Saturday, November 8, 2008

such a parcel of rogues in a nation

Farewell to all our Scottish fame
Farewell our ancient glory
Farewell even to our Scottish name
Sae fam'd in martial story

Doctor Oblensky's Clockspire Cove build is on fire as I write this. He is destroying everything he lovingly hand-crafted, because he refuses to hold an OpenSpace sim with the new restrictions, and cannot abide the new restrictions on the somewhat larger Homestead-class sim.

(Aftermath shots can be seen here; likely more will turn up in time.)

Now Sark runs over the Solway sands
And Tweed runs to the ocean
To mark where England's province stands:
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

Miss Widdershins summed up the situation quite excellently; Miss Ordinal Malaprop made another earlier post I feel is very worth a reading. Or a second reading, if you've already read it once.

(I would also recommend reading once--or again--Miss Malaprop's Shouting into the Void post, as it contains succinct and excellent points.)

What force or gile could not subdue
Through many warlike ages
Is wrought now by a coward few
For hireling traitor's wages

A fellow going by owen_amends on LiveJournal put the situation (speaking to LJ policies, not LL's) thusly:

See how grass roots publicity works, LJ Business Owners? If a business fails to convince the customer base that their needs are being met the customers leave. Customers usually will bring the issue(s) to management first. If management fails to listen, most customers will simply leave. Other customers will continue trying to get management to listen to their voice. The cycle continues until management listens or customers [leave].

Alternatives to any business decision always exist.

The English steel we could disdain
Secure in valour's station
But English gold has been our bane:
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

The last line bolding is mine, as is the italicizing for emphasis. And simply put, that is what is going to happen if the Labs keep being blind to their customers' needs.

The folks currently giving up their OpenSpace sims are, overwhelmingly, not giving them up due to the price increase. The price increase will hurt many, but let's be absolutely fair and dispassionate here: if you have money to throw away on Second Life, purely a luxury item itself--then you have money to throw away on a sim, should you choose.

(Please, gentles all, don't respond angrily on my choice of 'throwing away' your hard-earned funds, that's not the main point I'm endeavoring to make.)

I would, or I had seen the day
That treason thus could sell us
My auld gray head had lain in clay
Wi' Bruce and loyal Wallace!

What is galling people, what is deeply angering and upsetting them, are the avatar limitations and the vague mentions of script limitations to come--making a once-usable product even more unusable in time.

Forget the problems on the mainland, the problems with private estates on full sims in general--this will unequivocally change the spirit (let alone the landscape) of Caledon at large. For all that OpenSpace sims in Caledon were largely used as breakwaters, as virtual fencing, in a sense--they were used, they were vital, they added for garden strolls, sailing, regattas, ironclad displays and battles, air battles...and let's not forget the far less showy OpenSpace uses of training new residents--while 90% of the time Nova Civis is still and empty, they have frequently held classes for more than twenty avatars!

Let alone ten, the hard limit for OpenSpace sims past this point.

But pith and power, till my last hour
I'll make this declaration
We were bought and sold for English gold:
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

The Labs started the fight with an untenable position; we parried by protests, letters, forum posts, and occasional in-person rebuttals; they riposted with the price increase and the avatar limits.

They're not listening. They plainly do not care.

LiveSim seems to be coming along; Mycosm is entering private beta; OSGrid and OpenSim are limping forward; and LivePlace is still boasting OTOY graphics which, to be fair, are impressive.

Look into them. I think we're reaching the second time I'm urging people to find other alternatives to supporting Linden Labs. And I say this being once more a fully paid member with that monthly premium payment I'm sending them. They haven't learned anything from the ageplay hysteria, the banking trial, the casino debacle, the age verification nightmare...what makes any of us think they'll learn from this?

And when they go down in flames with a user base of will be too late to change their business practices then.

(Lyrics are from Steeleye Span's Rogues in a Nation.)


Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

I'm just concerned with some of my own logic trains recently. We know that "Homesteads" are 1/4 the prims of a full parcel and there are four to a CPU. Once the full increase applies in July this will be the equivalent of $500 a month for a server with 15,000 prims

They're offering free consolidation of openspace into full sim (as long as you have four) and there may be a large number of those happening.

Currently a full sim with no AV limit, 15,000 prims and a single CPU is $295 a month.

I wonder how long before the full sim price hike hits.

Emilly Orr said...

You're not the only one thinking this, and adding up two and two, and wondering why the Labs are telling us it equals five.

Why charge so very much more for far less than a quarter of the prims, on a quarter of the space--and don't forget that nebulous mention of 'script limitations' in addition to avatar limitations...if you don't intend to also raise full sim pricing to compensate?

I will state for the record, for anyone who's been reading along--LL's latest moves have convinced me to revise my original position. Had it just been a price hike, had it just been changes to what OpenSpace sims essentially were--I likely would have shrugged and not understood, because I know there are abuses, I know there are people who use OS sims to run full avatar-lagging nightclubs, I've seen this personally.

But in Caledon? The instances of script abuses, prim abuses, they're practically nil...and avatar abuses? Only if one considers holding a dance to be a case of abuse.

There's an adage in business, that for every one person who writes a letter (or, these days, calls or emails), there are eight people that don't.

How many comments did the Labs get before they closed down blog comments? How many comments are they getting by mail, phone, email?

And how many others are simmering that they're not hearing from?

It makes me wonder how many people we know are going to throw their hands up and stalk off, find other uses for their time...

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

As you've said before there's not really anywhere comparable with SL at the moment. Warcrack is full of 13 year-olds who can't spell, OpenSim is not bad but comparable to SL from about 3 years ago.

Gatheryn looks like it will have the right sort of theme (well for me anyway) but like Warcrack will probably end up filled with little clueless toerags.

You really have to push people hard to go "screw you" and walk away from it all.

Emilly Orr said...

But while that's true, the Labs seem insanely devoted to the process.

And it's continual, is the problem--it's not just the OS issue. It's how they handle everything even slightly controversial. Casinos and gambling--insane restrictions, no buy-backs, a staggering chunk of income for the game gone. Then age verification--they managed to pick the absolute worst way possible, and make it America-centric, as most countries don't have Social Security numbers to plug in. There's the whole issue of content theft, which I agree, some makers are more than a bit hysterical on; but the Labs steadfastly refused to intervene in even known captured cases of undeniable theft.

And I could go on.

They're making the game unpalatable. Already I'm thinking thoughts of, well, I could log in to SL, or hey, I could watch a movie. I could mend. I could wash dishes. I could sleep.

And I am far from the only one who's finding their paternalism hard to swallow.

Yes, it's their game. Undeniably. And they're doing their level best to ruin everything we enjoy in that game.

(Gatheryn looks pretty, I'll grant you that--but reading through the site to date? It's just another puzzle game. And I like puzzle games, but if I really want one, I have PC-based games I can play, off the net entirely.)

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

Had I not built up the circle of friends I have within SL already I would have left some time ago. That is literally the only thing keeping me here at present.

Emilly Orr said...

Me, too. And I'm already doing the rounds of, who would I really miss if I stopped coming in-world? How many of those can I still reach other ways?

It's a scary place to be, I won't lie to you. SL *is* a part of my reality, and there is such vitality, such creation, such vibrancy in Caledon, in other places...but the Labs are killing it, inch by inch, mile by mile. And the fact they don't realize it hurts more than anything else.

The *only* two things keeping me in world are friends and loves, and bargains I've made, bookings and such. Otherwise? I'd already be gone.