Trying Other TPVs – Alchemy

Old TPVs
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A week or so ago, there was a conversation in one of my groups about using different viewers.

Someone was having problems with one and was forced to use another viewer to finish their work.

Everyone has their favorite viewer – depending on their own personal preferences.

I have been a Firestorm user forever.

The official Linden viewer just always felt – wrong.

The organization of things (buttons, options, etc.) just didn’t make sense to me.

I found another viewer (it was Emerald at the time), and I loved it.

I’ve never really been interested in trying other viewers.

And given all the options in Firestorm, like the phototools, I’ve never had a reason to switch.

The Official Viewer

Recently, I was helping someone new to SL set up an account.

They, of course, downloaded the official viewer.


Trying to help them find things was horrendous.

It was as terrible as I remembered.

The whole process was an experience in itself, which I will probably write about later.

Suffice it to say, I don’t recommend the official viewer.

I know there are people who love it.

I’m not one of them.  -.-

However, the experience of helping someone new and being forced to deal with the official viewer made me curious.

What are other viewers like?

Would I find one I like better than Firestorm?

Please remember, these are my opinions of the tpvs – your opinion might be completely different.

I didn’t spend huge amounts of time using each viewer, but I looked to see what items I use regularly that were or were not present.

I will break these up into a series of posts, since some of them are getting long.  🙂

Ok, caveats done – here we go!


I knew of a couple of different viewers, but I went to find a list.

Luckily, LL keeps a list of approved TPV’s, so I had a starting point.

The list is in alphabetical order, so I decided to just try the viewers by going down the list.

alchemy logoFirst on the list was the Alchemy viewer.

I had heard of Alchemy, but that’s about it.

According to their website, ‘Alchemy Viewer is a SecondLife™ Protocol compatible viewer targeted at stability, performance, and having a well thought out skin and feature set.’

The last update was in December 2014, so I’m not sure what the customer support is like.

It was a straightforward download, and I was logged in to SL in about 10 minutes.

My first thought was ugh – it’s too much like the official viewer.

I checked for phototools – nope.

I checked for pre-loaded windlights – there were some, but nowhere near the amount you get in Firestorm.

Looking at the preferences panel, there just aren’t as many options as I get with Firestorm, especially in the Graphics tab.

I did like that there was a FPS displayed in numbers, rather than having to open my stats to see it.

After a few group chats popped up, I was confused by the chat window.

It was showing people available nearby for chat.

Ok – except I was on my build platform and no one was around but me.

So my name was in the list.

Do I really need to know that I’m available for chatting with myself?

The other thing I did not like was that there was no built-in AO.

I have used Firestorm’s built-in AO for so long that I don’t even have an AO in inventory anymore.

They’re in boxes and stashed at my home.

The duck walk is as terrible as I remembered.

Next up: CtrlAltStudio