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Town Hall 6/17/03/5pm

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6/17 5pm Town Hall Chat Log

Philip Linden: Hi Everyone!
Philip Linden: Well it's the week of tax woes, eh? We've been burning the early morning oil checking stipends, etc. Lots of simplification I think we are gonna want there.
Philip Linden: So well... we are all getting ready for launch, obviously that's keeping us pretty busy. But one thing I'd like to say about launch... Most companies this is when they pretty much abandon products... that's why launch gets such a bad name. People stop building and everyone waits for the financials. But with SL that's just not the case. You aren't going to see 10,000 new people flooding in, and of course we certainly still have lots of work to do. So I hope that next week will be biz as usual... you guys welcoming newbies into the world, everyone more or less having a good time (except for reading account history). So I'll shut up and let's get into the questions!

James Argonaut: Ok well, when are we gonna get script security? Like selling them like objects with no copy rights?
Philip Linden: OK scripts.
Philip Linden: So we are going to improve permissions in the next major release, which we are thinking is late summer.
Philip Linden: Some smaller stuff around this prob may get in before then.
Philip Linden: We are also going to fix clothing. (selling it)

Charlie Omega: will there be better conflict resolution aside from taking down a sim, and will taxes be charged while said sim*cough*kissling*cough* is down?
Philip Linden: Hmm... Charlie I don't know about a sim being down. Let's talk afterward, as I need to get up to speed.

James Miller: Ok, I read somewhere that there will be 5 day trials of SL.
James Miller: What will happen to the land these users buy after the 5 days?
James Miller: Also, if someone doesn't continue their account after the 23rd, what happens to their land and stuff after the 23rd?
Philip Linden: OK... the land will revert to public right after trial ends. Not the 30 we've been using in beta.
Philip Linden: Land will be freed in a similar way on unconverted beta accounts... not sure exactly what interval...
Philip Linden: probably next few weeks.

Gwydeon Nomad: I would like to know if the Lindens have any plans to help finance the sim community projects. With the current land taxes on the originally requested land purchase size of 16x16 even with high ratings one is very hard pressed to build anything while
Gwydeon Nomad: paying said taxes on large amounts of land. Being that when one owns a large amount of land (especially with a community planed) their is likely to be less primitives / scripts on that land compared to 4-8 people living on smaller plots in the same space.
Gwydeon Nomad: It would seam that such planning of communities would be some how encouraged and given some form of tax break so that it would be made possible.
Philip Linden: We are considering lower taxes for community projects...
Philip Linden: That seemed to make sense after the tax discussions, esp for land.
Philip Linden: It does seem that community work is more collectively valuable,
Philip Linden: so we are thinking lower tax rates.
Philip Linden: Of course this will ultimately be automated...
Philip Linden: won't require lindens, just some form of elective group purchase, etc.

Bob Bunderfeld asks question about SL being available to residents younger than 18>
Philip Linden: You will need to be 18 or over at launch.
Philip Linden: The TOS you agree to says it.
Philip Linden: As soon as possible we will add better support for younger users.
Philip Linden: We've already done some work with the mature limiting.
Philip Linden: That you can set in prefs.
Philip Linden: So we will do that as quickly as possible.
Philip Linden: It isn't possible to strictly enforce age, but the TOS will require it.
Bob Bunderfeld: If you are saying you are allowing younger users later, will there be abilities to restrict properties from younger users?
Philip Linden: Which is also true today.
Philip Linden: So no changes to policy.
Philip Linden: Yes bob that is the exact plan... we want to be really sure we are doing that adequately.
Philip Linden: so we don't have a fast answer now.
Philip Linden: I personally think SL can be a wonderful play space for kids (I have 2)!

Xavier VonLenard: Have any numbers on percent of beta testers that turned into paying accounts?
Philip Linden: No but we are happy so far... don't want to publish specifics. So hang up with EA

Lance LeFay: are there any plans to implement any renting feature for land?
Philip Linden: Now this is good question!
Philip Linden: So you can currently purchase land (we added that last month).
Philip Linden: But you are right you can't rent it.
Philip Linden: So we haven't added this thus far, because the complexity of implementing the terms...
Philip Linden: that people might set seemed very high.
Philip Linden: And so we thought it wouldn't work well at a basic level.
Philip Linden: SO we will read the threads and think about if there is a simple rental agreement
Philip Linden: that doesn't require arbitration or something on our part.

Catherine Cotton: /How many ppl do you anticipate in the first week? and will more sims open up before the 23rd? ( fyi-kids start playing and I stop playing)
Philip Linden: Well I think we will probably get more people than we can let in first week,
Philip Linden: and if we do we will create a queue,
Catherine Cotton: kewl
Philip Linden: like we did a couple times during beta.
Philip Linden: So that the admit rate is even.
Philip Linden: We will also be adding new land this week...
Philip Linden: This is the first we've talked about this... check forums for details later.

Hikaru Yamamoto: Following up Gwydeon's question. You mention that you are thinking about lowering tax rates for community projects. What are we to do in the mean time with the land purchase date so close? We may be able to buy the land but will shortly afterwards be
Hikaru Yamamoto: Broke and unable to actually work on the project.

Hikaru Yamamoto: This has already happened to our neighbors to the north in Rose Hikaru Yamamoto: Which means if we do purchase the 1/2 of a sim by the 19th in a week or two we will loose it again before we can recruit more members to buy the other half as designed.
Philip Linden: We will try and reduce rates as soon as we can. We refunded the early taxes paid,
Philip Linden: and we will try to implement dropping prices before public as we decide appropriate.
Philip Linden: The refunds were larger than needed, so should cover cpl days slack.
Philip Linden: Hmmm.... Hik let me think about that and give a better answer later.
Philip Linden: I'm not perfectly familiar with the policy for these new sims purchases.

Hiro Yamamoto: What#s the point of limiting stipend to a total balance of 3500?
Philip Linden: Great question! We are debating that now.
Huns Valen: read the forum thread on the SL economy, it's linked from dev journal 4 I think
Philip Linden: The limit is there because it seems to serve no social purpose to reward beyond taxes...
Philip Linden: And the stipend system is designed to reward collective benefit.
Philip Linden: Inotherwards, you should get rich selling stuff, etc....
Philip Linden: But be able to pay taxes with public help of you are well liked, etc.
Philip Linden: Makes sense? It is confusing to communicate though.

Misnomer Jones: Are there plans to better explain buying land (and to not build on owned land) to new players? Also when and where will promotional materials be available for purchase or otherwise be made available?
Philip Linden: Yes! We were talking about that today.
Philip Linden: We are going to try and put a basic building tutorial into the prelude/start area process.
Philip Linden: So that everyone gets a primer.
Philip Linden: I've been talking to new people and that is always their question! So agree.
Misnomer Jones: what abt the second part of the Q pls
Philip Linden: What would you like to see? We'd love to arm everyone!!
Misnomer Jones: shirts to start
Misnomer Jones: I heard the jackets are cool
Philip Linden: T-shirts? We can make extra of those, for example.
Misnomer Jones: RL goodies
Philip Linden: Any other ideas?
Misnomer Jones: mugs
Gwydeon Nomad: SL hand shooting guns
Catherine Cotton: no key chains please
Mickey Roark: SL Baseball style hats
Philip Linden: Love it!
Gwydeon Nomad: er hand = logo
Neo Valen: will there be holiday items for holidays?
Misnomer Jones: action figures of our avs LOL
Hikaru Yamamoto: action figures:P
Philip Linden: OK I'll tell Robin to get cooking on some extras!
Catherine Cotton: hehe mousepad with your purdy face on it

ope rand: are there any plans to change the ratings system? or anything else that will encourage good creation? i find the current system very unfair.
Philip Linden: Yes, we are thinking about hat.
Philip Linden: First we are adding a scripting rating.
Philip Linden: Next, we think the most important thing is something to replace the voting stations.
Philip Linden: So that it captures traffic or interest or something better than the stations are.
Philip Linden: And give money/tax relief from that.
Philip Linden: It seems that we need more to reward great builds, not just great people!
Philip Linden: And the reputation is covering the latter mostly.

Gwydeon Nomad: I was wondering drumroll> what the current timescale is for Havok 2.0 implementation!
Philip Linden: We are working on it now, and unless we run into big probs,
Catherine Cotton: ok clue me in what the heck is that?
Philip Linden: it will be in the late summer release.
Philip Linden: For folks unaware:
Philip Linden: Havok 2.0 is a much faster physics system
Philip Linden: and that will allow bigger parties, dances, vehicles, etc.

Billie Sunchaser: You mention tax breaks for community builds but what about business owners? and... why are all the good releases coming out after the game goes live?
Philip Linden: Well two questions there: #1:
Philip Linden: Traffic/better voting will target business owners.
Philip Linden: So that is where that will get better....
Philip Linden: A good business is measured by traffic and sales.
Philip Linden: We will also work on better ways to connect buyers and sellers.
Philip Linden: It seems there is great stuff that is hard to find for sale!
Philip Linden: Question 2:
Philip Linden: We feel that we will never stop releasing big features!
Philip Linden: This is just the point where we thought the community REAL enough to
Philip Linden: begin charging and growing the simulator grid.
Philip Linden: I see the features as somewhat separate...
Billie Sunchaser: yes but we still have problems with no protection on items and no rules for them
Philip Linden: and I think that is a unique benefit we have with such a small client.
Philip Linden: Yes Billie that work is next to come. You are right.

Christopher Omega: I'm wondering what kind of scripting features can we expect in the next few builds of SL
Philip Linden: Great question!
Philip Linden: Cory is the guy who designed the language... so if you see him in-world bug him with more details...
Philip Linden: But let me think... hmm....
Philip Linden: Actually there are lots of small fixes...
Philip Linden: like better vehicle behavior, capture of keys, etc.
Philip Linden: And we'll probably keep adding other in ->out world stuff like email, etc.
Philip Linden: We are pretty agile on scripting additions, so we'll probably go by your threads.
Philip Linden: I'm sorry i don't have more off top of my head... will post in forums.

Huns Valen: I'd like to know if we can get "simple" physics for animating things like boat rides, etc. No gravity, basically like a llMoveTo() for nonphysics objects. So smooth animation for nonphysics objects if you will.
Philip Linden: Yeah, better 'boatlike' physically damped motion is already in works.
Philip Linden: So look for that sooner.

Thor asks a question about foreign-language keyboards>
Philip Linden: OK we will look into the keyboard probs... noted.
Philip Linden: I'm not sure how much work that is.
Thor Arbuckle: ok

Mickey Roark: How many registered SL lifer signups made the deadline for the special give-away drawings? and when are the drawings?
Philip Linden: We will announce winners next week. I don't know exact numbers.
Philip Linden: The posters will amuse you big time!
Philip Linden: Thanks for those who contributed AVs BTW.

ope rand: I'm curious about the system that's gonna replace the voting stations. i understand it's supposed to be some kind of time-on-land system. any explanation on it? like, how this would work with group builds?
Philip Linden: Oh good Q...
Philip Linden: Well we are adding a very detailed ability to monitor time on a plot.
Philip Linden: For group builds, it is pretty easy for us to ID the group from the plot.
ope rand: ahh
Philip Linden: So I suspect we will think about appropriate group rewards...
Philip Linden: I agree that will make things much easier.
Philip Linden: We've already been testing watching the dwell time... so good progress on this.
ope rand: cool thanks

Hikaru Yamamoto: Will the ability to mirror objects be added?
Philip Linden: Oh... you mean render a reflection?
Hikaru Yamamoto: yeah
Philip Linden: That is something we haven't had in the works, but I will add to list.
Hikaru Yamamoto: ok, thx
Philip Linden: Probably more diffuse stuff like environment mapping will come first. I think that makes sense.

Billie Sunchaser: Will there be a better set of tools for griefers since the mute doesn't stop them from ohhh I dunno..... knocking you around with a block?
Philip Linden: Well that suck!
Philip Linden: The community standards certainly prohibit knocking ppl around.
Philip Linden: Problem you are referring to is difficulty in proving?
Philip Linden: If that becomes a big prob... we can look into way of measuring.
Billie Sunchaser: yes but when you .live in the outlands and get shot by them over and over I get told that I should expect it
Philip Linden: I think the abuse reporter is pretty good, given how open SL is....
Billie Sunchaser: even on my own land
Philip Linden: But there are cases like that, you are correct. Maybe a forum thread on this?
Philip Linden: You should not expect anything Billie!!
Hunter Linden: I think that giving people better control over their own land is someplace we've been making gains on but will continue to build tools for...
Billie Sunchaser: yes expected but when you get a tool to mute, it doesn#t help much
Philip Linden: No pushing on non-health lands, period! We will definitely enforce that.
Huns Valen: get the kick-all tiki from the bazaar and no one can come on your land
Christopher Omega: llEjectFromLand(key pest)

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