Second Life Name Changes

As of April 13, 2020, we have last names… again. The Name Change feature has gone live. The Lindens say it is WAY more popular then even the most optimistic Lindens expected. At US$39.99 per change, I am surprised. But there is ten years of demand stacked up. So, I probably shouldn’t be.

Isles-of-Scotland - Aaaaw
Isles-of-Scotland – Aaaaw

If you haven’t heard the feature is live, check out the official announcement, Now Available: Last Names in Second Life.

The interesting bit of news in this regard is from the Third-Party Devs’ user group meeting. It was suggested that a Premium Member be allowed to change their alt’s name via their Premium account. It would be a PITA to have to take an alt to Premium, change the name, then revert to basic… and expensive.

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Second Life’s Firestorm Viewer April 2020

Everyone is interested in when Firestorm will release a new viewer with the EEP feature. Me too. However, it isn’t urgent for me as I may use the new Linden EEP viewer for a bit as it is said to have a really low crash rate. Something that has been an issue for me with this version of Firestorm. But, I am addicted to some Firestorm tools that keep me coming back to Firestorm.

The Takeoff
The Takeoff – Shergood’s EC-135

Whirly Fizzle says Firestorm has just branched their code tree. This is something they do in preparation for releasing a new version. Sort of a feature and fix lock to allow items in the build to be cleaned up so it is ready for release. They stop adding stuff in. The new stuff goes into the new branch of programing code.

I am usually overly optimistic about Firestorm release dates, but I’ll say probably in the next 2 to 4 weeks.

NOTE: Flying often results in a crash from network and region issues. This version of Firestorm has contributed its share of crashes often poofing and dropping me to desktop. So, I am looking forward to the coming Firestorm update with the hope the crash rate improves.

Second Life Viewer News 4/23

There are some interesting bits of news floating around. Nothing spectacular.

In The Wastelands

Viewers

We now have Linden viewers with controls and intelligence for the new Premium Levels and EEP. The release of EEP is a big deal as it has been holding other viewer releases back. With its release we will see new versions of the viewer releasing faster.

The way the Lab develops software is to release a viewer version. Then add all its features to the other release candidates. This merge often causes problems that have to be resolved. Other viewers were held back so EEP could finish and release by having fewer problems to resolve.

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Second Life New Stuff 4/2020

Monday 4/20 the Lab released Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP). (Ref)

The Monday before (4/13) the Lab released Name Changes. (Ref)

In 2010 the Lab took away user selected last names. Now they are bringing them back for Premium members willing to pay US$39.99 (or L$10,140). All the details can be found by clicking Ref above. There is a FAQ linked to from the article. It will answer most of the questions about names and what you can change and how often.

EEP

Inara has prepared a tutorial on EEP. You’ll find it here, EEP Tutorial.

How to Play Second Life… The Tutorials

Those experienced in using Second Life™ (SL) don’t think of SL as a game to play. You’ll find out it is not a game with points or levels. There are such games within SL. But, SL, the overall ‘thing’, is much more like real life with an amazing variety of things and things to do.

Also, it is like Adobe’s Photoshop® in that no one knows everything there is to know about either. This means there is a learning curve. Probably beyond any game you have played. But you can take your time learning as in general no one is trying to kill your character.

Second Life has changed considerably in 2020. New players and returning players are challenged by the learning curve. Fortunately, lots of people make tutorials. Here I have collected what I think are some of the better ones.

The Sign Up & Moving About Tutorial…

This is a 4-minute basic tutorial walking through how to signup, pick an avatar, walk, and fly. It is the first in a series of tutorial videos made by Strawberry Linden. The playlist for the series is here.

There are more in this series. If you want one thing at a time, this is an ideal set of tutorials. Also, if you are looking for a specific subject then the series is handy as the video are named things like; Getting Started with Bakes on Mesh, Finding Interesting Places, and Customizing Your Avatar Shape.

This is probably the best set of tutorials for the total newbie. Those that follow will be easier for those with some SL experience.

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Second Life EEP Coming… coming… soon…

The Second Life Environmental Enhancement Project (aka EEP) has taken way longer than anyone at Linden Lab thought. I suspect the reason for that is the old render engine. It is an ancient (in computer time) engine and the original programmers long ago moved on.

Linden Made Panel v6.4.0

Some problems encountered in the project lead the Lindens to bring in some specialists. They have been working on resolving some complex problems. About a month ago, I’m not following viewer development as closely as I used to and my sense of time frames is shaky, the number of problems fixed exceeded the number being reported. So, we are likely to see EEP release soon, probably in April. I’ve missed my guesses a few times now… Lindens are more optimistic.

I am more optimistic because Whirly Fizzle hasn’t found any EEP bugs recently.

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Blender 2.8 Terrain Tutorial

I think this is a handy tutorial for those of us that need to make terrain. Some time ago, years, I went through this exercise for OpenSim. This is much easier.

There is a lot of texturing beyond just creating the geometry. I doubt the texturing can do much for those of us making terrain for Second Life™.

At 11 min in, he gets into importing terrain with buildings. This is way neat.

Second Life: What is Project Arousal? (Review-Tutorial)

I keep finding things I either haven’t known about or haven’t taken the time to… study… play with… whatever. One of these is a set of related toys all named Project something. I think Project Arousal is somewhat known. It is the core engine of a series of sex toys with a strong anime flavor, that supposedly makes SL sex more realistic. Sure. Of course. But, is it fun and what is meant by more realistic? What if you aren’t into anime?

When I started this a couple of weeks ago, SoCal was drowning in major rain like I hadn’t seen for at least a couple of years. It was a good day to stay in and play with sex toys.

Back off, humans. Finders Keepers!

What it is…

First, there is the Project Arousal Engine (L$1,000). This is the core of the Projects’ system and is mostly required for all the various parts to work. But some items in the Project family are standalone. This core mostly provides sounds and facial and body animations denoting arousal. The number of body brands supported for some features is very limited. But as a female with a Slink body, I haven’t found that to be a problem. I first suspected it might be for males. But as I learn more, I think it won’t be.

This core part of the system does not need to be rezzed. You simply wear it and your partner wears it. There is a guest HUD in the PA package you get. It is for your partner without Project Arousal. The PA engine can be used in No_rez areas. This is and isn’t true for some of the add-ons. Read the promo material carefully to know which is which.

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