Quick Tips & Hints

I find from time to time people do ask me general questions, these are some quick tips & hints I have started putting together as a place to simply direct people too. Saves me repeating myself, no specific order.

A great resource for information is the Second Life Wiki.

Do and Do Nots:
  • Do not click on a suspect looking hyperlink
  • Do not accept unsolicited inventory, trash it immediately
  • Do not accept random friend requests, mass group invites or blind TPs
  • Do not keep yourself logged in when not around at events
  • Do not keep configuration type HuDs attached when your not using them
  • Do not exceed a total script count of 100, a lot of places will auto eject you
  • Do not exceed 5MB usage
  • Do try and keep your complexity under 150,000
  • Do pay extra and get COPY animations, especially for dance machines and HuD's
When making changes to skin/cosmetics etc if you have a mesh body and/or head:
I strongly recommend setting Windlight sky via the Environmental Editor to one of the settings bellow as these are optimal for seeing skin. In other words use these sky settings to verify if your neck line is fine then flip back to whatever you normal use. For more info on this read the skin section on my Kitten Style 101: Skins, Cosmetics, Nails & Tattoos page.
  1. CalWL
  2. Nam's Optinam Skin and Prim.
Laptops with dual Graphics:
If your using a laptop and it has both integrated and dedicated graphics and you feel that your running slow it could be that the integrated graphics is been used instead of the dedicated graphics card. Follow these instructions, although they are written for Firestorm they can be used for other viewers, Just look for the viewer you are using.
Graphic Adjustments:
Even though I run graphics at Ultra I do make some custom changes.

I also turn on Depth of Field when I have a need too, generally when taking photographs.
Advanced Settings
Avatar Complexity:
Complexity in its current form is useless, the algorithm used to measure an agents rendering cost is flawed. I am constantly amused when people get on their soap box in group chats trying to sound knowledgeable when clearly they have no understand of the maths involved. We would all be shocked if our polygons for example were used in working out our ARC. Does this mean I ignore complexity, to a point YES in that I set it to "no limit". Its pointless to punishing someone to be a Jelly Doll based on misleading rendering cost data. In saying that, I also don't ignore my complexity keeping myself between 60 - 80K. Why, firstly others are miss informed and do set Jelly Doll limits as low as 100K. Secondly venues and events have started auto ejection people over certain complexity numbers which clearly shows the people who run them have no understand of the pathetic attempt LL did implementing the Jelly Doll feature. Like everyone else, I don't want to be punished because my complexity is perceived to be having an impact on others. The fact is most agents with mesh body/head have costs as high as 2.5 - 3.5 million by the time you add texturing and polygon counts into the algorithm.

I also suggest you read NiranV response to the "warning" on the TPVD that LL added to the Black Dragon listing. Complexity and its complex complexity

Unless your using Black Dragon which is calculating based on formula that takes textures and polygons into account you are better to simply turn Jelly Dolling off by setting "No Limit" for complexity.

Movement:
I suggest if possible try and learn the proper movement controls. If you do you will never need the camera/movement floater, you should never have an issue with missing "endless zoom". Furthermore you wont be shocked if/when LL adopt standard industry movement controls which are way overdue and need to happen if LL wish to tap into the large demographic of MMORPG users as part of the Pathfinder project.

AWSD = Move around
Left click + hold your own avatar = Move your view around
Alt + Leftclick = Zooming on the cursor
Ctrl + Alt + Leftclick = Focus on cursor and rotating (up, down, left, right) the camera around your focus point with your mouse
Ctrl while still holding leftclick after alt zooming = the same as above just easier.
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Leftclick = Focus on cursor and moving the camera around freely with your mouse
Ctrl + Shift while still holding left click after alt zooming = the same as above just easier.

Debug Settings:
The pref area of the UI provides a GUI interface to adjust certain viewer settings. The other way to adjust settings is via manual edits from the Debug window. Before you go and make changes to settings via "debug settings" a word of warning. You could break you viewer resulting in the requirement to perform a full clean install to get it working. Furthermore, most helpers for the various viewer support teams will not support anyone who have made changes via debug settings. In saying that I do often make some changes via debug settings, most I keep to myself however there is one I have suggested people change when asked. Its RenderDynamicLOD, I set this to FALSE. I prefer to see everything render within my field of view rather than rendering in and out based on camera movement.

Camera Offsets:
Camera placement is important. Game developers spent decades experimenting, improving and perfecting the art of camera placement. The developers of  SL ignored all that resulting in the camera sitting way over an avatar’s head, angled down. This has a fundamental flaw in that it removes the sense of immersion presenting the user with a more 3rd person spectator view of watching from afar rather than interacting within.

A by product of this is it has impacted the way everyone builds with the net result that everything is up scaled and generally oversized, avatar's are often close to 7' or 8' tall or even more. This exponentially impacts the environment often resulting in double scaling compared to RL. If we look at the scale of SL ceilings tend to be 5m high instead of 2.5m, 20x20m rooms instead of 10x10m or 5x5m rooms. The end result is everything is much larger to compensate for SL’s horrible camera placement.

The irony of all this up-scaling is that it effectively makes SL smaller, resulting in a need to purchase more land to get that visual feel, lets not even mention the negative impacts on performance. Maybe it was a strategic "to make profit" decision on the part of LL to place the camera angle so high since one key income generator for LL is how much virtual land they collect tier on.

The other issue is these up-scaled builds also eat more prims, they have a greater LI. For example a 20x20m room will have a 16+ LI, whereas a 10x10m scale would take up 1/4th of the land area with only a 6-8 LI, if you can Convex Hull you can even reduce this down to 3-4 LI.

The good news is you can have alternate camera settings that can be easily entered into the viewer’s debug panel to get a better look at Second Life. Most viewers allow you to at least adjust the rear view via the Prefs UI.

For viewers that do not here are example debug settings for "Rear view".
CameraOffsetDefault (Viewer 1)
CameraOffsetRearView (Viewer 2)
X: -2.000
Y: -0.400 (Make positive for a left shoulder view or keep 0.000 for a centred view.)
Z: -0.200

FocusOffsetDefault (Viewer 1)
FocusOffsetRearView (Viewer 2)
X: 0.900
Y: -0.700 (Make positive for a left shoulder view or keep 0.000 for a centred view.)
Z: 0.200
In additions Viewer 2 viewers also support "Front View" and "Side View".

Inventory Memory Usage:
Doing the sums every 1000 items in inventory consumes around 1MB of memory. Therefore if you have 100,000 items your memory usage for inventory is 100MB, If you open 2 inventory windows then you will use 200MB.  In addition when you close the inventory windows the memory allocation is not released, it appears it is kept and reused next time. This means your only going to see an increase in memory usage if you then open up a 3rd and have 3 active inventory windows open at the one time. For most people this is not really going to be a big issue, but you can see for people with inventories +150,000 items its not going to take long before you start consuming memory if you open lots of inventory windows. To reduce the memory allocated to inventory you have to relog..... get the idea! In saying that, this is really only going to be a potential resource issue if your computer has only 4GB of RAM and the OS is doing a lot of memory management (paging).

Additionally, links and folders are classified as an inventory item so if you have a lot of links and/or folders then that will also blow out your memory usage.

Any viewer that has a WORN tab feature is effectively  opening 2 inventory windows when they start the viewer. If you open what you think is the 2nd inventory window your actually opening a 3rd window in terms of memory usage.

Viewer Cache location:
If your default location is on a standard drive and you have another drive that is an SSD then changing viewer cache to write to the SSD does provide a significant increase to performance. The best solution though is to run a RAM disk as this places cache in your computers memory. I use AMD Radeon RAMdisk, it does work with memory from other manufactures. The free version allows you to create up to a 4GB RAM drive partition. Obviously you do need to have ample RAM to run a Ram drive. If you do go down this path its worth watching the RAMdisk YouTube channel.
    The way I have my RAMdisk configured is its loaded from the C:/RAMdisk.img into RAM at computer start-up and then backed up to the disk image at sign out or shut down.

    Another thing to consider is configuring your anit-virus software to trust the SL viewer and not scan cache. Is this a risk? Only if some 3rd party viewer coder out there does something unethical, on that topic it did happen several years ago when the Phoenix viewer (replaced by Firestorm) was performing DDOS attacks in the background.

    SL Viewers:
    Which viewer you use is really up to personal preference, I use a combination of Black Dragon by NiranV (you do need a good GPU so I only use this on my desktop), Catznip and Singularity (alpha) on both my desktop and laptop.

    The most popular viewer by far is Firestorm, although its certainly the most feature rich viewer available, is it the most efficient viewer? Friends who have swapped to other viewers have all told me they noticed way quicker rendering and less lag than they had when using Firestorm. Weather this is their hardware or an underlying issue the viewer is up for debate, I expect its a combo of both. For me, my issue with Firestorm is its releases schedule, its slow with releases often 6 months behind other viewers.

    Second Life viewer is the default viewer written and supported by LL. Its an entry level viewer that is not as taxing on your computer as 3rd party viewers. This is a strategic decision by LL so that users with low end spec computers can still use SL.
    Radegast for Windows, MetaChat  for IOS or Lumiya for Android are great "Safe for work" viewers as they are text base focused. I did notice Lumiya has dropped off the TPVD so not sure what the deal is there.

    A full list of viewers that conform with LL TOS are documented on the Third Party Viewer Directory. There are other viewers available not listed on the TPVD, all I would say here is "use at own risk".
    RLV Collar Etiquette:
    I am a submissive and sometimes a Neko, just as I refuse to take ears and tail off when in Neko form I also refuse to remove my collar. These are my top tips as a submissive on dealing with the issue with G rated regions and venues asking me to remove such items.
    1. On G rated regions always use the hide option to hide the collar.
    2. On G rated regions its good etiquette to be unleashed.
    3. On G rated regions dress appropriately.
    4. If a venue asks me to remove my collar or be unleased on none G rate regions. I simply inform them I will not as it does not violate the TOS and if they eject me I will file an AR against them for breaching the TOS themselves. If its a venue on a private region and the region does have a covenant that stipulates a code etc then if I am in breach of that code I generally leave and never go back. They loose my patronage. No point turning things into drama.
    5. Just because one is a submissive it does not mean that one is not selective.
    Updated: 6th January 2018

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