Inventory Folder Size Limit

We’ve added a limit on the number of items in a folder in the inventory: folders can now contain at most 1,000 items. (This number includes both real items and subfolders.) This limit was added because the viewers load the avatar’s entire inventory when they start, and loading very large folders can cause a slowdown for both the incoming avatar and other users.

To be precise, the limit isn’t really on the size of the folder, but on the number of items that we return to the viewer. So folders can still have more than 1,000 items, but viewers will only show the first 1,000. This means that users who have folders that currently contain more than 1,000 items still have all of their items; they just aren’t shown. This can be easily fixed by moving the first 1,000 items into a subfolder, at which time the next 1,000 will appear in the first folder.

By the way, this limit has always existed in Kitely Market: when you choose items to add to a product, the web-based inventory dialog shows only the first 1,000 items in each folder.

Upcoming Plan Changes and a Limited Time Offer

In the beginning of 2014 we’ll be making several significant changes to our offering, in order to simplify using Kitely and to provide even more affordable options for having your own virtual world. As part of these changes our existing plans (the Bronze, Silver and Gold Plans) will no longer be available. However, users who are Silver Plan or Gold Plan members at the beginning of the year will be able to keep their plans, and we’ll even upgrade them with significant benefits that will not be available to people who join Kitely later. If you aren’t already on one of these plans then order one before the end of the year so you don’t miss out on this limited-time offer.

The New Premium Account

On January 1 we’ll eliminate the Bronze, Silver and Gold Plans, and replace them with just one plan called the “Premium Account”. A Premium Account will cost $19.95/month, and will include 5 free time-based regions and the ability to visit any time-based world (your own or anyone else’s) for free. This last part means that groups of Premium users will be able to visit each other’s time-based worlds without anyone paying extra for these visits.

Bronze Plan Canceled

The Bronze Plan has been discontinued effective immediately, and is no longer available for order. Current Bronze Plan users will remain on the plan until the end of the month, at which time they will be automatically downgraded to a Regular Account (this is the account type that will replace the existing Free Plan). You don’t need to do anything to make this happen: shortly after this blog post is published we’ll automatically cancel the subscriptions of existing Bronze Plan users. If you’re paying us via PayPal then your PayPal subscription for our services will be canceled.

Silver and Gold Plans Grandfathered In, With Extra Benefits

The Silver and Gold Plans are also being discontinued. However, unlike the Bronze Plan, existing Silver and Gold Plan subscribers will be able to keep using their plan if they wish. So if you are a Silver or Gold Plan subscriber, and you do nothing, you will remain on your plan even after Jan 1. The plan will continue at the same price as before, for as long as you continue to pay for it on time. As an extra benefit we’ll even upgrade your plan, as follows:

If you are a Silver Plan holder then you’ll continue to pay $20/month for 10 free time-based regions, and we’ll also give you unlimited free visits to time-based worlds (instead of the 120 hours/month that you currently get).

If you are a Gold Plan holder then you’ll continue to pay $35/month for unlimited free visits to time-based worlds, and your plan will now include 30 free time-based regions (instead of the 20 regions that you currently get).

New Fixed-Price World Options

We’ll be replacing the current Unlimited Free Access world options with several new yet-to-be-announced fixed-price options. All existing Unlimited Free Access world users will be grandfathered in, so you’ll be able to choose whether to keep your existing world option or switch to one of the new options.

Some people are on the Bronze Plan and also have Unlimited Free Access worlds. If you are one of these people then we will send you an email regarding how you can keep your Unlimited Free Access worlds even after we’ve canceled your existing subscription.

Act Now! (Excuse the Cliche…)

We encourage you to take advantage of our limited-time offer to upgrade to the Silver Plan or Gold Plan before the end of the year and get the extra long-term benefits that will be provided exclusively to those plan holders. This offer will not be available after Dec. 31, so if you want these exclusive benefits you should order now.

Performance Improvements and Materials Update

We updated Kitely today with many performance improvements. These changes make worlds start faster, and eliminate some performance problems that were introduced when we upgraded to OpenSim 0.7.6.

Worlds Start Faster

Over the years we’ve made several non-trivial optimizations to the OpenSim startup sequence to enable Kitely worlds to start faster than regular OpenSim regions. Today’s update includes several additional optimizations that result in significantly reduced startup times for worlds that contain many meshes, sculpties, and/or assets. The lag that sometimes occurs when a new world starts has also been reduced, so newly started worlds will become responsive much faster than they do on regular OpenSim.

Better Maps at No Performance Cost

One of the big changes we’ve made is to how we create the world map. At the same time as the update to OpenSim 0.7.6 we also switched to a new module for creating world maps, called Warp3D, that produces much better results than the old maps. However, we underestimated how much CPU power is required to create these maps, so this change consumed a lot of resources that competed with running the regions. To solve this problem, we now create the world maps on different servers from the servers that run your worlds. This means that you’ll still enjoy the very high quality Warp3D maps, but now without incurring any performance hit as a result.

Materials Work in Kitely Market

Another important update in this release is that we changed the way Materials work. The new implementation (which we’ll contribute to OpenSim) takes less storage and works faster, especially if the same material is used in many prims. This is almost the final iteration of Materials that we’re planning, so it is now okay to start using them in Kitely Market products. Please note that materials that you create in Kitely will not be visible on other grids (e.g., if you Export OAR and then Import on another grid) until OpenSim integrates our changes.

Other Improvements

We fixed the following user-reported bug: when changing the material for a single face of a prim, sometimes this changed the material for the entire prim instead. This fix will be contributed to OpenSim.

By user request, when users edit terrain we now consider them to be active, i.e. we won’t disconnect them due to inactivity.