Linden Lab appear to be unleashing evil plans to make some of the protest gnomes redundant with a new announcement regarding a way of reducing tier payments. The reduction does come at a cost, but let’s look at the blog post : Want Lower Tier? Now You Can Get Grandfathered Land Rates!
In November, we lowered the set-up fees for land purchases by 40%. Today, we’re introducing a limited-time offer that will make land even cheaper by allowing you to lower your monthly tier payments (aka land maintenance fees).
From today until October 4th, 2016, you can “buy-down” your Full Islands and/or Homesteads to the grandfathered maintenance rates. By paying a one-time fee up front, you’ll be entitled to lower tier rates on your land for as long as you hold it (and remember, we now also allow transferring grandfathered land).
The pricing for this offer is as follows:
- Full Island:
- One-time buy-down fee: $600
- Grandfathered maintenance fee: $195/month (regularly $295/month)
- One-time buy-down fee: $180
- Grandfathered maintenance fee: $95/month (regularly $125/month)
If you plan to hold onto your land for longer than 6 months, this is a great deal for you!
To take advantage of this offer, you’ll need to submit a Support Case using the Land & Region -> Region Buy Down case type. In that case you can provide us with the names of the regions you would like to buy down, and we will assess the appropriate buy-down fee per region.
This is certainly a good deal if you have the upfront money and plan to hold your region for the next six months. The overall cost for the next six months would be the same as if you were still paying your current tier rate, but you’ll pay the one off fee and then see $100 knocked of your tier bill (for a full region). After that six months, you will start making savings.
So just to try and avoid confusion, you would make the one off payment and then see your monthly tier bill reduce. Therefore if you own a full region you would pay Linden Lab the $600 buy down fee and then your tier payments would be $195.00 a month (plus any VAT of course). Now if you are paying VAT, then you would make savings of more than $100 a month but I’m also assuming that the buy down fee would also be subject to VAT, so you’ll pay a bit more in the first place.
It’s good to see Linden Lab trying to do something about tier prices, although I’m sure many people would prefer Linden Lab just to cut tier for everyone, this is at least a bit of a compromise. This move follows the lowering of land setup costs, as the blog mentions.
The offer being available for the next six months is a good move. That gives people time to try and put some money aside if they’re planning to stay in Second Life long term and don’t have the money right now, it’s certainly better than a weekend offer.
Tier remains a bone of contention for Second Life users, but Linden Lab have demonstrated over the last year or so that they are listening to those concerns and are making efforts to reduce tier fees and that should be applauded.