What if, when v.2 was announced, as the horrendous reconfiguring that it was, but one that needed to be done to get some form of movement back in the game...what if the user community had responded the way every other game on the planet has responded, and worked out ways that dulled the horror to a very mild eeping?
Think I'm kidding? Curse.com exists to supply mods that gamers in WoW, Rift, Starcraft II, Runes of Magic, Warhammer Online, Aion, Age of Conan, and scattered smaller free-to-plays believe are vitally necessary to continue playing their games of choice.
Minecraft doesn't even hide it; their mods are posted right in the user forums.
Instead, what's happened? (And I'm as guilty of this as anyone else.) Hate. Hate hate hate. Hate loathe despise hate. All heaped onto v.2's frail shoulders.
According to those who've actually done the hard work and gutted out the interior of the game, it's not that hard to mod. So...why hasn't anyone done it?
I'm serious. Why isn't the Second Life community banding together and making mods to let v.2 look like v.1, or look like WoW, or look like Minecraft, or be all-over pink and chartreuse, whatever? Why aren't we doing this?
We can make entire alien worlds, but we can't fix a little pie menu difficulty? We can sculpt robot parts that whir and turn and rotate and light up, but we can't find better ways to deal with the sidebar?
Instead, what are we doing with our time, our energy, our life and our livelihoods? Bitching about it. Instead of doing anything about it.
And I'm as guilty as everyone else. We're all guilty of this, every single avatar who's ever shook her head at v.2 and said Yeah, well, I'M never using that thing...
All those months. All those blog entries. All those forum posts. It's all such a goddamn waste of space!
We need to do this differently. Now I'm tracking down code bits in the .xml wiki pages, seeing what I can do that others have tried, first.
This "morning" (my morning, at least), I found an email from Second Life marked Meet Residents -- Your Connection Recommendations:
|(from the bizarre album)|
Now, disregarding the fact that I know three of those people (in fact, Ameshin Yossarian was one of the first people I met in SL, when I was a young and unvarnished newb), I'm typically the type to become mildly resentful when I get these messages from other companies.
I will find my own friends, thank you, is generally always my initial reaction. Especially that if it's by matching people via interests alone, at this point, I'm virtually guaranteed to get some set of recommendations for people who dislike me, have actively muted me, or whom I otherwise don't resonate with for various reasons, because we all seem to circle in the same communities!
But maybe--I said maybe--it's a step in the right direction, and could give people who don't know many people on the grid that feeling of common ground. Why look at that, they could think. Those people also like spam and arson! I should friend them right away!
There's a new JIRA on the horizon, and this one's been amusing to sit back and watch. It's all on how much the look of items changed with the application of lighting effects and shadows. Now, that particular JIRA isn't bound to go anywhere, because Dessie Linden determined that it immediately linked to this JIRA, about essentially a similar problem.
There were a couple of really interesting visuals applied to the secondary issue, too. This one in particular:
|(from the bizarre album)|
This is a neatly graphed progression, split into two sections: shadows ON, and shadows OFF. The upper (grey) orbs are without bumpmapping applied; the lower (gridded) ones have bumpmapping.
If you can't make it out in the smaller size, I heartily encourage viewing the whole thing, or, if Picasa won't give you the full size, try the direct link to that particular image. This one demonstrates, clearly and completely, that is is not a bug or a malfunctioning procedure of any kind; this demonstrates that the workarounds we developed for getting through the initial Windlight issues need to be abandoned. Lighting effects and shadows are exactly like Windlight was, a radical viewer advancement--some computers can't run them, and content is going to break because of the new display stats.
Still unconvinced that this isn't a bug? How about this image:
|(from the bizarre album)|
This is another perfect example (and again, if you can't see McMahon's image clearly enough, look at it directly): when shadows are off, shine exists; when shadows are on, shine is reduced but depth is added.
Remember, when we first developed the shiny/bumpmapping tricks, while we could--and can--use shine with existing textures, for the most part, we don't. Most of us texture an object we intend to make shiny with a very simple texture, or no texture, so that the metallic concept "shines" through...aheh. My apologies.
In the above image, the pipes and tanks are clearly colored from blank stock, then have shine applied to them. Applying shadows kills this effect, but adds depth and distinction.
Translation: for all the content you think is broken, it's not. You just need to go out and buy (or make) better textures, now, and find the next workaround. (You also need to realize that lighting effects and shadows can't be seen on all systems, so you're going to have to pick your market. Do you make it pretty for those who can't use the new advances, or do you make it pretty for those who can? Or do you start putting out non-shadowed/shadows on versions of everything?) While these are all important questions for creators of content, it's not something the new viewer structure broke.
Back on the inventory keystroke search JIRA that I covered some days back, I was very, very wrong in how I described it. Namely, I was talking about what has now been explained to me as standard search. Which works in all viewers.
Where I had it wrong was in not comprehending exactly what was being described, because in five years on the grid (woo, I'm five, yay, blah), I have never done this. Not once.
If you have used it, imagine how wide my eyes got, never having known that form of inventory existed before! And if you haven't, here's why it's important:
In 1.x viewers, you can go to a specific folder in your inventory, select it, and start typing. This will find you the first item in that folder and bring you right there.
Looking for a piece of the Anais gown? Type it in after selecting the folder it's in, and whoomp--you're there. Want to track down the first stuffed bear you have? Go to Objects, type in 'bear'--and it finds the first one. This is the definition of "Fast, Easy, Fun".
And in 2.x viewers? IT NO LONGER WORKS.
Yeah, that's kind of a big deal.