They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Well, I’m not sure exactly what LL’s intentions were, but they don’t make a whole lot of sense to me (and judging from some of the reactions I’ve seen, they don’t make any sense to others).
A few days ago, I picked up some chatter via my Twitter feed about a change to the Transaction History page. I wasn’t overly interested or concerned. In the 4+ years I’ve been in SL, I’ve only ever used my Transaction History page if I had either a) a problem with delivery of an item I’d purchased or b) I couldn’t remember spending my L$, and looking at the transaction history reassured me that no one hacked my account and stole all my L$. (Did I mention I love shoes?)
However, many merchants use the Transaction History page to track their sales and the change caused a huge upset. Enough of an upset that LL actually rolled back the change and asked for some more input. It didn’t stop the changes, as LL still plans to change the Transaction History page in order to better serve ‘all users.’ I’m not sure exactly what that means, because I’m a ‘user’ and it worked just fine for me. I would much rather LL spent time focusing on other things. But that’s just me. 😀
In addition to all the uproar over the Transaction History, LL is now also requesting that merchants ‘help customers buy clothing that fits their avatars.’ Now, I read through the post, and even as a long-time SL’er, I’m still confused. Apparently, because we now have mesh, LL feels the need to clarify what’s what. That sounds great, right? So they want to classify avatars by the following categories: ‘classic’ – the original, default, non-mesh avatar (like the one I have), ‘standard mesh avatar’ – a classic avatar wearing a rigged mesh attachment, and ‘custom/branded’ – ‘an avatar of either type (i.e. that does or does not use mesh) that is a custom size or shape, requiring custom-made clothing to fit it. A brand name for the shape will help users easily identify which clothing fits which custom avatar.‘ But I have a classic avatar, and I wear rigged mesh attachments. So am I a classic avatar or a standard mesh one? Or does it change depending on what I have attached?
Because I was still confused, I followed their link to the Knowledge Base here. ‘Classic’ I understand – that’s me. Plain old avatar. The standard mesh avatar is ‘a classic avatar that is wearing a rigged mesh attachment, usually a full-body avatar, and whose classic body is hidden by a full body alpha mask.’ Ok, I think I’m following so far. I do wear mesh attachments, but not a full-body avatar. Last is the custom/branded avatar, defined as ‘a classic avatar that is hidden by a full body alpha mask and is wearing a customized rigged mesh attachment or attachments that otherwise replace the classic avatar body.’ Ok, I’m with you.
Then they talk about the clothing and how they want merchants to make clear what kind of clothing you are purchasing. There’s ‘classic only’ – system layer clothing that only works with classic avatars. Got it. There’s ‘mesh only’ – an attachment that appears as clothing on a standard mesh avatar, and does not work properly on classic avatars. So I can’t wear ‘mesh only’ clothing, because I’m a classic avatar. Then there’s ‘classic/mesh’ – attachments designed for standard mesh avatars that can work on a classic avatar. So this is the mesh I currently have, which works on my classic avatar. Then there’s ‘branded’ – this is their catch-all category for anything that doesn’t fall under the previous categories. Ok, I think I’ve got it.
Does your head hurt? Mine does. I must admit that typing all this out helped me to understand the categories. However, I was confused after initially reading the article. I mean, I buy clothes, I adjust my shape, and ta-da! I have mesh clothing that looks good.
At the bottom of the Knowledge Base article, LL displays an icon they want all merchants to use to allow customers to easily distinguish which kind of clothing they are buying. Except there are only two options – classic and mesh. But wasn’t one of the categories ‘classic/mesh’? What about those items? And what about ‘branded’? There’s no icon for that? And the icon that LL wants merchants to use is copyright material – so creators have to put that copyright on all their vendor ads, in addition to the icon? Can you imagine having to go back through all your already created vendor ads and make all these changes? Change all the vendor ads, upload the new ones to Marketplace, plus change all the ones in-world? So you have to pay to upload them all again? I’m already tired and I don’t even have a store!!
Plus, the only difference between the two icons (besides the text) is the cross-hatching on the mesh icon. When merchants shrink those down to fit on an ad, odds are you won’t be able to tell clearly which one is which. So it will probably only lead to more confusion, rather than being helpful.
I had no idea that people were so confused about what clothing they could and could not wear. Apparently the confusion is of such epidemic proportions that action had to be taken. Who knew?
Me, I have other things I’d like fixed first. I do a LOT of shopping on Marketplace. Why? Because my computer is slow and tp’ing around to stores and waiting for vendor ad textures to rezz in takes forever. So it’s much easier to shop on MP. It would be nice if there was a check box for mesh (like the boxes for copy/mod/transfer), because sometimes I’m looking for mesh and sometimes I’m looking for anything BUT mesh. While I’m dreaming, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to exclude demos from your searches?
Wishes and dreams aside, the search function is sometimes all but useless. Why? Because merchants are allowed to tag their items with pretty much anything. So if I do a search for say, ‘street light’ because I need a light for a set, the first two items that come back from my search are *ahem* sex HUDs. Whaaa????
No wonder people are confused . . .