Linden Lab just announced a few changes, good & bad.

The buying Linden Dollars & process credit fees are going up;

  • Effective today, the fee for buying L$ on the LindeX will be $0.99 per transaction (previously it had been $0.60 per transaction). These changes impact only buys on the LindeX, and the fees associated with buying L$’s during SL Marketplace transactions remain unchanged.
  • On January 3, 2018, the fee for processing credit transactions (i.e. paying real money into a PayPal or Skrill account) will be 2.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum, and no maximum. This fee is currently 1.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum and a $25 (USD) maximum.

This means SL is getting more expensive for most of us and those of us who (try to) make a living from SL need to find a way to balance out the extra costs.
Say you manage to make 700$ a month from SL, in the olden days it would cost you $10.50 to send this money to your Paypal account, in the future that will cost $17.50.

Luckily it is not just bad news.
There will be more improvements coming to SL, lots of money (millions of dollars!) are being put into our virtual world to make it even better.

The most interesting thing (for me anyway) is the animesh;

New creative tools. We recently released Animesh in beta, enabling creators to use skeletal animations with non-avatar objects – like wild animals, pets, vehicles, and scenery objects. Coming soon is EEP!  (Environmental Enhancements Project), a series of extensions to Windlight that enable you to trade or sell your own environment settings. EEP will also allow Parcel-based environment settings and an extended day cycle too!

This could bring realistic moving NPC’s to SL that are less laggy than current options and also look better.
They can also replace bots.
I hope the EEP! includes the 24 hour day cycles!

Also very exciting;

We continue to make progress in the massive upgrade to SL infrastructure and move to the cloud (we call this project Brave New World). This move will (among many other things), help make SL more performant for Residents around the world, and may also enable us to introduce new products and more flexible pricing in the future.

SL performance and high tier is something many of us would like to see improved upon so this is going in the right direction.

You can read the full official announcement here;