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On 8/2/2021 at 1:59 PM, Harmony Nova said:

I can't deny that I'm flipping ecstatic to hear this news! Good bye Gachas! I know a handful of people who became addicted and it was messing up their rl so it's safe to say that I support the end of gachas. 

I'm incredibly progressive in my rl politics but there's a point where you got to also put responsibility on end users.  As to rules on loot boxes,  I comprehend it.  I even comprehend some of the gacha policy. Though I know this will impact creators negatively. What I do not get is regulation about addiction in games. When the whole process of you playing in SL for 10 hours, and NOT GOING OUT. Is actually ruining your RL. It may not ruin it financially, at first. But plenty of people actually have had their relationships, their financial lives, and their work lives ruined by online games.  Sooner or later governments WILL start to see this and also may potentially try to control that as well.  I would have actually allowed gachas but as long as the maximum item was 10l-25L lindens, and the script was the same, and created by LL. As in you have a random chance, but no more than approximately 500-1k to get all items or at least the rare ones.  In other words, you control the gachas but you don't necessarily eliminate them all.

And plenty of people get financial issues just from buying land in SL. But you wont see that as a control issue in LL. 

In fact,  this is more than likely what we will see.

1. Some creators will no longer sell any gachas. (I suggest they do put their items out at fatpack price of 500-2000k depending on quality and quantity.

2.  Resellers in Marketplace will edit their pricing. Now they will no longer sell something that you can get for in a vending machine if you play 2k. Now the items in that vending machine may no longer even be in the game itself. So the limited stock will drive some marketplace stores to price up basic items from 50L to 100 or even 200 lindens.    And since people may not want the full fatpack, they may go for that item.^ And resellers do not get any ideas on this, I usually skip over these type of resellers, and can spend that cash. But nope, I rather give that level of $$ to the actual creator and not you.   I just know some folks will do this.

Thus,  there's going to be some price gouging for a while.  I strongly, strongly suggest creators fatpack their creations and do not overprice them. Because they will now need to compete with their resellers and become the more viable option.  (Food for thought, and I may be wrong, but I've seen this happen with some gachas that have been taken out commission by vendors).

Edited by Irina Forwzy
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1 hour ago, Kricket Calamity said:

You are trying to put down what customers like to spend their money on because you simply don't like something

Nope, you're barking up the wrong tree. I never said I didn't like them, nor am I putting down customers. In fact, I am pushing creators, merchants and resellers alike to find ways to get MORE customers. What people spend their money on is of no concern to me. It's not my budget and not my problem, I don't know others' finances, I only know my own. 

1 hour ago, Kricket Calamity said:

Why does it bother you so much that other people are interest in it,

Because it's going away, it's a done deal, it's over. I think people are better off putting their energies towards better solutions where merchants and creators get money more equal to what the work they put in is worth (it's difficult to get actual worth, impossible with a single sale, more doable with numerous smaller ones, but, I digress, that's more of a business topic). I think encouraging people to use the methods we have, which are proven to work, for all involved parties, is a good idea. I'm helping a bunch of merchants do exactly that, and I'm happy to be helping them with it. They have mixed feelings both about gachas and this new policy change, but they're all moving forward and I'm excited for them in that. They aren't looking back, looking at ways to encourage methods that test this new policy change. Instead, they are adapting, some to old ways, some to new (to them) ways. At any rate, they'll all be affected differently by the changes, but things are certainly looking better for them than they are people looking for workarounds. They're more likely to be ready once the change goes fully into effect than people who spend these next days and weeks looking for a way to barely squeak by the new rules. 

I support creators, I support the belief they (mostly, some are shady, but they're not the majority) should get better compensated for the work they put into things. I strongly believe that a lot of things people sold in gachas were worth far more than their pull price, although I am sure that a lot of those things ended up accumulating more in sales at a lower price point, because of the predatory nature of gacha machines (which they are, no matter how we slice it, they are, it's by design, like impulse buys and loss leaders, they're an enticement to encourage more overall sales, related or otherwise). I don't support the notion that we need to come up with more ideas that skirt the line, that are too much like what we already have in gacha machines (now not permitted, no ifs ands buts or coconuts about it, they're done), or are even worse. I think encouraging merchants and creators to go back to the roots, so to speak, is a better solution.....because it works and we know it works, it has always worked. 

 

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1 hour ago, Rowan Amore said:

99% of creators in SL are probably not compensated for their time.  As was said, it's a labor of love.  I don't think when they were envisioning SL, they ever though it would be a substitute for RL work.  It should be a bonus.  Not something you need to depend on.  I know some do but what would happen if it did shut down tomorrow?  What's your plan?

Equating any sort of RL compensation for SL work makes no sense.

Well the same can be said of any other job right? You can work freelance and not get any customers due to a dryspell. You can work in a department, and the budget shortfalls and lack of ROI to the Finance org shuts it down and you end up fired.  Every type of job is ephemeral. Regardless of the type of job.   In a world with volatile geopolitical, economic, and even customer patterns you must be able to adapt. Unfortunately.   SL was created as a sandbox, by that very definition LL should have guessed people with backgrounds in graphic design, creative type jobs, could potentially earn an RL revenue stream that was sufficient enough for it to be their real world job.   And why not?

You put your time, your creativity, your effort on a product. Why can't you equate that with an RL Income?  What's so wrong with that?  It is entrepreneurial in nature and I agree with that mentality over one that prefers to have RL corporate ideology. Where the only "real" jobs are sitting behind a desk.  And by the way, if SL dies, another game will begin.  Do you think these creators aren't in other platforms? If they have design knowledge and play IMV or other games, do you think they wont create for them?

 

Edited by Irina Forwzy
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3 hours ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

A thought just occurred to me. Perhaps this is LL's way of saying our inventories are too big? And the combined "weight" of them all is dragging the grid down?

Nah. 🙄

Actually,  it could theoretically be that, if the weight inventory archives cost $$ to maintain. Which they do. But then again, they would also have to go after us that have over 250k items because we own sims and have a crazy inventory for that.

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42 minutes ago, Quistess Alpha said:

(taking this at face value because there was no quote for what it may have been in response to)

I wouldn't say that it makes /no/ sense to think about RL compensation for SL work, and SL vs RL work isn't a hard binary. As oyu say there are probably very few creators who make a full living, but I think there are a fair number of people who at least make enough that they can afford to work fewer RL hours than they otherwise would. And, when doing custom work for someone, what other fair pricing system is there other than to try and estimate the amount you'd make in RL for the same number of hours of work, and maybe give it a little bit of a discount because SL is fun?

Taking into account 60 hours a week work on one item for SL and a base pay of even $15/hr, that would be $900 or 216000L.  I don't think the majority of SL creators could expect to make that much on one item.  So, you can't compare RL compensation to SL compensation.  Yes, you do the work in RL but you don't sell it there.  The economies don't line up that way.

ETA. I was responding to this post by @Kricket Calamity

The desperation comes from creators who are losing their main source of income. If regular releases made even half of what gachas did we wouldn't have ever bothered with gachas. It takes years to learn meshing, texturing, rigging and then weeks to create items and unless you're in the top stores in SL then you're not even earning minimum wage for often working 60+ hour weeks. Gacha gave some decent money for our work, certainly not what we should be paid for the hours put into it but a lot more than a regular release. Unless customers want to start paying a lot more for regular releases, we're going to have to find another way to make our money or we'll need to leave and find somewhere else to work. I hope that explains it a bit.

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12 hours ago, Komarimono said:

Thank you for posting this, even if some backlash may come your way from it.  It's good to see people being honest and upfront on these things.

It's one experience from one machine and one creator. And we don't know how many events that creator could participate in, and what the booth costs are, and their costs for upload fees, tier, mesh models and so on. So when you put the figures together for a more representative sampling that shows the name of the event, a true sampling of creators AND their costs, also the frequency of that event or any others they take part in, then we could call these factual numbers.

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20 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

It's one experience from one machine and one creator. And we don't know how many events that creator could participate in, and what the booth costs are, and their costs for upload fees, tier, mesh models and so on. So when you put the figures together for a more representative sampling that shows the name of the event, a true sampling of creators AND their costs, also the frequency of that event or any others they take part in, then we could call these factual numbers.

Plus 100 per pop when most are in the 50-75 range. Seems the gacha was one of the high ones with bad odds that people end up complaining about. 47 rolls and no rare? Those are the types to avoid. Unfortunately since gacha was never required to list odds no one had a way of telling if it was a sketchy machine or not.

Hopefully the buyer was happy with what they got and was able to recoup some of their losses.

Edited by Finite
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1 hour ago, Rowan Amore said:

99% of creators in SL are probably not compensated for their time.  As was said, it's a labor of love.  I don't think when they were envisioning SL, they ever though it would be a substitute for RL work.  It should be a bonus.  Not something you need to depend on.  I know some do but what would happen if it did shut down tomorrow?  What's your plan?

Equating any sort of RL compensation for SL work makes no sense.

You could ask that question of anyone making money on the internet. What's the plan if YouTube poofs tomorrow, or eBay goes up in flames?

You make the most of the opportunities of today, save for rainy days and cross the bridge when you have to.

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17 minutes ago, AmyBlackwood said:

You make the most of the opportunities of today, save for rainy days and cross the bridge when you have to.

Wise advice, not doubt, but we are at that bridge, and it appears many have not actually saved up for a rainy day (which now they're learning might not have been a wise option, we live and we learn) This is part of the problem, not only are we at that bridge, but once we cross the other side, the whole area is going to get blown up leaving behind an enormous crater much larger than the bridge. We cannot go back, we cannot rebuild a new bridge, we need to press on.

These replacement machine ideas are only really redesigns of the exact same bridge intended to cover that newly created crater but will all fall short of succeeding, and do nothing to preserve life moving forward. They're only going to cause the people focusing on them or desiring to use them, to wither away on the shore. Those who opt instead to keep pressing on and stop looking to remake a bridge that will never get built, will likely thrive. At it's core it's common sense, if you really want to boil it down. The longer you spend working on ideas that cannot and will not work, the less time you have for ones that do and will. 

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7 minutes ago, Tari Landar said:

Wise advice, not doubt, but we are at that bridge, and it appears many have not actually saved up for a rainy day (which now they're learning might not have been a wise option, we live and we learn) This is part of the problem, not only are we at that bridge, but once we cross the other side, the whole area is going to get blown up leaving behind an enormous crater much larger than the bridge. We cannot go back, we cannot rebuild a new bridge, we need to press on.

These replacement machine ideas are only really redesigns of the exact same bridge intended to cover that newly created crater but will all fall short of succeeding, and do nothing to preserve life moving forward. They're only going to cause the people focusing on them or desiring to use them, to wither away on the shore. Those who opt instead to keep pressing on and stop looking to remake a bridge that will never get built, will likely thrive. At it's core it's common sense, if you really want to boil it down. The longer you spend working on ideas that cannot and will not work, the less time you have for ones that do and will. 

Also, since everything is so blatantly out in the open how many consumers can they expect will even be on board?

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1 hour ago, Da5id Weatherwax said:

Now that you have elaborated on the details of what you meant by your original comment, perhaps I was unduly harsh. 

I've no objections on moral or other principles to the existence of bunko games on carnival midways or to gacha in SL. I play the bunko games myself when I'm on the midway as a punter, but I do so knowing they are rigged and in many cases knowing exactly how. Some of them are fun anyway even knowing I'm getting ripped off. I play cards for money. I will usually put a bet on the Grand National each year. Objecting on any kind of moral or ethical grounds to gambling per se would be a just a tad hypocritical, I think.

What I DO object to is them being presented as "fair games" when so many of them are not. Also to the twisted sophistry that tries to claim that gacha are not gambling when they demonstrably are or to claim that their increased profit is somehow not "gambling income".

Your original comment and subsequent explainers are not only a harsh take on the gatcha industry, but an uninformed one, and you admit that you yourself are not in business now because of changed made to the platform years ago, whatever your plans to compensate. So it's hard to understand why you feel the need to stand up and denounce your fellow human beings here, again and again, when you don't even post that much in general.

First, you would be hard put to call gatcha creators "carnies" with "bunko" or predatory anyway, or cynically "fixing" the odds for "the house," once you saw who they were. Have you actually talked to any designers? Do you know any? I do, and I've been talking to many I didn't know before in recent days, and surprised to discover some from Eastern Europe and Russia who don't advertise that fact. I asked them frankly what they make from gatchas, which they do use to make a RL living. Answer: US $250, US $500, US $1000 per month. If you have any kind of aversion to commerce, you'll oppose any kind of independent money-making, yet you claim you don't oppose artisans making cash online. Is a musician a finer person than a dressmaker or a cabinetmaker? These gatcha sales amounts are really modest, and are only the revenue; there are considerable costs -- texture uploads, mesh models for those who don't make their own mesh, textures, paying scripters or customer service people, and of course tier. Someone who could make $1000 per month in pandemic-beset Russia makes a little bit more than other creative intelligentsia, but it is terribly insecure. They can't make this amount *every month* because there aren't events every month, they can't always create, they don't always get *invited* -- Arcade only *invites* people, so even if you are willing to pay $5000 or $10,000 or whatever the booth fee is, there's no guarantee you have an outlet. Now that person is wiped out, likely to dump their sim or downsize considerably and forced out of the virtual world in a crisis economy with few jobs. Maybe the Internet Troll Factor is hiring social media interveners?

Again, when you see someone posting that a gatcha creator makes 250,000 or 500,000L from an event, remember that's only $1000 or $2000 real dollars, and not enough to live on in the US or even Europe, and they make that within a few days a month, and are on a treadmill to take part in events constantly to stay in view, and to keep that revenue coming in. ALL of them say that selling fatpacks of gatchas simply does not yield the same revenue. ALL of them say that their individual creators or furniture or clothing sets do not sell as much as gatchas. *And that's ok to admit and is not about poor quality unworthy of higher prices*.

You have a terrible dislike of what you perceive as gambling, although when Silicon Valley brands this as "gamification" and builds it even into health care, if you are a techie, you don't care. I currently signed up for a medical experiment where my bottle is electronically wired to signal a nurse in a nearby hospital. Each day, if I open the bottle and take my medicine, I am entered into a lottery; if one of my numbers comes up, I win US $5 which is deposited on MyCliniCard, a card used for this and other types of medical ventures. If I miss a dose, the system appears set up to claim I would have won the $50 for both my numbers, as I've seen that twice (hard to believe these particular carnies). So far I won $60 in 2 months, which is at least 3 days of groceries, and I value that greatly. I assure you no gambling authority is coming after this gamified medicine; it's not a lootbox which I play to advance in the game of life; the reward is better health from more consistent taking of my multiple medicines.

I don't know whether your aversion springs from religion or ideology but the basic cultural concept is this: no one should get something they didn't work for, that would not cost that much if sold without gambling, and that those who use this system are shilling marks and chortling all the way to the bank. Except a Polish dressmaker or a Spanish decor maker isn't looking for marks; they're looking to stay alive in their poor countries. That's why your statements are so out of place. And they aren't gouged or destroyed by the usual pull session of perhaps $5 or $10 -- after all, every pull produced a prize. I don't have illusions from actual experience that you make back from rare sales what you pulled -- you don't. PS I do not make my living from my SL business; I have only made two small gatcha machines in my life that only had a dozen players at $5 or $25 a pull; yet even with the fatpack advertised on the machine, people preferred pulling past the fatpack price BECAUSE THE ITEMS WERE TRANSFERABLE. They could sell my little teacups or give the extras as gifts and they didn't mind.

So you don't accuse me of mercenary motives, I'll note I only have few merchant tenants who have gatcha machines; they will go on selling their gadgets or art or clothes without gatcha and not suffer too much. If they don't remove their machines, I'll have to be returned from my land to comply with the new rule. Most of my merchants and artists sell items on no-transfer, or if on transfer, not by the gatcha method. That's why you will not have heard of some of them; that's why they don't make a lot of revenue like the big artists. A few of the famous ones among my tenants simply prefer not to make gatchas, largely because of consumer hate about not getting rares. My yardsale tenants have refunded in some cases out of fear the market will collapse, yet others are holding and waiting or even expanding. I don't have a big dog in this hunt and I'm not a big dog myself. I do care about the rest of the people in the economy as we are all in a shared boat. You should, too.

If I play the slots in Nevada, rightly called "Lost Wages," it's sunk, I get nothing; in NYC, I may have gotten only a $4 dinner ticket from a bodega that has the $9 bus ride to Atlantic City, but if I put $200 into the slots and don't win, I don't even get a bus ticket home or a lousy t-shirt.

In SL, I get an item that may be a more valued rare, or may be a common, but I can either use it to decorate my house or re-sell it. That feature of transferable and ability to fuel a secondary market is something you seem utterly heedless of. That makes up for all the sins of gambling that the Calvinists might condemn in gatchas because it enables poor people to furnish their houses then also deter costs or even pay RL bills. I talk to a lot of gatcha resellers -- some actually make real money from them as they spend time watching the market; almost all of them use it as a way to offset their shopping or tier. That seems eminently beneficial.

There really is a difference between lootboxes and SL gatchas and any judge who actually applied the law here in California -- and none have! the law has been successfully challenged by Google and Apple! hello!. Here they are:

o EA.com is paying a fine because the gambling law applied to lootboxes deals with game companies, multi-million entities that are fleecing their vulnerable child customers using their parents' credit cards. Google and Apple as platforms, not game companies have only recently obtained rulings that the lootbox ruling does not apply to them and PS that the losses are not sufficiently noteworthy to be considered as damages.

In SL, it's not LL that runs the lootboxes; residents do. To be sure, LL gets a 10% tax on every sale on the MP, and gets a fee for every currency purchase so they benefit and feel liable. But trust me, if those fees could carry LL as distinct from the land/server business, LL would be out of the land business, something they have philosophized about for years. But they aren't. They moved to Amazon servers and pay more for their land and try to get more abandoned land under tier. 10% of the sales of the 905,000 gatchas on the MP now would not be such a figure as to really come to the notice of any regulatory authorities. No legal notice or actual application of law has occurred here; it's just a preemptive move to avoid limit liability for litigation, a classic method to provide shareholders' value. So be clear on the accusation of "predatory" -- it's not the company LL, it's not the creators who make a living or offset expenses and provide nice things for the largely poor people in SL. Who reliably makes bank from gatcha, unlike any of us? Yard sale rentals agents, who are jittery now, but these are hardworking people who push prims like others of us in the land and content business, usually women, not wealthy, trying to make a life. They are not carnies who move on. They will not be folding their tents. They live and work here, and there is no call to be so unkind to them. They go to your concerts and will buy your wares someday, too -- don't step on them.

o Lootbox class action suits are brought by parents of children who used credit cards. SL has no children in it. The adults use the credit cards and I'm not aware of a single consumer in SL who has run screaming to SL saying "I wuz robbed!" because he didn't get the rare. Americans are terribly uneducated about math and how percentages work and don't get it about gatcha rares. The machine can't know how many times you played unless set up for "player rewards" and each pull is a fresh test of the law of randomness. In fact, Arcade's machines have a different calculation that softens that law of percentages on single gatchas in stores -- read about it. Every merchant and event posts notices about how gatchas work and how they do not give refunds or take complaints. In all my years of filing tickets with LL, I only once got a reimbursement for gatchas but that was due to a technicality -- they didn't deliver from a machine due to a sim malfunction and never arrived in inventory and the record of their purchase and their names was clear in chat and on the web.

o AFAIK, Lootboxes are not transferable or put into any lawful secondary market but are used to advance gameplay. There isn't gameplay in SL, they are not necessary, it is not a game.

Another really unfair misperception you have is that lazy and avaricious merchants use the gatcha mechanism because if their goods stood alone for a fixed price, they wouldn't command the same worth they do in gatchas. That's simply not true in the sense that their goods are horribly undervalued anyway in this virtual world. If I spend $25,000 pulling to get the rares from E.V.E. in his last steampunk set, I've paid him what in fact an intricate and delightful set of statues is worth. That's only US $100. That's not what sculptors make in RL by any stretch. In SL, sculptors command thousands of Lindens; I have bought them for $3000 and seen them for $5000 or more Lindens, or $20 US. Yet you don't complain about that and likely celebrate RL artists being paid at least *something*. Yet so many gatcha rares are decor that are pieces of art, very high quality and original, and you strangely resent anyone getting paid more for them via gatcha enhancement -- which still is not really reflective of their work. Especially in a world of NFTs where digital art goes for millions. The pull is 20 cents (50L). In a fatpack that won't sell as much, it may be 60 cents. So what? It's still *undervalued* in this artificial world.

I don't regret a minute of paying for Noke Yuritza of E.V.E. US $10 o r $20 or even a total of US $100 in his gatchas because the last day I talked to him last year, he said he was going to visit his mother who was sick with COVID in a small town with poor Internet service. He never logged on again, and more than a year later, I and others who have used RL email etc to try to reach him have not succeeded and we fear the worse. If I put any peas in his pot in those difficult days, great! THIS is the person you speak of as a "carnie" needing to "fold his tent" and "look for another bunko". For shame!

If there are less high-quality artists, if there are those who are less creative and just recolour their commons, so what? The lesser valued gatchas fall out of view and the Marketplace; there is a hierarchy of quality. And the cheap ones still give somebody cheaper decor than they would have had if they paid not 50L but 500L for an armchair. THAT is what you are failing to see; the consumer aspect and the reselling economy that is vital in providing a way into the virtual economy for many unskilled people. For that reason, if you care about morality and decency, you should care about the terrible loss this represents. If one is not skilled, and his country doesn't even allow him to buy Lindens, there are not many avenues for having a virtual life. Sex work is one; hard customer service labour in rentals or bouncers in bars is another; land flipping is yet another; and then there's breedables. Breedables are more "skilled gaming" that requires attention to traits as well as the market but still relies on random chance to get the Megapuss or whatever. Yet Linden Lab tolerates this because of technicalities.

@Tari Landar You and others keep chastizing those who are trying to come up with alternatives and I see Cain Maven, who has not a minute to worry about sales of his expensive houses and who does not make gatchas telling other merchants to "move on".  Why? They are perceived as "whining" or "not adapting" -- all the Schumpeter trumpeters invoking "creative destruction" aren't the ones being destroyed and take far too pleasure in the misfortunes of others. There is an old Russian saying: don't spit into the well; you may have to drink from it".

I see only two actual gatcha makers in this thread; Silas Merlin has been willing to stick his neck out and actually speaks for many others who aren't willing to risk the abuse here, and he and others look for alternative scripts simply because they know that consumers need incentive and they need collectible tradeables, and that is more than fine. The markets are interdependent. If they aren't your markets, and you sell performances or gadgets or no-transfer mesh, that's great, but you're about to see your own fortunes affected by the overall impoverishment of the world.

I can't understand why Tari keeps banging on people for discussing alternatives when she is not in this business, and sells Meeros or plays Bloodlines or whatever she does, and faces no immediate losses. Why do you care what someone else does to save their livelihood? What skin is it off yours if someone finds a way to stay in business? It doesn't compete with you and only enhances the overall market. I think again, for most of the peanut gallery here, it's about the forums as the game of hate and resentment.

I think we need to see a clear-cut Linden response on the proposal of the "conveyor belt" which is really like a Lucky Chair, only even better, as the customer can see what he will get AND have have more choice. You can't choose the items the merchant puts in her lucky chairs. You stand around til your letter is called and sit to get something you may not like, but may be on transfer to sell. The conveyor vendor also would bring life back into stores as people would stay and shop as they wait for a rare to appear and buy it for a higher price, features that make it compliant with the law.

To be sure, that system is not as amenable to event organizers as it means less customers, waiting longer, less sales, and need for more cam sims. I personally don't mourn the demise of merchant events as there are too many of them, yet they exist in such numbers, like the weekend sales, in fact to compensate for other dislocations in the SL or RL economy. And even if I have become jaded about them personally, I don't call for them to be killed. The idea that cultural warfare on the forums has to be deployed with the Company's blessing to cull this or that "objectionable" feature of the economy is really nauseating. People have to live. There's a pandemic.

And why select one artificial mechanism over another, for that matter, for execution at dawn? EVERYTHING is artificial in the SL economy, as much verisimilitude is attempted. It starts with the fixed Linden cost, not allowed to flat to its true value and artificially kept low to create the illusion of "thousands of dollars" for just US $5, the price of a latte. There is no proper advertising in SL in fact -- there is too much (ad farms) and too little (no welcome area ads as we used to have). There is no viable consumer rights board or better business bureau -- the company doesn't get involved in resident-to-resident disputes. There isn't a free press inworld or on the forums, such as to be able to report bad behaviour and shoddy products so that consumers have information -- this is removed, again, to limit liability for libel for the platform provider. It's an offense to copy chat which also might make for more informed consumers. There is no independent judiciary. There  is anonymity and lack of accountability. There is not an easy cashout and it's more expensive. Inventory loss, Marketplace malfunction, artificial scarcity in the form of inability to get into an event (NOT rares, as they can always be bought on the Marketplace) abound. For all these reasons and more, merchants adopt methods like sales, chairs, groups, events, and gatchas to try to make cash. I see no call for haranguing the people trying to cope with the robot electronic economy that does not meet actual human needs, nor even the software and platform provider.

These are the early years of the Metaverse. But that's why we look to Linden Lab, the premiere maker of a virtual world with 18 years of experience in governance and economics that most wannabee Metaverse makers have never contemplated to be better on this topic of gatchas.

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20 minutes ago, Sam1 Bellisserian said:

Also, since everything is so blatantly out in the open how many consumers can they expect will even be on board?

not me, and i'll give instructions to my alts too :)  ( thats about a whole village stopping buying)

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1 hour ago, Finite said:

Plus 100 per pop when most are in the 50-75 range. Seems the gacha was one of the high ones with bad odds that people end up complaining about. 47 rolls and no rare? Those are the types to avoid. Unfortunately since gacha was never required to list odds no one had a way of telling if it was a sketchy machine or not.

Hopefully the buyer was happy with what they got and was able to recoup some of their losses.

I have called for boycott of a certain event for years for a variety of reasons, chief of which is the creeping cost -- 75L then 100L pulls, and the lack of an open system for vendors -- it is by invitation only, and the booth fee is secret. For a long time, there were not even player rewards there as others. I rarely engage in consumer boycotts which I think never work and in SL especially never really gain traction. I made this symbolic gesture, largely ignored, which merely led to a ban from their island, to try to inject some notion of consumer "rights" into the world. I totally get in a non socialist capitalist system -- which I heartily endorse -- a price is where a willing buyer meets a willing seller. Sellers can price freely as they like.

But they weren't so willing when they came to these events -- they were locked in, and had to pay the $100 or not play. Merchants didn't seem to support that pricing; that pricing reflected their cost in BOOTH FEES. Hello! So there needs to be a deeper look at that.

After all, the first events began with 25L Advent Calendar prizes and such and was seen as a way to buy trinkets as gifts; it evolved into something feeling more predatory to some but I would never call for it to be killed. And in fairness, the top events describe exactly what their script does and how it works and it is uniform in all machines. You have therefore a more predictable chance of getting a rare than you do at  other events that appeared later in SL history. The idea that there are "loose slots" and "good machines" is a widespread urban myth. It's not how math works. The machine could have a "good" percentage set. I try it on my own little 5L tutorial gatcha and rental gatcha to see how it works over time. 15% means 15% *every time*. Not over the course of your gameplay. The machine is not tabulating your plays and saying, "oh, time to give him a rare" -- although note how a top event organizer script in fact does something approximating that awareness, and of course gives the player rewards.

I could spent US $100 on my little machine for an hour and never get my rares -- because math. It just happens. Sure, with less units it might turn off more frequently; sets from certain top selling merchants feel like they don't deliver rares because he has so many in the set, double or triple what other makers put in.

And while I am sad I didn't get the train from *who what* after a zillion tries, after losing the train I got the first time I played before that, instantly, I don't mind the extras to use as gifts and resales. Yes, there is a glut on the market growing exponentially with 905,000 now on the MP. We will see the pressure of that huge number reaching a million forcing people back to yardsales inworld to get visibility. Good! I think inworld shopping is better not merely for the land business but for socializing and seeing what you are buying. You can often reach a seller and bargain for a lower price on the spot which is harder to do with MP resellers who put up their page and left SL.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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1 hour ago, Prokofy Neva said:

It's one experience from one machine and one creator. And we don't know how many events that creator could participate in, and what the booth costs are, and their costs for upload fees, tier, mesh models and so on. So when you put the figures together for a more representative sampling that shows the name of the event, a true sampling of creators AND their costs, also the frequency of that event or any others they take part in, then we could call these factual numbers.

I'm willing to bet the millions of $L I've spent in second life, that the ones demanding to keep a form of predatory income would dare not share their sales info.

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2 hours ago, Yingzi Xue said:

I was in the process of writing a post to make this point, but you beat me to it.

Whatever profit you are used to receiving above and beyond the market value of your product(s) is not actually profit, but cash that wouldn't/shouldn't exist.

Supply and demand.  If there isn't a demand for your product(s), then they won't sell and you will go out of business.  Businesses adapt or die every day because of this very thing. 

Being reliant on a gambling mechanism to make up the difference isn't a sound business practice.  1) It's unreliable to say the least, 2) It gives a false sense of value to your product(s), 3) It becomes a crutch.

I sympathize with creators who are struggling with change, but I see a world of opportunity (untapped potential) for gacha style product(s) without the gambling aspect.  Rather than trying to make an alternative gacha vendor to skirt the new rules, I'd be focusing on ways to maximize legitimate profits in the SL landscape.

 

But the prices inworld are NOT market prices compared to the real world and really are not proper compensation for work at all. It doesn't matter if you can make one thing and copy it endlessly; you do that with music, too, which sells for way more than SL products.

You, like Da5id Weatherwax seem fixated on what you see as a gambling mechanism without admitting that it provides a prize every pull, and that it is not merely about what a merchant does in using this mechanism and increasing the value of his product, which is not his right but his duty as a person in business. It's about the customer getting cheaper items than those sold by other methods AND being able to enter the economy as a reseller. Good!

I have no idea if you are in any kind of business but you should note that in fact all the top creators are adapting. Some are shrugging and putting out $5000 fatpacks. Some are going out of business. You can go on exhibiting the Social Darwinism about this phenomena that Da5id Weatherwax and others display, but what about people's livelihoods? What about the AFFORDABILITY of the virtual world, which is tied to its VIABILITY? What about the ability, again, to participate in the economy.

Everyone knows that fatpacks don't sell as well. Ask the creators. Events draw away from stores; they don't enhance them often and cobwebs grow over them as tired merchants scramble ever faster to try to meet every commitment to every authoritarian and demanding event organizers -- and some of them have draconian rules, I've been in some of the events. It's a miserable life with nobody laughing their way to the bank. For laughter, see weapons and script sellers whom you don't condemn for any moral or ideological reason at all, even those that send people home for merely attempting to fly to their own homes.

The stern homilies we are hearing from the Calvinists and the socialists in this thread are all out of place when you look at the type of merchants involved and the people who buy from them: they aren't the elite of the real world mainly, as they'd be working for Disneyland or Facebook for 6 figure salaries if they had the skills. Some don't; some do and prefer this smaller more innovative and interesting market. Don't step on them as they don't heed your lectures anyway, and they may be your customers, too.

There are only one or two gatcha creators of any quality or renown in this thread. The rest ignore the forums and thank the Lord for it.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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9 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

I think for the vast majority it's more like "pay me min wage for the time invested over the lifespan of the item" 

but why don't they succeed in their "normal" vendor system?

To many?, ( i think this is one of the big problems, there are to many sellers, the pond to fish in doesn't get bigger)
Something wrong with the quality? ( yes... some are really bad)
To aimed at a certain group?
And also.. to many of the same?( that for sure.. )

 

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10 minutes ago, Komarimono said:

I'm willing to bet the millions of $L I've spent in second life, that the ones demanding to keep a form of predatory income would dare not share their sales info.

So you approve of gambling then, in such a bet?

I'm willing to state as fact without any gamble that the ones demanding to keep this in fact make modest livings in real life terms as I've investigated and reported. I've spent a lot of gatchas, I know the creators, in some cases have talked to them extensively and I think nobody sees the labour and tears that go into their work. Like nobody sees what Blake Sea land dealers actually have to do to make their "millions". Merciless tier costs cut deeply into all these proceeds.

Those who make much in RL terms more easily move to $5000 fatpacks as gatchas aren't the heart of their business. And we know for a fact that some of the very top creators in fact have very high ranking designer jobs in RL and for them SL is a sandbox or a hobby. 

The irony is that those who make the most from gatchas are those who don't have other wares or types of vending. Does that mean they "can't compete" compared to the big dogs as they make worse quality? For one, what's with this stratified Ren Faire you want to make of SL, where only the top artisans in the King's favour get to participate? To be viable, the economy needs a range of costs and therefore a range of quantity.  And who are you or I to judge which merchants get to survive for "quality", a subjective concept at best?

And once again, while you are begging for transparency, get it from events organizers as well: what do they charge in booth fees and advertising. The top feeds on events are known for "not charging" for event announcements that appear with merchandise keys. Yet along the side we can see the very expensive ads they do charge for.

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2 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

but why don't they succeed in their "normal" vendor system?

To many?, ( i think this is one of the big problems, there are to many sellers, the pond to fish in doesn't get bigger)
Something wrong with the quality? ( yes... some are really bad)
To aimed at a certain group?
And also.. to many of the same?( that for sure.. )

 

Let's not forget the real life span of these seemingly eternal digital products filling your inventory -- limited. People get the latest skins and the latest outfits and the latest furniture due to fashion, just like RL. They don't want to go back and buy last year's dress which is why it goes up in the merchant's Outlet. Sometimes people still collect gatchas from years later, but to do so, they have to see them out inworld, and in most cases, people tend to update their look or their house. 

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10 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

So you approve of gambling then, in such a bet?

I'm willing to state as fact without any gamble that the ones demanding to keep this in fact make modest livings in real life terms as I've investigated and reported. I've spent a lot of gatchas, I know the creators, in some cases have talked to them extensively and I think nobody sees the labour and tears that go into their work. Like nobody sees what Blake Sea land dealers actually have to do to make their "millions". Merciless tier costs cut deeply into all these proceeds.

Those who make much in RL terms more easily move to $5000 fatpacks as gatchas aren't the heart of their business. And we know for a fact that some of the very top creators in fact have very high ranking designer jobs in RL and for them SL is a sandbox or a hobby. 

The irony is that those who make the most from gatchas are those who don't have other wares or types of vending. Does that mean they "can't compete" compared to the big dogs as they make worse quality? For one, what's with this stratified Ren Faire you want to make of SL, where only the top artisans in the King's favour get to participate? To be viable, the economy needs a range of costs and therefore a range of quantity.  And who are you or I to judge which merchants get to survive for "quality", a subjective concept at best?

And once again, while you are begging for transparency, get it from events organizers as well: what do they charge in booth fees and advertising. The top feeds on events are known for "not charging" for event announcements that appear with merchandise keys. Yet along the side we can see the very expensive ads they do charge for.

Not gambling at all!  Since such practices are now banned and illegal in SL.  Those who find a work around will just have LL facing scrutiny.

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3 hours ago, Rowan Amore said:

99% of creators in SL are probably not compensated for their time.  As was said, it's a labor of love.  I don't think when they were envisioning SL, they ever though it would be a substitute for RL work.  It should be a bonus.  Not something you need to depend on.  I know some do but what would happen if it did shut down tomorrow?  What's your plan?

Equating any sort of RL compensation for SL work makes no sense.

Depends what kind of SL work we're talking. If someone does something completely custom for me I always insist on paying an hourly rate that's in line with a RL wage, even if they gave me a lower price quote before. Unless of course it's a close friend who insists they're doing it as a gift for me, I'm not gonna stop them from doing that.

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1 minute ago, Komarimono said:

Not gambling at all!  Since such practices are now banned and illegal in SL.  Those who find a work around will just have LL facing scrutiny.

It's important to keep reporting that no court of law, in any jurisdiction, in the US or abroad, found gatchas to be unlawful under any local or federal jurisdiction, the end. None. The jurisprudence has trended in the other direction in the US with Google and Apple fending off lootbox class action suits, in fact.

Yes, LL can do what it wants, and has made its best judgement and ruling with which we must comply. But it's more than fine to question it for the sake of the shape of the Metaverse to come, and for the sake of LL's own role in that Metaverse. If they become so supine at the first jitters around irate parents attacking a multi-million gaming company -- thought parents aren't a factor for them in their world without real children and they aren't a gaming company, what's next? Why, when their history was, despite industry "standards," despite predatory industry practices of gouging 30% from developers and ignoring their IP rights, taking 10% and granting those rights encoded on the platform. Why the literalist code-as-law approach and not the natural organic law approach which is adversarial defense in the US? Because this sort of attitude may spread to other things -- licenses for creators on the MP coming? Passports absolutely required for all who sell merchandise? it's more than fine to question it. It has repercussions.

The number of Pavlovian dogs barking to His Master's Voice on this theme is astounding to me in a land whose past included the "Tea Party" and the telehub pushback and VAT protests and much more. If nothing else, those who routinely question every policy of even liberal real life governments should question the implementation of this policy.

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Just now, Experimental Scientist said:

Depends what kind of SL work we're talking. If someone does something completely custom for me I always insist on paying an hourly rate that's in line with a RL wage, even if they gave me a lower price quote before. Unless of course it's a close friend who insists they're doing it as a gift for me, I'm not gonna stop them from doing that.

I like to give musicians exactly what I would give them in real life in a local pub, a real $3 or $5 entrance fee or tip, but I don't always have a spare 1000L or 1500L and I won't buy them, it's too costly.

I have paid builders and scripters good wages but not real life wagers or I couldn't afford them as a small business person. And that's the crux of it. Charge all you like; will you have takers? And some very good scripters aren't charging minimum wage because they want to earn at least something.

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5 hours ago, Mollymews said:

the new improved machines will allow the customer to buy any of the items in the conveyor queue,  upon which the queue will advance by 1 step from the bought item position

so if the customer doesn't want to buy 03, they can buy 01. (7th item in the queue) which will advance 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th items. And the next item will appear in the 11th position

That would be too convenient and leave nothing but commons in the visible queue after the vultures picked the bones clean.

If I saw 11 items visible and one was a rare and I was allowed to buy any of those 11, it would be a no brainer what I would buy. Same goes for anything over commons.

But if someone can only buy the first item and you see a rare is coming soon, they might be enticed to buy what they don't want to get to it, perpetuating predatory selling.

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24 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

but why don't they succeed in their "normal" vendor system?

To many?, ( i think this is one of the big problems, there are to many sellers, the pond to fish in doesn't get bigger)
Something wrong with the quality? ( yes... some are really bad)
To aimed at a certain group?
And also.. to many of the same?( that for sure.. )

 

Every creator I have ever known in all my years in SL has had one thing in common.

Fear of changing what a product is actually worth.

Basic math -> (Min wage x hours spent) / total sale over life span of product = final price

Most will do that sum, and then balk at the price, and then under cut themselves.

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On 8/3/2021 at 9:27 AM, Innula Zenovka said:

Loot boxes and gatchas already fall within the ambit of the gambling regulators in several jurisdictions where LL do business, and this will be true of several more (including my own, the UK) by the end of next year.

Whatever the merits of the California case under discussion (I'm not familiar with it), that has little to do with how the governments of Australia, the UK and other countries may decide to regulate loot boxes in future -- we don't yet know -- and it seems to me not at all unreasonable for LL's new owners to decide from the outset that keeping themselves in compliance with an increasing number of different regulatory and reporting regimes in different jurisdictions just isn't something the company needs to be bothered about, since they presumably don't view gatchas as being so important to their business model as Apple do to theirs.   

Rightly or wrongly, LL presumably don't see gatchas as being worth the long-term hassle of keeping up with with the differing requirements of multiple regulators, and are bailing now rather than later.   

The "something" that's driving this seems to me to be no more than LL's assessment of what's in the company's best business interests.    Presumably it's been under consideration for some time, and  the people who make such decisions at LL have read too many articles like this

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021/04/uk-report-recommends-regulating-all-loot-boxes-as-gambling/

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/loot-boxes-new-gambling

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-53253195

and have decided they want to divest themselves of all possible regulatory risk by banning gatchas altogether.   

It seems a perfectly rational decision, whether you agree with it or not, and I don't see why there needs to be anything else behind it.

 

It bears repeating over and over in this ridiculously long thread: in the common-law country of the US, the judge's application of law, and the body of rulings from court cases, matter as "the law" and there is no ruling in the US on lootboxes; on the contrary, Apple and Google beat those charges and obtain rulings in their favour.

It does matter what California does and its limits established by litigation and court rulings because that's where LL is. The idea that Australian or Japanese law somehow self-executes, or by some other mysterious path still dings LL is out of place. Every international legal action needs a recognition of standing and merit and procedure. Where is that Japanese prosecutor's note to LL? Where's the Belgian regulator's comment about LL? More to the point, where's the ban of an SL resident from Canada or Australia or Japan from SL ALREADY, as their laws are being applied, as you say. With due process or without? Where? That matters.

The best interests of LL may be perceived by new owners without any real familiarity of the inworld economy wrongfully, and it's more than fine in the real interests of the viability of LL and its platform to question them as we have more experience with this toy economy than they.

There does need to be an explication of what is behind it because in American terms, there is no law and ruling, and in foreign terms, there is no signal of any kind or ban or comment. 

And has been pointed out over and over again, see may comment to Da5id Weatherwax, the test of application of the lootbox definition to gatchas is not met on the merits absent game company control; absence of children; and presence of loot on every pull that is transferable. Does it truly not matter that the one senator who attempted a lootbox gambit to win points with Christian parents in his constituency is now under investigation for January 6?

Could you PLEASE explain to me how Elizabeth Warren's protegee, LL's new owner, made common cause with extreme rightwing senatorJosh Hawley? Please? Youth wants to know.

What's really disturbing here is the readiness you and other forums regulars express simply to roll over on this matter -- you did back when Drake began haranguing everybody that the ban hammer was going to fall, in March; you do now when it has fallen, although there is no more reality of law then than there is now. It's a cultural and philosophical aversion to commerce in general, or this type of rapid commerce for the masses in particular that seems to drive this, and your curious conformity to company policy is likely at odds with the way you would conform to say, the American government's policies or your own. 

We all get it totally that any business limits liability to litigation. That is the default mode to protect shareholders. But LL is a company made up not only of shareholders and passive consumers; its active prosumers in the form of artists, coders, and land dealers as well as service providers make it unique and special. The revenue of this little toy boat, $450, $500, $600 million in past years for residents, is very, very special in a world where Facebook, with its billions of customers, doesn't make for its tiny coterie of app engineers. You really need to take a harder look at the proposition here.

LL didn't react to hackers and crashers and griefers and copybotters for years and years, although these is the contingent from which more serious criminals come that are now combatted by every government in the world, and in its own world, it finally acted to protect value. But years went by with no policy on ad farms. Years went by with **** getting a pass in the name of free expression. Years went by with banks and stock markets that could have been killed at birth merely on the strength of corporate interest. For "what's best" for the company. But it took the credit card companies to actually come calling and threatening LL leadership for them to act. LL behaved for years like a start-up of bro culture and technocommies and technolibertarians who "moved fast and broke things" like that other big dog. Then they grew up. But their instinct has usually been to protect prosumers -- protect IP, protect privacy, protect from authoritarian governments or extremist hate groups. So now why this now, and in this way?

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