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What happened to SL


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3 hours ago, Solar Legion said:

Unless there was an announcement that everyone missed, the current Stipend is 300 - not 100.

And yes raster - it's a rumor. One that has cropped up more than once in fact, in varied flavors.

Also older basic accounts still get the 50L stipend as long as they log in for an X amount of time once a week.

Yes, I still get my 50Ls, as long as I log in once a week for about 15 minutes.

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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2 hours ago, Lindal Kidd said:

I think you'll have to die on that hill, Adam.  Conceptually, yes, a virtual world could be a game changer and a "Web 2.0".  But SL could never be that, because of underlying technical limitations.  Put simply, there's just too much overhead.  Sansar was an attempt to get around those fundamental limits, as well as to jump on the bandwagon of VR, which some saw as the "future of the internet" too.  Virtual worlds and VR may still be the future of us all, and I think that would be Very Very Cool...but right now I think they are both in a niche market.

That is not necessarily a bad thing.  In 1975, personal computers were in a niche market too.  Look at where we've come from that!

That last sentence speaks to the possibilities of where SL can go one day.

Technical limitations kept SL from being that game-changer as long as those technical limitations existed. Linden Labs refusal to solve them is what is continuing to keep it from becoming that game changer.

VW and VR will be the future if we commit to that and get through the technical hurdles. SL could have been a part of that process, with long-term commitment to do the same.

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3 hours ago, Adam Spark said:

Technical limitations kept SL from being that game-changer as long as those technical limitations existed. Linden Labs refusal to solve them is what is continuing to keep it from becoming that game changer.

I know. There's so much that could be done with SL, but it's way beyond the abilities of the current dev team. It would require a new viewer, based perhaps on Unreal Engine 4, with parallelism and physically-based rendering. It would take a set of creation tools which took you from a good-looking but inefficient mesh to optimized game-quality assets without pain points. It would take a level of detail system which was smart about what to load in what order and what resolution. It would take a background system which automatically worked through all the mesh assets, re-making optimized versions of lower levels of detail where where they had holes or were really bad. It would take an overhaul of the back end to improve concurrency, so that entering avatars didn't cause two seconds of slowdown, scripts didn't slow the server, and region crossings worked every time. It would take an impostoring system, so distant objects were represented by billboard impostors or simple forms, and you could see all the way to the horizon.

And that just gets you SL's current capabilities brought up to modern game technology.

Then you'd need to go on from there. Figure out how to support crowds, so a few hundred people at one event will work. Offer webcam facial expression tracking, so your avatar reflects your own facial expressions. Optional, but it would be expected of performers.

 

 

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On 2/5/2020 at 5:38 PM, Tarin Babenco said:

I have been a away for a few years and recently came back. What happened to SL it’s dead :(

It depends how you see it, if you compare with the hype years it may feel dead, but for me that come from a medium sized city in Sweden I meet more folk in SL per day than I actually meet and talk to in RL, so for me (that joined late) Second Life has never been dead, and there is always more folk online on SL than there is folk living in my city.

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5 hours ago, animats said:

I know. There's so much that could be done with SL, but it's way beyond the abilities of the current dev team. It would require a new viewer, based perhaps on Unreal Engine 4, with parallelism and physically-based rendering. It would take a set of creation tools which took you from a good-looking but inefficient mesh to optimized game-quality assets without pain points. It would take a level of detail system which was smart about what to load in what order and what resolution. It would take a background system which automatically worked through all the mesh assets, re-making optimized versions of lower levels of detail where where they had holes or were really bad. It would take an overhaul of the back end to improve concurrency, so that entering avatars didn't cause two seconds of slowdown, scripts didn't slow the server, and region crossings worked every time. It would take an impostoring system, so distant objects were represented by billboard impostors or simple forms, and you could see all the way to the horizon.

And that just gets you SL's current capabilities brought up to modern game technology.

Then you'd need to go on from there. Figure out how to support crowds, so a few hundred people at one event will work. Offer webcam facial expression tracking, so your avatar reflects your own facial expressions. Optional, but it would be expected of performers.

 

 

Yep. And Linden Lab's mantra is to always take the easy road by patching the current mess with so called upgrades, so that won't be happening.

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Woe betide thee who break legacy content.  Or something like that anyway.  There is some history here and somebody will probably point out that it doesn't have anything to do with breaking existing content but I still wanted to post this. 

image.png

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SL is doing fine for what it is, a virtual world that requires a computer to run. Computers have been on a downward trend for quite some time. There's a generation out there with a lot of people who don't know how to use a QWERTY keyboard and only know how to "swype" or peck at a screen. SL is a safe, slowly declining product that LL has and they don't want to take huge risks to upset what they have. Part of that is not adapting SL to go after new markets. SL is hitched to the higher performance computer wagon and nothing has been done to get it off of that.

I've posted here before, but the fact that you can't do activities in SL that revolve buying things and changing your avatar on Android or iOS is a ridiculously huge amount of money and new users that LL is passing up. SL would be laughably huge and successful if it was turned into a product where the current viewer was actually an editor for power users, and there was a dumbed down Android and iOS client that let you play dress up on your avatar and visit sims to go to dances or events and meet people.

But that is the problem with a product like SL in today's internet. The internet 10 years ago was a very different place. Today it's more about posting links on reddit for upvotes, pictures on instagram, facebook, etc for likes, or typing out a paltry 280 characters max on Twitter for likes and retweets. Second Life is fine, it's filled with people who like the way the internet was before it was dumbed down into a "submit the easiest to create content or someone else's content and receive dopamine" disaster that it is now. If the internet didn't go in the direction it did, SL would be huge right now. But LL didn't really adapt to the way the internet was changing.

Does this mean it's going to die anytime soon? Absolutely not. But it's going to be in a steady decline as the market of people who have good computers and seek out things like virtual worlds declines. LL could fix it if they could develop something to bring SL to a new market, like mobile users. And all those users would need land and they couldn't handle doing that stuff on their devices. So it'd easily end up something like $5 a month gets you a tiny little skybox where you can decorate like in the sims and play dress up.

I don't want to rant too much, I think LL has made some odd choices investing heavily in something that, while really great, could have been so much more while they pass up something with so much potential. Forgive me for this, but SL very likely has the most content of any single game in existence (maybe not Microsoft Flight Simulator because it's legitimately the entire Earth). That's a huge resource, imagine if EA had to pay people to make the clothing options available on marketplace so they could put them in the Sims. It's not feasible. SL's content is absolutely stunning in quality and quantity (really, go look at some game assets in a model viewer and gag, there's plenty of mesh people in SL that have more talent) and LL needs to do more to capitalize on it. They keep making products unrelated to SL, but SL is an absolute gold-mine of user content and there's absolutely zero way any other company could create what you can get on SL.

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I've thought of this thread several times since I first saw it, and it's inspired a lot of introspection about what SL meant to me when I was in-world the most (2005-2011), and how it seems different now. My thoughts still haven't gelled into something I can fully verbalize yet. I'll just say this:

When I came to SL in 2005 it was so I could hang out with some friends from another game. Initially I fell in love with the platform just because of the avatar customization and the endless amount of creativity of the community. But my friends were the reason I never really left. If none of them were online at a given time (rare in the early days), I'd wander around and make new ones. It was so easy to meet new, interesting people by just following the mainland roads, green-dot hopping on the world map, or hanging out on themed sims. A thing that's changed for me is now when I log on, if I ever do any of the things I used to do to meet other residents, today I only ever find clubs and bot farms- and my list of friends who are online when I am gets ever shorter.

Another thing that seems different today is that SL used to have celebrities- creators, business people, or just really charismatic personalities who sometimes even got profiled in out-of-world news outlets and publications. A thing that was fun about SL at the time- in a pre-Twitter world, especially- was that you could interact with these people. Sometimes you could go to their house! It made being in-world an exciting experience; to be shopping and see a familiar name over someone's head, "Is that...?" There were even SL villains! Do we have that anymore? I know there are some talented creators who are financially successful- but are there any sort of universally-known bigger-than-life in-world personalities these days? (I don't follow SL current events much anymore.)

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On 2/5/2020 at 12:44 PM, Syo Emerald said:

Discord is great. My World of Warcraft roleplay guild has been using it for around two years.

But I wouldn't know what Discord has to do with SL. Both are totally different things.

Avastar uses Discord as well. If you do anything in that arena it helps to be on Discord.

 

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20 hours ago, Lindal Kidd said:

" ...are there any sort of universally-known bigger-than-life in-world personalities these days? "

Ahem.

" ...are there any sort of universally-known bigger-than-life in-world personalities these days? "

I don't know who wrote that, but there really shouldn't be any sort of those.

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