The Lindens revealed some things at the Second Life Birthday discussions. The one that got the most attention was the "Premium Plus" option for accounts. But there were others. At "Meet the Moles," it was revealed the Lindens and Moles were working on a new line of starter avatars, called the NUX avatars.
Patch would say NUX was short for New User eXperience, and reminded that the current line of starter avatars was "probably going on five to six years old." Unlike the existing line which are "a blend of system body with some mesh attatchments," the NUX will be fully mesh with Bento skeletons and "modernized using all the latest and greatest in avatar building technology, including bakes-on-mesh."
Jester Mole had on one of these new avatars, and hopped on a rotating platform to show it off. Patch stated they would have, "they'll have a whole array of initial outfits available to choose from when they go to sign up and create their avatar, including hairstyles and full ranges of various bodies and types." The avatars are also modifyable, "It's fully slider-rigged, so yeah, you can change the sliders around, change the body shape ..."
Patch stated others will be able to create clothes and other items for these avatars, "We will put out development kits and such that people will be able to design and make clothing and such for it." He did admit they wouldn't be as "robost and fully capable" as some resident-created avatars.
He would go on to say he felt the avatars would be a big help in encouraging new residents to stay and invest more time in the virtual world, saying they "I think will be a really big huge thing and have a tremendous impact on the new user experience and getting people in Second Life, because one of my key interests and goals is I want to grow Second Life. I want to get more people in. And that's very important to me. So, being able to give people a good foundation to start with, and then be able to move on to the larger creator ecoshpere and ecology of products that are available today is another huge consideration for us and how we're approaching this and designing it."
Of when the avatars would be available, Patch wouldn't give a date, "In the future, because I'm not saying soon anymore." There are still some bugs and things to work out.
Pictures from Youtube recording