So, today, Linden Lab launched an area called Premium Wilderness, and if you haven’t taken a look at it yet, you’re probably wondering “does this add value to my Premium account?”

So, let’s take a look.

The area consists of six regions (Gecko, Tapir, Caiman, Capybara, Piranha and Leech), which (combined) can support a total of 240 visitors at once. You can wander the jungle paths and explore the nooks and crannies, see mesh-animals in their native habitat indulging in lacklustre animation.

It’s an interesting setting, but Second Life is full of interesting settings, and there’s not much to make this one stand out from other excellent work which is not limited to Premium Second Life Accounts. It’s moderately attractive, but ditto. I’ve seen better.

It highlights some issues with mesh animals. That is, that mesh animals don’t animate any better than prim animals do (and in many cases, not nearly as well) – that’s an issue when combined with pathfinding. Pathfinding seems to work best for things that don’t use legs or feet to get around, since there seem to be few sensible ways to combine the two. That probably makes the insects one of the best features of the setting.

There’s a fishing minigame and a few other minor activities, but not really anything you cannot get a more advanced version for free elsewhere in Second Life.

So, does this add any value to your premium account? No, I don’t think it does. Should you upgrade your account to a Premium for this content? No, I wouldn’t recommend it.

I’d normally recommend a Premium Second Life account on general principles, because I think they’re nice to have, but not for specifically this. This doesn’t qualify as value to me, or even as icing. If a Premium Account doesn’t already tempt you on its own merits, this shouldn’t either. It doesn’t really deliver anything you don’t already have access to.

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