Land Shenanigans

I now own 3 parcels of virtual land, all in the same “sim” so that I can put out some of my prim-heavy, nicer furniture. I’m thinking about renting a simple house that I put on the third parcel, to replace the very nice but very primmy house that was offered for sale on the parcel.

The experience of buying the third parcel was pretty fraught with tension, because I was trying to figure out the mysteries of the “group tier discount.

The Land Use Fee (also known as a Tier Fee) is a monthly charge in addition to membership fees (i.e., US$9.95/month Premium Membership). Land use fees are billed based on the peak amount of land held during your previous 30 day billing cycle. This includes land parcels held and land tiers donated to groups. The fee is tiered and discounted as you acquire more land. Peak usage is measured by the maximum amount of land you held — for any length of time — during your billing cycle. Go to Land Use Fees on your account page for further details.

Premium accounts are granted a 512 m2 bonus lease before land use fees are applied. The chart below shows the fees for all land you hold or tier you donate beyond the 512 m2 bonus.

Examples:

* You hold 512 m2 of land — or donate 512 m2 of tier to a group. Your monthly land use fee is US$0. You will need to buy the land, however.

* You hold 1024 m2 of land and donate 512 m2 to a group. Subtract your 512 m2 bonus lease, and your monthly land use fee is US$8.

The deal is that groups that own land in common get “an additional 10% land tier coverage” (all things being virtual) that they can hold.

Having rented my mainland parcel in the past, I will attempt to answer your question. Although I think group permissions and group land are probably some of the hardest concepts to work through. I managed to figure it out, after reading a lot of forum posts in various places, but the following discussion from the SL main website blog forum contains a very clear and helpful explanation.

1) I know that, if I deed the land to a group, and “donate” it as the owner, I can get a discount on my tier. I am very confused as to how I can figure out how much land I am allowed to donate (or agree to donate) in order to make this happen. When I have tried to do so with my parcels, I consistently get a message that I am donating too much…I cannot recall the wording, but that is basically what I am told.

I wouldn’t think of it as a discount on your tier. What you get is an additional 10% land tier coverage. I’ll use an example where only you (1 person) is donating to the group. You donate 1000sqm. The group can now own 1100sqm of land (10% more) However if you only donate 900sqm thinking that the group bonus will cover the rest (100) you will be short because 10% of 900 is only 90 and now the group has 990 instead of the 1000 you were trying to get. So you work backwards. If you want the group to own 1000sqm of land than your donation needs to be 910sqm for a group total of 1001. This gets more confusing if donations are coming in from other people but the principle is the same.

2) If I do deed the land to a group, and donate (or not, depending on the answer to question #1 above) do renters need to be members of that group in order to rezz objects, set home, etc?

Yes, you need to make your renters members of the land group so that they have the necessary privileges like set home. You could just open up the land privs to all, like a sandbox, but then you subject yourself to non-renters using your prims. The key is setting up a role in the group just for your renters and giving that role the appropriate group permissions. Don’t set them to the Everyone role as you may need to set your renters privs to none temporarily. That’s one way to get their attention if the rent is overdue without tossing them from the group. So a separate role for your renters with just the permissions you want them to have. This is a tedious process since there are so many group privs. Too many to cover here. Frankly, I created my first alt just to figure out how the various group privs worked.

So although I actually have 1536 m2, I created a group (which has the minimum 3 members) to which I deeded my parcels in turn, . It was nerve-wracking, because you have to follow very specific steps, check little boxes, and be careful to make sure that you set your personal settings up so that you are donating more than enough to cover the increase in tier… fortunately, at critical steps in the process in deeding the first and second parcels over, and then buying the third, there were big red check marks warning me that my tier fee would increase to $15 instead of $8, because I hadn’t set up the donation of tier right in the “Group Info/Land and L$” tab to the new total amount of 1536 m2. If I buy any more parcels, I’ll have to remember to carefully check off the “BUY FOR GROUP” box and also be sure to increase the tier amount again. At the same time, I had a window open with the official tier calculator… that’s in the “Land Use Fees” section of the Land Manager behind at SecondLife.com.

Sorry for the boring detail, it’s my rotten memory. I have to document the way I blundered through the process so I blunder the same way if I buy any more.

As it happens, I had been watching the land prices in my home sim… missed a chance to get more land at a better price, and settled for my second choice, which already had a house on it. Unfortunately, once I purchased for the group and had my tier settings right, I was dismayed to see that I didn’t have full perms to the furniture in the house. Meaning, I couldn’t edit it, or take it into my inventory, only leave it on the parcel or delete it. This was a serious miscalculation on my part, as I’d verified I could edit the house, but only checked a couple of other items for modify permissions.

Ooops.

Fortunately, the seller rescued me – Dollen McMillan was kind enough to send me a new copy of the whole house, with full permissions. However, the house took up all of the available 117 prims on the lot, so I needed to clear it and either leave it bare, or put up something less intensive.

Here’s how it looked before I took everything away – the textures are gorgeous, and the leather living room set looks like sticks of buttah, so tasty:

From A Former N00b’s Progress

I really, really wanted those nice loungers; now I can put them on the roof of my own house.

From A Former N00b’s Progress

Dollen is French, so the art reflects his tastes; this display is really just a one-prim sculpty! The gaps are done with transparent textures.

From A Former N00b’s Progress

I like the sculpty stair, but left it in the low-prim house I rezzed in place. It looks okay from the outside, but has some kind of wacky ramps for stairs inside. I may decide to use it in my own home later, as it would fit admirably. And it’s still just one prim…

From A Former N00b’s Progress

See that furnitchah? Like buttah. So beautifully made. Dollen mentioned he was starting a furniture business – he made it all. Unfortunately, it’s the wrong style for my main home in its current form, but I may put it out some time in the future.

From A Former N00b’s Progress

I kept the photo and the walls, which were modifiable, and deleted the (heavily scripted) bed, which was NOT modifiable. There’s another copy in the new rezzbox, which I may modify… but remove the adult poses. It’s not my thing, eh, though whatever floats yer boat.

From A Former N00b’s Progress

I’m just glad that I didn’t crack loose for the larger parcel, which definitely WOULD have put me over to the $15USD tier level… because first of all, the price for it went up and up all week long, and got “flipped” to another seller. And increased in price yet again. Turns out the seller doesn’t have a great reputation in some circles:

Second Life Blogs: Land and Sea: A Zindra Update: More Land on the way!

Finally to the person who got in only to flip the land, you should be banned. ‘You are the reason no other company with a virtual enviroment allows their currenty to be anything more than in-evironment tokens.’ I ask that Jack or another Linden to seize the land from them for violating the rules. Perhaps its time to send a message, you can’t do whatever you want with impunity because you got it first.

The “person who got in only to flip the land” was called out by name farther upthread, and turned out to be the seller that had the other parcel I was looking at. And it’s not the parcel visible in the photo, either… that one is even more grossly overpriced, IMNTWIO,F (in my not that well informed opinion, frankly).

I may rent the third parcel, I may clear it again later after fixing up the “free” house (the second story headroom needed adjustment). I may end up rebuilding the really nice house I got with the parcel to be more low-prim; I was shocked at how many prims were in the walls and floors, but also the leather furniture was kind of heavy, too.

What’s floating my boat currently is getting more into the Steampunk aesthetic – this is a photo from the most recent Aether Salon. The detail is not great, as I was going for a wide angle to show some of the attendees. It was held in the Dragonlands Hotel in Steelhead Shanghai. An acquaintance from Cafe Wellstone is the proprietress of the hotel, and I have to say that walking around afterwards amazing. It evokes Oregon in a never-was time, but to me it just is so… soothing back in the woods and mountains in the new section behind the city.

I have a feeling that my Victorian man of business may be finding his way there, quite soon, perhaps as an itinerant photographer.

In fact, I need to send him on an errand. More later…


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