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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Seek, And Ye Shall Find



Today’s post is about finding things.  More specifically, nearby things. 

Oh sure, you can just look around yourself and see things.  But sometimes, that’s not enough.  An object might be hidden inside a wall or under the ground.  Or maybe it is a griefing object and it has deliberately been made hard to spot by its creator.  Or it is a tiny prize object that’s part of a hunt.  At times like these, it’s good to know that there are special tools that make it easier to find stuff!

View Transparent Objects.  The keyboard shortcut to toggle this feature on and off is CTRL+ALT+T.  When enabled, objects that are partly or completely transparent will be shown in red.

Particle Visibility.  An object spewing out smoke or other particles may be hard to see through all the fog!  You can toggle particle visibility off and on with CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+=.  (Yes, the last character is an “equals” sign.)  You can also open Preferences (CTRL+P), click the Graphics tab, and move the Particles slider to 0.

Beacons.  You can cause objects that have certain selected properties to display a “beacon” highlighting them.  Go to World/Show More/Beacons.  You can select objects that are running scripts, or emitting sounds, or…   For added visibility, you can cause a bounding box to be displayed around the object.  Beacons can be especially useful for finding very small objects that you might otherwise overlook.

Object Owner List.  If you own land, you can use a feature of the About Land window to find things owned by a specific person.  Right click the ground, and choose About Land.  Then click the Objects tab, and hit the Refresh button just above the list window.  You’ll see a list containing the names of each person who has objects on your land.  Left clicking one of the names will cause those objects to be highlighted in yellow in world.  If the objects are not supposed to be there, you can Return them to their owner with a simple mouse click.

Area Search.  If you use the Firestorm viewer, this is a great feature for cheating in hunts.  Go to World/Area Search.   You can give the search window clues such as part of the object’s name, or its owner, or creator.  Then you can left click one of the search results, and you’ll see a beacon in world highlighting where that object is.  If you don’t see the beacon, it may be behind you.  Turn around until you can spot it.

Chatty Objects.  A lot of lost vehicles, pets, and griefing objects will send out chat messages, or send you a private IM.  These messages will include a set of object coordinates, such as “Object ‘ExDepart’ owned by Lindal Kidd, Masocado 56, 125, 4024 has offered you inventory.  Accept/Decline/Mute?”  To find the object that’s sending the message, go to the coordinates given in the message.  If no region name is given, it’s in the region you are in.  Your own current X.Y, and Z coordinates are shown in the information bar at the top of your screen.  Coordinates within a region can range from 0 to 255 for X and Y position, and 0 on up for Z position…but you won’t find objects above 4096 m altitude, so consider that a practical limit.  Zero coordinates are always in the southwest corner of a region.

Buried Objects.  If an object is buried inside another object, there are several ways to see it, and to get it out.  You can cam inside solid objects with a careful use of the Alt key, the left mouse button, and a sidewise sweep of the mouse to swing your camera “past” the exterior of a wall (see this earlier post on camming).  If your viewer supports derendering, you can cause the obstructing object to vanish.  You can also check “Build/Hide Selected” and then select the obstructing object.  It will vanish, allowing you to then select the buried item.  (It will vanish too, when you select it, but it will remain selected and you can drag it out from its hiding place.)

If an object is buried beneath the ground, you may be able to cam under the surface to find it, just as you did with the wall.  Or, you can turn on the Advanced menu (CTRL+ALT+D) and go to Advanced/Rendering Types.  Turn off “ground”.  Now you can see your buried treasure!  While you are there, experiment with turning the other rendering types off and on.  Selective rendering can be a very useful tool.

These tools should help you find missing, invading, or embarrassing objects much more easily.  Embarrassing?  Oh yes, it can happen.  One of my friends lost a chatty set of genitals underneath her living room floor!  Isn’t virtual reality strange and wonderful?

See you next time!

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