Yesterday evening (at least, evening in the eastern United States) Second Life experienced inventory issues (ironically, at the same time Apple’s iTunes store was also experiencing issues, so the two activities I planned to do at my computer last night were interrupted).
I found my avatar suddenly sprouting huge hands and feet…but the torso of a regular woman. Attempting to put any shape on my avatar only triggered an error that the shape was not found in inventory. So, I did what most experienced users would likely try in the situation…I logged out.
Well, because I closed and re-opened the Second Life application, something else happened. An update was automatically installed. And suddenly, I can no longer use anything other than the lowest graphic settings.
Before the update, even though I couldn’t get shadows on my 2 1/2 year old Mac Mini, I could at least boost my graphics settings to higher levels in order to capture images. Now, any setting above “Low” acts like the lights have been turned off. The problem does appear to be connected with Local Lights.
I tried the latest version of Kirsten’s S21 as well, and it appears to have the same problem. At least with that viewer, I can backtrack to an earlier version. But S21 is not, at least from my experience, a good viewer for moving around (it has had a nicer rendering engine, but apparently now uses some of the offending code from the SL viewer).
So…while I’ve been hoping that Linden Labs will somehow get shadows working on less than state-of-the-art machines, instead the latest version of the viewer code has delivered lower quality graphics.