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Archive for June, 2009

This week, when I changed some parcel owner rights on my sim, some objects got returned. Parts of the sim, a highly detailed city, were destroyed. I decided to ask Linden Lab for a region rollback. (That’s when they load a backup file of the sim to restore a previous condition of that region. These backup files or simstate files are made every hour, and you can ask for a rollback up to 72 hours.) So, I filed the ticket asking for a rollback to a state 2 hours before the incident. 11 minutes passed until I got a reply, that’s not too bad! The reply however was slightly irritating. Molly Linden wrote: “Could you please verify the number of prims we would be restoring if this rollback were performed? I am not seeing a substantial drop in prim count in the simstate at this time.” I replied: “The number of returned prims is low, however:
Shops of my tenants were destroyed and I need to provide a quick solution for them to continue business. Some prims are unique and were returned to a user who’s not available. The rollback is needed to secure the design of the sim and to maintain my tenants business. Please help me out here, it’s the first rollback I ever asked for.”
40 minutes passed, and then I got a message that the rollback was performed. “Okay”, I thought, ”they made it sound like an act of mercy, but at least I got it.”

However, when I teleported to Undercity, my mood did not improve – the damage was still there. I reopened the ticket and explained that prims were still missing, and I asked: “Are you absolutely sure I got a rollback, and not just a restart of the sim?”
Molly Linden replied: “You absolutely did receive a rollback of the region and the rollback was logged in our records”. Now that was really odd, because I saw a texture on the sim I had applied to a prim after the time Molly said she had rolled the sim back to. That was proof that the rollback had not been performed correctly or had not happened at all – and it was ignored.
Now, all this happens in a virtual world, in a 3D environment with avatars, but no one came to the region to look at these things. We kept filing ticket replies back and forth, and I asked myself: why does Linden Lab not use the 3D environment in such cases? Instead, I was now being told by Molly Linden: “(we) can only perform one more final rollback for this situation.”
At this point I started to feel like I was being extorted. As if Molly Linden had my balls in her hands and slowly started squeezing. It was like she was telling me: ‘We didn’t make a mistake. You can tell me another rollback time now, but in case this one fails too, it’s bad luck and you won’t get another chance!’.

A region in Second Life costs 1000 US$ to “buy”, and then 300 US$ a month for “maintenance”. After one year I need some serious maintenance – because of the lack of an undo function and land tools that don’t warn you before objects get deleted. Linden Lab’s support team however makes me feel like a rollback is an act of mercy. I also get an incorrect or faulty rollback, and although I have proof for this, it is ignored. When I ask for another rollback I am being told that this is the last one I will get, the last chance to save my work.
This is not the way I want to be treated as a customer, who paid 5000 US Dollars for the region in the past months.

Back to the story: Molly Linden insists that the first rollback was done correctly. I knew that I had not received the rollback I had asked for: I was standing there, looking at textures that were created AFTER the time it should have been rolled back to. Now, I had to consider that probably the simstate file itself was screwed up – and to ensure saving the missing prims I needed a rollback to an earlier time. This of course is very problematic, because people had built stuff in the meantime, and I had changed rental boxes and other things. Tenants and roleplayers would lose stuff they had created, I myself would lose hours of work…. But I had no choice, after all Linden Lab had told me that this second chance for a rollback would be my “last one”.
I got this second rollback. The prims were restored, whew. What remains is a feeling of being treated like a petitioner, not a paying customer. 5000 US Dollars a year, that’s my investment, and for that I get land tools with a lack of warnings and a lack of undo function, and a customer service that makes me feel like I am being extorted. Aside from the financial investment into a sim, me and my team created a successful community platform on that sim, one that has 7000-14000 traffic everday without any bots, without camping, without daily events at some dance club – people come to this sim to explore, to build, to script, to do business, to play and to network. For Linden Lab, this does not seem to count at all. This is what they say about region rollbacks: “We reserve the right to investigate and/or refuse a rollback, and they may not be granted in future situations.” Dear people at Linden Lab, THIS IS JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Add the fact that I received a faulty rollback and then had to roll back to an earlier state than I originally wanted, which lead to me and my tenants losing hours of work. I am really, really angry and disappointed. You are very close to losing me as a customer, and with me you are going to lose one succesful, interesting place and community in Second Life. Either change your policy on region rollbacks, or give us better land tools and ways to make backups of sims ourselves.

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