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Grumpity Linden

A brief note on pricing changes, which ran long.

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11 hours ago, Kat Linden said:

Hi! So, I am very afraid of pitchforks - please be gentle.

I just wanted to briefly address groups maths. It's true that the groups of Basic accounts are being lowered by 7, and the groups of Premium accounts are being raised by 10 - and if you look at that math alone, it might not seem to add up. However, most residents have at least one alt. Technically, you can have up to 5 alts, and many residents are not entirely limited by that technicality. But let's you had one Premium Membership and 4 Basic alts - the number of groups you could have on your main account would go up by 10, but the total number of groups you could be a member of would go down by 18. This is important because all members of groups contribute to lag, even inactive group members. This is especially true for group chat. There are residents who have a lot of alts that they have not used in years that are still part of groups, and they are slowing those groups down. Lowering the number of groups for Basic accounts will not be a quick fix for this issue, but reducing the number of groups Basic members can join could help keep it from building further as we go forward.

Hi Kat, 

I understand what you mean.  However, I'm still confused about the original statement that was made.  If the groups were overloading, why increase the limit in the first place?  If they are causing such a lag, then why implement an increase?  

Yes, most have alts so people could use there alts to join groups, however; sometimes if you join a group that has updates in regards to clothing, or land you won't be able to see it unless you log in.  Also, some use alts for storage purposes.    I think if it's that much of a big problem, then maybe it isn't best to increase the groups until they are fully fixed.  

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This is pretty much a less than raw deal. I don't see the purpose of getting rid of group slots vs actually putting in a proper prune old users function. The land fees aren't even discounted for start up either so this isn't really going to push out that many new users hitting premium. The group gifts are all no-mod billion land impact stuff and there are no real incentives for the casual user to ever get premium to this date.  The icing on this mess is that they're removing the quarterly options for premium.

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10 hours ago, Marie Sims said:

What??? All ads now are on FB,Flickr etc... who really need the groups to promote ? sounds funny

When I am in SL, I want to see my info in SL, and not have to log into yet another platform just to see what's going on.  Maybe that's just me though.

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11 hours ago, Kat Linden said:

Hi! So, I am very afraid of pitchforks - please be gentle.

I just wanted to briefly address groups maths. It's true that the groups of Basic accounts are being lowered by 7, and the groups of Premium accounts are being raised by 10 - and if you look at that math alone, it might not seem to add up. However, most residents have at least one alt. Technically, you can have up to 5 alts, and many residents are not entirely limited by that technicality. But let's you had one Premium Membership and 4 Basic alts - the number of groups you could have on your main account would go up by 10, but the total number of groups you could be a member of would go down by 18. This is important because all members of groups contribute to lag, even inactive group members. This is especially true for group chat. There are residents who have a lot of alts that they have not used in years that are still part of groups, and they are slowing those groups down. Lowering the number of groups for Basic accounts will not be a quick fix for this issue, but reducing the number of groups Basic members can join could help keep it from building further as we go forward.

So lets have group limits set at 60 groups for premium members. Want to belong to more groups? Then you have to pay more. So if you want to belong to 70 groups, then you have to pay $99.00 a year. Those that don't want more groups, pay the old rate.  Want to belong to 80 groups, then you pay $120.00 a year. Make the max at 100 groups. And charge a higher amount for every 10 groups that you wish to have.

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10 hours ago, Sasy Scarborough said:

@Grumpity Linden @Kat Linden  thank you for taking the time to answer some of the questions.

When this was announced I too was very concerned at the impact this would have on basic accounts. With Creators having to usually have up to 3 groups of their own store, land, bloggers and their staff matching them, then depending on their event load possibly another 8 - 12 each. Then on top of that ones they just want to be in, you can suck up 35 groups very quickly. 

Bloggers then if blogging for stores group space, events group space, their own land, their own businesses maybe group space and so on. This will have a very large impact on how people are expected to suck up their groups for the needs of their existence to then find at the end of the day nothing they are in is anything but work related. That is rough that is the type of thing that weighs on people, makes them see that their Second Life is starting to be harder on them than possibly their first. I used my 60th group slot only this week. I have paid for groups, groups I own and run, ones that I need for land and manage and so on. While I do not pay for groups that I cannot afford to just leave, some have very limited incomes and are in fact in groups that provide gifts each month and that group slot is their way of enjoying and participating in Second Life with that limited budget. I have seen chat say that they just used Birthday money or something they sold gave them the funds to finally join such and such group, the having to drop 8 groups to gain one is going to hurt many. It also limits growth, someone opens a new event a new store etc and someone just cannot join in, you will have a divided SL that way.

Kicking non active accounts out of groups takes hours, and is often not really an inactive account owner, because they ran out of group spaces on their main and may use offlines to email to see notices on an alt, this is actually a thing, so while they may not log in they are gathering the information they cannot get on their main.

While I understand that groups are apparently a curse to function because of the way SL is set up they are a necessary tool. Group land needs a group, to ensure privacy in many cases, that people can rez items and so on group needed. To send out information as stated, groups are needed, there are still many that LL know that do not SL outside of SL, while many use things such as Plurk, Facebook and Discord, some others won't even read a blog post or open anything that in some way leaves a trail to SL. So again Groups are their only way.

One group need is again associated with Land. Early Access to Bloggers, Store owners to access an event and rez etc and then all the info sent out to let people know things , Groups and Groups etc.

A suggestion to help in this matter in some ways, as things can be sent with senders, not always perfect but they can. So if land was set up like the covenant where the names that are added to a sim could be done with a notecard not having to enter each name manually and wait and so on, if a list could be added to land allowing a whole list of early access people to a Region, that is one less group needed by every event, every blogger, every store manager that does not actually rez anything and so on. 

As far as the fee hike, the increase is big, doubling down is hard to take when the same work is being done, and if someone makes more than someone else they pay more than those others because of it, that seems very unfair as people have mentioned there are fees taken along the way in many forms and those doing better are paying them over and over. In banking if someone is bringing more cake to the party they usually get a better option of how it is served. I think that like the tiers you have for processing credit, you should allow the higher earners to pay less at the gate because overall you earn more from them already, while some may think that seems entitled and so on and they are already making enough etc, at the end of the day no one knows what peoples expenses are in RL what they really end up with at the end of the day, and while there are a few lucky creators that made a thing and that thing just happens to be a very profitable thing, most that make a lot work a lot to do so. If someone is cashing out for this person and they get charged 80 dollars usd and the next person gets charged 340 while it may have only been 170 dollars last time that 170 dollars could be someones health insurance, or someones home care nurses fees etc. They are not making more money than the previous fee, they are making the same but paying double. This is also out of nowhere for many, working out how to re-budget for this may just be too much for some, we may again lose some people along the way. Not every successful creator in SL is making millions of dollars, some are making just enough to get by, but yet doing so in a 24/7 economy, if you look at that vs just going to work in RL and getting to have time off, not having nasty IMs demanding this and that, or deadlines and competition etc, some may just choose to return to First Life.

I would add to this.   I am the co-owner of a club in SL that has been around since 2007.   For our club, we have the main group, the staff group, and a training group (learn how to send notices etc etc), as well as our management group.  In addition to that, I also send notices in 6 other groups to advertise events.  That is 10 groups that I -NEED- just for the day-to-day running of our club.   

We already have staff members who are capped on groups and unable to join the advertising groups.   If we are cut down on groups, there are a lot of people who won't be able to join the -MANDATORY- groups - staff and main group.   

Advertising is a huge part of the club business, not just creators.   And, the main way that we advertise, is with groups, because that is how things were set up to be from day dot.  

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 I think part of all of  this is sansar did not do  as  well  as they  assumed  it would.  Second life gives people a way to create ,enjoy, de stress when second life is working correctly and all the amazing things the builders creators merchants ,,,,the artists the musicians and writers   the  photographers   so much we have access to  and sadly i do not think the guys in the  think tank are looking at every thing,,  just how do we get more money  and worry about everything else later ,,,,, the group slot thing can have easy answers ,, there have been a ton of great suggestions.. I said it before and i will say it again  they need to fix the still existing problems that continue to plague second life   PERIOD!!!!!   Fix the problems, the bugs ,,, and when you have happy residents an increase to keep things running smoothly no problem  but when you increase amounts  and the same  ole same ole problems are still daily weekly issues ,,,,,, seriously ,,  like a car that needs a lot of work with the engine but you  are told  if you  upgrade to these new seats look at how good it looks ,,  but it is still broken ,,,, so they really need to do some deep soul searching ,,, consider EVERYTHING EVERYONE and BE FAIR TO EVERYONE...  

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10 hours ago, Blush Bravin said:

These are both functions currently available to group owners. You can define them in the roles section.

By titles, I think she means role slots.  And you can only have a certain number of role slots in a group.   People have been begging for more roles in groups for years.

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9 hours ago, Dove Darkfold said:

The groups is a completely technical issue that they are working hard to resolve. This is a patch until they can upgrade their equipment. EACH GROUP is counted as a separate FORUM in coding. Can you imagine the server load on hundreds of thousands of forums? It's immeasurable to the human mind how much coding and upkeep that takes. 

@Dove Darkfold -- They have been "working" on the group problem since 2007.   Check the JIRAs....  Sorry, but there are better ways to go about this.

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16 hours ago, Grumpity Linden said:

Premium prices are going up on June 24.  Starting June 3 and until June 24,  Premium accounts have 3 weeks to pre-pay an additional cycle of premium at the old rates.  Best deal is, of course, prepaying for annual regardless of your current level. We hope you can take advantage of it. If you’re paying quarterly today, you can continue as quarterly. We will no longer offer it to new premium signups.  With the new prices, VAT will be charged on monthly and quarterly but not annual (of course only in the countries where VAT applies).

How new is new? One month or one week before June 3?

If I'm understanding this correctly, if I upgrade my basic account to premium on the annual cycle today or before June 24, I won't be able to do the prepay renewal for another year?

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@Grumpity Linden 

To match the needs of the community, is it possible for premium members to sell their unused group slots to basic account holders? Like land sales but group slots.

I have 18 groups slots filled, I only need 20 in total. I've no need for anymore because I cant stand spam so I purge all the time. My empty slots sit there unused when someone else could utilize them better than I.

Just a thought 😊

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18 minutes ago, Spinach Soup said:

If I'm understanding this correctly, if I upgrade my basic account to premium on the annual cycle today or before June 24, I won't be able to do the prepay renewal for another year?

my understanding is that if we upgrade to annual today 30 May 2019 (and up to June 24 2019), it costs $US72. So if we upgrade today then our next payment is due on 30 May 2020

if we take advantage of the prepay offer (to be available between 3 June and 24 June 2019) then we pay another $US72 which makes our next due date 30 May 2021

basically if we upgrade now and also take the next years prepay offer, $US144 total) then we get the next 2 years at the old rate. On 30 May 2021 the next payment will be $US99

if we upgrade now for $US72 and do not take the prepay offer then on 30 May 2020 the payment will be $US99

 

i am seriously thinking about upgrading my alt account to get the tier allowance for 2 years at the old rate. I do have to find $US72 for my main account before June 24, which I will do. I then will have to find another $US144 for my alt.  Its this $US144 that I have to think about, I am tempted but money's money and I do have other RL expenses 

 

 

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I don't think anyone disagrees with the necessity for price rises - occasionally - it's a part of life. What I query is the  planned implementation of it. 

I'm in 42 groups but unlike other premium members, I don't need 70 of the blasted things (and I turn off group chat the instant I join anyway);

I don't ever - ever - go for premium 'gifts'; I did that just once - and whatever the wretched thing was, it had absolutely no use and had such a ridiculously high L.I. for the tiny size of it, that I deleted it.

Never have and never will use premium sandboxes;

About the only thing I've found truly useful in my premium membership is the land benefit (even then, I'm only in the 4096 tier bracket), the stipend and the groups.

Also, I thought the whole 'going to cloud' thing meant LL were going to save truck-loads of money so they could afford to pass along savings - and that SL's performance was going to improve?

Or have I been woefully misinformed?

If we're going for the whole 'Shock and Awe Price Hike Campaign', how about this one: Let there be a one month limit on a free account (with no groups allowed), after which they have to pay $5 USD a month for a new 'Basic Account' and then they get the group limit that's currently allocated to them and no stipend?

If they want more groups, a stipend and the land bonus, then they'd have to increase their membership bracket. 

And stipends! Stipends have dropped over the years while prices/taxes/various fees have gone up and we're all asked to tighten our belts, suck it up and make do. And we do. But let's be reasonable. 

Savings could be made (and this might be unpopular) by making stipends L$500 across the board? No more 'this one gets L$1000 a week because..., that one L$500 a week because..., and this one L$300 a week because.... Level stipends out and make them the same for everyone with a full membership. 

Because the stipend, the groups and the land bonuses are all I want out of my premium membership. All the other 'benefits', I don't see as benefits at all when I'm not even remotely interested in them and they do absolutely nothing for me.

As for the rest, my point being (and I'm repeating myself from other posts here), you can't keep flogging the same animal over and over again and expect it to keep performing so that you can maintain the lifestyle to which you've become accustomed.

Eventually, it's either going to kick you in the teeth, run away or just lay down and die - and then no one profits.

And if someone could please remind me while we're on the subject - how much profit is an absolute 'necessity' for a person with a family running an online 'business' to live on (profit that is, not just merely covering expenses)? It's a bit like asking "how long's a piece of string?" I know.

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2 hours ago, Sasy Scarborough said:

I think that the idea of an added premium is a good one, with a twist that will either have me beaten in the square or somewhat agreed with...

Premium lite  3.00 usd monthly

50 groups nothing else added

Here is the killer part

You must have a premium account to sell on marketplace - lite or higher

This would decrease theft, overloading of gacha reselling that is illegal copies of content, stop fake full perms accounts selling empty boxes claiming to be well known products. It would also clean out old content with no active sellers. Giving a few months notice for people to get on board. No longer would creators have to watch people getting cash grabs off of their work unable to flag or dmca. It would mean they have to sign up with rl info like the rest of us.

______________________________________

As mentioned earlier land groups to add people to just get access if able to add by notecard to land settings, could also be an option with always allowed, just easier to add, then a new land option of can always rez, again removing the ability of a group for designers in an event.

Removing people from groups is slow and tedious, but if a pay group you are actually opening yourself up to abuse if you do, so some are loathe to try, thus meaning free to join groups are the groups that will get dropped, costing those businesses in the long run, and their reaction may be to start charging to compete, thus more group hogging. 

 

 

i absolutely agree anyone who has a business and makes money in SL should have to be premium

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9 hours ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

Would an awareness campaign asking group owners to prune their groups help? There's a way to turn off the thumbnail pics in group chat, a friend helped me with that and it did improve things. Would LL consider dropping them altogether?

Something like this would be a great alternative to changing number of groups allowed. If you open group and hit the last logins to arrange them oldest to most recent, most groups who have been around a while have a LOT of members who haven't logged on in 5+ years. Culling inactives, if the majority would do that, might be quite helpful, and not be pissing off so many people now. But then there's group owners who feel proud to have over 1000 members, or 5000 members.. even if half never log on anymore.. It means they're popular, right?

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Sweet Valentine said:

i absolutely agree anyone who has a business and makes money in SL should have to be premium

Yes I know I've asked this before but I'm going to keep asking until I get an answer. What have I (or any basic account) ever done to anyone that I deserve to be punished and ostracized? Is everyone afraid I'm going to be that competitive? I'm not. All I want is to be able to pull in enough to cover my expenses. I'm not even looking to make any kind of profit. Just to be able to stay in SL and be able to pay for a place to live and work. Is that really too much to ask?

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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🎂Happy 16th Birthday Second Life, Guess you wont live past 20 at this rate.🎂

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2 hours ago, polysail said:

Alternatively, I'd suggest raising all caps by one each year the account remains active.  Kind of a 'thank you for being here' reward. ( so a basic account that's 13 years old gets 48 [35+13] groups and 28 [15+13] offline IM's )  People love inventory expansions in games, and they love birthday presents, and all the data that's needed is already tracked to implement this.  Happy Rez Day!  Here's a group slot !

I love the idea of people being rewarded for being in SL for a long time or having a business or sim that has been doing well for a while.
Every year you've been in SL you get a discount or other type of bonus like extra groups, if your shop has been around for a few years maybe get some extra marketplace options, if your sim has been doing well for a few years maybe get a little tier discount, etc...
And I'm not just saying that because my sim today celebrated it's 10th anniversary and all I got was a T-shirt ;)

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2 hours ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Here's my question:  Are you going to re-open the buy-down option for people who buy a new private region from LL or purchase a standard, non-grandfathered region from another resident?

Bringing the buy down option back was one of the smartest things LL did in a while, I grandfathered two regions and if they would bring this back I might consider getting another region.
Another thing they should do is just completely abolish the setup-fee for new regions.
It has always been a hurdle for me and others who are considering getting a region.

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9 minutes ago, Jo Yardley said:

Another thing they should do is just completely abolish the setup-fee for new regions.
It has always been a hurdle for me and others who are considering getting a region.

The set up fee has been the one thing that always kept me from getting a sim. There is no way I could ever afford it and pay for the first month. It has always been completely out of my reach, even when I was working full time.

 

 

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I can TL;DR this as "We're losing money, we need to milk the userbase more." I'll accept it, but I don't think it's sustainable the way it was done and it's not growing the SL economy like that boldfaced claim supposes. The game needs to grow to improve, not just the revenue LL sees next tally. This kind of short-sighted behaviour lacks empathy, which is unsurprising for a corporation due to layers of abstraction from peopling but I expect better than this. You're not gaining users to replace the ones getting scared off.

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Just now, Desudesudesuka said:

I can TL;DR this as "We're losing money, we need to milk the userbase more." I'll accept it, but I don't think it's sustainable the way it was done and it's not growing the SL economy like that boldfaced claim supposes. The game needs to grow to improve, not just the revenue LL sees next tally. This kind of short-sighted behaviour lacks empathy, which is unsurprising for a corporation due to layers of abstraction from peopling but I expect better than this. You're not gaining users to replace the ones getting scared off.

 

Forgetting visa and mastercard upped their processing/merchant fee's and so did paypal.   those fee's come to us the consumer, LL can not absorb all the fee's. it's high and gets nuts when you do the volumes LL does.

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1 minute ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

 

Forgetting visa and mastercard upped their processing/merchant fee's and so did paypal.   those fee's come to us the consumer, LL can not absorb all the fee's. it's high and gets nuts when you do the volumes LL does.

one time per month, x....second+ time per month more cost?

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4 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

The set up fee has been the one thing that always kept me from getting a sim. There is no way I could ever afford it and pay for the first month. It has always been completely out of my reach, even when I was working full time.

Same here.
Even with lots of people excited about my plans and ready to start renting homes and shops in the new sim, it is still more than I can afford to pay so for both my regions we first had to organise events for months, fund raising, auctions, etc, etc.
Starting a sim costs a fortune.
Not just the setup fee is something you need to make magically appear you also need to have enough to pay the tier for one maybe even two months while you set up the region.
The cheaper they make it the more people rent regions, start communities, open shops, etc.
All of that would be good for SL.

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Maybe a different type of 'group' with less features that cant be tied to land. It would just be announcements/notices and a chat. Dont need to allow group members to even see a member list because if its a store group all its really for is Updates and Announcements from the brand. Removing the ability of the members to see eachother would even make it better to save people from spamming member lists on store groups.

 

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