Wednesday, June 22, 2011

you can't get your arms around everybody, you cannot carry the doom

Pursuant to the entry on Curious Kitties a couple of days ago, Morbidia Marchant sent an IM my way:
[14:18] Morbidia Marchant: Hello, this is Curious Kitties support.

Sorry to disturb you but I came across your blog on the VIP program & thought you might like some information on it. I've sent a notecard since it won't all fit in IM. The name of the notecard is "Curious Kitties VIP"

Its a lot of information to read so if your not interested in the details you don't have to read it. =^.^=
Generally, anything that SL actually delivers to me, I am willing to read. I understand her reticence, but I was looking forward to learning more about the program.

This was the text of the notecard:
Hello, this is Curious Kitties support. Sorry for the intrusion but I came across your blog & thought you might be interested in the details.

The main reason for the VIP program is to fund creating new items, since the earthquakes here (Japan) the value of money has dropped & there are many damages among radiation & power outages that heavily interfere with the future of Curious Kitties staying in Second Life.

The Curious Kitties VIP program is currently generally unadvertised since it is in beta & can't handle so many orders for the time being. In the future there will be an official release announcement when a large number of members can be serviced.

Most of the current packs [are] just for L$. For the moment this is just a test for a few days.
We're going for an automatic delivery service in the future. (Thats whats being tested now)

The system was usually handled from this website: http://curiouskitties.com/SP
Theres also been a small banner on the sites sidebar (curiouskitties.com) for about 3 months.

Right now by purchasing any pack you get an invite in to the program
which is currently handled by a group, but will likely branch out in to a larger webpage program in the distant future.

With the current offers the program can be joined from $10.
Each month theres new VIP only items.

Starting next month a point gacha system where members can get even more VIP only & Curious Kitties regular items for free.

If you have any questions about the VIP program or Curious Kitties in general please don't hesitate to contact me at any time.
I'll try my best to help. (On a side note there isn't any native English staff so the program description is sometimes a more difficult one to understand.)

I hope this has been of use & again sorry to bother you. =^.^=
Okay, so I did some further investigation. Let's break this down.

(rom the fashion album)

Now, you may not be able to make it out in the image above, but the larger image should show it clearly enough: this is a straight-up direct screen capture for the $10 box, that purports to give L$2600 and a VIP group invite. The cost? L$900,000.00.

Currently, L$2600 is going through LindeX at a cost of L$10.40. To get L$900,000.00? You'd need to pay out L$3600.00. That's a loss of L$897,400, or $3589.60, to buy the $10 offering.

(from the fashion album)

The next level up purports to give out slightly over $20 in Lindens, plus that VIP group invite. The cost for that one? L$900,000.00.

(from the fashion album)

Not to be outdone, the final box offering, marked $80, is also going for L$900,000.00.

Okay, but Morbidia mentioned this is an unadvertised test program, just to see if things transfer via their scripted system. I get that, they're not intending to sell things...save for the prices do come up in Lindens, these are set to sell.

I went to check the Limited Edition avatar packs, and found something else odd:

(from the fashion album)

This is the sale box for the Angry Strawberry avatar. I now have a much better idea of what comes with it, besides the group invite--but when clicked, it's set to sell for L$5000.00. Which works out to $20.

For a box marked $10 and a VIP group invite.

Now, to be fair, while the box is marked at half the price of the actual offering, for that price you get eight variant skins, the dress, the eyes, the hair, and the HUD to change it to other colors.

On the Marketplace (and this one's just pulled at random, really), the Althovyan Elf Avatar comes with skin, hair, eyes, outfit, ears, and earring-changing HUD for the prim elf ears (if not more than that, that goes unmentioned on the Marketplace), and retails for L$3000.00. So L$5000.00 is not all that high considering her normally high prices.

Is it a dodge? No, I don't think it is. How'ver, I do think this 'testing center', or whatever it is, should not offer actual items for sale until the prices being asked match the items being given...

Serenity Semple points me towards the NWN coverage of the Lost Gardens of Apollo closing. And yeah, that one's going to hurt. If you've never seen it, try to make time to check it out...it truly is one of the magical spaces on the grid. And soon to be there no longer.

And Miss LillyBeth of Textures-R-Us has some new information on an old controversy; I'm willing to trust her in this, it seems to fit with what's been observed. It's also notable that as of this writing, Vryl Valkyrie only has textures and .raw files on offer on the Marketplace. Conversely, Abel Dreamscape still has the Troubled Bridge out for L$500--as well as many other builders' packs and completed builds. I'd say Dreamscape won that particular battle--I just don't know why Valkyrie made it one in the first place.

8 comments:

Serenity Semple said...

Ya, I thought it was just so sad to see that place go. I went there back when I was a newbie and all that jazz and that was a long time ago. XD

Also I dunno what to think about the whole thing with Curious Kitties. e.e Sure it's a beta but it's like all over the store poster wise too. Meh I'll wait and see sorta thing.

Emilly Orr said...

See, and the last couple times I stopped in at the main store, I stayed near the group gift board, didn't give things time to rez in, because I had to get over to the Solace land office to work.

So...yeah, that ups it another magnitude of buh, because if it's not an unadvertised thing (both in the main store and on the blog) then why, for the love of all things, are the prices that damned high? I get the whole personal-fundraiser thing, and I get that Japan was hit hard and is still recovering. Believe me, we understand.

But do we understand enough to pay L$900,000.00 to get a group invite? I don't think many people understand that much.

Serenity Semple said...

And yanno I just thought of another thing. While being involved in a lot of events for japanese fundraising - Curious Kitties hasen't been involved in ANY of them. Every single one that's gone on in SL I've made sure I'm attended or heard of at least and they weren't in any of them.

Now I realize CK is a japanese SL store but there's a lot of other japanese stores in SL who've been hit with this and still do things for charity or whatever. I dunno, maybe it's my natural distrust for what I don't see - but I don't trust their words.

Emilly Orr said...

That's another good point. To be fair to them, it may have been that there were connectivity issues, that prevented Ameshin from joining many of the charity efforts for Japan...but all of them?

Back to thinking something about all this is iffy...but not sure now iffy.

Icterus Dagger said...

Miss Emilly,

I suffer from a bit of dyscalculia; could you go over your math again, as the numbers for the $10 box example you give don't seem to.. er.. add up.

-iD

Emilly Orr said...

They don't?

Okay. Current LindeX offerings show this as of June 23rd, 2011:

$10.00 = L$2500
$20.00 = L$5000

The price of either the Enchanted Leaf avatar set or the Angry Strawberry avatar set is L$5000, which works out to $20, not $10, but the box, as marked, says it sells for $10.

And from the notecard:

With the current offers the program can be joined from $10.

Which, by looking at what they're actually offering? Is wrong. There is no $10 level, even the avatar packs marked at $10, because the avatar packs sell for the Linden equivalent of $20. And the $10 level on the Linden dollar sale is marked L$900,000. Which doesn't equal $10 or $20.

Icterus Dagger said...

I guess I just don't understand their program AT ALL, full stop. Are they selling them at $10 USD (or 20)/$2600L or $356 USD / $900,000L? I guess the whole thing is lost on me.

-iD

Emilly Orr said...

Which is why I'm confused.

The avatar packs (that are marked on the box artwork at $10) are sold for L$5000, which works out to $20.

The Linden Dollar packs (that are marked on the certificate artwork at $10, with a L$2600 'rebate' added in) are sold for L$900,000.

Pilot program? Okay, I'll buy that? Deal only in the sense of you paying an exorbitant amount to an artist whom you like? Sure. Fraud? Still not going there...but the whole set-up is still iffy as hell.