A very interesting blog post went up on the ‘official’ Second Life blog:
Linden Lab posted the nitty gritty details about their new Avatar rendering cost feature in the release candidate viewer. You can turn this on and get little colored numeric indicators on what all the objects (and avatar accessories) are costing, as far as rendering, around you. This is not new a new concept, most people have been at some event in the past where a decked out avatar with prim hair, particle emitters, and plenty of ‘bling’ all but shuts down a sim.
This new feature assigns points to every component. Now you can visually see who is sucking down the most processor power from the estate. This blog entry is suggesting that by using this tool you might:
- Try to get all attendees at your events to be within a certain Cost limit
- Build your content in creative ways that give the most bang for the Avatar Cost-buck
- Save your most beautiful (but most complex) attachments for photo shoots, and use more performance-friendly outfits for day-to-day work
Jump over and read the entire post. This reminds me of how There.com used to charge for rezzed objects (not sure if they still do it this way). You could own ‘construction pads’ in There that allowed you to preset object locations for quick deployment (some pads were large enough to put houses on). You would load the pad with credits (which cost $’s), and then you would be charged for the time your pad was rezzed and active in-world. There’s clearly no indication that this is anything Linden would ever do, but it is nice to be able to see who is burning processor cycles with their objects (especially if you are the estate owner or event coordinator).
I do think that this is further evidence that there are problems with the grid and its capacity to support the load being placed on it. We are all too familiar with the grid stability issues that manifest between 50 – 60,000 concurrent users. We’ve already got the policy that blocks non-paying users in times of grid instability. Tagging objects and avatars with a cost will likely lead to controls down the road for both estate owners and the grid operators. I would love the ability to disable any single objects on an avatar that exceeded a certain prim count for events as an estate owner. For now these features are informational only.
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