New World Notes announced yesterday the return of Svarga, the legendary living ecosystem experiment in Second Life (Web; SLurl). Hamlet Au has confirmation that Linden Lab has purchased the property as part of a program to promote and preserve the arts (Web). When I heard about a year ago that Svarga was closing I had hoped that the Lab would do such a thing. Actually, I had hoped to purchase it myself, but I’m glad that someone did.
In my brief, 20-minute look around, almost nothing has changed. Most obvious is the lack of items for sale in the store, but some plants that I remember floating mid-air are still in place as is the slightly “suspicious” plant that yields a surprise. The futuristic sound experience that was tucked in a corner is gone (“[19:08] svarga wasp whispers: There was an exciting chat to sound experiment here [19:08] svarga wasp whispers: we hope to get it back soon,” announces the tour wasp), as is the Wyrm sea dragon that I often swam near, and as I write this I’m looking for the “float in space” activity that used to make me nauseous. These “missing” items were likely No Trans so were retained by their owner. However, I did find a hidden library that I hadn’t seen before.
Interestingly, the L$1 bird feeders still pay Laukosargas Svarog, the original owner (pay the dispenser at night and it refunds your money … sometimes more) and she’s still listed as the land owner in About Land, under the Svarga group, despite a statement in her profile that says that the land has a new owner. Confirming this is he region information. It shows that Patch Linden (Concierge Team Manager) is the owner. I would think that Governor Linden would be the owner. Perhaps it is all being sorted at this time.
Now I’m curious, though. Was the region simply hidden, like the Cornfield regions, or was it re-created from a back up? Either would explain the mis-positioned plants. If it was brought back from storage, the Lab could have gone far enough back to return the dragon and other items (Yes, the Lab can copy anything it wants). I’m also a bit curious that mushrooms seats from the Relic shop are still here yet the really great hammock from the same shop is gone. Again, it might have been No Trans. The one in my inventory isn’t transferable.
In any case, I’m very happy to have Svarga back. From it’s inception it was well ahead of it’s time in design and execution. Compared with some of the marvels of texturing, sculpties, and particle scripting that have been developed during it’s absence a few aspects seem a bit dated, but the region is still a masterpiece.
Postscript: I don’t clearly remember the tour vehicle being a wasp, but rather an ugly pod. Does anyone remember a wasp?