Most years, there’s at least one smaller grid that does well in this user survey, because small startup grids typically have close-knit and supportive communities. Plus, on smaller grids, its easier for the grid owners to provide support. On larger grids, support can start lagging behind, people can feel lost in the crowd, and there might be challenges scaling the technology.
Where do OpenSimmers live and visit?
Between them, the respondents had visited 79 different grids and named 40 different grids as their primary homes.
OSgrid was the grid that was home to the most respondents, followed by AviTron, DigiWorldz, Alternate Metaverse, and Kitely.
We also asked our readers about the grids that they had visited.
OSgrid, OpenSim’s largest and oldest grid, was the most visited — 73 percent of our readers had been to that grid. The next most visited was DigiWorldz with 54 percent, followed by Kitely, with 53 percent.
The numbers add up to more than 100 percent because most people have visited more than one grid. In fact, the average OpenSim users has been to almost five different grids — that they recalled during this survey.
Most residents said they were very happy with their grids — 93 percent would “absolutely” recommend them to others. Just 5 percent said “maybe” and fewer than 2 percent said they would not recommend.
Technology, support, community, and content
I did not ask people to compare different grids and tell me which one is better. After all, nobody out there has visited all the grids and tried them all out. Instead, what I do every year is ask people what they think about the grid that they spend the most time on.
Typically, people rate their home grid highly. And that makes sense — after all, that’s the grid where they decided to spend their time. That’s why most grids had average responses of “very good” or “excellent” — which I scored as 4 and 5, respectively, when I tabulated the numbers.
As grids get larger, however, they also get more people who are generally discontented. In addition, larger grids may have problems maintaining their technology or support. And, as a result, smaller grids often do very well in these rankings.
You’ll notice that the difference between grids is often a fraction of a percent, so please do not take these results as pure gospel. Plus, with the relatively small number of users we have in OpenSim, the margin of error is high — one highly dissatisfied resident can skew the results quite a bit.
This year, when our readers were asked how they would grade their grid’s technology, Kitely, Wyldwood Bayou, and Enchanted Grid ranked the highest. Those who lived on their own personal grid scored their grid the lowest for technology, which makes sense since they would probably be running a scaled-down, personal version of OpenSim without all the bells and whistles of the large commercial deployments.
OSgrid was second to last. OSgrid is the largest OpenSim grid, allows people to connect regions that they host at home, for free, on their own computers, and all of its management is by a team of volunteers. OSgrid is also the testing ground for new OpenSim features and releases. All these factors combined mean that any particular region might be running slowly on a home Internet connection, or be using an older version of OpenSim.
These survey results also only show how users feel about the technology — not about the effort that the grids have put into their platform. Kitely, for example, has done a great deal of work on custom code, in addition to contributing code fixes back to the community. And OSgrid is where the OpenSim developers do their testing. Neither of these contributions are necessarily reflected in the poll numbers.
In support, three grids received perfect scores from their residents — Wyldwood Bayou, Utopia Skye, and Dorena’s World.
OSgrid scored lowest, but, again, the grid is all volunteer-run and regions are hosted on home computers. And there’s only so much that volunteers can do to help since everybody’s home computer and networking configuration is different.
For community, Wyldwood Bayou had a perfect score, followed by Enchanted Grid, AviTron, and Dorena’s World.
“My personal grid,” as usual, had the lowest score for community, for obvious reasons. Okay, if it’s not obvious to everyone, then let me explain. You see, a grid that you run yourself, on your own computer or on your own server, will only have the community that you yourself can gather together. If it’s a one-person grid for, say, creative building, then you’re not going to have much of a community at all.
In content, Dorena’s World, Utopia Skye, and Tangle Grid all received perfect scores, followed closely by Wyldwood Bayou and Craft World.
For the latest list of all grids on the OpenSim platform — or some fork of it — check out our Active Grids List.
If you would like to see a full list of results — minus any identifiable information — please email me at [email protected].
Additional comments from the respondents
The following are representative comments about the grids. There were more than 80 comments in all, higher than last year, some of them quite lengthy, and if anyone wants to see them, or use them on their websites, just email me. Again, I won’t include any personally identifiable information.
In addition to leaving out some of the repetitive comments, Iâ€™ve also skipped those that had negative personal attacks or that seemed libelous. And, of course, I also edited out any personally identifying information. The comments have also been very lightly edited for spelling and grammar.
“3rd Rock Grid is the 3rd oldest grid in the metaverse and that says something. Many grids have come and gone but 3rd Rock Grid remains. We are stable, we have a great group of people that live here, great entertainment and great content.”
“So much integrity in this world. Great entertainment.”
“Simple Homemade Grid. it’s a simple grid in a very simple but growing server. I would recommend her for availability, but they still have a lot of work to do.”
“Alternate Metaverse has an amazing community and are a friendly and active bunch to hang out with, the technical side of the Alternate Metaverse Grid is more than super and the owner really knows how to solve all issues in a professional manner.”
“Alternate Metaverse is one of the best grids I have ever had the honor to be on when it comes to virtual worlds and I will never leave.”
“I have already recommended Alternate Metaverse to others.”
“I have found Alternate Metaverse to be the most welcoming grid so far. I have set home to there.”
“Living in Alternate Metaverse is an absolute dream for me and my girlfriend.”
“Nice fun community, with lots of entertainment, amazing places to visit and staff. Technical, and most friendly grid.”
“One of the most welcoming and kind people around the OpenSim.”
“The only grid — apart from Kitely — that offers automatic saves of OAR files, and automated uploads of OAR files, from their website. Amazing people and community.”
“This is an awesome grid with awesome people and events.”
“A fantastic staff! Well done.”
“Among all I know is the one that has the most advanced technology and based on Linux system, which is more secure.
“De todos los grids que he visitado AviTron es el mejor.” [Google translation: “Of all the grids I’ve visited, AviTron is the best.”]
“Excelente servicio y muy buen sistema de soporte.” [Google translation: “Excellent service and very good support system.”]
“Is clear that is just beginning and to be honest so far is doing OK, but I know there’s a lot of work yet to be done. It has lots of potential.”
“Wonderful owners who get things done — amazing young grid they will go far.”
“At Craft, I have been carrying on my project, the Museo del Metaverso, for years, I feel at home.”
“Definitely a wonderful grid with lot of content and people without being too crowded.”
“In the past year there has been a growing number of artistic events of outstanding quality on Craft.”
“It is a great grid and the owner, Licu Rau, is more than just friendly – he is a friend! One notices, that he loves the grid and the work he is doing there!”
“DigiWorldz is a good grid with some technical problems. Of course all grids have technical problems… and I’m not sure how many of those problems are in OpenSim itself and Firestorm.”
“DigiWorldz is a great community to be a part of. The grid owner is honest and trustworthy. I feel at ease and trust that my information, data, and creations are safe! And have no fear of the grid closing or ripping me off. Thumbs up for DigiWorldz.”
“DigiWorldz is more home to me then other grids.”
“Extremely well-run, quick response — 10 minutes or less — to problems, high performance — 95 to 105 frames per second, 103-ish ping — great for vehicles with uBODE physics option on sims, nightly backups to multiple servers, and a real relaxed vibe where you don’t have to worry if the grid is online when you want to log in.”
“I have recommended it to many people!”
“I have to go to other grids, like Discovery Grid or Kitely Marketplace get products not available on DigiWorldz. I really like Discovery Grid, but it does not have the active population size I need for what I am building.”
“I’ve been in DigiWorldz for over four years now. I have learned so many new things over the years from so many of the awesomely creative creators here in DigiWorldz! As I learn more and more I only find that I want to learn even more and more! It’s so much fun learning, creating different things . . . what one can create out of a simple square prim is astounding. As I learn each new thing my mind soars into outer space and I have so many infinite ideas of more ways to create more objects and such. It’s only because of DigiWorldz that I have been able to express myself in such unique ways. I am in Second Life for over 16 years now and in DigiWorldz for over four years. In the quarter of the time that I have been in Second Life, I have learned so, so, so much more… I want to express my sincere gratitude to each and everyone of you people who have taught me what I know. Last but not least, are my love for my horses here in DigiWorldz! They all have such unique personalities and I love all of the beautiful coats they have, too. It’s amazing to me when I get a super rare coat! I just get so excited to see such awesomeness! Noxy! You’re doin’ one heck of a great job with them horseys! Keep up the great work!”
“The best community IMO of any grid. Dedicated staff, talented creators and friendly people.”
“Grid owner is always working to update the grid and make it better. Water connects all regions unless you don’t want to be. People are friendly and welcoming.”
“Myself and my business split time between Discovery Grid and Utopia Skye Grid — two of a small handful of grids I actually trust, where grid owners aren’t giving region owners god mode and aren’t rife with stolen content like several grids listed above. Discovery Grid and Utopia Skye Grid owners actually care about vetting stolen content and run high-end tech servers my business requires in order to run.”
“Enchanted Grid was a great surprise, my first day there I went to an event with a huge turn out and we had a lot of great conversations. There are lots of really creative regions, and many engaged friendly creators — some of my favorite InWorldz folk! — so I decided to get a few regions. I especially love the sailing in a Halcyon grid. Very awesome.”
“A closed grid, so most content created by its own residents.”
“No copybotted [stuff]. It’s a great grid with excellent creators.”
“No drama here, great tight community that welcomes new people.”
“This grid utilizes the same physics as InWorldz did and overall the grid is very similar to InWorldz. There are quite a few old InWorldzresidents and I highly recommend this grid for anyone that was from there.”
“Any problems are quickly dealt with by the grid owners and greed and drama are rare.”
“Best tech support of any OpenSim grid. The Kitely Marketplace grows steadily and is the easiest place to sell stuff to nearly anywhere — legally — in the OpenSim grids.”
“Grid is excellent, support is super good, pity that the avatars are very poor which is a comment for OpenSim in general. Quite some people I know left for this reason. Impossible to attract good clothing makers for OpenSim in general for this reason. Quality of avatars is super important as long as this issue is not handled open sim want get the real influx of people. I know that an effort has been done to get this up to date. With all respect go and look at the place and check objective. It’s seriously substandard.”
“I have spent more time on this OpenSim, hypergrid-enabled grid than any other. I’ve had land here for a few years. The weekly meetings are a good way to find out what is going on and the community itself is very drama free and there are many wonderful, magical places to visit. The technology is definitely top-notch for any OpenSim grid. It’s a very active grid which is sort of surprising since you can’t cash out money — but maybe that’s part of the charm. The regions you visit aren’t just shopping and clubs — they are virtual expressions of residents imagination.
Ilan Tochner’s support to Kitely users is beyond exceptional. Absolutely amazing. I believe he never sleeps.”
“Kitely continues to expand its range of offerings with its megaworld on a dedicated server and is now offering megaworlds with 24-7 uptime service, which is a major change to Kitely’s business model but has apparently paid off. Ilan and Oren consistently provide excellent support to fix bugs and respond to user needs and do so with expertise and professionalism I do not see on other grids. Their focus on stable service and excellent backend architecture is unmatched.”
“Kitely is fast, economical to use, and has a super supportive community. Additionally, Kitely’s marketplace is the most powerful and well stocked one of the metaverse I believe. Not only that, but it connects to the whole hypergrid so that you can shop it from anywhere. Now that was super smart!”
“Kitely is the best at OpenSim. However, OpenSim is yesterday’s technology. I wish Ilan and Oren were inclined to create the next generation in a virtual worlds platform.”
“Kitely values in land are great, tech support is very helpful.”
“Let’s face it, we all came from the same place. They offered small plots of land at a huge cost and had absolutely no customer service to speak of. They nickel and dimed us for every upload and honestly, the lag! How many years in and there’s still lag? I did a lot of research before hanging my hat in Kitely. I wanted a low cost, large land mass with stability. I wanted customer service, good customer service. I wanted a marketplace. I wanted community. Kitely has all of that, they checked off all my boxes and then some.”
“The robust servers Kitely uses, and the personal hands-on from their support team is par excellence!”
“We used to be in Second Life… but found Kitely is, in so many ways better… and getting even better.”
“Great gamer community that welcomes everyone. Cutting edge grid tech and excellent support for my main hypergrid store.”
“Committed admins and a strong, caring community make this the grid to call home.”
“I love OSgrid — its the best grid in the universe.”
“OSgrid offers many options, from rented regions to nearly-free self-server lands. It’s main, serious downside is no community group announcements, which makes hosting events difficult. It is an experimental grid, not a community grid — and that is its weakness. But if you want 110 percent control over your lands, host your own server on OSgrid. Or… build your own grid.”
“This grid is my family, never had such wonderful friends.”
“Tangle Grid tries hard to keep updated with the newest OpenSim software. They also keep it’s residents updated via Facebook, MeWe and their own news website. Overall, they one of the best grids I have ever lived on. They go out of their way to make you feel at home. Most grids I have been on you never see the owners with Tangle Grid this isn’t the case always there with any problems you may have. They even help with non-grid problem like computer setups, if you are having problems logging in. They been around for nine years and have very little down time. Region prices are also fair and they offer free land to try them out.”
“As an artist, builder, and videographer, it is a grid I trust. Unlike some other grids listed, I am absolutely sure that my intellectual copyrights are respected there.”
“Small but friendly grid, only drama comes from the Golden Touch Theater and amazing particle shows.”
“Utopia Skye grid is a consistently progressive technology grid. It’s a holistic, artistic, creative space where people can enjoy events and building. The codebase is maintained by Mike Chase who is one of the creators of the Sasquatch version of the OpenSim codebase — a version that proves to be very reliable with zero downtime in over three years. While the grid may not boast some of the numbers others do, the numbers reported here are true numbers and the people who are here are loyal and enjoy a warm community. Plus the Golden Touch Theater performs here and the shows they put on are worth everything.”
“The community here is the most welcoming I’ve found on the hypergrid.”
“This grid is made for visitors who love music, roleplay and exploring.”
“Wyldwood Bayou grid is non-commercial — so no shops or rentals. It is a destination grid, open to hypergridders so that they can visit, explore, participate in medi-fantasy roleplay at Brigantia or Ravenquest, and attend events at the superb music venues –Rockin’ The Blues, Hot Daddy’s, etc.”
“Wyldwood Bayou is a destination grid with a small but wonderful community. The grid offers sailable oceans, beautiful regions with role play and successful clubs which are based on friendships, and inclusivity as well as music. Very great places to visit here and wonderful people to meet.”
“Wyldwood has the best community in the metaverse. The music and the roleplay are outstanding and you will not find a warmer welcome anywhere.”
“WyldwoodBayou Grid runs well and has a welcoming and kind community. They have weekly music events with different DJs and roleplaying events in fae lands.”