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The Newbie Onboarding Experience - Part 1

Just out of the pod - through the learning path and at a sandbox


I needed another avatar, my first one since Lani who is seven or eight now.  No giant change the world plans, just wanting to spread the lindens around between bodies -- that safety thing.   Tonight felt like a good night to try my hand at making a new avatar -- a pretty new to me experience since it had been many years and Lani came through an almost forgotten educational portal (pink polka dot dress and all that jazz) with one of the VER last surnames. Lucky Lani.   

Making an avatar was easy really.  Type in avatar name (a few simple tries told me that anything anyone had ever thought about was gone so I went for something pretty and perhaps a bit of my oh so tiny native American heritage (really tiny but there).  I picked MoonlightOnWater.  Note that since I was a seasoned user I knew that capitals did indeed count :D.   

Other than date of birth and where I was born and a TOS agreement the process was simple. A couple of times proving I was not a robot and I was in.  There was NOTHING about picking an avatar and I don't remember any mention of downloading a viewer -- all pretty odd.  

I ended up at the Firestorm Gateway. This is the exact thing that I saw when I logged in. Region Windlight, no camera angle change etc. So don't expect "pretty" here -- just "actual". 

The avatar I was given was actually very nice. I loved the little dog and you can see from my lead photo that it wasn't bad at all. But of course if I was NEW I would have no way of knowing that just looking at my backside. It should be noted that I immediately crashed upon taking this photo.  

Also noted that I crashed again immediately after taking a front view shot (not shown).  After that I lowered my draw distance to 32 and did well. 

There was a sign explaining how to move forward and a path to follow. And follow I did of course. 

Various instructional boards appeared along the  path along with places  try out new  skills. There were places to practice jumping and flying over things and sitting etc. 

You could talk to a giant phoenix who answered back, or at least seemed to. 

A free area let you practice buying except that the instructions didn't match all the ways to buy that were on the vendors. So confusion could definitely reign.  

By this time and more info boards than shown here, "I" was getting pretty confused and after thirteen years I should know a few things LOL.  So there is that.  There were a few nice items in the free area but it really does need an overhaul. I am sure there are plenty of creators that would be willing to donate some old group gifts and the like.  Most items were of course for standard sizing since the bodies given out are Ruth type avatars.  I get that. But I am still wondering why there was no mention of alternative avatars or an ability to choose one before entering inworld for the first time.  

And now we teleport. I followed the instructions exactly and still my camera view stayed on the teleporter and not on my destination -- as always. This may just be "me" for some reason but if not, that could be VERY confusing for a new citizen. 

Note there is a change of Windlight setting here as I couldn't stand it any longer. 

After moving I could see that I was in a very pretty social area where folks were busy working on their shapes and trying on clothing. Some had "demo" written on them so I am guessing those folks weren't new either.  It was difficult to tell if  ALL females ended up as depicted above or if there were various versions of new gals. I did see one other in my exact same look, but others may have been the same before adjusting their clothes and shapes. 

There was a place to purchase money in this area along with a second freebie area (not as good as the first) and then a set of teleporter taking you to various destinations.  I chose  the freebie shopping teleported and ended up in a place so very ugly that I didn't even take a photo. It would have looked bad a dozen years ago and some of the items seemed like they came from back then.   

Getting out of there as fast as I could, I teleported to a sandbox, and took my simple lead photo. 

Final thoughts:

My head was spinning after twenty minutes of charts and info; I was already on overload and hadn't even found the pretty glade yet.  The free things could definitely use some updating as some are downright ugly by current standards. 

I am STILL very puzzled why there was no choose an avatar OR a mention on that on the boards (I could have missed one I guess but I was trying to read everything). 

So I can see why some (actually many according to statistics) never log in again.  

I remember my very first Newbie Island experience. There was tons to explore, lots of folks to talk too. Explanatory charts for sure but more sprinkled around so you could wander and fly ("we can fly - we can fly") without having to study so much so fast. There were mentors there to answer questions.  I stayed there a day or so waiting for some real life friends to have time to enroll and had a great time. Items that advanced builders had made showed up in one area and there was a sandbox and lots of charts on how to build things and open boxes et.   It was more like Disneyland and less like school I guess.

On the plus side I thought the avatar my new gal was given was quite stylish except for the shoes LOL. And the actual making of an account was easy. 

In our next episode I'll see what I can do with the free things I picked up this evening. 

I wish I would have kept a detailed account of the onboarding process oh so long ago, but who knew that I would be writing a blog? Not I.


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