Tuesday, August 9, 2011

More On Mesh: Marketplace Advertisements

I was perusing the SL forums for discussions weighing the pros and cons of mesh imports and found this thread by Flea Yatsenko:

Today I was thinking and it kind of occured to me that PE weight being influenced by the size of the object is going to make it nearly impossible to market.

What are you going to do if someone buys your mesh and then scales it larger and then complains that it cost more than advertised?

Can't you cheat the numbers by scaling your object down to a smaller size (for example, call it "teen sized") so you can advertise a lower PE Weight, and then when people buy it they have to make it larger, thus costing them more prims than advertised?

I'm not thinking of doing it, it's pretty shady. But it seems to me like a lot of people are going to be doing this. I just was experimenting with some trees. At 15m tall, the PE Weight was 20, at 9 meters it's 11.
But now it puts you in an awkward sitation. Do you sell the tree at 9 meters, which is pretty small, or do you deal with everyone else doing it too and you looking like you have a high prim crappy mesh with the 15m mesh? It's all the same thing, but to the casual shopper on the marketplace it's going to be a nearly 50% difference in prim cost when advertised. It's essentially punishing honest merchants and rewarding shady ones who have no problem cheating and lying about numbers.

Has anyone even thought about this? I don't even know of a solution. Even if you had the client or server detect the PE weight and automatically add the PEWeight value to the database for the marketplace record, you'd still have people shrinking it down.

And I realize that you can just flat out lie for legacy content and say your 10 prim table is really 5, but if you do that, you're blatantly lying. If you misrepresent your PE Weight, you're not lying, you're just pulling a Fox News and bending the truth to benefit yourself. How would you get in trouble? I could just say I sold this tree as a 5m object for 9 prims and if you want it bigger you have to deal with it.

This does indeed appear to be a tricky subject.  Is this something that could have been predicted by Linden Lab?  Did they predict it?  If so, did they care?  I don't pretend to know the answer to those questions.  The first person to reply to the above-quoted post suggested that dishonest sellers probably won't last very long because they will develop a nasty reputation and ultimately go under.  While this is probably true, what of those initial victims who bought mesh-based items having been told something that wasn't true?  They'll have wasted money on something that costs more than advertised, and the damage will have been done.  And then there are honest sellers who may not fully understand what it is they're selling or how to advertise it properly so that buyers understand what they're investing their money in.  Do they get caught up in that category, even though it may not really be their fault?

Like I said in my last entry, mesh will probably be here to stay.  After reading some more on the subject, I'm reaching the conclusion that it will be slow to catch on, and then settle into a niche similar to sculpties: created and imported by people who have the talent to make them (or at least upload them from other sources, a feat that could prove difficult to trace), but for everyone else, a pretty but ultimately expensive toy that may not be worth the bother.

Just my two cents, for what they're worth.

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