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A few days ago Linden Lab announced that they were going to offer land owners the chance to buy the ‘grandfathered rate’, pay $600 once to get a permanent $100 discount on your tier.

You can read about it by clicking here.

Now this offer has received both positive as negative criticism, as with everything LL says or does.
It is too complicated to go into details but some say that you can’t lose because after 6 months this investment starts paying for itself, while others say it is a desperate attempt of LL to get some quick cash out of us before everyone leaves for Sansar or another virtual world and that by the time you earn this investment back, SL will have emptied.
Some people also say that this once more damages the business of some land lords, which is of course true as they need to lower their rates because more people will get grandfathered regions and will thus offer land for lower rent.
Then again, I always assumed that as a landlord people stay with you not just because your rent is low but also because your sims are nice, the community is wonderful and you are just a wonderful landlord!

Anyway, for me personally, this is a good deal.
I am pretty sure that 1920s Berlin is still here in a year time even if Project Sansar has gone public and allows me to build 1920s Berlin there with all the options I now have in SL.
Something which will not happen that soon.
So all I have to do is spend $600 and voila, my tier goes down.
It will  not make me rich, with VAT and all the time I spend working on my sim, I’d still make more flipping burgers, but every penny counts.

But $600 is a lot of money.

So although I am an old fashioned lady who is petrified of being considered rude, I am going against etiquette and look this gift horse in the mouth.
Sorry Linden Lab.

I can see two ways to make this offer even better and even more attractive for a lot of people.

1.Give every estate or group or community, that has managed to survive in Second Life for longer than 5 years the option to grandfather their regions for free or much cheaper than $600.
Making a sim work and keeping it going for such a long time is quite an achievement.
Places who manage this clearly bring new people to SL or keep users from leaving, they are good (free) publicity for LL to promote SL with, in short; they are doing something right and this directly or indirectly is good for Second Life.
Allowing them to grandfather their community land will give them a huge boost.
At the end of the month more money is left behind for those who run the place and/or more money can be put back into it.
Some sims that are not run just for profit sometimes find it hard to get tier together every month and this grandfathered status will take a load of their backs.
In short; it will help and reward sims that are doing something right.
And yes, I am totally thinking about my own sims and my own pockets as well.
Lower tier will mean I can spend even more time running Berlin but it will also make it easier to pay for my next project; 1940s London.
And what will this do to relatively new sims?
They know that if they manage to hold on one more year, or 2 or 3, their tier will go down.
Of course some complicated decisions have to be made, after all a sim or group or community can be doing very well for over 6 years but due to landlord trouble or other reasons be forced to abandon one region and start over again in another region.
But you get the idea.

2.As I mentioned before, $600 is a lot of money to most people.
And even if you have lots of dosh and you have a nice Second Life related income, it still is quite an investment to spend if you own more than a few regions.
And if you make money in SL, chances are you own more than one region.
One of the reasons people are deciding not to grandfather right now is simply because they do not have that money available to them at this moment.
So I’d like to suggest allowing us to pay in instalments.
Hear me out.
You can sign up for the grandfathered deal now but in stead of paying LL $600 on the spot, you get your lowered tier right away but… LL adds $100 a month to your tier as payment for the grandfathered status.
Between now and 6 months LL has my $600 and I get my lower tier.
So the end result is the same except that more people will decide to take the deal!

When people have to pay the entire amount at once, they either decide not take the deal or they save up money for the next couple of months and pay when they have it.
If LL implements my suggestion I think more people will accept the deal, more sims end up with lower grandfathered tier, more communities survive longer, the economy gets a boost, everybody happy.
And yes, once more I am mostly just looking at my situation.
I will have to save $100 a month for half a year before I can afford this deal.
I’d rather just keep paying the regular high tier and then get lower tier in 6 months.

Besides, we need a little break because we have to go buy new computers and VR headsets soon.

Maxwell Graf contacted me about this earlier and had the same sort of idea, so I’m sharing his post below.

Let us know what you think!

Maxwell Graf;

The ability to “opt-in” to the new tier rates program is a no-brainer, and a welcome change. Why would I say no to lowering my monthly costs, especially considering the state of both the SL and RL economies? It has been talked about since I have been in SL. It is a great incentive and a smart move by LL. I would have done it already, if not for the unfortunate lack of 600$ in expendable income, even if that would benefit my business in the long run. This is a problem which needs to be addressed.

What I am asking for is a way to say yes I want to opt-in to the new program, LL start taking 100$ from my 295$ a month tier for six months, and then lower my rate in six months to the grandfathered tier rate. Without this option, I have no way to do this. Without this option, the benefit to me as a customer who needs a break does not happen.

Dear Lab: I do not mind waiting for six more months of full price to get the lower price. I have been paying for full sims since 2008 and will continue to do so. Give me a break if you want to give me a break, and I will stay and love you for it, but don’t tell me “We would like to offer you this discount because you supported us as a loyal customer, we know times are hard and we want you to stay. Pay us 600$ to do so.”

If I made enough in SL to have an extra six hundred dollars laying around I would most likely not worry about a 100$ a month break on my tier. A lot of us are fighting to stay in SL and keep going but this is similar in some ways to a tax break for the rich. When you offer a discount to only those who can afford it, what are you saying to those who cant is not only in direct opposition to your long term goal or ours but has a negative impact on your customer relations and we both lose the very benefits you are trying to provide. It goes a solid half-way to appreciating the 10 years of my reliable support of your business.

Click here to visit Maxwell Graf’s website.