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Cost Of Name Changes Out Of The Bag

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Oh I understand rather well where you're coming from and to put it both bluntly and as politely as possible: You haven't a single clue how the back end servers/systems are (or at one time at least, were) set up here.

Let me spell this out for you: It took them this long to even introduce the idea simply because it has/had the potential to completely delink all other data pertaining to a User's account should it be improperly implemented.

You are comparing these hodgepodge systems to far more polished systems/products that ensured they'd have far more wiggle room in case something went horribly wrong.

In the past, Linden Lab would forcibly change the Account Name on a user if the name was reported as Offensive and found to actually be such .... with some rather nasty consequences if it was not done properly. The last time I checked, they now simply ban such reported users.

Now then, since you're so adamant on your stance .... You'll have to find a way to prove it. No, that does not mean making references to other services. That means proving that this service functions in an identical manner to others.

This is right up there with the users that claim the pricing on a Private Region is grossly inflated, while trying to compare it to far simpler or otherwise unrelated services/systems.

Edited by Solar Legion
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27 minutes ago, cheesecurd said:

It appears that I am watching the game I love and enjoy exploit their userbase.

Paying to change your name is not a requirement to use SL.  Just like wearing a mesh body isn't.  Living in a premium home isn't.   If it is worth it to YOU to pay it then pay it.  nobody is exploited here just because they don't want to pay to change their name.  

Edited by Cindy Evanier
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9 minutes ago, cheesecurd said:

It appears that I am watching the game I love and enjoy exploit their userbase.

Okay, my last comment regarding this: How is it exploitation when the service option that we are discussing (ability to change name) is 100% optional and elective with zero detriment if foregoing said feature?

Please explain your definition of "exploit" and how that definition applies to this specific optional, elective service.

In others words, please make the actual case for your argument.

We all are open-minded enough that if you can make a plausible case then we may agree with you. But it appears that you rather dig your heels into soft sand and you are being pushed farther and farther backward. Here is your chance to rectify that, please do.

Edited by Alyona Su
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Just now, Alyona Su said:

Okay, my last comment regarding this: How is it exploitation when the service option that we are discussing (ability to change name) is 100% optional and elective with zero detriment if foregoing said feature?

Please eplain your definition of "exploit" and how that definition applies to the specific optional, elective service.

In others word, please make the actual case for your argument.

Ok, it is entirely optional for a seller to price an object at some absurdly high price. Why would they do that? Because they know someone will pay that price. That price however may not be fair at all for what you actually get.

Lets say there’s a potted plant on the marketplace, it’s a nice potted plant, a little jade or something, nice textures, quality optimized mesh. But it costs 5000 L$.

Is that a fair price? God no. But why can’t you justify something being a price like that? The seller can price it at whatever they want really, if the price isn’t fair then nobody will buy it.

But somewhere out there is a person who doesn’t know and doesn’t care about that price. What does it matter to them? Maybe they do think 5000 L$ is a fair price for a potted jade plant.

And that’s who that seller is hoping for, they want to exploit those users who do not care and will buy it anyway. Because if they could get 500 L$ out of them, why not get 5000 L$ out of them?

This is of course an extreme example but this is exactly what the name change is. They are selling a feature that someone will buy regardless of price. And since this is the only option to change your name besides making a brand new account, they can make that price whatever they want and sell exclusively to users who don’t care what the price is. That is exploitation of those users for profit.

The name change feature is not worth 40$, definitely not considering you can’t customize both fields of your name to whatever (provided it’s clean of course), but they will charge that number because the customer they are looking for does not value their 40$ and doesn’t care about the price.

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17 minutes ago, cheesecurd said:

Ok, it is entirely optional for a seller to price an object at some absurdly high price. Why would they do that? Because they know someone will pay that price. That price however may not be fair at all for what you actually get.

Lets say there’s a potted plant on the marketplace, it’s a nice potted plant, a little jade or something, nice textures, quality optimized mesh. But it costs 5000 L$.

Is that a fair price? God no. But why can’t you justify something being a price like that? The seller can price it at whatever they want really, if the price isn’t fair then nobody will buy it.

But somewhere out there is a person who doesn’t know and doesn’t care about that price. What does it matter to them? Maybe they do think 5000 L$ is a fair price for a potted jade plant.

And that’s who that seller is hoping for, they want to exploit those users who do not care and will buy it anyway. Because if they could get 500 L$ out of them, why not get 5000 L$ out of them?

This is of course an extreme example but this is exactly what the name change is. They are selling a feature that someone will buy regardless of price. And since this is the only option to change your name besides making a brand new account, they can make that price whatever they want and sell exclusively to users who don’t care what the price is. That is exploitation of those users for profit.

The name change feature is not worth 40$, definitely not considering you can’t customize both fields of your name to whatever (provided it’s clean of course), but they will charge that number because the customer they are looking for does not value their 40$ and doesn’t care about the price.

Thank you for making a reasonable effort. Though some of your statement is still shrill-sounding, your basic argument is a fair one, it really is.

So I'll proffer this response to everything you've said thus far. It comes down to fairness and the word "fair" is often a controversial word because what you feel is "fair" to you, I may feel is "unfair" to me. So in this case, some people, those who will pay the asking price to change their name, will feel that it is "fair" to them, whereas you feel it is unfair to you. True fairness means all side must give-up portions of what they want; it is a negative-sum solution.

Feeling it is unfair to you is a respectable, understandable feeling and stance. When you make it clear that this is your perspective and is not something that should be forced onto others, (or wild diatribe rhetoric such as "exploiting", etc.,) then your argument carries weight and respectability.  So, in that case, what are the potential solutions for you? I can think of several:

  • Not everyone have the ability to cover what are high-costs to them in SL - so what if you put a Tip Jar somewhere and ask others to help you save up enough L$ that you can purchase this option? There *are* a lot of people with altruistic tendencies who will donate to your cause.
  • A premium subscription can be gifted to another. Perhaps, though unknown at this time, this feature can also be gifted to another? @Oz Linden or another in the know can answer that question.
  • A third option is to participate in the "Create a LastName" contest. If one of your ideas is selected, (as I understand it) you will get a free month of Premium Membership and a free Name Change. Sure, the odds may be very, very slim, but you'll never even have a chance at winning if you don't try.

There are some ideas that can help you to afford this service. If you do put up a tip jar, I'll be happy to be the first to contribute. There, see how making your case instead of raising your voice is more productive and a respectful discussion happens? :) I will be rooting for you.

Edited by Alyona Su
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Meh, everyone gets an opinion. Personally I think the fact that display names exist significantly reduces the desirability of a more restrictive username change. But if you have to have your display name match your username, totally worth it.

One other thing, "estimated value at US$39.99" doesn't necessarily mean that's what people will actually be paying when it's rolled out. We don't know what discounts LL will offer, and I think chances are pretty good it will end up getting some kind of discounts.

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42 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

So, in that case, what are the potential solutions for you?

For me personally I don’t intend to change my name unless I can customize my last name

so I can be cheesecurd cheeseball, I like name and I chose it for fun and I don’t really want to do the formal virtual world name

However to make the name changes a bit more reasonable, first and foremost is the price. 20$ is high but I could understand 20$. That has to include both a first and last name change, entirely custom first name at minimum and there better be a massive list of last names.

Or ideally custom last names as well.

Secondarily it should be a free change on introduction one time for existing premium members who have had their membership for 6 months or more, and a free name change with each 6 month span of subscription at minimum.

Theyre paying a lot of money, it’s a simple feature, name changes shouldn’t be a fee on top of that for premium users.

If LL did that then this wouldn’t feel like a slap in the face.

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I don't know how other games do this, and frankly I wouldn't subject myself to them if they paid me to change my name every day.

In SL, if I don't want to pay, I can set a new Display Name occasionally. And if I'm willing to pay, I can change my name for US$ 40, which pretty much retires the old name unless I decide to bring it back. Or I can keep what name(s) I have, which is probably what I'll do although I might rename an old alt account that's worth preserving, if I find one of the new last names irresistible. If I didn't have such an account, I might create a new alt then pay to change its name to that irresistible new last name.

Y'know... the Lab might do well to popularize the choices of last name -- and not only when the feature is new, but with each generation of new names -- to lure folks into paying that $40 fee.

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Given how long it took to roll out name changes this probably took more effort than we can imagine. The price may reflect all those person-hours or it may just be an executive decision. Either way, this may not be the pricing forever. As Lyssa said, maybe incentives will happen or recalibration after a few months of roll out.

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When I first joined SL in 2006, it was during an immense surge in popularity. I also had a very slow computer. Even though Starbrook was a choice I had, my first name choice got taken by someone else or the system kept timing out on me. I ended up with LuLu, since I liked and respected a person in RL who had that nickname. My RL married last name is one that is retired, too. It was unavailable before I joined. I’m a little disappointed that I can’t claim Starbrook for my alts. There are only about 35 Starbrooks in SL now..

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2 hours ago, cheesecurd said:

LL: “On top of a flat 40$ fee, to pick a non custom name from a list.”

Literally just the SL boomers: “yay

 

2 hours ago, cheesecurd said:
2 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

But what about those of us who are SL Boomers, but RL Gen-Xers? 

Not everything is about generations or age. 

It’s just a title. I reference those who have that 10+ year join date and follow SL culture of that time.

Your real life age isn’t affiliated.

Ffs, now I'm a Boomer in SL? :::insert appropriately pithy emoji here, I'd do it but it wouldn't pass the mods:::

So, you think only the 10+ avis will be the ones saying "yay" to the name change? That doesn't make sense, on so many levels. We've lived with our first and last names for 10+ years, and for better or worse, they are a part of us. We already went through the same name selection process. There was something else but apparently I'm so old I'm getting forgetful.

Really, was the generational thing necessary to bring in here? So very snotty, and just... wrong.

I could see the dot residents wanting to change. 

I've been ignoring this thread because it is frankly kind of boring and no big deal. Name change is an option, not a requirement. Yay for more options. Perhaps the entitled "youth" are just feeling triggered. See, us oldbies can do snotty, ridiculous snark too. It just tires us out. :::goes to yell at someone on my lawn:::

Edited by Seicher Rae
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13 minutes ago, Seicher Rae said:

We've lived with our first and last names for 10+ years, and for better or worse, they are a part of us.

Boomer says: "Yay! This whole time my name was worth forty bucks! Eat that, millennial!"

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For me, the idea of a name change is pretty moot. I like this name. I picked it with some thought, and I've had it for more than 13 years now. 

I think the price is fair. If you want a fun and quick name, just use a display name. Easy-peasy and free. If you desire a full on username change, presumably a most involved process, then it's gonna cost.

I'mma sit out the contest though, cuz like I said, I'm happy with this name, and the last names I'd want were used in the past anyway.

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$40 is steep, but if they add any of the three names I voted for in the contest, I'd pay it in a heartbeat. I wouldn't pay for anything else though.

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Personally, I wont change my name - while I'm not that happy with it, I'm used to it. I thought about changing my malts name, though.
But I wont, because 40$ + Premium fee isn't worth that to me. I can almost get a brand new tripple A game for that price. 


I think it's logical that LL tries to get as much money out of it as they can. I just think they'd get more people by lowering it? As in, huh, more people would be willing to get it. I'm thinking that mass would negate the loss of lowering it, if that makes sense? Not a mathy or buissnessy person, obviously, lol.

In the end, I'm okay with LL charging as much as they want - they're certainly not as rich as Blizzard/Activision, who truly milk the people just because. But LL's Sansar wasn't as successfull as they'd liked, so maybe some of that money is used to mitigate the loss at leas a little? Not sure. I'll shut up.

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25 minutes ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

Personally, I wont change my name - while I'm not that happy with it, I'm used to it. I thought about changing my malts name, though.
But I wont, because 40$ + Premium fee isn't worth that to me. I can almost get a brand new tripple A game for that price. 


I think it's logical that LL tries to get as much money out of it as they can. I just think they'd get more people by lowering it? As in, huh, more people would be willing to get it. I'm thinking that mass would negate the loss of lowering it, if that makes sense? Not a mathy or buissnessy person, obviously, lol.

In the end, I'm okay with LL charging as much as they want - they're certainly not as rich as Blizzard/Activision, who truly milk the people just because. But LL's Sansar wasn't as successfull as they'd liked, so maybe some of that money is used to mitigate the loss at leas a little? Not sure. I'll shut up.

Other day I was chatting with a performer in world and we were talking is how LL seems to be more nickle and dime for things. It is time they take Sansar and file 13 it.

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27 minutes ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

But LL's Sansar wasn't as successfull as they'd liked, so maybe some of that money is used to mitigate the loss at leas a little?

Is there anything wrong with that if it is? When you buy products from Coca Cola, Nintendo, McDonalds, HP, Toshiba, Microsoft, Apple, Frito-Lay, Coors, Pepsi, and Sony, you're paying for their failed products as well. And that list only counts the ones that hit the market. There are billions and billions and billions spent on product R&D for things so awful they never hit the market at all. It's part of business.

Is $40 really that much to most people? I feel super-elitist snobby saying that, but seriously? Isn't that like the cost of going to the movies these days (I don't go to the movies)? It's a one time charge. It should be part of your entertainment budget that you either can or cannot afford, or that you'd rather spend elsewhere. 

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3 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Is there anything wrong with that if it is? When you buy products from Coca Cola, Nintendo, McDonalds, HP, Toshiba, Microsoft, Apple, Frito-Lay, Coors, Pepsi, and Sony, you're paying for their failed products as well. And that list only counts the ones that hit the market. There are billions and billions and billions spent on product R&D for things so awful they never hit the market at all. It's part of business.

At our RL bar sometimes a vendor will pitch a new thing or maybe a new type of drink we could serve and never hear about it again. I remember inquiring one vendor and he said the proposed product was dropped. There's one vendor that does keep bugging us and we always tell them to leave is one to make the washrooms accessible by phone app only. Ridiculous idea for a business like a bar.

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3 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Is there anything wrong with that if it is? When you buy products from Coca Cola, Nintendo, McDonalds, HP, Toshiba, Microsoft, Apple, Frito-Lay, Coors, Pepsi, and Sony, you're paying for their failed products as well. And that list only counts the ones that hit the market. There are billions and billions and billions spent on product R&D for things so awful they never hit the market at all. It's part of business.

Is $40 really that much to most people? I feel super-elitist snobby saying that, but seriously? Isn't that like the cost of going to the movies these days (I don't go to the movies)? It's a one time charge. It should be part of your entertainment budget that you either can or cannot afford, or that you'd rather spend elsewhere. 

I'm not saying it's wrong! I'm more or less saying they may need the money (and certainly more than Blizzard needs it.). Or: LL doesn't strike me as simply greedy in that regard. 

Dunno what kinda luxury cinemas you visit Beth, but here a ticket is more like.. 14.50$ :P

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I would donate to the ‘change my name’ tip jar of a performer I like! I cringe when I see his old username! He’s got a really good case for name change!
 

Game extras, perks, premium services are often expensive out of proportion to the perceived general benefit. If they don’t suit everyone, that’s fine. They weren’t meant to. LL is a private company providing a product/service so they can charge what they like, people aren’t required to opt in for this at all! Ditto for the upcoming higher subscriber level. I assume there will be similar discussion even though it’s totally optional.
 

This is not new. VIP passes, extra perks,  multiple tier levels, subscription add-ones...all of these are getting more common IRL everywhere, super-passes at conventions, multi-level VIP tickets at concerts, Golden Ticket experiences at events. 

I joined in 2008, I have my same first and last name on my main...oldbies don’t consider me an oldbie, but people several years newer don’t think I’m a noob so I guess I’m Gen X in SL too, how funny! 
 

kidding aside, I don’t ever balk at using someone’s chosen display name providing I can read it, and aside from just a few search and scripting issues, display names have been a pretty good alternative, so shouldn’t they keep working fine for people who (for whatever reason) don’t want to opt in for a name change? 

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3 minutes ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

Dunno what kinda luxury cinemas you visit Beth, but here a ticket is more like.. 14.50$

Have you seen how much popcorn she gets through!

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3 minutes ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

I'm not saying it's wrong! I'm more or less saying they may need the money (and certainly more than Blizzard needs it.). Or: LL doesn't strike me as simply greedy in that regard. 

Dunno what kinda luxury cinemas you visit Beth, but here a ticket is more like.. 14.50$ :P

In our area it's like $19 CDN. And it's only via purchase on a phone app, which leaves a few out.

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28 minutes ago, Kimmi Zehetbauer said:

Other day I was chatting with a performer in world and we were talking is how LL seems to be more nickle and dime for things. It is time they take Sansar and file 13 it.

Half of SL’s actual business model is built on the concept of micropayments in a micro currency adding up so I’d say you are correct but it isn’t new at all...and I’d also say they have been pretty successful with it so far. 

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