Earning L$ in Linden Realms

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.

Crystals glow in the dark

Crystals glow in the dark

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.

Linden realms Map

Linden realms Map

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.

A Picture in Purple

This is another post for Strawberry Sing’s Colours meme, only this time it’s my partner Madison modelling and her favourite colour is of course, purple.  We headed over to Siyu Suen’s lovely sim Carnivale, but if you’re going to visit you’ll need to be quick as it’s going away in a couple of weeks. (Don’t worry, Illusions isn’t going out of business, just relocating to a smaller place).

Madison is wearing:

Dress: Lilac Wine from Icing
Shoes: Judy from Ingenue
Hair: Gloria from Amacci
Jewelry: Krystal from Behira

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Last week I took some more pics at Carnivale: here are just a few. You can see the rest on my Flickr stream.

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Club Noir

Wow! One little comment on Strawberry Singh’s blog and I get half a dozen new followers! I will have to do that a bit more often I think!  So, welcome to all you new readers and hello again to my old ones.

As some of you may know, my partner Madison Talon and I have been running a club for a little over a year now but as some of you are new I thought I’d talk about it a little more.

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Years and years ago, before I met Madison, she used to run the USO club in SL; in the spirit of the RL United Services Organisation set during World War II and one of (if not THE) first and best venue for 40s music; big bands and swing in SL.  But as with most things sadly they must eventually pass. But Madi got me into the music and she just happened to have this amazing skybox in her inventory, called Club Noir.  The most notable thing about it is that it’s all in monochrome; even the trees and grass outside are all grey. Stepping inside is like walking into one of those moody black-and-white movies of the late 1940s and early 1950s. We would occasionally rez it out at Swing Times for special occasions like a rezday or anniversary.  After a while though we decided to keep it up so we rented a parcel for it and it’s now a permanent fixture.

We have two regular DJs at present, each of whom perform once a month: DJ Sword Starfall on the second Sunday of each month who plays some wonderful vintage French music of the 1940s. On the 4th Sunday we have Beathag McMahon, who is well known on the vintage circuit, playing more traditional American swing. But even though we have only two regular events a month, the club is always open and it is a popular place for couples to spend some quiet romantic time together. I live on the same sim and I often see little green dots on the minimap. If I see a person there alone, or a group of people, I will often drop in to say hello.  But if it’s a couple… I figure they’d rather have the place to themselves.

A few weeks ago someone asked me if the club was financially viable; she was concerned that we would quit because we weren’t making enough money.  I told her not to worry because we run the club for love, not profit.  Sometimes donations cover the cost of an event and sometimes they don’t, but it doesn’t cost as much as I expected because I’m not paying staff (except for DJs), and as long as I continue to be employed in the real world, Club Noir is not going to disappear for lack of money.

I’ll leave you with a landmark and a few pics to enjoy.

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New House

Every now and again, maybe once or twice a year, I get the urge to re-model my land and start from scratch. I get bored with the same thing and want to start again.

Having Casidy’s account back reminded me of the first home he rented. It was in the style of a new England/Nantucket beach house; square with coloured sidings (yellow, if my memory serves me right) and it was on the shore of a small lake (more like a pond) in Phyllira, on the Atoll continent.  I’ve seen those houses around in other places but they don’t seem to be for sale any more.  So I bought a more up-to-date mesh one instead, and I’ve spent the last few days  fixing it up.  It still needs some finishing touches, especially outside, but its nearly done. I even have my own beach now.

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Major features:

House & Kitchen: Trompe L’oeil

Kitchen dining table: Bazar

Sofa & Chairs and beach furniture: Lisp

Bed (re-textured): Anpuli

Coffee table & Bath: Lok’s

Computer desk: Naked Mesh

“Blog” pinboard: What Next

All artwork – my own

 

Blast from the Past

My first avatar was born on 20 June 2006 in Nova Albion Infohub.  I used it on and off for a few months but I got bored and forgot about it, finally coming back in late 2007 with a mainly roleplay alt, and finally in August 2008 with the avatar that became my main one.  Over the years my original avatar languished, a forgotten victim of the Grand Password reset of 2009. I was pretty sure I’d lost the email address and I apparently couldn’t remember the password, and an attempt a couple of years ago to recover the account through Support failed because I couldn’t remember the name of some random friend.

A few days ago I decided to try again and this time I actually answered the security questions and I got the account back. (The kicker is, the email address on file was one I still had).

The first thing I did was take some pics, because, oh my god, this guy seriously needed a makeover.

Meet Casidy Craig…

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See those shoes? Those are system shoes. There were actually no prim shoes in his inventory at all.

Here’s a family shot with me and Madison.  He badly needs an AO too.

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A few days and a few L$ later, he’s looking much better:

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The skin is Nomine, which is due to close at the end of the month. Some skins on the marketplace are reduced to L$100 each and this is one of them; Nephilim in Apricot, with a tintable facial hair add-on, also from Nomine.  Who says elves don’t have beards? This one does, apparently.  The hair is Wasabi Pills (Orion, Gingerbread) and the shape is my own. I scrapped Casidy’s original shape because it was so awful, and made a new one based loosely on Lewis’s shape. You wouldn’t know but the face is exactly the same, only the body shape has changed.

So I took a trip down Memory Lane to Nova Albion. I don’t have a pic from Casidy’s early days here, but I mocked one up, and another one to compare, as he is now.

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And I couldn’t resist a scenic shot of the old place. It’s empty now, but it hasn’t really changed much since 2006.

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I’ve made Casidy a premium member, that’s a no-brainer since he’s grandfathered into the L$500-a-week stipend. That will help with my rent for Club Noir, if he doesn’t spend it all on new clothes.

Finally in case you’re wondering why his name is missing an “s” in Cassidy – when I first made this avatar, no matter what surname I picked from the list (remember those?) it would tell me that “Cassidy” wasn’t available. Eventually I gave up and settled for an alternative spelling, it still shortens to “Cas” and that’s good enough for me. It was only later, when I realised there was no-one in SL at all with a first name of Cassidy, I figured out that the profanity filters must have been working overtime on Cassidy’s ass.

Hazardous

Hazardous is a stunning sim, and great for photos.  One of the Flickr groups I belong to runs monthly contests and the contest for June is for snapshots taken here.  I ended up taking more than 20 pictures. The first two shown are my contest entries, and the rest are just for fun.  And the white horse is actually me; that’s my new mesh water horse avatar, which I will show off in more detail in another post.
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Hazardous 17

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The location is Hazardous.

 

Reborn

I can’t believe it’t been nearly two years since I last posted here. I haven’t left Second Life; on the contrary I think I probably log in more now than I did two or three years ago.

I have become much more snapshot-happy and I take a LOT of pics now, so I think I will continue to use this blog to showcase the best, and in doing so, to highlight some of the most photogenic places on the grid.

So without further ado, here’s some I took today.

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The location is Pandoria