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Wendy Starfall

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I have put this at the bottom of my more expensive listings after raising the prices by about 10% - I don't see it contravening any listing rule and it does not knock the marketplace at all. Its up to the consumer to choose where to get it.:

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4 hours ago, Garvin Twine said:

And I still miss the point in getting a positive opportunity because something just got worse and my income declines for the 2nd time this year due to raised fees.

But it seems that the main writers on this forum support LL what ever and posting something not in line with them gets you corrected 5 times for the same thing... 

Garvin, I hear your -- I can't see how these continuing fee increases can be anything good for us merchants. Already it's at 17.5% (more if you're out of the U.S.), and there's every indication the fees will continue to increase.
The only hope we have is to raise our prices, and while this may work for some merchants it would be difficult to influence other merchants to follow suit.

Regarding the way some in this thread responded to you, I don't think they are so much correcting you as expressing their desire to impart their knowledge -- knowledge of the new rules. Have you ever seen someone ask a question and think "hey, I know the answer to that", and then felt you could be contributing to the forum by answering it"?  Underneath imparting the knowledge could be the desire to help someone, to a greater or lesser degree.

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On 11/23/2019 at 8:55 AM, Alyona Su said:
On 11/23/2019 at 6:57 AM, Luna Bliss said:

I get a sense that LL has been positioning themselves more as a corporation as the years rolled by, and that they are thinking of SL more as a game as opposed to a platform or community.

It's been happening for the last ten years.

I'm not interested in official definitions. I'm interested in how LL perceives us -- do they see us as a community that they want to work with or cede some power to? Or do they see us in the typical way corporations do -- as 'things' or assets to squeeze as much as they can from for their personal gain?

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1 hour ago, Luna Bliss said:

I'm not interested in official definitions. I'm interested in how LL perceives us -- do they see us as a community that they want to work with or cede some power to? Or do they see us in the typical way corporations do -- as 'things' or assets to squeeze as much as they can from for their personal gain?

THINGS, definetely, haven't you noticed already ? :)

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8 hours ago, Garvin Twine said:

And I still miss the point in getting a positive opportunity because something just got worse and my income declines for the 2nd time this year due to raised fees.

But it seems that the main writers on this forum support LL what ever and posting something not in line with them gets you corrected 5 times for the same thing... 

You SOOOOOOO haven't watched my posts.    I was one of the main people asking the hard questions about Tilia for well over a month. We did happily get some concessions.   "I" at least say what I think and I will be writing over on another thread about this in a couple of minutes.    My point was that you CAN have prices lower inworld (and I plan to) and that rule hasn't been a "rule" for years. 

 

I will past in a link to this thread after I finish. 

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16 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

I'm not interested in official definitions. I'm interested in how LL perceives us -- do they see us as a community that they want to work with or cede some power to? Or do they see us in the typical way corporations do -- as 'things' or assets to squeeze as much as they can from for their personal gain?

It's a bit more complicated than that. If I were to describe how I perceive LL's handling of SL as a whole, my first words would be well meaning... followed by inefficient, inconsistent, lacking direction and fragmented.

Evasive and conflict shy are other words that come to mind. What is conspiciously absent from both the two MP fee threads and the one about the new Event calendar fee is responses from LL. What is their view on this? What do they think the people who have to cover those fees get in return?

And most of all, I'd like to learn more about LL's strategy for developing SL. How do they envision SL 2024 and how are they going to get there? Do they have an overall strategy at all? Coroporate secrets notwithstanding, this needs to be public because the vast bulk of the work will be done by volunteers and semi-independent entrepeneurs of all kinds.

Edited by ChinRey
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6 hours ago, ChinRey said:
23 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

I'm not interested in official definitions. I'm interested in how LL perceives us -- do they see us as a community that they want to work with or cede some power to? Or do they see us in the typical way corporations do -- as 'things' or assets to squeeze as much as they can from for their personal gain?

It's a bit more complicated than that. If I were to describe how I perceive LL's handling of SL as a whole, my first words would be well meaning... followed by inefficient, inconsistent, lacking direction and fragmented.

Evasive and conflict shy are other words that come to mind. What is conspiciously absent from both the two MP fee threads and the one about the new Event calendar fee is responses from LL. What is their view on this? What do they think the people who have to cover those fees get in return?

And most of all, I'd like to learn more about LL's strategy for developing SL. How do they envision SL 2024 and how are they going to get there? Do they have an overall strategy at all? Coroporate secrets notwithstanding, this needs to be public because the vast bulk of the work will be done by volunteers and semi-independent entrepeneurs of all kinds.

Well, they do seem to have a strategy or plan in place regarding how to increasingly take more of our money each year :) 

Organization, with any project, is a balancing act -- too much or too little can be detrimental. SL is an organic, evolving endeavor and so it really can't be structured too far ahead, and too severely -- too much organization tends to achieve a deadening effect.  It would certainly be nice however if we could know more what to expect, because, as you say, it affects our plans, for both merchants and non-merchants.

I see the problem as a lack of empathy, but recognize that's my 'thing' as much as organization and efficiency is of great importance to you.
The fact that they think the SL Marketplace is on par with Google or Turbosquid is problematic, to say the least. It shows a complete lack of ability to see the vast differences in the SL MP itself. Furthermore, to not understand what the residents bring to SL that is not a part of these other 3d content-selling venues demonstrates a complete lack of appreciation for us, for what we do to create the world, with both content creation and other worthy projects.

I would ask, at what point does lack of empathy for the 'other side' turn into viewing them as a 'thing'? 

Edited by Luna Bliss
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13 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

The fact that they think the SL Marketplace is on par with Google or Turbosquid is problematic, to say the least.

It's very problematic and it's what I meant by the expired frozen pizza at restaurant price metaphor. I'm not sure what they mean by it either. Do they really believe MP can be compared to professionally made and carefully designed internet resources like that or do they think we are stupid enough to fall for it?

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7 hours ago, ChinRey said:

And most of all, I'd like to learn more about LL's strategy for developing SL. How do they envision SL 2024 and how are they going to get there? Do they have an overall strategy at all? Coroporate secrets notwithstanding, this needs to be public because the vast bulk of the work will be done by volunteers and semi-independent entrepeneurs of all kinds.

Then look at what they are actually doing.

Moving services to cloud hosting and taking a larger slice of the transaction economy (after a decades decline in land), the third string was planned to be Sansar growth and customer migration.

End user feature development for SL has been ongoing, but it's painfully apparent projects are understaffed and competing for limited developer time. All projects seem to be backlogged (contrast this to the pace of Sansar development .. prior to staff downsizing anyway)

Cloud migration (important to understand it's 'migration to' and not 'redeveloping for') and Tilly are two big changes that bring platform options to the table for the medium to long term. None of which we will like.

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On 11/22/2019 at 6:34 PM, Wendy Starfall said:

We pay VAT when we transact with Linden Lab. Here is an example:

34218390_Annotation2019-11-23003038.png.074dd4bdbde1092fe3cd187466536cf6.png

In Austria we pay income tax varying on how much we earn, that would be up to 25% for me (as artist/coder), and if I would earn enough to actually make a normal living, it would be 35%. That means with the PayPal currency exchange fee of 4% another 29% on top of the fees of 22.5% that I'd have to pay to Linden Lab (not counting any VAT I pay for recurring island fees because that's money I pay and not money I earn), so I'm left with less than half of what I earned.

I think the tax situation is a bit different in the United States, I think there the tax varies by state.

Like most merchants describing the effect of the increased fees, you're forgetting a big part of the previous fee structure. You own a private region at $229. It used to be $295. When you add in the additional VAT you're not paying, your monthly expenses are $79.20 less than they were. If you're not consistently being hit by more than $79 per month in additional fees, you're coming out ahead.

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18 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

 It would certainly be nice however if we could know more what to expect, because, as you say, it affects our plans, for both merchants and non-merchants.
 

i think it is safe to say we can expect more fee raises in the near future. And possibly higher L$ exchange rate, on top of that.

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On 11/23/2019 at 5:33 AM, Luna Bliss said:

Most Lindens are in offices outside California (Georgia, the Seattle area, and perhaps someplace else). And even those living in CA working in the Linden Street office live outside San Francisco proper where the rents are cheaper (according to one Linden I spoke with).

Actually most of LL servers are located in Phoenix & Tucson, AZ where the risk of natural disasters are the lowest in the US and technology corridor has cheap rents. 

Beyond that Seattle is actually on point with SF cost of living prices. And to the outside SF comment, 90% of the East Bay is right up there with SF prices. You actually have to live 70+ miles or more away to see a significant price drop. This is still the highest rents in the US in general just cause your address has CA in it...  Basically if your zip code starts with a "9" you are going to PAY FOR IT!

As to the OP, as you can tell I live in the US. I have lived in CA for a significant part of my life and I have also lived in 10 other states too. CA is the worst. Companies based there are throwing money away for just an address.  

As a content creator of over 10 years now, I have to say back in 2011 - 2014 I actually made a very nice profit from this on a monthly basis. Since then I took a hiatus and I have been back for over a year now. My sales are relatively the same as my 2011 levels in L$ amount, however this isn't indicative of sales volume as that is way down. It's just that my prices had to come up a bit for the extended costs of creating MESH (import costs aren't the standard L$ 10 of a texture) and 1 texture doesn't always make the outfit what it will be. Most outfits I created in 2010 cost about L$ 150 - L$ 250 at the high end. Now with MESH (especially fitted) it's more like 10x that amount if you want to design for ALL the top end bodies. Back in 2010 I could sell 1 - 3 outfits and that would cover costs and profits/reinvestment funds would start from there. Now I need to sell 12 - 16 copies just to make my money invested back and that doesn't include time or software. Take all this and the added fees that they imposed in August/Sept cleverly hidden as a "Land Fee Reduction" BS... Now add the new fees they are imposing next week, and it tells me coming back was a mistake. This "game" is in its death throws and LL's fall back plan (Sansar) is a non-starter from the word go. I will continue to create only cause I appreciate my art more than I do $ and I actually make a comfortable living as a Network Engineer, but as for those that counted on this platform for an actual income, those days are past.

 

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5 hours ago, Jae Serrao said:

You actually have to live 70+ miles or more away to see a significant price drop.

Vallejo doesn't seem so bad, and only 30 miles away. Still expensive, but not to the degree you are citing.  Georgia is very cheap, median home price is less than the national average. Rents are too.

* But the point is, even if the cost of living is higher where a certain percentage of LL employees live (certainly higher in the Seattle area and CA, but not so in Georgia and areas where servers reside), does this justify the increasing costs the merchants are now being required to pay, and will be required to pay in the future?

Edited by Luna Bliss

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As a content creator with two different stores these constant price increases are making me pull my hair out in frustration. We lost so many users, instead of investing in advertising to get new users, LL wants to drive the last remaining userbase away with these exorbitant prices. SL is LL's product so they can decide how they want to kill it but it still hurts to see it happen. I feel like the frog being slowly boiled while they turn on the heat ever so slowly. 

It's like LL has given up on SL and just want to extort as much money from the last remaining online people as possible until they announce that SL will no longer be available and pull the plug completely.

It's so sad to see SL dying :(

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On 11/24/2019 at 7:50 AM, Luna Bliss said:

I'm not interested in official definitions. I'm interested in how LL perceives us -- do they see us as a community that they want to work with or cede some power to? Or do they see us in the typical way corporations do -- as 'things' or assets to squeeze as much as they can from for their personal gain?

It's worth reminding LL management, when they get uppity, that we, the users, are their only valuable asset. Everyone who has tried to start up a virtual world in the last few years has failed to attract users in large numbers. High Fidelity - gave up. Sansar - concurrent user count under 100. Sinespace - user count under 100. Worlds Adrift (a big persistent world MMO) - shut down after a few months. Nostos (a big persistent world MMO from China)  - opened for a short beta, then shut down. Facebook Spaces - closed last month. VRchat - peaked in 2017, but holding steady around 7000 concurrent users. Now starting up, Sominium Space and Decentraland, which are virtual worlds for cryptocurrency speculation. Coming in 2020, Facebook Horizon. Too soon to tell on those.

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35 minutes ago, animats said:

we, the users, are their only valuable asset

I like that, animats -- we may just be objects now, but we are important objects!    :)

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38 minutes ago, animats said:

Nostos (a big persistent world MMO from China)  - opened for a short beta, then shut down.

oh no...I was so looking forward to that game...do u know if they will ever open?

 

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3 hours ago, animats said:

VRchat - peaked in 2017, but holding steady around 7000 concurrent users

It's worth noting that Vrchat doesn't support an economy, although they're working on it (at least they say so). The only VW that I know of that has an economy is Sine space, so far... Those others you listed... Well going to check them out now. 

One thing though, about Sine space: imo they're doing it right for what concerns content creation, basing off the Unity editor supplying an extension for modding. That way creators get the engine features (like a proper material editor, ShaderGraph, and LoD groups, unlike DaJoke-Sansar) and the extension fits things to Sinespace

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6 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

oh no...I was so looking forward to that game (Nostos)...do u know if they will ever open?

No idea. They had an open alpha for a few weeks, then that shut down. Silence on the web site and Twitter. Early in 2019, they said the release would be in Q3 2019. In August 2019, they said Q4 2019. Now they're not saying anything.

There's a video of actual play at https://youtu.be/9UW89v84mmM and it does not look as good as the impressive trailer.

After almost a decade-long lull, people are making SL competitors. So far, they're not very good. So far, they're mostly from underfunded startups. But they're much easier to build than they used to be. It's possible to hook together Unity or UE4 on the front end and Improbable on the back end and get a big persistent world that sort of works.

If Epic (Fortnite, UE4) decides to enter this market, LL has a big problem. Notes from a talk by the CEO of Epic, Tim Sweeney, at the 2019 Game Developer's Conference:

The future of [a] shared entertainment medium is to have meaningful experiences that people interact with and become a part of the larger world with open world compatibility and open interfaces. The Marshmello concert in Fortnite is one indicator of where it’s going. The metaverse is going to evolve from individual creators creating experiences that interoperate with other experiences.

Need virtual worlds to scale beyond a 200 players on a shard. Need 1 shared world w EVERYONE. Needs a programming environment to scale to unlimited sized. Not single thread C++. Large-scale concurrency w safe transactions that are consistent, durable, isolated.

A viable Metaverse is going to need a successful economy so that creators can make a living, which is absolutely essential. We need a rich set of different economic models. The app store with microtransactions is merely one model. Ad models are dysfunctional.

Sounds like he's thinking of competing with Second Life. With better technology. The person who wrote that 1) runs the most successful game company in the world, 2) has a game with 7.5 million concurrent users, 3) has a personal net worth of about $7 billion, and 4) is a really good programmer and understands the technology.

And, of course, Facebook Horizon launches soon. The big guys are coming.

 

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2 hours ago, animats said:

The big guys are coming.

Hopefully sooner than later... Can't wait to see Sansar wreck on the shore as it deserves

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On 11/23/2019 at 12:39 AM, CoffeeDujour said:

The Sansar side of LL just let 30 staff go ... 

I feel sorry for the people who got fired and some anger for the people who pushed that idiotic "Sansar" project into existance.

The board should fire the right people instead. ASAP. And sell Sansar to Disney or whomsoever, as long as anyone out there still is interested in such a platform and the tech.

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