Update: The Lab has also now blogged on this offer, and also indicate that the Haunted House experience has re-opened in Second Life, which is open to anyone via the Portal Park.
Linden Lab has launched the latest Premium membership offer alongside a seasonal Halloween gift offer for new and existing Premium members.
The Premium membership discount applies to the first quarter of the Quarterly Billing plan (remaining quarters all billed at the full price of US $22.50 per quarter), and runs from now through until 08:00 SLT on Monday, November 2nd, 2015.
The Halloween gifts come in three parts: a ridable flying dinosaur (with aviator helmet for the rider), which is clearly intended to link to the PaleoQuest game; two “ghostly” avatars (male and female) with HUD and alpha mask; and finally, a drone system, comprising a wearable iPad-style controller, a HUD, and an update system.
I’ve tended not to be overly enthusiastic about such gifts (with the odd exception, such as the sailing boat – which at least got me into sailing in SL), and to be brutally honest, these do little to break the mould. The dino and the ghost avatars have a certain yawn factor about them which had me rezzing to take a look, trying and deleting.
The drone could be seen as a little fun item, and has a number of interesting features. You can, for example, slave your camera to it, and fly it around, or you can set it to automatically follow you (or someone else who is within range) as you wander around (it’ll self-delete should you teleport out of the current region), while the radar function will list the names of other avatars in the region and their distance from your avatar. There are also options for customising the drone and setting its “mood”, and it’ll get a tad naggy if you forget it is there.
That said, I’m not entirely sure just how long the drone is likely to remain a novelty item for most; if you want to have a free-flying camera, a suitable controller and the flycam mode in the viewer are both far more efficient (as is alt-camming). However, it can be entertaining (I admit to having a giggle when it spooked a helo crew hovering next to my house), and could offer options in some RP scenarios, while the iPad and its associated animations might find a use from time-to-time, even if the drone doesn’t.
As usual, if you are considering the move up from Basic, might I offer some thoughts (as long in the tooth as they might be) as someone who has bounced from Premium to Basic and back again?