On Monday, Linden Lab’s CEO Rod Humble/Rodvik Linden personally posted on the official blog, “It’s been a little while since I last updated folks on Second Life. Earlier this year, I noted several areas we would be focusing on. Let me update you on each area and share with you our plans for the remainder of the year. But first, we’d like to give a warm welcome to our newbies! August was the biggest growth month for Second Life in nearly four years! I hope you all take the time to try out the many different activities in Second Life — there’s everything from clubbing to boating. You might even to want to try your hand at making something new. As a side note, one of the easiest ways to find new things is to check out the Destination Guide in the log-in screen of the viewer.”
Rod then brought up Viewer 2’s Basic mode, which he called really helpful in “getting newbies up and running.“ But recognizing its limits, such as being unable to buy & sell and build, stated the Lab would soon “merge the Basic and Advanced modes.” He also stated there would be “continued investment and focus” in response times to problems including more support staffing.
Rod also mentioned “over the next few months,” there would be new advanced features that would allow for easier and better “creation of artificial life and artificial people.” Among other things, the creatures and beings would be able to navigate about more intelligently, “Imagine being able to create advanced pets, creatures or even a living town where non-player characters are walking about. Combined with the experience tools I mentioned above, it should soon be possible to create more advanced MMORPG’s or interactive experiences which use AI right within Second Life.”
Hamlet Au wrote some about the last set of improvements. He felt they would soon lead to “upheavals” in the virtual pet industry as old scripting systems are taken offline and the companies rush to keep their creatures and other goods updated. He also predicted Second Life’s gaming areas, or “mini MMOs” ae he called them, would both become more advanced and more popular. Finally, he called these upcoming developments a solution to the Grid’s “crowded empty” problem, lots of residents inworld, but most sims empty or nearly so, “Adding NPC features will be an easy way to fix that problem, giving land owners easy tools to make their place seem less empty.”
Checking the thread on the forums, many people posting were looking forward to these developments. This included Jo Yardley of “The 1920’s Berlin Project,” who felt the use of these “robots” would make a lot of difference in making her sim more lifelike, “Yes I'd rather have 100 real avatars running around my city 24 hours a day, but it won't happen and if it did the server would blow up with lag overdose.” There were however some dissenting opinions, “So one CEO gets rid of the bots, numbers plummet, lag doesn't get any better, and the next CEO decides to bring the things back.”
Sources: Linden Blog, New World Notes
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