Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Great Land Crunch

Many of you must have heard by now : Linden labs increased its purchase and maintenance fees (tier) on OpenSpace (OS) sims by a hefty 60%. If buying land was far from your mind thus far : OS sims offered the space of a full sim and 3750 building units (prims) instead of the full 15.000 for a very interesting price; tier fees were 75 US$ a month which made it an interesting product for several purposes : themed simgroups, like Antiquity or the famous sailing sims of Nantucket used them to create a large estate for a bearable cost. Land barons used them to rent out private islands. With the Pearl having been through 2 unanounced estate sales and Bella and I becoming nervous as the sims of the new estate remained eerily empty, unrented and thus unprofitable for the new owners, the propect of having an OS sim became very attractive indeed.
Praise the Lord we didn't succumb to the temptation.
while the old OS fees would have meant an increase in monthly tier, it would have been feasable; the new fees are simply impossible to cough up. Unfortunately, this is not only the case for us, a lot of estate owners are now taking a daily asprin dose against the headaches of trying to cope with the enormous maintenance cost. Selling surplus sims is tempting, but not exactly easy, as just about everybody is trying to do the same thing. It is possible to convert 4 OS sims to a single standard one, if one has enough OS sims. If all else fails, abandoning the sim is the only option. In short : the grid is becoming smaller. Very fast.
As we are based on a standard sim, we are not directly endangered by such actions. As the renting malaise in standard sims is largely caused by OS sims seemingly being a better deal, we might even hope that the land crunch will bring renters back to standard rentals.
Antiquity seems to be hit severely. After the initial shock ebbed away, a plan was devised to save the estate from finantial ruin. If the plan is executed as portrayed, the present 30+ sims will slink to around 20, maybe less. I am not well informed about what is going on elsewhere, but this article in the Herald makes an estimate (and I pledge a tear on the loss of the Paris 1900 sims, which are featured in my picks and holds some special memories) .
Many have questioned the motives, or even the good sense of the Lindens in making this decision. While questioning some other person's brain capacity is a favourite passtime of mine, I must grudgingly admit that this article , also in the Herald is one of the few that gave me the impression that I understood some of the rationales.
In the mean time we all hope that our sim will not be "rationalized" and we kicked out unceremoniously as I am not sure how the rents will evolve over the folowing months.

1 comment:

LS said...

Oh no! The Pearl has moved! I was worried when I checked the slurl listed on this blog and saw that Pamlico Sound is gone! The whole sim, Pearl and all. Oh no!

Luckily, after I calmed down, I checked in-world and found the The Pearl in a new location on Victoriana Harbor. The landing spot requires a second teleport, presumably so that random passersby are not eaten by the roaming white tiger. (Lady Kyomoon was nice enough to keep me from being a late night tiger snack.)

I've only been there once thus far, but it seems like a nicer location.