Blog Entries
Unique Musical Instruments Tags: music instruments

 

Folks may know that I make box guitars (also known as "cigar box guitars" or CBGs), as well as standard electric guitars, guitar pickups, flutes and other music instruments.  The very name "box guitar" classifies it as a "guitar"... however it's played differently, tends to have only 3 strings, and most I've seen are made by hand (power tools are okay too).  To me, that makes almost the entire genre "unique".  All one has to do is Google Image CBGs and wow... what an odd assortment of instruments.  One of the things that makes CBGs "unique" to me is that if you ask a CBG maker what the basic "rules" are he'll say every time: "Only one:  there are no rules."

My store:  https://Etsy.com/shop/Wishbringer


Chicken Coop Blues:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN7nVZbZue0

Great documentary:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auY4Vx99MfE

Terrific playing of a simple 3-string amplified CBG (gotta luv it):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVxflu60qsA

Pure unplugged folk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIIEhH7xOXg

Another instrument that strikes me as unique is the bodhran, which is a thin Irish drum that is played with a double-headed drumstick called a tipper.  Because of that it sounds like one is playing with two drumsticks, when in reality it's one drumstick being flipped back and forth in one hand.  The other hand is placed behind the drum head to change timbre.  Of course they are mass-produced, but the concept always fascinated me.  I own a nice one and it is fun to play.

Great Bodhran demonstration:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ChbigufBC8

An American instrument is the spoons, in which one cradles two wooden or metal spoons between the fingers and clacks them rhythmically between the leg and palm of the other hand.

This is as "folk" as you get:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TS9ugnarQQ

Well... maybe except for this:

https://youtu.be/hiZM47duWIo



Ocean Drums are odd in that they are played using pebbles inside the drum for an effect similar in concept to another interesting instrument, the rain stick.

Really good short ocean drum solo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVj888Yge7c

The Cajon is a drum made entirely out of wood.  The thicknesses of the wood on the front side are inclined.  One sits on the top of the drum and plays the front, which will give different tones depending on where it is thumped.  Players typically wear tape on their fingers to prevent injury.

Talented Cajon solo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyPk6-aEOoM

The Ektara (east Indian), Canjo (American instrument made from a can and stick of wood) or the Diddley Bow are all single-string instruments played either by finger pressure or using a glass / metal / ceramic / wood slide.  They are extremely easy to build by hand and produce an unexpectedly rich and incredible sound.

How to Make a Diddley Bow in 20 minutes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M18A7xLQZsY

Is it bed time yet?  That was a longer post than originally intended. ;D

My first CBG:
https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2922/13480611274_0a584283ee_z.jpg

Notice the highly-professional metal hardware bolts used for the nut and bridge? :D

ELF CLAN 2021
Category: Elf Clan News
Tags: elf clan

 

ELF CLAN 2021

Where is Elf Clan now and what are we up to?

 

Elf Clan remains one of the oldest and largest fantasy groups on the virtual worlds.  Rather than being based on the single world of Second Life, our group is spread throughout the Metaverse, especially on Hypergrid worlds such as OSgrid, DigiWorldz and Kitely.  Such worlds are very low cost and allow maximum building potential.

OUR PRIMARY HOME is at ElvenSong on OSgrid.  (See below on how to join the Hypergrid).  In addition we have affiliate lands such as WELLSPRING on DigiWorldz (see SENDALONDE and Rascal Flats at PIZZAZ regions), and smaller lands that still hold to the basic Elf Clan concept of * Honor * Respect * Friendship *.... as well as family-friendly fun.

HOW TO JOIN ELF CLAN

You can join Elf Clan on Second Life, as well as OSgrid, Kitely and DigiWorldz grids.  These three grids are part of the Hypergrid, a consortium of over 200 grids (both large and small) that are joined together so one can teleport from one grid to another.  Event notices or important information are primarily sent out on DigiWorldz or Second Life. 

EVENTS. Elf Clan was at one time the center of Elven events.  We are no longer event-active; we have passed that effort on to honorable role playing groups.  For some 15 years Elf Clan was a major center for events and activities.  That is a very long time.  Now we have spread out into individually-owned virtual worlds, and focus more on self-guided tours, attractions and historical exhibits. (See below.)  Elf Clan is an interesting and fun place to explore, with many, many things to see and experience.

THINGS TO DO AND SEE.  There are several attractions and places at which you can take self-guided tours-- or simply walk around and explore.

 

ELVENSONG on OSgrid is the Home of Elf Clan.  Here you can find ancient Elf Clan creations such as two historic early castles, one of the original homes of the Poetry Guild,  Dwagon's Keep (home of the Dwagons), Pirates Cove (a long-standing tradition of Elf Clan), and the Elf Clan Crystal Museum... a place filled with historic photos of Elf Clan and members in times past.   For those interested in the history of Elf Clan as well as beautiful surroundings, ElvenSong is a wonderful place to visit.

 

REPLICANT CITY is located in high-sky ElvenSong.  It is a science-fiction themed city that presents multiple genres in a highly-interactive environment.   Visit our Star Trek exhibit, the Doctor Who museum, TRON exhibit, a full-size Firefly space ship, Steampunk Museum, and the famed Hall of Funny.   The nine fully-populated Starships surrounding the city should offer you days of exploration.  (Be sure to left click almost everthing.  Replicant City is highly-scripted and very interactive.) 

ELVENGLEN.  The original home of Elf Clan, ElvenGlen has been re-created in almost every detail.  Here you will find the (mostly empty) stalls of the original Elf Clan Market, the Elven Gardens, the original Thirsty Dragon Tavern, the nefairous Ork Fortress, the lands of Eldar Peter Lioncourt, and the huge 600 foot-tall Elf Clan Castle and Throne Room... all as it was originally created in 2005.  This is the most ancient of Elf Clan history, in full detail.

FRANKENSTEIN.  How much "stuff" can one cram on a single, high-powered server?  This experiment entails 25 full regions all joined together in varying themes.  Frankenstein is full of interactive activities (be sure to ride the Ferris Wheel of Doom), as well as copyable freebies from one end to the other.   Frankenstein is a fun and fascinating place to explore-- as well as to experience offerings gleaned from all over the Hypergrid.

SENDALONDE.  Sendalonde LIbrary is a famous Elf Clan Affiliate, as are the associated lands of the Wellspring group.  Family-friendly, beautiful and multi-themed builds.  The Sendalonde Library is an events-active location that has sponsored such events a Live Theater, the Shipwrights Guild Exhibit, Live Music, an immense Science Fiction Exhibit, and much more.  Of all the groups associated with Elf Clan, Wellspring's Sendalonde Community Library is undoubtedly the most event-active.  Sendalonde has recently moved to DigiWorldz grid, where they have expanded lands and core power on their custom Pro-Server system.

Wellspring lands include RASCAL FLATS, home of the Elf Clan tinies.   Rascals are good friends of both Raglan Shire and Weefolks Weelandia.   Rascal Flats is a place of beauty, fun, and insanity... as would be expected of any Tiny Town.

CHANGES OVER THE YEARS

Elf Clan started out as a very active, event-heavy group based on limited lands on one grid.   Now we have expansive lands (more than 140 regions) spread across the Metaverse.  Rather than events we feature exploration and beauty.   Instead of constant activities our members are more interested in creating amazing builds we could never create on Second Life.   (For example, the Firefly spaceship is 105m long and consists of 1,000 prims... all linked together in one object.  Such a thing cannot exist on SL.  It required the Hypergrid.)

So our members rather than being concentrated and centrally-active, are spread-out and developing their own worlds.  Time changes things, including Elf Clan.  We invite you to explore our worlds and see the amusing, fascinating, and fun things that await you.  

--o--

 

HOW TO JOIN THE HYPERGRID

A "grid" is a virtual world such as Second Life.  The Hypergrid is a virtual world "highway" that allows you to instantly teleport between dozens of privately-owned grids.  (Second Life is not part of the Hypergrid.)  The Hypergrid is largely based on Opensim software... a freely-downloadable software package that allows people to run their own virtual worlds on home computers.  Some people have set up professional-level "server grids" that contain hundreds or thousands of privately-owned lands.

Most people aren't aware of several facts:

* Opensim is as powerful as Second Life (in some ways more powerful)

* The Building tools on Opensim are more powerful (they removed some of the arbitrary building limits of Second Life, such as link limits and prim size allowance). 

* The total population of the Hypergrid and total regions of the Hypergrid exceed Second Life in number.   In other words, the Hypergrid is larger than Second Life.  In fact, just the top few Opensim grids together contain more regions than all of SL.  The total population and land area of the Hypergrid is unknown.

* At one time Opensim was "laggy" and filled with bugs.  But so was Second Life.   Opensim has progressed to the point that it is fast, sim-crossings (what few exist) are almost instantaneous, and performance equal to SL. 

To join the Hypergrid one must register with a Hypergrid Grid, just like you register with Second Life.

* Pick a grid (or grids) of your choice.  Many people have accounts on multiple grids.  Register with that grid (create an avatar).  Three major grids to check out:

OSgrid.org

DigiWorldz.com

Kitely.com

All of these are professionally-operated, well-know large grids.

* Download and install the FIRESTORM viewer for your particular computer.  Most people seem to prefer the Phoenix version of the software.

* To log in to a grid, load the Firestorm viewer, enter your avatar name and password, and choose the GRID NAME in the Log Into Grid field.  You should be able to log right into your grid of choice.

* To travel the hypergrid, either visit a Hypergrid Access Terminal or enter the Hypergrid Map Address into your viewer chat and click on it... just like you would an SLURL location.

That's all there is to it!  Many people who enjoy the Hypergrid consider themselves "grid hoppers"... people who may have their main home one one specific grid, but also visit other grids, including Second Life.  As our well-known dwagon puts it:

"Build and live on Opensim because of the building tools, vast land areas and low-cost... and party down on Second Life.   We are no longer bound to one grid."

ENJOY!

 

--o--

 

 

 

 

Elf Clan 2020- Status Report
Category: Elf Clan News

 

As I write this it is late October 2020, and it has been an odd few years.  Aside from the Inworldz grid self-destructing in July 2018 and changing the face of Elf Clan... the Covid-19 virus has changed the face of society globally. 

So what is the status of Elf Clan at this time?

 

 

ELF CLAN STATUS

 

Elf Clan still exists in name, history, and some rather incredible lands.  As of this writing (2020-11-04) Elf Clan affilite lands total 144 regions. 

When the Inworldz grid self-destructed the centralized-nature of Elf Clan that had existed from 2004 to 2018 ended.  Members of Elf Clan spread throughout the virtual worlds, moving to different grids.  Some returned to Second Life (though not in Elf Clan capacity).  Others set up new homes on grids such as OSgrid, Kitely and DigiWorldz.   Some returned to real life, having tired of the ups and downs of virtual worlds and replacing them with something more substantial.

 

ELF CLAN HISTORY EXHIBITS

The core home of Elf Clan settled on OSgrid in the form of two continents:  ElvenSong and ElvenGlen.   Both of these are 5x5 VAR regions, 25 times the size of a normal region.  The huge amount of land and ocean area combined with no sim lines provided wonderful building opportunities.

These two continents present the history of Elf Clan, including our orginal ElvenGlen region with its immensely tall castle and the nearby Orc Fortress.  This is Elf Clan in 2005 when it existed on the Second Life platform.  Eldar Peter Lioncourt has placed additional lands and creations around the original ElvenGlen to achieve the huge woodland areas and sailable waters he's always enjoyed.

ElvenSong presents Elf Clan as it existed on Inworldz, with changes made to take advantage of the increased continent size.   The areas of ElvenMyst and Pirate's Cove have been merged with ElvenSong to form a large dual-island pair.  Here one will find ElvenSong Castle, Dwagons Keep (home of the Dwagons), the Poetry Guild Treehouse, Pirate's Cove, and the Elf Clan Museum that contains numerous beautiful, hand-picked photos of Elf Clan history.

In high-sky ElvenSong you will find Replicant City, our  enjoyable multi-genre science fiction exhibit. Replicant City is often featured on the splash page when logging in to OSgrid.  It has been greatly expanded and now includes nine detailed starships surrounding the City.  For science fiction fans this area offers hours and even days of potential exploration possibilities.

We have added to these regions Frankenstein.  As the name implies it is an experiment, a stitched-together complex of multiple worlds available on the Internet, as well as our own creations to add to the fun.   Almost everything on Frankenstein is free-to-copy... one of the largest "freebie stores" anywhere, consisting of 25 themed regions.  

Just recently Wellspring on Kitely grid has converted to a 8x8 mega-world consisting of 64 regions.  Owned by Alexina Proctor and Prax Maryjasz, Wellspring is the home of the famed Sendalonde Community Library (Sendalonde is Elvish for "peaceful haven"), as well as the newly-formed Weefolk Township (Kitely's first Tiny community).  Wellspring is a mutli-themed beautiful world that features Steampunk, Tiny and Fantasy themes.  Of the Elf Clan lands it is the most active, with planned events, three markets, tours and extensive creations by several individuals.

 

THE HISTORY LIVES

Elf Clan central is inactive as far as activities.  We no longer have events and seldom send out group messages.  But if one wishes to explore the lands and history of one of the oldest and (at one time) largest themed groups on any virtual world... there is much on these lands to explore.  Elf Clan (according to Linden Lab) was the very first themed group to purchase a private region on Second Life. It was the first group to reach 500 members, then 1000 members... and just kept going. 

Elf Clan affiliate lands are more event-active.

When we left Second Life (due to constantly changing policies and ridiculous prices) and moved to Inworldz... that tiny 14-region micro-grid turned from an unknown into a 1,000+ region mega-grid.  Unfortunately Inworldz self-destructed due to some very bad management... and our Elf Can home moved to the Hypergrid.  This actually turned out to be a good thing for our home lands; they're larger than ever before and far less expensive.

The total number of Elf Clan regions comes to 144 (at our height on Inworldz we had 54).  Elf Clan central is hosted on two privately-owned servers, one in the U.S. and the other in the Netherlands.   ElvenSong, Frankenstein and Wellspring contain full auto-guided tour systems.   So while the group itself exists primarily in name and history, the lands have never been larger or more interesting to explore. 

You are invited to visit these lands on OSgrid and Kitely, either by registering with that grid or hopping directly to the lands via the Hypergrid (a system that hooks together virtual worlds).  The history is interesting, the lands fascinating, and your avatar will by no means leave empty-handed.  : )

--o--

 

 

Retrospect 2019 Tags: retrospect

 

REFLECTIONS OVER THE YEARS

I started virtual worlds in 2000 with Worlds.com, a modem-based,  under-powered, yet fun platform where very few people built and most people met just to explore and socialize.  I moved to Second Life in 2004 after reading an ad on Google.

Somewhere in there Wayfinder founded a small group called Elf Clan, which for odd reasons grew to be the largest themed group on Second Life for several years.  Go figure.  Our touring lands exist to this day. 

Due to host company problems and extremly high costs on Second Life, Elf Clan moved to Inworldz in 2010 and shut down our SL holdings in 2011.  When Inwordz died we set three continents OSgrid in 2018.  Elf Clan affiliate lands now number over 160 regions... the largest land holdings in the history of the group.

Elf Clan Central on OSgrid now consists of four continents, consisting of 100 regions, running on three self-hosted servers literally spread across the Earth.  Elf Clan members have moved to grids throughout the Hypergrid.  We have changed in form from being a social, heavy-event-oriented group with very high monthly costs, to lands that run on the cost of electricity and that are scripted and fully-automated to host tours for both our Fantasy and Science Fiction worlds.  We have official member lands on OSgrid, Kitely and DigiWorldz, and the residents there are quite happy.

The great thing about owning our own servers is that we can now enjoy our virtual worlds without consideration for finances or "will things be there tomorrow?".  We are able to back up everything, including land, inventory and assets.  100% control  and ownership over our own creations is a wonderful thing.

The Eldar have complete control over our land backup, inventory backup and server operation parameters.  We no longer have corporate whims controlling how our group functions.  We need no longer worry about meeting monthly tier, or a company going back on their word and destroying valuable group lands.   The sense of peace and removal of stress on the Eldar and land holders is palpable, and appreciated.  In short, our virtual life has never been more peaceful, stress-free, and low-cost.

As a result, both group leaders and members feel a sense of freedom that we could not experience before.

 
THE ORBIT EFFECT-- controlling your own virtual experience
One thing I have noticed over the years in virtual society as well as real life:  people tend to gravitate toward and orbit around prominent / charismatic figures.  I noticed this with both Wayfinder and Snoots.  When they were very active in Elf Clan, the group was lively and active.  When they "retired", the group became far less active.
 
This is somewhat a shame, as it is still possible to host events, to have drum parties, celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day, etc.  It's just that no one does so any more. 
 
I've never considered myself "charismatic", but the "orbit" effect was undeniable. However, a friend actually had to point this out to me before I noticed it.  We see this around popular figures in all walks of life and in many groups on virtual worlds.  I remember in the old days we had a "rule of thumb" in Elf Clan:   Bored?  Stand in the sandbox for 15 minutes and soon you will have a party.  People gravitate toward one another, and orbit around the active, outgoing avatars. 
 
Just an observation:  if you want an active group, be available and active yourself.  Become the charismatic "orbit figure".  In our case  no one else was willing to step up to the plate and take over the  job of events-- which told us that our group members were quite satisfied with a more relaxed atmosphere.  So today Elf Clan consists of highy-engaging automated tours that can help visitors enjoy our lands and history.
 
SOCIAL VENUES
Our dispersal throughout Hypegrid has largely eliminated such venues and replaced them with automated adventures.  I admit missing the Drum Circle or the company of like-minded souls around a camp fire... but do enjoy the fascinating experiences to be found on our OSgrid worlds of ElvenSong, Replicant City and Frankenstein.  The historic build of ElvenGlen (the very first privately-owned non-business region on Second Life) gives people a glimpse into the past history of both our group and virtual worlds.
 
MIXED FEELINGS
Virtual worlds can be used for many good things.  They can be a social center for the disabled.  (Moderately disabled ones might make effort to get out and make friends in the real world, because virtual worlds are no substitute for real life.)   Virtual worlds can make a decent hobby, as entertainment, and as a creative platform-- if that use is kept to moderate levels.  When one allows that recreation to become a primary focus of life and their "second life" becomes their first life-- that's when personal value and true accomplishment suffers. 
 
THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES
I discovered that truth when I "took a vacation" from virtual worlds for about 4 years or so.  I had already built and accomplished what I wanted to in virtual life and realized it had become unfulfilling.  Linden Lab had managed to destroy all of our efforts on Second Life.  We had accomplished everything we set out to accoplish on Inworldz (and quite a bit more)... but it proved an empty achievement when the grid died.  Everything was virtual and as Inworldz absolutely proved, could vanish in a moment.   
 
That's the reality of anything really, but when a virtual grid dies an entire "planet" collapses-- something seldom seen in real life.
 
When I took that four-year vacation (with virtual life taking almost zero time) I learned a brand new skill:  designing and building music instruments... which I was surprised to learn I had a hitherto-unknown talent for.  I then opened a RL online music business.  During that period I designed three totally new types of music instruments that sold rather well (and earned far more money than I ever earned from virtual sales).  Had I not taken that vacation from virtual life, I'd have never accomplished those things in real life. That was a very sobering thought.  It caused me to wonder what I had missed during the years I'd spent so heavily involved in virtual worlds.
 
The reality there is that there are options to virtual life.  "Virtual worlds have virtual success."  After two major "disasters", many in our group have found this to be quite true.
 
DON'T GET ME WRONG...
None of this is meant to condemn virtual worlds.  Wonderful things are accomplished on virtual worlds every day.  Charities benefit from virtual events. People learn from virtual worlds.  
 
All of this just means we do well to maintain a balanced view of it all, realizing there are alternatives to virtual life-- namely real life.  I've learned to break the habit of hitting the Viewer button every time I'm bored and instead search for other things to occupy my time.    There is so much else out there, so many people that need our help and attention... and so many lonely people who could simply use a face-to-face friend. Virtual World Addiction is like any other addiction; sometimes we have to work hard to break away and seek  more valid lifestyle.
 
There is much to be said for sipping a cuppa and simply chatting for a while with someone who is alone and lonely.  An older friend, a shut-in, someone who is disabled and can't get around by themselves.  It requires effort beyond typing on a keyboard.  It is more personal than triggering a dance animation at a virtual party, more fulfilling than sitting staring at a screen for two hours.   As enjoyable as virtual friendship scan be, real life friendships have proved more lasting and rewarding.
 
VIRTUAL IS ONLY VIRTUALLY FULFILLING
In the end game, virtual reality is virtual.  It may touch lives in personal ways, but like anything can be abused and become unbalanced, taking over our lives.  In retrospect I realize that to exist for 18 years in virtual worlds, I had to give up a great deal in the real world.  
 
Consider (and there is no brag here, just fact):  On SL I founded the first Poetry Guild.  Elf Clan proved to be a marvel.  We purchased the first privately-owned themed island, were the first non-business group to reach 500 members, then 1,000, then 2,000.   We created a business model that influenced all of Second Life.   As a prominent SL newsletter stated, Elf Clan set more paths and more people followed those paths than any other group to date.  I admit much of this was unintentional; I was just doing what we felt was necessary for the group.  But in doing so we blazed some trails. 
 
When we moved to Inworldz, the entire grid consisted of 14 regions, 13 of those company-sponsored (only one belonged to an individual).   People followed Elf Clan... and thirty days later Inworldz had 200 regions.  Within sixty days it hit 500 regions and by the end of the year-- 8 months later, was the first non-SL commercial grid to top 1,000 regions.   During my time on SL and Inworldz I started two virtual businesses, becoming an established builder, scripter, instructor and live music performer.    I spent an average of 6 to 12 hours a day in virtual worlds, 7 days a week.
 
To accomplish such things and then have them fail due to problems with the host companies (in both cases-- Linden Lab and Inworldz), defines the very essense of "virtual".  As a group we saw 14 years of effort and over $200,000 U.S. in land fees go down the drain.  If this happened to Elf Clan... as large and successful as we were... what can others expect? 
 
It's not that similar things don't happen in real life.  They do. Large businesses fail due to no fault of their own.  People lose real lives due to disease, age, or accidents.   Families are torn apart due to drama.  People lose jobs.  If anything, virtual worlds reflect all too realistically the real world.
 
The point of all this is simple:  as an individual I was privileged to accomplish more than most people ever get to experience in virtual worlds.  Only large group owners, land barons and successful merchants would understand the effort that goes into doing so.  It would be difficult for a person to accomplish more than we accomplished with Elf Clan. (Raglan Shire is still at it after all these years.  They understand.) 
 

Some things for certain:  I know that Elf Clan helped change the lives of at least a couple of people, giving them a solid foundation around which they formed their real life ethics and goals.  (The Elf Clan Charter is in its most basic terms, simply a guide for life, be it virtual or real.)  But if there's something I learned about virtual worlds:  they are as temporary as yesterday's newspaper.

 
VIRTUAL WORLDS IN 2019-- AND THE NEXT 18 YEARS
So the question of what I will do for the next 18 years comes to mind.   Whatever I choose, I hope it will be with increased wisdom, insight, accomplishment and benefit. Some of that will have been learned from activities on virtual worlds, interacting with the people there and learning skills that applied to real life.  For that I am grateful.  But one always wonders about the path not taken.
 
Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors-- and wise choices in how we use our limited days on this planet.
 

--Wayfinder Wishbringer / Snoots Dwagon

 
 
The End of an Age - Beginning Anew
Category: Elf Clan News

 

 

Note:  This article serves as historic interest purpose, as most information here is largely out of date.  Elf Clan has now established a new home and has been fully operational on OSgrid for some time.

CONTACT US:  (Please send notecards, not IMs. IMs are easily capped and lost on some grids.)

OSGrid: Moontan Valeeva, Snoots Dwagon

Second Life:  Wayfinder Wishbringer or Eren Padar

We have no contact point on Inworldz as it is permanently offline and its replacement grid not set up at this time.

 

UPDATE Aug 14, 2018: ELF CLAN IS LANDING

 

It has been 2 1/2 weeks since Inworldz went offline.  The Elf Clan Eldar have been extensively researching grids to find a new home. 

The three central regions of Elf Clan are:  ElvenSong, ElvenMyst and ElvenGlen.  We have succeeded in restoring all three regions on a test area.  That is very good news for our group, as it means our group history is fully intact.

At this time we are working on setting up these three primary Elf Clan regions all together on our own servers.  This is not something everyone can do, nor is even recommended at this time.  We are doing so as a means of research... and so that Elf Clan members may know we're still alive and kicking.

Every Elf Clan member has different needs.  Most of you have not yet received your OAR files from Inworldz, so you are not ready to choose a new home quite yet.  Some of you may be enjoying just exploring virtual worlds with your friends.  Maybe some have received their OAR files and are wondering what to do with them.   We are working on that.  

In truth, it is too early yet to know what the future holds.  However... the Eldar are working hard to determine what will work for all of our members, not just some.  When you hear what we've been working on, we believe you will be excited.

IF you need assistance of any kind, please contact us as listed above.   If you're content to explore for a while and just hang with your friends while the dust of Inworldz is settling, if you're waiting for your OARs and realize you don't need an immediate decision on anything... we encourage you to just hang in there and have fun.  

IF you have immediate need of a new home and you just can't stand it any more and you want to start building again, we recommend checking into  Kitely or DigiWorldz as affordable, easy-to-use hosts where you can have a secure and functional home.

Elf Clan is about to set up its central location, and we're soon to make a major announcement that will affect the very core of how Elf Clan operates.   So hang in there.   We will very soon now have something more concrete for you.

 

UPDATE Aug 9, 2018: FIXING FIRESTORM

Missing meshes?  Avatars won't rez?  Object won't rez?

This isn't a fault of the grid, but of issues with Firestorm.   Here are two fixes that should correct rezzing problems:


FIXES FOR INVISIBLE MESH & other items in FIRESTORM:

ADVANCED / DEBUG SETTINGS / FSEnforceStrictObjectCheck 

Check FALSE

PREFERENCES / GRAPHICS / RENDERING / ALPHA MASK RENDERING  uncheck both options

Note:  this may cause some prims to look a little wonky, but at least they'll be visible.

 

UPDATE Aug 6, 2018: STILL WORKING HARD FOR YOU

Elf Clan is still working to provide our group a  future home. Just this week the Eldar attended official live conferences on multple grids to determine the state of virtual reality worlds as they exist today.

Our members are largely divided into four parts:

* Those who want to wait for Inwordz to re-appear and continue there.  (Update:  this was attempted, failed big time, is ancient history. Inworldz / Islandz are dead.)

* Those who wish to move to another grid (some have already done so)

* Those who have returned to Second Life

* Those who have decided to return to "real life" and chuck virtual worlds altogether.

For those who have returned to RL or SL, we wish them well.  That is out of our jurisdiction.  But for those who remain, we are trying very hard to find a solution that will satisfy everyone.  It's like juggling cats, but over the years the Eldar have learned to become prettty good cat jugglers.

Until Inworldz makes its decisions, we are without full information.   There is a deadline set (August 15, tentatively).  At that time Elf Clan will likely go with the information we have on hand. Until then we encourage:   if you wish to remain with Elf Clan, sit tight, be patient, wait for further information. 

Because this is the reality:  There is no rush. 

Except of course for the Inworldz decision-makers.   They may need to get on the stick and let people know what they have in mind for re-structuring.  Our observations:  it seems the day of the $75-per- region closed-wall grid concept is a bit outdated.  We have undeniable results on what a closed-wall status did to Inworldz.  It lost hundreds of thousands (millions?) of dollars in purchased inventory, lands and creativity.  Regardless of the reasons behind the crash-- it damaged Inworldz reputation. They are having to re-build from scratch.  It would seem a grave mistake to refuse significantly changing their business model in today's highly-competitive environment.

We must accept the facts:  Inworldz was in decline before the big crash, while other grids were slowly growing.  In the opinion of Elf Clan:  Inworldz mode of operation needs to change for it to once again become a viable grid with a future.

"The definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing, expecting different results." -- Albert Einstein

"Let us not be stupid, twice." -- Wayfinder Wishbringer

 

UPDATE Aug 1, 2018: A CAUTION TO ELF CLAN MEMBERS

Elf Clan members, please bring this post to the attention of your friends.  If you're not an Elf Clan member you may wish to read this anyway.   It's important.

Friends, please be aware that the Eldar are extensively researching grids, including Inworldz, in an effort to decide on Elf Clan's next home landing in an informed manner

Unless you have operated a large group and managed multiple regions, you may not be aware of all the intricacies of moving to a new location. When we moved to Inworldz it was basically the "only game in town".  That is no longer the case.  People have a number of choices. Some people are already making those choices... often without fully researching grid policies.

Be aware there can be hidden issues that you will not discover until too late.  If you make a move now, before Elf Clan has concluded our research and announced our findings... you may  come to regret that decision in future months.

To date the Eldar have examined several prominent grids.  We find most of them run very close in initial costs and land allowances.  It is the fine print that will get you.  We try to read all the fine print.

One grid was excessively slow and buggy.  On another physics didn't work very well (no cars, ships, etc).  Another one had hidden costs.  Another had add-on costs.  Etc etc.  Be aware that every grid is operated under a different busienss modelIt's a mistake to believe that all grids are equally capable. That's why the Eldar are doing our homework.

If you enjoy Elf Clan, we ask you to keep an eye on this blog.  We have been in the virtual world business for a very long time.  We know many of the pitfalls to look out for, the things to watch out for and avoid.  The Elf Clan Eldar are taking our time and patiently examining multiple grids because the pitfalls are many... and we wish to make a wise decision.   Everyone has personal needs; we are trying to find out which grid meets the greatest needs for the greatest number of people.

Major changes are coming... a new Elf Clan.  As a preview:  we will no longer be owning / managing massive group lands.  Each member will be the actual owner of your region and deal directly with the grid where we settle. This will provide you even greater freedoms as a land owner.   That's just one change that's coming.  You may want to stick around for the ride and see what happens.  : )

If you wish to continue as an official land-owner in Elf Clan, if you love our lands and concepts and wish to make a good, informed decision... please be patient.  Wait for further word from the Eldar.  Or go wherever you choose.  We all must make our own decisions. 

May you all be well.

-- The Eldar of Elf Clan

====================

 

ORIGINAL POST

UPDATE Saturday July 28, 2018

One day after the shutdown of Inworldz Grid.

From Wayfinder Wishbringer, founder of Elf Clan, the Elf Clan Eldars and Elf Clan Counsel

 

Greetings to all!  No fancy Elvish language, no role playing today, just straight answers to common questions.   I'll try to be brief, but there's only so brief one can be in these circumstances.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, Answered

WHAT DO I DO NOW?

#1.  Point Elf Clan members to this website for regular updates.  This is where the primary information will be distributed.

#2. Please patiently wait and give us time to re-group.   We are researching, examining, collecting data, and are in constant communication.  We are already talking to grid owners. We are waiting for Inworldz to reveal its plans.  We promise when we have an answer, you will be the first to know.

You may of course set up a new home somewhere else, right away.   However if you do...chances are you will become too entrenched and invested to follow Elf Clan when we make our decisions.  

If you love Elf Clan lands, if you enjoy our family-friendly group and concepts, if you have been a member for years and wish to remain with us... then we encourage you to have patience and wait.  These things take time.   We need to research, examine all information, and make wise decisions.  We're sure you don't want us to rush into something and regret it later. 

Please realize this was a "freak accident".  Yes, Inworldz made bad decisions and management errors were made... but this was a stack of dominoes that started falling.  Things could have been done, should have been done, but that is all hindsight.

You are aware Elf Clan itself had nothing to do with all of this.  We were caught just as off-guard as anyone by Monday's announcement that Inworldz would close in 4 days.   We had no advance warning, no "inside information".   We had to scramble and put out fires just like everyone.  We were just as blindsided as you... the difference being that we've dealt with such before.  We knew what to do and started immediately guiding our members in methods of salvaging as much of their creations as possible.  We were online hours a day answering IMs and posting instructional information.   We were there for you, and still are.

So it is left to us now to pick up the myriad pieces and figure out how to put them back together somehow.  Such needs are being addressed even as you read this article.

 

WHAT IS ELF CLAN GOING TO DO?

To be straight with you:  we don't know at this time.  It's been less than a day (as of this writing) that Inworldz shut down.  We simply haven't had time to research the matter properly, explore other grids, gather information.   We've spent the last 4 days like you... just trying to save as much as we could and help others do the same.  

Add to this the fact that Inworldz itself doesn't know exactly what it is going to do... and we realize we all need to just take some time, sit back and breathe, and wait until the dust settles.  When Elenia has answers, she has promised to tell us.  When the Eldar have all the information we need, we will post the results.  Member feedback and suggestions are being collected and eventually decisions will be made. Chances are you will find the outcome even better than it has been for the last eight years.  That is our current goal.  We like to believe that is everyone's goal... including Inworldz. 

No one is happy about what happened (at least, they shouldn't be).  We can work together and move toward an improved future.

 

WHAT DO I DO IN THE MEANTIME?

It is good and wise to understand that virtual life is not the only life there is.   You have two main options:

1. REAL LIFE.  Discover a real life hobby for a couple of weeks.  Learn something new.  Catch up on some movies. Read a book or two.  Take this break time to enjoy real life.

2. VIRTUAL LIFE.  Other grids are welcoming people with open arms.   Visit. Explore.  Find your friends.  Make new friends.  Virtual worlds did not die with Inworldz... just the one we made our home.   That home is gone... so visit friends at theirs.  Virtual life goes on.

One thing we don't recommend is to make an immediate, knee-jerk decision based on "what you've heard" about other grids, and wind up settling somewhere you may not like later on. Rather than making impulsive snap choices, it may be time to sit back, take a deep breath, and relax. 

 

IS THIS AN ELDAR DECISION OR A GROUP DECISION?

Both.  Are we going to take a "group vote"?  No.  That would be logistically unfeasible since we are now spread out all over the place, and "voting" is never how Elf Clan has operated.   We have always been managed by the unanimous decisions of four Eldar and the Elf Clan Counsel-- people dedicated to the good of the group as a whole.

To be honest:  individual members don't know everything about how Elf Clan runs, our group goals, or intricacies of operating a large group in a virtual environment. The Eldar do.  We literally wrote the book on Elf Clan... a book that is now 13+ years old.  So in the end... this will understandably be the decision of the Eldar.

HOWERVER... that doesn't mean you aren't involved.  You can be very much involved in this decision.  Please feel free to send suggestions, information and feedback to Wayfinder Wishbringer or Eren Padar on Second Life in NOTECARD FORM (so our IMs don't cap out.  Please do not IM.  Send a NOTECARD).  We will be paying close attention to each notecard.   Then let the Eldar do what we do best and make the tough, informed decisions.  That's what we're here for.   Then when we do, you can make your individual decision.  That is your right.  We wouldn't want it any other way.

 

DID WE MAKE A BAD DECISION WITH INWORLDZ?

No.  Elf Clan thrived on Inworldz... for eight years.  We would be thriving still if it hadn't nose-dived.   The decision to move off of the ultra-restrictive SL platform to Inworldz was, at the time, a good and wise decision that helped our group grow to larger, more productive and more beautiful than at any time in its history.  No one could have foreseen what happened over this last week.  The decision to move was good.  Elf Clan lands blossomed as never before. 

Sometimes despite the best of decisions... stuff just happens.  The offal strikes the rotary oscillator-- and all we can do is clean up afterward.

 

CAN THE ELDAR GIVE US ANY HINTS?

Yes, in fact we can.   We plan (at this time) a total re-structure of how Elf Clan operates... a better model.  We can do this because we are no longer restricted by the Inwordz model (which really, was pretty flexible, but limited).

Consider our history:

SECOND LIFE.  When we were on Second Life we were restricted by grid rules and costs to two full sims and 6 "open space" sims . That was later reduced to 2 regions when Linden Lab price-gouged everyone.   Because of very unfriendly LL policies, those lands had to be owned by one person and rented out on a parcel basis.  We only had 15,000 prims per sim to work with, which severely limted those rentals. 

Because of Linden Lab lax security policies we had to train an Elf Clan security force and had to constantly be on guard against griefers.   Plus we had to constantly deal with Linden Lab itself-- which was often a very difficult company to deal with.   It was very restrictive and stressful.  Elf Clan thrived, but under strict limitations.  No one owned their own region.

INWORLDZ.  When we moved to Inworldz, wow, what a difference.  Region prices dropped from $350 a month to $40 a month.  While all the lands still had to be "owned" by one person to get that discount, we were able to sell sims to individual members... at the same price we paid-- no profit asked.   As a result instead of one region owner renting out parcels, we wound up with some 54 privately-owned, amazingly beautiful regions.  

This allowed us to have sub-groups... role playing, market groups, families, even the Gypsies... a subgroup that wasn't quite theme but fit in rather nicely with Elf Clan's concepts.   For the first time our members could really breathe, and we as Eldar were able to extend far greater freedoms than the restrictive environment of Second Life. 

Instead of Elf Clan being strictly managed by four Eldar, we became a group where each region pretty much was self-moderated, managed by the region owner... and the Eldar found ourselves blissfully taking a back seat.   Elf Clan had grown up, matured. Inworldz is what allowed that.  For those 8 years, we are grateful.

NOW.  Inworldz has dissolved... and with it our land holdings . What will come next?  We're not sure, but one thing the Eldar have determined is that Elf Clan is going to expand and simplify.   This means we will be taking significant steps to extend our member's options and freedoms even more, to make it easier to own lands, to make it easier to work within the group, to make your virtual life more open, fun, and rewarding.  The last 8 years were pretty great.   We intend the upcoming times to be even better.

We can't go into specific details because right now all we have are "possible ideas".  But the possible ideas are... well let's just say you'll  want to stick around and see what happens.  When we finally announce our course of direction, we believe you are going to be very pleased with how much easier things are going to be in Elf Clan...  more varied and fruitful than ever before. 

 

JOIN ELF CLAN!

"Oi'm not dead yet!"   Elf Clan (as with all Inworldz members) is beaten, battered, bruised, but still standing on our feet.  After all, you're reading this web page, right?   If you look around, you will find the Elf Clan group registered on several grids.  Join each one!   There is no rule saying you can't be a member of Elf Clan on multiple grids.  

Soon we are going to choose a grid.   Will it be a revised Inworldz?  Kitely? DigiWorldz?  Discovery?  OSgrid?   We can't say at this time.  But go to any of those, SEARCH GROUPS, and you will find Elf Clan.   It's open/free join.   Please join us... everywhere.

You will be hearing from us again.  And please check back here regularly for further announcements.  We are in highest hopes you are really going to like what you see come out of this.

 

-- The Elf Clan Counsel

What About Elf Clan's Future?
Category: Elf Clan News

 

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS RETAINED AS ARCHIVAL INFORMATION.  As of August 1, 2018 Inworldz has already shut down and much of the information below is already out-of-date. 

 

See end of this blog for the latest information from Inworldz.

 

INWORLDZ HAS ANNOUNCED IT IS SHUTTING DOWN

 

This blog is being written over the next 3-4 days.  Please return for additional information.

As many are aware, Elenia of Inworldz has just announced the intended shutdown of Inworldz on Friday, July 27, 2018.  This gives members less than 4 days to figure out what to do with their creations, where to move (or if they're going to continue with virtual worlds at all)... or to see if what Elenia has stated will indeed come about and Inworldz actually go offline-- or something pull it out of the can at the last minute.

Be assured the Elf Clan Counsel is aware of these things and we will be discussing it over the next few days.   Even if Inworldz does close down on Friday, that doesn't mean Elf Clan has to make an immediate decision.   We have time.

 

IN THE MEANTIME

We recommend:  if you own regions on Inworldz, ask Elenia to provide an OAR of your region.   She has instructed people to make such request in this article:

https://inworldz.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360007381013-State-of-InWorldz

However, realize that an Inworldz-based OAR file is very unlikely to reproduce your entire region on another grid.  That's just the reality of the situation.   If Inworldz shuts down and you continue with virtual reality, you will most likely need to re-build... a lot.

[edit:  Inworldz has announced they will be producing "FULL, COMPLETE OARs" which they will send to individual region owner emails.  We await to see what they're able to save for us.]

 

BACK UP YOUR CREATIONS

If you can, use your FIRESTORM (or other) viewers to back up your creations to your hard drive.  This will be a complex and time-consuming process, but the option is to wave goodbye to all your work.   Some are deciding to do just that.

In the meantime, we recommend calm and peacefulness among our members.   We know this can be an emotional situation, but the truth is that most of us have lost major things in our lives.  Some have lost loved ones, husbands, wives, children, parents.  Others have lost all their belongings in a house fire, or their heath to advancing age or accident.  

All things are relative in importance.  We accept the reality of that which we cannot change, and we move on.

 

ELF CLAN SURVIVES

Will Elf Clan continue on?   In some form or another.  The Eldar are currently considering several options.   It is understandable we cannot "vote" on this as a group; the mayhem would be far too great.   HOWEVER, we wecome your suggestions and recommendations.   The supporting Eldar are:

Wayfinder Wishbringer

Moontan Valeeva

Cinnamon Raymaker

Peter Lioncourt is the land Eldar.  Please do not contact him regarding these issues unless your inquries are related to land.   Things are going to be busy enough for him.   However if you have questions, suggestions, recommendations (even involving other grids), please feel free to contact the other Eldar.  Your voices are always heard.

 

THE WEES

The tiny community has long been associates of Elf Clan.   It was recognized early this day that we wish to retain that relationship.   It would be of benefit if Elf Clan and the Wees-- if we move to a new grid-- wind up on the same grid.   Discussions have already begun in that direction and a potential committees formed between the two groups.    We expect perhaps a similar relationship with STAR TREK EXPERIENCE, who have been our good friends since the early days of Elf Clan.

 

We will let you know when a decision is made.  Again, your feedback, input and recommendations count.  The Counsel is in charge of the final decision, but that decision will be based on group needs and advice.  Every voice IS a voice.  Please do not hesitate to IM us or send a notecard with your thoughts.

 

Our very best wishes to all.

Wayfinder Wishbringer

and the Elf Clan Counsel

 

 

THE LATEST WORD FROM INWORLDZ

Elenia has announced she is working on methods to try to save Inworldz.  The latest official news:

* Don't panic, remain calm, don't take your creations offline.

* Inworldz may go offline for a few days, but hopefully will be right back up.

* They ask for time.  It will take a few days to sort this out.  

* In short, contrary to prior announcements, Inworldz isn't necessarily going offline permanently.  

However, understand these statements offer no guarantees.   We have no hard evidence that Inworldz will be online Friday or Saturday.  So if you hold creations on Inworldz dear, do all in your power, with whatever tools you have, to copy these items to your hard drive.  Unfortunately available tools for doing so are hindered by permission / ownership issues and are often unreliable.  That is the pox of economy-based virtual worlds.

We will wait with the patience of Elves and see what happens.  If Inworldz goes offline, then we can figure out what to do from there.

 

LATEST GOOD NEWS

Both the Wees and Star Trek Experience have expressed desire to work with Elf Clan in finding a mutually-acceptable grid should Inworldz go offline.  There is strength in numbers when bargaining for new lands.   Three large, well-known groups have more bargaining power than one.   Of course, Elf Clan would change dramatically.   We will see what results over the next week or two.

 

07-26-2018

Most of Inworld has already shut down.  As OAR files have been saved, individual regions have automatically been taken offline.

The Eldar of Elf Clan have decided to take a breather, be patient, and take our time deciding on our next step.   Will Elf Clan be reborn elsewhere?  Will it be a full group or at reduced concept?   Should we close it down, satisfied with a glorious 14-year run?  All of these options and more are being considered.

The truth is, we have no answers at this time.  Inworldz has stated it will be re-opening as a "new" company, and pulling in regions from saved OAR files.  However... all inventory will be lost.  Does Elf Clan want to rebuild.. yet again?  We have have received mixed reactions to this. Some want to rebuild. Some say absolutely no.  Some express misgivings and lack of trust in Inworldz itself.  So there is a diversity of opinion.  All those opinions must be considered and weighed.

The Eldar invite your feedback.  You can contact Eren Padar or Wayfinder Wishbringer on SL, Snoots Dwagon on OSgrid.  PLEASE USE NOTECARDS, NOT IMS or you'll cap out our IMs.  Write your thoughts on a notecard, send it over.  It will be considered.  Opinoin-based IMs will be deleted.  NOTECARDS please.

We plan to make a decision within 2 weeks or so, depending on how quickly Inworldz gets rebuilt, what their price struture and fees are, whether it's the best deal for our group.  Realistically speaking: as of this day we have lost a total of some US $150,000 in investments in Inworldz.  That's a pretty hard sock to the jaw and cannot be ignored as we choose where to land.   Trust once lost is difficult to regain.

Right now things are up in the air, so Elf Clan waits for the smoke to clear. We wish to make a valid and well-studied decision.  Such things require time.  Thank you for your patience in this matter.

--o--

Life on Two Grids
Category: Elf Clan News
Tags: grids life

 

LIFE ON TWO GRIDS

Some people on Second Life have expressed regret that Elf Clan left, stating that it left a void in their virtual life.  We too regret that step was necessary.  But Linden Lab just kept raising prices to the point that as a group we could no longer grow.  They constantly put their corporate profit line ahead of customer welfare.  Eventually they drove us to seek greener pastures where Elf Clan could thrive.

That doesn't mean people on Second Life still can't be part of Elf Clan.  It just means setting up an avatar and visiting our "new home" on Inworldz--where we've been since May 2010 (we're currently celebrating our 8th anniversary here).

Elf Clan spans more than thirty seven regions on Inworldz, all owned by individual members.  That's quite an increase from the very-limited two single-owner regions we had on Second Life.

 

JOIN ELF CLAN AND RECEIVE EVENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

We aren't limited to only "belonging" to one grid.  Elf Clan members can join multiple grids and travel freely between them.  If you would love to own land but can't afford the outrageous prices of Second Life... come to Inworldz.  Elf Clan has a special arrangement that provides us full-size, 45,000-prim regions for only $40 a month.   It's a creator's paradise. 

Even if you don't purchase land, you can sign up with the Elf Clan group on Inworldz and receive our event announcements.   Our events are as unique and interesting as ever.  

Gain the best of belonging to two grids.  Come join us at Inworldz and see what Elf Clan has been up to for the past eight years!

 

DUAL CITIZENSHIP

Inworldz and Second Life are not mutually exclusive grids.  One can enjoy activities on both.  Many of our Inworldz members regularly visit Second Life to see old friends or attend events-- especially those in the Tiny community there.   We don't have to delete our avatars on SL to join Inworldz; we can enjoy DUAL CITIZENSHIP and move freely between the two grids.

 

WHY VISIT INWORLDZ?

Because Elf Clan is here.   Visit Inworldz.com, set up an avatar, come and visit us.   Here is what you will find on ElvenMyst,  our group activity center:

* Huge sandbox and fantasy market

* Pirate Cove re-born in all its glory, and better than ever-- with four rezzable ships and an entire sea sim right next door that connects with three other regions.  Sail to your heart's content!

* Salty Dragon Tavern... our best tavern yet.

* Our famous Drum Circle... the original drum circle and Elf Clan's oldest event.

* SEVEN (yes count them, seven) high-sky Star Trek environments including starships, bridges, K-7 (the Trouble With Tribbles space station), and the planet surface of the Guardian of Forever.

* THREE sim-size race tracks, including the new Giant Spider Races-- a huge dirt track where you can choose a giant spider, slug or housefly as your racing vehicle.

* CRITTER BALL has returned!  Yes, the game of tiny soccer with a monster-size ball-- and it is fully automated for 24/7/365 fun.

* Fully automated DRAGON FIGHTS with free dragon avatars. 

* ARCHERY RANGE with three automated target systems and free equipment.

How are we able to get all of this on one region?  Because on Inworldz our lands only cost $40 per region-- and have a 45,000 prim limit.  There are no link limits (we built a space ship 105m long, 1,000 prims, all one object-- and it flies like a leaf on the wind).

Not only that, but on Inworldz there are no upload fees.  Many people come here to design and test their products and then import them into Second Life at greatly-reduced development cost.

All together there are twenty-three activity / event centers on ElvenMyst region.  Well worth a visit!

 

THEN THERE'S ELVENSONG

ElvenSong is the home region of Elf Clan.  It contains our main castle, DragonForge Merchantile, the Elven Grotto, the Crystal Museum of Elf Clan History, the beautiful Elf Clan Gardens, Cinnamon's Glen and the mysterious Dwagon's Keep... home of the notorious dwagons.

In high sky there is the hallmark REPLICANT CITY, a region-size science fiction exhibit and multi-theme museum with areas dedicated to Star Trek, Doctor Who, TRON, Portal, Firefly, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Steampunk and much more.   You can spend hours or even days exploring Replicant City alone.  Eight years in the making and fully interactive.  Replicant City is a widely-known major attraction on Inworldz.

Fleure's Enchanted Corner regularly hosts live music events several times a week.  There is no shortage of music and dance in Elf Clan.

 

SO COME VISIT!  Join Elf Clan on Inworldz and get the best of both worlds!

 

--o--

 

ELF CLAN PATREON- WHY and HOW
Category: Elf Clan News
Tags: patreon elf clan reasons

IMPORTANT:  When settinng up your Patreon account please use your Elf Clan avatar name. 

 

THE PATREON CONCEPT

Elf Clan members have mentioned wanting homes on group lands, but begin unable to afford entire regions. 

Historically in most societies Patrons have sponsored the arts and public events.  People like Elf Clan events... so we need Elf Clan Patrons.

   

WHY WE NEED YOU AS A PATRON

Patrons pay a small amount that can collectively add up.  Such funds provide us with the finances to pull a couple of very neat tricks.

There are members who would like to live on Elf Clan's family-friendly lands but can't afford an entire region.

 

In addition, people have told us they enjoy Elf Clan's event revival.  But events cost money and require event hosts.  

So it occured to the Eldar we could kill two birds with one stone by using Patreon.

* If we can get at least 8 to 16 Patrons, we can purchase a special residential region.

* That region will provide land for homes... both to Patrons (if such is desired)  and to Elf Clan members who host at least one event per week.

 

THAT'S RIGHT, FREE LAND TO EVENT HOSTS

Can't afford land?  Can't afford to be a Patron?   Just host one event per week (or more if you're able) and you will be provided nice piece of Elf Clan land.  The more events you host-- the larger the piece of land!

 

IT'S A WIN / WIN

With Patreon, Elf Clan members can own a home with Elf Clan for as little as $10 a month...  and at the same time help Elf Clan by providing funds to host events and offer incentives to Event Hosts.

A region costs us $40.  If we have just 16 patrons at the $10 level, that's $160... which will provide us all the funds necessary to host numerous events and pay for the residential region required.   Even reaching our minimal goal of $80 a month will provide us with residential lands and essential event operating funds.

All Patreon land funds will go to land Eldar Peter Lioncourt.  What is left over will go to our group funding avatar for event hosting costs.

 

WE GET TO TEST IT NOW, RISK-FREE

The great thing is you aren't charged for Patreon the moment you sign up.  Our first billing will be June 1.   We must have $80 in funding by May 30.   If we do, everyone is billed on June 1 and monthly thereafter.   We will purchase lands and hand them out to our new Patron residents.

If we don't get enough Patrons, no monetary loss occurs.  We simply shut down Patreon May 30, June 1 comes and no one is billed.  On the other hand if people generously become Patrons... Elf Clan can host regular, weekly events and our society thrive and prosper!

 

WOULD YOU LIKE WEEKLY EVENTS?

Do you like an active Elf Clan?  If you enjoy Tavern Nights, CritterBall, Dragon Fights, Giant Spider Races, Star Trek events and much more we have in mind-- we need your help in sponsoring such.  If we're going to hold events we need both the funds to do so... and event hosts to run them. 

If you want good events, different events... the kind of activities for which Elf Clan is famous.... We need Patrons.  : )

Remember:  no money is involved up-front.  You can sign up for Patreon now... and your first payment won't be due until June 1.  Please go to Patreon now and pledge your assistance to Elf Clan.  The entire group will benefit.

Please visit the Elf Clan Patreon page and see if you can assist.  All it takes is a relatively small donation per month to assist our group in a major way. 

https://patreon.com/elfclan

 

Calling All Members
Category: Elf Clan News
Tags: elf clan greeters events

 

CALLING ALL MEMBERS--

Your assistance is needed!

Do you enjoy the low price of Elf Clan regions?

Would you prefer to pay $50, $60, $75 per month instead?

As an Elf Clan member, do you enjoy the peaceful and harmonious atmosphere of the numerous Elf Clan lands?

The answers to these questions are of obvious.  We love having full-power, 45,000-prim regions at only $40 a month.  In addition, Elf Clan members enjoy exploring the beauty and harmony of these lands.  Many have described Elf Clan as a "safe harbor from the rest of virtual reality".

However the special pricing of Elf Clan lands is only available to us if we maintain a certain number of regions.  If we fall below that number, prices increase. 

The reality:  as region owners we cannot simply enjoy low costs without effort, expecting others to somehow keep the group alive.  We must each contribute to the group effort.  Without such assistance Elf Clan can decline... and prices will increase.

EVIDENCE OF THIS:  in the last three years, Elf Clan has dropped from 54 regions to 30.  This follows a trend on all virtual worlds:  neither Inworldz nor any other grid is growing.  Most of us are well-aware of this trend.

What this means is that we need our region owners and members to offer your assistance in building Elf Clan's region count back up.   There are several ways to do this... which we will discuss here.

 

ACTIVELY SEEK NEW LAND OWNERS.  We all have friends.  You may often meet new people.  Wearing your Elf Clan Tag on a regular basis, dressing as Elven (or a themed race) and telling new people about our low-cost lands is one way to actively acquire new land owners.  In fact it is the best way we know to do so.

 

POST THOSE SIGNS.   Recently Elf Clan sent out signs for region owners to set out on their lands.  The signs say "OWN AN ELF CLAN REGION for only $40 a month!" and explains the advantage of our full, 45,000-prim regions.   (If you didn't receive such a sign, please contact Snoots Dwagon).

These signs are attractive, vibrant and to-the-point.  They contain a simple notecard that sends people to this website where they are introduced to Elf Clan.  The land arrangement is fully explained.

All you have to do is set out those signs in prominent places on your lands, where visitors can see them. 

In addition you can send copies of the notecard to your friends and give copies to new visitors.   This too is an excellent way to attract people to Elf Clan.

 

CAN YOU BUY A REGION? If you don't own a region, have you wished you did?  Would you like to have your own Elf Clan land-- a beautiful place to call home and build to your heart's content?  Can you manage a low $40 a month to do so?   Elf Clan has hundreds of members.  If even a portion of our existing members purchase regions, we can reach our goal of filling the remainder of our 50 regions.   You have three themes to choose from:  Fantasy, Science Fiction, Steampunk.  This provides you a wide scope of concepts on which to create your own personal world.

 

PURCHASE ANOTHER REGION YOURSELF.  If you already own a region, have you wanted more room, to expand your current lands, or to develop a different theme?  If you can afford one more region, that will of course help increase our region count.  This does not negate the need for all of the other items listed here, but it will help... every month.

 

BECOME A GREETER.  For years Elf Clan Greeters were the heart of Elf Clan activities.  They wore their Elf Clan tags and stood at Welcome Centers and greeted new members, hosted events, helped new ones with viewer tips, building hints, avatar arrangement and anything else people needed.   In short, Greeters make themselves personal friends to visitors.   We show them around, answer questions, and make new ones feel at home.

Can you volunteer to be an Elf Clan Greeter?  As such you will receive a special Title and a Greeters Manual which explains how to be a Greeter, based on years of Elf Clan experience.  It's really pretty easy to be a Greeter, and it's fun befriending new people.  All it takes is a little time.

If you can volunteer as a Greeter and spend some time each week assisting the group, this can be very helpful.

 

HOST EVENTS.  We have a brand new activity center in the form of ElvenMyst.  This region contains a Floating Castle with introductory materials, a fully-operational archery range, huge sandbox, surrounding Fantasy Market, Pirate's Cove with rezzable sailing ships, two taverns, a Drum Circle dance area and much more. 

We have a list of events that you can browse and help by hosting events.  Most events are fairly easy to host.

Events are helpful because they draw people to Elf Clan.   The more events we have, the more people become aware of Elf Clan... and the better chance we have of increasing our land count.

You can help. Imagine if we could get ten people to host one or two events a month apiece.  All we need are some dedicated Elf Clan members to help us in this area and host regular events.

 

WHAT ARE THE ELDAR DOING? 

We've been doing these things since 2004 (a period of over 13 years as of this writing).  Who do people think created ElvenSong, ElvenMyst, ElvenGlen, ElvenHope, Replicant City, the Archery Range, Pirate's Cove, our event tools and engines, group documents... and this very website.  Who does the extensive group scripting we see on our primary regions?  Who handles the finances each month which allow your regions to operate?  Who manages Elf Clan so that it continues to run smoothly?

In short, the Eldar do a great deal.  But we cannot do everything by ourselves-- nor should we be expected to.  This is your group too.  We need your help to keep Elf Clan alive.  Without that help, things will go as they go. 

Again... do you enjoy your low $40 tier level?  Do you want to help maintain that level? 

 

UNLESS YOU REALLY WANT TO PAY $75 A MONTH...

Of course, if we don't mind paying higher land prices there is no need to do any of this.  Elf Clan can drop to 20, 10 or even fewer regions-- and we can pay the same full-region prices as the rest of the grid.   That is the alternative to Elf Clan members cooperating together for the good of our group and lands.

Our special early-adopter grandfathered price was earned through our group working to build Elf Clan from ground zero. With Elf Clan's help Inworldz zoomed from 14 to 500 regions practically overnight.  That work must now continue with the focus of regularly bringing more members to purchase group lands. 

Only with your help can this be accomplished.  The Eldar cannot do this by ourselves.  We need the cooperation of all of our region owners and members combined if we are to succeed in building our land count back up into the "safe zone".  We currently have 18 regions available that need owners.  That is not an impossible figure, nor even a difficult one to reach.  We simply need your assistance to make this possible.   Without your assistance, Elf Clan like the rest of virtual worlds, will very likely continue to decline.

So what do you say?  How much do you appreciate our $40-a-month full-sim lands?  If you're not a land owner... how much do you appreciate being able to enjoy your virtual life on Elf Clan lands?

Here is your chance to show appreciation for this arrangement.  Please contact Snoots Dwagon for information on assisting Elf Clan in whatever manner you can offer.

-- The Eldar of Elf Clan

 

The Myth of Avatar Complexity Tags: myth avatar complexity

THE MYTH OF AVATAR COMPLEXITY

 

It started on Second Life years ago as a virtual witch hunt that pointed the blame for "lag" at users rather than at poor world foundation software and servers.  It wasn't long before the debunking started and that attempt pretty much died.

IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED...

Realizing that attempt failed, it wasn't long before they came up with a new, better, modified AVATAR COMPLEXITY figure, which is of course touted as being more accurate, useful, and definitely not a witch hunt looking to mis-place blame for system-created lag. 

But is there any validity and truth behind avatar complexity figures?   The answer is both yes and no.  The first thing we should notice is those complexity figures are excessively high. They are (supposedly) based on accurate rendering figures... but savvy users are aware that rendering figures do not equate to lag.   For those unaware of this principle, let's consider a basic example.

Create a simple box prim.  Wear it.   Your AC will jump a surprising 405 points... for a simple, non-functional cube!

Now, go to the Features tab of that cube and turn it FLEXIBLE and re-wear it.  Your AC will now jump to 409... just 4 points over a basic cube.

So what does this mean in actual daily use?  We established very long ago that simple prim count does not "lag", whether that prim is stable on a sim or worn on an avatar.   It did at one time, but that was code-fixed years ago.   The reality is that simple prims don't lag, at all.   An oft-quoted experiment was when 140,000 prims were rezzed on an empty Open Sim region and the testers observed zero "lag" of any sort.  

Elf Clan ran its own tests on a brand new, empty SL region on which we rezzed 12,000 prims, then put sit scripts in 5,000 of them.  Neither situation presented any discernible, measurable "lag" whatsoever.  So the prim-lag myth was busted, totally, by two separate documented tests.

SO WHERE DOES THE FLEXI FIT IN?

As stated above, the Flexi shows a mere 4 points above a non-flexi prim.  Hardly worth noting.   However it has been long-established that flexible prims are one of the most lag-inducing items on virtual worlds.  How lag-inducing are they?  On a sim where they conducted flexi tests, they set out 12 "blankets" hanging from a clothes line.   At a touch the blankets could be turned rigid, or flexi and blowing in the wind.   The result:  When all 12 blankets were turned to flexi the sim lagged almost to a standstill. 

Now admittedly Flexi handling has improved somewhat... but it is still one of the most lag-causing things on VR.   The point is that the Avatar Complexity figure does not reflect this factor in its ratings.  It counts the flexi factor a mere 5 points out of 409... almost identical to a non-flexi cube.   According to "Avatar Complexity", they are both pretty much the same when it comes to avatars causing "lag" on a region.  However we know for a fact that the inclusion of flexis on an avatar are heavily lag inducing.   Obviously Avatar Complexity comes several cards short when it comes to actually measuring lag-causing factors.

WHAT DOES THIS TRANSLATE TO IN ACTUAL AVATARS?

We were curious, so we took some ratings on three different avatars, on two different grids:

1)  The basic Dwagon created by Snoots Dwagon, a completely primmed avatar head to toe.  This avatar consists of a total of 427 tortured prims. 

2)  A fully-armored warrior, the biggest of the baddest.  Wearing highly-detailed armor head to toe, this avatar comes in at over 1,700 prims.

3) A standard female avatar with flexi hair, skirt and reasonable jewelry.   Nothing special... just the kind you'd find at most clubs (in fact, clubs were where we took multiple ratings).

THE RESULTS

The following were single avatar tests. In cases of numerous avatars, lag will usually be very discernible.  Simple truth:  avatar presence lags, regardless of what they're wearing.

The dwagon consisting of 427 almot constantly-moving prims, displayed an AC of 70,155.  That's our base-line figure. The avatar produced zero discernible lag.

The warrior consisting of over 1,700 prims displayed an AC of 203,919... roughly 2.9 times higher AC than a dwagon.  This would be expected; the warrior contained more than 3 times the prims.  Almost a direct correlation.  This avatar produced zero discernible lag.

Standard female avatars dressed in regular clothing with flexi hair and dresses almost across the board hit "Jelly Doll" stage... which means their AC count was so high their avatars became shaped mono-color blobs to onlookers.  When the Jelly Doll function was turned off and AC checked it was discovered these avatars commonly exceeded an AC rating of 300,000 and more.  As there were multiple such avatars on the region, lag was definitely discernible.  But was this because of AC ratings... or simply because of region servers inefficiently handling avatar presence?

 

FURTHER TESTING

We created an "insane" avatar by building a 1000-prim linked object, duplicating it and attaching it to head, arms, chest and legs, with the result of an avatar wearing thousands of cubed prims.  The result?  Zero discernible lag.

 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

(First, let me encourage readers to check out the comments section following for a realistic viewpoint of using avatars in certain situations.  Quite valid.)

The Avatar Complexity system is as bogus a witch hunt as it's always been.   It does not determine the actual affect an avatar has on sim server performance, and does not take into account standard, everyday, common usage of virtual world systems. 

Do avatars "lag" virtual worlds?  It is safe to state that avatars are the most lag-inducing item on VR (besides server issues).  There is no doubt of that.  But it's not because of avatar complexity; it's because the way in which Second Life style virtual reality coding handles avatar rendering.  The primary source of lag is inefficient server and viewer code, not the avatar you choose to wear.  However, the avatar we choose to wear can affect that poor server and viewer code.  It's a Catch-22.

Now yes, if we all took off our hair and clothing and walked around naked, the servers wouldn't lag as badly.  But they'd still lag.  Every time someone teleports in or out, every time the wind blows a flexi-based tree, every time the system glitches for no discernible reason, there would still be lag.  

But the reality is virtual worlds revolve around avatars.   To try and limit those avatars by using an inaccurate rating system is goofy.  Basically, it is perfectly okay to totally ignore the Avatar Complexity readings.  They have very little to do with the reality of lag on virtual worlds. 

The reality is this:  avatars with far lower AC ratings can "lag" far worse than avatars with high AC rating.   That fact alone invalidates the AC system as a useful tool.

 

THE SAME HOLDS TRUE FOR AO DEVICES

Many, many years ago, AO devices lagged.  Since then the server software has been updated and the AO devices have been improved.  Tests have been run, extensively.   So we can stop that witch hunt as well.  Tinies require AOs to function.  So do many other avatars.  The best thing to do to prevent an event from lagging:   reset the region prior to the event, and make sure region scripts are low-lag designed.  Use textures efficiently. In the case of an event that is expected to have a large audience... if possible put the performance group on an adjoining region.

 

OUR RECOMMENDATION

Ignore Avatar Complexity. Ignore AOs. Just enjoy yourself in your activities.  Avatar Complexity was started by Linden Lab and foisted off on other virtual worlds.  It is a bogus "tool" that does not correlate to region lag issues.

Sim content and avatars are the life of virtual worlds.  "An empty sim is a fast sim" may be true... but the people on that lifeless sim won't be having much fun.  Avatars will dress according to their preferences. (See addendum below in comments.)  This is not to say event hosts can't request avatar simplification for the good of the event;  I just recommend not using the questionable and irrelevant readings of "Avatar Complexity" as a reason. 

-- Wayfinder

--o--

 

Own an Official Elf Clan Region!
Category: Elf Clan News
Tags: region sim

NOTE:  The following information is out of date and retained only for archival purposes.  It will likely be re-written by Sept 1, 2018.

 

OWN YOUR OWN OFFICIAL ELF CLAN REGION!

Have you ever wanted your own region but couldn't afford even the low rates of Inworldz?

 

Elf Clan has available several grandfathered regions (via special arrangement with Inworldz).   You an own a full-size, 45k-prim region for only $40 a month!

It is a savings of $35 off the standard $75 private island fees.  It is a savings of $20 off the Inworldz $60 mainland fees... and offers significantly more prims and land tools.  Compare this to Second Life's fees of $295 and $350 a month for regions along with a $1000 setup fee... and this is a real bargain!

Elf Clan region owners have all rights and privileges of standard island owners. 
 

BUILDING TOOLS ON INWORLDZ

Region owners have significant building tools on Inworldz... tools not available elsewhere. 

* LAND TOOLS.  Unlike mainland, the land can be raised or lowered 100m (mainland is limited to 20m). 

* NO LINK LIMITS as found on Second Life.  SL has link limits within 30m of root prim centers and a maximum link count of 256 prims.   On Inworldz Snoots Dwagon built a space ship 105m long and consisting of almost 1,000 prims... all linked together as one flyable object!

* EXPANDED PRIM SIZE.  Second Life limits prim size to 60m.  The Internal Inworldz Viewer unfortunately limits prim size to 128m.  However using other Viewers there is no prim size limit-- allowing you to build entire region floors, levels and mountain ranges!

* 45,000 PRIMS!   Second Life offers 1/3 the prim count at 15,000 prims.  Imagine what you can crete with 45,000 prims on an Elf Clan region!

All for only $40 a month when you purchase a region as part of the Elf Clan group!

THE REQUIREMENTS

You don't have to be an Elf to own land on Elf Clan.  We have lands owned by humans, dwagons, faerie, Orks and a host of species.  The lands do have to be one of our three themes at ground level (fantasy, scifi or steampunk) but have relaxed standards in high-sky platforms above 1000m.   With 45,000 prims you can actually build two or three complete regions on different levels!

Please see the following web page for details:

http://elfclan.spruz.com/pt/Owning-an-Elf-Clan-Region/blog.htm

 

--o--

 

The Beginning of Elf Clan (lore) Tags: elf clan lore beginning

 

We're sometimes asked, "What is the story behind Elf Clan?"... the lore of the group (not how we came to be, but our "role play" story).

It's not a complex one. After the War of the Rings, once the One Ring had been destroyed at Mount Doom... the world returned to normal... at least as much as it could.

Most of the Middle Earth people returned home. As you know, Samwise returned to the Shire and raised a fine family. Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Ninefingers went off to Valinor with the Elves.

However, it is little known that there were some Elven who were in far distant places in Middle Earth, who once the One Ring was destroyed, had too far to travel to join the other Elven at Valinor. Upon the destruction of the ring we were found in a rather unusual situation. The Orcs that had previously been fighting against us, their minds now cleared of the evil influence of Sauron, were now quite lost. Dim memories began to return-- memories that they were once Elven. Of course, they were unable to totally shed their Orcish influence and still retained many of their ways, but they came to realize that things simply were not right.

The Lord of the High Elven, realizing Elf Clan was now the last of the Elven in Middle Earth, invited the Orcs to a feast of friendship... which amazingly the Orcs accepted. This was due largely to the leader of the Orcs... Schlitzie... who realized new changes were necessary. During that feast, the two leaders became fast friends, recognizing in one another honor particular to their race (mainly because the Elven Lord accepted a draught of Ork Snot Ale and declared it palatable-- which instantly endeared him to the Orc Boss). On that night, Schlitzie stood before Orc and Elven alike and swore friendship of the Orc Waaagh to Elf Clan for all eternity. Wayfinder granted the Orcs land and Embassy... and a firm friendship began.

Thus did the unthinkable occur, and the Orcs became Elf Clan's strongest and most fearsome allies. No, there was not always peace between the two groups. They once engaged in a major war (fortunately at which no lives were lost but one... and that was an Orc that unintentionally killed himself with an Elven Arrow and started off the war in the first place). The Elven and Orcs often jokingly insult one another... but would even more strongly defend the honor of one another should anyone else dare to insult.

Beneath the jibes exists a friendship and understanding stronger than any army could break. Let no outsider attack either group, for they shall face the wrath of the other. If Elven and Orc were fierce warriors alone... pity the army that comes against them jointly.

This alliance became legendary and as news traveled throughout Middle Earth, it attracted many homeless of other races. Hobbits came to the land and found that indeed, while the Orcs regularly spoke of feasting on Hobbit flesh... they were safe even in the middle of an Orc encampment (and Orcs found Hobbit ale to be somewhat acceptable... by the barrelful).

The Dragons, amazed that they were welcome and honored, swore to protect the lands and thus became our loyal guardians. There were no "good" nor "evil" dragons here... but rather dragons freed of the influence of evil... strong, wise and neutral in all politics and races, protecting all within their long-sight.

Dwagons eventually hatched and jointly decided "eberthing" was dwagon territory-- but they'd let the Elves run things because Elves makes good cookies. The Pixies came and along with the Dwagons, enjoyed tormenting the Orcs endlessly (the Orcs obligingly rage at and chase them-- to the delight of all involved).  The short-lived Orc-Pixie war is a record of history.

Soon the word spread to the Mer, and they came through the waters to join these lands, accompanied by Centaur and Faeries and Ents. Before long, all manner of creatures came to the lands of Elf Clan... even some from the race of men who no longer found a home in the rest of Middle Earth.

As time passed, the Elven Council realized that Mankind was growing populous and strong and soon would overrun everything. The Elven and Fae foresaw the time of technology... and a terrible time it would be. So with the agreement of their brethren the Orcs, they joined their magic along with the Dragons. The three races created a tremendous magic which removed the Elven Lands forever from the space and time of Man.

But the races wisely chose to leave a mystical gate open-- both to the age of Man and the ancient times of Middle Earth. Any who are rightly disposed of heart and mind are drawn to that gate... and may enter into our realms, where they may choose to stay or return to their own time and place. That barrier is sometimes crossed by the adventurous pixies and dwagons*... but they always return, reporting of the evils of men and weeping that they are destroying the earth.

Thus, in our place of time and wondrous magic, Elf Clan remains. It is a group not just of Elven, but of all those who have come to accept the code and honor of the Elves (more or less) and who in their joining, have given great joy and diversity to our lands.


--o--

* If anyone has ever wondered how we wound up with a Star Trek exhibit on Elf Clan lands.. that's how. A dwagon crossed the barrier into the times of modern man, somehow happened to watch a Star Trek episode or two... and after that there was no stopping them. Go Karts, automobiles and motorcycles soon followed. There is an Elf Clan saying: "As futile as controlling a dwagon."

Or as the Orcs say, "Ptah! Dwagons. Ya can't live with 'em and ya can't eat 'em." The Orcs have no right to complain of course. They think Klingons are great and the lore of Space Orks from a mere game of mankind changed their entire culture.

I really do need to start putting guards on that gate...

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