February 06, 2010

Top 5 Requested Second Life Features

Caleb Booker is a metaverse developer and a professional writer on the topic of virtual worlds. I stumbled across a guest post of his on Hypergrid Business, which was originally published on his own blog. Caleb claims that in discussions with business/educational clients, the following 5 things were repeated over and over as the most urgently missing ones in Second Life:
  1. A collaborative whiteboard
  2. A PA-System for voice chat to assign an "open mic" to persons
  3. Separate voice-channels in different floors of a building
  4. Realnames for avatars
  5. File Transfer between avatars
The thing with these 5 requests is that they are highly biased towards a specific purpose. I personally know of a handful of whiteboard applications. I think voice conferencing is best realized with 3rd-party-offworld tools. As is file transfer. And as far as realnames are concerned, I recently stumbled across Xerox' SL presence and they use names along the lines of "FirstnameLastname Xerox". But I digress.

While I am sure those 5 might definitely be pressing issues from a business point of view, I can't accept them in their absolute approach as THE 5 most requested features for SL. In my point of view, the 5 most urgent things are:

  1. Inventory Loss
    It is an unacceptable situation that inventory gets lost in the first place. And the reports of lost inventory and the Lab's reaction to it - which almost come at a weekly basis - are plainly said a disgrace. I really can't understand why inventory gets lost at all. But if it happens, I can't understand why the Lab is not able to restore it easily. I have seen people leave SL over losing their entire inventory. I have friends who experienced multiple inventory losses. I have friends who followed the knowledge base steps meticulously, only to hear from the Lab they should in the knowledge base upon which the support person simply closed the ticket. Inventory not only has a monetary value (in many cases substantial) but also a commemorative value. WHY DOES INVENTORY GETS LOST AT ALL?
  2. Teleport
    Why do teleports fail? Why do they sometimes fail so drastically that you crash? Why do I appear perfectly ok to my friends after a teleport for up to minutes, while on my end still the odometer bar crouches slowly? Why am I sometimes completely immobile after a TP? Why do I sometimes need to do a 3-way-teleport to reach my destination? Why can't I sometimes not teleport at all to a destination, but a log-off with subsequent log-in to the very place works?
  3. Scalability
    The landlady of my home sim built a club there a while ago. Unfortunately it is very successful. Which means that when there is an event going on, the rest of the sim lags horribly. Which is annoying when you try to build or have a business meeting. Prims won't rez, scripts crouch. And we're only talking about 25 people on the sim. The adjacent sim is usually empty. Why do empty sims not contribute their resources to full sims? Why do 25 avatars throttle a sim down, why do 40 avatars turn a sim into syrup? Why can't we have 100 or 200 avatars on a sim AND have smooth motion and quick rezzing? Why is a sim limited to a processor core, instead of requesting as much processing power from the SL grid as it needs?
  4. Prim Sizes
    I want to make prims in any arbitrary size. Allowing sizes larger than 10m - with full support - would make building so much easier and efficient. It would be so much more efficient for the prim economy too. It would even reduce load on the asset servers.
  5. IM Subsystem and Inventory Transaction
    As I wrote back in November, almost every inventory action results in an IM behind the scene, and this is the reason inventory transactions routinely fail. Besides that, the current IM/chat system has a whole lot of issues annoying residents on a daily basis.
Yes, I am aware that this is probably not the top 5 requested features, but rather the top 5 requested remedies.

What are your top-5 requested features or bugfixes?
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