Saturday, May 12, 2007

Three Years in Second Life Just Ceased to Exist...My Creations are Gone - RESOLVED

Yes, we have all heard of this happening to other people before, and we always just hoped it didn't happen to us. Well, clearly I didn't hope hard enough, or no one gave a flying fuck either way...because one of my worst fears in SL just happened: My entire 30K+ inventory is just gone.

Yes, three years in Second Life, two years of running a business, everything just wiped out in a blink of a virtual eye. It's all gone. SL's database says I only have 2,150 inventory items, most of that is random animations, a few notecards and snapshots...but not a single piece of my own work.

Yes, everything that is placed in world still exists. The stores are still there, and the items for sale can still be sold. But even those are a fraction of what I have made. There are hundreds of projects and half finished creations, alternate versions no one has seen or that haven't been made available yet...and its all gone. I built a complete reproduction of a famous New England mental asylum a year ago, but had no time to finish the last bits then so took it back into inventory...now gone. Tonnes of cyberpunk items and products that I hadn't gotten around to packaging up yet. Boots, shoes, new versions of some of my stuff that just needed tweaking...all gone. The new neko parts for version 2...gone.

So i am setting here this morning, do what i normally do first thing...answering the avalanche of IMs from customers from during the night while I slept, and I go to pass a copy of a skin that didn't get delivered to someone...and it just isn't there anymore. None of it is. I am panicking, I am shocked into almost catatonia, i am crying, and yet the one thing I don't know how to do is fix it. because Linden Lab in their joyous attempts to prevent anyone of their users, investors, or businesses using their platform from complaining, pointing out issues, or otherwise bothering them with little useless facts like the loss of their -entire- livelihood has removed nearly any help function or avenue from Second Life.

I file a bug report...once I find the option hidden somewhere other than Help. But we all know how useless bug reports have been, right? I will never hear from them on that I am quite sure.

Who do I talk to about this? Who can fix it? I have no clue, and there is no longer a Live Help to ask, no longer any way for me to find out from a real human being what to do next. This is not a minor issue...this is the loss of 3 years of content creation for my business. And yet it's a Saturday for the Lindens, they don't care. Sure, they advertise Second Life as the future of the 3D Web...a business platform for the next generation...and yet they treat it like a game. Yes, Mr. Rosedale...like a game. the very thing you have often angrily complained to reporters for years SL is not is exactly how you treat it on your end. You do not act and your business policies or development priorities do not reflect what you preach...that SL is not a game at all, but a serious business platform. I have been here almost from the start. I have invested tens of thousands of dollars into this business that supports my family like any other business. Yet when my business critical data ceases to exist...where is my support? At home watching television or playing WoW. I am treated not as a business platform user with a 6 figure income riding on Linden lab's performance, but as a simple game player. Wake up Lindens...you can not have it both ways!

What do I do from here? I have zero clue. Right now I am alternating between being angry, and crying. I am petrified. I quit my job and have gambled my family's entire future on a business opportunity that until now was paying off very well. But when things go wrong...will and can Linden lab step up and behave like a -Real- business platform creator? can they live up to their own claims and promises? Will they act like a Google, a Sun, a Microsoft? I admit to having little faith in them after the past few years experience.

For now I guess I start emailing every address at Linden lab until I get someone to reply and hope against hope that I didn't just permanently lose thousands in development time and costs, and hundreds of thousands in potential income.

UPDATE::

Huge huge thanks to Cherry Tokyo for her kind help in solving this. She sent me a couple notecards that had a list of steps to perform to -usually- successfully return your inventory after something like this happens. Most of the steps were things I had already done, from relogging, going to empty sims, using serch and recent items searches, and clearing cache. They didn't work when I did them before...but for some reason when done in the order the notecard lists, it eventually worked for me.

Thank you so very very much Cherry, and also huge thanks to those that commented here or in world with support and kind words.

Text of the notecard that worked for me is here below...

How to find "Lost Inventories" due to the new Coalesce feature

In a feature release a couple of weeks ago, we incorporated a new feature to help with load on our databases when Residents return objects from parcels. As before, lost objects can be found in the Lost & Found folder, but there is a change in how they are displayed. When objects are returned to this folder, they will be coalesced into one or more of the returned objects.

The way it works is that the system randomly selects one of your returning objects as the item to be bundled with, hence the word "coalesce". This one object is actually a combination of all of the other returned objects from the same area. When you rez that object inworld from your L&F folder, it will rez all of your coalesced items in the same formation it was last placed inworld before having been returned to you. If your items are being returned from various areas in a sim, you may receive several of your returned objects in your L&F folder. Again, each these will be bundled with rest of your returned items. This will only happen when multiple objects are returned at the same time from the same parcel or region.

Here's a good way to find your returned items, utilizing the inventory tools:
" Open your Inventory
" Select the Recent Items tab
" In your Inventory toolbar, left-click on FILTERS, select MODIFY CURRENT
" When the Recent Items window opens, go to the bottom of that window and adjust the Hours Ago or Days Ago back to the approximate time your Inventory should have been returned from the parcel
" Untick all categories except OBJECTS
" In your Inventory toolbar, left-click on SORT, select DATE
" Go to a parcel where you have enough prim usage to rez all your coalesced objects (do it in a sim where it's not laggy or you could risk losing all your items if the sim should crash due to a sim rollback. If you go to a sandbox, select one that's not busy or laggy!)
" Rez objects inworld from your Lost & Found folder, starting from the top, one at a timeIf after following the above instructions, your returned items have still not rezzed, please be sure to check the land parcel it was returned from and determine whether it was truly returned. If the items being returned were DEEDED to a group, they will be returned to the Resident who originally deeded the objects to the group ONLY IF the objects were not copyable. If the deeded returned objects were copyable, then the objects will not be returned and merely be deleted.

If you've done all of this and you believe you are still missing returned objects, please file a bug report inworld. Once youve submitted your bug, send an IM to Kona Linden inworld and provide him with your RT# from the email confirmation.

Big note on who to contact if you also ever suffer this issue: Kona Linden.

Excellent info to have when it seems no one is there to help. Too bad the help had to come from another resident and business owner who had suffered this same problem in the past rather than from Linden lab itself. I think that says a lot. Thank you again Cherry.

9 comments:

antonia said...

Oh my god... I am so sorry to hear that happen to you. What a nightmare, I dont know what to say.

You've probably already tried this, but you've cleared your cashe and restarted? My friend had his whole inventory disappear a few days ago and I told him to clear cashe, and it worked.

Other than that... :/ I'm so sorry.

Willis said...

OMG!

I am soooooooooooooooo sorry Zoe :((

I hope you get this fixed, I have heard this happening to others and being able to be fixed, so i'm crossing my fingers for you.

Love and hugs

Willow
xxxx

Lucas Lameth said...

Wow, I agree with everything you said and I hope your inventory comes back.. i have no words really but youre right and these issues should be resolved with more than a shrug and a lollipop on LL end.

I'm Vel. said...

I would be mad. But only because I don't know many suitable English words...

ipenda keynes said...

Wow...I'm glad I read this after the update. I'm glad a fellow resident was able to help you. And, if you don't mind, I'm going to share a link to your post on both my blog and our school's blog for anyone else that experiences this nightmare.

Canimal said...

God zoe thats so fucking awefull i reeealy hope that somehow the heavens will open & LL will help you I think even games have better support then SL.. *hugs you*

Zoe Llewelyn said...

Thank you all for the kindness and support today. I was so bloody scared outta my mind all morning. But thankfully, Cherry Tokyo had a notecard from Kona Linden on steps that sometimes work to fix this and it did for me after a few tries.

Thank you thank you all again. I think I need to start working on some way to backup all my inventory to an alt or something. O.O

Silvarius said...

Zoe congrats on the return of your inventory :) Just got a suggestion for missing inventories.

Clear your cache through the SL client. and exit. Manually find your Cache through your windows explorer and manually delete everything there. run a scandisk. And run SL again. Worked for me

KONA said...

Hi folks! A few things to consider:

-ALWAYS file a bug report. Filing a bug report is not for you to be put in contact with a support person necessarily. The info you provide us in the bug report is the information the engineers like myself will use to help solve your issue. If you merely report, "My stuff is gone", and nothing else, that information will be useless. The idea is provide us with info that will help us, help you. DO detail the following: step by step WHAT exactly you were doing, name of objects that have gone missing if possible, when the last time you rezzed objects inworld or used said objects, and what your expectations were when you attempted your action that resulted in your lost inventory report.

- You should never have more than 15-20k of objects in your inventory. The more objects you have, the slower it will be for you log into SL...even to the point where you will no longer be able to log into SL because you have too large of an inventory. Remember, data is data (which Linden Lab owns...you merely own IP rights). This is clearly detailed in TOS. Data can become corrupted, pending on several factors regarding one's client (your hardware) and server side (Linden Lab servers). Should your data get corrupted for whatever reason (ie. poor connectivity, server crash...etc), there is no guarantee we'll be able to recover the data. Because the amounts of data our systems manage, we clearly state in TOS that no data is guaranteed and should be treated as so.

- The inventory object counter is not an accurate count of your actual inventory. This feature is due to be revised and in the meantime should NOT be relied on as an accurate account of what you have in your inventory.

- After revising our support to a more scalable system, you can contact a support person at: https://secure-web5.secondlife.com/community/support.php

If you've been a resident for years, you should know by now that Second Life is an ever changing environment/platform. What SL was last month, much less last week, will be different to one degree or another today. Ask any of the old residents who're content creators (ie. from 2003 or 2004), and they'll go in great details of what and what not to do. Granted, merchants/vendors will have more inventory, so such residents should get into the practice of backing up their data by one means or another. Some vendors have created other accounts as a repository to drop copies of important works for example or given copies with full permissions of said works to reliable group members.

Yes, our engineers have discussed of ways to offer the community a means to backup their data locally (on your own PCs), but until we can figure out how to reliably do so without violating residents' IP rights (trademark/copyright issues), we'll continue working on a more scalable and reliable solution in the future.

I've been a resident/successful vendor of SL since 2003 before I joined the Linden Lab staff, so I know all too well the ups & downs one contends with in-world. As SL's residency grows, more and more residents actually spend less face time with an actual Linden in-world, learning their SL skills from other residents instead. Ultimately, if you want to know more about how things work or how to do certain things, go to support on the website, seek out in-world learning centers/classes (ie. Ivory Towers by Lumiere Noir) or ask a long time well known content creator/resident for some insight and advice. Community Lindens will have more insight to provide you with or at the very least point you in the right direction. IMing every Linden inworld will not help your cause. Like I said, please do go to our Support page.

For you old timers who remember how it was SL in 2003 & 2004, we've come a long way. As the community grows, scaling and stability has been a number one priority for us. Thus far, we've succeeded this far with the residents' support & input. That is still the case. So providing us repros of issues regarding performance or loss content is extremely helpful in getting solutions ASAP. It's helps us help you faster, in turn, helping the community progress as we have over years.

Thanks for all your contributions in making SL what it is today and tomorrow! Keep those bug reports coming in (they help us help you) and do use our new Support system on our website.

Thanks!
kona linden