Hi! there are many news items to talk about, but on this holiday weekend I’m just going to give you a short list of head’s up posts. I’ll get you the details when I stop crashing on the grid! 🙂
There was a little girl, who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead,
And when she was good, she was very, very good,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (1807-1882)
Ok, I need to begin with a moment of primal angst. By all sailor reports, the Second Life grid was truly horrid this past week. With a few exceptions, whenever I tried to sail on either mainland or private estates, I ended up regretting it. Glorfindel Arrow, Bunnie Mills, Gemma Vuckovic and Francois Jacques all bemoaned the problem in web posts, and I assume everyone who didn’t complain was likely stuck someplace sitting on the Linden seafloor, suffering in silence.
By contrast, Noodle recently posted a note calling attention to a race with eleven Q-2m’s. I agree with Noodle; the Q-2m is a study, no-nonsense Bwind racer and it’s a great choice for a low-lag, large fleet. However dispite that this week several Q-2m races were cancelled after every single starting boat crashed on the course… Yikes!
That may sound excessive, but I had the same troubles. I actually hit an all-time personal record testing the new Wildwind ACJ-45. In 12 sequential sailing attempts, I crashed every time on the first sim border I encountered.
Gee, Wildwinds are stable boats; I’m certain that string of crashes was SL-grid related.
I have no particular insight here about what’s going on to produce such turbulent weather. However I do know this is a frustrating setback for SL’s virtual sailors, since there are regattas underway, scheduled races to be run, and new boats literally aching to launch.
Months ago, Linden Lab seemed to recognize this problem. They announced a policy to prioritize grid infrastructure and performance. I appreciate that is a big task though and it may take time, but along the way it’s pretty critical for LL to provide us all with updates and to stay in communication with SL’s wide user-base. I’m not starting any negative rant here; I truly enjoy SL and I know LL has made efforts over the past year.
Nonetheless, there’s little-or-no evidence of that progress or commitment in the grid this past week. Every sailor I spoke with recently gave their personal version of the question I keep wondering:
“When we get thrown under the waves by a server issue,
how long does LL really expect us sailors to hold our breath?”
I know, I know; the question’s rhetorical.
Blondin Linden leaves SL
Last night Nber Medici announced to the sailing community that Blondin Linden was leaving Linden Lab.
Phew; this is sad news for sailing, and its part of the concern voiced in my comment above. Over the past few years Blondin was a big help, and he came through on many issues that concerned sailors. I disagreed with him on several items over the past two years, but I think all sailors respected the process, and acknowledged “the proof” would be the final product. Well, in recent months I saw many instances where Blondin came through. He went beyond what sailors needed, and even beyond what sailors asked for. Blondin helped build SLSailing.
I know we all wish Blondin fair winds and a safe harbor in future adventures that lie ahead. I also hope Linden Lab will continue working with the broad sailing community in a positive, open, and mutually constructive spirit.
ACA33 Trophy Narrows the field
OK, Kids, let’s assume the water is clear and the sky is blue in the near future. Gee, I hope that’s the case anyway, since the ACA33 Trophy competition is heating up! Here’s the official results from the first round open time-trials; they’re relayed by Uber-dog Quirky Torok, and confirmed by Regatta Race Director LDeWell Hawker:
The ACA Elite Cup
1 Miwha Masala IDMM10 – 00:09:14.64
2 Carmen Foden ID28 – 00:09:20.09
3 Viciously Llewellyn ID57 – 00:09:21.35*
4 Lothor Vlodovic IDLV42 – 00:09:21.35*
5 takabou Destiny ID1112 – 00:09:21.79
6 Silber Sands ID75SS – 00:09:22.12
7 Bolt Bashly IDBolt – 00:09:22.89
8 KazumaHs Destiny IDKH32 – 00:09:23.20
* Ordered by tie breaker. Both will receive 3rd Prize
The ACA Intermediate Trophy
9 Cher Bravin IDCB08-G – 00:09:24.11
10 Kurt Calamity IDKC02 – 00:09:28.71
11 Elbag Gable ID48EG – 00:09:33.46
12 joro Aya IDslut – 00:09:34.91
13 Bea Woodget IDBW90 – 00:09:35.90
14 Jimboo Shelbyville IDJ_S+ – 00:09:40.43
15 Naeve Rossini ID36DD – 00:09:41.03
16 Laycee Deed IDmeee – 00:09:41.64
ACA Light Trophy
1 Ox Seetan IDOS43 – 00:08:57.83
2 Fadamuito Boa IDFB63 – 00:09:26.18
3 Orca Flotta IDORCA – 00:09:43.79
4 Colin Nemeth ID#008 – 00:10:39.24
All the above racers will go through to the next rounds!
The Elite Group will do the next round of shoot-out matches in the idyllic, tropical sailing surrounds of Fruit Islands. 🙂 All contestants will have flight and living accommodations paid for by Linden Lab (If you doubt that, just push that ‘Teleport’ button to transport, and ask Mom for a sandwich if you get hungry. It’s all no-charge)!
Once the noise from all the air-horns clears from the Semis and the final racers are chosen, the fleet moves to Blake Sea for the last-dance — match race — final-fix for the ACA33 2011 Gold Card Crowd. 🙂
The Light Fleet and Intermediate Race Group will also do their ultimate Tango-test in Blake that weekend, so it promises to be a hot time in the home port this June! 🙂
Hawk’s spent much time quietly working with all the Elite semifinalists; I keep getting feedback from the racers that this is looking like a truly great regatta conclusion. Even more important, it looks like ACA33 Trophy will leave an enduring legacy — a fleet with knowledge, skill, and excitement over Real Match Racing. 🙂
Nice Going, Hawk, Quirky, and Elbag!
Southern Passage Facelift
I know I’ve posted a lot recently about the changes in Sansara and Bay City, but hey, after so many months (actually, years) of talk about it, I’m pretty excited over the new additions. As I commented before, the upgrades are actually better than anything the residents or sailing community petitioned for, or hoped for in discussions with Michael and Blondin Linden.
The Southwest coastal sim terraforming is one great example. I commented earlier that the new coastal simset was full of ‘rugged rugations.’ At that time I was thinking of the coastline of the State of Maine…
Well, actually, I admit that’s not completely true. I was also thinking it looked like a close-up of the Large Intestine. :-).
Nonetheless, I liked the way it looked. Michael Linden admits he did the initial claymation for those sims, bt it looks like he had more plans in store. :-). After the Leeward Cruisers stormed past the sims on Tuesday, DPW’s dredging crew went back to work and the Moles took over.
The new coastline is, well… fantastic! On the day the new changes went in I received at least a half-dozen messages from excited sailors, all urging I stop by and celebrate the new coastline! I don’t know any of the construction details, but it looks like Garden Mole’s fingerprints are all over it. 🙂
(Hey Garden Mole? WOOTS!!!)
Here’s an overview map of the coastline change. Go take a look; you’ll love it!
What am I talking about? Well, Go visit the first sim West as you sail over to Abbotts. It’s named Okeanos, and it has a circular driveway (cough; I mean waterway) that surrounds a volcano.
I admit I’m pretty jaded after four years here looking at SL builds, but… I’m also a soft-touch for funny, edgy, off-beat humor. If you look closer at Okeanos, you’ll discover the sim is full of it. If that’s Garden Mole’s input, then Woots! (Garden? ‘We are not worthy’ 🙂 ). Some of the humor and fine design-touches look like Michael Linden from Half-Hitch in Blake Sea too, so maybe the accolades should get spread around a bit. 🙂 I’m sure others had input as well, so please just go visit and then tell me how badly I got it all wrong. 🙂
Anyway, in Okeanos there’s a ramshackle boat house on the inland side of the volcano with a badly dilapidated, unsafe dock. You’ll find lots of free Linden beer bottles around, but since its a G site, so you’ll have to settle for ‘Ginger-Beer.” 🙂
I’m pretty sure most reading this are aware of the long-standing discussion and concern about print-media journalism, and how digital communication (like SL) is methodically destroying that 1500 year legacy. 🙂 Although I write a lot, I needed to smile while commenting here, since inside the Okeanos boathouse you’ll find lots of reading material!
I’ll let you find your own way around the sim and fall into the traps by yourself, but please don’t forget to visit the volcano, complete with it’s own “diving board” and the too-loud screaming from the perils that lie within 🙂 …
Along the coastal waterway please note there’s an Okeanos lighthouse beacon to guide you. It has a fun animated ladder, and a mildly inappropriate binding post at the top for those “personal moments of public disgrace” (just remember to get your Ginger Beer first). 🙂
The sea floor wasn’t neglected by the Moles either. There’s abundant Flora and Fauna, but let me give you a tip. I ran into a huge catfish circling around the lighthouse… Well, I thought catfish were fresh water scavengers; you know?
I was getting ready to write a complaint about it to DPW, but I tapped the catfish on its shoulder to get a publishable quote for the press release…
It didn’t turn out well! My advice is: leave that fish alone!
Gee, I have a lot more to tell you about, but lets stop there tonight, so I can figure out how to handle this catfish. 🙂