Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Where have all the flowers gone....

For over FOUR (4) months now, the Second Life Residents have been complaining about a very annoying and troublesome issue, disappearing inventory.

It seems that for some unknown reasons, items from a persons inventory will up and disappear. This can happen in many ways, but in the two times it's happened to me, it occurred either when I was trying to rez the objects in-world, or when I was trying to take them back into my inventory.

I have been relatively quiet about this, as before last weekend, I hadn't suffered from any missing inventory. Now, in the span of two days, I've come to see what the fuss is all about, and on the very same objects!

The first time this problem occurred, I was trying to rez in-world a Building Tool I use, that makes the job of texturing large structures quite easy. I took the item from my inventory, waited until I got the correct icon, and then released it in front of my avatar, where I hoped it would appear. Instead of appearing, the item didn't show up at all, and I got the dreaded, "Rez Failure" error message. What makes this problem even worse is this Building Tool is No-Copy, and when I checked my inventory to see if it was still there, I found, much to my horror, that it wasn't, and it wasn't in-world either. Now, I could live with missing my Poker Table, even if it is worth $25,000 Lindens, but this is a proprietary Building Tool that was made for my job in mind. I'm only one of the two people in Second Life that has been lucky enough to get to use and own this Building Tool, so when it disappeared, I went into MELT-DOWN MODE.

I immediately contacted the very first Linden I could find on-line and told them what had happened, and that I needed this Building Tool to perform my job function inside Second Life, without it, my job would be near impossible to pull off, and therefore, they should send someone to recover my item immediately, or start paying me "lost wages" while I was out of work. This "employee" of Linden Lab gave me the same unconcerned, uncaring, non-thoughtful answer they give to everyone seeking remedy to a problem, "Please file a trouble ticket." Now as we all know, filing a trouble ticket is pretty much a worthless function and serves only to waste between 10 and 30 minutes. The automated response we receive does nothing to ally our fears that the worst has happened and all is lost. Then of course, we wait for a month before getting an abstract email from someone at Linden Lab telling us "Sorry there's nothing that can be done."

Knowing where this "file a trouble ticket" leads, I instead wrote an email to Robin Harper at Linden Lab and asked her to "prove" just how concerned she was about what goes on in Second Life with this Resident. I asked that my Building Tool be recovered or Linden Lab start paying me for the lost wages I was know experiencing. Within an hour, I received an email from Kona Linden asking for my Avatar name, when and where this took place. After sending off that information, I didn't hear anything for the rest of the day.

I decided to log into the world that evening, and check to see if anything had been done. After logging into the world, Kona Linden IM'ed me immediately and asked me to check my inventory. Amazingly, there was the object, where I had last seen it, as if the issue never happened. I thanked Kona for his/her hard work and then asked the troubling question, "If you are able to recover my lost object, then why are there thousands of others claiming that their objects are still lost?" This wasn't an attempt to "pick a fight", it was a sincere question of concern, as to why my object was able to be recovered, yet others aren't. Kona explained that a lot of the "lost objects" aren't truly lost, that either their owners are "fibbing" or their owners are running on "non-compliant" hardware and they just can't see their objects. In case of the last, there is nothing Linden Lab can do, in case of the first, it seems to me that there must be an awful lot of liars running around in Second Life these days. Of those that can be recovered, Kona explained that Linden Lab makes every effort to recover these items, and has successfully done so for many Residents.

Now, here's where Logic stops operating. IF Linden Lab was recovering "lost objects", then why aren't those people getting their objects recovered, speaking up about this? It makes sense, that someone who has lost an object, at least ONE of those that has lost an object that was recovered, would write a BIG THANK YOU note to Linden Lab in the Blog Comments or Forums. Yet, not one such person seems to exist. That doesn't exactly speak highly of what Kona is saying, and while I stop short of calling Kona a liar, I certainly would like to see NUMBERS as to how many reports of "lost objects" there are in-world and exactly how many have been recovered.

On Sunday, I was at a building site, and you guessed it, was using my Building Tool to finish up some rooms. At the end of my session, I right-clicked each Building Tool and chose TAKE to return them to my inventory. Their "Ghosted" images remained on my screen, yet they weren't in my inventory. Upon close inspection of the "ghosted" images, I saw that they had no entry for CREATOR or OWNER and where nothing more then ghosts in-world, yet, their physical appearance into my inventory never happened. This time, I wasn't worried, as I knew recovering these items is possible, as I have seen it done. I wrote Kona Linden an IM, explaining what time and where this occurred, what the names of the objects were, and asked that they be recovered at his/her earliest possible convenience. Monday passed, as did Tuesday, without a word from Kona. So, I wrote an email to Robin, asking why this time Kona had chosen to ignore me, and also, as to why this problem occurred again, on the same object and just when was this issue going to get fixed? Robin wrote back, explaining Kona had done his/her job and was aware of the problem and had fixed it and that fix would eventually be patched into the system, but I needed to contact support to get things going.

I find it amazing, that when I write NICE fluffy letters to Robin and Philip, that I get back bullshit letters, apparently thinking that because I'm being nice, they can just brush me off. Although, when I write letters explaining that I'm about a knats-whisker away from contacting the Media and doing a story on the absurdity of Linden Lab, then I get action. I would think, although I have already admitted that LOGIC has left Linden Lab, that when someone writes a well-mannered email, asking for something that has already occurred once, that the response would be as well-mannered and action would be taken. Perhaps the problem is that Linden Lab employee's strive on conflict, and don't really feel the necessity to take action until they get the Second Life Residents so upset, they threaten to do all sorts of things.

Well, I'm not going that route this time. As I have seen that recovering objects is possible and now you know it as well. I hope everyone that has lost an object in-world, would write Robin Harper and Kona Linden, providing their Avatar Name, the Object Name (if possible), when (time and date) and where this object was lost, and ask that it be recovered immediately. Since they did it for me , they should at least do the same for everyone else.

Let's see just how "caring" and "concerned" those folks at Linden Lab really are!

1 comment:

Wayne said...

SO your still without your "building tool"? Man, I'd die without mine!!

That so stinks... LL better wake up and smell the napalm, or they are going to be going down with the ship!

MagnAxiom Epsilon