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Second Life Mythbusters; getting rid of some of those old SL myths!


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Jo Yardley wrote:

There are lots of myths in SL, even after being here for a few years there are still a few I am not sure about.

Lets try and bust a few myths but please keep it to the point and useful so it can be used later to find these answers back in stead having to fight your way trough dozens of jokes and silly answers.

Myth #1: holding your cursor over a texture makes it load faster...

Myth #2: megaprims cause lag

Myth #3: most lag is caused by avatars

CONFIRMED: Yes, avatars generally cause a lot of lag especially when wearing scripted objects, clothing, etc.

So fight lag by removing things from your avatar that you don't really need.

Myth #4 Too many scripts cause lag.

 

Add a myth to the list you'd like to see answered or add an answer!

#1 is a myth in that it doesn't cause the texture to load faster, only sooner. zooming, right clicking, focusing, and hovering the mouse can all trigger code to change the priority of item in question, telling the viewer to download it sooner/next rather than pursuing a more balanced load.

#2 is a pure myth outside of active physicallity of the mega itself. it does have more broad phase interactions, but less narrow phase filtering. there can be issues with cuts and hollows that can make that problematic and cause unintended side effects, but only in rare cases will that exceed normal physics processing of a comparable volume of normal prims.

when actively physical itself, there are a whole bunch more calculations that are made, and  issues to deal with region crossing (since regions see ~10m into each other)

#3 depends on what you are referring to.... scripts in general don't cause anything but script lag, unless they act of other systems (changing prim properties, textures, animations, rez other objects, or have physical effects). they do however add to network load on entrance and exit from a region (tp lag) which has been reduced considerably in the last several months. Texture load (including particles on end clients) is often considerable, with most attachments using multiple and large scale textures. animations are often stacked, meaning that you don't actually see all the animations playing, but you are still recieving them, and the playing of animations has render load on the client side. overall it's true that avatars are generally more load inducing than almost anything else both for the region and the client.

#4 was touched on above in #3... at their base, scripts only cause script lag, but can contribute to other types of lag depending on the systems they affect. the amount is much less important than what the script is doing in all cases except one, and that's network lag on region change.... which is purely measured in size and quantity.

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The two biggest things that cause lag are multiple large textures, like say a mall where all the little displays use a 1024 texture instead of using a 256 size when they could have gotten away with it.

The next would be collisions. The reason you get so laggy when you are around a bunch of avatars is because of the goofy AO's they have where they pace around or what ever, or they are dancing or walking around. This causes collisions which puts a load on the server. The  more avatars, the more collisions, the more lag. As far as the avatar itself that can be controled on your client side. You can adjust how much detail other avis will have and how many it will render.

Scripts are touchy because it depends on how they are written. You can't say lots of scripts will cause lag. You could have 1,000 well written low lag scripts and not effect much at all. One or two bad ones will drag a sim down.

There is a great video for one of the phoenix hours that goes into great detail about lag, but I lost the link. Maybe someone can provided it.

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Void Singer wrote:

#3 depends on what you are referring to.... scripts in general don't cause anything but script lag, unless they act of other systems (changing prim properties, textures, animations, rez other objects, or have physical effects). they do however add to network load on entrance and exit from a region (tp lag) which has been reduced considerably in the last several months. Texture load (including particles on end clients) is often considerable, with most attachments using multiple and large scale textures. animations are often stacked, meaning that you don't actually see all the animations playing, but you are still recieving them, and the playing of animations has render load on the client side. overall it's true that avatars are generally more load inducing than almost anything else both for the region and the client.

I've often read that, but whenever my sim is about to break down (rubberbanding or complete inability to move, objects fail to attach or detach, people can't tp out or in), I usually find that the lag is caused by one or two heavily scripted people. As soon as I kick them out, things return back to normal.

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I don't know about something detecting collisions via a script, but it will effect collisions in the debug menu. If you have estate tools where are at just watch the collisions for an avi that is moving, be it walking or pacing around with an AO. The collisions will be higher for that avatar vrs one standing still or sitting. Either collisions for the avatar or the prim they are standing on will go up and down if you keep refreshing the screen.

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like I said, depends on what the scripts are doing, and the network traffic issue only mostly gone. I've seen similar occurrences too, but they are much less frequent than they used to be, and in general only correlated to high scripts counts... but I see plenty of people with high script counts that DON'T cause the same problem.... leading me to believe that the ones causing a problem have two or more scripts that are competing at cross purposes that affect other systems.

 

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Jo Yardley wrote:

Myth #1: holding your cursor over a texture makes it load faster...

Holding the cursor over a texture doesn't make it load "faster" but it does make it load more quickly; i.e. sooner than it otherwise would. If you change the word "faster" to "more quyickly" or "quicker", then you can add some red text saying BUSTED.

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:


Dogboat Taurog wrote:

Second life isnt a game

i had to say it :smileywink:

Yes, that's a widespread myth
:P

It's no myth. Show me the SL gameplay and I'll agree with you. But you can't because there isn't any :)

The fact that games can be created within SL doesn't count because SL itself is not a game, and never has been.

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I would say that it's a game for people that use it as such, and not for those who don't. people can make a game out of war and killing (the real kind, not imaginary).... so the definition is only as good as it's usage. both views are valid depending on individual behavior, and people really need to accept that not everyone uses or views things the same way. The overarching definition may be the lowest common denominator, but it rarely affects individual response.

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Jo Yardley wrote:

 

Myth #1: holding your cursor over a texture makes it load faster...


 

Clicking textures absolutely makes them rez faster. Is easy to test too, just go to a shop with lots of signs that are taking ages to rezz, open edit window &  click half the signs one by one. That half will rezz before the unclicked ones.

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Qwalyphi Korpov wrote:

/me thinks animations don't move the AVs in respect to collisions.   Here's an old related thread.



Yeah, when an animation runs IF the avatar is animated to walk around there isn't any extra collisions. The collision box is static! You can walk into the static collision box when you make this. I have a animation that puts the av under the ground for photo taking. When you walk around, the place where the av was standing is the collision box and collides. In fact, the av would NOT stand under the ground if his collision box was NOT up top or somewhere, avatar collision boxes are made to not go through the ground and collide up top.

Now, if those avatars are walking hand in hand or whatever they might be on a prim that is using physics as a vehicle. Same for some horses. THey are physical vehicles, but others are attachments and only use the avatar. Some physical vehicles go non phys when they are standing still as well! I do this with mine. So, no collisions when it is parked...well, not usually. But, if it never reaches below a certian velocity it appears to be sort of still and is still physical. But, yeah...some things are not physical when you think they are and vice versa. So it is tricky to say what causes lag.

Now, if you excuse me..I will go to create lag on mainland by testing my vehicle steering and friction settings on primmy bumpy old roads the Linden Moles never go to yet.

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Luc Starsider wrote:

Whether SL is a game or not is not a myth. It is a matter of how each of us perceive it and how we approach it, and is not something that can be proved conclusively either way.

- Luc -

It's very definitely provable that SL is not a game. SL is an environment without any form of gameplay whatsoever and, therefore, it's not a game. A game *must* have gameplay for it to be a game. If you think differently, show me the SL gameplay and I'll accept it. Remember that it's possible for users to create some gameplay within SL - Tiny Empires and Vampires, for instance, but that's not SL itself. So show me the gameplay that's intrinsic to SL and I'll call it a game.

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Void Singer wrote:

I would say that it's a game for people that use it as such, and not for those who don't. people can make a game out of war and killing (the real kind, not imaginary).... so the definition is only as good as it's usage. both views are valid depending on individual behavior, and people really need to accept that not everyone uses or views things the same way. The overarching definition may be the lowest common denominator, but it rarely affects individual response.

I disagree. SL *cannot* be used as a game by anyone because there is no game to play. Some people have created small games within SL and people can play those, but SL itself cannot be played as a game. SL is only countryside and water, just like the RL world. And, just like RL, some people have built buildings and such. But the RL world isn't a game either. You can't wake up, go outside, and start playing the game because the RL world isn't a game. Some games have been created in the RL world, and you can play those, but the RL world itself isn't a game - and neither is the SL world.

I'll clarify a bit. Imagine SL without users and without any user creations of any kind, and you, plus a few people, log in. Now go and "play" it. What's the game? Where does the game start? What do you have to do to win?

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Phil
Deakins
wrote
:


Void
Singer
wrote
:

I
would
say
that
it's
a
game
for
people
that
use
it
as
such
,
and
not
for
those
who
don't
.
people
can
make
a
game
out
of
war
and
killing
(
the
real
kind
,
not
imaginary
)....
so
the
definition
is
only
as
good
as
it's
usage
.
both
views
are
valid
depending
on
individual
behavior
,
and
people
really
need
to
accept
that
not
everyone
uses
or
views
things
the
same
way
.
The
overarching
definition
may
be
the
lowest
common
denominator
,
but
it
rarely
affects
individual
response
.

I
disagree
.
SL
*
cannot
*
be
used
as
a
game
by
anyone
because
there
is
no
game
to
play
.
Some
people
have
created
small
games
within
SL
and
people
can
play
those
,
but
SL
itself
cannot
be
played
as
a
game
.
SL
is
only
 
countryside
and
 
water
,
just
like
the
RL
world
.
And
,
just
like
RL
,
some
people
have
built
buildings
and
such
.
But
the
RL
world
isn't
a
game
either
.
You
can't
wake
up
,
go
outside
,
and
start
playing
the
game
because
the
RL
world
isn't
a
game
.
Some
games
have
been
created
in
the
RL
world
,
and
you
can
play
those
,
but
the
RL
world
itself
isn't
a
game
-
and
neither
is
the
SL
world
.

I'll
clarify
a
bit
.
Imagine
SL
without
users
and
without
any
user
 
creations
of
any
kind
,
and
you
,
plus
a
few
people
log
in
.
Now
go
and
"
play
"
it
.
What's
the
game
?
Where
does
the
game
 
start
?
What
do
you
have
to
do
to
win
?

 

You know, way back I think SL had ratings and you would star people for building, scripting and so on! I saw a pic in the wiki or at someone's blog I think. So, at one time it WAS a game. The game was "Build a world" and people could get stars. People got money for dwell and you had to compete to make your place a better place and attract people.

Now...I am not sure. It seems like more of a social platform, and people sometimes play games, make games or make a game of something when they socialize.

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Luc Starsider wrote:

Whether SL is a game or not is not a myth. It is a matter of how each of us perceive it and how we approach it, and is not something that can be proved conclusively either way.

- Luc -

It's very definitely provable that SL is not a game. SL is an environment without any form of gameplay whatsoever and, therefore, it's not a game. A game *must* have gameplay for it to be a game. If you think differently, show me the SL gameplay and I'll accept it. Remember that it's possible for users to create some gameplay within SL - Tiny Empires and Vampires, for instance, but that's not SL itself. So show me the gameplay that's intrinsic to SL and I'll call it a game.

Oh, I don't see SL as a game at all. And I never will. Others do, however, and, from what I can see, they see the gaming aspects clearly even if the gameplay side of it does not exist. To me, a game has a conclusion with a win or lose outcome. SL does not have that. As far as I'm concerned, nobody can win SL. Thus it is not a game.

The main point I was trying to make is that the question whether SL is a game or not is not a myth. Not sure what it is, but it's not a myth.

- Luc -

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I was here when those things existed but they didn't make SL a game by any stretch of the imagination. Ratings weren't for building, scripting, etc., as you thought. They were merely if you fancied rating someone for whatever reason, like you can rate items in the marketplace but ratings don't make the marketplace a game. For instance, friends used to rate each other just for the sake of it. Dwell was what is now called traffic. Neither of them were gameplay, which is what a game must have to make it a game.

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:


Dogboat Taurog wrote:

Second life isnt a game

i had to say it :smileywink:

Yes, that's a widespread myth
:P

It's no myth. Show me the SL gameplay and I'll agree with you. But you can't because there isn't any
:)

The fact that games can be created within SL doesn't count because SL itself is not a game, and never has been.

New SL residents typically start out by creating / outfitting a virtual character, which is exactly what I've done in any other MMO that I've played in the past. We then steer our game characters, or virtual dolls if you so will, through a simulated environment and pretend to do things that we're not actually doing. Like sitting on a beach, hanging out in clubs (that's how I've spent most of my time in Star Wars Galaxies too), decorating houses (reminds me of The Sims), or operating a plane (MS Flight Simulator, anyone?)

Those who are not content with mere role play (role play = everything you pretend to be or do in a virtual environment that does not correspond to reality, such as flying or teleporting or walking across a virtual beach) can participate in the virtual economy simulation and earn points in form of L$. Alternatively, you can play social games and dating games, make friends, fall in love with somebody else's avatar, and try to advance in the social hierarchy of the various SL communities.

Nobody would argue that The Sims or MS Flight Simulator are computer games, despite the fact that you can't "win" these simulations. And only few people would disagree that a kid playing with a Barbie doll or building robots with Legos is engaging in a game-like activity. SL is a computer game simulation that imitates life, which in itself is a bit of a game, and I for one have a great deal of fun playing with my virtual Barbie doll and digital Lego bricks :)

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Nice try, but all wrong :)

I won't go into all the details of your post but I'll mention a few. Flight simulators are not games unless their is actual gameplay, such as flying from A to B so that you are allowed to go the next level. Dressing Barbie dolls isn't a game - it's a pleasurable passtime. Children "play" with Barbie dolls in the way you said, but there is no "gameplay" so they are not a game. Sitting on beaches isn't a game and dancing in clubs isn't a game. I'll leave it at that.

Apart from preparing to play a game by dressing your avatar in other systems, everything you mentioned comes under the heading of passtimes. It crossed my mind earlier that SL business can very well be a game for many people - the earnings being the personal score - even though it doesn't compete with anyone else. But business isn't instrinsic SL, and it doesn't make SL a game. SL is merely an envorionment in which people can do whatever they like. No "game" or "gameplay" is provided for them.

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Children who play with toys or role play cops and robbers make up their own gameplay. I know that I did as a kid, and nowadays I make up my own rules for my Second Life sim. For example, I've passed a rule against weapon usage in response to all the people who carry things like chicken launchers and watermelon guns around and probably also think that SL is a serious pastime and not a game. If they launch a chicken in my sim in the mistaken belief that they're free to do whatever they want in SL, they've lost the game and get a penalty. My sandbox / RP stage, my gameplay rules.

But of course you are free to invent your own exclusive definition for the word game, such as "blindfolded sports fishing on horseback". I just don't think you'll have any luck trying to convince a store clerk that The Sims doesn't belong on the games shelf or that Barbie dolls shouldn't be in the toys department.

PS: Are you sure that game and pastime are mutually exclusive words? I'm asking because I often read that the favorite American pastime is baseball, which I always thought of as a game. I think you and I are simply using the English language in entirely different ways.

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

Children who play with toys or role play cops and robbers
make up their own gameplay
.

Exactly! For users to treat SL as a game, they need to "make up their own gameplay" because SL doesn't provide any for them - because SL is not a game.

Yes, "passtime" and "game" are mutually exclusive words. The first is something to do to pass the time and the second, in the context of "SL is/isn't a game", means a game such as World of Warcraft, football, chess, and a myriad of others that have integral gameplay.

Perhaps a good way of looking at it is to think of a game, - say chess or WoW - remove the integral gameplay and game rules completely, and then look at it. What is it? With chess it's a board with some carved objects on it but what can you do with it? Nothing, unless you invent a game for it, such as firing pellets at the objects to see who can knock the most over. With WoW, it's an environment you can wander around in but that's all. The actual game has been removed. That's what SL is. To have it as a game, you have to invent some gameplay for yourself, otherwise it's just an environment you can wander around in. SL does not provide any gameplay whatsoever, therefore it's not a game. It's merely an environment in which you can wander round, chat and do other things with people, make things, create some gameplay, etc. etc..

You can make things in SL but you don't get any points for doing it, and you don't overtake anyone, or get higher up the leader board, or go to the next level, etc. by doing it. Making things isn't a game, and it's not stated anywhere that, in order to get ahead in the game, you have to make things or do other things, or not get caught, or whatever. It's simply not a game.

I'll say this. The ONLY reason why some people think of SL itself as a game is because it LOOKS like some computer and online games. But looking like a game doesn't make it a game.

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

Children who play with toys or role play cops and robbers
make up their own gameplay
.

Exactly! For users to treat SL as a game, they need to "
make up their own gameplay"
because SL doesn't provide any for them - because SL is not a game.

And since cops and robbers is a game in my book, despite the lack of fixed rules, SL is a game for me too :) Let's just agree to disagree on this one.

 

PS: I've always preferred so-called sandbox MMORPGs over EQ clones like WoW (often referred to as guided experience MMORPGs or grind games). In Ultima Online, SWG and Sociolotron, I was free to do whatever I wanted, just like in SL. I spent most of my time chatting and role playing, which is exactly what I do here too.

The SWG devs even included character classes that were pretty much pointless and only served a social function, such as musician, entertainer (dancer) or image designer (haircutter and make-up specialist). With the result that a lot of people spent their time dancing and performing on cantina stages. Visiting dance clubs or "live" concerts in SL isn't any different for me. Aside from content creation, my SL experience is the same kind of gaming experience that I had in SWG and Sociolotron.

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

Children who play with toys or role play cops and robbers
make up their own gameplay
.

Exactly! For users to treat SL as a game, they need to "
make up their own gameplay"
because SL doesn't provide any for them - because SL is not a game.

And since cops and robbers is a game in my book, despite the lack of fixed rules, SL is a game for me too
:)
Let's just agree to disagree on this one.

Cops and Robbers is a children's game for which they make up their own rules. SL doesn't incorporate sides to be on or actions to perform like Cops and Robbers does because SL simply isn't a game by any stretch of the imagination.

However, I am happy to agree to disagree, knowing that you are entirely wrong :)

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Phil Deakins wrote:

I disagree. SL *cannot* be used as a game by anyone because there is no game to play. [...]

 I think you missed my key point.... anything can be viewed as a "game" if a person wants to... even life. that doesn't change it for anyone else, but it does change it for that person. similarly people can imbue things designed as games with RL importance (just look at sports for an example).

I actually agree that at it's lowest common denominator, SL is a tool, but how you use a tool determines it's meaning, because in and of itself it's nothing but a a thing... the same as a hammer or a toy.

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