Weighing in on Voids
Getting right to the point what Jack Linden did was plain frigging stupid and arbitrary. His actions display his utter lack of knowledge about the SL economy and it shows his utter contempt for the SL community in general. When the new pricing scheme was announced in March the also new policy for voids encouraged the so called abuse to occur.
1) They allowed voids to be purchased singly when it used to be a mandatory 4-pack. When you allow sales that are not multiples of 4 you begin mixing up users on the same CPU core. You have no idea who your hardware neighbor is and no way to control them.
2) They doubled the amount of prims from 1875 to 3750. So what was to be done with all these prims? Why build in extra capacity if it wasn’t supposed to be used?
Voids have been around since early 2006. They came about when the SL sailing community wanted a cheaper alternative to a full sim. Voids came as a 4 pack and they had to be attached to a regular sim. This worked exceedingly well and many estates and communities were able to afford this by charging a bit more in tier to cover their costs. If you wanted to live in a sailing community you paid a bit extra so you could lots of wide open spaces to sail in. The same was true for other themed communities that desired open spaces for other vehicular uses, atmosphere and linkages. As time went by some communities found it hard to pay for their voids and began renting them out or even selling them. The limited prim counts guaranteed the resulting builds would remain small and generally not interfere too much with the void’s intended use. This past March the large price drop devalued sim owners investment by %40. It also created a strong demand for the newly configured voids. People were scoffing at 4096 and 8192 sq meter parcels and opting for voids. Voids were the hot property to deal in. Then the carpet was pulled out from underneath them. The very people who bought and used the voids for the intended services are hosed. I venture that many void owners simply can’t afford a $50 price hike. Even if the owners were to convert them back into full sims there is no guarantee the resulting sim can be made profitable in short order. After you’ve tasted the security and freedom of owning a void would you go back to a small parcel with annoying neighbors?
I predict that several sailing and flying communities will fold and dissolve. If they cannot afford their voids then any serious sailing is effectively killed. If you take away the main draw or feature of a community then the estate becomes yet another also ran. I also don’t want to hear this lame excuse about how they can use the Linden oceans to sail in. They are laggy and they are no-build. If you crash you have to find someplace distant where you can rez. I can’t think of too many successful yacht clubs on a Linden body of water. Sure they exist, but it’s hard for them to run since they have no control over access (read griefer ejection) and if a sim needs to be rebooted good luck getting the Lindens to do it for you.
I am also sick and tired of the people saying the Lindens are right to do what they plan to do. One blogger / DJ suggested we just forget about it and watch a 30 minute video of Obama. May I suggest this person start a political blog instead? Actually his recommendation did have some relevance. Today M. Linden said that only a select few of the SL population will be affected. What is this sh*t? Trying to provoke class envy like Obama? Oh we have to punish the rich bastards who can actually afford our over priced product. You know, spread the wealth around. The estate owners and premium members are the one feeding their gravy train and they see no problem in trying to wreck it. But what the hell, they got their $4,000 USD per server and they ain’t refunding any of it. Suckers! If you diminish the people with the drive and money to own, finance and create our world it diminishes us all.
OK, that’s a lot of negativity. How should this be fixed? Here’s one that will help the owners find problem voids and harness in the true abusers.
1) No sharing of a CPU core by different users. If you own 4 voids they should all reside on the same core. If there is lag in one sim, look in the other 3 for a culprit.
2) Mandate that voids must attach to the original owner’s main sim.
3) Sell voids in 4 packs from now on.
4) Set guidelines as to how much is too much as far as script usage. The sailing communities had strict guidelines as to how many prims could be used and they monitored script usage. Surely the Lindens can figure this out.
These 4 suggestions will make voids a bit less attractive, but I feel it will encourage the owners to treat them better and not let them be abused as much. By the way I’d love to see the metrics LL uses that shows how over used voids are killing everyone else’s SL experience. Using technical terms tell me where the problem is. I would hazard a guess that abuse and over use is a common feature of full sims too.