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Premium Account- is it right for me?


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Hi loves. Hope everyone is doing well during these unprecedented times..

I’m hoping somebody on here can help me decide whether it’s worth me upgrading my account monthly. Obviously I’ve googled what are the perks, the pros & cons etc.. but I need advice from people who have first hand experience with it.

I play pretty much daily at this point, after returning after a hiatus due to boredom of the lockdown. I must’ve spent at least £200 on L$ in the last month alone.. maybe I’d be better off limiting myself to the 300L credits I’ll receive weekly.. but what else really is there to it? I know you get a home but is it good quality & furnished?? I already rent a skybox weekly so I’m not sure that part is worth it.. besides those two perks, what else really comes with it? 
 

Any & all help is much appreciated ❤️

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9 minutes ago, InventedSuicide said:

Hi loves. Hope everyone is doing well during these unprecedented times..

I’m hoping somebody on here can help me decide whether it’s worth me upgrading my account monthly. Obviously I’ve googled what are the perks, the pros & cons etc.. but I need advice from people who have first hand experience with it.

I play pretty much daily at this point, after returning after a hiatus due to boredom of the lockdown. I must’ve spent at least £200 on L$ in the last month alone.. maybe I’d be better off limiting myself to the 300L credits I’ll receive weekly.. but what else really is there to it? I know you get a home but is it good quality & furnished?? I already rent a skybox weekly so I’m not sure that part is worth it.. besides those two perks, what else really comes with it? 
 

Any & all help is much appreciated ❤️

In your shoes, considering what you are already spending in world, I'd select an annual premium account, and try and get a premium home of some kind. You get a 1024m parcel of land with a building on it, several types to choose from, but you have to furnish it yourself. There is some amazing furniture on Second Life Marketplace that doesn't cost all that much, so it's easy enough to change it often as the fancy takes you.

Go and have a look round the Linden Home sims, see how you feel about the atmosphere and potential. 

Perks I suppose are having a base, sandboxes that only premium members use (which minimises the risk of encountering griefers), free gifts now and then, and I am sure someone will come along with a whole lot more of why you should or shouldn't take the plunge. 

Edited by Marigold Devin
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7 minutes ago, InventedSuicide said:

I know you get a home but is it good quality & furnished??

It's not furnished. As for quality, take a look and decide for yourself. If you're used to a skybox, you have to be prepared for quite a lot more lag though.

 

4 minutes ago, Marigold Devin said:

Perks I suppose are having a base, sandboxes that only premium members use (which minimises the risk of encountering griefers), free gifts now and then, and I am sure someone will come along with a whole lot more of why you should or shouldn't take the plunge. 

I think you've covered it all. Except you can be in more groups and sometimes you can get into regions that are to full to accept non-members.

The group gifts are just cheap, poorly made trinkets. Some people like to collect them but if you don't, they're pretty much worthless.

 

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I've got four premium accounts right now, and I think it's well worth the money. The main draw is being able to have a home in Bellisseria. The themes and houses are wonderful, the landscaping is wonderful, the access to water for boating, tracks for trains, and a road system for driving, horseback riding, bikes, etc., is awesome. There is a community. There are always people around. And while some complain about it being laggy, I have five different homes (4 are mine, 1 is my fella's) in all different themes, scattered around in all different areas, and I have no trouble with lag in any of them. Of course there will be a bit more lag when you actually have people in the area using the area than on a platform 3,000 meters in the sky with no one around, but it's hardly unmanageable. 

It's also worth it for me because I'm a shopaholic and being able to get into busy events is the reason I initially went premium. The extra group spots are nice, too. 

The premium gifts are often silly but cute. I'd hardly call them worthless, cheap, or poorly made but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

At the end of the day, paying for premium is my way of paying a company for providing a platform that I use and love. Yes, I can use it for free, and LL gets a cut of everything I buy, but I love SL and never want it to go under. I'm paying them to help keep it running and to pay the salaries of LL employees and contractors. 

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Nah, buy a full sim, upgrade to 30,000 prims, and rent out whatever you don't use for spending money...

...if your budget allows it.  Which is the key.  How much do you want to spend, total, per month?

$20/less - probably premium is best.  You get a decent little house and a regular "salary".

$20-$200 - probably better off renting a private parcel that affords the space and prims you want, and buying $L as you need them.  300L/wk is a fraction of what your spending anyway.

$200+ per month - probably best off buying a full sim.  You also get a higher level of service than with premium.  Note also, this is a foolish idea if you don't plan to keep spending at that level for the long term.

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The real benefit of premium has nothing to do with the pittance they call a stipend, though if you become a tightwad like I am it can add up over a few months and actually be worth something, like buying a tier free 1024 on the mainland and not having to deal with the hassles and lag of Bellissaria as well as crazy neighbors measuring the height of the trees.  The real benefit comes from tech support.  It's one of those things you hope that you never need but if you need it being premium means you get it.

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Live Chat is worth it all on its own, but I love getting the stipend, and as Argon said, if you let it pile up, it becomes a substantial amount fairly quickly (especially if you have more than one Premium account). I also love the new Linden Homes, getting into crowded sims more easily, the extra group spaces (I no longer have to agonize over dropping a group to make space for another group), and I enjoy using the Premium sandboxes, too. For me, the Premium perks definitely add to the entire SL experience. 

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The Bellisseria homes are popular, it is now posted frequent how many homes available. 1-2 times a week?

So, if you decide if you will be Premium because you will have one of these homes, you may have to refresh the homes page a lot. Especially for the Houseboats and the Victorians.

There are planned more themes of homes (it is super secret what the next themes will be) and also to build more of the ones already made. But it takes time. If you want a popular home now, you must refresh or set up an Auto-refresh system and hope that someone abandon it.

It is not impossible, I have seen so many posts of people coming in the forum and ask for advice, and they get a home in 1-2 days.

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4 hours ago, InventedSuicide said:

I’m hoping somebody on here can help me decide whether it’s worth me upgrading my account monthly

a Premium is worth getting if you are going to keep logging in for a year and you don't want any more land than the 1024m that comes in the box, and you want the surety that your parcel will always be there while there is a Second Life to log in to

a 1 or 3 month subscription if you want to re-decide this on a shorter cycle

 

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9 minutes ago, Kimmi Zehetbauer said:

A friend was thinking of premium, but she's hoping there would some special like they had last year that was 10 bucks cheaper for the year.

I have been hoping for a "Stay at Home" premium offer. 👩‍⚕️ Like a quarter to reduced price. It would give all the new accounts a cheaper way to experience Premium. And also for people who return to SL after a long break. Yes, for all of us who may jump on a special offer.

But it has not happened.

In 2019 we could also pay another year for the old price, when they increased the Premium price. So that was 2 specials in one year.

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49 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Tolya has analyzed it in a way different from any other I've seen, and I've seen this debated many times.

A while back, I laid out the benefits in a blog post.  It's a bit dated, but still relevant, I think.  https://acrossthegridwithlindal.blogspot.com/2018/01/premium-benefits-creep.html

Why, thank you!  I love it when I'm being original.

When it comes to money, I analyze things six ways to Sunday.  I've never actually had a Premium membership, because my ego wouldn't let me live on a parcel that small, and even when I didn't own sims, I spent easily $100+ per month (and those were slow months).  I'm extremely fortunate in that.  Anyone who is going to make SL a regular part of their life should look at is as a budget item, and budget accordingly.  Otherwise, SL becomes another stress point in your life any time money is tight and it's not something you're worked into your budget.

It would be very nice for those with a more midrange budget if LL would allow ownership of homesteads without owning the full sim.  

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You could always give it a try for a month if there's no perk you feel is worth the fee you can always give it up and go back to basic. The new Bellisseria homes were pretty much the only reason i went premium, the occasional gifts are nice, i frequently use the premium sandboxes, easier access to crowded places can be worth it, the L$300 weekly stipend pays for my mainland. The Linden homes don't come furnished though getting them kitted out cheaply shouldn't be an issue there are loads of weekly sales events whose offerings regularly include furniture & decor brands who have things available for up to L$100

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The premium benefits have been listed pretty well.

i was going to recommend just try a month- it’s not a commitment (although you need to cancel before the day before your month is up because it does do an autopay) like post prior to mine.  
In the end “is it worth it” or “is it a good deal” is pretty subjective.

Edited by Pixie Kobichenko
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The stipend translates into about half of the cost of premium, depending on payment packages and frequency of L$ purchases etc. The calculation you need to make for yourself is whether the other features are worth $5-6 a month or not.

Remember, despite what a handful of... interesting individuals might tell you, Linden Lab is not a charity. It is a business. Don't even begin to consider the "supporting the Lindens" nonsense, but treat this as a business decision, because that's what it is.

In my opinion, the non-land premium features are not worth $5-6 a month. They're window dressings, tiny little extras that are nice and all, but aren't worth paying for. I personally see the land/house as the deal breaker here; if you're going to use either the Linden home or the tier allocation, then premium is worthwhile. If not, take the sub fee and buy Lindens directly with that money instead.

I personally picked up a little patch of cliffside mainland for something like L$800, and the 1024 m2 / 350 Li block of land is enough for a little skybox flat for myself, plus a barebones platform for unboxing etc. As cliffside land is often empty, I can always buy up another parcel and start paying a small amount of extra monthly tier to extend my little parcel if I need more space. More importantly, that land is mine, with no landlords or added rules or rent. So long as my card doesn't bounce the premium payment, that little plot is safe. Also I named it after myself because I can :P

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If I can muddy the water for you....

I waited 18 months before taking an annual. Although I don't use all the perks, I took an old Linden home on a deserted sim. I furnished it and it is home for me and my alts to dress up and rezz stuff without being disturbed. Very occasionally I see a neighbour on the radar and sometimes we chat. 

It's not dissimilar to my RL life in that respect! If you want to see the place just pop me an IM in world.

@InventedSuicide

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1 hour ago, InventedSuicide said:

I’ve no use for my own land & I do love my little skybox 🥰 

This is the part that might matter. If you're using a skybox now, you could easily have one on some barren Mainland location, with complete control of the land and the build and everything else -- but that doesn't matter if you really don't want to consider a skybox different from the one you have now, or if you can't fit in the space and prim count of a standard-issue 1024 m².

I think the stipend is rather a bigger deal than the impression you may have gotten here. At current prices for an annual Premium plan, the stipend pays about 63% of the subscription cost... which means that even if no other Premium benefits have any value, that 1024 m² parcel works out to L$176 per week -- so what are you spending for your skybox?

That said, even if it looks appealing, I might hold off a bit before taking the plunge. The Lab should be announcing details and availability of the Premium "plus" plan pretty soon (one hopes; they really need to do this now, while folks are spending COVID-19 time in-world and might benefit from the additional perks), and there's no telling what other deals they might promote at that time.

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2 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

while folks are spending COVID-19 time in-world and might benefit from the additional perks

i'm affraid that's too late, Asia and most of Europe are heading to lift the lockdowns to lot lower levels .. with some luck US and other later hit countries will follow not too long after it.
It won't be as before but less restricted social contacts in RL might lead to the current rise of returners and newbies go down.

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42 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

i'm affraid that's too late, Asia and most of Europe are heading to lift the lockdowns to lot lower levels .. with some luck US and other later hit countries will follow not too long after it.
It won't be as before but less restricted social contacts in RL might lead to the current rise of returners and newbies go down.

This isn't going to be the last of the lockdowns and the restrictions, I fear. Countries will - as a fairly reasonable guess - be pretty stop-and-go for a while yet. Open up, treat the wave of infections and close down again, repeat until a vaccine is found.

I do think it's a pretty decent time to go premium, but the only worthwhile thing about it, really, if you don't get the 500L stipend, is that you get to own land.

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One more thing to consider is that you can have your skybox either above a Mainland parcel (as Qie noted) or above a Linden Home, subject to the height requirement in the LH covenant. If the skybox you have now is one that will fit on a 1024, it is worth considering setting up one just like it on a parcel that you own, just because it's more "permanent". Renting is a great way to have a home in SL, and I have rented many times (and still do), but there is always at least a slight risk that one day your parcel will be gone due to the landlord leaving SL, having financial difficulties, moving on to other projects, etc. For some, this is no big deal, but for others, security is very important, so I mention it just in case it's a priority for you.

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18 hours ago, InventedSuicide said:

I must’ve spent at least £200 on L$ in the last month alone

Spending habits rarely change, other than possibly rent payments.  Doing some quick rough calculations, after converting that to USD and then buying L$, that comes to roughly 61,000-61,500 L$ monthly.  Subtract out however much you spend on rent monthly, since a Linden Home could replace that (side note here - the Home also does not count against the LI of your parcel, so you get the full 351 LI for decorating the home and landscaping).  The remainder is your other inworld spending, which is unlikely to really change much.  The stipend will simply offset that amount for you, reducing how much you have to buy on a regular basis.

Thus, if you don't see high value in many of the other benefits, I'd say that Premium may not be worth the cost for you. 

For me, the groups rank really high on my list of value.  The Premium only sandboxes are nice when I need them - though that is not often - but it does allow for sandbox use without worrying about griefers.  I enjoy having a few Linden Homes and I also maintain a small piece of mainland where I have more freedom in what I do.

 

ETA:  If you do decide to give it a try, but still aren't sure you want to commit to a year, if you do either a minimum of 2 Monthly payments or the Quarterly payment, then you are Premium long enough to get the extra L$1000 bonus (it takes 45 days of Premium to get the bonus), which nets you another US $4.00 or so to offset the cost.

Edited by LittleMe Jewell
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