Drune: a further visit in Second Life

Drune: East of Eden, November 2019 – click any image for full size

For the third time in 2019, I dropped into Drune, this time on the recommendation of reader Robin Lobo, although it is a place that has been getting a lot of attention of late due to a photographic competition that is running through until November 27th, 2019.

Designed by Zee9, we visited the region at the start of 2019 and then during the summer (see: Time at 2019-XS in Second Life, January 2019 and Drune IV: an Aftermath in Second Life, August, 2019), although Zee9’s designs go back beyond either of these dates. Throughout all of their iterations, Zee9’s builds have focused on a sci-fi / cyberpunk feel that incorporates certain key motifs drawn  – as the About Land description notes  – from the likes of Blade Runner and The Fifth Element, Neuromancer, and Altered Carbon.

Drune: East of Eden, November 2019

This latest iteration of the design is called Drune: East of Eden. Whether or not the title is a reflection of Steinbeck and the underpinning themes of his novel I’ve no idea, but given the dystopian state of human civilisation seen particularly within Blade Runner, and the novel’s examination of humanity’s capacity for self-destruction, the link would seem to perhaps be apparent.

Focused on a single, neon-lit street, complete with Spinner-style police cars buzzing and hovering around, the build perhaps leans more towards Blade Runner than the past two builds offered – although equally, there is less of a feel of the multi-level nature in the setting than previous builds that also move it a little away from that film. However, there are numerous nods and touches to a range of influences beyond the films named in the region description (one of the more obvious being Sulaco Corporation – a name that would seem to draw on the Alien franchise).

Drune: East of Eden, November 2019

There are familiar elements from earlier builds to be found as well – notably the subway that serves as the landing point, some of the vehicles, the little hovering robots, the night club and the bar. These help to give a sense of continuity to the setting that eases those familiar with some of Drune’s past iterations (such as 2019-XS) into this one, such that the feeling is not so much that this is not so much a new build, but another part of that city.

For me, the enclosing region surround give this iteration of Drune a depth perhaps lacking in some previous versions – and it is clear that Zee9 has taken a huge amount of care to ensure the the edges of the region break up the surround such that the high-rise buildings of the latter feel like a genuine continuance of the setting, adding to that feeling of depth noted above. It is as if one could walk through one of the road tunnels, the canyons between those skyscrapers would indeed lead to some of those past Drune designs, sitting as further outliers of the city.

Drune: East of Eden, November 2019

Always evocative, wonderfully thematic and rich in colour, Drune always offers a setting worth visiting and appreciating – and for photographers, the photo contest mentioned above gives an added incentive for visiting. Details can be found on an ad board in the landing point subway.

Recommended – and thanks to Zee9 for the chat.

Drune: East of Eden, November 2019

SLurl Details

November 2019 Web User Group: Premium Plus & Events

© and ™ Linden Lab

The following notes are taken from my recording of the Web User Group (WUG) meeting, held on Wednesday, November 13th, 2019. These meetings are held monthly, with dates and details of the meetings available via the Web User Group wiki page.

When reading these notes, please keep in mind:

  • This is not intended as a chronological transcript of the meeting. Items are drawn together by topic, although they may have been discussed at different points in the meeting.
  • Similarly, and when included, any audio extracts appearing in these summaries are presented by topic heading, rather than any chronological order in which they may have been raised during the meeting (e.g. if “topic X” is mentioned early in a meeting and then again half-way through a meeting, the audio comments will be concatenated into a single audio extract for that topic).

Premium Plus

  • Premium Plus is now to be the official name for the upcoming new Premium subscription level, this having changed from “Elite” following feedback from users.
  • It will not be ready for deployment until after Name Changes has been deployed, and the Lab is currently aiming for “early 2020”.
  • Full benefits for Premium Plus subscriptions have not been disclosed, however it has been indicated that:
    • “A lot” of the current Premium benefits are going to be “even better” for Premium Plus.
    • There will also be benefits that are obviously exclusive to Premium Plus.
    • There will be Marketplace benefits available to merchants upgrading to Premium Plus – but again, what these are has not been disclosed.
  • Despite a rumour being dropped into a public meeting that the new subscription will be “three times” the current Premium subscription, no official word on the pricing for Premium Plus has been given, other than it will be available on a monthly or annual subscription basis (see: 2019 Web User Group week #40: Name Changes and new Premium option).


  • The Second Life Events service is being overhauled.
  • The first pass of this work is to clean-up the service to prevent event spamming.
    • This will involve levying a fee for events to be listed.
    • The fee will be in Linden Dollars. However, it will not be “prohibitive”, but rather enough to “incentivise better event content”.
    • The fee will be lower for Premium accounts compared to Basic accounts.
  • The follow-on work will include providing the means for Premium account holders to set recurring events.
  • Beyond this, there is a much larger tranche of work to overhaul what events look like and the events functionality, which is targeted for an early 2020 deployment.


  • A range of fixes and general code clean-up.
  • New notifications options now available via Marketplace → Account → Notification Options.
    • The options displayed are split between Shopping and Merchant notifications, with the latter obviously only available to those actually selling through the Marketplace.
The new notifications (shown side-by-side for convenience). Note the Merchant options will only be displayed for those selling through the MP. Click for larger size, if required.
  • The Place Order button has been moved to the top of the advert listing page when ordering L$0 items, to make completing the order quicker.
  • Filters for removing demo and / or limited items / gachas from Marketplace searches are very close to being ready for deployment.
    • This work is part of an overall refactoring of the Marketplace search that will continue to see incremental changes and improvements to the search functionality.

In Brief

User-to-User Land Auctions

  • User-to-user land auctions have been suspended due to instances of “abuse” (no specifics provided) that require the Lab to make changes to the system.
  • There is no indication as to when user-to-user auctions will be re-opened, as the Lab has to consider how best to change the system to prevent similar misuse in the future.

Other Notes

  • There has been a general clean-up of the secondlife.com pages.
    • For example: the Account → Contact page has been removed from users’ dashboards as it provided redundant information (your own user name and e-mail address) – this does not impact the Change Password option.
  • Recent general work on all SL web properties has included updating the servers to a new operating system and installing a new site defender that can respond faster to attacks.
  • Release notes for updates to the web services (similar to those for simulator and viewer release notes) are in the works, and could be ready for deploy before year-end.
  • The official viewer log-in splash screen now includes a section for the SL Blogger Network, as well as now displaying the current Second Life time.