Second Life: planned Basic account group limits reduction reversed

Note: I’m getting to this a little late as I was caught-up on in-world projects when the news broke – so please excuse my tardiness.

On May 29th, Linden Lab issued a blog post indicating some major restructuring of fees for Premium members, for credit processing Linden Dollar amounts to fiat money and out of Second Life, and alterations to Premium and Basic account Group and IM capabilities.

In case anyone missed it, the original blog announcement is here: Land Price Reductions, New Premium Perks, and Pricing Changes and my own summary / initial thoughts on the changes are here: Linden Lab announces significant SL fee changes.

In my initial response I noted that while the Premium fee changes incur an “ouch!” factor, they are nonetheless understandable if the Lab is to meet the demand for lower virtual land tier fees and maintain its revenue flow. Of the other announced changes, the increase to credit processing fees, whilst again part of the revenue pivot, is nevertheless a hard bite to take for those generating their own income via SL, given it is the latest in a line of such increases over the last few years. However, and for many of us – Basic or Premium – the major injustice outlined in the Lab’s announcement was the cut to Basic account capabilities – namely the group allowance and the reduction in off-line IMs.

Again, as I noted in my initial blog post on the subject, and expanded upon in “Dear Ebbe II” (on the subject of Basic account changes, reducing Basic account capabilities in the manner proposed smacked of being a punitive act towards Basic account holders. This view wasn’t particularly helped by an official forum post indicating the Basic account reductions were an (ill-considered) attempt to encourage people to take out Premium subscriptions and – in the case of group allowances – an exercise in load-balancing to compensate for some of the group increase being given to Premium subscribers.

Such has been the upset that late on Friday, May 31st, the Lab openly conceded they’d made a mistake, and that the group allowance for Basic members will remain unchanged at the current limit of 42 – see: Group Limits Update: No Changes for Basic Members. However, the reduction in off-line IMs will still come into force from June 24th. So, as per the Lab’s update, From June 24th, 2019, Basic and Premium accounts group and off-line IM caps will be as follows:

Group and off-line IM capabilities as they are for Basic and Premium accounts, and as they now will be from June 24th, 2019 – the group allowance for Basic will remain unchanged

This does leave off-line IMs for Basic members reduced – although it has been suggested that planned changes to the events system might reduce the need for group messages to promote events, in which case this might help reduce part of the reliance on off-line IMs for at least some basic users (as well as possibly decreasing the reliance on groups overall in some cases). Time will tell on that; for the moment there is still understandable hurt over this reduction.

However, the fact that Linden Lab is prepared to listen and accept that they have erred on an issue should be acknowledged – and take steps to reverse that part of the decision that has caused the clearest feedback about the optics it presents – does deserve acknowledgement and a word of thanks for taking the time to listen, consider and respond.


4 thoughts on “Second Life: planned Basic account group limits reduction reversed

  1. A few years ago, I joined Inwoldz to see what it was all about. While they haven’t quite reached the technical level of Second Life, there are a few things going for it.

    1. some of the vendors I love in SL are there
    2. the buy-in for their dollars is phenomenal compared with SL
    3. they offer unlimited groups

    There is zero reason for LL to continue to limit groups except as a way to get us to think we’re getting a perk for buying premium. The perks that come with it have lost their gloss and that’s all they had, gloss. For those of us who have no desire to purchase land, the cost reduction means nothing as does the added amount a premium member can hold. Until the introduction of the houseboats and better houses, the LL home was just a place to land and rez. I stopped decorating mine years ago and used for little beyond that and taking photos.

    No, I don’t agree with the increase. It’s just a money grab so they can appear to be giving on the land costs. That means premium members are paying for those land decreases. What do we get for $99 a year? $300L a week is chump change when an outfit can cost that or more. Expanded land purchases don’t mean much to those who aren’t interested in land anyway and are just another way for LL to grab more money from premium members anyway. A free gift? Well, those are few and far between and not exactly quality items, let alone badly created so they take up huge prim space. A free home? Honestly, who needs one. I hang out at others’ sims and rez at sandboxes. Premium sandboxes? Can I hang out there nude while I try on items? Not.

    So, what does $99 a year get me? bumpkus. Yeah, LL lost my premium cash. I’m also reconsidering every shopping item I see and, most often, discarding since the news came out so that’s losing money for creators because, honestly, why would I invest more in this?

    If LL is in a money crunch, it’s their own fault. Sansar is a bust and instead of putting all their eggs in that basket and ignoring SL, they should have stayed the course. Have you seen the numbers of people no longer there? When I first started hanging out, I saw 75K to over 100K inworld when I logged in. Now, on a good day, there might be 40K, most often it’s under 30K.

    Sorry, I know I’m ranting. I know people will jump on this, but, frankly, I’m fed up. LL needs to get their head in the game if they want to save SL.


    1. Then I would suggest that you just spend your time in Inworldz now.

      (Piper waits for the other shoe to hit the ground.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Groups Groups Groups Groups Groups Groups Groups Groups Groups. Geez. Fewer offline IMs, that hurts.


  3. @Ladywriterliveca

    1st thought: you cite 3 reasons InWorldz had going for it, and then say “there is zero reason for LL to continue to limit groups”. Unless you are a SL technician specifically working on groups maintenance within LL, that’s an unfair assumption. Grumpity Linden has written that groups are a “strain on our backend…including overloading group functionality”. I don’t at all agree with LL’s original decision to rob the poor to feed the rich (as another commentor pointed out) by shifting the Basic – Premium group ratio, but I doubt there is no tech impact as your statement seems to assume. Do not forget InWorldz had an absolutely *minute* population compared to SL, and hence could afford to offer ‘unlimited groups’ for a while.

    2nd thought: You say “Sansar is a bust and instead of putting all their eggs in that basket and ignoring SL, they should have stayed the course.” You want LL to concentrate on Sansar despite it being a bust? Your meaning is unclear.

    3rd thought: You say “The perks that come with it [premium] have lost their gloss and that’s all they had, gloss.” Perhaps you could suggest some premium benefits which aren’t “gloss”? You state that the land, free home, free gifts, premium sandboxes, etc are not to your liking — please do suggest some perks which would be more useful.

    I personally like the idea of a free home with customisable privacy settings, and a Set-to-Home spot dedicated to me and no one else. I got tired to being a squatter and a drifter when I needed to rezz things or change outfits. One also needs to remember that SL is a virtual world, hence it dispenses virtual benefits, so to speak. What *else* besides free virtual homes, gifts, more groups & IMs, priority accesss to areas/experiences, restricted sandboxes, live-chat support, etc., can LL give us? A bigger stipend? That would be nice. The return of live telephone support during office hours (instead of 24/7 as they used to have it)? That would be brilliant. These two things won’t even require LL to tweak and sweat the technical side as increasing the number of groups does. These would be *my* suggestions.

    Liked by 1 person

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