Monday, July 9, 2012

just how deep do you believe?

Hide the children--Hasbro's bringing Furbys back. Alas, I won't be able to get one--it's one of two absolute prohibitions my lady wife holds (it's actually the second, for those curious; the first is I'm no longer allowed to shave off my eyebrows). To be honest, if they all have the dye-drenched neon fur look, I don't want them anywhere near me.

Casper Warden wants a new "permissions tree" system to be incorporated into the SL viewer (and subsequently, third-party viewers after that). It's not the worst idea, reading through it, though I'm not entirely convinced it wouldn't just make which object has which permissions set more complicated for new players just starting out.

Warden's also proposing a server-side change to support this, which--if it works on the ground as it seems to in theory--would free up both client-side and server-side assets to improve processing times. We'll see what the Lindens have to say later on; in the meantime, the usual codicils apply (WATCH, don't vote; voting does nothing, nothing at all, don't even look at the vote button, just hit WATCH instead).


Okay. Putting aside the name, which is ridiculous beyond all reason, here's what you need to know if you've never played City of Heroes: conversations marked [Local] are taking place right around you; they're like local chat in SL.

Then come the various chat groups separated by circumstance--like the team you're on, the supergroup you're in (or the coalition of supergroups your group belongs to), or the big channels nearly everyone's subscribed to, like the [Looking for Group] channel, or the [Help] channel.

[Broadcast], on the other hand, is both smaller and wider. While it doesn't have as many people reading along as something like the [Help] channel, say, it's also the equivalent of shouting in SL, or talking on voice in voice-enabled sims--it goes out to everyone in that zone. It's not just those folks immediately around you; someone could be over a mile away and still be heard by talking on the [Broadcast] channel.

[Broadcast] Zena Warrior PRINCE: ZENA KILL YOU ALL
[Broadcast] Zena Warrior PRINCE: STABSTABSTAB
[Broadcast] Zena Warrior PRINCE: GO LIVE IN REAL LIFE LIFE
[Broadcast] Zena Warrior PRINCE: NOW THAT YOU ALL DIE
[Broadcast] Zena Warrior PRINCE: HERE

It's notable that no one responded to this; I think people were silently encouraging "Zena Warrior PRINCE" to move on by not interacting. It must have worked, because this was the last I heard from him. I left half an hour past this, so he might have commented afterwards; but at that point, I was gone.

Here's the thing, though, and why I'm bringing this up: while there's been a great upswing in free accounts, there's been a lot of people making the transition to subscribing out of it. And for all that free-to-play gaming is an offered option, the developers want paying subscribers, and, moreover, the subscribers that currently exist still carry the game.

So why would any player come in and essentially say "Why are you being so dumb? Don't play this game! Go outside!" That's like walking into a theatre and yelling "Fire!" just because you wanted a seat in the front row.

There's a really weird issue happening since the last patch of Second Life. It's been mentioned over on the Modem World blog, and while I'm not experiencing it personally, that doesn't mean I won't in future, or that it won't become more widespread. There's a JIRA for it (there's a JIRA for everything, isn't there?), and if you want to see it fixed, then WATCH, don't vote. It's currently listed as a showstopper, though it hasn't been assigned a Linden to fix things yet.

Before anyone chimes in that this is not a big deal, I'd point out a few things:

  • First, if this is related to the Marketplace debacle in any way, this shows a much wider section of database corruption than previously thought. This would indicate there are some very basic, very vicious flaws in the base code itself.
  • Scond, when most people see their history attached to a different name, or to a different picture, they don't think "Huh, what a weird bug", they think "OMG, LL's been hacked!"
  • Since Linden Lab has been hacked in the past--at least twice that we know of, both times involving credit card numbers and/or personally identifying details--it's a valid concern.

Finally, though I know this is morbid irony on parade, finding this made me cackle madly for a few moments. It seems one notable blogger of Hush Skins has suddenly seen the light and vowed to stop supporting Hush. Good, because the One Voice fundraiser starts today. (And I'll get you a proper SLUrl to the event when I get in next.)

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