Soon Second Life will introduce region idling, a new “feature” intended to make SL servers run more efficiently. The intended way it’s supposed to work is if that there is no one on the region, and no one is looking into the region, that the region would go into a sort of “low power” mode. Before even I get to see it in operation, I already have several problems with this.
In the past Linden Lab has vehemently sworn up and down that regions on some piece of hardware do not affect other regions utilizing that same hardware. So obviously this must be a power related cost saving measure, and not the fact that regions actually do impact other regions performance. For the record I’ve filed several JIRAs reporting poor performance, for no discernible reason other than sharing hardware with a resource hog of a region. But for now, let’s pretend that’s not the case. Let’s pretend LL is doing this to save money on their power bills.
Here’s the part where I get extra irate. Rather than investing money Region Idling, you should be investing money in some VERY SERIOUS JIRAs that eat up a TON of your customer support resources. At this point having people on customer support must cost more than a region being online does because you’ve shed thousands of regions in the past year. That’s how you’re going to save a ton of money. Make estates easy and manageable to the point where estate owners don’t need to contact support.
As a customer who pays SEVERAL THOUSANDS of dollars to Linden Lab PER MONTH for the service, and as an estate owner I should be able to decide what I do with my regions. As it stands now, this isn’t what I signed up for. I sure don’t have things running full time, but if I want my region to be full automation even while people aren’t on it, that’s what I signed up for. I should be allowed to script up a fully automated eco-system and check in on it’s progress when I feel like it. Not to only see that it’s gone only 1/10th of it’s intended pace. As it stands now the price for a full region isn’t worth it anymore. I’ve seen nothing but value of service decline over the past 5 years. Currently homesteads are limited to 20 avs per region, live support only asks you questions until the problem goes away on it’s own or you leave in utter frustration, and concierge phone support isn’t even 24-7 anymore. On top of all that we’re getting the performance equivalent of a virtual host that is more costly than dedicated host pricing. Chew on that.
So now that region idling is here, what’s the trade off for us? Do estate owners who pay the bulk of supporting the grid get to have their regions on full time? Are all regions capable of holding more avatars now? What kind of added features are we going to see out of this? Is this just a crap trade off for pathfinding? Are our tier rates going to finally be lowered? Time will only tell. There’s one thing I can say to any Linden reading this. I am really fed up with the platforms recent choices — make a favorable change soon.