Second Life’s business model relies –basically– in selling virtual land based on square meters. It’s size what matters to the Lab, not land capacity, which, from my point of view, would be a more practical scale because it tells you how many items you can rezz in a lot and probably how much resources you consume, though I don’t have the technical know-how to say if that’s actually true (that’s my guess). Once measured in prims, the basic unit of capacity nowadays goes for land impact, but the principle stays the same.
If you get a parcel from one of the so called mainland continents, LL charges you a monthly fee depending on how many square meters you owned during the previous billing cycle. The basic fee starts at US$5.00 per 512 sq.m., and from there parcel size duplicates in each step, to 1024, 2048, 4096 sq.m., and so on until a maximum of 65,536 sq.m., which is the size of a full sim. Of course, parcels can actually be of any size, only the corresponding fee relies on fixed amounts; there are no in-betweens for the Lab. You can check more details about Mainland pricing fees at Second Life’s website.
Now, let’s consider the following scenario. You’re a subscriber and you’re paying a land use fee equivalent to 8192 sq.m. of land holding rights over the 512 sq.m. “free” limit. That would represent an extra monthly cost of US$40.00 over the US$9.95 for a premium account, for a total of US$49.95 (given that you don’t buy Linden dollars, the inworld virtual currency necessary to acquire items created by users like you, because if you do that would represent some extra charge per order). So, if you only own 5600 sq.m., you are wasting some US$12.67 a month, according to my rough calculations.
The previous assumptions hold true regardless of where your land is located, but there are some additional distinctions to be made. For instance, there are two types of regions in mainland, in terms of land capacity: single-prim land (your regular mainland regions) and double-prim land (regions with an object bonus factor of 2, as in Bay City, Nautilus City, or Zindra –the adult continent nobody speaks of anymore). Using the old unit for measuring land capacity, a 512 sq.m. parcel in a single-prim area can hold up to 112 prims only, while a parcel of the same size in a double-prim area can hold twice that much, or 224 prims. Yet, LL will charge customers the same monthly fee to both parcels regardless of land capacity. Really?
Simply put, for LL not all premium accounts are considered equals because the company is charging some residents twice as much money than it charges the few privileged customers that are gathering and holding –not to say monopolizing– double prim land ad nauseam. Is that what it is? Sounds rough? Well, let’s say it another way: Some folks are getting half the land capacity they should deserve if they expect equal status and treatment as the double-prim elite.
Can someone please prove me wrong? By the way, I’m only talking about Mainland properties, not of private regions, which are a different kind of land service, so to speak.
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