flat, sandy parcel of land (ugh).

9 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Second, the idea that you can charge $5/prim/mo,. is absolutely ludicrous. In fact, you can charge .80/prim or $1/prim or less on the mainland and perhaps up to $2/prim on an island per week, which is then really more like $3-4/mo on an island, not $5.

There may be some higher-end islands that charge this, but I don't see it. $5/prim means that a 4096 typical island parcel, with 1250 prims, would have to cost a whopping $6,250 per week or nearly  $24 US per month. And that's not what people will pay -- they want to pay $12 or no more than $20.

It's not at all ludicrous.  I charge $L5 per prim per month for my basic rentals, and $L5.5 per prim per month if a tenant wants additional prims.  This is on Mainland.  I grant you, it is very desirable Mainland, being right next door to open Linden Ocean, with clear access to hundreds of water regions.  Also, my prim allowances aren't tied to parcel size...a small condo or yacht slip or a cottage on 1024 m2 gets a prim allotment of 450 or more.  But several popular estates charge similar or higher rates; the Fruit Islands, for instance.  It's true that a lot of landlords, who have nothing special to offer, are forced to compete strictly on price.  If you're one of these budget operations, be sure you do your math right.  When I say "per month", I mean "per calendar month".  There are 52/12 weeks in a calendar month, or 4.33 -- not four.  In your above example of a 4096 m2/1250 prim parcel, the price would be $L5 x 1250 = $L6250 per calendar month, or $25.00 USD.  By comparison, a 4096 Mainland parcel would cost a Premium member the initial purchase price, and $22.00 per month in tier plus at least $8.25 per month in Premium dues on the annual plan, or $30.25 USD. 

9 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

20% vacancy is the dream of island owners and not the reality, which is why they go out of business -- or why they really have to have 100 of them to make it worthwhile.

Island owners are not required to have premium accounts to own islands, so that isn't a cost, but it is for mainland rentals agencies.

Some estate owners do indeed have high vacancy rates, and yes, some of them go out of business.  I disagree with your next statement...economy of scale doesn't apply when you are losing money; it only means you are losing MORE money.  A well-run rental operation, whether Mainland or Estate, should have a 20% or less vacancy factor.  If they do not, they should change things around until the problem is solved, or, as you say, pack it in and go out of business. 

Yes, I know Premium isn't required to be an Estate owner, I said so in my post.  If you like, consider that money to go towards the landscaping and other costs; it does not change the thrust of my comment.

 

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11 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

Keep this line of argument up and people will start peeking to see if you have actually spent anything to join groups, reminding you that you've been enjoying SL for free for years and will continue to do so, and pointing out that your roleplay job for literal pennies is at best a poor use of your time from a financial perspective.

A wow sub does come with a significant amount of content though, you can play wow for a long time and still not see it all.

They can't just give more land or more money, that defeats the entire purpose of re-balancing their income. They can continue to make premium accounts objectively better than basic accounts. More group slots, more animesh attachments, more offline IMs, more ... <anything / everything with some kind of cap here>.

Basic accounts are not going to come out ahead at any point during this transition

Oh for sure. It does have a lot of content! It was just an example of a game though. I've experience a lot of pay to play games, games you have to do a one time buy, and games that are free but to have a better experience you put money into. Overall I've gotten used to my games somehow costing money is what I meant. 

Yea I wasn't thinking like, more land. But some kind of slight bonus. Nothing extreme. Maybe 100 extra linden with the increase. Or something like (since a lot of people premium or not purchase linden out right) 10% discount or something. Nothing big like half off. But something at least noticable without having to screw basic accounts because as I said I've had that a lot too and do agree there's no way they will come out a head in the end. 

Just my opinion though 🙂

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To the people who keep saying things to the effect of "Basic users spend lindens, often more than the value of a premium membership," I'd like to point out that premium members spend money in SL too, on top of their premium membership.  Premium membership and buying lindens are not mutually exclusive concepts.  

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I don't know about the groups and IM stuff..But really,I'm surprised it took them this long to up the premium membership fee..

It's been the same thing since I joined back in 2006..

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2 hours ago, Lindal Kidd said:

By comparison, a 4096 Mainland parcel would cost a Premium member the initial purchase price, and $22.00 per month in tier plus at least $8.25 per month in Premium dues on the annual plan, or $30.25 USD. 

Just noting that you didn't factor in the stipend kickback which would be 300 lindens per week. 

Also, since I redid my faulty math of a few evenings ago, using the  group land option with four avatars and paying yearly for each (and including the stipend which gets back a good portion of the yearly fee that can be used the NEXT year for the fee etc.)  that same lot would be about (not being picky with the math here) $13.00 a month for "tier".   You can also have a bonus of a 400 meter plot for free if that is helpful 

 

I do agree that there are many times when renting IS cheaper than owning and I have rented  many times (both mainland and estate) but even with the announced  increase the "land alts" are still a very good value.   

 

And of course there is the purchase price to factor in, but "I" at least am a good shopper and have rarely paid much more than 1 linden per meter -- with some very resalable lots.  

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8 minutes ago, TheaDee said:

To the people who keep saying things to the effect of "Basic users spend lindens, often more than the value of a premium membership," I'd like to point out that premium members spend money in SL too, on top of their premium membership.  Premium membership and buying lindens are not mutually exclusive concepts.  

To add on, another facet of the "basic users spend lindens, often more than the value of a premium membership" is that most of that spending goes to other residents and not to Linden Lab directly.  The one exception would be basic members who own full regions and homesteads - they would be the only basic members paying more than the cost of a premium membership directly to Linden Lab. 

Yes, basic members spending lindens contributes to the economy greatly, and some percentage of what they spend may indirectly end up back with Linden Lab, but that's not any different than spending in-world done by premium members. 

I see the distinction not so much as the amount that is being spent, but to whom that amount is being paid.

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2 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

Just noting that you didn't factor in the stipend kickback which would be 300 lindens per week. 

Also, since I redid my faulty math of a few evenings ago, using the  group land option with four avatars and paying yearly for each (and including the stipend which gets back a good portion of the yearly fee that can be used the NEXT year for the fee etc.)  that same lot would be about (not being picky with the math here) $13.00 a month for "tier".   You can also have a bonus of a 400 meter plot for free if that is helpful 

 

I do agree that there are many times when renting IS cheaper than owning and I have rented  many times (both mainland and estate) but even with the announced  increase the "land alts" are still a very good value.   

 

And of course there is the purchase price to factor in, but "I" at least am a good shopper and have rarely paid much more than 1 linden per meter -- with some very resalable lots.  

All very true, Chic.  I was trying to keep things simple.  A Premium membership is even more valuable, if you factor in something for all the other perks and benefits.  However, the value vs. cost of Premium is something we've discussed lots of times here in the Forums, and it's different, for different people.  Some feel it's worthwhile to pay for several Premium alts, because they can have more "free" land that way, and the stipends help to defray tier.  Others say Premium's not worth it to them, and would rather buy $L if they need to, and rent land instead of own.

In my Land class, I encourage people to run the numbers for both renting and owning land, and consider both the tangible and intangible benefits (for example, many private estates simply "look nicer" than Mainland, and that's valuable to a lot of people). 

In the end though, my basic point stands:  Rentals and estates compete with LL, and they compete with each other.  That will not change under the new system, and some new equilibrium will be achieved. 

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On 5/31/2019 at 1:07 PM, Theresa Tennyson said:

So, you're saying you've never had experience with lagging group chat and undelivered notices, and have never heard others complaining about them?

Those aren't performance issues (how well SL usually works) - they're reliability issues (how often something is broken). And I don't find anything is broken for very long.

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On 5/30/2019 at 5:40 PM, Drac Coalcliff said:

Im sorry, I get what if I go premium? A mushroom wizard house the size of my butt and 100 prims? SIGN ME UP!

Oh lol

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Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2019 at 6:22 PM, moirakathleen said:

I see the distinction not so much as the amount that is being spent, but to whom that amount is being paid.

Humbug!

If they rent land it might be a resident to resident business but most of the Lindens will be converted to USD balance mostly used to fund land tier of their landbaron (who will of course keep their fair share). Most of the land rent money will somehow find it's way back to the Lab. It isn't as much on whom the Lindens get spent but much more on what they are spent.

That is exactley what the cashing out increase now tries to adress. Only by taxing out more on other forms of SL incomes that do not rely on land use land upkeep can be made cheaper (something residents have demanded for ages).

It is totally beyond most resident's grasp why they could easily afford a server for most 3D games out there but a sim - which only runs on a single node of a server - is way beyond their financial capabilities. If the Lab wants to make owning or renting whole sims more attractive prices must go down much more than the current decrease and those losses must be compensated otherwise. So they increase tax on those who actually make money in SL. This needs not even be a loss to creators... if more folks own sims more folks will buy stuff - thus theoretically compensating creators for a higher tax.

However this process has to happen gradually and in small steps. If the Lab radically changed the business model of SL in a single step it would be pitchforks all over and end in a mass exodus.

Edited by Fionalein
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No one really cares about group limits and offline messages.. really? The only thing any premium member cares about is the cost of playing the game and prims.... Give us more land for the tier pricing and more prims for use on that land.. I am paying a thousand a year out of pocket to buy lindens and play this game... If they raise the fees all they will do is drive more premium accounts into the freebie zone. Do I get free shipping for my 99 buck a year premium account? Or even a streaming video service?  No ... all I get is virtual goods held hostage in server rental land.... after 13 years it's getting old linden....

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On 5/30/2019 at 10:40 PM, Drac Coalcliff said:

Yeah the thing is..

Basic members... some basic members were giving them more money in a month than any premium membership could cover in a year... There are some MONTHS ive bought $100 of lindens... I've been buying Lindens regularly since 2006... 

How about a middle tier where you get to keep the number of group slots you have now if you've bought Lindens or were Premium at one point, but the crappy mushroom house wasn't enough to keep you?

Im sorry, I get what if I go premium? A mushroom wizard house the size of my butt and 100 prims? SIGN ME UP!

As I understand it, when in the past a premium member has become a former premium member, they've kept the same number of groups they had as a premium member, but if it's more than the lower number to which they're entitled as a free member they have to bring their membership down to the lower number less one before they can join a new group.

Obviously you'd need to check as a basic member, but I'd be amazed if you find you've suddenly lost membership of 7 of your groups.

As to Linden Homes, you're a bit behind the times, I'm afraid.  LL have recently released the new continent of Bellissaria, with entirely new Linden Homes in two themes -- traditional American-styled houses and Houseboats.   This has been a huge success, and a strong and active community has appeared overnight.    LL are now out of new homes and are working very hard to create more regions to try to keep up with the demand and also are planning to release new themes of Linden Home quite soon.

So while you might still not want one,  you can be assured Linden Homes have recently changed for the better by orders of magnitude and are now hugely popular.

As to the financial side of things, if you take into account the weekly stipend you receive as an annual member, that pretty much reduces the cost to only a couple of dollars a month (around the price of a cup of decent coffee, if not less) and you can pick up a 1024 Mainland parcel for a one-off cost of pennies per LI, and live there rent free in a house of your own choice.

It might not be for you, but premium membership does have benefits that make it attractive in different ways to different people.

 

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14 hours ago, Edwards Perry said:

No one really cares about group limits and offline messages.. really? The only thing any premium member cares about is the cost of playing the game and prims.... Give us more land for the tier pricing and more prims for use on that land...

Speak for yourself. 

We are all in SL for different reasons. I don't give a rat's butt about the land stuff. I can't wait to have more groups, though (I would happily pay for even more group slots), and am pretty happy with the offline messages increase as well. I get them sent to my email but it doesn't always work. Not a big deal, but it's cool. 

14 hours ago, Edwards Perry said:

I am paying a thousand a year out of pocket to buy lindens and play this game...

Some of us pay for premium and pay a thousand bucks out of pocket every couple of months to buy lindens...

14 hours ago, Edwards Perry said:

If they raise the fees all they will do is drive more premium accounts into the freebie zone. Do I get free shipping for my 99 buck a year premium account? Or even a streaming video service?  No ... all I get is virtual goods held hostage in server rental land.... after 13 years it's getting old linden....

They have not raised the premium in over a decade. You really think this increase is unfair? How often do your utility prices increase? Cable? Phone provider? Gas? 

If all you're getting out of SL is "virtual goods held hostage", I don't know what to tell you. I know I easily get $99 entertainment value in experiences and memories every week, and I hold those far more value than tangible goods or services such as streaming or shipping.
 

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Posted (edited)

Seems maybe giving up being a premium membership and monthly tiers and just rent what I need, it would probally save me money

4096 sq mt @ L$299 x 52 weeks rent  will cost L$ 16.0000 per year  that equates to about $56.00 per year. much cheaper than what I pay as a member with tiers

Edited by greek Wingtips

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Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2019 at 5:58 PM, Ceka Cianci said:

I don't know about the groups and IM stuff..But really,I'm surprised it took them this long to up the premium membership fee..

It's been the same thing since I joined back in 2006..

But how about land? I know they added premium sandboxes and limited voice * to premium, how has the land without tier development been? I would never be premium just to have free land, when it was 512. Has it been even smaller before? I have read that he Linden homes came in 2010, or was it older, even smaller ones?

Only with 1024 m and 351 LI, I saw it worth paying 72 USD, and I invested in premium for several alts to get a bigger piece of Mainland. So I haven't been premium for a long time, and the increase "feels" a bit much in one jump, from 72 to 99 USD. Since I haven't been premium in 10+ years before this.

* I was corrected in the post under.

Edited by Marianne Little

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1 minute ago, Marianne Little said:

limited voice to premium,

When did that happen? This is the first I have ever heard of basics not being able to use voice.

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2 minutes ago, Marianne Little said:

But how about land? I know they added premium sandboxes and limited voice to premium, how has the land without tier development been? I would never be premium just to have free land, when it was 512. Has it been even smaller before? I have read that he Linden homes came in 2010, or was it older, even smaller ones?

Only with 1024 m and 351 LI, I saw it worth paying 72 USD, and I invested in premium for several alts to get a bigger piece of Mainland. So I haven't been premium for a long time, and the increase "feels" a bit much in one jump, from 72 to 99 USD. Since I haven't been premium in 10+ years before this.


"First Land" as it was called back 13 years or so ago was a program where you BOUGHT a 512 lot from Linden Lab for $512 (then a huge savings over the norm). Then the tier on that was free with your premium fee.   One lot per avatar.   I don't remember about group bonuses and such as I never used them back then.   

 

The current 512  Linden Homes were the first Linden Homes and haven't changed since they were introduced except for the extra prims that mainland was granted. 

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2 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

When did that happen? This is the first I have ever heard of basics not being able to use voice.

I am mistaken then, somewhere in the 1000 posts in the 100 threads I saw it listed under premium perks. I took it to be correct, since I never used voice and never cared to find out anything about voice.

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Posted (edited)

I agree that reducing group limits for free accounts is a very bad idea, which is why I'm glad they didn't do that.   Instead, increasing them for premiums seems like a much better idea.   However, if they want to nerf free accounts, perhaps they should consider limits on point to point teleporting on mainland sims for free accounts (not for private sims).  That's a change that could actually have a positive economic effect, in driving vehicle sales, and even adding a niche for taxi/airline services.

Edited by Iexo Bethune
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6 hours ago, Marianne Little said:

I am mistaken then, somewhere in the 1000 posts in the 100 threads I saw it listed under premium perks. I took it to be correct, since I never used voice and never cared to find out anything about voice.

You can do something called 'Voice Morphing'.

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1 hour ago, Iexo Bethune said:

 However, if they want to nerf free accounts, perhaps they should consider limits on point to point teleporting on mainland sims for free accounts (not for private sims).  That's a change that could actually have a positive economic effect, in driving vehicle sales, and even adding a niche for taxi/airline services.

Well, that would certainly help the mainland, wouldn't it? Is it not empty enough for you yet?

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4 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Well, that would certainly help the mainland, wouldn't it? Is it not empty enough for you yet?

If people needed to actually travel to the busy places there are on the mainland, others may be more inclined to buy parcels for shops between there and the telehub to take advantage of the traffic.   That's how it was before point to point teleporting.

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6 minutes ago, Iexo Bethune said:

If people needed to actually travel to the busy places there are on the mainland, others may be more inclined to buy parcels for shops between there and the telehub to take advantage of the traffic.   That's how it was before point to point teleporting.

That is not what would happen. What would occur is an even more pronounced exodus to estates.

People are not going to suddenly start traveling overland in order to buy hair.

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