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The New LH Release Plan - Your Thoughts

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On 7/9/2019 at 4:12 PM, Cornelius Collazo said:

I can only speak for myself. 

  • With a list, I would know where I stand. 
  • I could monitor where I stand on an on-going basis. 
  • I could be prepared to act, when the time comes.
  • If no longer interested, I could remove myself from the list and let others who are still interested have a better chance.
  • I would know whether I want to wait or just forget about the whole thing.
  • a minimum amount of my time would be required for the whole process, whereas now I have the stress of trying and failing repeatedly.

Just my $0.02L.  It seems I am in the minority, by far.  To me, though, this process ends up amusing and pleasing a few, and frustrating many.  Not to mention unnecessary load on servers somewhere.

This makes lots of sense to me.  No idea is perfect, but this appeals to me for the reasons you note.  I'm surprised LL didn't come up with a better user experience for a majority of premium members.  They put so much passion into the concept and the build - which is great - but the release plan clearly falls short.  Patch has stated that they are looking into changes in the selection process.  I view his statement as an acknowledgment of the problem and it makes me hopeful they'll at least try to figure out a better approach soon.  

On 7/10/2019 at 7:03 PM, Spyder Haifisch said:

Here's one based on the most recent announcement.

If you don't want your servers being hit 24/7 and making things hard on your IT folks, come up with a better way to release the homes.

How about you just tell people when they are being released so they try to get one then.  If they don't then they know it's useless to keep hitting the server until the next release.

Or, the list seems workable. There could be 2 lists, one for houseboats and one for houses.

There has got to be a better way for both users and LL.

I agree with this wholeheartedly.  Sometimes, if you can't immediately fix a problem, it helps to be transparent.  I'd love to see a table listing what's been released so far and estimates for what's coming next (region, home count home style, build status, target release, actual release, sold out indicator, etc...). 

I do think they have been open about when some releases are likely to happen.  Unless I understand it wrongly -  Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are the target release dates and 7:30am SLT is the general time. I really hope this changes. 

I'd love to see LL alternate scheduled release times (and announce them) to occur during different times of day and night.  Maybe  add  3:30pm SLT and 7:30pm SLT to the release schedule.  Even a 3:30am SLT release would be great if they have off-shore resources for it.   

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2 hours ago, Marianne Little said:

Coming back to the thread because:

@Patch Lindensay they have to be 12 persons there the same time to release a region of homes.

Hear me out: Why not set all the finished houses to the Mole(s) or Linden(s) who just came to work?

Then it is done. X Mole - just an example, has 8 homes. She abandon them at irregular intervals. This will give us homes to get during all day long. Not 7 seconds, and then it's done.

And before you say this will take too much time from their work, we have teleports. It is done in seconds. Teleport in, hit abandon, teleport back.

I like seeing new ideas - thanks for this!  I imagine LL's change management team (if they have one) might grimace at this approach, but if Mole X is largely only configuring a home as a last step - maybe your suggestion would work.  I like it! 

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2 hours ago, Marianne Little said:

Coming back to the thread because:

@Patch Lindensay they have to be 12 persons there the same time to release a region of homes.

Hear me out: Why not set all the finished houses to the Mole(s) or Linden(s) who just came to work?

Then it is done. X Mole - just an example, has 8 homes. She abandon them at irregular intervals. This will give us homes to get during all day long. Not 7 seconds, and then it's done.

And before you say this will take too much time from their work, we have teleports. It is done in seconds. Teleport in, hit abandon, teleport back.

That's a really interesting suggestion. So the homes are released to the Moles and the Moles then stagger home releases via abandonment throughout the day. That might make those who are not able to get online at SL morning times, when the releases seem to happen, happier. 

One problem I could see with that is that people would go round checking unreleased (but finished looking) regions checking to see if houses are owned by Moles yet, and then stalking them, or hassling them inworld, to see when they are in the region so as to guess when a home would be released. Not that it might help them get one any quicker, but someone is bound to do it...

I think at this point in the process whatever LL decide to do to tweak it there will still be numbers of residents won't be able to snag a home become of the scarcity. Doesn't matter what time of day homes are released there will be numerous people online refreshing to get a home, so many will  miss out whatever at the moment.  The only way this whole thing will settle down is when there are enough homes built...

Personally I appreciate the thinking out of the box though!:) It may be something LL may be willing to consider and is well worth suggesting.

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3 minutes ago, Evangeline Arcadia said:

That's a really interesting suggestion. So the homes are released to the Moles and the Moles then stagger home releases via abandonment throughout the day. That might make those who are not able to get online at SL morning times, when the releases seem to happen, happier. 

One problem I could see with that is that people would go round checking unreleased (but finished looking) regions checking to see if houses are owned by Moles yet, and then stalking them, or hassling them inworld, to see when they are in the region so as to guess when a home would be released. Not that it might help them get one any quicker, but someone is bound to do it...

I think at this point in the process whatever LL decide to do to tweak it there will still be numbers of residents won't be able to snag a home become of the scarcity. Doesn't matter what time of day homes are released there will be numerous people online refreshing to get a home, so many will  miss out whatever at the moment.  The only way this whole thing will settle down is when there are enough homes built...

Personally I appreciate the thinking out of the box though!:) It may be something LL may be willing to consider and is well worth suggesting.

Now that you said it... I think you are right, the Moles would be pestered. I didn't think about that.

😭

The gone - in - seven - seconds release does not sound good, but it is what we have now.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Evangeline Arcadia said:

That's a really interesting suggestion. So the homes are released to the Moles and the Moles then stagger home releases via abandonment throughout the day. That might make those who are not able to get online at SL morning times, when the releases seem to happen, happier. 

One problem I could see with that is that people would go round checking unreleased (but finished looking) regions checking to see if houses are owned by Moles yet, and then stalking them, or hassling them inworld, to see when they are in the region so as to guess when a home would be released. Not that it might help them get one any quicker, but someone is bound to do it...

I think at this point in the process whatever LL decide to do to tweak it there will still be numbers of residents won't be able to snag a home become of the scarcity. Doesn't matter what time of day homes are released there will be numerous people online refreshing to get a home, so many will  miss out whatever at the moment.  The only way this whole thing will settle down is when there are enough homes built...

Personally I appreciate the thinking out of the box though!:) It may be something LL may be willing to consider and is well worth suggesting.

Pestering Moles? I guess I didn't realize users interact with Moles at all.  Hmmm... well this could be part of the problem in general.  We should not be interrupting Moles while they are working.  And I think Moles should use auto-responses when they are working so that they aren't distracted by users who won't leave them to their work.  I also think if there is so much interest in communicating with Moles, LL should host regular (monthly?) gatherings that give everyone a change to mingle and chat without distracting from the work of remedying the scarcity issue.  

Edited by BelleBax

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I keep being amazed at the fact people bother Moles and Lindens, I usually run away fast if I spot one.

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Just now, iBrat said:

I keep being amazed at the fact people bother Moles and Lindens, I usually run away fast if I spot one.

 

10 minutes ago, BelleBax said:

Pestering Moles? I guess I didn't realize users interact with Moles at all.  Hmmm... well this could be part of the problem in general.  We should not be interrupting Moles while they are working.  And I think Moles should use auto-responses when they are working so that they aren't distracted by users who won't leave them to their work.  I also think if there is so much interest in communicating with Moles, LL should host regular (monthly?) gatherings that give everyone a change to mingle and chat without distracting from the work of remedying the scarcity issue.  

I think we play nice with the Moles now, but after all the angry threads here - yes - I think Moles would be singled out for criticism when demanding residents found out who's holding the homes. There would be more angry things said, and more angry threads.

It is always some that are --- not very nice.

I agree with all who has said that there will never be a solution that pleases all. Only thousands more homes will help. Of course there will be complaints from people who got a home, but not a home they like. They wanted a beachfront, they wanted hedges instead of fences, and so on.

 

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The Moles and Patch have indeed been harassed in the forums, but also in in-world group chats (as recently as this week), and reportedly in IMs as well. I think that's a large part of why so many people who do have homes lost patience with the ones who have been complaining. The abuse of the people working to build the new homes has been way out of line, and I'm surprised they haven't retreated back to private work areas after some of the behavior I have witnessed. 

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Sylvia Tamalyn said:

I think that's a large part of why so many people who do have homes lost patience with the ones who have been complaining.

I watched it from the beginning, and I saw forum posters attack the complainers first, even those who hadn't gone into blaming mode.

* People in general have a hard time with anyone who dares to complain on this forum.

Edited by Kiera Clutterbuck
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9 minutes ago, Kiera Clutterbuck said:
32 minutes ago, Sylvia Tamalyn said:

I think that's a large part of why so many people who do have homes lost patience with the ones who have been complaining.

I watched it from the beginning, and I saw forum posters attack the complainers first, even those who hadn't gone into blaming mode.

I agree, I watched it to, and I was one of those impatient with complainers in the beginning (a couple times anyway).  It can be frustrating to see the same complaints over and over.  I changed my tune though and became more supportive.

One good thing happening of late is that the forum is much more supportive of the complainers!  So happy to see that.

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18 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

One good thing happening of late is that the forum is much more supportive of the complainers!  So happy to see that.

.. they simply don't reply anymore and let the community of whiners for what it is, the group who keeps going on here will isolate itself, it doesn't need more encouraging.

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10 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

 .. they simply don't reply anymore

... but there always seems to be someone willing to step in and take their place ;)

 

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17 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:
37 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

One good thing happening of late is that the forum is much more supportive of the complainers!  So happy to see that.

.. they simply don't reply anymore and let the community of whiners for what it is, the group who keeps going on here will isolate itself, it doesn't need more encouraging.

When you resist something you make it stronger...you increase its expression. If you just let it be then it tends to wind down. When you counter something you cause it to come back stronger. Feed the flames and they grow stronger. You can't force people to 'behave'.  You can see this dynamic in many of these threads. 
Look at the other thread "No Linden Home - Please Vent Here" and see how BJoy and Bellebax are getting along. 

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24 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

the group who keeps going on here will isolate itself, it doesn't need more encouraging.

Generally, there is no "group who keeps going on here".....you see it that way because you've grouped all complainers you've encountered  into a group named "Complainers".  Usually, however, it's new people wandering in out of the mainland forest or wherever and saying 'hey where's my home'.   So out of respect, please address each person as the individual they are and stop stereotyping them.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, BelleBax said:

I do think they have been open about when some releases are likely to happen.  Unless I understand it wrongly -  Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are the target release dates and 7:30am SLT is the general time. I really hope this changes. 

I'd love to see LL alternate scheduled release times (and announce them) to occur during different times of day and night.  Maybe  add  3:30pm SLT and 7:30pm SLT to the release schedule.  Even a 3:30am SLT release would be great if they have off-shore resources for it.   

From what I see, LL has moved on from the MWF plan, and definitely has been trying to mix the times up, within their staffing constraints.  IIRC, this week there was a release on both Tuesday & Thursday.  I remember that one release happened around mid-day ... maybe 1:30ish?  Another around 10:30AM.  I suspect that they're now trying to release regions as soon as they're ready, and consciously spreading them through the day as much as possible.

We have to understand how small this team is:  http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Department_of_Public_Works

Looks like that page was updated last March, and I read it to say that there are 6 Linden staffers routinely working in the LPDW, though they may have other responsibilities as well.  In addition, Patch directs the team, and has another manager reporting to him.  Probably these are hands-on positions.  The LDPW works on ALL inworld content, not just Linden Homes.

LDPW has little or no overlap with code developers.  In order to do the changes they made to the LH selection page, they must have worked with the folks who maintain the website, and probably the only reason the website maintainers were willing to do so was because servers were getting stressed.

Patch has stated that the region release process requires the presence of several employees.  They appear to be spread across both PST and EST time zones.

Understanding all this, I wouldn't hold my breath for evening or overnight releases.  I think the latest I've seen one was between 3 and 3:30.  Doing that would require some pretty forceful program management, and more automation than they appear to have access to.

Edited by Nika Talaj
IIRC ...SPELLING lol
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, BelleBax said:

I like seeing new ideas - thanks for this!  I imagine LL's change management team (if they have one) might grimace at this approach, but if Mole X is largely only configuring a home as a last step - maybe your suggestion would work.  I like it! 

Mole X here, in that I'm the one who runs and checks the scripts, and configures the settings, to prepare homes for final release towards the end of our involvement in their initial release.  

That, however, is by no means the final step in the whole release process -- to use an analogy that probably breaks down at some point, we're responsible for making the product, and I'm one of the last of the LDPW moles involved before the products leave the factory.     However, there's a whole lot of other things other people have to do in order to get the products to a warehouse somewhere, enter them into inventory, and then remove them from inventory in response to an order and transfer them to their new owner.

I don't know all the stages involved after we're finished.    I do know that they involve several Lindens from (at least) two other LL departments and their part of the process generally takes a day or so from start to finish.   I also know something of the tasks involved for LL in changing the ownership of several regions at a time, moving them from one estate to another, and changing selective parcel settings for the resident parcels (hitherto common throughout the region).    I don't understand all of them, or not in detail, but at least I know the processes exist and what some of them involve.

I also know roughly how long, approximately, it took to revise the back-end of  the Linden Homes web page to accommodate a completely new kind of Linden Home, offering several different choices of home (and often of theme too, so we have houses and houseboats on the same region) which you control from an in-world house control panel rather than from the website, so I doubt any change to the allocation process (waiting list, lottery, etc), even if LL were minded to make one, could be achieved and properly tested this year.

I'm simply giving my own observations here, as someone involved in the production process, but I can promise you that we do read these discussions, and consider and debate ideas that we haven't already investigated, but a lot of them just aren't doable right now, either because they're not doable at all or because we simply can't consider them for this phase in the overall project, since we couldn't both adopt them and, at the same time, stand any hope of sticking to our original release schedules, let alone the expedited ones we've had to develop over recent months.    And, of course, any major changes would need to be made backwards-compatible with the regions we've already released, which is often a lot more difficult than it sounds because of server-side complexities of which I had no idea before I joined the Moles and the full subtleties of which we (and LL) are still discovering.

 

Edited by Quartz Mole
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16 minutes ago, Nika Talaj said:

Understanding all this, I wouldn't hold my breath for evening or overnight releases.  I think the latest I've seen one was between 3 and 3:30.  Doing that would require some pretty forceful program management, and more automation than they appear to have access to.

Well technically they could assign parcel ownership of ready homes to an account named randomdude linden - who could be a bot account abbandoning the homes at any preselected point of time ... there might be some difficulties but as we can only guess the workflow in a release we simply can't know if that would be feasable. But the basic idea behind such an approach would look doable to me.

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Thank you, @Quartz Mole, for that very detailed reply!

It's interesting to learn more about how the whole process works, and maybe it will help in general for everyone to understand just why some things simply can't be done the way they would like to see them done. 

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3 hours ago, Nika Talaj said:

From what I see, LL has moved on from the MWF plan, and definitely has been trying to mix the times up, within their staffing constraints.  IIRC, this week there was a release on both Tuesday & Thursday.  I remember that one release happened around mid-day ... maybe 1:30ish?  Another around 10:30AM.  I suspect that they're now trying to release regions as soon as they're ready, and consciously spreading them through the day as much as possible.

We have to understand how small this team is:  http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Department_of_Public_Works

Looks like that page was updated last March, and I read it to say that there are 6 Linden staffers routinely working in the LPDW, though they may have other responsibilities as well.  In addition, Patch directs the team, and has another manager reporting to him.  Probably these are hands-on positions.  The LDPW works on ALL inworld content, not just Linden Homes.

LDPW has little or no overlap with code developers.  In order to do the changes they made to the LH selection page, they must have worked with the folks who maintain the website, and probably the only reason the website maintainers were willing to do so was because servers were getting stressed.

Patch has stated that the region release process requires the presence of several employees.  They appear to be spread across both PST and EST time zones.

Understanding all this, I wouldn't hold my breath for evening or overnight releases.  I think the latest I've seen one was between 3 and 3:30.  Doing that would require some pretty forceful program management, and more automation than they appear to have access to.

Thanks for this new information.  I had no idea they were doing more releases daily.  How can I stay informed about these in advance so that IF I can take step away from things at work for a few minutes to try and get a home I'll have some idea when to do so?   

I won't hold my breath about changes in the release plans - but I'm happy to know conversations at LL are happening in effort to find improve things.

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@Quartz Mole thanks so much for your contribution to this discussion.  I, for one, feel more comfortable with bad situations when I know what's going on - and you've shed light on the process.  It's also a great comfort to know LL is listening and thinking through possible improvements.  Can you share any details about how many homes are needed and how many are estimated to be completed in the next few months?  No worries if you don't have that information or can't reveal it - doesn't hurt to ask :). 

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, BelleBax said:

@Quartz Mole thanks so much for your contribution to this discussion.  I, for one, feel more comfortable with bad situations when I know what's going on - and you've shed light on the process.  It's also a great comfort to know LL is listening and thinking through possible improvements.  Can you share any details about how many homes are needed and how many are estimated to be completed in the next few months?  No worries if you don't have that information or can't reveal it - doesn't hurt to ask :). 

Thanks.   I'm really pleased if I can help by explaining, in general terms, some of what's going on at the moment, so people don't speculate wildly based on incomplete information (something that really irritated Sherlock Holmes, as I recall), but I don't think I can be much help with our future plans.     Sorry.   

I think Patch, at one of the SL 16B events (Meet the Moles, or Meet the Lindens, probably) may have touched on the questions you raise, but I'm not certain and I don't want to confuse people (or annoy Patch, come to that) by attributing to him things that he's never said, so I won't rely on my somewhat faulty memory.

Edited by Quartz Mole
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It may also be useful to point out that everything that we create as Moles (the homes, trees, rocks, roads .... ) has to pass an exhaustive QA process before it can be released.  Every script has to be tested under as many weird conditions as we can anticipate. That applies not only to the content itself but also to the way it's placed in world.  After the decorating team has done all of the terraforming and planting of trees, carving out of parcels, and everything else, it all has to be checked.  It's not acceptable to release a region that has trees that poke into houses or are floating half a meter above the ground. We can't allow street sections that don't meet properly or fail to keep you from falling through as you cross a region boundary.  A mailbox that's out of line can result in a house that rezzes at an odd angle, so that it's hard to hang pictures on the walls.  And so it goes ....

This is a well-oiled team of talented designers.  Given the pace that we're running at now, though, it's inevitable that there will be occasional floating trees and boathouses with the wrong permissions.  There's a lot of stuff in every region! That's why QA is such an important part of the process, and one of the leading reasons why we can't release regions much faster than we are. Any errors need to be fixed and rechecked. Residents expect our best work.  As much as we understand the pressure to get houses on the ground rapidly, quality trumps speed.

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On 7/13/2019 at 7:54 PM, Dyna Mole said:

It may also be useful to point out that everything that we create as Moles (the homes, trees, rocks, roads .... ) has to pass an exhaustive QA process before it can be released.  Every script has to be tested under as many weird conditions as we can anticipate. That applies not only to the content itself but also to the way it's placed in world.  After the decorating team has done all of the terraforming and planting of trees, carving out of parcels, and everything else, it all has to be checked.  It's not acceptable to release a region that has trees that poke into houses or are floating half a meter above the ground. We can't allow street sections that don't meet properly or fail to keep you from falling through as you cross a region boundary.  A mailbox that's out of line can result in a house that rezzes at an odd angle, so that it's hard to hang pictures on the walls.  And so it goes ....

This is a well-oiled team of talented designers.  Given the pace that we're running at now, though, it's inevitable that there will be occasional floating trees and boathouses with the wrong permissions.  There's a lot of stuff in every region! That's why QA is such an important part of the process, and one of the leading reasons why we can't release regions much faster than we are. Any errors need to be fixed and rechecked. Residents expect our best work.  As much as we understand the pressure to get houses on the ground rapidly, quality trumps speed.

Is there a possible way to release more than a single region in a day though? It's like trying to get a Willy Wonka golden ticket when a single region of maybe 25 houses goes out and there's thousands of us all refreshing trying to get one. I'm not insulting or attacking, merely asking a genuine question. 

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On 7/13/2019 at 6:54 PM, Dyna Mole said:

It may also be useful to point out that everything that we create as Moles (the homes, trees, rocks, roads .... ) has to pass an exhaustive QA process before it can be released.  Every script has to be tested under as many weird conditions as we can anticipate. That applies not only to the content itself but also to the way it's placed in world.  After the decorating team has done all of the terraforming and planting of trees, carving out of parcels, and everything else, it all has to be checked.  It's not acceptable to release a region that has trees that poke into houses or are floating half a meter above the ground. We can't allow street sections that don't meet properly or fail to keep you from falling through as you cross a region boundary.  A mailbox that's out of line can result in a house that rezzes at an odd angle, so that it's hard to hang pictures on the walls.  And so it goes ....

This is a well-oiled team of talented designers.  Given the pace that we're running at now, though, it's inevitable that there will be occasional floating trees and boathouses with the wrong permissions.  There's a lot of stuff in every region! That's why QA is such an important part of the process, and one of the leading reasons why we can't release regions much faster than we are. Any errors need to be fixed and rechecked. Residents expect our best work.  As much as we understand the pressure to get houses on the ground rapidly, quality trumps speed.

Thank you all for what you are doing.  I promise you I am more and more impressed as the time goes you.   You all are making us some beautiful homes and houseboats to enjoy!  I so love seeing all the sims and watching Bellisseria grow and blossom.   Literally!   All of you involved totally ROCK!   

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26 minutes ago, AlyceAdrift said:

Is there a possible way to release more than a single region in a day though? It's like trying to get a Willy Wonka golden ticket when a single region of maybe 25 houses goes out and there's thousands of us all refreshing trying to get one. I'm not insulting or attacking, merely asking a genuine question. 

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