Eris Isle’s expansive beauty in Second Life

Eris Isle, July 2020 – click any image for full size

Eris Isle is a full region design by Pablo Nova and Karma Koppel that is currently gaining a lot of attention courtesy of a MadPea Hunt – although the fact is, the region deserves recognition in its own right, although a visit can come at a little cost.

A Full private island making use of the full region land capacity bonus, Eris Isle actually feels a lot bigger than a single region, thanks to a considered used of elevation. This breaks up the land to make some of the paths more circuitous at ground level whilst naturally concealing various locations, allowing them to come as a surprise to explorers (assuming people refraining from camming too much!). The raised elements of the landscape also provide additional space both on – and under – them.

Eris Isle, July 2020

It is on the central uplands that visitors arrive, an expansive table of rock that is home to a broad deck built partially over water. It is backed at one end by the cliffs of the island’s peak area, whilst the other falls away to waters that break up the land with a series of navigable channels. Grass tracks to the east and west offer starting points for explorations.

Take one of these, and you be taken down from the landing point and you can either pass over a rope bridge and continue on to a waterfront park area, or cross a second bridge and over a ridge line to where it descends to a farm  converted to house weddings within its large barn. Take the second grass track and it will lead down to where a covered bridge also provides access to the farm wedding venue.

Eris Isle, July 2020

It doesn’t matter which is taken, both offer a lot to see: a greenhouse and gardens, waterside paths running beneath ridges and cliffs and that lead to hidden places to sit; waterfalls that tumble from other high ridges and cliffs to arrive at rocky pools watched over by more seating areas and topped by lookout points, and so on.

Beyond these, more paths await discovery, some passing beyond the aforementioned gardens to reach northern headlands, bays and waterfront cabins (and a cottage) or wind their way up into rocky areas otherwise hidden from view, and / or reach the highest peaks and ridges of the island. The later include the lookout point mentioned, places to mediate and where Tai Chi can be practised.

Eris Isle, July 2020

It is finding all of the rocky routes that makes exploring the region particularly attractive. The care with with the region’s highlands have been built up means that these paths have a natural look and feel, so much so that in places they may not actually appear to be paths at first; even where they sit as steps, there is a natural cast to them entirely in keeping with the lay of the land as the lead the way to parts of the setting that might otherwise at first appear to be inaccessible, such as the west side camp site or the south-west horseshoe cove.

All of this still only scratches the surface of Eris Isle. There’s still the caverns to be found, either on foot or via the pedal boats off to the east side of the region. If boats aren’t to your liking, then a hot air balloon ride around the island might be. This can be found on the north side of the island (unless the balloon is in use) and is honestly hard to miss when moored.

Eris Isle, July 2020

Art also plays a major – and subtle role within the region, with sculptures to be found through the landscape (particularly around the garden area), and more can be reached via the gallery / ballroom teleport board at the landing point. Located in the sky over the region, at the time of our visits, the gallery was home to exhibitions by landscape photographers Charly Keeley-Keating, Pavel Stransky, Rawnie Lane and Shasta Laval.

Admittedly, all of the detail within the region does come at a cost, as mentioned at the top of this article. There is a lot of mesh and texturing that can hit viewer performance – particularly if there’s a large number of avatars present (numbers sat between 15-22 during our visits); with shadows enabled, I found my system running in single digit FPS. However, mitigating the potential hit by disabling shadows when walking / investigating, reducing the number of non-impostered avatars the viewer renders, etc., is worth the effort, as Eris Isle does have a lot worth seeing.

Eris Isle, July 2020

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