Well the surprises have arrived quickly, Inara Pey (via a shout out to Mona Eberhardt) reports that Land Bots are no longer allowed to be used to purchase mainland parcels. This would have been pretty hot news four or five years ago, I’m not sure what good this policy is in an age when land in Second Life is going for peanuts.
The official policy can be found here : http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Inworld_policy_on_bots
The relevant sections of this quiet update state:
Mainland parcel sales and bots
Some bots are used to automate the purchase of Mainland parcels priced below fair market values.
Using bots to purchase Mainland parcels is not allowed
The use of bots, autonomous software, scripting (manual or automated), scripted agents, or any systems or software internal or external to the Second Life service that circumvent, automate and/or remove the human interaction required to purchase a Land parcel within Second Life on the Linden Lab owned Mainland is prohibited.
When I was a lad in Second Life I used to regularly go to the Jack Linden office hour, where land bots were often a hot topic. Land at the time would regularly be sold for L$10 – L$15 per square meter, if you’re new to Second Life those figures are probably eye popping, land has dropped way below L$1 per square meter in many parts of the mainland. Land prices are so low that land bots at this stage are probably more of a help than a hindrance as people can find the price to make some small income from selling, rather than abandoning their land.
I’m really puzzled as to what the motivation behind this policy is today. The part about purchasing parcels below fair market value has my spidey senses tingling, and not in a good way. I hope they are not going to try and set a minimum price for selling land or hoping for a new land bubble from people manually flipping parcels.
However maybe there’s a surprise policy change in the works, maybe tier prices are going to drop and the lab expect a free for all with people trying to buy more parcels. The policy would actually make sense were tier prices to drop, or people were allowed more tier free land as part of their premium membership.