Here’s the thing..we all have to go through the rough to appreciate the smooth…to experience a tin of value beans to know that Heinz Baked Beans are phenomenal. Not that there’s anything wrong with value beans, but they just are that-value. They aren’t as good, nor are they trying to be necessarily. They are an alternative, and we all know how essential it is to have those. So when ‘The Avastar’ announced we were going metaversal and would be including other MMO environments in our reportage I was exceptionally hesitant and quite frankly not interested. SL is what I know, what I’m good-ish at. I’m not a high achiever, I haven’t built a business empire nor designed an animation but I have learnt how to enjoy myself in the confines of our world, and that is what it is all about after all. Enjoyment and entertainment. Simple as.
This week, as many of you will be aware, I’ve been investigating some of those other worlds so that I can gain perspective and build a presence in them that will hopefully lead to my establishing a network of contacts. That way I should be able to help ‘The Avastar’ achieve its goals and generate some great articles. Tonight I decided to give ‘Kaneva’ another go.
I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I have just wasted over an hour of my life there. I urge you to go in there and experience it for yourself. No matter how bad the lag gets in SL it will never come close to the frustration I have just felt and the complete apathy that I was met with when expressing my concerns. As you can see from my ‘Interesting Links’ column on the left, I’m not the only one to be disappointed. Prokofy Neva has written a great piece which sums it up a lot better than this one, and he includes screen-shots too. I would have taken some myself, but by the point that the thought entered my mind I’d lost the will to live, having been booted out 6 times.
I’m not a bitch, and I know we all have to start somewhere. Look at how SL was in the beginning (For a fab example look up ‘Governor Linden’s Mansion’ in Search) and you’ll see we’ve come a long way. I *know* Kaneva is in it’s Beta stage. BUT I cannot see the sense in launching an MMO in an already crowded market when you have superior products like SL and Entropia to go up against, and for it not to at least have some sort of edge to make it stand out. In my mind, Kaneva doesn’t as yet.
Where to begin? Well, you look awful. Your movements are odd. At least you have your own place to decorate and use as a base, but you seem constrained by the interface when moving objects and applying simple movements like sitting down. In SL, we use the mouse. Kaneva uses a menu. I just about got the hang of it and went to the mall to shop. The shopping in no way compares to SL. There were some nice looking avs bopping around granted, but the detail and the overall look of them is not nearly as accomplished as in SL. (But at least it’s superior to ‘Ruth’! ) There only seemed to be a couple of shops in the mall that offered the potential to change your avs appearance, but the advice given was that to change your look you had to log out, log back in and change your avs appearance settings at that juncture, rather than have the fun of choosing skins, make ups and hairstyles in boutiques like in SL. I asked a few of the better looking female avs for their shopping suggestions, and a few places were mentioned but I couldn’t go because despite purchasing credits via Paypal these hadn’t appeared in my account. Logging out then back in as was suggested didn’t help either, nor did being in contact with the support people. (So far I don’t have the credits and if they don’t appear I shall just ask for a refund anyway. It left a nasty taste in my mouth.) Then we have the ambiance of the place. Avs were dancing around or chatting but not as quick to help out a noob. In fact, I’m rather proud to say I genuinely think that SL has a fabulous camaraderie and people often will help you out at the drop of a hat. (In fact if you check out the letters page in ‘The Avastar’ this week there’s evidence that supports this theory) I asked for help a number of times before I got a response, and when I did it was provided in a courteous but dismissive manner. Not as forthcoming as I’m used to.
So unless I missed something it doesn’t tempt me in any possible way to leave the virtual world I already exist in and inhabit this one. Surely if you spend the time, energy and money to launch a project like this then you have to have that certain *something* that other worlds do not, or at the very least offer that prospect. I’m guessing that the market audience that is being aimed for here is ‘Tweens’, (12-18 year olds), but if so then that makes me wonder why they aren’t logging onto the SL Teen Grid instead. Perhaps Kaneva is a viable option for those who have older systems? The thought crossed my mind but was very quickly dismissed seeing as my desktop and laptop are both top notch beasties and I was still suffering issues. It doesn’t seem to be that much of a safer bet!
Guys I don’t see the appeal. If you use Kaneva regularly and enjoy it then please let me know what I’ve missed so that I can re-evaluate my experiences. I want to give it the opportunity to interest me and retain that interest. Also, from a reporter’s perspective I couldn’t see anything that was newsworthy going on there! Surely I missed something?
To sum up my overall feeling at the moment is sheer frustration with the whole darn Kaneva thing, which has resulted in a renewed appreciation of Second Life that means for the moment, at least, I shall think twice before I open my gob to whinge about it again in the near future:)
Time to give ‘There’ another shot I think…what am I letting myself in for?