For us mainlanders, how about raising tier limits?

So the other weekend the Lab had a big sale on estates; waiving the renormous setup fees that they usually charge, for all normal or Homestead estates sold on the weekend.

Which is nice, if a bit gimmicky, if you’re someone who wants to own an estate. (Or if you’re a speculator who wants to buy a bunch and them flip them next week for people who missed the sale, for a reduced setup fee, or something Wall Street like that.)

Less gimmicky, and for the benefit of Mainlanders like me who love living in the thick of things, I would recommend that the lab raise the amounts of (main)land that people can own at each level of tier. In the current schedule, for instance, someone paying US$40/month in tier can own up to 8,192 square meters of mainland (plus 512 square meters of tier-free Premium land). At US$125/month, it’s 32,768 (half a sim); at US$8/month, it’s 1024 (one sixty-fourth).

Mainland is quite cheap now, 1L per square meter or under in many places without direct water access. And even at that price, lots of it sits around unsold, I suspect because tier is inflexible, and hasn’t gone down with the falling economy like land prices have.

One approach would be to just lower the prices at each tier, of course; make it US$30 and US$100 instead of US$40 and US$125, or whatever.

I think it might be more interesting to raise the allowed amount of land at each tier, though, and leave the amounts the same. It more or less amounts to the same thing, but psychologically it’s simpler. Someone currently paying US$40 per month and with their tier maxed could immediately go out and buy more land, without having to think about it; whereas if the tier for their current holdings just went down to US$30 instead, they might take that extra ten bucks and buy a fancy new yacht, or even (horrors!) a couple of RL coffees.

What would the benefit be to the Lab? In the short run it’s revenue-neutral, in that they are still getting the same tier payments, and all they have to part with is lots of unowned mainland that isn’t doing them any good right now anyway.

In the medium term there’s some opportunity cost, as some people who would have decided they really did want more land and tiered up won’t do that, since they can have more land now without paying. But on the other hand there are also more sales of Lindens as all those people who now have more land go out and buy stuff to put on it.

In the long term, I like to think that having that land occupied by people who will be doing interesting things with it, rather than lying fallow and empty, will draw more people to the mainland, and to SL in general. Retention is likely to be higher if people see interesting things than if they see empty abandoned or For Sale land. And that’s certainly a benefit.

So how about it, Labbies? Can I have, say, 12,288 square meters for my US$40/month? Be your best friend! :)

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