Stream of Consciousness … Its been a while

So, the last post went over so well its been almost nine months, the number of times I had a perfect rant to put on here during that time, could fill an advent calendar! However, I either lost motivation, or got busy with something else. But, for the few of you who do read this part of the blog, buckle up, I am going to try to cover a lot of ground …

So, first off lets talk about the state of the sim / game. If you spend any time on the sim, you’ll notice things have definitely been slower this year. I try not to worry about this too much, and I can hear your little fingers starting to respond ‘its slow all over SL , ect ect’ and while that is partially true, we only have influence over what we control, I don’t control the rest of SL, only my sim /game.  Some of the reasons things are slow, as pretty simple and clear, others less so. I know, that partly, I’ve lost some of the passion for the game. Not as a whole, but for much of my online time, I feel like I’m working, not playing (more on this later).  Also, possibly related, I just, can’t bring myself to ‘run’ events.  I’ve spoken about this before, but, to restate, the need to run events , and schedule RP so people show up vexes me, it vexes me and I can not abide by it. Yes, it helps drive traffic, during said event, but as I watch other sims do it,  I see clearly, that it does not translate into any lasting story elements being played out, outside of said events. I strongly feel, events drive the worst aspects of the ‘entertain me’ playership on SL, and while we hold social events, like the moots, and the winter ball, I am loath to set up Missions like Stirling Prime, mostly because, they are a huge amount of cost and effort for us to put on, that get great participation, but have no follow up. Who has asked about sterling prime since we ran it last year?  Even though we wove the end game of that story into the founding of Dokk Refurinn, there is no follow up by players at all. I’ve found that is pretty common on SL, events, in general, as seem as one time stand off not connected things that happen, much to the detriment of the RP community and story, the game has no, persistence, no consequences , no growth. and things only happen because they are ‘cool’ or ‘fun’ at the time they are happening, and the outcome has no bearing on the future of the characters, nor does anything that has happened before, have any bearing on the current ‘scene’.  It vexes me…

Ok, so,  be warned, tangents are going to be abound in this post. To circle back, the sim has been slow, though traffic is steady between 2500 and 3500 most days, the story has been very light this year, pick up rp has been slow, story development, slow, .. overall did I mention its been slow? What hasn’t been slow has been the rentals, we’ve actually been very steady, and slowly growing in rentals and rental revenue. My goal has always been to offer half the sim resources to renting, and attempt to collect half the sim land cost as rent, this averages to about $42000 L a month. ($145 USD), We’ve hit or exceeded the goal the last several months, and I’ve been able to invest the difference into new items for the sim.  As always, as the owner, and one who gets all the privileges (and headaches) of being the head cheese, I happily pay the other half of the land tier.  Unlike so many owners, I don’t’ feel as if you all owe me , and that you should all pay the full price of keeping the sim open.

Performance wise, the sim is also doing well. As many of you know, we’ve been working to keep prim litter down, and to keep the server running swiftly. Part of this is script reduction, and I thank everyone who has made build sacrifices to remove wanted items, that may have been script heavy. I encourage you to use them, but put them away after , so as not to bog down the regions script performance.

Now,  some more observations about SL, from the eyes of a Sim owner, and sometimes player.  If you listen to our group chat, which I used to insist was RP only, but now, I ‘ve embraced as the ‘across the table’ ooc chat that makes gaming actually fun and not a overtly serious drain, you’ll hear a lot of my WTF rants already. But, if you’ve missed some of them, or want to hear some more, well read on.

First off, WTF is with people who TP onto the sim, get greeted both in IM oocly, and in Main chat ICly,   never reply and just walk off to ‘explore’ spend a few min on sim, then TP out? I mean seriously,  is it Second ‘Get” a Life?  People its a social media platform, lets try to be, I don’t know, social?  I joke, but really,  its getting worse, far worse, in the last year or so. I can go a whole day, twelve to fifteen hours standing at the gate landing point, greeting people as they arrive, and have ,  90% of them completely ignore me. I’ve even chased people around the sim, trying to talk to them, and .. .nada.  On the same note, are avatars that are six or seven years old, who do the same thing. Really are you THAT cool that you ignore people? No wonder why your always searching the grid for something to do, the problem isn’t other people, its YOU.

On a related, note, is the rise of the ‘been there, done that almost Hipster’ Avatar. Again they are 6 or 7 years old, the ‘used’ to own a ‘very popular’ sim, and have a résumé of being an experienced player in their picks. They of course, only give you a few one word answers, to your attempts to greet them or rp with them, but they will be happy, on their first visit, within 5 minuets, tell you all the things your doing wrong, and how they would run your sim for you.  They also TP out, usually never to return, after 10 min or so.

Who else, who else, … lets see, the Prim Plunderer, this is the old avatar, at least four years, but up to say .. seven , who comes on sim, and Rezzes a 650 prim ship. We didnt’ get a lot of these for the longest time, because after the last batch of issues, I dropped the auto return to less than an hour and they just stopped showing up. They must, always be hunting for sims though, because it only took a week of having the auto return turned up to ten hours (changed it to support a RP for a group we hosted for), that they seemed to find us.  Two, in Two days, rezing massive ships and hovering them right over the main outpost. Hey, Prim plunderer, way to try to get something for nothing. These are not people who don’t know any better, new players to SL, these are people who are too cheap to rent, but want all the other renters, and the sim owner, to pay LL for them, so they can have places to rez their ships and fly around like ‘the man’ in a huge laggy ship. Yhea, not on our sim.  Of course, you want to try to just ask them to remove it, cuase you know, we have rules, you know, that are clearly posted, both about rezing items and limits, and about rezing large items close to the ground (causes lag), but hey your tool cool to read the rules anyways right, thus, Prim Plunderer, … here’s your card.

On a related note, I seem to spend a lot, and  mean a lot of time trying to explain the economics and realities of SL to players who are five and six years into the game. .. Really? Its funny how people will drop $10.000 L on a ship or other time, buying it from a content creator (or more likely now an content uploader who ripped it from a video game, or off of blender), but they will not pay the land owner even $1 L to rez and use that ship in world. The funny thing is, besides the initial investment in time, and the creative energy a content creator invests, they have very, very little overhead to cover in SL. If the don’t rent a shop in world, most of their overhead is covered by the fee that LL applies to marketplace transactions.  The land owner however, has HUGE overhead, to the tune of $295 USD a month (after a $1000 initial investment), that fee is due every month, wither you had a good month, or a bad month.  With out the sims to play on, you might as well not have a 650 prim ship, good luck rezzing that on mainland.  But the same person who will drop money on the ship, will bitch and whine, and complain to the sim owner, who asks them to RESTAIN themselves from using it. I do try, try not to tell them to go fuck themselves I swear, but often they make it so, so hard.  I try to explain, the economics, and that if we allowed everyone to rez the big prim ships ‘ only when they were here’ that there would really be little incentive for people to rent space to rez ships, and that by allowing them to do so for free, I’m really stealing the value of having that privilege from the renters who are paying. This conversation usually ends with me being called a ‘money hungry bitch’ and then me applying the return all prims and remove avatar from sim via the boot method of conflict resolution.  I know you just laughed, and I did too, but seriously, it happens weekly , sometimes nightly, and its a drain, on my enjoyment of SL.

What’s next?  How about a plague, or an invasion, .. yes those seem to be the recurring stories people try to bring to scifi sims. God, really, please, another one, its been so over done. When I hear of a sim doing this story, or when someone tires to ‘bring’ this story to our sim, I die a little inside my RP self.  Seriously, this kind of space opera is very difficult to do, often needs a light touch, and requires trust and cooperation, things that are in very short supply on SL.  When these stories are ment to cross sims and groups, its even harder to do, and less likely to succeed (see previous post on this).  I’d love to see more, smaller stories, about the characters, not about fleets of ships, or world changing events.  I have spoken a lot about what I consider makes good story, and I strongly feel, that people confuse ‘back story’ with story. Story is what your doing, and what we are in the process of telling, the back story , is just a tool to help develop or move the plot along.  I’ve spoken on Pixar’s rules for story telling,  a highly recommended read, just google it. I’ve also referred to how ‘classic’ stories are told. Look at star wars, a scifi classic. Sure its set in a rich , huge back story, but the story we’re watching isn’t about the big things happening, its about how the characters live though it. There is a distinction there, subtle to some, not so subtle to others. In any case, too often , the story being told is the ‘grand space opera’ what I refer to as the ‘visual effects scenes’, all the parts that lead up to that though, are what make the story interesting, and in the SL rp, its lacking.

Speaking of the Visual Effects, honestly, can we talk about how SL is becoming the movie version of your favorite book?  Looks great, but isn’t as good. I mean, as far as RP content goes, I’m feeling, that there is more substance to RP outside of the prim world of SL, than on it. Rather than the prims and scripts enhancing the RP experience, they take it over. people want the prims or scripts to do all the story telling for them, to have a script set their limits, rather than Playing out realistic limitations. They focus on how ‘beautiful’ a sim is (and ours is) but ignore the people standing there talking to them (see above). They can’t grasp the concept of NPCs , even prim NPCs,  ignoring the presence of a busy marketplace.  More and more, SL becomes that Visual Effect laden ‘b’ movie of online RP, visually satisfying, but hollow and empty. Which is sad, really, because the potential is there, the potential to bring to life visually some of which lies in your imagination. But instead of people using the prims and scripts to set their imagination free, they become trapped by the limitations of prims, and mesh and scripts, bound to them.

Ok, .. so some other observations .. I saw this on a profile and thought it was both funny and true:

1) “I’m here to have fun”  =  tries to have sex with every girl he/she sees.
2) “I’m open minded”  =   tries to have sex with every transsexual girl he/she sees.
3) “Curious”  =  likes to suck cock
4) “No men”  =  is a man
5) “I’m a dominant guy”  =  puts this in there because he’s scared you’ll figure out he’s a sub
6) “Real life BDSM Experience”  =  doesn’t have enough SL BDSM experience to know why that doesn’t mean much.
7) “Mess with <soandso> and I’ll kill you!”  =  lives in his or her mom’s basement
8) “IM me if you want to be my sub”  =  I’m too chicken to actually approach girls/guys.
9) “I’m a bitch”  = I ‘m actually really insecure
10) “IM me because I don’t follow chat”  = males cant do two things at same time  😉
11) “I hate drama” = I’m usually the one causing it.
12)  am faithful only to my master/mistress/treefrog = if you’re discreet I will fuck your brains out because sl isn’t real for me and I’m a total cuckold maker.
yes i have copy it from another profile

On the same profile, was this blurb about Dr Who players:
So I’ve had it up to *here* with everyone who sees 2 episodes of Dr Who, drops a couple thousand Lindens on a “tardis” and then expects everyone to kiss their RPing asses because now they’re a “time lord”.  Oh, great, *another* one.
Dr Who… good TV show, lousy RP idea.
Do us a favor, play a *Romulan* or something. Breathe a little life into a character that might actually have to be careful what s/he’s doing or risk being killed or captured.
And delete that stupid “sonic can opener” or whatever the hell it is.  Thanks.

I must say,  I see many ‘Time Lords” and well, its so true of most of them. It is almost always an excuse to godmod all over the other players. Again its RP with no depth to it.

Oh, and Para Rpers, I have been one, I admire some of their writing styles, but I found this on another profile and I must say I rather agree:

“any people will tell you Paragraph RP is the only way to RP but I disagree. The main reason I disagree is first people don’t talk to each other in real life with paragraphs. They talk freely in one or two sentences not lecturing to each other.  The second reason is almost everyone I’ve seen Paragraph RP reverts to sending their thoughts as if everyone around can read minds and many abuse this trying to lead others to follow these thoughts to dictate expected behaviors. The last reason is it just slows down RP to a crawl and many just don’t have the time online so they have to choose their one liner RP or that of the Paragraph roleplayers. Para RP isn’t bad if someone is a fast typist and knows how to emote a scene.”

I keep the bay open to all forms or rpers that are not so extreme, that they make the place unwelcome for other players.  Para players are always welcome, they just have to understand, that just because it is their style, doesn’t mean that everyone else on sim has to stop, and change how they are playing to suit them.  It makes things difficult I know, but a little compromise goes a long way.

So, who else can I offend, ahh .. meters!  Yes SAGA is all the rage in the SciFi RP circles, I won’t be ‘adopting’ it for Botany Bay.  As with Para RP, meter players are welcome to play at the sim, as long as they don’t become so intrusive with their meter that they make it difficult of others to enjoy the sim, either by resource hogging, or meter play disrupting other not using the meter.  I make no apologies, I personally Hate meters, to me, they do not enhance my RP, they are a distraction at best, a poor man’s MMO. If you want to level up, or have to buy food or lie in a bed to ‘heal’ then go play a MMO, they are well coded and go though tons of play test to balance out the game, SL meters are not, and do not, and they are ripe and riff with bugs that allow players to play the meter and not the game. And in my experience, that is exactly what happens, people play the meter, they are busy looking for scripted beds to lie in to ‘heal’ rather than RPing and engaging other players in RP to find a medic to treat their wounds. They are ‘eating’ scripted food for health, rather than going to a RP run diner, to RP with other Players, to get a meal. Meters are a distraction as far as I am concerned, but I know people enjoy them, and I like people to get enjoyment out of SL where they can.

Remember though, your ‘rights’ end where another’s begins, and in the end, as its my sim, I’m the deciding factor on where that line is.  This isn’t directed at meter players, just in general. I do try to be fair when I am making decisions or adjudicating disagreements, but I do have my own agenda, and there will be times, where I make the decision I feel isn’t the fairest, but is the best for where I see is best for the sim, and honestly, my rather large investment in it (time and money).  And I do try to be fair in things, as hell, its a game, its should be fun people.

Speaking of fun, and well, rubbing all our player base wrong, lets talk ‘adult’ play, sex, bsdm, yes master, no master RP.  Ok,  lets just toss this out there, its all over RP, its all over Scifi and fantasy books and movies. People like sex, people like the dynamic of power and power exchange in sexual situations, hell *I* like it. The issue becomes, when it dominates a RP sim, or the story. Again, I try to apply balance here, when I’m feeling especially , um .. frisky, myself and it doesn’t really fit the current story arc I’m in, I’ll leave rp, and head to a different sim and just fool around. On SL FAR too many players, both regular SL users, and SL RPers have a problem separating their Sexual ‘rp’ for fantasies with any sort of ongoing story RP.

I’ve porously set the sim at mature level. This is a tool I use to help moderate the purely adult content, if we don’t the sim ceases to be a RP sim, and becomes just another sex in SL sim, and that would be full, as its a beautiful sim, but its not what I want to pay over $150 a month for. We include the adult RP in many ways though, true ‘X’ rated play should be moved to private areas and / or IM.  We have story elements in place to help guide the whole ‘slave’ RP, which we see more as a classical Roman in many ways, with twists of course. The hengeyokai idea of ‘wards’ rather than slaves is a progression of this. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, your not paying attention in game.

Oh, before I forget, the whole idea of busy sims,   I’ve been traveling around the grid, both in General, Mature and Adult sims, RP and just general sims, and what I found is pretty constant. firstly, ‘busy’ sims, even ‘busy’ adult sims, are a lot of avatars, standing around, doing .. nothing.  Some might being having cyber sexiness in IM, but generally its a lot of standing around doing nothing, being so lagged by poorly built sims, or poorly built avatars, that you can’t do much anyway.  Then there are the ‘clubs’ of SL,  lots of avatars on dance balls, yealling ‘ Hey Avatar! so smexy … usually with fifty icons and characters like !!!!!! and ~~~~~~~ tossed in for .. annoyance I think.  Though most sims are empty, or at least empty of people, bots abound driving up traffic, but nothing going on.    On RP sims, if its busy, its not public. Rarely,  boarding on almost never, am I greeted when I arrive on a sim, and often when I try to join in RP,  its simply ignored. That is the state of most sims, that is not what I want to have happen on My sim, our sim.

So, we stay open, despite my rants at what is ‘wrong’ , SL is my online home. I will continue to work, to make Botany Bay the type of RP sim that I want to play on, a welcome, open sim, with a healthy if small RP population. A sim / game, where players feel they have an investment, where their actions matter, and where they can tell character driven stories.  I will do ‘ door duty’ and greet as many new players as possible as they arrive, both IC and OOCly. I will, try to get past my vexed-ness, and give you some of the ‘events’ I know you crave, but only if you promise to use them to fuel your RP, not as a one off, entertainment event.

Lastly, though it should have been firstly, I’d like to thank all of the people who support the sim, and me. Those of you who put up with my bullshit (yes I know I carry some baggage) and those of you who bare the brunt of my rants. I do look forward to the spring, and the next social event, a very .. adult event… the Spring Equinox, is already being planned.

Please comment on this and add your thoughts, its an open forum, even if only a handful of us read them, we are, for better or worse, a ‘Family’ a RP family by choice. I know you can play anywhere, and I’m glad, that you choose to play here, if its only for a little of your time.

Till next rant! – Jubi

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By jubilynnlane

3 comments on “Stream of Consciousness … Its been a while

  1. The whole “RP situation” in SL makes me sad. I would love to be able to help increase activity, but I am very late to the game, can only log on for short periods of time, AND I’m inexperienced. Excuses, excuses. Botany Bay is exactly what I would be looking for in RP. In my dreams, I would ask to be considered as librarian / archivist. Sigh.

  2. I’m mostly commenting so you know I read the whole thing, Jube. You’re spot on with every point. I wish I was able to be around more right now, hopefully as spring comes I’ll be able to stay awake late enough to steal more comp time from my S.O.!

  3. to rant, perchance to snark!
    yeah, I feel the same inertia about events.
    but maybe we should look at it this way, we have the Event & they show up…
    so they are my population props for that day & if that’s ALL they are, it’s their own damn fault

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