Can we haz Open Space?

OSS ’08! So did you guys hear the news? The Lindens, in their infinite wisdom, are going to increase prices on open space sims (formerly known as void sims) beginning in January. With no grandfather clause for early adopters. Now, before we get into the whole ‘These sims are over-used and abused’ debate, consider this, why would Linden Labs have increased the prim limits back in March, couldn’t they have predicted that people would be using them to their maximum capacity?

Opening my shop on my own sim has always been my dream, and having an Open Space Sim made that possible. OSS’s made a sort of middle class in SL, a place for medium-sized shops to have their own place, private and not lagged like the mainland, but a lot more affordable than a regular sim. I was so excited to have my own place, I could control the terrain, the decor, I got to make my own decisions about what I wanted to do and where everything could go. I didn’t have to worry about crappy neighbours building giant malls beside me or strangers having slexx on my front lawn. Almost everyone I know wants privacy and the power to control the sim, restarting it if it’s laggy, changing terrain, controlling the time of day. It’s going to be hard to go back to the mainland for a lot of people I’m sure.

I am on an open space sim, I am current using around 1300 prims, with a very few scripts, I checked my top scripts, all from Botanical, so that puts rest to the idea that OSS’s were made to be garden sims. I have box vendors, with no scripts in them. A box puts less strain on the server than a sculpted prim. I would consider my sim to be a very ‘light use’ sim. I don’t often have more than 3 people at one time on my sim, and usually it’s just me, hanging out on my platform in the sky.
I know that there are quite a few people ‘abusing’ the intended usage of these sims, but the Lindens were overly vague in their intended usage definition. To me, my sim is light use, but I don’t know if LL would consider it light or heavy usage. I also really wonder what suddenly motivates a pricing change, and exactly how that’s going to make people limit their use of OSS. Other than the obvious choice of giving them up entirely.

There is already a huge uproar about this issue, and several people have summed up their feelings quite eloquently. There is a flickr group and even a jira (a quite popular one I might add) about this issue. I worry though, that it’s all for nothing as Linden Labs is not exactly well known for catering to even it’s highest paying customers. There was a big backlash against voice too, and look where we are now.

Annyka Bekkers has a theory that Linden Labs is trying to get rid of the OSS’s all together, since nobody will want to buy a new one. Even if the majority of people keep the sim they’re on (which is unlikely with a 66% price increase with 0 added benefits), there will be tons of them abandoned and very very very few new ones purchased, if any from the Lindens. Is this the way of the future? Mainland or Full Sims for shop owners? Was this the plan all along from the Lindens? What happens to places like Appearance Mode or Club Seven, or Filos (the poser’s sim) all on Open Space Sims.

As for me, I’m sad that I probably won’t be able to keep my island for myself, I don’t want to give up my first real (to me anyway) home for my shop. But I don’t want to abuse the system either. I have plans in place to keep the shop going on a full private sim with another shop, and while I think that will work well for both of us, not everyone can afford that option. And after having a taste of privacy, how many people are going to be willing to share?

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3 Responses to “Can we haz Open Space?”

  1. Awesome post, Autumn! Although I know it’s been covered to death, I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the OSS issues. Surely alot to think about for alot of folks out there and no easy answers.

  2. Nice post, Autumn. I think theres a lot to say about this subject and many, many differing opinions on it. I was thinking about getting an OS for my skybox, purely for modelling and basically sitting on instead of renting out a small piece of land, to allow me to be able to have less constraints on prims ,but i’m kinda glad I didn’t now, eh?

  3. Elizabeth Hallstrom Says:

    Open Sims were originally set up for light traffic use such as waterways and greenery – places for people to come in, browse around for a few (say to their friends “oh what a pretty park”) then tp out to the next destination. Unfortunately Autumn, Open spaces are being used by some for clubs and other venues that encourage the visitor to stay for longer periods of time, therefore taxing the network infrastructure. And since the server the open space is housed on is shared by four others, it becomes like a domino effect. So being a closet propeller head I get their issue.

    But honestly LL is a lot at fault for this. They chose to not track traffic on the open spaces for what months? They did not make it clear to the purchaser (the full sim owner) that traffic numbers would need to managed. They emphasized the prim limits, not the traffic issues. What they should do is grandfather the existing owners and charge the increase to the new owners. Or better yet, check traffic numbers and base the cost on that – it can be done I am sure.

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