Hugsies Blog!

March 6, 2010

FUD

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Hugsie @ 10:35 am

Fear, uncertainty, doubt.  That’s the sense I get hanging out at There.com during it’s final days online. Also add to that a lot of anger towards Micheal Wilson who honestly you can’t blame for the circumstances the service finds it self in.  Maybe if the user base wasn’t a majority of broke noob tweens, it wouldn’t be in this mess.

Unlike the US Government, which can continue to operate on bazillions of dollars of debt, and keep functioning; Micheal can not keep there.com afloat with bills piling up in the millions.  After all, he can’t print his own money like the US government can do.  And with the announcement of There.com closing on Tuesday, the money he could “print” (ThereBucks) is now completely worthless.

Lots of the more vocal people hanging out in There.com sure like to blow smoke up people’s asses, exaggerate things, say half truths about what has happened, act like they have inside information when it’s really just rumor.  The really sad thing I keep hearing often from Therians is how horrible, evil, perverted, low quality that Second Life is (among other MMOs, but SL gets all the attention now), when they probably never used it, and the constant misinformation they spew about it, and flat out lies.  The main one I keep hearing constantly is Linden Labs will also shut down Second Life in a couple years, just as there.com will.

What complete bullshit. They are only saying that in hysterical reaction to there.com’s closure. They are bitter, angry, and feel robbed and if apart of their own self is about to be killed, so it’s natural for this kind of knee-jerk reaction.  After all, it’s not like they have accrual proof, it’s just more rumor, and conjecture, plus they wouldn’t be saying this if There.com was not closing down.  The way Makena Technologies, and Linden Labs does business are VERY VERY different, even though they offer essentially the same product.  Just because one similar service goes under, doesn’t necessarily mean the others will follow suit.

Other things that simply annoy me is how others opinions about SL Vs. There are just utterly wrong with the facts. SL has a horrible inventory system? Really? Compared to what? You’re junk drawer in your kitchen with miscellaneous junk you don’t what they are for but don’t want to throw away?  Seriously, whenever there.com added new functions and features into the world, adding that into the UI was like an afterthought.  Tacked on at the end of the code base forcing you use an entirely different section of the UI to accually deal with those items that many levels deep in the menu system, and redundantly spread around all over the place.  Three different ways to interact with your buddy list.  A separate interface to change clothes, yet a different place to use props (drinks, etc), yet a completely OTHER (and the most horrid) way to deal with object to decorate your home/paz/zone.  And if you have a LOT of items it can be a fucking nightmare thumbing though your inventory.  “Favorite places” in yet a different part of the menus, where you again have to thumb though all your crap.  And if you want to organize it all, yet ANOTHER part of the UI you have to open up and mess with.   There.com wasn’t created with the idea of having a very large inventory.  In Second Life, everything you deal with is ALL IN ONE WINDOW.  You can organize it however you like, and DO that with in the SAME fucking window.  You can even open two separate inventory windows so you can view different folders and move/copy items around between them.  Brilliant!  The only thing that’s separate is your friends list which is integrated with IMs and local chat.   Sure this is a matter of opinion as to which UI is better, but COME ONE people this is a no brainier.

Most of the back talk for SL is out of total ignorance.  People complain (and I’ve heard this for longer than I’ve been a user of SL) is how the avatar animations are fake, stiff and robotic, and how you walk around with a virtual stick up your ass.  This is true, but they fail to realize that there are unlimited animations your avatar can DO, and replace defaults them with.  Unlike there.com where we had to wait FIVE FUCKING YEARS for a hugging emote, when users of SL had been able to CREATE their own animations and upload them to the service and use them!  Sure they may have clipped inside the body of the other avatar, or might look strange, but there’s thousands of animators on SL, creating their own animations.  It’s a free market, you’re not STUCK to just the handful of animations the system gives you by default.

Seriously people, it’s not the technical reasons why you don’t like Second Life, it’s the friends you made in There.com and you have no reason to start-over anew as a n00b again in a new MMO.  But get over it people, start using REAL LIFE and get in contact with your friends out side of there.com.  Email addresses, IM chat, phone #s, Skype, Twitter, Facebook/Myspace, something!  There’s a lot of talk of yet more RL There meetings being set up.

Just because There.com is shutting it’s doors doesn’t mean you all have to act like complete douche bags, uttering lies about other online services you’ve barely used, bitching and moaning on how you feel ripped off from the all the money you paid into it, and didn’t know how to earn that money back.  Don’t go to the feeding troff like a mindless sheep, and then complain that you’re being sacrificed like one.  You knew FULL well that am online service can go belly up in a moments notice, and you’re not entitled to SHIT. Please get over it, stop lamenting over your regrets, move allong, and let there.com pass on with SOME GRACE AND RESPECT.  And lets hope it ends in a real bang, and not a whimper.

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6 Comments »

  1. I’ve been thinking a lot about inventory for, well, quite a while, but especially lately. Please don’t take this as an “excuse” for There or SL’s inventory, I’m just giving my view of the problem.

    When I have time to write more about it, I will, but I’ll point out it’s not an easy problem to solve. The “Kitchen Sink” example is apt, but if you look at almost every other Virtual World, or even Game that has “Gear”, the problem exists.

    In almost all the cases I’ve seen : World of Warcraft to BioShock to Plant Vs Zombies, they solve it the same way we do in real life: You can only carry so much stuff, and they monetize the ability to carry more of it around. I’d love to see the reaction of a social MMO when they’re going to be charged to carry a larger inventory around.

    Think about it.

    In real life, do you have instant, categorized access to everything you own? Of course not!

    Even more tantalizing, you do have access in your minds eye to all your possessions, sorted and categorized by all kinds of criteria, some of it completely unfathomable to a computer ( “things which are kind of blue” ).

    So there is this tension between what you can do in real life (carry just a bit a stuff around) and what you can do in your mind, and expected There.com, Second Life, or Plants vs Zombies to do.

    I think there are solutions to this problem, and they’re going to be pretty exciting and cool to solve. I only wish we’d had time to do it. Who knows, we may yet get that chance.

    Comment by theremichaelwilson — March 6, 2010 @ 11:17 am

  2. One big issue, and this is a bit esoteric, is some of the items I got as a reward for leveling were for some reason not deletable (i.e. quest kits). And dealing with that just came across to me as There.com being poorly coded.

    I had to request for them to be deleted when in reality they weren’t. They were simply flagged so they wouldn’t appear in my inventory, but they would still “load up.” this is most evident when logging in and the lag would stall your inventory list to populate, and you see all these random unknown items in the root of “My Things” that would eventually disappear. Turns out to be those are the old Quest kit items I had request to delete, but was told they really couldn’t remove them. I don’t know if this still the case now, and the lag issues there.com has had isn’t so bad anymore, but I’m assuming because user base has shrunk in the last 4 years.

    So other than the UI standpoint in dealing with your “stuff” there was also this inherent technical problem with the database there.com had set up. You couldn’t even DELETE an avatar’s account since it could totally fuck up the rest of the database if said user owned any items that they sold, traded or gave away, or created any developer content, matter how minor it was.

    From my years of getting around on There.com, you could clearly see that there wasn’t much forethought taken with the database, nor the UI. It really came across as a clusterfuck Micheal.

    In your defense Micheal (not to change subjects here but I’ll swing back to inventory/database), I still think the auction system is the best there is in any MMO (as anyone who knows your history, you know your shit) and SL is just BARELY getting to the point even now, after 7-8 years supporting shopping on a website (XstreetSL which they acquired from a 3rd party, in Microsoft style).

    Though at the same time a lot of things I wanted to do in There.com with the items I created I didn’t think an “auction” was an appropriate thing to refer to is as when all i wanted to do was just SELL stuff, and not pay for an arm and a leg for items that didn’t sell well. And be able to give freebies with out going broke my self. Auctions should have been better suited for just reselling used stuff (which is what it was originally meant for)

    I know talking with Baloo over the years made me understand why you change a wholesale fee for for every copy of an item brought into world. But second Life doesn’t do this, and they aren’t going offline next week. A freebie IS a freebie and costs nothing to make copies. And I was wondering if There.com could have been better off if the costs to devs weren’t so much (or zero)? I mean were the fees really meant to cover costs to keep a file (redundant at that) sitting on a DB server, or a deterrent to keep the database from getting to large?

    Thanks for your reply Micheal, if you ever hear from Tom, send him a hug for me! 🙂

    Comment by hugsalot — March 6, 2010 @ 4:04 pm

  3. “You couldn’t even DELETE an avatar’s account since it could totally fuck up the rest of the database if said user owned any items that they sold, traded or gave away, or created any developer content, matter how minor it was.”

    Well, that’s not true, actually. There ARE problems with deleting avatar’s accounts, but this wasn’t one of them.

    You are right that the database was … problematic. It was developed in an uh…”distributed” fashion (a nice way of saying lots of people creating data, not always coordinated).

    I’ll write more about this at a later date probably in my blog. Lots to be learned there :-).

    Comment by Michael Wilson — March 6, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

    • Awesome.. lets hope other out there who want to develop another MMO can learn from the mistakes from the past (SL, there, Wow, TSO, etc).

      Blue Mars Listen UP bitches! (yes I’m on your beta it sucks so far!)

      Comment by hugsalot — March 6, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

  4. The problem is that the core architecture of SL was designed haphazardly. First, they wanted to make it as part of a 3d immersion rig which ran over price. Second, they wanted it to be an MMOFPS-like game (you can find videos of the first version of this called Lindenworld). And so on. Many mistakes piled up on each other to where they have to dig themselves (LL) out slowly. Some, like myself, are simply starting from square one and attempting redesigned alternatives. I won’t say SL is categorically bad, but it’s not been managed well compared to similarly complex online services like Digg or Twitter (which had similar rocky starts).

    Comment by Ankara Paravane — March 12, 2010 @ 11:03 pm

    • First of all, the topic is about why There.com failed, not Second Life. After all SL is still online, there.com went dark this past week. What did there.com do wrong? Whatever LL did back in the early stages is very moot now, since they obviously overcame that inital problem.

      Also comparing any MMO to Digg or Twitter is quite a stretch. There are similar logistics issues, sure… is it is with ANY network that has to constantly scale up, but when it comes to SL, There.com, and even WoW there’s more going on that needs to be dealt with, like issues with client software. It’s not like Digg or Twitter can push update fixes on people’s web browsers.

      Comment by hugsalot — March 13, 2010 @ 6:56 am


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