animats Posted August 7, 2019 Share Posted August 7, 2019 (edited) (A new user recently asked me for advice on this, and I realized there's no good introduction to driving around Second Life. So, here it is.) Driving in Second Life frustrates some users. Often for the wrong reasons. It's not difficult, but some advice on getting started helps. First, you need a car. (I sell motorcycles, so I'm going to concentrate on cars for this, so as not to advertise.) A good place to get a demo car is Burns sim, in Heterocera. There are three competing car builders in that area, and they all have demo car rezzers and access to Linden roads. So you can try different vehicles from different builders. They're all modern SL road vehicles and drive well. Any of the demo cars will work for as long as you stay in the car, so you can tour all of Heterocera for free if you want. This will give you a sense of how a good vehicle in SL behaves. Robin Loop in Heterocera. Car builders are concentrated near the southeast, in Burns and Neumogen. To drive Robin Loop, head east and make left turns when you have a choice. This area is on a road which is part of Robin Loop, a loop about 3km around. It's a good place to practice driving. Most SL vehicles steer with arrow keys. Steering control is thus rather limited. Many vehicles in SL are tuned for racing on racetracks. These go fast, turn tightly, and are good on racetrack sims with wide tracks. They're hard to keep on two-lane Linden roads, let alone in lane. Many don't handle road bumps or region crossings well. Road cars don't turn as tightly, are expected to deal with moderate road problems, and should deal with region crossings properly. If you try to drive a racetrack-tuned car on Linden roads, you'll soon become frustrated. If you want to try a race car, go to a racetrack sim. Most have demo rezzers. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of different vehicles available in SL. Some are great; some are awful. Some that look really good are totally undriveable. Try before you buy. How to drive. Left and right arrow to steer, up arrow to accelerate, down arrow to brake. That's the only thing that's standard. Most cars have "gears", to set the speed range. Shifting is usually page up/page down or shift-right arrow/shift left arrow. Some vehicles have to be shifted to reverse to back up; some don't. There's no standard on this. Get a demo vehicle and drive slowly around Robin Loop. It's a nice drive. Things to watch for: There's a place where traffic cones block part of the road. Avoid those. (Not enough prim capacity on a tiny corner of the road that's in another sim.) There's a place where a flat road transitions abruptly to a steep hill. Approach that transition slowly or your car may bounce sideways. There's a T intersection at the bottom of a hill. Approach slowly or you will end up in the lake. Turn left to stay on the loop. One trip around Robin Loop will introduce you to most of the problems of SL driving in only a few minutes. So it's a good place to practice. As you get better, try higher speeds. You can drive in SL at moderate highway speeds; you don't have to creep along. In general, try to understeer. Quick key presses on left and right arrows; rarely hold them down. If you oversteer and have to correct back, you're overcontrolling; back off a bit. Lag is a problem. You press an arrow key, and, after a visible delay, something happens. That's why you need to understeer and only make about one steering correction per second. This is weird at first, then tolerable, then instinctive. Have fun driving around and sightseeing. Heterocera has enough roads that you can drive for hours. Region crossings With a modern SL vehicle, the vehicle handles most region crossing problems. You'll have a brief stop at each region crossing, and there may be a moment when things look wrong visually, but you should come out of the region crossing at the angle and speed you went in. The vehicles for sale in the Burns area all seem to handle this properly. Many older vehicles on Marketplace don't. There's folklore about crossing region boundaries at a right angle, and avoiding region corners. That's the vehicle's problem today, not the driver's. If you're losing control at region crossings, find a better vehicle. Most modern vehicles will slow you way down if you are getting close to the corner of four regions. Hitting a region corner fast will often cause a failure in SL and you will usually have to log out. Better vehicles handle this by slowing you down automatically. Expect to have about one total region crossing failure per hour of driving. These usually require logging out and logging back in. Known SL server bug. Biggest frustration with SL vehicles. Rough terrain Some cars can't go over a curb without getting stuck. Some can drive up stairs. How much off-road capability a vehicle has varies widely. Usually, this doesn't matter much for road driving. However, due to an error in road construction in Bellesaria, most roads there are impassible by cars that can't climb a vertical curb. Places to go Heterocera has a good road network. Sansara has a road network, but it's not well connected and the older roads, in the western section, are bumpy and have abrupt turns. Corsica has a very nice "Circuit de Corse", with frequent, well-marked rez zones. Bellesaria is very driveable, with good rez zones. Watch for bicycles and horses. Things to do Drivers of SL group. Weekly rallies, guided by a clever HUD. There's usually one every Saturday at noon and midnight SLT. Get The Freight Out (GTFO) Grid-wide driving game, with tasks, deliveries, and scoring. There's a whole world out there. Edited August 7, 2019 by animats rm extra whitespace 14 16 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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