2019 Web User Group week #40: Name Changes and new Premium option

© and ™ Linden Lab

The following notes are taken from my recording of the Web User Group (WUG) meeting, held on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019. These meetings are held monthly. Dates and details of the meetings can be obtained through the Web User Group wiki page.

When reading these notes, please keep in mind:

  • The topics below are ordered in their likely interest to users / depth of discussion at the meeting, with some comments drawn together from different points in the meeting. This is not intended as a chronological set of meeting notes.
  • Audio extracts are taken from my recording of the meeting, but have again been grouped by topic. In addition, the audio relating to Premium and “Elite” subscriptions may sound fractured tin tone, as it is a grouping of verbal replies to questions asked in local chat at the meeting.

Summary

The TL;DR summary (items expanded upon in the sections below):

  • On Monday, September 30th, the Lab issued a blog post update on the web team’s work, and this was referenced during the meeting (see also my coverage of the blog post – Lab blogs on the SL Web Team’s work, including “last names”). Similar blog posts will likely be released ahead of each monthly WUG meeting, to both remind users of the meeting and to act as an informal agenda.
  • Web services have been a major focus of transitioning Second Life services to the cloud.
  • Name Changes: are getting closer to release but are not imminent. The feature will be Premium only, fees have not been finalised.
  • Premium options: work is progressing with the new “super Premium” option, but this will not be ready until after Name Changes have been deployed. The new level is – at present – likely to be called “Elite”. It will cost more than the current Premium subscriptions.
  • Search is being worked on across all of the SL web properties, including the Marketplace – but no time frames as to when improvements might be deployed.

Cloud Transition

  • As noted in the Monday Sept. 30th blog post, many of the Lab’s web services have been transitioned to running on Amazon AWS cloud services.
  • Other services previously operated on a third-party basis have (and are) being moved in-house or decoupled to standalone status, in readiness to be transitioned to the cloud where possible.
  • All of this work has been achieved without any significant disruption to services or – more particularly – without users actually being aware the services had been moved.
  • Specific benefits of the moves made to date are:
    • Future changes, updates and responses to issues can be handled a lot faster.
    • Due to the nature of AWS services, LL have been able to achieve almost 100% up time in running those services that have been transitioned.

Name Changes

  • As previously noted, Name Changes involve users being able to select any first name, and a last name via a list.
  • The capability will be Premium only.
  • Name changes will be subject to fee (still TBA) per change.
    • The fee charged will be less for “Elite” accounts than for Premium (see below for more on “Elite” and Premium).
  • The rough window for deployment is between 1 and 3 months, with a margin of error of around two months.
    • There is still more work to be done on the back-end systems.
    • The actual viewer UI in which name changes are made has yet to be implemented.
  • As an aside (not mentioned in the meeting, but indicated elsewhere): new users signing-up to Second Life will still be given the default name of “Resident” – they will be able to change names should they upgrade to Premium, as with all Basic account users.

New Premium Subscription

  • The idea of having additional levels of Premium subscription was first publicly mentioned in detail in 2018. See:
  • Since that time, it has been decided to just have a single additional Premium level, sitting “above” the current Premium level.
    • However, the new system is being structured such that if there is a need / opportunity for further subscription levels, they can be added in the future.
  • Currently the proposed name for the new subscription level is “Elite” – but this may still change.
    • There will be clear differentiators between Premium and “Elite”, including, as noted above, a lower fee applied to “Elite” users when changing their name.
    • There will be no requirement for merchants to have to upgrade to “Elite”, although some of the benefits of “Elite” might apply to Merchants.
  • Subscription rates:
    • Premium subscription rates will not change.
    • “Elite” upgrades will be offered on a monthly / annual basis.
    • As per my article Lab opts to temporarily continue Quarterly Premium plan for new sign-ups, relating to the Premium subscription fee changes announced earlier in 2019:
      • Quarterly subscriptions will be discontinued for those upgrading to Premium / Elite when the latter is launched.
      • However, quarterly payments will continue to be honoured for users already on the Premium quarterly payment plan.
    • Fees for “Elite” to be revealed when launched, but obviously, they will be higher than the current Premium rates.
    • Premium members upgrading to “Elite” will pay the difference between their current Premium fee and the “Elite” fee to which they decide to upgrade, and there may be a prorate option for qualifying users when upgrading.
  • “Elite” subscriptions will not be ready for introduction until at least a month after the deployment of Name Changes.

Profile Changes

  • The discontinuing of web profiles was first publicly raised in February 2019 (see: 2019 SL User Groups 7/3: TPV Developer Meeting), when it was indicated profile information would be moving back into the viewer.
  • One of the reasons for this change appears to be related to the transitioning services to the cloud as much as with the pain of provisioning the web-based profiles.
  • An initial Legacy Profile project viewer appeared in June (see: SL Legacy Profiles project viewer).
  • The Legacy Profile viewer will be updated over time, with one of the updates to come being a new tab to profile feeds, allowing users to see people’s feed updates through the viewer.
    • TPVs will still be able to use the option to point to profile feeds on the web, if they prefer.
  • It is hoped that the Legacy Profiles viewer will move to release candidate status Soon™ and promoted to release status “really soon after that”.
The new Legacy Profiles Project viewer replaces the current web-based profile panel (left), with an “old-style” profile floater panel (right)

In Brief

Web Services Release Notes

  • The web team is working “really hard” to implement formal release notes for updates to the various SL web services.
  • These will likely be in a similar format to the revamped server and viewer release notes, which can be reached via the recently implemented web-based Release Notes home page.
  • There is currently no date as to when this will be surfaced, but there are “a couple” web engineers working on this (when not working on more user-facing projects).

Marketplace, Search, Events

  • In-world purchase notifications for store owners:
    • As per my article on this, this system will be opt-in, initially on an entire store basis. It might be extended to individual items in the future, if feasible / if there is a demand for this.
    • The notification will provide details on item purchased, amount received and who made the purchase.
When released, the in-world purchase notifications option will appear in a re-named settings page (e-mail notifications)
  • Work is proceeding on Marketplace improvements beyond those mentioned, but LL is not yet in a position to state what the next updates for deployment might be.
  • Search is being worked on right across the SL web properties. This is liable to see improved filtering of searches and (particularly useful for Marketplace searches) the use of exclusions.
  • Work is proceeding with the overhaul of the events system. This comprises short-term updates that are being carried out alongside a much larger, long-term project to completely overhaul the events system.

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Bellisseria: of Trailers, Campers and trains in Second Life

An aerial view of some of the new Trailers and Campers units, showing how residents have taken to using the outdoor spaces they provide

On Monday, September 16th, the first batch of regions containing the much anticipated Linden Homes Trailers and Campers arrived in Bellisseria. While they took a while to set up, they were made available on Tuesday, September 17th – and were all gone within 24 hours, demonstrating their popularity with Premium users.

Given I’d only taken a quick look around in my preview piece First looks: Bellisseria trailer and camper homes, I hopped back on Thursday, September 19th to take a more detailed look on horseback and, for the fun of it.

Peeking inside an unoccupied Trailer Home

Travelling the regions via the many trails – grass and track – and by following the railway lines, the first things that struck me was the care with which the regions have been laid out – particularly the blending of landscape between the Trailer and Camper regions and those for the Traditional Homes and Houseboats. There are no unnatural boundaries of “empty space” as witnessed with the “old style” Linden Homes, or abrupt switching of one style of landscape and terrain for another. Instead, and has been demonstrated throughout Bellisseria’s development, everything flows naturally from the more “suburban” areas of the Traditional Homes and coastal buffers of Houseboats into the more open countryside environment of the Trailers and Campers.

This might seem an odd thing to point out, but it’s important as it demonstrates the commitment from LL’s Land Team to make Bellisseria a genuinely contiguous, natural environment where there is a sense of place, rather than just a conglomeration of houses lumped together. This helps to make Bellisseria somewhere people can live, breathe, share and joy, and have plenty of encouragement to explore and participate.

The new regions offer even more space and opportunities for horse riding

In keeping with this is the way the parcels for the camper vans and trailers have been set out; as with the homes and houseboats, these are not simply cookie-cutter arrangements stitched together into a simple patchwork; each region has been landscaped to provide a natural environment, with balance between protected land and camper / trailer parcels and finished with a sound scape that enhances the setting, while the trailers and campers have all been more-or-less individually placed so there is no sense of simple repetition across different regions.

Within the regions, there are also plenty of public spaces. The most obvious of these at the time of writing is the Campwich Lodge. But there are also assorted lakeside piers and decks, camp sites, and cabins (the Premium gift Winter Cabin re-purposed), scattered throughout the regions.

When is a trailer not a trailer? When it’s a home. The Williamsburg

Not all the units that have been claimed have been occupied – something that is true of the Traditional Homes and Houseboats – but those that have are being enthusiastically decorated in much the same way as the homes and houseboats were, with a lot of happy chatter on the various Bellisseria related in-world groups. It’ll be interesting to see when / if pictures of people labours start turning up in the forums, such as in the Linden Homes photo thread (although at 60-ish pages, perhaps a new thread is needed!).

During my ride / walk through the regions, I tried avoid nosing inside the trailers and campers (they people’s homes / alternate homes after all!), but as expected, much use is being made of the outside space with people setting down just about everything you can imagine that’s in keeping with the theme: hot tubs and home pools, decking and seating, awnings and tents, picnic spreads and barbecues and – yes – even pick-ups and 4x4s.

A Michie Marine DB101 pootles along the Bellisseria rail lines. The cabin in the right foreground is not a Linden Home style – it is the Premium Gift Winter Cabin, a number of which the moles have re-purposed as a public spaces in the regions

For train enthusiasts, the railway lines – although incomplete pending the arrival of further public regions (some of which are currently in development) –  offer a rez zone in the (at the time of writing) yet-to-be-named SSPE260 region. It’s seen a fair amount of use already, with a variety of trains from steam locos to electric train cars to trams appearing on the tracks. In particular, a lot of people have been picking up the Michie Marine DB101 “line security loco”, which is available for no charge on the Marketplace and using that to ride the rails.

As I’m not a major train enthusiast, I initially tried the Premium Gift rail handcar (circa 2012), but found this no longer wanted to function – so I grabbed a copy of the Michie Marine myself. A nice touch with it is that the drive is automatic; set it in motion and you’re free to appreciate the scenery; no need to keep a key pressed. I assume other rez zone will be added as the railway is extended, but given the location of the one at SSPE260, it’ll be interesting to see if a boat rezzing area will be provided on the waterway close by, as the region is built-out. Doing so would certainly make sense.

A Newport camper

And talking of waterways; one of the neat things for me personally is that given the location of my houseboat, it’s possible to cruise to Campwich Lodge by boat, making it an ideal place to visit by water whenever the mood takes. I’m far from alone in this – care has been taken to ensure that the lodge is well connected to many of Bellisseria’s bodies of water and waterways.

In terms of which design seems to be the most popular among those moving in to the new regions, I would suggest that overall, it would appear to be the Williamsburg. While by no means an accurate indicator of things, overflying the new regions did seem to reveal the distinctive split-level roof of that design appearing a lot more frequently overall than the other designs. By the same “standard”, it would appear the Newport – possibly the smallest of the designs available – is the least popular at this point in time.

Following one of the trailer back down to Campwich Lodge

Eyes will doubtless continue to be on the new Bellisseria regions for a while – particularly given work has already started on extending the railway lines into some of the surrounding regions. In the meantime, kudos once again to the Moles and the Land Team for their work.

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First looks: Bellisseria trailer and camper homes

The new Trailer and Camper regions arrive in Bellisseria – but are not currently available to users to claim, as more work in the regions is required

Monday, September 16th, 2019, marked the deployment of the first batch of trailer and camper regions to the Bellisseria, the Linden Homes continent.

First previewed at the SL16B celebrations in June (see: A Look at the Camper and Trailer Homes with Patch Linden), the trailers and campers have long been anticipated, and while the new regions are not quite ready for release to users, their arrival in the live version of Bellisseria means the availability of these new home types has moved a step closer. Further, the regions include a number of new facilities and features for the Bellisseria continent – including the much talked about railway system.

The new Trailers and Campers sit within parkland regions similar to those people may have visited during the SL16B celebrations in June 2019

As previously noted, the Campers and Trailers are provided in four styles apiece – the difference being that of size – the trailers are somewhat larger than the campers (or caravans, as we call them in Europe) – although both are being (initially, at least), made available on 512 sq metre parcels.

In keeping with the preview regions as SL16B, the trailers and campers are located in a park / wilderness setting, with plenty of hills, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, a forest and more. trails wind through the region, offering both a means to explore and a way for those who come to occupy the campers and trailers feel as if they are part of a community.

A view of the new lodge, one of the public spaces in the new Trailers and Campers regions for Bellisseria.

One of the new public areas is an impressive parkland lodge. It sits with its back to a sweeping curve of rocky hills down which waters tumble and bubble through a brook. Overlooking a decently-sized lake to the front, it has moorings extending out from one side. These demonstrate a lesson well-learnt from the early days of Bellisseria, as they include rez zones for boats.

Inside, the lodge offers plenty of interior space on the main floor, complete with a coffee bar. Above this are two galleried sitting spaces, while outside a large deck offers further seating. Behind the lodge, up on a shoulder of one of the hills sits a little railway stop serving the lodge. Those who prefer a more daring means to arrive at the lodge can always try the zipline close by!

Inside the lodge. Patch sits at the far end of the hall with Mystic Mole at the coffee bar on the right, enjoying a little peace and quiet before the inrush of local residents

I can’t see too much about the railway itself – Patch and the Moles were taking questions in the Lodge, but given the volume of people there, I opted to keep away. What I can say is the layout is extensive, forming an open-ended loop around a major part of the new regions that varies between single and double tracks.

The one train I managed to spot on the rails was – unsurprisingly – a steam loco. However, whether it was one of those intended to ply the tracks, or simply there as a test vehicle, I couldn’t honestly say (as I didn’t check ownership!).

One of the new train stations serving the new Bellisseria regions, with trailers visible in the background

It’s important to note that this is only the initial deployment of these regions – as noted above, the Trailers and Campers are not   – as of the time of writing – available to users. As to when the new parcels will be made available, it will be Really Very Soon Now™, with Patch Linden noting to me:

We’re working through all of our final tests, like any of the large scale releases we’ve done, we’re in that state of, it could be in an hour, it could be tomorrow, hard to say if something doesn’t pass, we’re delayed like a shuttle launch trying to lift off. xD

– Patch Linden, Monday, September 16th

As I understand it, the release cycle for these new parcels will be an initial large-scale release, similar to those first seen with the Traditional Homes and Houseboats. After these have occurred, releases for Trailers and Campers will be plugging-in to the Monday, Wednesday, Friday rolling release schedule that w’ve seen since June. All releases will be via the Linden Homes registration page.

Nor is this all – there are to be further types of home made available in the future – with the next promised to be previewed at the RFL Christmas Expo towards the end of the year (see: 2019 SL Christmas Expo registrations open with a special announcement).

With a much smaller footprint that the homes and houseboats so far released, the Trailer and Campers offer more outdoor space for use, even allowing for the 512 sq m size of their parcels

As I’ve previously noted, the Trailer and Campers offer considerably smaller interior living space than the Traditional Homes and Houseboats (hardly surprising, given they are trailers and campers!). However, this is compensated for by the amount of outdoor space available. Even when considering these are 512 sq m plots, it adds up to a far amount of room.

This space, coupled with the overall landscaping of the new regions could actually – and in difference to the doubts I expressed in June – potentially make these new Linden Homes offering potentially attractive (as witnessrd by the (premature) abandonments of homes and houseboats seen ahead of the region deployments).

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Tackling an Evening Star in Second Life

Playing with the Evening Star Linden Houseboat. Note the additional “window” towards the stern and the spiral stairs

My playing around with the Linden Home houseboats is something of a matter of record in this blog. I’ve previously written about the result of my fiddling with the Windless (see here and here), and the Barnacle (see here).  In all, I’ve come up with half-a-dozen different interior layouts for three of the available houseboat designs (including the Wallower).

But there is one I’ve tended to avoid: the Evening Star. There are several reasons for this: of all four designs, it perhaps has the smallest interior space (although this could be a toss-up with the Wallower); the use of ladders to reach the rooftop deck really doesn’t appeal (nor does the narrowness of the gap between the ladders and the lower deck railings).

The Evening Star interior can be divided into two and the upper skylight area converted into an upper “floor”

I’m also no fan of the way the majority of the windows are crowded towards one end, leaving the “skylight” area at the stern of the design to provide a glimpse of natural light. Even the skylight itself strikes me as a “wasted” (if possibly small) space, and like the Barnacle, the Evening Star has a curved wall that I’m not particularly fond of.

But, these are the things that niggled me: could something be done to overcome them? As it turned out, the answer is yes.

Despite its apparent small size, the raising ceiling area of the Evening Star can be converted into a reasonable bedroom, and a spiral staircase reduces the amount of floorspace a staircase might otherwise need

Take that skylight space, for example. Small it might be, but it only takes a few prims to create a suitable for on which a bedroom can be established. Further, said prims can be extended to provide a non-plank ceiling for the deck below, if needed, Add a suitable spiral staircase, and you have a compact way to get between the two “floors”.

The same design of spiral stairway (which I’ve previously used on one of my Windlass designs) solves the problem of avoiding the Evening Star’s ladders by adding a copy to the front of the houseboat, connecting the open upper deck space with the docks I slipped in at water level. A pair of Anywhere Doors (also used with the Windlass designs) solves the problem of accessing the upper deck from the bedroom.

The new “bedroom door” to the upper deck (a Curio Obscura Anywhere Door pairing) and a couple of additional prims to “fix” the truncated window.

One of handy things about these houseboat designs is that as unique as each of them might be, all of them naturally lend themselves to using similar components like this.

Take Blush Bravin’s Party Boat add-on, for example. Designed for the Barnacle, I’ve used elements with both the Windlass and the Wallower. And with the Evening Star, the “brick” panel allows me to overcome that curved wall at the rear of the lower deck, squaring things off nicely for the kitchen (a combination of items from [DDD] ~ Dysfunctionality and Trompe Loeil). The addition of a faux doorway against this wall adds the illusion of there being a bathroom at the back of the boat. The slatted room divider from Blush’s kit also allows me to split the lower deck into two without leaving it feeling totally closed off.

One of the faux windows showing the “blinds” drawn from the outside.

Even so, splitting things can leave the back of the boat feeling a little “dark”. So why not add a couple of faux windows? Just 4 LI apiece and with suitable internal / external textures, and that can be made to look (from the outside) as if the blinds are drawn, and from the inside, they offer “views” of the “sky”. OK, so the inner and outer appearances of the windows don’t actually match one another, nor do the “windows” actually admit light – but they do help give a sense of brightness to the back of the houseboat. A quick bit of scripting also means the “inside” sky images are automatically swapped with images of the drawn blinds during the local SL “night”, avoiding the “view” from them clashing with what can be seen outside!

Dividing the interior into two isn’t necessary, but for me, it makes things a little more cosy and offers distinct living spaces – lounge and kitchen / dining. However, given the sheer amount of glass at the front end of the Evening Star, it leaves a small problem of where to hang pictures. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to add a couple prim walls to block-in two of the windows – and these can run back toward the rear of the houseboat, covering both the wall panelling on the inside (which I mentioned I wasn’t too fond of) and the weird black semi-circle on the outer walls.

The Evening Star showing my mods (forward spiral stairs, upper side door to the new bedroom area, new side walls and “windows”), compared to the original look, inset.

I think it fair to say the Evening Star  – like the Wallower – surprised me. What at first seemed to be a potentially awkward living space with limited options, is actually pretty flexible and capable of being modified in a fairly low land impact: 82 LI including all the ceiling, walls, lighting, pictures, kitchen, kitchen fixings and docks for my boats and planes (of course, a custom vehicle rezzer for the latter finished things off 🙂 ).

I continue to be impressed with these Linden Homes and the sheer flexibility they can offer. Put it this way, I now have a different houseboat for each day of the week 🙂 .

 

A Look at the Camper and Trailer Homes with Patch Linden

The four styles of the upcoming Bellisseria Camper and Trailer homes initially unveiled at SL16B – additional styles were added to these on Monday, June 24th

Note: the Camper and Trailer Homes are still in development, as such details of the designs and the planned environments for them that will be developed in Bellisseria may differ with the designs and landscape seen in this article.

One of the things that may have caught some people by surprise at SL16B is the preview region featuring the upcoming Linden Camper (aka caravan) and Trailer Homes, planned as a future phase of the Linden Homes continent of Bellissera.

The Camper and Trailer type Linden Homes in the SL16B preview park

Deliberately unannounced, the inclusion of these homes at SL16B, sitting within a landscape park, was an idea put forward by Patch Linden, the Lab’s Director of Operations, and while we have been promised a near future release of homes that would be different to those that have thus far been made, the use of trailers / caravans as home is potentially novel enough to have caught many by surprise.

Given that Patch discussed the trailer style homes during his Meet the Lindens session on Monday 24th, I thought I’d take his comments concerning them from that event, and take a further look at this new type of Linden Home.

One of the trailer style homes unveiled at SL16B after Patch’s Meet the Lindens session

The first couple of points to note about these styles of Linden Home is that:

  • In all, there are 8 styles of camper and trailer home, four of which were initially  previewed at SL16B, with more added following Patch’s talk at SL16B.
  • They have been designed to fit both 512 sq m and 1024 sq m parcels, but will be initially offered with 512 sq m land.

This may seem an odd fit, given the first phases of houses within Bellisseria are provided with 1024 sq m parcels; however there is some logic behind the move. Not only do these trailer-style homes present a contrast, their use of 512 sq m of land means that those premium members who already have some of their “free” tier used for land can potentially obtain a property on Bellisseria without necessarily having to pay additional tier.

Another One of the trailer style homes unveiled at SL16B after Patch Linden’s Meet the Lindens session

There’s another aspect to this as well. While the Traditional houses and houseboats have proven popular, they are still nevertheless “enclosed” homes; they have walls, and even though the houses have yards / gardens and the houseboats can be moored in close proximity to one another, they still have a sense of “boundary” to them.

The new campers and trailers, however, are different. They are designed to be in open spaces and, given their smaller internal space, are liable to encourage people to spend time outside and to create outdoor spaces on their parcels in an environment that places neighbours relatively close to hand and without the same sense of intervening property boundaries.

So it might be that the Camper and Trailer type homes could encourage easier mixing and befriending and further develop a local community spirit among those occupying them. In keeping with this, Patch has indicated that when deployed, the Camper and Trailer regions will come with their own “large scale” community space intended to help encourage more community-developed events and activities.

The Camper and Trailer type homes preview region at SL16B

In terms of the release of the camper and trailer homes, and how it might fit with the announced new Linden Home release process (see Special: Patch Linden on the new Linden Homes release process) Patch had this to say:

The Campers and Trailers are going to come in a large release initially. We kind-of feel like rolling out that entire area, because it is a bit of a scenery change, a theme change and stuff like that. Thematically it doesn’t quite line up [with the current home types and styles], but it is designed to all blend together so you’ll transition from one area of the continent to another.

But as we go through that process, you’ll see a who bunch of regions get spun up, for those of you who keep an eye on these things … You’ll probably see the building versions of those regions come soon, and we’ll start building those out and then at some point we’ll have a really large release for those as well; and then those will enter that same process of this more frequent release cadence. And then we’ll be off to our next theme after that which – I’ll not really going to talk that much about!

– Patch Linden, SL16B, Monday, June 24th, 2019

A further variant of the trailer style homes unveiled at SL16B after Patch Linden’s Meet the Lindens session

All of which should be enough to pique the curiosity – but there is more! While he didn’t go into things too deeply, and although they are a little off-topic for this blog post, Patch did indicate that:

  • Small commercial opportunities may be coming to Bellisseria (although some had already guessed based on a development on the SSP prototype regions).
  • Trains will be playing a role in Bellisseria, and will apparently be “linked” to the SLRR.

Both of these are clearly topics for the future, although I’ll have a little more on them in my upcoming summary of Patch’s SL16B Meet the Lindens session.

In the meantime, there is current no date for the release for the Camper and Trailer type homes, although there will obviously be an announcement about them once the initial deployment is ready. So, those who are curious about them and perhaps haven’t seen them – and the response so far has been positive – should perhaps drop into SL16B Spellbound before July 8th, 2019, and take a look.

Special: Patch Linden on the new Linden Homes release process

The development of additional Bellisseria regions with houseboats and Traditional houses that people have been able to witness during May / June 2019 is part of a new approach the Lab is taking to releasing these Linden Homes, which comes into effect from Monday, June 24th

Update, June 25th: Patch’s forum post is now an official blog post.

Update: Patch has now issued a forum post on the new Linden Homes release process.

Since their launch in April 2019, the Linden Homes, available to Premium subscribers, have proven exceptionally popular. The first release of the houses – offered in two types: land-based “Traditional” homes and houseboats, each available in for styles – were snapped up in the first couple of days following their release, with the houseboats going within hours. Similarly, a special release of regions with houseboats was completely allocated in just 27 minutes.

For the last several weeks, the Linden Department of Public Works – LPDW – and the Lab’s Land Team have been work on a further development across a number of regions in Bellisseria, implementing new infrastructure as well as more Traditional homes and houseboats, all under the watchful eyes of curious residents. As Patch Linden, Senior Director of Operations Patch revealed on Monday, June 24th during his Meet the Lindens event, this open development of Bellisseria is part of a deliberate change in strategy.

Ahead of that event, I had the opportunity to hear from Patch on what would be happening:

We are going to try and change our release strategy for a little while to see if a particular process works better for everyone involved, including many of you who have been very patiently waiting for one of the new Linden Homes. Many of you have already been witness to the new process unfolding in front of you whether you knew it or not. 

Those regions that have been called out in various places such as. New Hamsterdam down to SSPE120 (soon to be officially named).  We did this for multiple reasons, mostly in an effort to show all of you the process we go through in real-time to make these beautiful new regions come to life, and give a glimpse into the time-line involved.

Another of the new Traditional houses being prepared

In particular, and starting with this development, the Lab will be increasing the cadence of Linden Home releases, as Patch went on to explain:

Starting Monday, June 24th we’re going to try to release a region’s worth of new Linden Homes on a regular cadence.  We’re aiming to try for a region per every other day, so Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but as we cannot control all the factors involved in the lengthy process, such as QA requirements, we may have some gaps which could last anywhere between a day to several days and especially on the weekends.

This means that development of Bellisseria is going to be on more of a rolling basis as individual region are readied, rather than large-scale releases with extended period between them. Nor will the roll-out be restricted to the current Traditional houses and houseboats; other types of Linden Homes will be made available, including the upcoming trailer-style homes, which will initially come in a larger release (I’ll have more on these in a follow-on post to this one).

And just as a reminder – the place to obtain one of the new homes as they are made available is via the Linden Homes registration page, not by queuing up inside Bellisseria (as has been done). Just check the page and look for Bellisseria in the drop-down list (arrowed below left), and the available house option(s) – Traditional house and / or Houseboat – and click on the image.

The new Linden Homes are available through the existing Linden Homes registration page – just make sure Bellisseria is selected in the Theme drop-down (arrowed) and select your choice of house or houseboat – not that only one or the other may be available at any given time, and that further type of home will be added to this page as they are released.

Nor is this all in terms of development. Again, as many have already seen, there is a new island development within the arms of Bellisseria. Marked by the continent’s second airstrip, this 2-region island is to be the Bellisseria Fairgrounds, with Patch explaining:

Our vision for this space is to grant communal access to an area that is clear and ready for set-up of an event.  We have supplied the outlying basic infrastructure which includes water taxi access to the main continent, an airstrip and landing pad.  We will have a scheduling calendar and process in place where the space can be reserved in advance.  The first events already in line for use of this space will be around the 4th of July holiday coming up.  More information to come about how the reservation process will work in the near future.

Currently in the centre of the new Bellisseria Fairgrounds island is a huge “Torley-fied” statue of Magellan Linden, the colours (and the flag he holds) presented in support of Pride Month.

Note that the Fairgrounds aren’t an amusement park (or similar) but are designed to be used for a wide range of events.

It’ll be interesting to see how things go with the new cadence of releases – and the order in which they are made; given the idea is to release on a region at a time, and given regions tend to be split between land houses and houseboats, will the releases alternate between the two, or will it be more a more orderly release, proceeding region-by region along and down through the developed regions before moving on to the next set that are developed? I suspect the former, a this would give more of a mix to things – but the next week or so will show!