I was chatting away with Tony in IM about the direction Linden Lab is taking with the new CEO Rod Humble, and it made me think. Lets take a look at what hes done so far.
1: Pushed forward the "basic viewer" mode. The mode where all build tools are hidden.
2: Extended the list of default signup avatars to over 200% of what they used to be.
3: Made premium memberships slightly more appealing with gifts, a new premium only sandbox and all that.
4: Said that at the end of this year there will be a massive initiative to "stop" greifers.
The only way he can truley stop greifers is to do one of the following things.
Either rig the freebie accounts so they cant build, script, or rez stuff in land they dont own AT ALL, or, get rid of freebie accounts altogether. Now I've been thinking that Rod was moving down the line of getting rid of freebie accounts. After a certain date to make a new account ya had to pay. However as Tony said this would sorley screw up the economy so im thinking what Rod is eventually gonna do by the summer of next year is hobble freebie accounts to the point where they can only chat in-world, they wont be able to build, they wont be able to script, they wont be able to rez stuff in land they are not a group member of or dont own. Think about what Rod has done so far...
"Basic Viewer Mode": It hides all the build stuff, infact it hides virtuall everything to the point where all ya can do is walk around and socialise.
Defaut Signup Avatars: The default signup avatars are now from a massive cross range of all types, sci-fi, human, furry. Perfect for folks who want to sign in on a freebie account to just socialise but not spend money to built, script etc etc etc.
Premium Membership Perks: First it was Linden Homes (which a lot of premiums took up) now its a premium only sandbox and gift perks, enticing more folks over to the premium way of life.
Stopping Greifer: This was the telling one, he announced it in SLCC this year. Stopping griefers will be a dang hard thing to do and the only way to truley stop the part time greifers is hobbling their right to rez items inworld with a new account...or getting rid of freebie accounts altogether...or hiring more staff at the lab to police the grid.
It looks like the end of this year and the beginning of next is going to be very, very interesting.