OMG – the SL sky is falling (again)


i can’t help it, i’m like a moth to a flame or a bystander watching the world’s slowest train wreck! =p

every month or so, i plot a graph of SL private sim numbers based on Tyche Shepherd’s excellent i only look at private sims since that comprises the bulk of Second Life’s revenue. Tyche also breaks that down by type of private sim and as of january 14 it is US$4.244 million per month o_O *now that’s walkin’ around cash*

the graph below should be taken with a HUGE grain of salt because it only plots the first two weeks of this year and the average loss of over 4000 private sims in 2013 would only be true if this rate was steady for the year

last year Second Life lost an average of about 8.4 private sims per day for a total of around 2865 sims. i had predicted a loss of 3000 and this year i do predict 4000 with the loss of more educational/non-profits as their discounts expire and the continued awareness of OpenSim as a viable alternative

the improvement of OpenSim both as a application (BulletSim physics and HyperGrid 2+) and as an offering (ie, Kitely’s performance and megaregions at low cost) will attract some people from SL – but that migration is always a painful one and probably isn’t very big

good thing i have a parasol, one day some of that SL sky might actually touch it!


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written by Ener Hax

January 15th, 2013 at 8:36 am

posted in second life,virtual worlds

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15 comments to 'OMG – the SL sky is falling (again)'

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  1. The demise of SL doesn’t bother me, but the loss of beautiful and interactive builds certainly does. I wish there was a way to convince those sim owners of the benefits of moving what they can over to Kitely (preferably) or another OpenSim-based grid rather than disappearing altogether. It breaks my heart to think of the volume of artwork that might be disappearing forever.

    Ohn Lang

    15 Jan 13 at 12:07 pm

  2. well said Ohn – so many beautiful builds, many completely original, are gone. i’d guess the number is in the thousands =(

    it’s a shame from both a creative side and also inspirational. so many different styles . . .

    it’s a double shame considering LL has (or had) all those OARs – would be nice to have them archived somehow

    Ener Hax

    15 Jan 13 at 12:20 pm

  3. What a shame that is, I agree I already miss some beautiful places :-( And now not only sims are going down: even prims are missing! More than 11 each day ;-) (according to the legend of your graph)

    Orlando Frequency

    15 Jan 13 at 12:24 pm

  4. @Orlando LOL! I missed that.

    Ohn Lang

    15 Jan 13 at 12:37 pm

  5. darn missing prims! once 15,000 go missing, a sim poofs! =p

    *Orlando is the official blog proofreader* =D

    nice catch!

    it makes me wonder about missing prims . . .

    maybe that’s not an issue anymore, but i remember in late 2006 (yikes, i feel old!) that i lost a shoe, just one shoe, and then it reappeared in my inventory about 6 months later!

    the really wacky thing is that i lost the shoe while skydiving! maybe the attachment could not keep up?

    i dunno, but i swear that is a true story!

    Ener Hax

    15 Jan 13 at 12:44 pm

  6. I have noticed quite a lot of missing prims and returns to my inventory following the weekly server updates that have become a big worry for what might go missing or end up dysfunctional and need tweaking and/or resetting. I expect problems with Opensim which is alpha, going on beta software, and we know it is still in serious development but Second Life is production software and we have had several years of digging up the road while the traffic rolls over it so to speak! And no compensation! No one at the Lab really gives a damn. Take it or leave it! And no reduction in tier for all the inconvenience and loss.

    That is Linden Lab attitude to their customers so it can’t be any surprise the grid is in serious decline. It’s not the fault of Opensim or Cloud Party. The fault lies squarely with Linden Lab.

    Personally, I would recommend anyone with beautiful regions worth preserving to start making what backup’s they can and set some of their work on an Opensim grid in case the Lab folds suddenly. But in any event it would make sense to back it up using Opensim since you can’t get an OAR file from the Lab. Backup could take you some time so 2013 is the year to get it done.

    That’s what I think.

    Ener’s article has been mentioned on G+ Opensim Virtual…


    16 Jan 13 at 6:50 am

  7. Lost… lost forever, so much effort and beauty.

    It’s like watching the Library Of Alexandria burn slowly, and so few valuable scrolls and books escaping the flames.


    Crap Mariner

    16 Jan 13 at 6:59 am

  8. well Gaga, as usual, you have summed it up nicely and your recommendation to start backing up to OpenSim is a prudent one

    it’s much easier to rebuild what you had inSL if you can do it while still in SL! unfortunately, it can also be overwhelming and i fear that many beautiful and useful builds simply poof

    nice analogy Crap with Alexandria – there are so many sims that were insanely beautiful, and original, and also so many that served useful purposes. many examples of what could be created are forever gone

    but Linden Lab did not seem to care about IBM who invested some 12 million dollars intro virtual worlds between 2005 and 2007, so why would they care about some group’s talent and thousands of hours making something?

    for those reading this, Gaga and Crap are well acquainted with what has been inSL in its glory days. Crap, i think you have been around since quite early on eh? (like way early when you could hang out with Torley for hours on end!)

    Ener Hax

    16 Jan 13 at 7:34 am

  9. My first av was a short-lived one in 2004, then late 2006.

    Hang with Torley? If I did, I don’t remember. And looking back through my personal snapshot archives, I’d think there’d be more shots of him if I did.

    Was more of the podcaster crowd, then music.

    Alpha’s post really nailed it on the Marketing twits:

    Nowadays, the banner ads I see out there are Patterns. Oh boy. The Adventures Of Doritohead. And the ads I see within mySL are the Premium teases… Space? Privacy? Rewards? How the heck does Premium really give these?

    I believe the word they keep missing was Philip’s Third F: Fun.

    And anything that gets in the way of Fun needs to get cut or fixed.


    Crap Mariner

    16 Jan 13 at 8:33 am

  10. Crap Mainer said it all. A lot of the Fun has gone out of Second Life and I really don’t think Rod Humble understands virtual culture one little bit. He came from the video game industry and all I have seen him do is build video games on top of Second Life. What’s more Linden Lab just seems to want to pull the rug out from under the commercial life of SL and hog lucrative parts of it to make more money on. Look at the way they have managed Market Place and the damage done to inworld trading. They could have managed that a lot better but the profit line seems all they care about. Premium homes have helped to bottom out the rental business and search is a joke. I could go on but if anything is taking the heart and soul out of Second Life then it is the Linden’s mismanagement and profiteering to blame.


    16 Jan 13 at 8:54 am


    Exactly! If anything, Second Life and the Opensim Metaverse is, for the most part, an adult playground. And what did we do as kids in the playground?

    We had fun!


    16 Jan 13 at 9:10 am

  12. “What’s more Linden Lab just seems to want to pull the rug out from under the commercial life of SL and hog lucrative parts of it to make more money on.”

    That’s the only rational answer to “Why?” at this point, because you can drive yourself batty with conspiracy theories and other nonsense until the cows come home or Hamlet’s blog server crashes from the same old five people beating the same old dead breedable horses.

    And all the folks offering up suggestions for solutions… they aren’t listening, guys. Save your breath. Do what I do, and play with cats and read.


    Crap Mariner

    16 Jan 13 at 12:21 pm

  13. the straight line graph looks too suspicious, like a planned decrease of sims. the earlier graphs show a couple of curves. If I didn’t know better I would think that the previous graphs were showing the normal loss of sims, and the latest one was a controlled loss to get sim loss down quickly to 20,000. Thats when I would think if this was planned that LL would cause empty sims to disappear from the world map. with a smaller world, the number of avatars per square meter would jump up to a ridicously high number as a marketing ploy for LL to try to jump start SL.


    16 Jan 13 at 6:32 pm

  14. Joe, the line is straight because there are only two data points represented (1/1/2013 and 1/14/2013). If there were intermediate samples, you would probably see “curves”, but with only two data points, a straight line is the only reasonable representation.

    Warin Cascabel

    17 Jan 13 at 5:07 am

  15. From a creator’s perspective, SL seems to provide a few tools to help market creations at a cost. From an artist’s perspective, LL policies restrict too much to be truly creative without worrying that things will disappear from inventory without any recourse or compensation. All inventory items and sims that are banned or shut down are deleted. This tells me that LL cares about the bottom dollar over anything else.

    I know a few sim owners that have lost over 30,000 L worth of items from inventory and LL refuses to do anything because their ToS states they are not responsible for losses of any kind. That in itself is similar to a Ponzi scheme. Users pay for goods, users never receive said paid goods or their goods vanish for no reason. Users can either complain, buy replacements, or leave SL. LL gets paid a small amount for every sale done in Marketplace. This seems a bit strange to me but it is in the ToS so it is legal.

    Just because it is legal does not mean it is the correct way to do things. I have always used alt accounts as a form of free in-grid backup solution to protect against unfair losses. If LL were held responsible for losses, there would be no SL because they could not afford to insure the number of residents. By their own ToS policies, they could effectively delete your expensive avatars for no reason at all at any time and you would be forced to repurchase them or leave.

    I once worked for an older guy who purchased junk metal things and torch cut them up for scrap metal. I saw him purchase and torch cut trailers that were in better condition than the ones he was using to haul scrap metal around. He even cut up a 120+ year old covered wagon for the few pennies on the dollar worth of scrap metal. I asked him why he destroys all these things instead of restoring and selling them for thousands. He told me it was too much work. This is how a business mind works and is the sole reason why inventory items are deleted along with sims when people are banned or sims are turned over.

    Similarly, the annoyance of “spampires” and the entire pay-based system of things like Bloodlines in SL has made me leave Bloodlines about 3 years ago, shortly after someone conned me into being bitten. The ones who run around that actually roleplay the vamp/lycan/etc roles are not usually the ones that spam people with bite solicitations in sandboxes and safe hubs and instead roleplayers are usually refined enough to ask before sending a bite request. The ones that get irritating are those who try everything to con as many people as they can into accepting bite requests, including lying, acting like a friend until they are bitten then ignoring after, and even common peer pressure. The more irritating thing is the fact that the user’s account name (not their real name) is permanently recorded and displayed in the Bloodlines system servers for all on the Internet to see.

    Their policies seem to be tricking people into accepting then being forced to purchase an item to “prevent” turning into the undead, but they failed to inform people that accepting means you are recorded and must maintain purchasing things from Bloodlines as long as you want to be part of their system. I stumbled upon an anti-bite security device in SL Marketplace that can prevent unwanted bite solicitations and boot them out if you own the land.

    People should never rez more than five (5) Breedables pets in a region at the same time. I know a few people who have some of the most awesome looking things but the sim lags me to no end. I also know of a person who was using a homestead sim parcel to operate a Breedables farm, with some 200 of the laggy critters on the sim at any given time, and each critter had about 15 or so scripts in it. I couldn’t believe it myself until I teleported there. I should have known by the two failed teleports that something was really wrong in that region, and sure enough I had landed in the middle of a 24/7 Lag-A-Thon that was so intense that I could not even move my avatar.

    After forcing a crash to escape that fun place, I returned to a dull login screen and typed something to the tune of “nc78bchfw84i75cfg” as the login location to force a default of the nearest safe hub. Upon logging in there, I soon discovered a bot at the safe hub shouting a web link as an advertisement. These things are always present in profit-centric grids.

    My redundant backup methods have only resulted in a 10 L loss within the 4 years I have been in SL, which was the result of an unintended viewer crash during a texture upload that never made it to inventory, and that was due to a crummy satellite ISP. Living in the mountains has its advantages, such as clean air and water, healthy food, and good people. Living in the mountains here also means having only two options for Internet access, which amount to satellite net or dialup.

    Occasionally my items disappear and I am forced to recover my inventory either by clearing out cache, logging in with an alternate viewer (Firestorm, Singularity, etc), or sending my main account another copy from one of my alt accounts. Luckily I build many of my own things and save scripts to hard drive daily. I feel that more people are growing tired of the ever-increasing restrictions of SL and may be seeking alternatives to the restricted grids. Overall I enjoy SL for the random events and fun to be had there, but if I want to build more with fewer restrictions or distractions, I tend to grid hop to InWorldz or OpenSim.

    Just a few things to research and see if you can spot a couple of similarities with policies:

    Mick Scarbridge

    21 Jul 13 at 11:19 pm

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