On Tuesday, December 10th, Linden Lab deployed the Sansar R38 release, entitled “Rediscover the Party” release. It’s again something of a comparatively small update, but brings with it changes that have been requested by users and creators.
Key updates with this release that are covered in this article comprise:
- Changes on logging-in.
- Codex improvements to help world discovery.
- Events changes.
As always, please refer to the formal release notes for full details of all the updates in R38.
Changes on Logging-In
With this update, existing users are no longer channelled to the Nexus by default (forcing them to cancel the world launch in order to reach their Home Space or Go Home from the Nexus). Instead, existing users are delivered to their Home Space directly on logging-in.
Also, with this release, the Quest Log is closed by default when logging in (as per multiple user requests). It will open automatically on accepting a new quest or can be re-opened manually via Go → Quests.
The Codex and Discovering Worlds
Since the introduction of the Nexus and Prime Portal with the R36 release (see: Sansar: R36 – Avatar 2.0 the Nexus, the Codex and more) there has been concern that forcing users to go to the Nexus and visit the Prime Portal in order to discover new worlds was causing a bottleneck on users willingness to discover new worlds and explore, and simply stick to those within their Codex.
At the time of the R36 release, Linden Lab stated they would monitor the situation and make changes as and when they felt it necessary. With this release, and following the voiced concern and their own tracking of user behaviour, the functionality found in the client version of the Codex has been updated to shift the Prime Portal functionality to the Codex with the Lab noting:
We (and you) found that after the change to make the Prime Portal in the Nexus the hub of all travel we noticed that it was actually much more difficult and confusing, especially for newer players, to find new interesting and populated Worlds to explore.
We’re bringing back the old view which we used to call the Atlas; where all published Worlds were always available from the Explore menu. There’s no longer a requirement to travel to the Nexus and interact with the Prime Portal in order to find new Worlds to explore and people to meet.
As such, the updated Codex now resembles the Prime Portal panel. By default, it will open on the Explore tabs that offers:
- A list of events ordered by time and date, with the most recent first.
- Hovering the mouse over a thumbnail will bring up the Interested button (adds the event to your calendar) or transfer you to the event if it is about to start.
- Alternatively, clicking on an event thumbnail will display more information about it.
- Worlds ordered in terms of Popular (visitors at the time the Codex was opened); Featured (those selected by the Sansar team for special highlighting); Community Favourites (worlds that have previously enjoyed a high level of activity by users); New (worlds recently published) Recently Updated (self-explanatory).
- In all cases of the above, a full list of events or worlds in each category can be accessed by clicking the See All buttons associated with each category.
- Note that clicking See All from the Popular list will open a page of ALL published worlds.
- Tabs at the top of the Codex allow for easy movement between the Explore page and those for Events, and worlds the users has: marked as a favourite; visited; or created.
- The search and sort options from the Codex remain as per R36.
These changes have been welcomed by users and creators on Sansar Discord.
One of the problem with events – in terms of getting together with other users – is actually seeing how popular an event might be with others ahead of time, rather than on arrival.
To help with this, Sansar R38 introduces a count of those who have registered an interest in an event. This is displayed on the event detail page on the web Atlas or within the Codex / Prime Portal.
However, there is a slight issue with this in the initial release: the number of those interested in attending an event is not registering / updating in the Codex or Prime Portal event details pages.
Another small updated compared to R36, but one that responds to multiple requests from users and creators, and which hopefully encourage exploration of worlds by users. I admit that since the introduction of the Prime Portal as the means for discovering worlds, I’ve actually been using the web version of the Atlas in preference to going to the Nexus / Prime Portal, so I’ll be interested to see how the new Codex changes my behaviour in future. Hopefully the events interest indicator on the Codex / Prime Portal will be fixed in an upcoming point release.