Stonehaven to close

Stonehaven is leaving SL.  The Village will be closing in one month.  It’s creation date is the 15th so it would be safe to assume shutdown on Monday the 14th.  Stonehaven Island comes due the on the 3rd, but since April 3rd is a Sunday I can’t speak to the precise date.  Right now the plan is to have a farewell party on Friday, April 1st.  Refunds will be made to renting vendors and residents for any time remaining.  I will be returning all prims I find in rental areas.  If you have any stashed away elsewhere that you want, please pick them up before the shutdown.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, lets go into some details.

Stonehaven has been dying for some time now.  The economy stinks and everyone is buying through Marketplace now instead of the malls.  I used to turn away vendors at a rate of one a week.  The shopping area pays 75% of tier when its fully rented.  Presently its only 60% occupied.  I wandered the mall one night and discovered maybe a quarter of the people there had not felt obligated to pay their rent.  And its not just Stonehaven.  Many once thriving malls are now ghost towns.  Tier on a private island is $295 a month.  Frankly, tier is killing me, and as of this writing nothing has gone in the donation box since the first of the month.  Not one single Linden.

And then theres traffic.  Stonehaven used to be a very popular place to play.  Now its not unusual for me to be the only one on the whole island.  I don’t know if its my SSC principles, being too much of a prick, or people simply finding somewhere they like better, but people have moved on.  Its time for me to take the hint and do the same.  Twice before I’ve been talked out of closing and I think I’ve stayed at the party too long.

Does this mean Stonehaven is gone forever?  While tier in SL on a private island is $295, on OSGrid things are much more affordable.  Walter Balazic has a server there and is in the process of building a BDSM community area.  Presently, rent for a full island and 20,000 prims costs $25 a month.  At that price, we don’t need vendors to pay tier.  Will it ever get enough traffic to be a viable play place?  I honestly don’t know, but I think it can.  If LL keeps screwing up and sending us traffic, yes.  If not, I’d think of this like a frozen spring flower; already dead, but its beauty preserved.  Or if you prefer, call it a faded snapshot or an echo.  Whatever imagery or metaphor you’re comfortable with.  The idea is it will be there to visit.

Walter has been working on recreating Stonehaven over on OSGrid for some time now.  I’ve stopped in and done some work on it myself, such as installing the glass maze, the Mad Scientist build, and the graveyard and cathedral.  Truly, this is his build.  He was determined to do this and personally put this project on his back and carried it himself.  No one made him do this.  He did it because he saw the handwriting on the wall months ago and apparently felt there was something about Stonehaven worth saving.  The lions share of the work has been his.

His Girl, Camryn Darkstone, has focused her award winning building skills on a landing region, including a reception area, offices, and a freebie area for newcomers.

Others have been coming to build and make their own mark, including AC Juran, Toy McBride, Trex Blessed, Moss Hastings, Ada Wong, Cherle Tigerpaw, Redsatin Carter, Shae Thatcher, Shelia Roirdan and Walter’s entire family; Annabeth Destiny, Amara Quandry, Camryn Darkstone, Ryeni Halfpint, Elizabeth Rofanui, Misty Adasia, Chrissi Jayaram, Miava Karu, Sami Firelyte, Janet Askari, Desire Genira, Candee Cortes, Wednesdai Breen.  In all, its presently 24 regions with some still available to rent.  And lots of room for expansion as needed.

“I don’t want Stonehaven to leave SL!  Why do you have to go?” If you really cared, where have you been?  The cold fact is tier in SL makes it impossible to stay.  So you can have Stonehaven on OSGrid or not at all.  I love Stonehaven.  Shes given me a lot.  We’ve been together through her young days, growing pains, the difficult times, and now I minister to her needs as shes dying.  Nobody feels worse about it than I do, but it is what it is.

“But, RLV doesn’t work there.” That might have been true at one time, but it works now.  All my own RLV creations work fine there.

“Theres no economy.  How do I make money?” Thats the beauty of it.  Land drives the economy in SL.  People have to make money to pay tier or rent.  Theres a chain reaction of people selling goods and services to make ends meet.  On OSG, land is so cheap no one is under pressure to make money.  Almost everything is free.  Everyone can just do what they love doing.  Build for the simple joy of it and hold up their creations proudly and say, “See what I made?  Want one?”  I liken it to Stone Soup — Everyone puts something in the pot.  And isn’t that what Phil was supposed to be after originally with SL?  Thats not to say no money can be made.  There are places that sell via PayPal microtransactions and VirWoX.  You won’t make as much as on SL, but you can still get paid if someone wants your wares.

“Theres no content there!” I think if you’ll look you’ll find thats not true.  You’ll find clothes and skins. Furniture and decorations.  Trees, houses and lots of other good things.  Including RLV toys.  And almost all of it is free.

“But I spent all this money on my stuff here!  Can’t I take it with me?” Sadly, the only things you can export from SL are things you have Full Permission for.  Things you built yourself, for example.  Did I mention theres no upload fee?  But no one says you have to abandon all that stuff.  Keep your SL account.  Come make a new one on OSG.  Since almost everything is free, it won’t cost you anything to fill your inventory with all new stuff.

“If I build something on OSGrid, someone will just copy it and take it to SL and sell it.” Permissions work the same on OSG as on SL.  You can set things to No Copy, No Modify, or No Transfer.  OSG observes the DMCA.  If you see something of yours there thats been stolen, copied, whatever, you can file a complaint to get it removed.  Yes, you can be CopyBotted.  Than can happen on SL too.

“Isn’t OSGrid really buggy?” And SL isn’t?  Its a different set of bugs, only they actually do fix them from time to time on OSGrid.  The SL JIRA is full of bugs that have been there literally for years.  SL is maintained by professional programmers who punch a clock and collect a paycheck.  Often times these people don’t even use the software they’re working on and thus have little personal stake in it.  The OSG developers Actually Use the software and want it to work right.  If it doesn’t, they suffer right along with the rest of the users.  OSG doesn’t have all the features of SL, but it does have a few SL doesn’t.  It reminds me of SL about four years ago.

“So how do I log in there?” I thought you’d never ask.  🙂

http://osgrid.org

Go there and make yourself an account.  After you’ve done that, you can configure your browser.  I recommend Imprudence.  Phoenix does work, but it gets quirky on teleports sometimes.  Press the Grid Manager button on the login page and make a new entry.  Select Open Sim as the grid type.  For the Login URI, type http://login.osgrid.org and push the Get Grid Info button.  All those empty boxes will fill themselves in.  Pretty cool, huh?

Log in to your new account and you should find yourself in the reception area on OSGrid.  There are some freebies for the newbie here, so you may want to pause and get whatever you like before going on.  When you think you’re ready, open Maps and type in Littlefield.  Teleporting here will bring you to the reception area for our little community.  You’ll find the Littlefield offices, a freebie area, and maybe even a shop or two already.

Whenever you’re ready, you can either select the sign in the Littlefield reception area, or open Maps and type Stonehaven.  Don’t be too surprised at what you find.  Walter has done a good job of building something pretty close to the original.

Nobody is saying you have to choose between OSGrid and SL.  No one is suggesting you leave SL.  There is no reason you can’t have an account on both.

We hope you’ll come and visit.

Dirk Massiel/Dirk Mathers

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