Linden Labs Adds Adventure to SL 1.0 witih Paleoquest

Paleoquest, the new Linden Game opened yesterday.  See my report here. 

There is plenty of adventure to be had in the five area theme park where you can win prizes and earn lindens. This isn't a new folks game in the theme of the Realms; it takes both skill and wits to complete the quests.  I have to smile as I type those words; they reflect an assumption only since  Lani's skills weren't quite good enough to grab the golden mask from the nest in the premier challenge.

There are quite a few additions to this game that slow down adventurer's progress.  Making the long trek to the monorail stop is one. The monorail time schedule is another. Once you reach Quest One there are brief pauses while you wait for dangers to pass and it appears that the quest object will have a time period to appear once it is grabbed by a lucky gamer.

No matter how many hours you put in practicing, you can only pass one quest per week and quests must be passed before you can collect quest objects (in Quest One these are dinosaur eggs of various sizes). See the comment someone left on the review post (linked above). So The Lab is in some ways limiting  -- or actually slowing down -- the amount of money paid out. It was not clear from the literature if you could repeat the quests once you had completed them (note: yes weekly but you need to complete all five; so not clear in video :D ), of it would be like Linden Realms where once you get all the canons afiring, that part of the game is over.

This opening follows the rollout of the new inventory based marketplace model. That makes two BIG new additions to SL 1.0 in a week. Not bad, and a good sign that The Lab isn't forgetting about its flagship product.

That Cart Before the Horse Thing

The viewer managed marketplace migrated today. Happily after the last big marketplace change and subsequent outcry, The Lab in its wisdom decided to do the work for the merchants -- this time. Hopefully this went smoothly; I haven't really checked, but I sold about the normal amount of goods today so I am guess that I at least am good.

But, there is of course a "but". The new method has been put in use, but there is no official SL viewer with the ability to add new products, only a release candidate. Firestorm, leader of the third party viewers, announced that their devs are working to get the code integrated into their viewer, but you have to HAVE the code before you can integrate the code.

It looks like this new method may be a positive change. There are echos of the Kitely Market method which works nicely. But it SEEMS like it might have been a better move to have a (non-beta) viewer out and the code sent to developers to -- well develop, before switching over. As it is, some folks will be waiting awhile to add new products.

But after all it is mid summer -- and the living is lazy. 

That OTHER Grid - Well, Grids

I haven't written on this blog in ages simply because there doesn't seem to be much news about the new world. The official reports are repeats of earlier revelations - nothing more.

Select Alpha testing is supposed to begin in August last I heard. And as I dutifully checked for any news releases or even rumors about the as yet not officially named grid, I find that like me -- no ones knows much.

Interviews rehashing the same info really don't count.

And,  I am wondering if this no news policy is a good thing. Most of the folks that I know are in a 'ho hum - well we'll see when it happens' frame of mine. Originally that was supposed to be 2015 (for beta) with an all's hunky dory green light in 2016.  OK. We are a patient bunch.

We have our new mesh bodies (well lots of gals do anyway) and many bright and pretty shinnies to keep us enthralled. When there is NO news at all? People kinda tend to lose interest. I am not sure that is the best plan.

Originally we were told that our mesh would port over. Later we found out there will be a proprietary file format conversion AND a different type of 3D file. This isn't boding well for "instant gratification".

Meanwhile, SL is reportedly in " slow decline" (one site with statistics is Daniel Voyager's blog). According to the records, the downward trend is indeed gradual, but it is steadily downward and has been that way for a very long while. While the economy still seems to be strong, my mainland lots are almost completely surrounded by "maintenance land of Governor Linden". That makes for a nicer experience for ME, but tells a tale of the interest in land.

Long, long ago (maybe six years?) a friend of mine bought a couple of 512 lots on the mainland ocean. She paid 20,000 for one lot and 16,000 for the other. She sold them a few months later for a profit. I am currently renting a MUCH larger lot on the water in a lovely neighborhood with over 500 prims for basically a linden a prim per week. Things have definitely changed in the land department.

So does that mean that virtual reality is in a decline? 

Nope, it does not. OpenSim (a collection of grids based on the SL like experience) has doubled its size in the last year. Now OS is not for everyone. There are no mesh bodies (although I found a very nice mesh HEAD today on the Kitely Market). Content ranges from "the good old days" to some fairly nice items, but nothing like the top content creators in SL produce. SL is the King of Content; I doubt anyone would argue with that statement.

BUT, for folks wanting to party and visit and "play house or store owner", OS is a perfect match. There are plenty of free places to move into (I have a quarter sim in a very posh estate (16 sims) in Kitely -- gratis. I also have a full sim on the Great Canadian Grid ($5 - $10 a month depending when you purchased -- and there IS no purchase price, just tier).

So for artists especially who just want to create (no upload costs) OS is a perfect match. There are writer's groups and weekly get together tours. There is the ability to visit thousands of sims via the hypergrid (much like teleporting to another sim with a little bit of trickiness involved).

So you give up some of the pretties for almost free status. OS isn't quite as techie or smooth running. Not all SL scripts will work, sometimes there are "issues". But all in all it is MUCH like living in Second Life.

So as The Lab keeps quiet about what the future holds in regards to the new world, folks are moving to OpenSim. I know the newcomers are from SL and Inworldz because they are very  upfront about their history. Many are like kids in a candy store with the free uploads and almost free sim costs. They are having fun.

Not all will stay of course, but there is no doubt that OpenSim is growing (chart here).