airJust when i thought Linden Lab were finally starting to hit the target more frequently than missing it, they do something so fundamentally weird that i find myself asking, ‘what on earth were you thinking?’

There have, without doubt, been lots of good things happening recently on the sl front – improvements to the servers, viewer, features and all-round more open and frequent communications between the Lab and users, culminating perhaps, in the revamp of the TOS intellectual property rights clause, to (somewhat) assuage the complaints of content creators after the earlier draconian wording was foisted upon us. It all seemed good, sound and solid headway was being made until the latest cut-price premium membership offer rolled out.

We’ve seen these offers many times before, and there’s nothing remarkable about this latest one, which – as has been the practice for a while now – dangles a carrot, in the form of an exclusive gift, to any new sign-ups and existing premium members. These gifts, in the past, have been shall we say, of variable quality and desirability, but to give the Lab their due, this one looks pretty cool:

“jump behind the helm of your new interactive pirate airship, the Linden Marauder. Enjoy fast-action, high flying fun-near-the-sun, or menace the airways with your armament of cannons.”

Dodgy grammar aside, it does sound rather attractive, especially to steampunk aficionados, inworld flight enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys causing mayhem and blowing their fellow residents out of the sky with a well-placed cannon blast. However, even if you take away the expense of buying-in to a premium account, this is one freebie that has an extremely costly downside.

The Linden Marauder is HUGE! Which, in itself, isn’t such a big deal – i’m quite a fan of oversized sl vehicles of all descriptions, nobody wants to mess with you when you can crush their puny toy car with a single contemptuous spin of the wheel, but the Marauder is mesh and, as we should all know by now, when it comes to mesh, bigger is not always better.

NOT the Linden Marauder!

NOT the Linden Marauder!

It’s only when you get your grubby hands on the attractively packaged ship-in-a-bottle airship and rez it for the first time that you realise that somebody at the Lab has wildly miscalculated the resources at the disposal of most sl residents. Fancy a day’s flying through the clouds? No problem… but, just how many of us has the means to casually pull a 502 LI airship from our inventory for a quick spin in the sky? (Worse still, that 502 becomes a scary 571 once you start flying it!)

Imagine the joy on the face of a new signup, who’s just splashed out on premium membership, only to find that the 512sqm of land that they’re now entitled to own gives them nowhere near enough prims to even think about rezzing their freebie welcome gift… they’ll need another 454 prims to even get it rezzed!

This is – to my jaded senses, anyway – a prime example of how not to do things. The gift is pretty cool: it looks good, behaves itself, could be oodles of fun, but the very people that it’s aimed towards enticing into paid-up sl membership are going to be sorely disappointed if the free gift was what swayed them in the first place. Even worse when you consider that there are content creators who could easily produce much the same object, in mesh, at a far lower land impact cost than this behemoth. Let’s face it, there are many who could create a version out of old fashioned prims and still come in way below the impact of this particular mesh model!

Linden Lab has always come across to me like the well-meaning, but hopelessly clueless uncle that you only tend to see at family gatherings. He thinks he knows what is appropriate, but tends to be a bit of an embarrassment. With a bit of thought this could have been a winning deal for LL, but as it is, it’s a bit of a letdown – we can only hope it’s just a blip on what has otherwise been a good run for the Lindens.

s. x

Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away
If you can use some exotic booze
There’s a bar in far Bombay
Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away
Frank Sinatra – Come Fly With Me

This entry was posted in Linden Love, Rants, SL. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 502!

  1. Don’t get me started! The absolute worst aspect of the offer, which has been there for years, is the “inworld home,” which ought to read, “live in a ghetto surrounded by beautiful abandoned homes because furnishing them is next to impossible given the number of LI points with which you have to work.” You can buy a very nice steampunk aircraft that doesn’t gouge LI points for less than one month’s premium, spend the next month’s premium on a very nice home, and so on.

    • My own experience with a Linden home was a little surreal – never any neighbours about, and by the time i’d planted a low prim roof garden, and installed a bath and bedroom, there weren’t enough prims left to rez boxes to open.

      The weirdest part though was never being able to find my bearings whenever i went for a stroll around the neighbourhood – i’d constantly get hopelessly lost amongst the throng of picture-perfect, but identical hobbit homes, no matter how carefully i kept a note of my route.

      What’s the betting that the next premium freebie will be a steampunk vampire castle, with built in Marauder landing pad? (Full region and a zillion LI required to rez).

      s. x

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