Buggy-ing about with the latest Premium gift

The latest Premium gift arrived yesterday, together with yet another push for people to up to Premium. In keeping with the transportation / vehicle theme that has marked the majority of the gifts to date (the last two being a sailboat and a railcar respectively), this quarter sees a dune buggy as the offering – so no-one can accuse LL of not trying to get people out and around SL in order to use their gifts.

As with previous gifts, the buggy is mesh, with a total LI of 58. The level of detail on it is OK, if a little basic texture-wise. It seats two, and the promotional blog post makes a big point about taking friends along for the ride, although the buggy is restricted to owner-only driving.

The Premium gift dune buggy

Driving-wise, it uses the usual controls either the WASD keys or the arrow keys. It has a “turbo” feature – doubling-clicking the W/up arrow accelerates the buggy and produces a  green glow under it, and you can use this to pull wheelies. Use the SHIFT key in combination with the A or D / left or right arrow keys, and you can produce tight hand-brake turns. The front wheels don’t turn when turning the buggy, but a particle dirty / dust effect is given off from the rear wheels when in motion.

Once seated in the vehicle, you can call-up a menu allowing you to change the colour for various parts of it: frame, seats, wheels, etc., allowing a degree of customisation. A help card can be accessed from the menu, although the vehicle really is simple enough to get to grips with without it.

As with the railcar gift from May, the notecard includes a number of places where people can go drive their new toy, although one of these is on a time-limited basis and “may disappear after the promotion period for the buggy”.

Personally, I’d actually suggest this 4-region, Premium-only area potentially represents more fun / value than the buggy itself. It offers plenty of space for people to race vehicles, fly aircraft and generally socialise. If you’re listening, LL, consider expanding it by a couple more regions rather than packing it up in the future, it’s a place where users can do what they do best – make their own fun.

The Premium-only (and possibly sort-term) 4-region driving area

Opinion

Of the three vehicle-related gifts supplied by LL to date, this is potentially the weakest in terms of appealing to established users. Anyone with any interest in vehicles is liable to have at least one sitting in their inventory already. However, for the curious / those new to SL who signed-up to Premium, then the buggy may well have appeal. Certainly, there were a fair few trying their gifts out in the 4-region driving zone. How long the appeal lasts, however, is questionable.

It’s a shame LL opted to restrict the buggy to owner driving only. Giving at least an option to set it to group access / driving would have offered the potential for people to have far more fun with friends, Premium and non-Premium alike, at any of the major race tracks and driving zones around SL.

For my part, and being a bit grouchy, the buggy is another “meh” gift; I have a beautiful car in the form of a Classic 43S GT which, while not as efficient as the buggy in terms of resource use, is actually a lot better looking and far more fun to drive – and I can share it with friends, as it has the option for “guests” to drive. It’s also available for free on the Marketplace).

The buggy (mesh) compared to my Classic 43S GT (prims and sculpts)

The major issue with this gift, again, is it’s hardly an incentive to take-up (or even maintain) Premium membership. And in that respect, if LL really do want to get more people to jump the fence from Basic to Premium, they would probably have more success overhauling the entire Premium package. Although quite how they do this without upsetting something, somewhere (and doubtless a lot of a people in the process), is something of a L$64,000 question…

11 thoughts on “Buggy-ing about with the latest Premium gift

  1. The students in my Land Basics class suggested that LL should offer a discount on tier, if paid several months in advance, the same way they offer a discount on the Premium membership itself for longer periods. As an alternative, they suggested a prim bonus for residents who pay tier for longer periods.

    These are relatively new residents; LL should listen to them, they know what motivates new people.

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    1. Those already exist for tier payments Lindal, in the form of Quarterly and Annual payment options which are discounted. It seems to me like it would not be difficult to extend that to the account payment.

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  2. well wonderful we as builders find problems in the ground level for vehicles. ll answer to us is to release a place with no mesh ground where only premium members can drive wonder full ty linden labs what about all of us whose terrain you have ruined and and told us oh well racing in sl is only a small part of the community and we don’t care about you. oh by the what lets send out a car they can use on ground but will only work sufficiently on this specific place and cant be drivin normally on the ground level anywhere else . im sorry but this is getting insane they are really pushing my buttons. oh and hey why don’t we fix the llvolumedetect problem on other regions aswell and let bluesteel regions remain with the bug just for fun. pfft i am disgusted in the treatment ll has given the racing a vehicle community.

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    1. I’ve no idea what you mean by “no mesh ground”; if you are referring to pathfinding, the Red Gutch Zone supplied by LL as a part of this promo is no different to anywhere else: pathfinding is fully enabled.

      I appreciate your problems with with llVolumtdetect, but looking at your JIRA, it seems to me that Linden Lab are investigating (hence the comments from Maestro and Caleb Linden). Maestro himself has worked hard with content creators over the past few months trying to resolve issues, so I’m not entirely in agreement with the view that LL “don’t care about you” – which again is not to say I’m unsympathetic as to your problem.

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  3. I found the buggy, as a driving experience, rather disappointing. It feels twitchy, and maybe that’s down to the distance between me and the servers. We folk in other parts of the world have longer ping times, affecting how these things respond. It’s maybe moving that little bit too fast for good control.

    Anyway, after an over-exciting half-hour of trying to drive the thing around the Gulch regions, I switched to an off-road vehicle I’d bought in the Marketplace, long ago. Rather spartan, it is, and nothing at all fancy. Just an Army Jeep. I’ve had no problems with it since Pathfinding went live, and it has a half-dozen gears so that you can drive around at a controllable speed.

    Just put the Jeep scripting in the dune buggy (not that you can) and you would have a good vehicle. Though I’d prefer a Land Rover. (Series III Air-Portable, please, if anyone is reading this)

    Is it entirely off-topic to suggest that SL is sometimes rather too American in its feel and focus, whether it’s the content in the Marketplace or the timing of the maintenance.

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    1. I can guess as to where you are, and we’re not that far apart geographically. I’m possibly more fortunate that I have a reasonably good, fast connection (the local exchange is just a couple of miles from me) which means I get pretty good down and up streaming speeds as measured by Speedtest.

      For me, the buggy was an “OK” experience, but nothing to get wildly excited over; as mentioned in the article, my 43S GT offered far more fun bouncing around the Gutch regions (so long as I kept to the main tracks; as one would expect, it didn’t handle the dunes too well :).

      While it may well be off-topic, I do agree with you on the overall focus; I remember when the Wednesday maintenance period used to drive people in the UK and Europe up the wall given it took-out a major chunk of our afternoon and evening. But, that said, and in fairness to them, they are largely West Coast based, and their largest geographic catchment is liable to be North America, so one can be a little forgiving :).

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  4. Inara, i will say what Badguy, by far the most recognized Sl scripter in racing Cars (Yes this is not only my personal opinion!)
    I know you will not post this, but the problem was that He detected the bug, he reported it, he told other racer sim owners about it, LL solved the problem on a server that belong to a premium member and utterly ignored its server, as he is not premium!
    besides, Badguy is being lots of tests , even before the roll out, and found quite a few nasty ones, that He, at that time reported, LL aknowlege those bugs but also (OFR off course) told him that no matter waht, the roll out was already going on, cause a big paycheck had been delivered (As you understand ill not tell you who on LL said that!)
    So after a month, the same bugs still exist, more are being detected and solved on some servers and utterlly ignored on others!
    How does one feel, seing all his work being trashed, knowing that the bug is fixed on other servers, and still his region does not have it fixed yet!
    LL are not GOD, they despize to much their own user base and they are leaded right now by someone who still thinks Sl is a computer game, where Ai controls everything and does not have a clue about what Sl is really, a community of living persons behind any avatar!

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    1. As I said in my comment, I’m not unsympathetic to Badguy’s issue. However, I do think you’re exaggerating the the case. Far from ignoring this issue, Maestro Linden has responded, has carried out tests and is seeking to understand and reproduce it. That there have been no further LL updates over the last couple of days is not indicative that they are ignoring the problem – rather that it is the weekend; and whether we like it or not, not all LL staff work 24/7.

      It’s easy to claim this is the result of pathfinding being rolled-out, however, and again with respect, pathfinding is active across the grid as a whole – yet the problem doesn’t appear to be occurring elsewhere other than the BlueSteel RC region rather than everywhere (as one might expect were it specifically created by pathfinding), suggests that there may be other factors at work in creating the problem.

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  5. It is not the path find roll out, is the mesh ground that is causing all the issues!
    And you can disable path find, but not the ground!
    Still about the topic!
    I found on my email the notice of the gift, so it is obvious i just didn’t find them to appealing in the middle of the rest of other emails!
    And even not being a good example of how a off road should handle (Really, any should go to R.I.R and just grab their demos to see how a Sl car can handle as realistic as possible!) i think Linden Lab should keep sending this kind of gifts cause they show to many that there are lots that any can do in SL!

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    1. If you’re referring to navmesh, that’s a physics change, which is part of the pathfinding roll-out.

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