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Flea Yatsenko

How are we supposed to market Mesh prim count?

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Today I was thinking and it kind of occured to me that PE weight being influenced by the size of the object is going to make it nearly impossible to market.

What are you going to do if someone buys your mesh and then scales it larger and then complains that it cost more than advertised?

Can't you cheat the numbers by scaling your object down to a smaller size (for example, call it "teen sized") so you can advertise a lower PE Weight, and then when people buy it they have to make it larger, thus costing them more prims than advertised?

I'm not thinking of doing it, it's pretty shady. But it seems to me like a lot of people are going to be doing this. I just was experimenting with some trees. At 15m tall, the PE Weight was 20, at 9 meters it's 11.

But now it puts you in an awkward sitation. Do you sell the tree at 9 meters, which is pretty small, or do you deal with everyone else doing it too and you looking like you have a high prim crappy mesh with the 15m mesh? It's all the same thing, but to the casual shopper on the marketplace it's going to be a nearly 50% difference in prim cost when advertised. It's essentially punishing honest merchants and rewarding shady ones who have no problem cheating and lying about numbers.

Has anyone even thought about this? I don't even know of a solution. Even if you had the client or server detect the PE weight and automatically add the PEWeight value to the database for the marketplace record, you'd still have people shrinking it down.

And I realize that you can just flat out lie for legacy content and say your 10 prim table is really 5, but if you do that, you're blatantly lying. If you misrepresent your PE Weight, you're not lying, you're just pulling a Fox News and bending the truth to benefit yourself. How would you get in trouble? I could just say I sold this tree as a 5m object for 9 prims and if you want it bigger you have to deal with it.

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Based on the discussions in this forum so far, it sounds like very large objects are not ideal products for mesh, at least at this time, because of that PE value. If I understand correctly, even linking a mesh item with other items or adding scripts to a mesh can change the mesh PE value as well.

I got the impression that for the first roll out, mesh will be more appropriate for small products like jewelry and other attachments. Merchants that try to convert entirely to mesh for all their products, both big and small, might not have a lot of success.

Marketing and honesty ... I would guess that merchants that deliberately mislead their customers would develop a reputation for that, and not be successful for very long. Obviously, the prim count a merchant provides should be the prim count of the object at the size the object would normally be used. It is subjective, but customers won't care much about 'technically accurate" statements and will be angry at being mislead. As a customer, I would remember not to buy from a merchant that mislead me in the way that you describe. Certainly, my reviews of the product would reflect that as well.

 

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I see it as being no different than houses that come with furniture or objects that rez from objects.  Full disclosure and education is the best approach imho.  Give your buyers a guide to let them know.  If you do this and other do not, you will come out on top and I am sure others will follow.

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For attachments where prim count doesn't matter (and size changes are minor): I would like to know how much an item adds to the ARC (Avatar rendering cost).

 For every rezzable/re-sizable items it would ba nice if there would be one PE for 'normal size'. In the item description it should be stated clearly: tree at 12 meters = 10 PE (medium size). Scaled smaller to 5 meters or bigger to 25 meters results in 7 and 18 PE.

Somehow informing about the small/big extremes. 

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I appreciate everyone's replies but this isn't answering my question. Even if you use mesh for smaller objects, you're still able to shrink it down, even just to the lower end of usable, and then market it as lower prim. I got my example tree down to 5 PEWeight.

A tree is not a good example because everyone knows that mesh in it's current form isn't optimized for large objects, but whether you're making a table, bucket, kettle, door, etc, you can still fudge the numbers.

And people are going to do it. A lot of them don't care. Not to mention they'd just have to rebrand themselves and sell the same stuff again.

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Hello,

One other choice is to provide demos of your products. Demo textures, no mod with resize script. Mesh objects are much more difficult to steal and even if the thief is successful he/she needs to have "payment info on file" in order to reupload the model and to pay for it. So providing demos will be much more safer. 

 

Best regards

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I'm old and maybe slow. What question are you asking? The things you are pointing out that "bad" merchants can do ... those are true. But I, for one, will not be buying mesh products from unknown merchants that don't have a verifiable good reputation. It does not change the answer your original question "how are we supposed to market mesh prim count?"

Market your mesh products honestly, and if they are of good quality and useful and compete in a substantial way with sculpties or standard prims, chances are that you will be a successful mesh merchant.

"Honestly" means giving reasonable prim counts, and perhaps means giving a range of reasonable prim counts each associated with a particular object size, so that a customer knows what to expect. If the customer can see the object inworld to inspect the prim counts, so much the better.

 

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Overall I'm somewhat concerned about the customers who aren't as well educated when it comes to mesh. We've all been following everything in here pretty closely, because it all greatly affects us.

The general SL population has no idea, other than "mesh is coming and there's going to be new stuff." They don't know PE Weight or anything we've been discussing with LL.

When I made this post, I wasn't completely sure where I was heading with it. I knew there was a problem where the prim count changes with scale. It's a radical new idea that a lot of people aren't going to understand. It's also opening up a lot of doors for abuse from merchants. It's also opening up a lot of problems. Do I sell my tree at 5 meters, which is an acceptable tree size? Or do I make it more realistic and take a huge PE Weight hit?

Everyone is going to be doing these things, and there is not going to be any confidence in PE Weight when you buy from different vendors.

Even if I do do things honestly (which I plan on doing), there are going to be people who don't do things honestly, and will have a higher triangle mesh marketed as lower PE Weight because it's smaller than mine.

We understand PE Weight. We've all been experimenting with it and mesh (I have been for months upon months), the average consumer has no idea.

We have all been so focused on the engineering aspect of mesh that we've completely forgotten about the marketing aspect. There is huge potential for the general population to become very upset with mesh, between no longer being able to resize their objects without a penalty and getting burned by merchants who market their PE Weight in an overly-optimistic way.

My biggest fear is that is that the average consumer will be duped by these sorts of issues they don't have to deal with with sculped builds or in world prim builds, and mesh will gain a negative perception and will be avoided on the marketplace, making it essentially a dead technology for things outside of attachments.

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I think that if someone tries to be shady to the point that customers feel cheated, they will eventually see a loss in money. If I bought a tree (advertised as fully grown) from someone that rezzed in at 1 meter just to get a lower PE, I'd assume they aren't trustworthy. And, I wouldn't shop with that person again.

 

Personally, I'm going to be upfront and honest with customers about the costs. First, I'm going to sale the item at its proper scale. Secondly, I will include text on the product page that lists the PE at its preferred (first rez size) and at the max size of 64 meters. I may add some example sizes/costs in between. I'll also add a line of information about how scaling and linking effects mesh items. Like someone already said, merchants are going to have to help educate people about the pros and cons of this new asset type.

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That's a valid point. I guess when we market it we're going to have to give PE Weights at different dimensions.

We are going to need this feature implimented in the marketplace.

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That's actually a really good question.

You can't just make it and then say "it's this big and this many prims, if you make it bigger it'll be primmier", because as you say, some merchants are going to make stuff ridiculously small to make the count lower.

LL may have to offer some sort of system or allow merchandise to be flagged in those cases?

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I have no problem with the No Mod version of mesh, to be fair why would they need to be mod anyways? They are in most cases complete models without any ability to modify them except in scale.

The other option is to ensure the customers are notified when purchasing that rescaling the object will change the prim count.

 

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Your points are valid. Though I will say that a 5m tree better be advertised as a 5m tree, and if it is modifiable, the product description must include information about the changing PE values as it is increased in size.

I do like the idea of extra prim count range fields being added in the market place. That would be a good start. From X prims to Y prims.

I wonder if mesh merchants might get together as a group and develop a customer page in the wikki that discusses mesh products and PE, and include a link to that page in the product detail page.

Honorable mesh merchants might also include a sort of pledge on that customer page, and add their name to a list signing the pledge. The pledge would be to do some of the things we are talking about in this thread, honest representation, full disclosure of prim count ranges, customer education, etc.

 

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Yes, it would be nice if LL replaced the prim slot on the marketplace with something like "PE range" or "Prim range". That way, no one has a valid excuse not to list the PE range from say 1 meter to 64 meters. Then, if I see that a merchant omited that range, I can just keep moving to the next product.

However, this won't solve issues with products being misrepresented in inworld shops.

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With all due respect… you may be over thinking this just a little.

The prim count in the market place is fine and should be what the PE is “as delivered”. 

If someone feels they need to cheat the customer by delivering, for example, furniture only suited to tiny avatars, then that merchant is only cutting their own throat.

Placing a disclaimer in the body of your marketing text for mod items concerning the fact that PE is relevant to scaling is fine, but do we really need to calculate minimum and maximum PE for every item now?   Maybe I’m totally wrong here but really?

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Yes. It can become unmanagable very easily....what about PE at diofferent sizes and for different physics shape types, and for with and without scripts?

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Make sure the customer is aware. Put it in the picture of the product, and/or in the text accompanying it for sale on the Marketplace.

"At 6m tall, PE = 9 prims. At 12m tall, PE = 20 prims. Prim Equivalency varies with size."

That is all you can do. Be up front. Honesty is important.

My own policy is that if a customer is not happy and I cannot make him or her happy, I refund. Who needs the grief? In my 7 years in business in SL, no-one has ever abused that.

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This is gonna sound kind of simple but it is the only way.

List the PE at a given size. Optionally list the PE at min and max.

It is not your job to teach SL what PE means. However it would be nice if there was a wiki page to link to in ads.

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I think if we are selling mesh items then it is our job to educate the customer, it serves two purposes, it lets the customer know what to expect and it reduces the repeat IMs from customers who are confused.

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It is not the merchant's job to teach SL what PE is, but I'll bet a dollar to a donkey's knuckle that the merchant that spends a little effort educating his customers will have fewer headaches and a better reputation right out of the gate. Angry and confused customers generally yell at the merchants ... in the forums and in reviews.

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I couldn't agree with you more. LL creates a restraint which is going to affect everyone, and then they only tell a fraction of the people what's going to happen.

It's going to be interesting to see how the general population of SL responds to this change.

But you're right. This isn't our responsibility, we don't even really like this feature, to be honest. It's foolish to think that the entire community of mesh builders is going to be completely knowledgeable about mesh as soon as it comes out and that it's our responsibility to educate people.

Mesh is going to change when it comes out. There's going to be growing pains. All of us aren't going to be able to keep up with the latest news and keep everyone informed. LL needs to make a formal announcement of PE Weight to the general population as soon as possible so they are aware that things are going to work this way with mesh. To have mesh instantly deployed and then go, "hey, by the way, if you make this thing bigger it's going to use more prims."

I understand that PE weight being affected by scale has to do with the LODs, but I'm not ready to explain to customers that the object doesn't look like it's changing when you make it bigger, but the cost is still going up. As far as game design goes that's purely anti-fun and it will make a ton of people angry. There will be people who are angry enough to ask for sculpty versions instead, which will only consume more triangles and completely bypass LL's solution to low client FPS sims.

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It's gonna be a mess at first that's for sure. I'm scared of the IM's that go something like. "Hey I bought your "insert furniture here" and accidently linked it to my house and half my house disapeared. You are an evil person and I"m telling everyone I know not to buy from you anymore because you stole my house."

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I think Linden Lab needs to do a major education campaign as mesh gets released.  Variable prim count for objects is a huge change from the past 9 years of SL's existence where a prim is a prim and each of them counts as 1.000 always and forever.  What was a constant in the past is now a variable.  We need a standard disclaimer for mesh items.  Something like:

WARNING: Prim count for mesh items varies with use. Resizing or linking can cause you to exceed your parcel limits.

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