Lab reveals LI / prim allowance changes in Second Life – in full

secondlifeNote: An earlier version of this article appeared in error whilst still being drafted on-line, as a result of a mistake on my part and to my own embarrassment. Once again, my apologies to Linden Lab and readers of this blog for my carelessness.   

It is something Second Life users have long wanted / wished for / desired / demanded: an increase to the basic land impact (or prim count, if you still prefer) available for regions.

And now the wish is being granted – although word came out a lot sooner than the Lab had anticipated (thanks in part to my aforementioned mistake).

However, on Thursday, November 3rd, the Lab officially announced that they are increasing the Land Impact allowance for Second Life regions. The new allowances are:

  • Full Regions:
    • Mainland: 22,500
    • Private estates:
      • 20,000 at the same tier price OR
      • 30,000 for an additional US $30 a month (+a one-off US $30 conversion fee to add / remove the extra 10K allowance)
  • Homesteads: 5,000 (Mainland and private)
  • OpenSpace: 1,000 (Mainland and private)

All of the changes filter down to the parcel level, according to parcel size.

Mainland full regions now have a 22,500 Land Capacity / prim allowance as standards
Mainland full regions now have a 22,500 Land Capacity / prim allowance as standard. Those with prim bonuses will be based on the new LI / prim allowance

The changes to Mainland regions were made during the regular weekly deployments on Tuesday November 1st, and Wednesday, November 2nd, with official confirmation being given in part in a blog post from the Lab which indicated the increase to Mainland full regions alongside the most recent Premium subscription offer (note: that blog post from the Lab has now been updated).

So why has this change come about?

“We’ve finally reached the point where we have the equilibrium between technology and software performance on our side,” Patch Linden, Senior Director of Product Operations at Linden Lab informed me, as we sat down to discuss this and other aspects of Second Life. “The hardware we use to run the simulators is in a really good place right now, and will continue to be. Of course, as time goes on, things will continue to get better in that department. And the simulators are running so efficiently now, with all of the back-end work that we’ve done with them over the past several years that we can now do things like this.”

Patch Linden
Patch Linden

“We started with Mainland being it’s obviously ‘ours’ to directly influence,” Patch said. “We could deploy, and watch, and listen to the metrics to see what they tell us. Then providing everything behaves, we’ll go out to the rest of the grid and all private regions shortly thereafter. It is such a fundamental change to the simulator that we want to make sure we do it right, and we don’t cause unnecessary harm in the process. So the more controlled we could do it, the better we felt.”

It was this need to watch and wait following the initial deployment which had caused the Lab to decided to hold back on a public announcement until Thursday, November 3rd. However, users noticed the change almost as soon as mainland regions came back on-line following the Tuesday rolling restart, prompting forum posts and support enquiries as to whether there had  error. As a result, Patch issued a short forum post reassuring people there wasn’t an error, although the decision was made to hold off on any official announcements until November 3rd, due to the arrangements already in place – including a live Designing Worlds session featuring Patch, who would reveal more and take questions.

So given the Mainland changes are now deployed, a key question I had for Patch was: when would Private regions see their update. “We should have them up and running within the next couple of months,” he replied. In essence, the precise roll-out to private islands will depend upon the metrics gathered following the Mainland roll-out.

And the reasons for the differences in the full region allowances between Mainland and private estates?

“There are  2 reasons,” Patch explained. “The first is that Mainland regions have long been a slightly less costly, but also less feature rich product than private islands. But recently we rolled out the private region buy-down offer, which somewhat levelled the pricing between the products. So, we wanted to give a little something back to Mainland, and choose to give full regions there a slightly higher prim limit increase than private estates.

“The second reason  is that private estate full regions have an additional advantage over all the other region types,” Patch continued. “This allows us to offer the additional 10,000 LI allowance to private estate full regions, for a total of 30,000. There is some additional maintenance work that comes with this, hence the US $30 a month fee (per region), together with a one-off  US $30 conversion fee to add or remove that option; but the offer will be available for any price level full region, whether it be an older grandfathered region, a newer bought-down region, or a regular priced full region, immediately the increase in land impact / prim allowance is rolled-out to private estates.

“So you might say, it’s a little give, a little take, and a bit of balance between the advantages of the differing products  :).”

Linden Home holders should now find they have 175 LI as their own to play with
Linden Home holders should now find they have 175 LI as their own to play with – as will users with 512 sq metre parcel on the Mainland, with other parcel sizes adjusting accordingly. The same will be true of private islands, once the update is fully deployed.

In the meantime, the change to the Mainland was warmly received by most, with many land holders and content creators pointing to the home and garden / landscaping markets potentially gaining a significant shot in the arm as a result. This is significant, as a hope at the Lab is that rather than everyone simply adding more objects to their land, the extra capacity will encourage more content creators to make use of optimised levels of details on their mesh creations, rather than using very high LOD values across all viewing distances, thus helping to lighten some of the current load on older systems.

As we closed the conversation, I asked how Patch, as a long-term Lab employee and as a former resident, felt about the change.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do for several years now,” he replied. “And we’re pleased to be able to do something as fundamental as this to change the product in a good way.”

With thanks to Patch Linden, Pete Linden and Linden Lab.

Lab posts about latest Premium offer and Mainland LI increase

secondlifeUpdate, November 3rd: the changes in prim allowances in full are now available in this post.

On Thursday, November 3rd, the Lab blogged about their latest Premium subscription offer for Second Life, and in doing so gave confirmation of the Mainland LI / prim allowances people had been noticing following the weekly deployments on Monday, November 1st and Tuesday November 2nd – and gave a tease for more news to come:

In regards to the latter, the blog post  – Go Premium for 50% Off* & Enjoy Our Newest Perks Plus an Exclusive Gift – noted:

Premium members are entitled to a Linden Home and can own parcels on the Mainland. Now, we’re raising the limit on the number of prims you can use in those spaces. This means you will have more prims and creative flexibility to decorate and customize your own space.  Land impact (object) capacity on Mainland Regions will go from 15,000 to 22,500 – that’s a lot more building capacity!

In addition to this, we will further carry the prim limit increases to the private estate regions shortly.  Keep your eye on our blogs for more information!

An episode of Designing Worlds comes out later this afternoon which talks more in-depth about this new perk. We’ll update this blog once it’s available.

(My emphasis on the last part of the statement). All things being equal, I’ll also have more to come around 14:00 SLT see the link at the top of this article.

The blog post from the Lab confirms that Mainland full regions now have a standard Land Capacity / prim allowance of 22,500.
The blog post from the Lab confirms that Mainland full regions now have a standard Land Capacity / prim allowance of 22,500.

The rest of the post concerns itself with the Premium subscription offer, which started on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2016 at 08:00 SLT and will expire on November 10th, 2016 at 08:00 SLT. It offers the usual 50% discount – which for this offer is applied to the first month of the monthly subscription plan, as the small print explains:

TERMS & CONDITIONS This offer begins on November 3, 2016 at 8AM Pacific Time (PT) and expires on November 10, 2016 at 8AM PT. To qualify for this promotion, you must 1) have an existing Second Life (“SL”) basic account or create a new account, and 2) select monthly (every one month) billing for your SL account. The fifty percent (50%) discount will be applied to your first month’s bill and future months will be billed at the standard Premium Membership price (currently US$9.50 per month). For new accounts or accounts not previously upgraded to Premium Membership, after initial login through the Second Life viewer following upgrade to Premium Membership and: 1) following your first full week, the L$300 weekly stipend will be deposited to your account every Tuesday for the duration of your Premium Membership; and 2) after your account has been active for forty-five (45) consecutive days, the L$ sign-up bonus will be deposited to your account.

As well as the discount, Premium members are also offered a new gift in the form of a laser-shooting Alpha Robot Avatar.