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Author: xeriko

Xeriko enjoys exploring and landscaping in SL, and welcomes a nice chat anytime.

Sunset

Just thinking about SL events

From being a Mainland hater for six long years, in the summer of 2013, I suddenly became a fan of the Nautilus-Satory dyad after starting a “side project” in SL’s amateur sailing. It was something that never occur to me I could do –until then–, yet I’ve already forgotten how it caught my attention, as if it were something I learned years and years ago. Unattractive as it is if you live in a region of limited contiguous sims (unbearable if it’s just one of them), it becomes a delight once you skip the vast coasts of the not beloved mainland continents, regardless of the infuriating sim crossings and the more than expected classic and equally unsurpassable lag fests. Nothing comes close to mainland, period (the hell!).

I think it’s the same with SL events: they’re a lot better if they are organized in regions with neighboring sims. In case it’s not possible to enter the official spot, at least you can temporarily squat the one that sits next to it, cam around, and from a distance do the shopping in absentia (sort of), and not wait until the hordes of people trying to do the same (and succeeding when you don’t) give you a chance. It’s not their fault of course, but you blame (and curse) the “fuckers” anyway–though it’s you who’s actually bitching.

Frequently popular SL events take place in standalone sims, for which their planners (or their supporters) have to pay a monthly fee. I don’t know if they get any discount from the Lab, but if they don’t –as I fear– it’s US$295 a month for a full region (or US$125 for a homestead if whoever is behind the feast is not interested in offering the best service you customers deserve). For a full mainland sim, though, it’s US$100 less, and you even get eight unoccupied or mostly abandoned sims in the surrounding area for the benefit of visitors’ cam-shopping spree. Add to it a few gachas, and they’ll probably even love you and come back to the surest “money sink” in neverland whenever you set it up.

Events in standalone sims are a curse, anyway. They’re cramped as hell for the first week, and then go empty for the rest of the scheduled time. But if you decide to try mainland, you may even help to revitalize a neighborhood of already forgotten or wasted terra incognita eager to sprout again.

Dandelions and firs

Land lust in autumn

There are two seasons in the year when not having a large plot stresses me: autumn and spring. That’s when I used to be more active, landscaping and gardening. Autumn brings the exquisiteness of ocher shades, while spring, you know, brings the colorful flowers. Spreading all that greenness over a considerable stretch of land is quite inspiring (for me at least). Trying to do that in a small parcel is, for the most part, discouraging, especially in autumn, when the trees take center stage. Nevertheless I decided to go the practical way, choosing mainland for my living –for the last two years– over private estates, and sticking to double prim land to take advantage of the extra land capacity. While spring has been “acceptable,” autumn hasn’t been so that much, meh.

Studio Skye birch grove set

In the first picture (above), a menagerie of autumnal trees from different creators, with a partial view of Studio Skye’s new Birch grove set, to the left. There rest of the wood dwellers has been showcased in this blog before.

Bicycle and tree

The Cube Republic has also been busy creating new trees and shrubs lately, with some outstanding new products available in two SL events. Above, an old bike has been partially “swallowed” by the growing trunk of a seasonal-enable beech tree, currently available at Shiny Shabby. The event will run until November 10th, so click HERE to teleport to buy it.

Dandelion

Another of Cube’s Shiny Shabby releases is this nice dandelion set, which is probably the most beautiful and realistic dandelion plant in the SL market as of now. It comes in single (pictured above) and clumps of three, with or without a charming particle effect that disperses parachuting seeds a short distance from the head. The effect is nicely done, so I assure you won’t upset your neighbors if you let it always on (yes, that means you can also turn it off).

Douglas firs

Lastly, I wasn’t able to take a really good shot of Cube’s latest product, the Douglas Fir set, available at the 6º Republic event (click HERE to teleport), due to the trees’ huge size and my parcel’s restrictive proportions. Yet, to their favor I have to say of all the mesh trees I’ve come across, I think these firs are the only ones my crappy video card is able to render wonderfully. At full size, they average 22-31 LI, but will shrink to much less  (10-12 LI in the picture) without losing any detail. They’re also season enabled (green and winter), so once planted, you can keep your Douglas fir grove up all year round if you wish.

Now I’m wondering if I should go back to renting a quarter of a homestead sim again… (sobs).

Sailing

About a boat

It’s been a while since I posted something about my sailing outings in the SL seas, so here are a few pictures of my latest trip with the Leeward Cruising Club (LCC) Sunday, August the 30th. I crashed at some point when entering the last quarter of the plotted route. It was so unexpected (roll eyes). This time though, I don’t know if it was due to the usual lagginess on sim crossings, or if it was a brief network disconnection, because this weekend was mercilessly plagued by generalized Internet outages across the mid/west US that affected a lot of online services (though I don’t know if SL was among the afflicted).

Sailing last Sunday

By the way, my boat is still missing, so if you see an unmanned white and red Bandit IF (as the one in the pictures, sans skipper) somewhere on the shores of a west-southwest Blake sea charted territory, let me know. It’s not a stylish drone, it’s probably my boat (yep, it’s that small). It hasn’t made its way to my Lost and Found folder yet, so I’m afraid it may be littering someone else’s peaceful bay.

The Bandit IFF

From my point of view, teleporting from one sim to another conceals SL distances so much that you hardly have a clear notion of all the space you may have covered in that couple of seconds. Beyond the classic lifeless screen marking the transition between your point of departure and your destination, there is no easy way to sensibly be aware of that expanse. In contrast, spending some time traveling by boat, watching as objects –sometimes abruptly– enter and leave your field of view in real time, and then arriving at some other port (even if there’s nothing of that sort) gives the simulation the e-motion-nal perception we residents deserve to grasp the mental picture of SL’s vastness. Me thinks that drifting at a normal speed, as in a sailboat, makes this virtual world more “authentic” to the mind of a transitional human like me, and so I prefer sim-hopping this way to doing the Star Trek thing. Unfortunately, only a fraction of the grid is interconnected, so sailing is not a reliable option to get everywhere.

Sailing in the horizon

Watching as time goes by while you go from one place to another has always been part of the traveling experience in RL. We don’t like it that much (even all the waiting in airports, bus stops or train stations add to the mischievous equation) and would certainly welcome a method of transportation that would cut distances close to none. But so far, moving faster has been the only solution. Appearing somewhere else instantly may only be achieved on a mental level, and places such as SL already offer that service. So let’s say, welcome to the future…