Oh dear frakking God LiLa, what have you gone and done this time?!
I attended an emergency town meeting in Caledon Oxbridge tonight, led by the Guvnah, Desmond Shang. He was not the only themed community leader in attendance however, as Mr NeoBokrug Elytis of the Wastelands was present, as well as many other concerned community leaders such as Miss Serra Anansi of Winterfell and other major estate managers. The issue? Linden Labs has changed their pricing for openspace void sim regions, effective January 1, citing "overload issues." Why is this a problem? We are talking about a 66% increase in the monthly fee for owners. You can read Tateru Nino's article about it HERE.
"Well, I'm not an openspace or void sim owner, why the hell should I care?" Well, you should. For example, Caledon consists of 20 void sims and 23 full sims. The Guvnah would not be able to continue to charge his current price but for so much longer before having to soon pass the costs onto the void sim owners. If the owners are unable or unwilling to pay more, and someone else does not assume it, then the cost will pass back to the Guvnah. The very nature of a community that you enjoy could be changed dramatically. It is not just big communities like Caledon that could be affected...we are talking about Antiquity, Winterfell, Wyre, Brythony, Lovelace, New Babbage, the Wastelands and many more. For smaller openspace sim owners, this increase could be even more devastating. Across the grid, there could be losses and perhaps a backfiring blow (yet again) to SL's economy across the grid.
Reacting in a knee-jerk "SCREW SL!" way isn't the answer right now. Be angry, fine and yes, but as we have seen in the past, our being ticked off at something they've done (gambling ban, SL5B, trademarks, land devaluation) hasn't made a damn difference, now has it? Things I think about it...call it "Elle's LiLa Conspiracy Theories" if you wish, whatever...
1. The "See, We Listen!": They usually create a $hit$torm and in the face of our going nuts in return, sometimes backpedal to what they wanted in the first place
2. The "Give Us What We Want": Tired of private estate owners charging out the wazoo for land? Here's newly released land and openspace sims just for you! Oh, don't worry about the fact that your land's not worth anything near what you paid for it now! Look! We have land!
3. The "Victims of Their Own Success": We released openspace sims just for you, but look at how much you all really really liked them! So much so that you're not buying regular sims or the spanking brand new land we created! And oh my...that's not quite what we intended them to be used for!
4. The "It's Not Me, It's You": Interesting how when things seem to go wrong, suddenly its the servers and the users that are overloading the system and are the problem. Like Oscar Rogers, the "financial analyst" on SNL, don't blame us...FIX IT!
The way I figure it, in the end we hate these kind of policies, but we really do like being here despite it all. Oh, my Las Olas home is a rental on an openspace sim. Am I screwed? Yup, probably, maybe. It's been quiet and wonderful and a perfect place for me in here. I love every moment I spend there inworld. I had no idea about the overload issue. I guess I'd better enjoy it while I can as either my tier will be increased (which I went through at my old land as a direct result of theory #3) or my estate manager's going to be like "No way!" I really hope LiLa comes up with a solution that takes its citizens into account. In the meantime, I'll wait and see. A lot can happen in two months.