Second Life: Parcel and Region Damage

From Second Life’s Third Party Developer’s meeting we learned the Lindens have been thinking about the issues people have filed in regard to how System Damage is working …or not working. They now have a list of Simulator and Viewer changes to support the planned behavior changes:

Sword Fight at Dawn

Sword Fight at Dawn

Proposed New Behavior

  • In Region/Estate floater under Region settings
    • ☐ Allow Damage (off by default)
    • ☑ Allow parcel to override damage setting (on by default)
  • In About Land under Options
    • ☐ Safe (no damage)
      • by default parcel setting follows region setting
      • checkbox disabled if ‘Allow parcel to override damage setting’ is False for the Region.
    • In the Viewer location bar
      • damage icon should be shown everywhere damage is allowed.

We will see two controls in the region configuration settings. There will be no estate settings for damage. A setting controls whether parcels can override the region setting. By default parcels will be able to override region settings, turning damage on or off.

As yet Oz does not have a time line for making the change as the Lindens are waiting for feedback from the developers, which so far appears to be positive. So, expect this to go forward quickly.

When the change is implemented it may mess up existing damage settings for regions and parcels. Oz Linden says they will look to see if they can do something smart to have the roll out handle automatically transferring existing settings correctly to the new settings. But, since a new settings matrix is being introduced owners and managers likely will have to manually change their settings.

If a manual change is needed, there is the problem of letting people know. Communicating these things with users and getting them to notice is problematic. History suggests probably impossible. But, the SL and Firestorm viewers will be splashing the notice on the viewers’ opening page. Oz says they will provide lots of advance notice.

Grumpity Linden also points out the problems of communicating a change to users. Jessica Lyon explains the reason for viewer crashes is so people have a second chance to notice the advisories on the opening splash screen…

There is going to be a problem releasing this change. It requires server and viewer changes. For changes like this, from the time one side changes until the second side changes the thing doesn’t work. This means there will be a period during which Damage Settings will not be possible to change. Coordinating viewer and server changes is difficult enough that it is generally not attempted. One or the other changes first.

Which should change first came up at the TPD’s meeting. The developers think the viewer should change first. Thinking about that I agree. Consider. If the new viewers cannot be used to change the settings because the server has not updated, I can get an older version of the viewer that works with the older server software and change the settings. If the server changes first, there is no viewer that I can use to change the settings. I have to wait for a viewer.

Often we see a RC Viewer release and then a server change rollout. Those that really need to make a change can use the RC version. This minimizes the time users are locked out or required to use an older viewer version.

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