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Mainland and Terreforming Issues


Annie Melson
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I recently bought a large chunk of Mainland and was very excited to start terreforming it to fit my needs to accomadate my store. It didn't take long before I realized that terreforming that parcel was incredibly limited. I had wanted to flatten the land to match the parcel in front of me because we had wanted to help eachother out - she with her club and me with my store. Unfortunately there was no way I could lower and flatten my very steep sloped land. I was forced to put my store up on a very large and high platform. This will put a huge damper on our parcels helping eachther. It is imposing and unwelcoming. Not to mention, it looks rediculous.

I never would have bought this parcel of land if I had known about the terreforming limitations. The person who owns the parcel in front of mine has been there a long time and she didn't know about the limitations either. I had hoped Linden Labs could possibly come and flatten the land for me, but the answer I received was a "No. We can't do that. Put something on the forums." While I am upset that I can't change the land like I had hoped, I'm not angry. I'll deal with it and move on when I can, but I can't help but feel like I've wasted 18,000L to buy this parcel without having knowledge of terreforming limitations. Everywhere you go, you see that as a land owner you can terreform to your heart's content! Look how fun and easy it is to do! But this isn't true. There are limitations on mainland terreforming.

It should be mandatory for people selling land (including Lindens) to list that the parcel has very limited terreforming rights or full terreforming rights. Buyers should be informed. It isn't fair to the seller and it certainly isn't fair to the buyer as well. Maybe many of you already are aware of this problem, as you've been through it already, but there are many first time buyers who have no idea. This information should be listed. And saying after the fact "Well, it's on a Wiki page - here let me send you this link" is NOT informing people at large. It should be listed on the listings, plain and simple. Many people don't sit all day reading Wiki stuff.

Linden Labs, I really hope you give this some consideration. It would definitely help the buyers buy exactly what they want and also help sellers from getting negative feedback from upset buyers. This is just common sense.

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The terraforming limits are in plain sight on the "About Land" tab for every parcel. Most of the Mainland is +/- 4 Meters from what LL designed it as, and they will never change that.

Why not simply place a teleporter or an "Anywhere door" (a type of sit-teleporter that looks like a magical doorway) between your store's parcel and your friend's club? The limitation of a large height difference is no limitatiuon at all in SL, where one can teleport with the click of a mouse. You coulds be in different sims and still be only a step apart for all practical purposes.

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In most part of mainland the terraforming is limited to +-4meters(someone correct me if i remember the number wrong) from the orginal LL created terraform. In some very old mainland sims the terraform limit is +-40meters. And that sure shows. Many of these old sims have horrible spikes and super stretched terrain textures all over.

Sorry to hear you bought land that is not good for you.

When i sell land, i always allow everyone to edit terrain, so the potential buyer can test what the terrain can do. Couple times when i have bought land i have sent IM to the land seller and they always allowed me to try out the terrain before buying.

You really need flat base for the store? Building on sloped terrain is challenging, but the end result can be awesome and intresting. Many of my most fun looking buildings been formed by the tricky terrain.

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I agree. 

Including additional information about the Land should be a Policy.

Linden Labs should make a greater effort to help Residents with Terrain issues. I don't expect the Lab to move mountains but I do expect them to adjust adjacent Linden owned Land in order to best suite the community's needs.   

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*Most* main;and is limited to a ±4m terraforming limit. Exceptions include

Linden Homes allow for not terraforming. Likewise, Bay City. Nova Albion, Shermerville Suburbs, Nautilus City (and possibly some others. Kama City, perhaps?) allow no terraforming.

"San Francisco" and "Color" regions allow for ±40m terraforming. These are a small number of regions in and around Da Boom. So named because their region names are streets in San Francisco's SOMA district (Dore, Minna, Natoma, Varney, Clara, etc.), or are colors (Sage, Blue, Indigo, Purple, etc.). Bear in mind that there may be some in there with additional specific limitations, such as Brown, Green, Boardman, and De Haro. Such land is also hard to come by.

Your best bet is to either (a) get a private estate and do whatever terraforming you wish, an expensive proposal, or (b) learn to work with the unique terraforming features you have. While I personally prefer the latter (even though all of my current land holdings are in Bay City, Nova Albion, and Shermerville), you may differ.

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So because you didn't take the time to research how automobiles work, you wish to impose a law requiring us all to state "Warning:  This car requires gas" ?

 

WHY do folks immediately start trying to impose system-wide rules on everyone?  Why is that seen not only as the first "solution" to attempt, but the ONLY solution?

 

How was the seller supposed to know the specifics of what you wanted to get out of the land?  You couldn't see that it was on a slope?  If you don't like it, put it up for sale again.  Maybe someone who, I dunno, wants a place to go sledding will buy it.  Or get creative and MAKE a sled, or maybe a tram, for folks to go from the club to the hill.  Suddenly your land's quirks become not a defect, but a benefit, as you've got a unique feature that will attract folks looking for saomething out of the ordinairy.  As a store owner, you couldn't ask for something better than yet another generic flat-box cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all run of the mill yawnscape.

 

Best of luck to you.

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Rabid Cheetah wrote:

[...] Suddenly your land's quirks become not a defect, but a benefit, as you've got a unique feature that will attract folks looking for saomething out of the ordinairy.  As a store owner, you couldn't ask for something better than yet another generic flat-box cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all run of the mill yawnscape.

Exactly.

I mean, it would be more work.  As I read the OP, the plan was to kind of merge two stores together or something, so that might be a challenge on a steep slope, but at least an interesting challenge, and an opportunity to engage visitors' interest with a creative solution.

On the other hand, I've seen lots of talented creators whose building skills simply aren't up to this.  And that's fine.  The thing is, if the original plan was to terraform a hillside out of existence, I'm thinking the Mainland terrain can't be all that important to the design.  Why not just put both stores on a sky platform?  Stuff will rez much faster and lag less up there, if there was nothing about the surrounding terrain being incorporated anyway.

It's perverse that so many people start on Mainland and move to Estates, when in fact Mainland poses the greater challenge for building.

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Thank you for the tips on how to look for the terrain limitations. I will now know what to look for when I need a larger parcel. I'm not perfect, and I certainly don't know all of the ins and outs of SL. So it is good to know. :)

I didn't intend to inflame such response. I just figured that if I, as well as several others I spoke to, had no idea about it, then there were probably many others who don't know about it, and I wanted to bring it to people's attention to prevent it from happening to them. In my opinion, I still believe it would be best for it to be listed in the descriptions when the land is for sale. It would make things much smoother and easier, and it wouldn't take no more than 1 minute to type it in the description.

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Irene Muni wrote:


Qie Niangao wrote:

It's perverse that so many people start on Mainland and move to Estates, when in fact Mainland poses the greater challenge for building.

Agree.

I'd like to think that many who make that move are doing so for more control over their environment, amongst other reasons, rather than for the "challenge" aspects.

That said, with a wide variety of possible land types available on mainland, I'd also suspect there's land out there to fit most needs, if one looks for it.

And to the OP: if you like flat land for your main store, check out Bay City. We cost a bit more than most mainland, but we're a good community with a nice theme. And most of our land is flat.  ;-)

 

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Yes, I was disappointed when I found I couldn't dig down more than a couple of metres under the existing land level here in Sinaburoe (a long way from the sea), and yet I could see the water winking prettily at me from 50m+ down below. It blew all plans for a tunnel-and-ladder system down to a secret underground nudie bonfire beach club. Bit of a bugger really.

:(

I still love it here though, despite having to make do with prim water. (Please someone make some mesh water thats as lovely as real water, for us mainlanders with limited terraforming.)

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

A lot of good comments have been made on this subject. Whenever i rent a parcel, I make them aware of the terraforming limitations. When I buy a sim, I always ask to see how the land can be terraformed. Flat land is always going to be more valuable. Personally, I find using some creativity to get around terraforming obstacles isn't really an issue. But for most ppl, they don't want this hassle and prefer simply to have flat land.

 

Whilst I value the ethos that LL doesn't allow substantial terraforming on Mainland, I do think allowing us 8metres +/- would give us so much more flexibility without making all mainland uniform. What irks me is those stupid mounds/bumps that you get on land that is already flat. The LL's said to me thia could not be adjusted as it would affect the mathetical modelingl that was used to create that area in the first place.

Come on Linden, give us 8 metres +/- please, it would make such a huge difference into the popularity of mainland! Espeically to those of us who rent multiple sims to rent out. 

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  • 3 months later...

I do actually expect that a car Im thinking about buying be labeled, gas, battery or electric. I dont expect to purchase it and then find out. so yes, Id like to know if terraforming is allowed and to what degree before I bid on a piece of property. and no, looking at about land isnt going to tell you if its allowed. In all the land I looked at this option was off and the seller was Linden. That being said, Im betting the +-4 will be allowed--basing this on what I saw around the plots that were for sale.

there were some plots I looked at that were laid out to perfection in that I really felt linden had done their best to lay out the land so that purchasers, regardless of how distinct their "tastes" might be would still have somewhat of a view at least in one direction. I only WISH Linden would sell smaller regions.

anyway, Im looking forward to setting up my first home on purchased land -- limitations or no.

SO yes, I do think terraforming and prim alotment should be spelled out in the lands sale description. Yes you can find out how many prims are allowed when you visit a prospective plot. However, would be NICE to see at a glance without having to run back and forth.

Cheers

tenly 

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Wow, this is an old thread.


[...] so yes, Id like to know if terraforming is allowed and to what degree before I bid on a piece of property. and no, looking at about land isnt going to tell you if its allowed. [...]

About Land may not, but the information is readily available in the Region/Estate window for the parcel.  Viewers have different ways of getting there, but in the standard V3.mumble Linden viewer, click the little "i" circle in the address bar to get the Place Profile, expand the Region part of the window and click on the Region/Estate button, then choose the Terrain tab to see the Raise and Lower limits on the region.  (The Region tab of that Region/Estate window also shows the Object Bonus, which tells you if the parcels in the sim are double-primmed or not.)

It would be nice if one could see all this in the Land For Sale search results, or even be able to search only for parcels with such attributes.  There are lots of possible improvements to Search for land.  Considering that the Land product represents such a huge share of the Lab's revenue, it's odd that Search has never been a very good tool for finding land. (It's no help that land transactions don't give any obvious way to pay commission to a third party who might help with such searches, a la a realtor's Multiple Listing Service.)

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just want to note, that even if you see the raise/lower terrain limits, doesnt mean you will be allowed to use them. I purchased mainland, and though this showed off, I assumed, and rightly, that Id be allowed to terraform in those limits and I was. but Ive heard others say they bought land that they were not allowed to reshape. Maybe they just didnt know what to do, or needed to turn it on. either way, it would be best to have it spelled out in the auction.

 

my big concern, linden saying, as a premium acct holder that the 512 Im allotted would be deducted from my purchase with regard to tier fees, if, I didnt have a home. I dont, yet the tier charge is showing that 512 added to the 1520 I purchased rather than subtracted and the charge being 15.00. so, I might have to give up my land. Im not willing to pay 15 bucks on top of my premium monthly fee. thats just highway robbery.

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Your friend on the other piece of land might need to lower hers, while you raise yours.

 

where I purchased my land, everyone on three sides was at base level, meaning they could go up or down =

+/-4. I raised mine where it was lower than base to flatten it out. however, cant meet the neighbor on the fourth side because the raised their land up as high as they could +4. 

I dont mind, but the only way we could be level, is if I raised all the way, putting me out of sync with everyone else, or they lowered.

so maybe your neighbor needs to meet you half way so that the slope isnt as great and you can build an attractive walkway up.

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