Sunday, July 10, 2011

Look! No Hands!

So we've all read our latest Lab News like the good residents we are right? Well in between all the fuss about chat lag I fell over myself in excitement about the new avatars. Seriously? Linden are going to give me a free furry avatar? A car? A ROBOT? This is... WHOOHOOOO! I get 36 free, complete, avatars and I don't have to fight the lag of a fair or sort through pages of marletplace? I just login and BAM! I'm pimped. And these are pretty good avatars too; I mean not to everyone's tastes, and if you're really into a character you'll probably end up buying something a bit fancier, but for my needs? I'm one happy bunny (and yes, you get a bunny avatar in your library now).

Now given it's cool to bash Linden Labs, and I'm nothing if not cool, let's poke some holes in these free gifts. Now I need a new graphics card (all donations welcome). And if I'm doing that I should get a new motherboard too. And that possibly means new RAM, maybe even a new CPU. All this is to say... my computer does not run Viewer 2 stuff very well, it needs more resources. And these avatars are for new folks. Running Viewer 2 (or third party alternatives). Fair enough, I can't whine about Linden Labs wanting to try and make us want to upgrade, but some of us are running Viewer 1 stuff because of hardware more than anything else. Now between you and me, if you login using Viewer 2 and put on your fancy new avatar and the relog in Viewer 1 you'll still be wearing it, but for whatever reason even though the new avatars are now listed in my Library they don't seem to like loading. It may be a temporary bug, I don't know, and not wishing to take a cheap shot at Linden Labs it's not as if everything in my inventory always loads wonderfully anyway. Even if this is a deliberate bug, I can work around it and for 36 free avatars... I can't actually grumble. But I will, just about something else.

So I looked through the list of new avatars in my Library and realised... I have no clue what any of them are! They're labelled in sections so you'll know if you're becoming a vehicle or a robot, but I have no idea what kind of vehicle Sebastian would be. I spotted one called Warthog and (partly because I didn't have the handy images linked up there open at the time) figured I might become a big Harley type bike. I was wrong, I became an A10 plane instead.

Vehicitar: Warthog

No biggie. But if I'm going to be a vehicle I really want to be that airship. A quick skim through the names some more and I figured I'd give Fox a try.

Vehicitar: Fox

Yeah, so things are running slower than usual and I have to play "guess the avatar name". You have a fair idea what you'll get from "Boy Next Door" or "Musician", but a lot of the new stuff is very much try it and see. The best named of the mechanical avatars must be "Fembot", which I'm assuming if the pale pink robot with a shell that looks to have some vague curves, but it might be the bright pink one in a dress? Truth be told a couple of them could pass as Fembot, and given the poor naming it seems a pathway to trouble. Although I do somewhat want to be around when one of the giant bicep crowd decides to become a war machine and end up dressed as a pink housemaid robot by accident.

But that's pretty much the only thing I dislike about these gifts - the naming. Given these are really gifts to lure newbies in it seems they could've made them more accessible. If we who know Linden Labs are likely to get confused, what hope does the newbie have when picking from an every growing list of default avatars? I suspect most will stick with the old faithfuls just out of simplicity. Which is a bit of a shame in my opinion, poke around and you may find some pretty interesting goodies have appeared in your inventory.

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