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Openspace Announcement Discussion with Jack Linden

Katt Linden
Senior Member
Join date: 31 Mar 2008
Posts: 256
10-27-2008 18:13
Openspace Announcement Discussion

I will be reading all the comments to this thread tomorrow and will reply as best as I can then, as it's very late for me now in the UK. Please be assured that we do read every reply.



Openspace Pricing and Policy Changes

In March of this year, we announced improvements to our light use land product that we call Openspaces. Not long after this, the new Land Store opened allowing estate owners to buy Openspaces and have them delivered almost immediately, an enormous improvement over the old method of ordering them via support tickets. As a result we have seen tremendous demand for Openspaces - with many thousands of them being ordered. We're delighted that so many of you have found them to be a useful addition to your estates.

Read on after the cut..

For those that don't know, an Openspace is a type of private island that we made available for light use countryside or ocean. We figured that if Governor Linden can have ocean and green spaces, we should let private estate owners do the same. But Openspaces differ from normal regions in one particularly significant way; unlike normal regions that effectively get a CPU to themselves on the server, there can be up to four Openspaces on a single CPU (so 16 on a quad core machine), sharing the resource (hence them being ‘light use’).

So Openspaces have been incredibly popular as a perk for estate owners, but sadly there is a twist. Unfortunately most of the Openspaces are being used for much more than light use. Based on analysis performed in August and September, Openspaces are being used about twice as much as we expected, in other words being loaded with double the content/avatar load than we'd expect for a region that is supposed to be light use.

Rather than being employed as open areas like ocean with little or no content and traffic, the majority are being rented out to residents looking for a place to live. Because they were never intended for that level of load this is causing problems. For some people this has meant a less than great experience with performance fluctuations. The overuse of Openspaces has also put additional strain on some of our network and database infrastructure at a much higher ratio than is reflected in the current pricing. So higher traffic to and from the servers along with heavier demands on the asset server, both of which impact the overall experience people have inworld.

We need to therefore take some steps to improve their performance and better reflect their actual usage levels in our pricing so that we can maintain the best performance level for everyone. As a result, we will be implementing a pricing change effective January 1st along with some policy changes effective immediately.

Beginning 1st January 2009

We will increase the monthly maintenance fee from USD$75 to USD$125 per month. This price increase will apply to all owners of Openspaces on January 1st as well as new purchases after that date. There will be no grandfathering of Openspace maintenance pricing.

For anyone owning class 4 Openspaces on January 1st, they will be upgraded to class 5 by end of January, to further improve the experience people have on those regions.

At the same time, we will be increasing the upfront fee for brand new Openspaces from USD$250 to USD$375.

Effective Immediately

We will no longer allow the Owner of an Openspace to be changed to a different resident than the Payor. Initially we will not enforce this change on Openspaces where the Payor and Owner are already different but in those cases the only change allowed will be to set the Owner back to the Payor. This doesn't affect the parcel level rentals, this is just focussed on the whole region rental of Openspaces.

We will no longer offer an educational or non-profit discount for new Openspaces. As mentioned earlier, this is due to the increased back end resource required for us to support Openspaces in the way that they are now being used. For the small number of Educators that already have Openspaces, we will be contacting you directly to discuss this change.

Next, we will be making changes to the viewer that enable residents to know precisely what type of land or region they are on so that the land market remains as fair and easy to understand as possible. So expect to see changes that much more clearly display to residents whether they are on Linden Mainland or Private Estate, whether it is a Normal region or Openspace and what that means. This will affect various aspects of the Viewer including the inworld Search along with the About Land and Buy Land screens. Making Land easier to understand will benefit everyone, especially new users looking to step onto the property ladder for the first time.

Lastly we will begin to proactively discuss overloaded Openspaces with their owners. This is important because as with abuse of region resources, a heavily overloaded Openspace can adversely affect other Openspaces sharing the same machine which is clearly unfair to residents who are using them responsibly. We have listened to your feedback on this, and agree that we need to make changes to better support our Openspace users by actively working to keep the performance levels as high as possible. We will also provide some detailed guidance about what ‘overuse’ looks like and how to prevent it.

So to recap:

* Openspace prices and fees change on the 1st January with no grandfathering.
* Class 4 Openspaces will be upgraded to class 5 in January.
* Educator discount is no longer available for Openspaces.
* No Owner switching for Openspaces unless it’s a full transfer of Payor.
* More proactive education by support staff to prevent unfair resource use by Openspace regions.

We’re sure there will be many of you with questions and concerns on the back of this announcement. As previously, there will shortly be a forum created specifically for discussion of these changes so please head over here if you wish to provide feedback. In addition, if you need a more personal dialogue about this post, please contact support as usual.
AnimaDannata Capalini
Registered User
Join date: 3 Jun 2007
Posts: 1
I think it is great...
10-27-2008 18:23
I once rented one of these to live on and was told it was no lag. It was a nightmare, a very expensive nightmare. Kudos on this decision. I know it will make alot of estate owners upset but you gotta do what is needed.
Count Burks
Registered User
Join date: 14 Feb 2007
Posts: 1,089
10-27-2008 18:36
Anyone has a bag of popcorn?
Rhonan Morrisey
Registered User
Join date: 31 May 2008
Posts: 108
10-27-2008 18:44
ive just got a palletload, free to all
JZ Paine
Registered User
Join date: 15 Jul 2007
Posts: 15
10-27-2008 18:45
Yippie! I don't own or live on any Openspace land but I totally agree with cracking the whip on those who love to abuse the privalge for personal gain. Go for it Jack, get out there and kick some a**!
Jackson Rickenbacker
Registered User
Join date: 8 Oct 2006
Posts: 601
10-27-2008 18:47
Punishing everyone instead of the few that are misusing sims is not my idea of a good answer to a solution.

1 There is not a resident in SL that can afford a 67% percent raise in thier cost to do business with LL
2. Land fee costs of mainland are still at $195 per sim, compared to full sims on estates that are already being goiuged at $295 USD per month, now you want $500 per set of 4 Openspaces.

Jack are you purposely trying to drive away your estate owners? This will do it!
Marianne McCann
Feted Inner Child
Join date: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 7,145
10-27-2008 18:48
On one hand, I think its a good move that will help crack down on the abuses.

On the other hand, I've enjoyed an open space for some months (and not as a low price overburdened rental), and it will be sad to see it go. That it is not grandfathered or something seems like pushing everyone, rather than going after the abusers.

"There's nothing objectionable nor illegal in having a child-like avatar in itself and we must assume innocence until proof of the contrary." - Lewis PR Linden
"If you find children offensive, you're gonna have trouble in this world :)" - Prospero Linden
Opensource Obscure
Hide UI
Join date: 5 Jun 2008
Posts: 115
10-27-2008 18:48
Maybe enforcing lower limits for the number of agents in a single Openspace region would help preventing resource abuses.
Melody Regent
Registered User
Join date: 24 Oct 2006
Posts: 138
10-27-2008 18:49
"We will no longer allow the Owner of an Openspace to be changed to a different resident than the Payor"

What exactly does THAT mean. That noone else can own the land on an OS? What about group deeding?
Winter Ventura
Eclectic Randomness
Join date: 18 Jul 2006
Posts: 2,579
10-27-2008 18:49
one thing that Linden Lab should take from this experience, is the fairly obvious fact that MANY people are desirous of owning their own domains, but that the current new-island pricing is prohibitive to most users. While it's obvious that the OpenSpaces have been misused as "cheap sims" there's OBVIOUSLY a market for such a land option.

Roleplay groups, always hard-up for cash, find OpenSpaces particularly inviting.. as do artists and small businesses who want to expand to a large parcel, without owning a whole sim.

While it's easy to look at the uses they're being put to, and say "no no no".. it is perhaps far more valuable, in the long term, to look at the uses they're being put to, and find a way in which to serve those needs.

● Inworld Store: http://slurl.eclectic-randomness.com
● Website: http://www.eclectic-randomness.com
● Twitter: @WinterVentura
Daman Tenk
Registered User
Join date: 4 Jun 2008
Posts: 6
10-27-2008 18:50
For me this is the straw that broke the camel's back.

I have been saving up and trying to finally get credit clearance, to get the OpenSpace I've been dreaming of for ... well ... pretty much as long as OpenSpace sims have been available.

Coupled with all the other problems of Second Life, I've decided I'm better off setting up my spare PC as an OpenSim and getting onto a grid not run by a company with the business ethics of a pre-schooler..
Snowflake Fairymeadow
Registered User
Join date: 21 May 2006
Posts: 704
10-27-2008 18:52
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
Atashi Toshihiko
Frequently Befuddled
Join date: 7 Dec 2006
Posts: 1,423
10-27-2008 18:52
They want to get rid of private estates. We compete with their shiney new crap like Nautilus.

When we abandon or tell them to pull the plug on our OS regions (since who the F will want them now?) they can use that server space to expand their own new projects -- it's free right? We've already paid for the f-ing hardware.

This is infuriating.
Visit Atashi's Art and Oddities Store and the Waikiti Motor Works at beautiful Waikiti.
Yanik Lytton
Twisting in the wind
Join date: 5 Jun 2007
Posts: 35
10-27-2008 18:55
Don't give us the s**t about them being overused. You gave us 3750 prims, and we're using them. That is your problem, not ours. If you intended that we would only put water on it, then you clearly have no clue what you are doing.

This will crash your economy real good.

Way to go Lindens.
Kyle Thorn
Registered User
Join date: 22 Apr 2004
Posts: 3
Edu pricing spike
10-27-2008 18:55
I understand the reasons for doing this, and I actually support the change. However, I am concerned about the slashing of the edu discount at the same time. Given that a campus is someplace that is more likely to necessitate openspace (and even the proper use thereof) to establish mirroring of RL/SL environs to facilitate initial acceptance and bridging, this effective 214% setup jump and 333% maintenance jump is a difficult thing to justify on the meager academic budgets we have.

At this point, it almost becomes pointless to have edu openspaces, and I feel this is limiting edu expansion in secondlife unduly (or perhaps I should say, disproportionately), given that edu is a key constituent of your userbase.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration,

Kyle Thorn
Second Life Coordinator
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Kristian Ming
Head Like A Hole
Join date: 5 Feb 2005
Posts: 404
10-27-2008 18:55
Jack, this announcement makes me think that LL still does not understand the average user of SL.

A normal sim, with it's prim density and the tier costs, forces users to engage in a desperate search for a sense of space and privacy[1]. 4096 prims gives the average user more than enough prims (about 1000) to build, experiment, and entertain. However, 4k of space begins to feel cramped very quickly, because your neighbors fill up THEIR 4k with their 1000 prims, and you can very quickly become claustrophobic regardless of how well-intentioned you and your neighbors might be.

OpenSpaces, on the other hand, allow the SL user to use the land as a canvas. To create a rich, immersive environment that makes you feel like you have room to move around without running into your neighbors property lines at ever turn.

That's my 'home' in SL. It's situated on a quarter of an OpenSpace sim. It uses about 600 prims, but as you can see we've created a lush environment with sculpties and megaprims.

OpenSpaces are an incredible -- even revolutionary -- product for the SL land market. It's no wonder users flocked to them in droves. It turns SL from just a place to rez poseballs into a canvas to *really* create your own world.

I won't go back to the mainland, but I'm not sure I'll be able to continue to pay my tier when my rent is raised. It's not just the Estate Owner who's going to be missing out, Jack -- that loss is going to travel upstream to LL, eventually.

I've owned as little as 16m2 and all the way up to 20k in a single sim. It wasn't until the OpenSpace product became available as something easily rentable that SL finally hit the 'sweet spot' of price-parcel size-prims. I've remained a land owner in one form or the other for most of my 3.5 years in SL despite LL's best efforts to drive me away. With this, you may finally succeed in driving away a customer who's stayed with you despite it all.

1. Yes, privacy in SL (and the internet) is a bit of a myth. The sensation of space and privacy is what's important here, more than the reality.
"When you're going through hell, keep going!" -- Winston Churchill
Snowflake Fairymeadow
Registered User
Join date: 21 May 2006
Posts: 704
10-27-2008 18:55
They just want people to use them in the manner in which they are intended.
WarKirby Magojiro
Registered User
Join date: 24 Oct 2006
Posts: 49
10-27-2008 18:56
I have to agree with Winter Ventura. Lowering the tier of normal estates would mitigate this problem also. 300 USD per month is a lot, and something most people can't afford, but many people do want their own sim. People got openspaces because it offered an easily affordable route to having a lot of space of your own.

I wholeheartedly agree with the concept and reasoning behind thic change. I feel the implementation of it is a bit heavy handed, though.

I've come to hate openspaces since they became more popular. I make complex scripted stuff, so script performance is important. And every day I get many customer complains about things being slow, or not working, due to using them in horribly slow openspace sims. It makes me look bad, it's like the standard for available resources to content creators has been dramatically lowered across the board, as our scripts are all running in extremely slow environments they were never expected to before. A large majority of people don't even know what an openspace is. They just see something they bought not working, and it leaves them with a bad taste, and unwillingness to be a return cuustomer.

Changing the UI to make it more obvious when one is in an openspace sim, and educating users on the prolems those cause, is the part I most strongly agree with. A 67% price increase all at once seems a bit excessive though/
DaQueenB Houston
Registered User
Join date: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 11
10-27-2008 18:57
Ok Jack.....you know this is outrageous.....We keep investing REAL MONEY into this virtual world.
In return we get a few good improvements here and there but for the mostpart....we get screwed.
Linden Labs is making more than enough profit to give us "Small Folks" a break!. First you had THOUSANDS of residents taking large risks and dumping Millions of REAL DOLLARS into your world, then we got crapped on by the prices of a full sim being reduced to 1kusd and getting flooded with new sims coming on grid and ridiculously low rental fees causing MANY to lose much of their investments trying to keep up with the market. NOW we get this new OPENSPACE SIM LOW FEE GET ONE SET UP IN NO TIME FLAT DEAL and now WHAM!.....Your telling us that before many can see a return on THIS investment ,they will lose right out the box because your CHANGING RATES AGAIN........This saddens me. I have often thought that there was a slight fairness to linden labs but i see that it is definately all a game in the end...Unfortunately the players lose with no chance of winning....
Should everyone deceid to start hitting that "Abandon" button and giving yall this game back (you know the one most of US RESIDENTS made become what it is)....What then? You cant raise the rates on empty grids you already own now can you?..
This is just another blow following an already failing SL economy....
Thank you for your time ...This AD was paid for By "DAQUEENB is TIRED" campaign
Alexandria Tebaldi
Registered User
Join date: 21 Jun 2008
Posts: 19
10-27-2008 18:57
While I agree there are problems with overloading of OS I believe this is a poor solution to fix it - unless there are plans to increase the performance too. I understand that it is not unusual for the sum of the parts (4 islands) to be a greater cost than the whole (full sim) but an increase of 66% is ludicris. That is an equivilent tier of 500.00 vs 295 - is an estate increase in the works too?

There are many who used open spaces the right way kepping the loads down - maybe residental 2 maybe 3 residents max - this was a way, in our case, for an estate to offer navigable water for residents increasing the enjoyment level for all.

Perhaps LL could offer a true "void" that would allow for water - Surely LL doesn't believe estate owners can afford to shell out 125 a month for a VOID?

I know this will ultimately be good for estate sales but in an economy like this to increase the cost on anything 66% (on an error predicted in the beginning) will do nothing but harm SL and their growth.

Way to fix a problem!
Latrans Renard
Registered User
Join date: 13 Nov 2007
Posts: 7
10-27-2008 18:58
I agree that those estate owners who have severely abused the openspace concept should be forced to pay more for their openspace sims considering the mess they caused.

However, this pricing change is EXTREMELY unfair to those of us who purchased openspace sims and USE them as light use open spaces.

This change will force me to either abandon my openspace or significantly raise the rents on my normal sim adjacent to my openspace. The most likely scenario is that I will have to abandon the openspace to cut my costs. This will also probably cause 2 of my tenants that use the openspace and have parcels adjacent to it to move.

I see this change as what will eventually lead to the need for me to sell or abandon my small estate and possibly leave SL. :(
JZ Paine
Registered User
Join date: 15 Jul 2007
Posts: 15
10-27-2008 18:58
From: Yanik Lytton
Don't give us the s**t about them being overused. You gave us 3750 prims, and we're using them. That is your problem, not ours. If you intended that we would only put water on it, then you clearly have no clue what you are doing.

This will crash your economy real good.

Way to go Lindens.

Umm, read the fine print when you ordered the openspace parcel Bottom line it was not meant for development but for parks and thingies like that.
Baal Infinity
Registered User
Join date: 30 Jul 2007
Posts: 33
Could we actually talk about it?
10-27-2008 19:01
This is a major policy shift and a very large increase in cost nearly doubling the monthly costs for sims. I wonder if it wouldn't be possible to actually have some discussions with those that have invested large amounts of real money and some of the LL staff to discuss problems and better ways to fix it.. some openspaces get abused.. but most are used by people who would like to have a nice simple online life in Secondlife and want a simple home with a nice big yard without paying a huge amount. Everyone wants SL to run better and be as lag free as possible... but there has got to be some way to have a good discussion about it. Not to mention... count up all the openspaces and how much money LL gets each month from them... most of that will go away and won't be replaced.
PonygirlSarah Clapper
Registered User
Join date: 12 Jul 2006
Posts: 4
Nuts and Bolts - We got screwed
10-27-2008 19:02

As I and other Island owners have already pointed out in various other blog posts:


To get an open space sim, one first has to buy a full sim. That bill comes out to something like this: $1000 setup + $3245 tier first year = $4245 for 1 year.

Then to Add up to 8 open space sims, that would have been: $2000 setup + $6600 tier for the first year, or a total of $8600.

Why are we, the ones who are paying the bills for LL, being screwed like this?

This is the straw that is breaking my back as well. I can no longer afford to keep my doors open, if the fees are just going to keep going up and up for the investments I made in good faith, just to watch as the company turns around and undercuts everyone.

So, come Dec. 1, I am closing down my SL site unless this policy is dropped.
Atashi Toshihiko
Frequently Befuddled
Join date: 7 Dec 2006
Posts: 1,423
10-27-2008 19:03
Umm linden lab just needs more sims for their nautilus project- this way they can scoop up all the ones that are about to get abandoned, that way they don't have to invest any of their own money. We've already paid for the regions, after all.
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