Seeing it again for the first time

Many people that know me, know that I have homes on other grids as well. Most predominantly Kitely and Second Life. There are different things about the various grids that make them appealing in a variety of ways to the individual. Second Life of course has an amazing array of content and it is possible to live out almost any desired lifestyle there. Land is expensive though and some people have had problems or conflicts with the SL team and chose to travel to other lands. OpenSim is much more affordable and although there are not usually that many people on a grid at any particular time, a person can ‘hypergrid’ travel – visit other grids that are open to the hypergrid. For many, OpenSim is a huge blank canvas to paint out their dreams.

InWorldz has been in a funny spot as of late. A few years ago there was a huge influx into InWorldz as people were fed up with Second Life for a variety of reasons. Terms of Service being the #1. There were also some large roleplaying groups that wanted a large amount of land in a less expensive grid, but one that had an established amount of content, and was stable in it’s up time with enough people in one area to make the roleplay a truly engaging experience.

So there was a sudden growth.

Time passed, and many of the influx either went back to Second Life – or realized they wanted even more land or a larger canvas for less money and went to OpenSim.

Even I went to Kitely grid so that I could really have fun expanding my roleplay region into a massive 4×4 (16 region area) At first I only spent a bit of time there, but as more friends whom had been fully active in InWorldz went back to Second Life, I found myself spending more time there in OpenSim. Big blank canvas. Besides, the people who used to roleplay in my single region in InWorldz were gone now, so I felt like it was time to do new things.

Funny thing how that cycle works. A friend leaves and so another friend goes, so that they can hang out more often with the friend who has left, then once a few have gone, even more go, because they want to go be with everyone else. It’s a domino effect and that’s what happened.

Because, if you want ALL the most amazing virtual toys you can dream up, Second Life is the place to be. If you want dirt cheap land, OpenSim is the place to be. InWorldz had become an in between.

Some people have had issues with the support in InWorldz – and say it is their #1 complaint. It’s understandable. SL has a HUGE team, because they have a huge profit rolling in from regions they charge hundreds/month for. And uploaded images, items etc… all of it is at  a cost and that cost makes Second Life a very profitable company that can afford a huge support staff. OpenSim, well most of the grids have less people on at any given time, and less overall users so it is easier to give direct one on one support quickly. InWorldz is still working with a very modestly sized team of people, yet have the highest number of active users of any NON SL Grid. This is something that the team has been earnestly working on. It is a problem that comes from being ‘in between’ a tiny grid and a huge grid.

Land prices in InWorldz – a fraction of the cost of Second Life , but more than most of the other OpenSim grids. The prices do reflect the stability of the regions however – the longevity of the grid can attest to that.

It is also not a hypergrid capable grid. (though there are also other grids that aren’t, VirtualHighway is one of them)So again it’s not the cheapest, you can’t hypergrid all over, and there is not as much content as Second Life, nor can it access the well-used Kitely Market.

So , what is this blog post all about? An InWorldz bashing? But the title seemed so promising! 🙂

Well, here it is.

I have spent the last year and a bit as a full time OpenSim user,(instead of just splitting my time as I had been over the years. I also have found myself back in Second Life a lot, though Second Life is simply too expensive and can gobble up my cash faster than I can make it from hosting at sleezy clubs. 😀 (nothing wrong with sleezy clubs though, I’m not knocking them) .

OpenSim, while I love my Kitely home and my massive land – Kitely in fact has been absolutely amazing with their technological development and initiatives- it often feels like we are sort of segregated into our regions (no mainland or ability to travel from individual region to individual region) .. And when my partner and I have gone to OTHER OpenSim grids, region crossings sometimes suck horribly, or the boats don’t work correctly across them because they are version 8, or difference in physics etc. or there is grid drama or lack of stability.

Well, yesterday, my good friend from Kitely and I were chatting. We had taken to popping into SL for events and trying new places like Sansar and SineSpace. Each experience seemed lacking though. SL  being so huge and commercial and money sucking, Sansar lacking the ability to do… well, anything. SineSpace fun but no real ability to have the same sort of building freedom and control as we are used to in OpenSim. I bugged her and told her to come visit InWorldz.

I hadn’t been in InWorldz for awhile and it was really quite different to take her through it, showing her my mainland, sailable water access home of 5 years, giving her landmarks to some really fantastic stores at The Lanes and just sort of giving her the run down of why she might like InWorldz.

I realized, that in fact InWorldz has so much going for it. There are lots of community and IW sponsored events, there is a dance or party happening almost every hour of the day, we can cross regions beautifully, on foot, horse, boat or plane. There are so many stores to shop at for just about anything. Well, by the end of her first day there, she decided to buy a mainland region. And she’s even going to open her store there. She found a club, loved how friendly everyone was, found her mesh feet, some nice clothes and was de-noobed in no time.

I realized why I came to love InWorldz in the first place. Yes it has shrunk somewhat since it’s peak about a year and a half ago. But it is still far busier than when I first got there. And when I DID first get there I was enamoured. Even though there were sometimes only 19 people on in the middle of the night (those numbers are much better now)

It is also STILL growing. Today I met three new people who needed landmarks for things they hoped to find for their avatars, I caught an awesome live performance, I found some really fun new clothes and then stood at my harbour, watching ships sail pass along the sailable IZ Straits. Even looking at the main area map it is evident how populated my first NON SL home has become.

 

 

 

 

 

Taking my friend through InWorldz was a great way to see what I had always loved about it but had taken for granted and got bored of. It felt really good to be back. There’s no place like home.

 

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