So there’s something that I wanted to discuss today and it seems like I’m not the only one with this issue and topic on the brain. If you haven’t heard yet let me be one of the first to fill you in right here, right now. Linden Labs has reported that they will be disabling the search in V1 based viewers. What does this mean to you as a user and resident? Well it’s quite simple, this will, in effect, cause all V1 viewers of LL or third party viewers to become pretty much useless and unusable. Why is LL forcing these changes on the residents when it has become clear that people are still not happy with the upgrades or satisfied with all the new changes even after a year of it’s initial release? One of the many reasons is that they are planning to introduce MESH into the grid in the coming months in rolling phases.
What is Mesh and how is it an improvement to your second life experience? Well this will not only cut down on the usage of prims and as a consequence the lag that we go through daily, it is also much friendlier to those with lower graphics cards. Take a look at the youtube video and it’s brief introduction on Mesh in second life.
A Brief Look at Second Life Mesh Support
So to those that have refused to go to team V2, it soon looks like you’ll have no choice. But wait! There have been some people that refuse to bow to low to these new changes and the Phoenix team is one of them as they recently have released their new Firestorm 2 Beta which is so good that it could be an official release. In my personal opinion Firestorm is a combination of everything I loved about v1 in phoenix and the old LL viewer along with v2. While you can’t change the look (although skins are available to change even if they are not stable at the moment) you can adjust and customize the interface much more than you could with the LL V2 viewer. Below I took a picture to give you a glimpse into the Firestorm Viewer.
Dress: Crissy Designs – *Sonya* Denim
Shoes: P10 – Serenity Heels Denim (free)
Hair: Exile – Kumiko
Skin: [Al Vulo!] – Ninni Shine cocoa
Tattoo: [AvB] – Night Fever
Bracelets: BND – Black Ethnik bangles
Ring: [Mandala] – Milky Way ring & nail (ring only)
I liked the interface of the LL V2 viewer but I hated how it looked cluttered with the sidebar that would not go away. With the firestorm you still have the option of keeping the sidebar and the options can pup out at the sides or you can completely undock them like in the phoenix viewer. My favorite aspect of the 2.0 viewer is that the notices aren’t so noticeable! I always hated how it they would pop up and there was no way to hide them but not with the V2. The buttons below are customizable as well which is another thing to note. I can move them around or hide them with a simple click of the mouse as well as resize the chat bar however I want depending on how much I use it.
Another thing you may have noticed if you were looking closely enough was that Firestorm has an embedded Animation Override. Below you’ll find a tutorial on how to customize it however you need. I found that there were a few bugs when I sat down because it didn’t automatically switch to my sitting animation. Or it would switch to it and then pop back to my standing animation which annoyed the hell out of me and I’m starting to think it’s more trouble than it’s worth to even use it. Hopefully with the next release they will have fixed this problem.
Be sure to take a look a the videos below to get a better idea of all the different aspects they are offering in this release. I think this offers the best of both worlds in the V2 and V1 viewers. I also want to make a note that this is probably the most stable I have been in second life, especially compared with my previous use of the LL 2.0 viewer. I probably crash about 3 times a week, if that, and I’m definitely not using a high powered computer. It works so well that I actually run smoothly even when I move my graphic setting is moved to ultra for more than 15 minutes.
Firestorm Public Beta Video Tutorial/Orientation
Firestorm AO – Part 1 Importing
Firestorm AO – Part 2 Customization