While I understand giving Premium members 'more' because they are paying, but to take away from basic users is not right. After all, and I know this to be fact as I had a Premium account, twice in the eight years I have been in SL, but Premium member already get 'more' with the gifts, a Linden home, weekly stipend...and last I knew they get L's just for becoming a Premium member. A one time amount, plus the weekly stipend and more groups. Why, do they even need more? Why lower basic membership groups? Personally, I keep my groups at 20 or 22, but many of us work in SL as Dj's, Hosts, Dancers etc...The SL jobs alone take group slots. And if you happen to be a manager of said job, there is also another group separate from staff groups. Currently, I am in three different groups for one job. Many groups I would like to be in and stay in, I can't due to trying to keep my group limit low. Not to mention, if you are the creator of the group, and you decide to be rid of that group, you can't there is no delete button. Sure you can remove all members of that said group, but it still remains in your list. Many creators of the group also charge a ridiculous fee, just to join and group, which discourages many, therefore not many new members join. If groups are such a back strain, then some other solution needs to be found. Perhaps, I don't know, maybe somehow link it out of world, put the joined groups on our Dashboards. Allow us to do 'more'with our dashboard as well. Make them more like a profile. Maybe invent a way for SL users to 'earn' a small amount of L's just by doing daily actions/tasks with the Dashboard. Could call them Promo Lindens. A one time amount for 'sprucing' up your dashboard. Like creating or using a background. Adding small images to your background, that are transparent, like stickers. There are many ways that this can be done, and would encourage more users to join SL. At the thought of earning small amounts of L's many would join. As it stands right now...I don't see LL getting much in the ways of Premium membership out of their existing Basic members.
There's a reason I gave up my Premium membership, as there is a reason for all who have gave it up. While the weekly stipend is nice, it doesn't even cover anything. Even on the MP, good quality stuff, would take all of that stipend...or the stipend isn't enough to buy the product. The LL Homes, are nothing really. The prims are much too low, and the space in the homes are much too small. The good thing about mesh being implemented, is that it cuts down on the prims being used...but...not always can you find what your seek. Most of us, well we like to get things to go with the theme of our home. So, take the Wizard's Retreat for example. (My first Linden Home). While the home itself, the design of it looked amazing, there is still not a significant amount of mesh items to fill the place at a low price, nor is there much space. The Tahoe home, (My second Linden Home) an A framed home...awesome, but the space inside was very small. In order to have a place to put livingroom furniture and bedroom furniture, I had to create a loft-like thing up in the top of the home. Then I needed a way to get up there. Therefore taking up more prims that could have been used to make this a nice little home.
So, with all this, and then LL is going to change the cost of membership, as well as 'take away' from their basic users without finding another solution and a way around things...my opinion...it's wrong. Compared to when SL first started, the number of users had dwindled significantly. This new plan of LL's is just going to make it dwindle more. Why not come up with a plan to gain more users, not turn them away? Personally, if I (and I'm sure many others do this as well) wasn't a user of SL and went in search of a virtual world...me as a potential new user would see the costs, would see how the basic users get nothing really and only get things taken from them, well I would definitely NOT join then. I would find another, that looks out for their basic members as well as their paid members before joining one that only looks out for their paid members. There is also a lot of MMORPG's that I would join long before I'd come to SL. At least the MMORPG's look out for 'ALL' members alike.
I also can see, many SL users leaving SL for another due to these new plans. I'll be sticking around...for now. But, I will 'NOT' be putting money into LL's pockets through a membership. Also, the fees of 'buying' L's going up too? It's all ridiculous. We all use a credit/debit card in one form or another. Whether it is buying directly, or buying through Paypal etc...The costs are high already, we don't need it higher. Many users can't even 'buy' their own L's. They have to get an SL job to make a go of it. Which is fine, since I love my job, but many of us enjoy the exploring of other lands. Seeing the beauty of those said lands. So, they don't want to spend money for L's, and then in turn spend L's on anything. I believe LL needs to re-think their so called ideas and realize how many this hurts.