When new residents ask me how to get money in SL I advise them first that if they really want money, the best option is to purchase it using a credit card or paypal. However if neither of those are an option for you, and you want a small amount of cash fast, Linden Realms is the place to go.
Linden Realms is a mini-MMO within Second Life. It was created by Linden Lab about 3 years ago, primarily as a showcase for mesh objects and some new scripting techniques. However it has become an opportunity for everyone to earn a little money.
When you first arrive at the Portal Park you will see that you are surrounded by portals leading to the four main “instances” of the game. There are four, labelled “II”, “III”, “IV” and “V”. Each instance is identical.
Before entering you will need to make sure you know how to run, and move using the mouse to steer. Running is easy, just double-tap the forward arrow or press Ctrl-R to toggle running on and off. Mouse-moving is a little trickier. First of all, start running and hold down the forward arrow key, Then click the cursor on your avatar and hold down the left mouse button as well. Now with the cursor on your back you can move the mouse to steer around and also pan up and down.
I also recommending turning off your AO, for reasons I will explain later. Although if you’re a little more skilled you may want to edit your AO to have only a nice run and walk and maybe some stands; take out all the flying and jumping animations.
Windlight: Accept the Realms recommended windlight settings as the crystals stand out bright and easy to see in the dark misty light. Alternatively, set sun to Midnight or choose another dark setting of your choice.
Running through one of the portals you will arrive at the Summoning Circle and be greeted by the Realm’s invisible resident, Tyrah. If you’re lucky, a HUD will attach at the top of your screen. If it hasn’t attached after about 60 seconds, return to the Portal Park and try a different Instance. You might have to try them several times before the HUD attaches.
The HUD will offer you some quests and I HIGHLY recommend that you do them. They take about an hour to complete and you’ll earn L$28 for completing them all. They will also teach you about the island and where everything is. You will find lots of coloured crystals on the ground; some of the quests ask you to collect a certain number of each colour but whilst you’re doing these quests pick up as many as you can find. Just run over them and your HUD will tell you how many you’ve collected. Any that are left over after finishing the quests, you’ll be able to turn in for cash later.
Here is a map of the Realms with areas that I have highlighted in pink and red.
The pink areas are where you can usually find crystals in high concentrations. The best zones are the north-east corner of Whisper Hollow (LR183 on this map) and Tyrah’s Peak (LR184 and LR187). Banshee Peak (LR181), the southern half of Whisper Hollow (LR185 and LR186) and the area outside the Portal Workshop (LR188) will often, but not always, have good concentrations of crystals.
The areas shaded in red often have a lot of crystals too but these areas have issues. First of all the Devils Canyon (LR190) is full of fireballs that make collecting difficult. And Dark Moon Bay (LR192) has a lot of crystals you can’t pick up because they’re stuck under plants or up against the roots of trees. This happens a lot but more in Dark Moon Bay than elsewhere.
Shattered Caverns (LR189), the Sunspire (LR191) and the north-west corner of Whisper Hollow (LR182) usually have no crystals.
Crystals come in five colours of varying rarity and value:
Red = very common: 50 crystals = L$1
Yellow = common: 50 crystals = L$2
Orange = uncommon: 50 crystals = L$5
Green = rare: 1 crystal = L$1
Blue = very rare: 1 crystal = L$2
Once you’ve completed the starting quests, all you need to do is collect as many crystals as you can. You should be able to earn L$30 to L$50 in an hour, depending on how busy it is and how lucky you are with greens and blues.
Turn them in at the places marked 1 and 2 on the map: 1 is in Basecamp where you will find exchange platforms for green and blue crystals. 2 is the Portal Workshop where you can exchange red, yellow and orange crystals. Reds, yellows and oranges must be in multiples of 50. Greens and blues can be singles.
HAZARDS: There are a few hazards to watch out for. Rock Monsters are the main one. You cannot die or lose health in Linden Realms but if you’re “killed” you will be teleported to the nearest Resurrection Circle. These are safe areas where you cannot be attacked. You cannot fight Rock Monsters, all you can do is run away and avoid running into them. As long as it’s directly behind you you’re safe as it cannot move faster than you do. While you’re being chased, run straight or in big sweeping curves, don’t zig-zag or you’ll run into them. Once you move out of their “home range” they will leave you alone.
There’s a trick; if you can aggro two rock monsters at once you can get them both chasing you and they will collide with each other and disappear.
Fireballs: These are nasty because they are MUCH faster than you and by the time you’ve seen it, it’s too late. Sometimes worth running the Canyon despite them though, as you will occasionally find blue and green crystals in there.
Falling Rocks: In the Shattered Caverns rocks fall from the ceiling and squash you. You can avoid them by sticking to the sides of the tunnel rather than running through the middle. Not worth dealing with these, there are never any crystals in the Caverns.
Toxic Water: All rivers and ponds in the Realms are polluted but the sea around the edges is safe.
Nasty Blowing Clouds: There are some nasty clouds in the sky all over the Realms. These are the Realms’ “Enforcers” and it’s how cheats are dealt with. If you try to cheat by flying, jumping, teleporting, or moving faster than an avatar can normally run, one of these clouds will come down and teleport you Home. You cannot avoid them and once they’ve started tailing you, you have about five seconds. I gather they can also detect bots by their movement patterns so they can detect automated crystal-hunting, but I’ve never seen that in action.
Here’s where the AO advice comes in; some AOs, in particular a couple of well-known freebies, have some jumping and falling animations that involve high and fast somersaults, and these animations trigger the clouds to attack you because they think you’re moving too fast. If your AO contains animations like these, turn it off or remove those animations before playing. You will also be teleported home if you try to add or remove any attachments so make sure your appearance is as you want it before entering through the portals.
On the whole, playing Linden Realms for L$ is pretty boring; if you’ve ever been “grinding” in World of Warcraft or similar games, you’ll know exactly what I mean. It’s nothing but grinding and it’s easy but boring and the rewards are low. But if you have no means of purchasing L$ with real money, it’s by far the easiest and safest alternative. Guaranteed spam-free and legitimate.