In retrospect, this problem has probably existed for quite a while now, and I simply did not notice. But let's start at the beginning of this rather unusual week, my first really longer interaction with Linden Lab customer service, and it 's - spoiler - happy end.
It was exactly a week ago, on Saturday, that I noticed that I can't change skins anymore. Since this is not something I do all the time, and since my Belleza Jake V2 avatar does not support proper Baked-on-Mesh (as I thought at the time), I assumed I was being clumsy. On Sunday morning, I tried it again - realised I am not clumsy, realised it is NOT a problem of the mesh body since it happens on the system body as well. So I filed a ticket with Linden Lab support.
My avatar seems somehow messed up. I can't apply skins or alphas. I took off ALL mesh bodies, switched back to a pure system body, but regardless what skins or alphas I wear, it still shows my last skin. Also the eyes - which have no alphas applied - are hollow. I relogged several times, I cleared cache, I tried different viewers - to no avail. See the attached screenshot: This look should be impossible, and in fact, you should not be able to see me at all.
With the usual tickets I file every once in a blue moon, it took 2-3 days before someone replied. I was rather surprised, when at the same time (Sunday, mind you), one Kady Linden got back to me. Even more surprised was I, when I read that she indeed found a problem in my inventory:I was able to locate some corruption in your inventory that may be contributing to the issues you are experiencing. I have initiated a script to repair the corruption, which may also clear up the issues you are experiencing. In order for it to work properly, it is very important that you log in using the Second Life official viewer. You're welcome to resume using your regular viewer of choice after the repair has completed.
What followed was a detailed list of step-by-step instructions, which boiled down to me having to use the official viewer, go to a quiet region, let myself be logged in for 20 min, then clear cache, then log back in.
I followed her instructions to the letter on Monday evening, unfortunately, it did not help. I did it again. And it did not help. What it did, however, was made things worse. The end result, as sent it to Kady, was:Hi Kady,
thank you very much for your help. Unfortunately, it only solves half of the problems.
I did as described - the inventory loaded fairly fast, I waited 20 min, cleared chache, relogged - but the problems persisted. In fact there was even more, since I could not access any outfits or wearables anymore, neither attach nor detach.
I repeated the process (yes, with the official viewer), and afterwards, outfits were back. But still some problems are still there - in fact it seems there are MORE problems now. The following is the status quo:
- other people see me as cloud, regardless what viewer, regardless how long they wait
- when I log in, I am a cloud to me - only if I go into "edit shape/apperance", my body and clothing materializes
- whatever skin or tattoo I try, it does not show up, I am shown as grey body
- when I go into "edit shape/appearance", my skin and such show up - but as soon as I exit "edit shape/appearance", I am back to grey
Can you kick the servers again please?
This was all rather underwhelming, and very very annoying. This is how I saw myself during that time: Clothing loaded (after going into 'Appearance' mode), but no skin or anything loaded.
And this is how other people saw me, regardless how long they waited.
That started a daily conversation with Kady, who was really helpful during the whole process, and solution oriented. At one point she asked:I am still seeing some corruption in your inventory, so will run the fix again. However, for troubleshooting purposes we wish to login to your account and investigate the issue further. You do not need to provide us with your password, and there is no need to reset your password afterwards. Let us know if it is fine with you for us to proceed with this measure!
That was kind of freaky. The avatar is a rather personal thing, but of course I wanted (and needed) that problem to be fixed. So I agreed that she could do it - and she even asked what times are convenient for that. Gina actually caught her in-world driving my avatar once:[08:11] Gina Glimmer: Hola! [08:16] Peter Stindberg: This is Kady Linden. I'm working on Peter's account for him. Please message him later 😀
Eventually, Kady had to give up and escalate my issue to the dev team.Dear Peter,
Your case is now in the hands of the developers. Hopefully, we'll get some resolution soon, but please do know that it can take a few days, realistically.
The developer team never got back to me, however, on Thursday evening, when I logged in (with sinking heart), to my huge delight, all was back to normal.
They never told me, what it was. Even Kady didn't know. Technical-me would be rather curious about it, but I get why they don't tell you. All is back to normal though, so that's what counts.
I am impressed by the outstanding service the Lab provided otherwise. Kady communicated clearly, extensively, didn't give the impression to consider me stupid, and seemed to see it is some kind of challenge as well. I had a small chat in-world with her, when I asked her for her Linden Bear, and she hinted at being a longtime SL resident herself (they are not allowed to disclose their non-Linden identity). So she "gets" SL, and she realised what a nuisance this issue was for me.
I am also surprised how much this affected me. I could have chatted with friends, I could have scripted, but being a grey alien to me, and an orange cloud to others, took the fun out of it, so I barely logged in during that week. An interesting experience.
Oh well, all is good, and bear #10 is in my collection.