September 24, 2013

What's Being Done?

As a live performer since 2006, I've seen many changes in the quality of Second Life. It used to be getting 100 people on a sim, and have them STAY there, without crashing and minimal lagging, was not a problem.

Over the past year or two this has become increasingly worse and increasingly more and more frustrating. Now when 30-40 people are on a sim while I'm performing, many crash, public chat is horribly laggy, people cant move, cant dance and as the performer on stage, I am running more programs and using up more resources. So having SL be so unstable is causing even MORE strain on my system's resources. I can't imagine what michinima artists and videographers are dealing with!

What about when we DO crash and try to log back in? It now takes about 5 minutes or longer many times for SL to log me out completely so that I am then able to relog. For a live performer or other host of an event, 5 minutes is an eternity. It makes people question what's happening... are they coming back.... is it all over? Which means the audience may choose to leave.

Then of course there's the MASH as I have begun calling it. This is a "Massive Crash" which affects a good half or more of an audience. Have you ever been to a live show and suddenly the people you see in front of you are gone? POOF!

This has been going on for far too long and I would very much like to see some effort being made to either upgrade the SL servers and in the very least, take the highest traffic venues and locations and put them on a more stable server.

The SL music community has grown so much since 2006. SL is a great place for artists to come perform, or even just have fun singing to tracks, having karaoke contests, etc. But when the platform itself is ridiculously unstable, the fun is completely lost as is the vibe of the events.

What's being done?


  1. I agree totally. I have a difficult time, at best, staying at your shows. Which is keeping me from the ones that I could attend. Then when I do go, and crash hard,it's mayhem getting back in let alone back to the performance venue.
    With the amount of dollars spent, US or otherwise, LL should be designating servers to the clubs that are high traffic to keep people inworld to enjoy the shows and let the artists perform as they had been all along. It seems that each Tuesday, we hold our breaths waiting to log in and see what the restarts do. To not do something about this is just wrong.
    People enjoy the live artists and such, let them enjoy it without all these issues and let's not forget about allowing the artists to perform.

  2. Very good point. The amount of money we pour into SL's economy daily is a far good enough reason for them to WANT to have us, their "customers", their back bone, kept very very happy! I for one am NOT very very happy. I am very very sad when I see that people are crashing and cant get back to mine and other artist's shows and other events.

  3. I do agree with you, but at the same time you have to look at it this way. A large majority of SL users, (I would dare say 85-90% if NOT MORE) all are like me and have basic memberships. Yes we buy linden, but not often and we do not pay for the use of the servers. For a free platform it's not bad, that being said it is unfair for those who are premium members to have to deal with the same issues as free users, but until Linden Labs gives people a GOOD reason (and a 512m piece of land, a crappy house and 300L a week is not good enough) for me to pay to use the servers, i don't see many things changing.

  4. Whether the service of the use of Second life is free or not, LL makes money, a lot of money, on so many different facets of the SL economy. That being said, they are a business and in my opinion, after nearly 7 years of contributing to their profits, are not providing the product AND service they need to... as a business... IN business.

    Look at the free apps that millions of people download every day. If the app didnt work right, would we buy the in app upgrades? Of course not. I know I would simply delete it.

    1. Ohh I can't get started on this topic, I'll never get off my soapbox! But I do agree whole heartedly with you, Seth!!!! I haven't been to one of your inworld shows in months because of the lag and crashing! It takes all the fun out of it!

    2. MAybe next time, try to login in and lower every bit of graphical options and remove scripts and attachments. It helps. I look forward to seeing you. You're always welcome at my shows and events :-)

  5. SL is fortunate enough to have many talented music professional who sometimes try out their music inworld before releasing it to the general public. This is excellent exposure for these up and coming musicians. Unfortunately, the stability of SL on more than one occasion ruined these performances. The main issue seems to be lag. Yes, we all know about removing our HUDs and scripted items and such, but even doing that doesn’t always prevent freezing and crashing. Perhaps there are no easy answers to the lag issue, but it is something that should seriously be looked into. SL’s live performers spend countless hours preparing for their inworld shows and nothing is more frustrating to them and the audience than dealing with lag and/or continuous crashing. As a venue owner, nothing is more disheartening than having a performance cut shot because lag and having to tell people that maybe we’ll reschedule. All the bells and whistles introduced with the new viewer really don’t mean much at all unless the serious issue of lag is addressed immediately.

  6. Agreed. What about when a performer or anyone else for that matter spends a week preparing for a major event only to have their location down or otherwise broken? Its not just performers which is my point and in agreement with you. It's all of SL. Any business, any venue, any design, scripter even the simple resident who's just there to have fun but can't because of the borkedness that has become SL.

  7. There are certainly issues with Second Life. I plan and promote events on a regular basis and have observed the issues that you speak of. The issues that we all witness in SL are a byproduct of an ever expanding user base and increased desire for better quality graphics and objects. These things place higher and higher demands on our computers. (LL recommended minimum operating requirements here: ) Even with a mid level computer, I am able to generally accomplish what I want in SL without crashing. What helped the most is learning how to adjust the viewer, internet and computer settings to optimize my experience. I really encourage everyone to learn more about these things that work better for their computer and internet setup - the defaults are not right for everyone.

    Yes, server upgrades would help fix the issues in some cases, but it won't fix an outdated computer. Server upgrades are an expensive prospect.. at whose expense would they be done? I can't afford to pay more for the land on which my venue sits and don't feel that I have any right to ask for more computing resources to be allocated to my place just because I want to have more avatars there for a live event. That's like implying that MY SL is more valuable than anyone else's and I don't see that as true. While the arts in SL are a valuable component in a user-driven world, they are not the only thing. People who participate in other types of activities have these issues and I am sure they would like additional server resource allocation too!

    Ultimately, capital improvements such as servers cost money and it has to come from somewhere. As long as there isn't a pay-to-play requirement, there is not very much to work with in proportion to the costs involved. Money made from Marketplace or other income streams varies as the economy does, and sim ownership is decreasing. While the argument could (and has) been made that it's because of performance issues that people are giving up sims, in terms of running a business, it is not compelling to consider putting more money into things that are not generating a reliable income stream. I am not sure what you consider the business of SL to be ... my understanding is that it is here to be a user driven environment, not something that we log into to have everything neat and tidy and ready to go with an end result to accomplish.. If I wanted that, I would go play World of Warcraft. If I didn't care about the people and things I *can* do in SL, I would put my own sim on the Open Sim or go play in a less populated world. Having the opportunity to create and do the things that SL allows and having the user base of people to interact with is the tradeoff.. sometimes I have to deal with the downsides such as crashes, poor sim performance, and even other avis who are doing things that demand a higher share of computing resources.

    I don't know what the answers are. I do know that I feel that it is as much my responsibility as any Lindens to maximize my experience to the best of my ability.

  8. Yes for sure, our own system resources can definitely be a cause for lag, crashing, etc. We need to also consider how many people are suffering the same issues, though. That being said, it cannot simply be a matter of everyone's system resources and settings being at the root of the issue.

    My point here is that it's been rough for a good number of people for the past year or two. When simple things like chat don't work, then it's not a mater of upgrading the entire system, which certainly would force LL to transfer at least some of the cost over to the SL account holders, but more a matter of taking what they have and improving it. You don't offer a service for that service not to work properly. I don't care what business you're in.

    On a different note, I was speaking to a friend of mine who suggested using the SL viewer. Im a big Firestorm fan but since there is no longer any support for third party viewers, I may have to make a go of it and see how it compares to FS.

    Thank you Thea, as always you are well thought and very insightful. :-)

    1. I understand what you are saying about things that are a problem for multiple people. I still feel that people can work within the current limitations to make it as good as possible for themselves. Often, I speak to someone with the constant crashing and rezzing issues and ask them about different viewer setting to that in an attempt to help them, and most of the time people don't even know what I am talking about. A lot of times I can help them modify something that does help. I am not a computer expert... I learned things by going to classes and reading user tips to learn how to work within the framework that is here, broken or not. And when I find things that are broken for multiple people, I file and comment on JIRAs (bug reports) for both SL and the viewer I am using. Some of the smaller viewers don't have formal bug reporting, but there's always a way to contact someone to report an issue. I am unwilling to walk away from my SL because I expect someone else to fix it. I am part of this community and see it as SL's version of civic responsibility to do my best to not only advocate for fixes, but to be part of the process when possible. The Lab cannot predict behavior for every computer set up and every combination of factors, but they can use the info provided when they do work on the issues that plague us. I am still not sure how else LL can take what they have and improve it without direct constructive input from residents and without capital improvements.

      I am not sure where you are getting the info that third party viewers are not being supported any more. Firestorm is getting code from Linden Lab and constantly working on viewer improvements. There were new guidelines that were put out about a year ago. Older viewers that did not include server side appearance code no longer work and some developers have chosen not to continue to dedicate their time (for free) to continue to develop. Many people have switched away from Firestorm when they need to decrease lag or resource usage by their computer, as Firestorm is resource intensive because it is so feature rich. Like settings within a viewer, different viewers may work better for different people.. The third party viewer directory is here: I use exodus as a backup viewer. Your mileage may vary.

  9. I have no intention of "Walking away" from my SL, Lord knows how grateful I am for all the support I've received over the years. Its not about walking away, it's about consistent issues that degrade the user experience, at least for myself and others I've spoken to who also experience similar issues.

    As I understood, support was no longer being given to third party viewers. Apparently you have more knowledge on it so I'm happy to take what you say as accurate. Thanks Thea :-)

  10. I would have to agree with Thea on a lot of levels. The problem is, we as a society, are rolling backwards, as technology pushes past our comprehension. Folks can look at the minimum spec sheet, but barely understand what its telling them. For average folks, the thought process is as simple as turning on the computer, checking email, playing child games on facebook and that is all they know about the pc they are using.

    I have built many rigs for MMO\MMORPG style gaming on many levels. I even use a poor boy pc rig with a single core processor, still I am developing my products just fine within second life. I also ran into many people whom think that Notebooks and Laptops are these superior gaming rigs, lol. These poor souls have been mislead by our own way of thinking. I agree that LL should do something about performance on their back services, hardware upgrades etc.

    A lot of people whom left sl went broke do to the economy crash in America, not so much SL not working properly. Us business folks know its all about the numbers, so we study them often, if not all the time. Now knowing that we lost over 50% of total users we had before they got rid of teen grid and the economy crash, the performance should've been much greater in regards to crashing. ( Less people, less resources on their servers )

    As an IT myself and a professional gamer, I know what it takes to run even the most simple game platforms, frankly, majority of people are buying these cheap pcs thinking it was a bit better then they had and to find out there were wrong. Simply do your homework. With technology comes responsibility, its just that simple. In respect to the SL platform, its always a work in progress. What linden labs need to do is dedicate and focus on is re-writing the source code.. After ten years of field study, I think by now they should know what needs fixed and what option they would like the players to have. There are more broken codes in sl then people think. Being a developer\engineer of my own products within SL i would know. Till they stop adding more crap to the broken source code the game will fail and eventually die out.

    Here is a good tool for those whom would like to know if the computer can handle the game they want to play.

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