Friday, May 21, 2010

MutationAlpha for S3 and S4, and more news

There are four sections to this announcement:

The Mer Betta MutationAlpha add-on packs for Series 3 and Series 4 are now available! I will send out a notecard individually to people who own one or more Series 3 or Series 4 tails, whether they are in the Mer Betta groups or not.

There are extra gloves in the new MutationAlpha packs to help with lag. If you're using the barechested undershirt/shirt, then use the matching barechested gloves. If you're using the pasties undershirt/shirt, then use the matching pasties gloves. You won't see a difference visually, but you (and people around you) download one less texture. Just like the socks matching the underpants in the Crescent Intimates add-on packs.

If you purchased a MutationAlpha add-on pack prior to today (May 21), you will automatically receive a new pack with the extra gloves. Please be patient as I work on that distribution.

Series 4 and Series 5 Merkini+Bettakini packs have reduced prices. I was looking at my price structure and realized that all other S4 and S5 packs were only 50L more than the corresponding Series 3 packs, except the Merkini+Bettakini packs. So just to make things consistent, I've decided to reduce the price on the S4 and S5 'kinis. With only a 50L price difference from S3, the S4 and S5 tails are really a much better value for the money.

Mer Betta products will now be delivered in a new "box". In the past, Mer Betta vendors have delivered the products unpacked and ready to wear. The main reason being that some malls do not allow rezzing on the land to avoid griefing, so customers would have to rez the box somewhere else or in a small area. (Yes, I really *do* think through every small decision I make. :D ) Also, I personally like to see what I get before I buy, particularly the permissions. However, since the packs are getting bulkier and bulkier, it takes SL longer to open up the list of contents when you buy. And people are forgetting to make a copy of the product before making any changes to it.

This new packaging has several benefits:
a. Buying from a vendor with only one item is faster, especially in laggy sims.
b. It's wearable so you don't have to be on a parcel that allows rezzing on the land.
c. I publish the permissions on the vendor texture anyway, so you know what permissions you get. And, currently, all Mer Betta products are Mod/Copy, except for scripts which are Copy only.
d. You can easily get a factory-fresh copy of the items, if you messed up your copy beyond recognition. ;) The packaging itself is NoMod to preserve the integrity of the items.
e. Important links are right on the prims: the SL group joiner, the Mer Betta website, a map to the Mer Betta main store. If you rez the packaging, other people can click on those buttons, but not on the center panel, which gives away inventory only to the owner.
f. And, finally, there's the "cool factor". You get a nice static mermaid animation when you wear it or sit on it.

I'm still not entirely happy with the design of this packaging. And the SL camera is still messed up. I'm also waiting for some technical updates, like LSL scripts having access to the HippoGroups. So, there will be iterations of this packaging as I go along. I am also thinking of tweaking it for other uses, but that idea is still simmering in my head.