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Doing the impossible

November 30th, 2012 by Marianne McCann

In Second Life, the impossible is commonplace. We teleport so often that it is considered as typical as walking. Unassisted flight causes us to not even break a sweat. We can explore places from all times, all places, and born out of pure imagination. We continually go beyond our First Life limitations: it’s what we do.

Yet there’s another form of impossible. Things that are impossible in Second Life.

Of course, there are plenty of “should nots,” both in the form of social mores and in the terms of service. There are also a lot of things that you really cannot do, and that code prohibits. You can’t make a 65-meter prim, or build over 4096m in the air, as examples.

There are other forms of impossible, but these are a different kettle of fish — and this is the sort of impossible I relish in.

One impossibility I love breaking: region crossings. The mantra has been, for years, that region crossings are a painful, difficult issue. To be fair, they long were a difficult issue. For the last year or so, however, they’ve been largely pretty easy (recent Havok upgrades being one pain point for a few weeks). With the advent of high quality, mesh vehicles and advanced physics, we’re also seeing vehicles of great detail, capable of carrying sizable numbers of avatars.

This is where things go well into the real of supposed unobtainability. It has always been bad enough trying to get one avatar in one vehicle to cross one region crossing. Can you imagine putting several into a vehicle, and crossing multiple regions? It’s unheard of, preposterous.

You know where this is going.

Lockheed Electra 10e

Here’s the plane: an Electra 10e from Drusilla Saunders. It’s not yet commercially available, but should be very soon.


Here are the folks in the cabin: a hardy bunch of friends and others from around Bay City.

We initially took off from North Channel, just after our weekly “Bay City Rumble,” which this week was a demolition derby the likes of which has never been seen in SL. Cars bashing themselves to bits in SL: incredible building and scripting work by ADudeNamed Anthony, making that work. I should note that, yes, we did have a sim outage after that, proving that there are still limited to physics. Oops.

Anyway, after that was cleared, we took off and headed for the Bay City Municipal Aeroport in the Hau Koda region. This was a trip that had us crossing 6 region borders, including going over a busy Infohub (Moose Beach). We made it with nary a scratch on the polished aluminum hull.

My passengers had quite a bit of fun. So much that they were still up for some more flight.

We took off from Bay City Municipal Aeroport on a slightly longer route. The final destination was the old Areodrome space in Abbotts, via the southern water passage. Total crossings for this route: nineteen. Again, we’d cross Moose Beach, and travel perilously close to the sandbox regions.

I showed a friend of mine the shot of all the passengers. She assumed it was just a posed photo and we did not actually fly. Again, the common wisdom is that you simply do not do that in Second Life. It’s impossible.

Electra crossing by the Battery Point Lighthouse

Nineteen crossings later, we touched down, safely, in Abbotts. We rubberbanded at a crossing here and there, but nothing too frightening. No one got logged out, and no one stalled at a region crossing.

I’ll admit that I know others who continually face difficulties crossings regions. It is a challenge for many — but here’s me, on an iMac from 2008, on a so-so network connection, and I can pilot that flight. The impossible is possible.

4 Responses to “Doing the impossible”

  1. Dave Gaffer Says:

    Way to go! We do long grid flights for Vulture Air all the time, but never on the Old Continent. Usually this is on the Blake Sea. Have you considered becoming a pilot for our airline? We have a desk at East River Municipal and can always use a good pilot over there.

  2. Uccie Says:

    As much as people gripe about Second Life and the problems Residents face, most either aren’t aware of how bad it was “back in the day” or have forgotten. The Lab has taken great strides in improving Our World and I sometimes have to remind myself of that, too. We must also be thankful for a big increases in skills that the builders demonstrate, too. Gone are the slap-dash days of anyone banging prims together and in are the times of high-quality artists and scripters with a passion for their work. Combined, The Lab and Second Life’s Residents make Our World better than ever. Thanks for reminding everyone of this, Marianne, in this joyful post.

  3. Winter Says:

    I remember back in 2006, a few friends ogf mine all got in a “air taxi”.. I seem to remember it seated 4.

    We flew that thing out of Mauve, and all the way over to somewhere near Oak Grove. I remember that this was the first time I realized that all the places I knew about were connected.

    We had a bunch of problems, of course, and I eventually ended up in a dark watery void someplace along the way, but I did manage to get a long way. I remember how excited I was when a couple of months later, LL said they’d fixed region crossings.

    I fell in love with making vehicles at that point. Modding freebies, making that oh-so-noobish airship, making cars with Jaxon.

    I still do tinker with vehicles from time to time, but I’ve found over the last couple of years, that the best vehicles are slow vehicles. The more time you get to savor the scenery, the more time there is for things to load.

    I just wish there was a rule that would allow you to set a vehicle to ‘temp’ or something.. that would make your passengers and objects immune to banlines and security orbs and such.

    Carefully planned and set aside sailing/flying routes are nice, but the wild grid is riddled with invisible boobytraps waiting to ruin your day if you dare to come too close to something you can’t see.

  4. Marianne McCann Says:

    I do most of my flying over on the west end of the continent, Bay City, Kremer, Gray, and Abbotts. I wish there were more out our way!

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