Another year has gone “bye”, and I have to say it’s been pretty good somehow, at least in the micro level, meaning possibly for me, or from my point of view only. This year I’ve experienced what I could fondly refer to as a mild “SL revival” even when the grid keeps losing sims and concurrency is only half what it used to be four years ago. The reason for this renaissance (pronounced as in French, as I like the sound of it best lol ) is mainly due to all those wonderful mesh and texture wizards, who have caught up with the current creation trend and are producing splendid objects of all kinds, most of which are ultra-low prim equivalent –my favorites. That means I can add a lot more objects –hence lots of details– to whatever I build, contributing to maintaining my creative mood on high most of the time. So my thanks to all content creators working on home and garden stuff for making 2012 an enjoyable new season in Second Life.
Also, this blog turned 4 years old as of Winter 2012. The oldest post in record right now is –apparently– from Dec. 4, 2008, though that date is probably the result of an error produced by one of several export/import operations performed at some point some time ago while moving the site’s content from Joomla to the more blog-oriented WordPress. That particular post, which wasn’t the first one at all, was more likely from the 24th of December. If memory doesn’t fail me, the first one might have been dated between Dec. 18th to 21st. Over the course of these 48 months, though, I’ve been tempted –as many of you– to abandon this endeavor and the SL world as well, but somehow I manage to convince myself that it’s worth keeping up. They both, SL and blogging, are good pastimes, and in the absent of something better to replace SL right now, I still plan to be around in the near future. Prove of this is the fact that I revamped the blog significantly since mid November, making it more organized (chaotically speaking lol ) and visitor-friendly, including for those fans of mobile technology, which the previous version was not exactly suitable for.
I switched estates once again too, another sign of that creative mood. Until November 2012 I stayed in Dream Seeker Estates (DSE) territories, where I have been living since the Summer of 2010. I didn’t leave because I don’t like it anymore. Actually, I’ll be missing the quick customer service and the nice tier prices. Why did I do it, then? I’ve been feeling “socially deprived” lately as a result of being this long in a small corner lot on a stand-alone sim with extremely secluded neighbors who are always in the clouds, literally. Since SL can be regarded as another social network, isolating oneself 100% of the time is using it the wrong way, I say. Another major technical factor was the lack of more varied ground texture options, together with the reluctance of DSE managers to allow for such changes. Truth be told: I always talked to estate sales agents and other support staff, who aren’t exactly in power to make such decisions, yet they could have delivered the message (or at least pretended to) instead of saying automatically no. It’s kind of comprehensible though: when you have hundreds of sims under your administration, each of which may hold some 10 parcels (average case for full sims in DSE) you can’t risk pleasing tenants individually because many could follow suit, causing an uncontrollable wave of petitions a few people won’t be able to handle alone. So basically that’s why I left DSE in search of a smaller simdom that could offer what I wanted with a minimum of effort… if any at all.
The transition wasn’t that swift though. After pondering the move for several weeks (I still think the 4096 sq.m./937 prims parcel is the best for me), I established my possessions in Lionheart Estates (LH). I think I read some promising comments in another blog –someone saying it was a good place to live in– so I went on exploring the area for a time, until I convinced myself it might actually fill in the social gap I’ve been meaning to reduce, with extant neighbors interacting around a non-themed mini-Mainland area with a controlled look and feel. I even closed my eyes to the noticeable design flaws, which the LH managers admit but blame on SL limitations instead, and went ahead and rented a midsize chunk of land near a gruesome border that required a within-the-covenant land leveling fix to meet my base standards… and that of the surrounding water (if you can imagine what I mean).
Since the purpose of this writing isn’t to evaluate the overall look of any particular estate, but to summarize what this year has been like for me, I will skip most of the details and just said that the honeymoon with LH ended abruptly at the raw sim edges exposing the crude “underworld” lying beneath the surface and by the fall of a mainlandish mono-toned white and blinding sheet of snow that spread like wildfire but left all the green vegetation unspoiled. This last element was quite discouraging, first because this seasoning wasn’t stated in the estate’s covenant (and I made sure to read it thoroughly, and twice before complaining), and secondly because it came at an inappropriate timing, when I was halfway through my first landscaping job there (I had been in LH for less than a week by then). So after considering it and having a long but civilized diatribe with a support agent (who probably went AFK to not read any more of my claims because she went quiet for the most part), I had two immediate choices: to abandon the land and pretend I never paid that full month in tier just a few hours before –because I wasn’t getting a refund, I should emphasize, since they did make sure to clearly state so in the covenant–, or let the tier meter run out amid my protest (I still had the prims to use –the effective value of the land– in any case). I decided on the latter since the money was already spent… and I wasn’t in the mood to grant an out-of-pure-kindness donation to someone who possibly needed it less than me. Another week later I swapped to a smaller and less romantic inland plot where to put a simple Winter ensemble (have you seen the only picture in this post so far? Yes, there, at the top, with the red chapel from POST and the new snowy firs from Botanical).
I’m not blaming LH for this situation, believe it or not. It was my fault. For one, I shouldn’t have paid a full month in advance before “experiencing” the place, now from within, some more, and then, I obviously set my expectations too high, too soon. I still consider it a good place to be. Hell, I may even think about keeping that second plot some more: it’s so small that weekly tier is cheaper than a mesh T-shirt. That’s a decision I have to make come February, though.
The Lionheart “fiasco” (as in an experiment gone bad) lasted as long as a Hollywood marriage. It was like finding out that gorgeous bonbon (again, use as in French) wasn’t what you were expecting, so the relationship leaves a bitter taste but you enjoyed it anyway ( lol ). In the meantime, I already looked for –and found– a land replacement, and surprisingly it’s a 1/4 homestead lot. The element of “surprise” comes from the fact that I once said I would never rent in a homestead again, after Linden Lab degraded the original idea back in 2008. The change of mind comes in part from the mesh takeover I was talking about in the beginning of this… stream of consciousness, but possibly you may have forgotten it by now because this post is getting too long. I won’t say more about this (hey, I heard that!) because I want it to be my first writing of 2013. I already terraformed the land, already placed all the veggies out, and already took the pictures that will cramp that upcoming post. Want a preview? Ok, here it is.
So it’s been the year of mesh. I’m actually finally cleaning my inventory, and the “mesh only”category is the driving force behind it. Non-mesh flora is the only exception (it seems mesh garden stuff is still a too complicated task for most flower-growers due to all the detailing required), but everything else is opting for a forced retirement. If mesh has proven to be the best creative alternative for SL so far (even when it still has some shortcomings), why hold on to the old ways? Tradition is a spiritual thing, not a prim object, my friend. So a message to all of you, old-fashioned avies out there: It’s time to show the rest of the world that you really love the world you float on. Your 2004 is not classic, it’s offensively passé. If you really praise SL that much, it’s time to live to its new standards, you degenerated prick.
If I’m missing out something, I’ll do another complementary post ( lol ). In the meantime…
HAPPY NEW YEAR, folks!!!