LandBots Bought First Linden Land; Line Pockets

by prokofy on 29/01/07 at 9:49 am


By Prokofy Neva, Dept. of Virtual Estate

Try saying that headline really fast! But no matter how fast you move, you’ll never be able to control your reflexes as quickly as LandBot, who can purchase a parcel released to first land while your human eye is still slowly blinking.

Yes, you’re heard of CopyBot, CampBot, and SheepBot: now welcome LandBot into the pantheon of libsecondlife reverse-engineered features that are enhancing your Second Life *cough*.

It’s now been confirmed by multiple eyewitness reports (I’ve seen them myself) as well as a drama-laden Second Citizen confession, that bots — multiple alt accounts controlled by one person — are scouring the land of SL to buy up first or liquidated land and corner the market. The Lindens, as usual, are silent and have no comment. Resident Answers, that rump of the old LL forums, and many other blogs including the Herald are fretfully discussing the implications of shortages and land-swooping by baby barons for new people coming into Second Life who want land, as promised in their subscription. Are they to go on being deceived by exploiters?

This avatar landed hunched over with his feet pumping, along with others who didn’t talk and had no descriptions on their profile. He still hasn’t answered IMs.

Well, first a bit of perspective.

Elanthius Flagstaff, the bot-wrangler who confessed on the no-holds-barred noir netherlands of Second Citizen, only has a bit more than half a sim of tier to fill and trade, and with three million sign ups and now 55,000 land owners, he can’t be everywhere.

Genuine newbies still do buy and sell land the normal way, even though the system is now hopelessly gamed and broken. But you don’t go from 42,000 to 55,000 premium accounts in less than a month without many genuine, real newbies on their first land — or even skipping the step to buy larger amounts, even whole sims. Anecdotally, on the forums, we hear of dozens of vocal new residents who couldn’t find land and rightly feel cheated. They are only part of the picture, however.

Public Polls that I have set up at two newbie-spawning locations have this to report:


Do you plan to buy the Linden-subsidized first land?

Total Ballots: 73

32,No, I never plan to buy it.
13,Yes, and I live on it.
11,No, I skipped it and bought a larger size.
9,Yes, and I sold it already for over $5000
8,Yes, and I sold it for under $5000


Total Ballots: 9

4, Yes, and I live on it
2, Yes, and I sold it already for over $5000
1, Yes, and I sold it for under $5000
1, No, and I never plan to buy it
1, No, I skipped it and bought a larger size.

Attitudes toward land in Second Life are a function of culture, nationality, and religion just as much as attitudes toward the economy, sex, and free speech. That’s why some people think first land should endlessly be made available for free as a sandbox; others thing it should be rationed and only allowed to be sold to newbies; they are among those who wish to hector those who take more than one piece or who swoop in to buy from unsuspecting newbies; still others think it should be left alone and gamed or not gamed as insignificant; and some even think the entire system should be abolished as an unnecessary government subsidy that is preventing Linden Lab from becoming profitable.

Some people think “the community” should gang up and browbeat every “miscreant” who takes more than one premium account and links together his lands in a group with alts; some think that pressure, in the form of news coverage or forums condemnation, should be brought upon Second Life’s “land swoopers” to force them to restrain their ultra-free-market activities; and still others think that they should be able to show their ultimate absence of ethics and consideration for any kind of social mores by grabbing whatever there is to grab for themselves, because, as Elanthius put it,

The only people who lose out to bots are the ones who try to make money the old fashioned way. Smash those weaving looms as much as you like, it won’t stop progress. Face it. LL wants SL to be the new world wide web, how well do you think that is gonna work without bots?

Defiantly admitting that he had the bots (a bounty was offered to libsecondlife to create a program like CampBot able to be programmed to home in on inworld features), Elanthius basically lets us know, that like CopyBot or SheepBot (MultipleInstancesBot) before them, LandBot means that whoever can program the best and has the most resources of tier can basically take over the land market and deprive others of value. Elanthius imagines people will go on “buying land the normal way,” but of course he’s only looking at his measly half-tier trade. Once the big boys with hundreds of islands of tier arrange their bots, human virtual estate agents will be completely extinct.

What’s the solution, at least as far as first land is concerned?

I used to come up with all kinds of plans to try to solve this problem:

o Have auctions with sims containing first-land flagged parcels that would be maintained and watched by land barons to keep them looking better and to ban scammers; either offer the barons a 30-day delay on tier payments as incentive, or give the land for free on just parts of sims to avoid the ghetto-like atmosphere of sims devoted entirely to first land (as was done before 2006), with the ability of the buyer to toggle the flag or some similar configuration
o Have first-land sims where premium accounts automatically log in, already owner of a 512 parcel without having to hunt around, but have them turfed out after 30 days without the ability to sell the land
o Have land that can only sell to other designated newbies, though this would likely be gamed by families of alts.

There’s no good way to make immigrant and low-income housing work, as RL has shown us time and again using every conceivable theory from left to right.

Accordingly, I’m now coming around to the position that first *land* should be abolished in favour of first *tier* only. Each premium is allowed to keep his 512 m2 tier — people get confused between the land itself and the credit needed to use on it anyway — this removes that confusion for ever.

Armed with this free tier, which isn’t trivial (it costs a baron $1.50 US a month to maintain it in his portfolio even at the discount level), the newbie flies around looking at all the chopped up sims barons have to offer. Some barons will chop and leave and never turn back, with a slagheap of uglies behind them. Others will arrange first land into more coherent communities with public squares and mixed sizes and uses. Still others (I have already been doing this for two years) will offer membership in a land group and a free or discounted rental in exchange for the 512 donation).

Whatever the options, they will increase, and land dealers will be more incentivized to provide lower-cost and better-looking land to meet the demand coming in from those with land vouchers free to pick anything anywhere on the mainland grid.

A plan to increase tier to 1024 might even be considered for those accounts that remain in SL after 60 days or something, though that’s probably unrealistic as the Lindens need to get out of the land subsidy business.

Overnight, the legion of first-land bots, land-swoopers, unscrupulous dealers, and alt-gamers are eliminated. I personally don’t have the fastidious relationship to them that others do, merely because I recognize that if you have a socialist system of subsidies of this nature, it often leads to crime, and the answer then isn’t to punish the criminals who naturally appear to grab what’s put out for free or low-cost, but to rethink how the land is valued and issued and structure it differently.Bot4

24 Responses to “LandBots Bought First Linden Land; Line Pockets”

  1. Ian Betteridge

    Jan 29th, 2007

    “There’s no good way to make immigrant and low-income housing work, as RL has shown us time and again using every conceivable theory from left to right.”

    Real life doesn’t necessarily teach us lessons about virtual life. In our real world, the scarcity of land is very much real. In SL, it’s artficial, maintained mostly by Linden Lab’s bandwidth bills. Remove the artificial scarcity of land by opening up the server system to competition, *say* by open sourcing the server code, and things are very different. Of course, Prok, as this is something you’ve railed against elsewhere, I doubt you’ll see it.

  2. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 29th, 2007

    Real life contains plenty of lessons for SL, as the same, ordinary, fallible human beings are involved, despite everyone’s utopian views and their ability to run bots. Bandwidth bills and server costs don’t magically disappear from people who receive an open-sourced copy of the server code; they will still face such bills themselves, and we can’t know whether in fact LL will charge them a bundle to remain hooked up to the master world and its content. Devaluing land in this way without a plan to maintain the values of universality and the rule of law means the Balkanization of the Metaverse, not rogress.

    I don’t understand what I’m supposed to “see”; by “seeing” you mean “come around to your point of view and submit to my tribal authority”. As my blog copiously examines, there are many points of view on this and it is new territory. We don’t know how it will work, really. But human beings surprise you, you try to impose socialism and forced equalizing on them, and they always find a way to beat it and assign value to the money, goods, and land that the state tries to confiscate from them.

  3. hotlips Tornado

    Jan 29th, 2007

    “bots — multiple alt accounts controlled by one person — are scouring the land of SL to buy up first or liquidated land and corner the market”

    That’s not actually what it says in the Second Citizen “confession”. It says that bots controlled by Flagstaff are buying up land listed at below the average market price. It doesn’t say they’re buying First Land. The rest of the article doesn’t really hold together quite so well when one keeps this in mind.

    Presumably this bot technology is now available to anyone who’ll pay for it. So what we might see is an arms race in bots owned by different groups with increasingly sophisticated and speedy land purchasing abilities. They still have to sell it to someone to make money though. What are they going to do, sell it all to each other automatically?

    I can’t see how one can corner the market using technology that is open source.

  4. anonymous

    Jan 29th, 2007

    It’s very simple. Make first land unsaleable for 90 days and that will normalize the cost of ownership. The issue right now is the cost of a $10 account is out of balance with the value of the land offered (rough $25-30).

  5. Napalm Vernon

    Jan 29th, 2007

    Yes it is exploitation. The main reason I even bothered upgrading to a Premium account was to buy my First Land. Boy was I in for a rude awakening when I found out there is no First Land to buy. And that was not the attitude on the website that almost promises if you upgrade, you are elligable to purchase First Land… Where’s the land?

    I gave up looking for First Land months ago, settling with renting a fairly priced Condo somewhere with my Weekly Stipend.
    Which even there, $400 a week is rather shoddy for a $9.95 a month subcription fee. I mean I could have stuck with the basic account, and paid $10.00′s a month for Lindens, and recieved more than that. It makes me wonder why I even continue to pay for it. Where’s the benefit here?

    Still it pisses me off that the system LL have created is being gamed like this. And the Lindens just sit back and do nothing about it.

  6. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 29th, 2007

    I saw the bots arrive to buy first land, which they can do as easily as they buy low-priced land. All you need is a new premium account with the rights to purchase first-land. I saw lots of bots arrive with their legs walking in the air as bots always do — real people land and walk normally. They insttantly purchased the land, then stood around swaying like zombies for 30 minutes and didn’t talk or answer IMs. They continue not to answer IMs. They didn’t behave like real newbies.

    Whether first land or liquidated low-price land, it’s of no consequence, you can program a landbot to visit either.

    It’s very easy to corner the market using even open-source technology in this popstand. Of the 26,000 people who might really truly be online, even discounting for idling alts in camp chairs and bots, how many do you think are sophisticated and knowledgeable enough to get the bot technology, deploy it, and then also have the tier and ability to flip the land? Very view.

    As for resale, any first land or low priced land can be turned over for many times its value within minutes these days, watch the swooping that goes on. I’ve now attended about 3 swoop parties as I saw either Linden land being released or people fighting and selling 16m2 or whatever — it’s the same bunch who keep turning up from the same short list.

    In TSO, which had something like 50,000 people, there were only a few who programmed pizzabots who ran pizza or other job object joints to force the system to pay money out and then sold it on ebay. It only takes a few to do that sort of thing and ruin the economy for others.

    The idea that first land shouldn’t be sold for 90 days won’t work. All that will happen is that a market in options to buy in 90 days will develop. All socialism leads to crime. End the socialism, end the crime. Things that are in short supply, which cost money, must be placed on an open market where its real value is determined. If there is a wish to help newbies, giving them free tier to have an advantage competing in the market is is the viable option.

    Napalm, I’d have to point out that your $1600 Lindens a month, for which you are paying $9.95, could be purchased for only $5.92 on the open LindEx at today’s rates, $3.70/1000, or something close to that at any given time. So to go on paying $9.95 to get “1600 free Lindens” is absurd. Go and get 1600 Lindens for $5.92, or splurge, and buy 2000 Lindens and get a better condo.

    I can’t really feel terribly sorry for people who won’t buy Lindens. Lindens are cheap. For a mere $3.70 a month, you can have $1000 of them. And if your rental of $500 a week

    I would have to say, as someone who subsidizes condos and apartments, any condo charging $500 a week wouldn’t be breaking even, and able to pay its own tier to LL.

    There is no getting around the harsh reality of our world: tier, even at the discount level, costs $0.002960 per square meter in US dollars, no matter what the rate the Lindex. That means to offer someone a condo with 512 m2 of land to use, or 117 prims, costs a landowner $1.50 US per month.

    There is no way that he can charge anything less than $100 a week for any rental of a 512. That’s just the harsh reality of having to pay tier to LL. And if he only charges $100, he cannot expect to break even, because vacancies, and infrastructure, and services of explaining how to use land, etc. all cost money, too. Even if a landlord generously doesn’t bill for his time, he must, come hell or high water, get $100 out of every avatar using 512 m2 of his land every week — and preferably $300 to meet his other margins and costs — even if all he wants to do is break even.

  7. Cat Scratch

    Jan 29th, 2007

    Can the hypocrisy be any louder here? For someone who fakes the moral high ground and says they do not read much less post at Second Citizen anymore you sure look stupid for using it as a source in your half-assed and as usual not researched well article. If you are going to use something as a source learn to read it. For a real article about bots check out Pixeleen’s, at least she has a first hand source.

  8. Mako Mabellon

    Jan 29th, 2007

    Hmmm… this is interesting. While bots are faster than humans, they’re also much more stupid. As someone pointed out in the libsecondlife IRC channel, what happens when people start selling unmarketable land at below-average prices (but still more than it’s worth) in the hope of the bot snatching it up?

  9. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 29th, 2007

    Well, I have my own eyewitness experience inworld of seeing Elanthius Flagstaff arrive at a mistakenly lower-priced land that I had out for a second before redoing it, and I saw that he was automated, arriving way too soon, and not talking. And I have other bot eye-witness experiences, and the accounts of others. SC is merely where Elanthius published his confession in response to a human landswooper’s anguished complaint. There’s nothing wrong with a Herald journalist citing an odious source; W-hat and its movies and sites and all kinds of dreadful stuff is cited all the times because readers usually don’t like hearsay, and want a link to press on and see for themselves.

    What I have written about SC is that I don’t bother to read or post to it anymore. To me, reading it means going there daily or more than once a day and posting means seriously starting threads or making substantive comments. All I try to do now with SC is go there when someone points me to an attack on myself, and publish a rebuttal *shrugs*. If someone wants to be literalist and say that is “reading” and “posting” they’re welcome to; I call it “responding occasionally to attacks” and not giving the place credibility it doesn’t deserve.

    Cat Scratch, for real avatars who leave their Second Life names on articles of fact and opinion, see Pixeleen Mistral and Prokofy Neva, that will tell you what responsibility in a community is like. Scratch is not in the SL name list.

    I read Elanthius thread through and all its comments, as is obvious from my article. I don’t have to page through all the hundreds of pictures of dick bouquets made by the addled Mulch or pictures of Kendra’s boobs in order to get the point about land bots. Just like Pixeleen, I have witnessed the landbots now 3 times. At each time, I tried to get the avatars to talk, etc. You can’t always find their handlers. And Schnook claims he doesn’t send his bots out. So, now you have lots of information and sourcing, you’re welcome to go out hunting yourself.

    Mako, depending on whether the bot is manned by a person who decides that’s their niche, with their trading tier and their resources and their margins, that will likely happen. In fact, that’s how a lot of the PG land was likely snatched up by Rathe Underthorn, who appeared to be using some kind of exploit to arrive at land super-fast himself, often unseen.

  10. Eddy Stryker

    Jan 29th, 2007

    Yes that was me that made the coment in IRC :-) . You could have some fun discovering what the bot metrics are; before selling a parcel take a very shoddy part of it like 512m that is on a rocky sloped edge next to that annoying neighbor with the annoying billboards and chop it off and sell it slightly below market price for a good piece of land but way above value for what it is. Or what about selling a chunk out of the middle of your land and then ban everyone from your parcel?

  11. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 29th, 2007

    Why would you want to prank and harm your fellow libsecondlife group members that way, eh, Eddy?

  12. Cat Scratch

    Jan 29th, 2007

    Considering your stand is that anyone who is at SC is supporting griefers, your using it as a source and in that way promoting SC makes you a what?
    Hypocrite at best, griefer at worst?
    As for trying to find me in world over a blog post, you can add stalker too.
    This is fun applying Prokofy logic.

  13. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 29th, 2007

    But any one who regularly hangs out and supports SC *is* helping griefers. When a journalist uses an item as a source, that doesn’t constitute endorsement. It merely helps the reader to make up his own mind with as much information as possible. Journalists are forced to cite terrorists’ manifestos; diaries like the Unabomber; sources like the National Security Council or Enron or whatever, and any or all of these things may be involved in crime, and any or all of them may be impugned as to their crediblity. But they cite them not out of “hypocrisy” but out of a desire to let the reader determine for himself, seeing all the known evidence.

    Do kids learn the Socratic method anymore? Are they able to understand these subtleties involved in understanding how critical media works, how different sources are cited or used? How information versus propaganda works? What critical judgement means?

    Or do they imagine the whole world to be like their WoW quest posse, where you are either with the tribe and sharing its information and its peculiar take on everything, or you are against it? A little education and a little knowledge amplified on the Internet are a dangerous thing; people take things so flat-out literally and with such malicious narrow construction that you cannot site a bot-handlers “true confession” without being accused of hypocrisy. I have no hypocristy regarding Second Life. It’s filled with griefers, no-lifers, scammers and liars. We can’t even be sure if any of what is cited is true. The reader is welcome to see for themselves *shrugs*.

    Unlike the gleefully malicious Cat Scratch, I can’t say exposing people’s lack of education, criticial skills, and ability to understand nuances is “fun”. It’s more like a job that has to be done in the hopes of saving other young minds reading this.

  14. Ian Betteridge

    Jan 29th, 2007

    “Real life contains plenty of lessons for SL”

    Which, of course, doesn’t contradict what I said. But then, reading comments accurately has never been your forte.

    “Devaluing land in this way without a plan to maintain the values of universality and the rule of law means the Balkanization of the Metaverse, not rogress.[sic]”

    Which values of universality? The “universality” that says that only those with significant amounts of cash may own a sim? You’re simply attempting to preserve scarcity of land because it suits your finances, Prokofy. You’re demanding that LL maintain the status quo in order to benefit yourself, and trying to plant as may scare stories as you can get away with in order to do so. The completely baseless rumour you’re trying to get away with over on your blog – that LL “are likely to have to wipe the servers” – is an example of this. It’s ironic that you, the arch anti-bolshevik, adopts the same tactics as the Bolsheviks did: lies, repeated often enough, in the attempt to make them accepted as truth.

  15. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 29th, 2007

    It’s not February yet, Ian.

    And I don’t have some monster stake in SL, I just run a dinky rentals business pretty much on the mainland. It may be the best-known or even largest one, but it’s not the most expensive or the most lucrative, in fact, it’s a lot of low-cost stuff, so by contrast with SmugBurghers which makes like $2000 take-home US a month, I’m a sideshow.

    I don’t need to preserve scarcity of land; it’s a pet rock in the sky in which the Lindens said one thing, did another, described it as yet another thing. I’m just following it, and I hope to get away without losing my shirt. What have YOU done for Second Life?

    I think if you pay for something that sounds like it’s a server, when they wipe it or close it or finish with it they should have a way of leaving you wish something. I mean, when I buy a computer in real life, I get a computer. It might break down after two years but I can replace its parts, etc.

    Universality means the rule of law. Under the rule of law, you might have some worlds that will be more socialist, some more capitalist, but whatever the system, something will be valued, either sheer power over other people (something that seems YOUR personal favourite, Ian) or land (my own personal favourite because it’s the most neutral and tradeable and measurable inworld) and creativity (what Aimee and co. value because they get paid more for it and can take it to other worlds when this one is done).

    Wikipedia isn’t the best source on this, by a long shot, but since it’s about your speed, let me quote it:

    “Universality is opposed to relativism in philosophy. Truth may be said to be universal, as well as rights, for example in natural rights or in the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, heavily influenced by the philosophy of the Enlightenment and its conception of a human nature. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights is inspired by the same principles. A proposition is said to have universality if it can be conceived as being true in all possible contexts without creating a contradiction. Some philosophers have referred to such propositions as universalizable. Truth is considered to be universal if it is valid in all times and places. In this case, it is seen as eternal or as absolute. The relativist conception denies the existence of universal truths – although they are, of course, grades of relativism: most relativists deny the existence of universal moral values, which make them moral relativists, but few deny the existence of universal truths when mathematics are concerned. In other words, since truth has various domains of application, relativism does not necessarily apply to all of them.”

    The Lindens *are* likely to have to wipe the servers. Haven’t you ever been in a game beta? They wipe the servers when they are done with the beta phase because that’s just how it is done. They do that everywhere. In TSO, in ATID — all the games. What, you thought *this* game, which is probably in the world’s longest game beta, is going to be different?

    Do you actually think that IBM or Sony or Google will volunteer to pick up the asset server and its code and all our inventories just like that lol? Of course not. It will either cost a bundle to port, or they’ll say, look, you can have double the land on our new Eightbarshire or Sonyland or Googlestan, but you have to come clean.

    I’m just going by my own experience with games and worlds and such. You always have to leave stuff. Like, going from TSO, I sold my sim on ebay for $158 US. He had all the rares and was maxed out on all skills 10 points, plus he had a Simmy as a founder, so I think that was a good price. Historically, I was among the last years of people able to sell game loot on ebay, they’re now outlawing it.

    So Pierre Omidyaar, the ebay guy and investor in SL, won’t allow us to sell our SL game loot on his ebay as SL folds or changes — probably a shrewd move on his part, given everything.

    Ian, I’ll thank you to leave this shrill, hysterical, snide stuff back at home on your bog. Try to discuss ideas, and stop it with the personal attacks.

  16. Ian Betteridge

    Jan 29th, 2007

    Amazing – but entirely predictable – that you make an appeal for a lack of personal attacks in a post filled with your usual snide “it’s about your speed” style comments. And typical too that you talk about SL as “only a game” when it suits you, then demand real-world land rights over the virtual pixels. Remeber talking over at Terra Nova about how SL was “a world, not a game”?

    As for “shrill and hysterical”: Accusing people who diagree with you of being fascists is pretty much the dictionary definition of both of those.

    You simply have no evidence that Linden in any way plans to wipe the servers. It goes against every public pronouncement anyone has made. In other words, as so often, you’re simply making shit up for effect. You got caught doing it before, but that wasn’t enough of a lesson for you.

  17. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 29th, 2007

    Ian, your troll slip is showing! I don’t say stuff like “about your speed” until *after* I’ve been pissed on about 12 times by people like you. So suck it up. There’s no “post filled with personal attacks”; there’s pushing back at your long, many-weeked history of personal attacks *shrugs*.

    I haven’t “made shit up”. I’ve speculated that they may, like every beta game before them, have to wipe the servers. Or that people who “host their own” will be in the wilderness, not connected to anything at all because it will be just too damn hard or expensive. This is *eminently* reasonable. It’s not anything to get “caught” about; I stand by the right to speculate. YOU are the one putting out statements as fact. Go back to Karl Popper. He stands by the right to make an unsupportable thesis as the bedrock of an open society. This is unknown territory. We get to think about it, speculate about it, posit things, try ideas out, and we don’t have to “shut the fuck up” or listen to rigidly hysterical orthodox priests of the Internet like yourself.

    It’s fascistic to insist on your ideologies as being “the right way”. I don’t do that about my ideologies; I merely uphold them and argue them. What DO you stand for, Ian, other than a tilter at windmills?

  18. Ian Betteridge

    Jan 29th, 2007

    So over here you’re saying that they “may” have to wipe the servers, while over on your own blog you’re saying they “are likely to” wipe the servers. Which is it?

    “I don’t say stuff like “about your speed” until *after* I’ve been pissed on about 12 times by people like you.”

    Actually, the first comment you ever made to me back in the mists of time was to accuse me of attempting to trick you when I asked you to clarify one point of your position. Your natural form of defence is attack, and anyone reading back into your history will come that conclusion.

    I’d suggest you go back to Popper, too, my dear. He would tell you that what *I* stand for makes no difference to whether *your* position is justifiable. He’d also tell you to cut the ad hominems and stop trying to evade questions. Karl, you see, was a proper thinker, not someone obsessed with “winning” the argument to the extent that they’ll spread baseless lies about a person.

    “I don’t do that about my ideologies; I merely uphold them and argue them.”

    No Prokofy. Making stuff up – as you did with Electric Sheep’s so-called “involvement” with copybot and as you are doing here – is not “upholding” your ideology. Unless, of course, your ideology is built on lies.

  19. Frankie Antonioni

    Jan 29th, 2007

    Well I only have a basic account, but I will upgrade when SL starts issuing more land. Here’s what I think that SL should do, if somebody becomes a premium member, and pays 512 ld, then they should be able to get 512 sq meters od unzoned land. Sl would then make alot more money that way, plus you would’t have problems with land bots.

    Now if you want more than 512 sq. meters of land, or you want land that is zoned, then you would have to find somebody with more land to sale, or find a land baron.

  20. Mako Mabellon

    Jan 29th, 2007

    The Lindens *are* likely to have to wipe the servers. Haven’t you ever been in a game beta? They wipe the servers when they are done with the beta phase because that’s just how it is done. They do that everywhere. In TSO, in ATID — all the games. What, you thought *this* game, which is probably in the world’s longest game beta, is going to be different?

    Second Life isn’t an ordinary MMORPG. I reckon a lot of its value is in all the user-created content, the community of existing users, and the fact that they got here first. You’re essentially suggesting that they should throw it all away because “that’s how it’s done in ordinary MMORPG betas” – whose value lies in their ability to get as many people to spend as many lovely, fee-paying months grinding, levelling up and improving their equipment as possible. It makes no sense.

    (Besides, Second Life isn’t officially beta software anymore, and I’m sure I’ve read something about them already having done one content wipe at the end of alpha testing – which does make sense.)

  21. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 29th, 2007

    Yes, I realize it’s “not-a-game”. I just think it’s worth keeping in perspective. If an bought it out, they may think of it as beta. And people may get to keep their inventories, but not things put out on servers.

    They do often feel like they are in beta. I think we have to ask the question: will they save everything? What prevents them from saving everything? What prevents whoever buys it as software and a customer list from also ponying up to preserve all the content?

  22. Overcast

    Jan 30th, 2007

    I’m a newb – and do plan on buying some land. Thanks for the article, it was a good read.

    Wouldn’t it be as simple as to limit the number of parcels of land that could be owned by each credit card number?

    I mean – sure, if you have 2000 Credit Cards, you could own a lot of land – of course, each extra number is extra risk for the holder, with Real life fraud and all.

    You couldn’t limit by IP – in the case of say, a College… Or by account, they could just make more – easy. But Credit Card number… hmm, or perhaps EVEN better – billing address?

    Afterall – how many ‘regions’ could one actually ‘play’ before the point it’s just hoarding land.

    But I guess i’ts a risk – I mean seriously, buy all the land you want – you best just *hope* someone buys it back, or you’re stuck with it. Perhaps, instead of paying extra for land each month, I’ll just buy Lindens. I could have plenty of fun without even one square meter of land.

  23. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 30th, 2007

    Overcast, it used to be run that way. Each person was limited to 5 accounts only, per family, I believe it was done per credit card. If you tried to take a separate credit card to sign up, they would prevent you, they had the staff and time to follow things like that years ago.

    Today, they don’t. And they only want to show numbers now. They don’t want any friction at all to come between someone wishing to add to their illustratious numbers, and a little thing like exploitation.

    They also couldn’t limit the number of parcels or meters in a free market, where their business model depends on them./

  24. Anonymous

    Feb 3rd, 2007

    If we dont want LandBots buying land and ripping off people, we should just put the price of the land in the name, and have the person send an IM. give them 24 hrs to claim the land that is set to sell to them only and it will end. LandBot Quit!

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